So you’ve got a nice new hammock, now how do you plan to hang it? You’re itching to hit the trail and see what all the fuss is about… but wait, your hammock won’t magically hang itself. You need hammock straps, people.
Ok, Ok. If you’re impatient, and don’t want to read further, go get these, then get off your computer and get outside:
Longest length to hang over canyons or round massive tree trunks: Nature’s Hangout HangTight XL hammock straps
Best hammock straps for strength and load rating (big guys and 2-to-a-hammock): Nature’s Hangout HangTight XL hammock straps
Best for those who like a well-known brand name and super quality: Eagle’s Nest Outfitters (ENO) Atlas Straps Suspension System
Best for ultralight (so long as you don’t mind whoopie-slings): ENO Helios Suspension System
Best for Budget: Rallt Hammock tree straps
What You'll Learn
- Why Do You Need Straps?
- Hammock Strap Reviews
- 1. Wise Owl Outfitters Talon Hammock Tree Straps
- 2. Nature’s Hangout HangTight XL hammock straps
- 3. Eagle’s Nest Outfitters (ENO) Atlas Straps Suspension System
- 4. Pro Venture Pro Hammock Tree Straps with Carabiners
- 5. ENO Helios Suspension System
- 6. Rallt Hammock Tree Straps
- 7. Mallo Me Heavy Duty 40 loops + 2 Lockable Carabiners
- 8. OxStraps Ridiculous Color Suspension Straps
- Hammock Strap Suspension System Overview
- Hammock Strap vs Rope or Paracord
- Types of Hammock Suspension System
- How to Hang a Hammock with Tree Straps
- Considerations when Choosing Hammock Straps
*If you want to stick around and see what I think, you’ll find detailed reviews and a buyer’s guide, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Why Do You Need Straps?
Just one of the challenges of the tent vs hammock debate, is ease of pitching.
These are part of the “suspension system” that allows your hammock to hang between two fixed objects. You can use rope, paracord, an old pair of pantyhose (well. Maybe not that).
Unless you are hammocking in an urban area, where you’ll be hanging between rugged-looking vehicles and buildings, you are likely using trees.
And trees are alive, with bark and things, and they take a dim view of us lot attaching thin ropes that damage them.
Not to mention that unless you are an expert in knot tying, you’ll be wanting to get your hammock pitched quickly and safely using straps and carabiners – not paracord and knots which unravel just when you’ve cracked your evening beer. At least until you are more experienced.
Hammock Strap Reviews
At a Glance:
- Idiot-proof, budget-friendly straps. Carabiners included.
- 38 loops for easy adjustability
- 15 ounces won’t please the ultralighters, but for the rest of us it’s pretty good
- 20 feet long means you can span a pretty decent length
- 1-inch width is very tree-friendly
- 400 pound weight rating isn’t the strongest, but it should do for most people
- Best for beginners or experienced hangers who want an quick setup and don’t need high load-rating or locking carabiners.
Really easy setup with these Wise Owl adjustable straps. The included carabiners are not lockable, but we’ll forgive them, just this time. I like carabiners so I have my own, which actually clip on to the loops better than the ones provided.
A load rating of 400 pounds is a bit on the low side if you weigh 220 and like to take running jumps into your hammock or flail around during the night. Fido won’t be able to join you, nor will your girlfriend.
With plenty of length to wrap around the biggest of trees, setup is a cinch: a quick clip and you’re hanging.
Having 38 daisy-chain loops, this makes for a beginner-friendly hang-system. You can adjust away to your heart’s content finding that perfect tension and hang for the best night’s sleep.
Made from non-stretch durable polyester webbing, the double-stitching ensures that they won’t stretch or start to sag.
My only complaint would be that trying to set up in the twilight, I’d prefer a more reflective color on the stitching. But then, I’m a bit myopic.
If you want to blend in, and go full-stealth, get a camo hammock to go with these.
These are a well-priced set of straps, and being an inch thick, they are very tree friendly.
