Choosing a Double- or Single-layer Hammock

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4 Responses

  1. TrenchFoot says:

    I’ve always heard that it is the extra stitching that made a double-layer hammock stronger and more weight bearing and it is less about multiple layers of fabric.

    • Derek says:

      Interesting, but not completely accurate. A fabric’s strength rating is based on its denier, or thickness, along with the material used (e.g., nylon or polyester). The denier number refers to the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of the fiber in question (1D = 1 gram of yarn with a length of 9,000 m). A 40D nylon and a 40D polyester fabric will have different strength ratings even though the denier is the same.

      Some manufacturers will provide the gear makers with a baseline strength measure per square yard/meter that is used as a starting point for making a weight rating (see this video on fabric testing). Most hammock manufacturers will do their own testing to qualify the estimations from the fabric vendor and then downgrade that to a safe working load limit (usually 4:1 or 5:1). For example, if a bolt of fabric is rated to 1,500 lbs breaking strength and the hammock made from that fabric fails at 1,200 lbs, a vendor will give the hammock a safe working load limit of 300 or 240 lbs.

      By doubling up the fabric, you are creating a thicker platform and distributing the weight across more material. This is what increases the strength rating for a double-layer hammock.

      Consider this example: You may be able to easily break a single strand of yarn. However, by adding a few more strands, it becomes more difficult and finally impossible to break. The more layers of fabric, the more the weight (force) is distributed across multiple strands, thus increasing the strength of the product.

      Stitching, especially on end channels or other load-bearing seams, is a critical fail point. The yarn used for stitching these seams also requires strong, thick fiber. But the construction of a double-layer hammock will use the same amount of stitching as a single-layer hammock. The difference is that there are more layers of fabric that are sewn together, but there aren’t extra stitches.

  2. Stephen says:

    I have used single layer hammocks for years. This last month was the first time I tried a double layer. Both have pros and cons. You can make on of each for cheap, why not try both?

  1. October 10, 2016

    […] tree straps and a daisy chain suspension made from knotted Amsteel line. Most versions come with double-layer fabric that provides additional strength, a pad sleeve, and color varieties. Climbing-rated carabiners are […]

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