Looking to buy your first hammock? Chances are you’ll need to purchase some straps too. Hammock straps, also known as tree protector straps, come in a variety of lengths and work by attaching the hammock to a tree via a loop and cord or carabiner system.
The best hammock straps are made from durable webbing and contain multiple loops so you can easily adjust the hammock based on the spacing of the trees. In this article, we’ll discuss what to look for when purchasing hammock straps, as well as how to use them for the ultimate hang!
Hammock Straps: An Essential Piece of Gear
Hammock suspension straps are important to keeping you up and supported all night, they are one of the core pieces of gear for any hiking hammock setup as you need them strong and lightweight for hammock camping.
These ultralight straps attach to the trees and your hammock, creating a safe and comfortable experience. They are vital to the overall weight limit and support of your hammock.
While in the older days could use rope, they are known to cause big damage to trees and their bark leading to lessened lifespans. Hammock straps improve the spread of your weight across the tree and are typically 1″ or wider to provide maximum benefit to you and to the trees.
Buying Hammocks and Straps Separately
For most hammock systems as a package, you will get specific straps, but hammocks are one of those pieces of gear that can be bought part by part to assemble your own perfect hang.
There are many different types of things to consider from straps, in addition, there is a wide variety of different ways you could connect them. Let’s go over what you need to consider when buying or making your own.
What to Look For in Hammock Tree Straps
There are some keys to choosing your tree straps and what will work best for you. While they are simple in design, there is a lot to think about!
Inch Wide Straps or Wider
The reason ropes have been banned from most parks and sometimes hammocks themselves is the damage that’s been done to the local trees, to combat this damage you need wide straps so that they can lay and spread on more of the tree.
This will disperse the pressure and weight over a greater area, giving both you and the tree more support.
Simple to Set Up
For any thru-hiker when you get to camp you want to get done fast and efficiently so that you can get to resting and recuperation which is vital to longevity on the trail.
You want a strap system that is very simple and fast to set up, while there are a lot of different ways to set things up.
Easy to Tear Down and Store
Going with the fast set up you want to be able to put it up and take it down with ease, you also want to be able to store it in a small and efficient manner.
You want straps that can preferably be up and down within minutes, this will help you stay on the trail longer and get into your hammock faster!
Key Features to Look for In Hammock Straps
Choosing the right hammock straps is a pretty easy task, but it’s still important to know what you’re looking for. In this section, we’ll go over the different factors to consider when choosing your next set of straps!
Size – Length and Width
The size of your hammock straps is important because it will dictate how big of a tree you can set up on which can open you up to much more variety of campsites.
As with most thru-hiking gear, the lightest weight possible is the way to go and with straps, it’s no different. You want to find something that is durable but light so that you’re not weighed down on the trail.
What weight can the straps hold without breaking? This is an important number to look for as you don’t want your straps giving out on you in the middle of the night.
What are the straps made from as Dyneema will be stronger and lighter than pretty much any other material? This is an important factor to consider as it will affect both the weight and strength of the straps.
Ease of Use
Are the straps easy to use? You want something that you can set up and take down quickly so that you’re not wasting time at camp.
Pros and Cons of Different Suspension Systems
There are many hammock suspension options available, and it can be hard to know what is the best for you. Each of these tends to have some slightly different gear within the system. Here are some of the most popular types of hammock straps on the market:
Daisy Chain Suspension
One of the more common types, the daisy chain system is made of a single piece of webbing with multiple loops sewn in. The main parts of this system are the continuous loops, daisy chain webbing straps, and carabiners.
The daisy chain strap has many attachment points, sometimes up to 30+, that you can use to adjust the length and angle of the strap.
Daisy chain suspension is the easiest way to hang a hammock. It doesn’t take long to learn how to do it, and it can hold a lot of weight. People who are new to camping in hammocks usually like this method. However, there are some downsides. Each attachment point is fixed at 4 inches, so the hammock cannot be perfectly adjusted.
Whoopie Sling Suspension
Whoopie slings are two separate pieces of webbing that are adjustable and can be easily removed from the hammock.
A Whoopie Slings are adjustable Amsteel ropes with a free end called “tail” woven through them (bury section) for pulling to change the length.
It features a small fixed loop, an enormous adjustable loop on the tail side, and a deep burry in the middle. It is frequently equipped with a plastic bead or ring spliced onto the adjustable harness for preventing it from being pulled into the bury.
The length of a whoopie sling is usually 6 to 8 feet long, and it has a 6 to 8 inches deep burial. It’s generally constructed of 7/64″ Amsteel, which has a breaking strength of 1500 pounds, or 1/8″ Amsteel, which can support up to 2500 pounds.
Cinch Buckle Suspension System
This system has continuous loops, cinch buckles, and webbing straps. The cinch buckle is made of aluminum or titanium. It is lightweight and compact.
This device has a slider toggle in the center. It will automatically tighten when it is under pressure. Once it is set up, you don’t need a backup knot. It is very convenient to adjust.
Answering Common Hammock Strap Questions
There are a lot of options available when it comes to hammock straps. In this section, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions so that you can make the best decision for your next set of straps!
Do hammock straps hurt trees?
No, this is why they are called “tree savers.” The straps go around the tree trunk, and the weight is distributed evenly. This protects the bark of the tree and doesn’t damage it.
Are the hammock straps adjustable?
Yes, they are! You can adjust the length of the straps to get the perfect fit for your hammock.
How long should hammock straps be?
This depends on the size of the tree and the type of hammock you have. My straps for my Hummingbird setup are 100″ long with an option to upgrade to a longer version if you anticipate bigger trees on the trail.
Get Ready for Your Next Hang!
When you’re out on the trail, every ounce counts. That’s why choosing the right hammock suspension system is so important.
In this article, we’ve outlined three of the most popular types of hammock straps- daisy chain, whoopie sling, and cinch buckle- and answered some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help you make the best decision for your next set of straps!
Do you have a favorite type of hammock strap? Let me know in the comments below!