Silk Hammock failure
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David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Silk Hammock failure on 05/20/2007 20:06:44 MDT Print View

I had the privilege of spending the last 8 nights of my recent 16 day AT trip on a thinlite pad on shelter floors and the ground due to my silk hammock failing with flying colors. I had used my first silk hammock for roughly 35 nights in a little over a year before my room mate borrowed and broke it. He was rough with gear by nature, so I made another. It was just like the other- 10mm silk 45" wide, 10ft long whipped at the end with ski rope to hang it. about 10 oz total. I had about 15 nights on the new one in 4 months before it met the same fate. It ripped across the fabric night 8 of my journey at the foot end whip slowly lowering me to the ground. I got up and tied a speer-type knot and re-attached the rope. An hour or so later the head end silk ripped in the same spot. I once again tied a knot and reattached the rope on that end. This made the hammock uncomfortably short, but still better than the ground. 5 minutes or so after re-entry, I heard what sounded like ripping silk fibers at my head and called it quits with the hammock. The 10mm silk is obviously not strong enough to support my 175lb body. I am now going to switch to standard 1.9 oz nylon or epic. I cannot recommend anyone else to make a reliable hammock out of silk if they expect to save weight over nylon. It is simply not strong enough. Despite some people who claim awesome weights for hammocks which apparently can hold their weight because it has worked for a night or even a week or two, i think people should not expect weights close to these for non-disposable hammocks without more advances in technology and design.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Silk Hammock failure on 05/22/2007 06:32:55 MDT Print View

David, thanks for posting your experience! I also sleep in a hammock and I'm looking for ways to shed some weight. You've saved me some time and trouble. Epic Malibu seems to me to be a fine choice for the bottom of a hammock. I think it would strike the right balance between breathability and water resistance. The Epic treatment also makes the fabric stronger. Ron Bell chose it for the hammock he made and mentioned that the fabric stretches more in one direction than the other which he used to good effect. I'm waiting to see what Jacks R Better comes up with and what Ron at Mountain Laurel Designs offers.