Tree-O Multi Hammock Frame Prototype
I got a chance to preview the Tree-O Hammock Frame from Treble Hammock, which is currently working on crowd-funding through Kickstarter. The Tree-O is a modular frame, capable of supporting up to three hammocks in various configurations. This preview is based on a prototype I was sent, so I don’t have all the technical details, ratings, and material information to share as some of this may change on the final version. What I can speak to is the overall concept, design, and usability.
Concept and Design
The design offers more variation than its simple design would let on. Unlike fixed multi-person hammocks and platforms like the Clark Vertex Hammock or the Stingray from Tentsile, the Tree-O frame is adjustable, which means you can attach to trees that are less than “ideal.” One drawback I’ve found with the Vertex and Stingray is that when trees are outside the ideal margin, one side can have less tension and go slack. By allowing each of the three straps to move independent of each other, the Tree-O frame can “adapt” to trees in less ideal configurations.
The other thing I really like is that this frame allows for configurations for one hammock and up to three hammocks by design. The long tree straps combined with the daisy-chain design of the frame means you can reach trees that are much further away than the recommended 12 to 15 feet (3.6 to 4.5 m) and still have a perfect place to hang your hammock. This has been great for my situation at home where I don’t have any trees in my 2.5 acre lot, but I do have a porch with a 30 foot (9.1 m) span that isn’t ideal for hanging a hammock since I’m limited on how high I can hang straps.
Like the Tentsile design, the Tree-O frame is set up more like a slack line, with a fairly taut setup. The prototype uses steel O-rings to form a cinch buckle that many hangers will be familiar with. The rings not only simplify the set-up, but it also lightens the entire kit. The rings on the prototype are robust. Threading the steel rings is easy. The tree straps have loops on both ends, and the free loop can be used as a handle to pull the strap tight. The good news is that the frame does NOT need to be cinched slack-line tight; just taut enough to set the frame up.
The downside to the O-ring cinch buckles is that they tend to slip pretty easily, so always tie a slippery half hitch after threading the steel rings. If you do this, the straps won’t slip, and it will still be easy to untie and loosen. To loosen, pull the slippery hitch and then push the rings in opposite directions while pulling the strap down and it comes apart easily.
The other important set-up instruction is to attach the hammock to the frame and not the loops. The loops should point up to the sky.
I’ve had a blast trying out the prototype Tree-O frame. As I mentioned, this frame is perfect for my backyard. I had a similar idea of putting up a tow strap between my porch pillars to achieve the same thing, but the Tree-O frame has much more usability. The idea reminded me of those crazy photos of slack liners who hang hammocks on the line that crosses big canyons.
NOTE: Because this frame requires a tighter pitch, you should consider bringing small lengths of closed-cell foam pads to put between the strap and the bark or use wider webbing straps to help disperse the force on the trees.
One thing I really like about the frame is that is works great for hanging two hammocks side-by-side. So many people ask me about two-person hammocks, and to me, this set-up is ideal. I could set up two hammocks in a way that allows them to intersect so that we could face each other and be really close. In my opinion, this was better than any tent set-up I’ve ever experienced. It was fun to lay back in my hammock and look directly at my wife and chat.
If there is a drawback, it is that if you want to hang three hammocks, you will need to find three trees that provide a configuration that can pull the Tree-O frame apart enough to fit all three hammocks.
For me, I can’t wait to see what subtle changes may come for the final version. It’s a great concept, nicely executed, and fits a great niche for hammocks and hammock camping.
- Manufacturer: Treble Hammocks, Inc, made in USA
- MSRP: US$80 (estimate)
- 7 Steel O-rings (2 for each “leg” and a center ring)
- Daisy chain connections on the frame provides multiple quick hang points
- Adjustable ring cinch suspension system (no ratchet machinery)
- Hang extra gear, lights, accessories from the daisy chain loops
- Stack frames for multi-hammock set-ups
- Each strap is removable from the rings so they can be used as individual tree straps when necessary
- The stuff sack is large enough to hold a few simple gathered-end hammocks inside
- 1 in (2.5 cm) “cargo” style 100% polyester webbing straps (both the tree strap and frame strap use the same webbing) rated at 4,500 lbs (2,041 kg)
- 2 in (5 cm) stainless steel O-rings rated at 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg)
- 750 lbs (340 kg) rated weight capacity
- 80 oz (2.2 kg) (5 lbs)
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.