With all those loops, you could probably use them to shimmy up a coconut tree, should you be so inclined.VIEW ON AMAZON
At a Glance:
- Hanging between two counties? These will do it. 14 feet (each) long for total of 28 feet.
- Working load of 700 pounds means you can sleep the whole family in here
- 48 daisy chain loops means you can have lots of fun figuring out the exact pitch
- Wiregate carabiners included (or not) as you wish
- Non-stretch durable 3/4 inch polyester webbing is tree-friendly without added weight
- 15 ounces won’t add much to your pack
- Best for backpackers and hangers who need super-long straps
If you are heading out and want to be sure you can span any length imaginable (well, that’s an exaggeration) you’ll want these in your pack.
I’m not going to try it, but it would likely not be impossible to hang your hammock between your house and the one over the road.
But that would just be silly.
If you’re not confident that where you are heading to has the most convenient anchor points, these will give you peace of mind, and you won’t be searching for the perfect distance well into the evening.
Hanging between two massive Redwoods? No problem – you can pretty much use these round the thickest of trees and you’ll be able to find a hang. Except Baobab trees, perhaps.
With 24 loops on each strap, you can play with the tension to your heart’s content, until you find that perfect angle.
The reinforced stitching means that even if you are knocking on the door of the 700lb weight capacity, these won’t be breaking any time soon. The company is justifiably proud of the “bar tack” stitching on the flat-loop design which gives extra support.
If you’re sold on the high quality HangTight tree strap but don’t need to span-a-canyon, they also do a 10ft long strap set, which you can find here.
I like these. They give me options.VIEW ON AMAZON
At a Glance”
- At 9 feet long, these aren’t for those who want to hang over a local creek
- 11 ounces of weight should satisfy all but the most ardent ultralighter
- Working load of 400 pounds, means you can hang pretty confidently, whatever your weight
- Doesn’t come with carabiners, so be sure to get some good ones
- Polyfilament webbing with triple-stitching round the loops so you shouldn’t end up on your ass
- 30 adjustment points so you can geek out over the hang-angle
- Best for: everyone, except those that like tying knots, who need super-long straps or very high weight limits.
Unless you’re really new to the joys of hammocking, you’ve likely heard of Peter and Paul, the Pinholster brothers who are behind the Eagle’s Nest Outfitter brand.
A couple of rugged adventurers, nearly 20 years ago they swapped the office desk for a chilled out hammock hang. And they’ve never looked back.
Priding themselves in a patented loop design for the straps – instead of the traditional daisy-chain – means that the carabiner hangs in the “loop” section instead of against the stitching, meaning you are even further away from ending up on the floor.
This hammock suspension system is not the cheapest, but you can rely on the fact that they are proudly US-designed and will give you many a happy hang in the backcountry (or your backyard).
Don’t forget to buy some carabiners – and no, don’t go for the cheapest ones.
The 400 pound weight limit sounds a lot, but if you are in the habit of using your hammock as a trampoline, you may well end up with a broken leg. Or neck. Just don’t do it, folks.
The black and blue straps won’t show up after dark, so do try not to walk into them, and it’s best to set up before nightfall, until you are more experienced.
If you want a solid, brand-name set of hammock straps, you won’t go wrong with these!VIEW ON AMAZON VIEW AT REI
At a Glance:
- 8 or 11 feet (each strap) gives you maximum flexibility in your suspension system
- 12 ounces isn’t going to please the ultra-lighters, but it’s fine for most of us
- 400 pounds rated, enough for you and possibly a lightweight dog
- Included carabiners spares you yet another buying decision
- 16-22 loops per strap means you can find that perfect hang angle
- 1 inch straps is nice to the poor trees who have to put up with your weight overnight
- Triple stitched, no-nonsense, no-stretch polyester won’t break anytime soon
- Good for a budget-buy, but at this price, they are not a brand-name, premium product!
