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.
Looks like the MSRP is $29.95. Tree strap extensions are $19.95. A little salty. I have the mule tape suspension straps from AGG (based on your review) and use them exclusively lately, attached to some Dutchware Gear Kevlar tree straps. I’ve noticed the mule tap starting to fray, especially if it is completing the loop on a larger tree. I found more mule tape, so replacements are now free except the sewing. These do look interesting though. Many people make whoopie slings as you know, so I’ll go look for some spectra braid.
I live in the northwest and I’ve bought woopie slings that included 3 ft tree strap plus an 8 ft Amstel sling. The backcountry, state parks and most everywhere else on the west side of the cascades feature both old growth and second gen trees that can make many strap lengths laughable.
I finally ordered material to make my own whoopie slings with 5 ft webbing and 12-13 ft max adjustable sling. Their much more versatile.
There are some UL products hitting the hammock market that save on weight by cutting material. They don’t work in all applications.
These straps look nice but not for many of the big trees I’ve struggled with around here.
Very good observation. I have the same issue in my neck of the woods. Always a good idea to plan and pack according to local conditions.
Hey Derek! Love the site and book, long time lurker, first time commenter. 🙂
I’m curious about which way the whoopie sling should be mounted.
I’m speccing out a lightweight setup for hiking. For suspension, I’ve narrowed down (but open to suggestions) to These humming bird suspension (currently top of the running due to weight), Dutch’s Whoopie Hook Suspension, and the ENO Helios. I’m planning on attaching hammock to suspension via carabiner, ENO style. (Or maybe whoopie hook, but you get the idea.)
My questions is this – to me the the Hummingbird seems mounted backwards. When you “lengthen” the whoopie sling, it’s creating a big loop, doubling up the amount of line used. If it were mounted the opposite direction, it’d be able to go much longer and look like a single long line of cord when at it’s longest, instead of a big loop.
Is this a practical issue? I like the idea of being able to hook up at longer lengths if needed, especially living in the Phoenix area where trees aren’t reliable. I’ve not used whoopie slings yet, so I don’t know if I’m missing some practical reason for it to be this way. Do you have a preference?
(I noticed it when watching this demo – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U9y0IFo6RQ)
You know, some of them look like they permanently attached the sling to the tree straps, but these look like they just larks headed them on, which means it could easily be switched around.
Yes. That’s how I do it.
(Sorry, I know this is from almost a year ago, but I just stumbled across this thread.)
I own a pair of Hummingbird tree straps and live in the redwoods, so I’d be very interested in making them longer at the same weight… Could you explain what you mean by switching around the straps? I see that end of the whoopie sling near the bury is larksheaded onto the strap. How would you change it? As far as I can see, no matter how you’re attaching the whoopie sling to the tree strap, when you expand the whoopie sling to its longest, it’s making a big (seemingly inefficient) doubled up loop. How could you reattach it to make it more efficient? Or by switching it around, do you mean that you undo the larkshead from the tree strap and attach it to the hammock’s continuous loop. Not making it effectively longer, just changing where you clip your carabiner… Could you clarify for me?
“as far as I can see, no matter how you’re attaching the whoopie sling to the tree strap, when you expand the whoopie sling to its longest, it’s making a big (seemingly inefficient) doubled up loop.”
You are correct, and I was very confused back when I posted these. 🙂 A whoopie sling, at it’s longest, will always be a big loop.
Look into something called a UCR – Utility Constriction Rope – if you really can’t stand to add an extra ounce or two (like by buying hummingbird’s suspension extenders.) It uses the same constriction principle as a whoopie sling, but not in a loop – CAREFUL though, if you don’t use it properly it can drop you like a rock. Some tutorials show how to add a “safety knot” that helps ensure the UCR doesn’t slide on you, I’d recommend that.
Here are some links-
Actually…. to get the loop part of the whoopie sling through the tree strap you’d need to undo the entire thing (or add a piece of hardware…)
I’m not sure I follow you. A whoopie sling can be attached to the hammock side or the strap side and work the same. It doesn’t matter which side it’s on.
Ok, I’m thinking I”m getting (really!) confused because I don’t have one in my hands to actually mess with. It doesn’t matter at all which way it goes, does it?
The hammock? No.
The whooie sling. I was thinking there was some way to use the working end to attach the hammock if it were turned around, but it’d just slide all the way closed without ever cinching down.