Hummingbird Hammock Tree Straps
When I wrote my post on lightweight hammock suspension systems, the Hummingbird Hammocks Tree Straps weren’t available. At 2.3 oz (65 g) per pair (43.5 in/ounce or 4 cm/gram) I’ve now updated that post to highlight one of the (if not THE) lightest suspension on the market.
The design of the suspension isn’t revolutionary; it’s a typical format with a length of webbing with a Whoopie Sling attached. A few unique differences are in material choice (mil-spec nylon webbing and Spectra line) and construction. Nylon webbing is an interesting choice given it’s tendency to stretch, but it isn’t too long, so stretching issues should be minimal. For a lightweight material, the strap doesn’t compromise the overall weight rating of 400 lbs (181 kg).
The Spectra line (a.k.a. Dyneema) used on the Whoopie Sling is stark white, which is a recognizable part of the Hummingbird brand. Instead of stopper beads or other keepers on the sling, Hummingbird is using simple overhand knots to help prevent the adjustable loop from sliding through itself. When I saw it I was impressed by the simplicity, but I worried about loss of tensile integrity. When I asked Chris, the manufacturer, he said in their testing the weak point was at the bury, which is typical for all Whoopie Slings. The knot strain is reduced because the force is shared across two lengths of the sling.
Overal Impressions and Updates
The tree straps are a simple and effective design, especially for anyone looking for an ultralight suspension for their hammock. Of course, if you’re really looking for lightweight, the straps pair beautifully with the ultra-lightweight hammocks that Hummingbird sells.
One thing I want to mention in connection with this review is something Hummingbird is doing with their gear: giving it away. What I mean by that is they are using Open Source Hardware to share all of their designs for free. It’s a radical idea in a world of patent trolls and intellectual property warefare. Hummingbird is sharing their ideas to encourage growth and innovation.
Recommendations and Review
|Construction and Craftsmanship||♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||Everything is well-made and has the stamp of a cottage vendor. The webbing is lightweight, but nylon (more stretchy).|
|Modularity and Adjustability||♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||Whoopie Slings have a lot of adjustability, but there is some “dead” space that limits its range.|
|Aesthetics||♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||The white Spectra cordage is a hallmark of the Hummingbird brand. It’s still Dyneema fiber, but it has a unique look.|
|Price and Value||♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥||$20 is on par for a good strap set using these materials.|
- Manufacturer: Hummingbird Hammocks, made in USA
- MSRP: US$19.95
- Made in the USA
- Lock stitched
- Built to FAA parachute rigging standards
- Mil Spec Type IV Nylon Webbing
- 1500 lb (680 kg) rated Spectra Cord
- Military Spec Bonded Nylon Thread
- Extremely light weight
- Very low pack volume
- 1 × 60 in (2.5 × 152 cm) webbing plus 3 ft (91 cm) with a fully-extende Whoopie Sling
- 400 lbs (181 kg) rated weight capacity
- 2.3 oz (65 g) for the pair
- See my post on Lightweight Hammock Suspension
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.