- Best for: people who don’t want to spend a lot, aren’t wanting to fit an elephant in their hammock and aren’t looking to shave an ounce or two off their pack weight.
A nice budget-friendly hammock strap. A bit on the heavy side (particularly if you go with the 11 foot ones) and quite obviously not a premium product like ENO.
These hammock tree straps are easy to use and the webbing seems durable and well put together.
It seems some people are misunderstanding the load rating, the manufacturer clearly says that they are rated to 400 pounds – but have been tested to 1200 pounds. Leave your pet elephant at home.
Easy to put up, just sling it round a tree, attach the (included) carabiner to your hammock, sit down in your hammock and enjoy the outdoors!
Nothing wrong with these straps if you are heading out once in a while, aren’t a real brand-name-geek or an ultra-lighter and want to stick to a budget. Highly recommended.VIEW ON AMAZON
At a Glance:
- Very lightweight 6.5 ounces
- Uses a whoopie-sling rather than daisy-chain + carabiner attachment
- Maximum load 300 pounds – not the strongest by a long way
- Not the longest tree sling – a bit less versatile
- Bit of a learning curve if you don’t know how to use it
- Bit more expensive
- Best for the experienced, uber-lightweight hammocker
Weighing in at only 6.5 ounces the ENO Helios is a seriously lightweight system for those wanting an ultralight sleep system.
Whilst this system is designed to be used with an ENO hammock such as this one, it will work with other brands too.
Just be aware that the weight rating is “only” 300 pounds so if you are planning to share with your girlfriend or dog – you could end up on your butt. This is best for a single hammocker who wants to pack light.
They are not the longest straps available, so if you know you are going somewhere with massive trees, then you might want to get a longer set. (The tree sling is 98 inches but you definitely don’t want to have a tree that big – in order to allow for proper pitch).
There is a bit of a learning curve to set up. Effectively these are a ‘whoopie sling’ design, so no carabiner necessary. I suggest taking a couple of carabiners just in case.
You don’t need to know any knots, but it might be handy if you do.VIEW ON AMAZON VIEW AT REI
At a Glance:
- Each strap is 10 feet long, which should fit round all but the biggest tree trunks
- They don’t ship with carabiners, so please don’t forget to order some
- 3/4 inch tubular webbing is kind to trees, but not as wide as some of the other brands
- 11.7 ounces (ok let’s round that up, people) is pretty lightweight for all but the fussiest
- Each loop section is double-stitched to prevent breakage
- The 2,000 pounds breaking-strength tested means that it is likely around 700 pounds load rated
- Easy setup, just throw it round a tree and clip the (not supplied) carabiner on
- Best for those who are looking for a budget-friendly, very robust strap and aren’t bothered by brand names.
If you are actually reading every one of these reviews, you’ll know by now that I’m only showing you hammock hanging straps that I’d actually use.
I’m not buying $5 tubular nylon and complaining that it stretches.
The Rallt straps are a decent set of straps to last you for many happy hammocking trips. There is nothing wrong with them, they are not ultralight but not heavy.
They are strong. Really strong. Once you’ve slung them round your tree, decided on your hang angle, you really, truly can forget about them.
Even if you have a guest for the night. No more worrying about whether your straps will break and leave you rolling around in the dirt!
The only reason you wouldn’t pick these ones is if you needed an ultralight set, or a very long set of straps. Or you needed them to come in a pink color.VIEW ON AMAZON
At a Glance:
- 12 feet long with 20 attachment loops (each) easily gives you the right hang angle
- No sag, triple-stitched polyester webbing rated to a whopping 700 pounds
- A pair of lockable carabiners are included though I’d probably use my own
- Tree-friendly 1-inch straps – because, we like being kind to trees
- 16 ounces won’t break your back (or the camel’s)
- Cool instruction card for beginners – with pictures!
- Easy setup, the loops fit the carabiners perfectly
- Best for folk who want to buy the ENO Atlas, but also want to save a bit of money
Solid job, Mallo Me. And who can’t love a company whose logo is roasting a marshmallow over a campfire?
