The Becket Hitch for Hammocks

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28 Responses

  1. Paul B says:

    On your word of caution, do you mean that I’m fine if I use webbing to tie the Becket Hitch ONTO whoopie slings or a continuous loop but would have issues if tying the Becket Hitch USING amsteel?

    • Derek says:

      If I understand you correctly, yes.

      To clarify: If you have an Amsteel/Dyneema loop on your hammock, you can tie a Becket Hitch to it using webbing or a sheathed line and it will work fine. In my testing, using an Amsteel line to an Amsteel loop is a slippery combination. I’ve had luck making the Becket Hitch work in this situation with a TRIPLE wrap, but that sort of defeats some of the usefulness (and makes it more difficult to untie).

      In fact, using an Amsteel line to any sort of loop (webbing, sheathed rope, etc.) is not advisable.

      Webbing to an Amsteel loop works great.

      Sheathed rope to an Amsteel loop works great.

      • Chris Poole says:

        Derek, I really appreciate you telling us about the Becket Hitch. I use a 15 foot length of 1″ tubular nylon webbing on each end of my hammock as both tree strap and suspension, and I connect it directly to a Dyneema loop on my hammock using the Becket Hitch. I weigh about 210 lbs. and the foot end of the hammock did fall with me one time. I tied the knot properly, but it slipped. So I have since placed a wooden 2/3″ dowel rod in the loop formed by the quick release of the hitch and this has worked fabulously. Sticks off the ground would work equally as well. It is still infinitely flexible as to hang adjustment and speed of connection and disconnection. Love it!

  2. Dave says:

    I’ve used this knot ever since I saw it earlier on your website – now I have a more detailed explanation for my Scouts (thanks for that!).

    Specifically – I extend an Amsteel continuous loop on a ridgeline-just-a-smidge-too-short on my Turtledog. I used the lines that I replaced with Amsteel to do the extension (bowline one end to a carabiner, Becket on the loop).

    I do add one note of caution – I have never been able to make this hitch work with wrapped clew ends (all rope with no metal ring) – they seem to be too large and inflexible to hold the loop in place. For these, I end up with a chain solution as the best bet, since these types of hammocks aren’t very portable anyway.

  3. Woods Gebbia says:

    I use this on amsteel line to amsteel loop with the addition of a toggle. Before loading, place the toggle in the loop and pull the free end snug. No more slippage. There isn’t much load on the toggle, but it helps to remove it if it’s smooth as opposed to a found stick.

  4. elderr2 says:

    Cheers!

    For a couple of years now my go to hammock knot has been the ‘Slippery Larks Head,’ it’s fast a easy and very strong. I have noticed that for some reason my scouts struggle to mimic this knot.

    I will try the ‘Hammock Becket Hitch’ and see if they like that one better.

    • Derek says:

      Another one that’s stronger than the Larks Head, and is often used in climbing, is the clove hitch. I’ve used a slippery clove hitch often with my Hennessy when using hardware, such as a carabiner.

  5. Adam Skinner says:

    The Becket Hitch is my go-to suspension for a number of reasons:

    * No hardware required. No carabiners or dutch clips, no whoopie hooks or toggles.
    * Superior flexibility. A real draw back with the whoopies is the ~3 ft of dead space on either end. Using just webbing allows you to get in really close to the tree. Using long webbing allows you to use bigger trees and/or trees farther apart.
    * Solid. Unlike a toggle, which in my experience is both fiddly and has a wont to twist out on you, the Becket Hitch isn’t going anywhere.
    * Fine grained. Unlike slap straps, you can dial this to exactly where you want it.
    * Inexpensive. ~10 USD for a pair.
    * All in one. You’re going to need webbing anyway.

    It does have a few downsides, however:

    * Increased bulk compared to whoopies and a shorter length of webbing.
    * Adjustibility not as easily dialed in as whoopies after the fact. With whoopies you can hook in and easily adjust both sides in a very fine grained fashion. The becket hitch requires you to accurately estimate one side. With practice this downside is minimized.
    * Beginner ease of use. While I make using this hitch look easy, it’s not as easy for beginners to use as cinch buckles or whoopies. This goes away with practice.

    Overall, this is the best solution I’ve found.

    * Whoopies kill your flexibility
    * cinch buckles add weight and fliddlyness
    * slap straps are bulkier, rely on hardware, are not fine grained
    * mule tape is not as durable as webbing, webbing Nazis will tell you it will kill the tree

  6. Mark says:

    Really thankful you have shared this. I HATE the Hennessey Lashing for all the obvious reasons and this is perfect for instances where one doesn’t want to bother changing the suspension.

  7. ruslan says:

    Blake’s Hitch suspention system is still better 🙂 …

    • Mark says:

      The Blake’s Hitch is a friction hitch commonly used by arborists and tree climbers as an ascending knot.

