Dean, thanks for the useful info on webbings suitable for hammocks. Sounds
like you did do a lot of research-your discussion of nylon stretch is right
on and explains why I avoid nylon in 1" widths. But for everyone's safety,
I'd like to clarify something. Most 1" webbing straps sold in fabric retail
stores are NOT strong enough for hammock straps. To be safe, you MUST know
the correct breaking strength if using 1" wide webbing. I recommend a
minimum breaking strength of at least 600 lbs for a 1" wide strap,
irrespective of the material. But I've found that many, and perhaps most,
clerks in retail fabric stores don't know the breaking strength of the
webbing on their shelves-it's not marked on the packing and some clerks will
even make up an answer to please the customer. Since so much
"off-the-shelf-1"- webbing" has a breaking strength of only 100 to 350 lbs,
this can be disastrous for hammock use. This issue really is serious and
it's "Buyer Be Aware".
So, there is a market for cut lengths of low breaking strength 1" webbing
(you can find it in all fabric stores); but there isn't much of a market for
cut lengths of high breaking strength 1" webbing. How can a buyer be sure?
1) Avoid retail fabric sources that don't list breaking strengths-and be
suspicious if they do list the strength; 2) Buy +600 lb 1" webbing direct
from a manufacturer (generally min of 500 yds!); 3) Buy from a reputable
source with proven safety history-yea, like Speer Hammocks.
As all long term members of this List know, I don't use the List to promote
my own stuff-so I feel I need to explain here. I reframe from promoting my
products here because I started this List as a free & unbiased exchange of
info by hammock campers-not as an advertising opportunity for Speer Hammocks
or any other hammock manufacturer. The folks using this List are doing a
fine job of sharing and exchanging information-thank you for your input.
But this issue of webbing strength is too serious for me to ignore. Most
everyone is interested in using lightweight, tree-friendly hanging straps
that won't break-finding them isn't impossible, but can be difficult.
Be safe out there..Ed
Moderator, Hammock Camping List
Author, Hammock Camping, The Complete Guide
Editor, Hammock Camping News
Owner, Speer Hammocks Inc
On Behalf Of dt51357
Sent: Sunday, June 04, 2006 10:06 AM
Subject: [Hammock Camping] Re: Hammock support/ webbing strength?
> How does one know the
difference in break strength to order the right stuff? I don't want to
buy the low break stuff and have a hammock disaster.
I did some research a while ago on webbing strength. I have misplaced
it, of course, but I think I remember the main conclusions. Breaking
strengths vary so the weave does matter, but only if the webbing is
less than 1". Webbing is strong, so any webbing that's wide enough to
protect the trees will be strong enough. Nylon is strongest (except
for spectra, dyneema, kevlar and the like) but it stretches,
especially when wet. Polyester is almost as strong as nylon and
doesn't stretch much. Seat belt straps are 2" polyester and have a
breaking strength of something like 10,000 lb or so. I don't know of a
good source for seat belt strap material, though. Polypropylene is the
cheapest and the weakest but even it is strong enough if it's 1" or
more. Some polypro strapping is a bit marginal on strength, though.
It's strong enough but doesn't give as big a safety margin as nylon or
Basically, any 2" strap is overkill on strength and very easy on the
trees. Any 1" strap is strong enough. Narrower strapping should be
nylon or polyester.
> spectra/dyneema webbing for 80 cents/foot...
That's a bit of overkill. Any webbing that's wide enough to work as a
tree-hugger is strong enough. No need to pay extra. Although, it
wouldn't stretch would it? Hmmm...
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