This family-run company was born out of a love for (marshmallows) getting out into the backcountry. And doing it affordably.
The length of these, coupled with the number of loops should mean you can get a decent hang-angle wherever you decide to setup. The straps are long enough for big fat-trunked trees and the triple stitching means you won’t be falling down any time soon.
Since I mentioned the ENO Atlas system, it’s worth pointing out that ENO has the patent for their “loop” system which allows for the force of the carabiner to be on the webbing as opposed to on the stitching (as with the flat daisy-chain style).
This one does not knock-off ENO’s patent, it uses the triple-stitched daisy chain.
The carabiners are OK, but I tend to use my own (trusted) ones. They do say they are rated to 600 pounds so it’s down to personal preference.
I like the fact that by buying these we are supporting a family-owned, family-run business. And getting a top-notch product for our trouble.VIEW ON AMAZON
At a Glance:
- Ridiculous fluorescent color so you’ll never forget where these are
- 10 feet long (each) with 30 loops gives a lot of options except for the very biggest trees
- Polyester webbing with triple stitching on the initial loop then single (strong) stitch rated to 600 pounds
- Very shoddy metal clip arrangement for the strap to go through
- A very lightweight 11oz to please the backpackers
- 1.5 inch wide is the widest I’ve looked at, very tree-friendly indeed
- An instructional ebook is supplied, which you’ll never look at
- Best for – honestly? Don’t bother, unless you simply MUST have neon green in your life. Alarmingly, many people seem to love them!
I’m only including these here because of their delightful fluorescent color.
If, like me, you sometimes forget where you’ve hung a bear bag, or hammock or where you’ve pitched a guy rope – well you’ll never forget again if you use these!
Be the laughing stock of your campsite with something more suited to a festival than a weekend in the bush.
That aside, and unless you really want the color, I’d go with something else. I’m not sure why they’d triple stitch only one of the loops, leaving the rest of the daisy-chain only single-stitched.
However, the most concerning is the quality of the metal ring that the strap is supposed to go through. Crappy, flimsy and I’m afraid I simply wouldn’t bother risking my back on it. I certainly wouldn’t bother expecting to sleep several nights on the AT with it!
They are a nice 1.5 inches wide, and this will add to their load-bearing strength. The 10 foot length of each strap is sufficient for most ordinary needs.VIEW ON AMAZON
Hammock Strap Suspension System Overview
If you haven’t already bought your hammock, now would be a good time to read up on how to choose the best backpacking hammock.
You’ve got to pitch the thing somehow, haven’t you? As you’ve probably gathered by now, hammocking is a wonderful way to sleep, but it comes with some limitations.
You require two anchor points for either end of your hammock – so in the middle of the desert, you’re unlikely to get very far trying to hang it from two cactii. And above the treeline may pose some challenges.
Unless you’ve got yourself a convenient yak or camel to carry a stand-alone frame, you’ll need to get yourself some straps or at the very least some rope or paracord.
Suspending hammocks and getting the right “sag” or “hang” is an art and a science in itself. The angle of the attachments to the anchor point will determine how high or low the center of gravity sits: too tight a pitch, and the center of gravity will be too high, and the hammock will be unsteady.
Which in turn determines the amount of force placed on the anchor points (and your trusty tree-hugging straps).
Ideally you want a 30 degree angle between your anchor point (tree) and your strap.
Hammock Strap vs Rope or Paracord
Some people feel that you are not a “real hammocker” unless you know how to tie fancy knots and are able to pitch your tarp or hammock using nothing more than an old bit of twine.
The rest of us need a bit of help.
Rope and paracord work well, when you know what you are doing – having learned all the knots and bought the whoopie slings; but that still leaves one problem. Trees. We like trees.
We don’t like damaging trees.
So straps have a two-fold advantage: they are easy to use for newbie hammockers, and their wide surface area spreads the weight on the tree’s trunk, to minimize damage.
