Testing is BORING. Yeah, I said it. But couple testing with hammocks and I'M IN.
Hammocks and hammock camping have grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. This is undeniable. What started as a music festival fad has now morphed into a full fledged sector of the outdoor industry. From the college quad to backpacking the Appalachian Trail, everyone is getting off the ground.
Whether you're buying or DIYing, you have a lot of options. One of these will be hammock fabric. Which brings us to today's testing...
For some time now, we've been working with a few like-minded companies and individuals to try and come up with a standardized way of testing the fabrics that keep our butts off the ground. Why? For a couple reasons:
1. To get hard data for comparing different hammock fabrics apples-to-apples.
2. To lay the foundation for industry accepted practices on testing and certification of hammock gear.
The idea here is that if we want to keep hammocking headed in the right direction, we'd better point it that way. Having standardized procedures for testing not just hammock fabrics but things like webbing, suspension, and hardware just makes good sense. The vendor gets concrete numbers they can point to for their gear. The DIYer has a clear way to compare materials and weigh options for their projects. The community has something to turn to for making decisions.
What we've done here is conduct a controlled static load test on our 1.6 oz polyester box ripstop. This is the same hammock fabric we're offering through OutdoorINK and the hammock used in testing was a printed hammock.
In a nutshell, we loaded an 11ft hammock with 1200 lbs of concrete bags and tracked some key metrics like stretch and apex sag over a two week period. See below for a pic of the setup and full details:
-> Check out the full PDF HERE - 1.6 oz poly box ripstop static load testing
Now we aren't saying this test is necessarily perfect, but compared to guessing, it's a good start. What we're working on next will be testing all of our main hammock fabrics (HyperD, ROBIC, etc). We'll be reporting the test data here on the blog along with other places for everyone to take a look and discuss.
We don't have a ton of comparison data just yet, but what I can say is that some fabrics we've tested did fail (by fail I mean completely snapped) after only a couple days. Others had massive amounts of stretch to the point of being unusable. If you're looking to buy or build a hammock, this might be information you'd want at hand.
We're certainly open to feedback and want to start a discourse here, so please feel free to chime in with any and all thoughts.
Until next time. Thanks!
Owner, Ripstop by the Roll LLC