A hammock is not much use without hammock straps and the majority of hammocks don’t come with straps! So you will need to decide what straps you want to buy to hang your hammock. The good news is that there is a great range of hammock straps available but to a first time “hammock hanger” this may seem overwhelming. But don’t worry this guide will show you the main areas to consider when making your purchase and ensure you get the best hammock straps to hang your hammock. I have selected a number of the most popular hammock straps including some I own personally so I can give you a real and honest opinion on what I think of them. If you want to read the hammock review you can read it here: Best Hammock for Camping & Backyard.
OK - let’s be honest - hammock straps are not exactly rocket science! YES - they have to be functional - no one wants to hit the ground in the middle of the night or have them fall apart after one weekend in the back yard but beyond that they are basically just 2 pieces of webbing! So what things should you look for when buying hammock straps?
I don’t know if you had noticed but trees don’t always grow the same distance apart and are not always the same thickness. So to accommodate Mother Nature hammock straps have two important features, strap length and sewn in loops. Straps tend to come in 2 lengths “Regular/ Standard” and “XL” (extra long). There is no industry agreement on what these lengths are so as a rough guide:
Regular = 8 feet to 10 feet and XL = anything over 10 feet (typically 12 feet to 13 feet).
If you know you tend to camp in an area where trees are far apart or if you just want that extra reach then go for an XL strap like ENO Atlas XL suspension system or Helios XL system.
All of the hammock straps in this review have multiple loops sewn along the length of the strap which are used to adjust the point at which the hammock is attached to the straps. The hammock attachment point is VERY important as this determines the angle the hammock will hang at and determines how comfortable the hammock is to lie in! It can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and no sleep and a visit to a chiropractor!
So what does this all mean?
Having multiple loops on the strap allows you to select which loop you want to attach the hammock to. You want to try and have the same straight line distance between the gathered ends of your hammock every time you hang it so you can get it as comfortable as possible. Having multiple loops on the strap allows you to achieve this consistent hang even if the trees are different distances apart or the trunks different thicknesses.
This may sound complicated but it really isn’t!
If you just want a backyard hang out hammock then you will not really be concerned with getting the perfect set-up compared with a serious backpacker who sleeps in the hammock for many nights.
All of the straps in this review have more than enough loops to accommodate most situations so don’t worry!
Like trees people are all different shapes, sizes and WEIGHT! Hammock straps have a maximum weight capacity quoted by the manufacturer which should be more than enough to accommodate the vast majority of campers so any of the straps in this review should be suitable. However if you are concerned about this then go for the heaviest rating available and also go for a well known brand you trust.
However, don’t forget that the strap is just one component of a “chain” and as we all know “any chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link”. Many hammocks are only rated to a 400 lb weight maximum so worrying about needing a 1000 lb capacity strap may not be worth the effort!
Disclaimer: I have never seen a strap supplier quote the exact test method used to determine the load bearing capacity and many of the straps which appear to be of a similar construction have different max loads so please ensure your own safety by getting into your hammock gently and never jump in!
The weight of the majority of hammock straps in this review are between 11 oz and 16 oz (note the quoted weight also includes the weight of the carabiners). This weight should be fine for car campers and backyard campers. However, If you want an ultra light backpacking hammock set-up then please go for something like the ENO Helios Suspension System (4.1 oz for the standard length and 6.5 oz for the XL version)
Most hammock straps available are constructed from polyester webbing. This produces a lightweight and strong strap which should not stretch and is resistant to the weather. A further advantage is that this material is recyclable compared to other materials such as nylon. Nylon straps are also available (ENO Slap Strap) these straps tend to be cheaper to buy but may not be so resistant to the weather or abrasion. There are a number of straps on the market from different brands which visually and technically appear to be very similar - Please note I am NOT talking about ENO or Kammok. In my opinion it is highly possible that these straps are actually identical items but with different branding. Now this is NOT a negative comment in anyway and this rebranding is common place in many manufactured items. But compare the images, specs and prices of bands so you don't end up paying more for the exact same item!
Although carabiners are not technically part of the hammock strap you will need something to attach the end of your hammock to the straps with. Some manufacturers supply the carabiners with the hammock (ENO and Kammock) and some supply the carabiners with the straps (MalloMe) and some require you to purchase the carabiners separately so please check if you need to buy a pair. One word of caution - remember that the carabiners are all that separates you from the hitting the ground so please ensure you are happy with the quality and weight bearing capability of the carabiner and check that it’s in good working BEFORE you get into your hammock.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years you will have heard of ENO or Eagle Nest Outfitters. This US firm started in 1999 in Florida with a dream to sell hammocks out of the back of a van at music festivals and has grown ever since to become one of the largest suppliers of parachute hammocks from its HQ in Ashville NC.
At 9 foot in length the Atlas Suspension is slightly shorter than the “norm” for hammock straps. There are other "standard" straps in this review longer at 10 to 12 feet in length. The Atlas straps have 15 loops (plus one end loop), this should give you plenty of adjustment to ensure you can get as close as possible to your desired hang angle and comfort whether you are hanging in the backyard or at a remote lakeside camp. The design of the ENO loops are legally covered by US patent 9750329 so in theory you should not see their style of loops in straps from other manufacturers.
Each strap is rated for 200lbs giving a maximum combined capacity of 400lbs, so that’s about the weight of a female Grizzly bear. ENO hammocks are rated at 400lbs so the straps exactly match the hammock requirements
This is quoted by ENO to be polyfilament webbing so I believe this is polyester like the majority of straps, so they should not stretch or sag with normal use.
The ENO Atlas suspension comes in three color options:
The Atlas - Black webbing with dark blue stitching.
The Atlas Camo - Camo colored webbing which goes well with the ENO CamoNest Hammock.