Without turning this into a math lesson, just remember that the force of the straps/rope on whatever it is you are attaching to is both static and dynamic.
It’s not simply a case of how much weight you are placing in the hammock, but also the force will be dependent on the angle of the load as well… static forces for a 150lb person hanging at a 35 degree angle can still be pretty high.
(This is also worth remembering, not just for the sake of the tree, but the sake of your back as well, if the force causes the anchor to break.).
However,it all boils down to your own preference. If geeking out over knots is your thing, you’ll find straps quite boring.
Types of Hammock Suspension System
Hanging using straps is the simplest way for beginners to get started. Being tree-friendly, you won’t be doing any damage.
Rope and Knot System
For the more experienced amongst us, who know their knots and hang-angles. The advantage of these systems is being able to hang pretty much anywhere – and rope being ultralight. But there is a learning curve.
These are no use for backpacking, unless you’ve got your pet yak or camel to carry it. Great for setting up in your backyard, kicking back and enjoying the outdoors.
How to Hang a Hammock with Tree Straps
It’s pretty easy to set up tree hanging once you get the “hang” of it.
Here, hammock-guru Shug talks us through the basics of suspension:
- Locate and determine two anchor points of an optimal distance apart (this takes practice, don’t leave it til just before nightfall) – you want roughly 15-20 feet apart
- Place the strap around the tree (or other anchor point) and ensure that it’s high enough up to be able to create the right angle of 30 degrees (if your trees are 15 feet apart then this should be about 6 feet high)
- Pull the strap tight so that it doesn’t slip down the tree and clip the hammock to the strap (with carabiner, or a knot and whoopie-sling or rope)
- Then fiddle with the carabiners and adjust them up and down the loops to get the correct angle, and create the right amount of ‘sag’ whilst still remaining sufficiently high off the ground.
Aim to keep the lowest part of your camping hammock at least 18 inches off the ground.
Note: this is just the hanging of the hammock itself without the use of ridgelines. A static ridgeline can help to keep the correct sag in the hammock when you are unable get the straps to the correct hang angle (owing to the distance between anchor points).
Instead of a carabiner, you can use a knot system or a whoopie sling. If you are not an expert in knots, and don’t like mucking about – just use the carabiner.
Derek from the Ultimate Hang is an amazing graphics guy and has created a hang calculator so that you can visualize the different angles.
You might want to consider buying the book The Ultimate Hang, which provides an illustrated guide to getting started.
Considerations when Choosing Hammock Straps
Material: Most hammock straps are made of polyester or nylon-webbing – at least those I’ve reviewed are. They don’t stretch like tubular nylon.
If you insist on buying a $5 set of tubular nylon straps for your hammock, don’t complain that they stretch.
The stitching helps to make the material even more static. Do note, however, that on the first few uses, the material may stretch a little bit. If this does happen, it tends to settle after a night under your weight.
The straps should not stretch more than about half an inch and they definitely should not appear to be elastic in any way!
Another aspect of durability is the size of the loops and the stitching in between the loops. Since most manufacturers use a daisy chain system, a fair bit of your weight is placed on the stitching between the loops (unless it’s ENO). Look for triple stitching.
ENO has patented the loopy-looking loop system which allows the carabiner to hang without putting direct pressure on the stitching.
You’ll need sturdy, durable straps, but equally you want to be mindful of the type of anchor points you use. After each use, check the straps for any fraying as a result of rough tree-bark.
Fading and damage by UV light is mostly relevant if you have a permanent backyard setup. Similarly, mold and mildew resistance is a consideration, but mostly only a problem if the straps are left out in the elements for a long period.
Most backpacker users should clean and store their straps in a dry place when not in use.
Maximum Supported Weight
I blame the marketing departments for a lot of the confusion around what weight the straps can withstand. There are two numbers involved here:
Maximum breaking tension: the max weight it can withstand without a loop breaking. This is often the weight the strap is “tested to”. Note that you shouldn’t be testing this yourself, in the field.