    • Derek says:

      A Blake hitch? Isn’t that like a prusik? That sort of sliding knot won’t hold on smaller diameter line or slippery line like Amsteel.

  8. Steve allan says:

    Do you find water travelling down towards hammock when using Mule tape.

  9. Phillip says:

    Was that mule tape you used for the loop? Could mule tape used for the loop to gather the ends of a hammock? 5’6″ 185 lbs and I know not to use as tree straps not wide enough.
    Thanks

    • Derek says:

      Yes. Mule tape can be used for end loops and suspension. AntigravityGear uses a thinner 1/2 inch mule tape for their suspension, coupled with a wider webbing for the tree.

      • Phillip says:

        Changed to the Becket Hitch setup in the house and like it a lot better than the whoopie I had. Redid the whoopies into continuous loops and I had a lot of mule tape so zero cost. Thanks for the info.

  10. Where would you put your water break in this system?

  11. Eric says:

    This is the best explanation about Becket Hitch I can find on the Web! One question though about it in comparison with the Hennessy Lashing:

    One purpose of the HL is to prevent point-loading on ropes (according to the Hennessy website). Doesn’t the BH point load the suspension rope? Given that there is only one or two wraps around the webbing loop?

    What is your experience on the wear of ropes with the BH?

    • Derek says:

      In my experience the Becket Hitch wears better than the lashing for one main reason: it doesn’t move. The lashing is wrapped around itself and when you load the hammock it slips slightly. I’ve experienced melting on the rope and webbing loops as a result. This is normal wear, but because it happens often on the same point of the loop it gets more pronounced. The Becket Hitch can slip on dyneema so I don’t recommend that. Long webbing is my preferred method.

      • Mark Stosberg says:

        Are you saying you wouldn’t recommend the Becket Hitch for a dyneema straps with an Amsteel loop? I’m considering buying the Dutchware dyneema 2.0 straps, which are even lighter and more slippery than regular dyneema

        • dejoha says:

          I was specifically referring to cordage on cordage. My apologies for not being specific. Dyneema, Spectra, and Amsteel are all brand names for the same material: Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, or UHMWPE fibers. The following shared characteristics make them perfect for hammock suspension and cordage:

          • Weight for weight, they are up to 15 times stronger than steel and up to 40% stronger than Kevlar© (DuPont).
          • They are slippery, which lets the line glide over bark with less snagging or cutting
          • Being slender for their strength, they offer less bulk than other types of line.
          • They are more abrasion resistant than high carbon steel.
          • They are resistant to UV light.
          • They do not absorb water (and they float).
          • They exhibit very low stretch compared to nylon or Dacron lines (like comparing steel wire to rubber bands)

          Now, while cordage made from Dyneema/Spectra/Amsteel doesn’t knot well, webbing straps work much better. Typically we splice Dyneema/Spectra/Amsteel cordage. When tying the Becket Hitch with a Dyneema cord against a Dyneema end loop, it has a higher probability of slipping out.

          However, if you have a Dyneema cord end loop and a Dyneema webbing suspension line, that would work with a Becket Hitch. The differing sizes help the hitch to hold.

  12. Stefan Bruhn says:

    What length straps do you recommend for this? I’m researching before buying my first hammock, and I would like the lightest and simplest suspension, and this seems great. Looking at dutchware kevlar straps, and they’re quite expensive, so would prefer not to get them way too long 😊

    • Derek says:

      First, will you use the straps also as tree webbing, or just the suspension. For example, you could use cheap 1.5 inch webbing around the tree that is attached to thinner webbing as the suspension. This is how the Antigravity Gear straps are made and they are fantastic and light. I highly recommend them for what you are doing. The Kevlar straps are nice but I don’t know if the weight and strength is really justified for the weight. Either way you go, you need to know what is the typical size tree you will hang on and what length of strap will I need to match the circumference and have some left over for suspension. A common length for this all-in-one approach is 8-10 feet. You can go shorter if your hangs allow it.

  13. Stefan Bruhn says:

    I think with kevlar I might get one long strap for both tree strap and suspension. Muletape would be paired with a tree strap. I’m trying to go as light as possible, but your suggestion from antigravitygear is obviously better priced at 20 bucks weighing in at 4oz.
    10′ straps of Kevlar 2.2 would cost the double, but only weigh 1.6oz.
    But you would still recommend the antigravitygear for durability and strength?
    I’m also intrigued by whoopie songs…

    Thanks so much for all your help here, it’s very confusing trying to decide the first purchase 😉

    • Derek says:

      I found the AGG suspension too long so I trimmed it. I got it under 2 oz. I don’t think you’ll need the extra strength of the Kevlar.

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