Originally Posted by TeeDee
I just looked at lot closer at the side tie outs on my HH ULBA.
The side tie out is reinforced with a material cut in a triangular shape. I think the material has two purposes:
1. reinforce the tie out, and
2. give the tie a predetermined angular shape.
Simply sewing webbing along the side for tie outs doesn't accomplish the second purpose. Rather, in that case, the angle formed by the hammock body at the tie out would be totally dependent on the position of the stake.
The reinforcing material forces the angle to be the same irregardless of exactly where the stake is positioned, within rather large bounds.
I think the reinforcing material acts somewhat like the structural ridgeline. The ridgeline determines the amount of sag. The reinforcement at the side tie outs is a major factor in determining the exact asymmetrical shape of the hammock.
Speaking from my experience with my tarps, I have a somewhat different take. I'm not sure the reinforcement patches really have much to do with the shape - if I pull obliquely on the tie-outs on my tarp, it doesn't get as flat. I think the patches might help, but they don't do that much. Of course, the situation with the HH may be very different than that with my tarps, simply due to material differences. But if I had to guess, I'd say that the patches on the HH are mainly there to reinforce the tie-outs, and more importantly to spread out the force on the bugnetting - the same reason I use corner patches on my tarps.