The Atlas Chroma - For those people who like to stand out in a crowd there is the Atlas Chroma! The Chroma is available in: Neon/Black, Red/Charcoal and Royal Blue/Charcoal. There is also a “Rasta” (Red/Yellow/Green) version but usually seems to be out of stock so may not always be available.
Atlas straps don’t come with any carabiners so you will need a set if you don’t already have a pair. If you want to match this up with an ENO hammock then don’t worry as all ENO Hammocks come with a quality set of carabiners, as do many other hammocks.
The Helios is ENO’s lightest suspension system.
Weighing just 4.1oz it is over 60% lighter than the Atlas suspension straps. This weight reduction is due to partly to the shorter length of the Helios (8’2” compared to the 9’ Atlas) but mainly due to the difference in design. The Helios system uses the standard 1” wide webbing to loop around a tree but instead of being made entirely of webbing it uses a Dyneema rope (light and strong) to attach to the ends of the hammock. This thinner rope reduces the total weight of the system and allows for much greater adjustment of the attachment point so it really is a WIN - WIN.
The Helios comes in two length options:
The Helios is 8’2” foot in length and is the shortest of all products in this review. The Helios XL is 13'5" and is just one inch shorter than the Atlas XL strap.
These straps have NO sewn in loops for hammock attachment as this part of the webbing has been replaced by Dyneema rope. The major benefit of the use of the rope is that allows MUCH finer adjustment of the length of the strap to achieve the perfect hanging position. ENO call this their Microtune Adjustment System.
The Helios is rated for a maximum weight of 300lbs so has the lowest maximum capacity of any of the straps in this review. But this still be more than sufficient for most people.
The weight of the standard length is 4.1 oz and the XL weighs in at 6.5 oz, both of these are LOW compared with the other straps in this review.
Polyester webbing and lightweight (but strong) Dyneema rope.
This strap is currently only available in grey.
Helios straps don’t come with any carabiners so you will need a set if you don’t already have a pair. If you want to match this up with an ENO hammock then don’t worry as all ENO Hammocks come with a quality set of carabiners, as do many other hammocks.
Kammok were born in 2010 and describe themselves as: “designing kick ass gear from our HQ in Austin, Texas.”
The Kammok Python straps (named after the reptile tree hugger) have a length of 10 feet so they should be long enough for most situations and are 1 foot longer than the standard length ENO straps. Each strap has 18 loops so this gives more attachment points than than the slightly shorter ENO Atlas.
Kammok quote the maximum load capacity to be a hefty 500 lbs so that’s about the weight of a male black bear, just incase you wanted to know!
The total strap weight is quoted as 12 oz.
The straps are constructed from polyester webbing so they should not stretch or sag with normal use.
They come in a single color choice of grey but have helpful reflective “tracer” stitching to help with visibility in low light conditions.
They don’t come with any carabiners so you will need a set if you don’t already have a pair. If you want to match this up with a Kammok hammock then don’t worry as all Kammok hammocks come with a quality set of carabiners, as do many other hammocks.
MalloMe offer a range of outdoor products from marshmallow roasting forks (hence the company name) to LED lanterns and hammocks.
The MalloMe XL hammock straps are each 12 feet in length so they should be long enough for most situations.
Each strap has 20 attachment loops so this gives plenty of attachment points. Like some other suppliers they quote the number of loops as 20 + 1, but the +1 is the loop that ALL straps require to loop around the tree so the true number of attachment loops is 20.
MalloMe quote the breaking strength of each strap to be 1000lbs, giving a total strength of 2000 lbs! So that would be enough for a fully grown male Polar Bear with enough capacity left for St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Terrell Brown at 403 pounds! BUT they then quote the “working load” to be 700 lbs - so sorry no Polar Bear allowed! For this review I will take the capacity to be a more realistic 700 lbs.
The MalloMe straps are quoted as weighing 16 oz but this also includes the pair of locking carabiners which are included free with the straps.
The webbing material is 100% no stretch polyester.
These straps come in a single color choice which is black webbing with a white triple stitch along the length of the webbing.
A pair of locking carabiners are supplied with these straps so that is useful if you want a spare set or have purchased a hammock without any.
Sahara Sailor supply a number of outdoor products for camping, cycling, hiking and skiing.
Sahara Sailor XL hammock straps are each 10 feet in length. Although the length is quoted as XL they are actually a similar length to the majority of standard length straps. Each strap has 15 sewn in loops, this is the same number as the ENO Atlas straps, so should this should be suitable for most hanging conditions.
The weight of these straps is 11 oz which is similar to the slightly shorter Atlas straps. This weight is without the carabiners and is not likely to include the bag as the identical HangTight straps are quoted as weighing 13.2 oz with bag but no carabiners.
Nature’s Hangout supply a number of camping related products including hammocks, tarps and bug nets.
These straps come in 2 lengths, Standard and XL. The standard straps are 10 feet in length and are advertised as having a total of 16 loops per strap. In reality this means that they have 15 loops to allow you to attach a hammock and 1 loop which is used to loop the strap around a tree. The XL straps are 14 feet in length and advertised as having 24 loops per strap.
These straps are quoted as having a breaking load of 2200 lbs but with a more realistic working load of 700 lbs.
Read full review: ENO Helios
It is hard to pick a clear “winner” or “best” set of straps suitable for the backyard or camping and all of the products in this review should be capable of suspending a hammock safely and securely in your backyard or favorite campsite. So I have picked two straps from well known outdoor companies. The ENO Atlas and the Kammok Python. I own a number of straps including the Atlas and am very happy with the quality and construction of the webbing.
Read full review: ENO Atlas
Read full review: Kammok Python
Read full review: Sahara Sailor