Summary Weight Ranking (low to high -- Total suspension weight listed): Again note that I have omitted the use of 2 Carabiner Hitches, 2 zig-zag cleats or 2 rope ties from the summary since the use of 2 is simply not necessary and only serves to provide un-necessary data in the summary. Also, I have included in the summary only those configurations which I have used or which I believe I have read of people using. Thus, the use of the SMC rings with either the ring or CC buckles has not been included below.
HF == Harbor Freight Webbing
SW == Strapworks webbing
- Knot - no carabiner or ring -----------------------HF: 3.00 oz --- SW: 4.18 oz
- knot w/SMC ring -----------------------------------HF: 3.80 oz --- SW: 4.98 oz
- Ring version Carabiner hitch - 1 Hitch-------------HF: 4.20 oz --- SW: 5.38 oz
- Carabiner hitch - 1 Hitch -------------------------HF: 4.80 oz --- SW: 5.98 oz
- Knot w/carabiner ----------------------------------HF: 5.00 oz --- SW: 6.18 oz
- zig zag cleat - 1 cleat ---------------------------HF: 5.05 oz --- SW: 6.23 oz
- HitchCraft Rope Tie -1 rope tie -------------------HF: 5.82 oz --- SW: 7.00 oz
- Ring Buckle - carabiner on webbing loop -----------HF: 8.37 oz --- SW: 11.69 oz
- CC Buckle - carabiner on webbing loop -------------HF: 8.77 oz --- SW: 12.09 oz
The simple knot method with or without SMC descending rings on the tree hugger is by far the lightest option available and the CC Buckle method is the heaviest suspension method examined. There are other variations not listed here, e.g., ring version of carabiner hitch with no ring or carabiner on the tree hugger or the Carabiner Htch with carabiner and carabiners on the tree huggers.
For convenience of use and light weight the SMC descending ring version of the Carabiner hitch wins at 4.20 oz total suspension weight.
The Carabiner Hitch using the carabiner for the hitch and SMC rings on the tree huggers wins the ease of use with least weight.
Since I am pretty sure the CC buckle is almost exactly the same as the Ring buckle for ease of use, and I have extensively used the Ring buckle, I can say with considerable authority that the Carabiner Hitch method is as easy to use as either the Ring buckle or CC buckle.
Of course, I am sure that the CC buckle adherents will say that not having to tie a slipped half hitch after the buckle makes the CC buckle easier to use than the ring buckle. I am unconvinced, but each to her or his own.
The heaviest suspension using rope suspension is the single HtchCraft Rope Tie due to the need for the 3.8 mm Spyderline.
As soon as a buckle and webbing are used the weight jumps due to the high weight of the webbing. The jump in weight is most dramatic for the Strapworks webbing. The webbing that is used for either buckle is the heaviest component of any suspension.
The ring buckle and CC buckle weight are so close as to probably not really matter except to those fanatic about tenths of an ounce. Hencde for those trying to decide between either the ring or CC buckle, my advice would be to try both and decide which appeals to you if you are inclined to the use of webbing.
Note: I have noticed that Strapworks has recently added 1" seatbelt webbing to their offerings. I have had a chance to try it and it is excellent webbing. I especially like the black as opposed to the Harbor Freight bright yellow and I have switched to the Strapworks 1" seatbelt webbing.
However, the above analysis still holds substituting the 1" seatbelt webbing for the Harbor Freight webbing since they are almost the same weight with the Strapworks 1" seatbelt webbing being a few hundredths of an oz heavier per foot.
In essence the webbing offers a lot of convenience, but the weight penalty is high also. The Carabiner Hitch using modern line is as convenient and as easy to use and a lot lighter. Those who detest tree huggers and like the webbing suspension because the suspension and tree hugger are integrated into a single unit will probably still prefer the webbing fore the reason alone. Until they have to hang in a pine forest.
Also, as stated above, I have found that the carabiner hitch is just as easy and convenient to use as the double ring buckle (and hence the CC buckle) and the carabiner hitch doesn't carry, pun intended, the weight penalty of the webbing.
I have pretty much come full circle on rings and webbing. I started with the Hennessy lashing and got frustrated with the lashing pretty quickly. It was and is frustrating to wrap the lashing and then have to undo all of the wraps to center the hammock between the trees and then re-do again to re-tighten the suspension after things have stretched out a bit.
I went from the simple knot to webbing and cam locking buckles for the sake of convenience and then to the ring buckles to save weight over the cam buckles and because I couldn't find a reliable rating for the cam buckles. At the time I thought nothing of the weight, i.e., I just didn't take the time to figure how much that system weighed. After carrying it too many times, I decided to figure out just how much the weight penalty really is. I was really surprised by just how much webbing really weighs. Especially in relationship to rope of equal rating.
2.88 mm Spyderline: 0.072 oz/ft, 1,200 lbsf breaking strength
1" polyester webbing: 0.223 oz/ft, 1,500 lbsf breaking strength
1" polyester webbing: 0.390 oz/ft, 3,500 lbsf breaking strength
1" polyester seatbelt webbing: 0.26 oz/ft, rating not clearly stated on web site
The webbing is 3.5 times heavier than the Spyderline for almost equivalent breaking strengths. Of course we are using very different materials, polyester webbing versus Dyneema. Dyneema is noted for it's light weight and high strength.
So what have I learned from this?
I am dropping the use of all suspension devices except carabiners for the Carabiner Hitch and SMC descending rings with the tree huggers. The only webbing I will be using is the tree huggers. At 0.78 oz each, 1.56 oz total, I can manage and spare the trees when needed.