Therm-a-Rest Slacker Suspenders (Tree Strap) Review

thermarest-slacker-buckle

Therm-a-Rest Slacker Suspenders — Hammock Hanging Kit

Therm-a-Rest sent me a package that included their updated Slacker Hammocks, bug net, and new hanging kit, the Slacker Suspenders. The Suspenders is a combination anchor point and suspension line since the webbing is used for both purposes.

  • Manufacturer: Therm-a-Rest, Made in Vietnam
  • MSRP: US$24.95

Available Features/Specifications

  • Weight: 9 oz (256 g)
  • Width: 1 in (2.54 cm)
  • Length: 125 in (318 cm)
  • Hardware: Cinch buckle system
  • Material: low-stretch polyester webbing
  • Recommended load: 400 lbs (181 kg)
  • Cinch buckle and 1 in (2.5 cm) webbing strap

Product Description

The Therm-a-Rest Slacker Suspender strap suspension system is one of the more unique products I’ve seen recently for a suspension system. A lot of folks are familiar with cinch buckles; they are one of the more popular hammock suspension systems. Therm-a-Rest’s design mixes it up a little by putting the cinch buckle closer to the tree end, where most manufacturers keep the buckle closer to the hammock end.

thermarest-strap

The Suspenders use fairly thick webbing, which feels much more substantial than common hammock webbing. It is much more robust.

The webbing is nearly split in two, with the cinch buckle at the center. On one half (the tree side), the strap is sewn on around the cinch buckle and an eye loop is sewn on the opposite end. This loop was designed so that the webbing could be wrapped around the tree and then the strap pulled back through that loop, thus securing it to the tree.

The other half of the strap (the hammock side) is adjustable at the cinch buckle. This adjustable side has a smaller loop sewn, marked with colorful thread, to indicate which side the hammock is clipped.

One thing that caught my eye immediately was the shiny, polished cinch buckles. While it was functionally still a cinch buckle, it really stood out and looked classic.

Recommendations and Review

Suspension and Anchor System

My first worry about this system was that it would be difficult to adjust, depending on the types of trees you have. For example, if you have a small-diameter tree, the available webbing would be long, and not all of it would be adjustable. You can solve this dilemma by “eating up” some of the webbing by wrapping it multiple times around the tree. This works to a point, but if the selected tree is too large to get a few more wraps in, then you’re stuck with some unadjustable “dead space.”

The system itself isn’t too difficult to use, although some beginners might find adjusting a cinch buckle takes a little practice.

Price and Value

I think the price is just right. The components are high-quality (polished!). The webbing is substantial.

Best Match

This suspension is aimed at beginners, but it will take a little bit of a learning curve to understand and then master this system, especially adjusting the strap length on the non-adjustable side. Veteran hangers and those familiar with cinch buckles will pick up on the nuances much easer.

Construction and Craftsmanship

As I mentioned before, the buckle has been run through some extra processing and has a very nice appearance. The rest of the strap has excellent build quality, solid stitching, and excellent construction.

Similar Products

  • The straps on the Draumr v3 have a similar system, but are integrated into the hammock.

 

Disclosure of material connection: The author (Derek Hansen) was provided with a free sample from the manufacturer for testing and evaluation purposes. The comments in this post (written & spoken) are of my own opinion, which I formed after personally handling the gear. I was under no obligation to publish a review of this item.

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3 Responses

  1. Kevin says:

    Derek how would you compare these to the Python straps? I am looking to get one or the other for my Trek Light Double to replace the rope kit do you have a recommendation?

    • Derek says:

      The format is different. I would go with the Python straps if you are familiar with them. They also offer a lot more adjustability than the slacker suspension.

  2. Joseph says:

    I love these straps, when it takes my friends a few minutes of fumbling with rope, I’m already in a perfectly angled hammock!

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