Maximum load is what interests us. This will determine how many of you can be supported at any given time.
As a rule of thumb, you need to choose a hammock strap that is rated to support twice your bodyweight – so if you are around 150 pounds, then get a minimum rating of 300 pounds.
This allows for the different forces that the strap will need to withstand as a result of different angles and any moving around you do at night.
Stay off the floor, folks. And honestly, don’t use it as a trampoline!
Strap Length and Thickness
Longer straps you can span wider gaps and hang from thicker trees. If you are camping amongst monster Redwoods then you’ll need some serious length. But these do come with an added weight in your pack.
I wouldn’t go with much less than an inch wide – as that’s not much better than a rope. Or at least, wrap a towel round the tree or a lightweight bit of foam on the very thin-barked trees.
This’ll only be a consideration if you are have to fit everything in your pack.
The less space and weight taken up by sleeping and chilling gear, the more space for food! (Or a cheeky wee dram of whiskey for those cold nights).
Using the carabiners does add a bit of weight, so you could go with a whoopie sling for your tension system.
If you’ve got a friend who is carrying your bags, or a yak, then the odd extra ounce won’t really matter.
Note: the super-ultralight hardcore folks tend to use rope or paracords, and would likely sneer at the big bulky (relatively!) straps. But we won’t worry about them right now.
Ease of Setup
Most strap sets have either a daisy chain design or ring-lock system. The daisy chain essentially has you clipping your carabiner onto the end of your hammock and then to the loop on the strap.
Voila – very simple.
I prefer the daisy chain because it’s just one less piece of hardware to break. All the options I’ve reviewed use either the daisy chain or ENO’s proprietary version thereof. Only the neon-green monstrosity uses a flimsy O-ring.
By their nature, straps are beginner-friendly. But there’s still a bit of a learning curve to them – this is mostly to do with angles and making a comfortable pitch that allows you to sleep optimally.
For winter hammock camping, it is easier to set up with gloves if you use straps and carabiners than with ropes and whoopie slings and their associated knots.
Fit for Use with Trees
As part of the Leave No Trace philosophy, you’ll be wanting to leave as little impact on the trees as you can.
In addition to opting for straps vs rope and being mindful of the forces applied due to the angle of pitch, here are some hints that can make you more of a tree-hugger:
- Thin skinned trees suffer more damage than trees with thick bark
- Certain times of year, some trees have higher sap flow. If you see sap running near your tie-in, maybe give the tree a break.
- If you have no choice but to pitch between trees with thin skins, maybe consider using some sort of pad between the strap/rope and the tree.
Oh give me a break. These are hammock straps.
For hanging your hammock from a tree or other supporting device.
It’s not a multifunctional tool with multiple features that help to solve lots of your household problems. Wait. You never know, you could use these straps to make a sort-of homemade TRX.
Or, even better, winch your Land Rover out of the water. Just make sure you have the ones that claim high maximum load. No, don’t use them for this!
For those of you that refuse to buy hammock straps unless they come in pink: here you are. You can thank me later.
Actually, this isn’t totally stupid. When manufacturers make the stitching in a reflective thread, it makes pitching, by torchlight, using black straps… a lot easier.
Indeed, if you tend to be a night-time wanderer, having a nice bright reflective hammock strap can prevent you walking straight into it and being garroted.
What Else Do You Need with Your Tree Straps?
Check that the shipment comes with carabiners – if it does, buy a spare. If not, be sure to order them at the same time. Most will come with a drawstring bag to keep the straps rolled up in.
Check that your hammock ends will fit the carabiner of choice and grab yourself a whoopie sling if you want to extend your hammock’s length.
Last, and not really least, is the price. All I’ll say here is don’t buy $5 straps and expect them to last, or to keep you reliably off the floor.
If you want to give hammocking a try, then grab a set of straps from the list above – except the OxStraps in neon green, I don’t recommend those – and start experimenting!
Product images ©Amazon.com