While gathering together components for a diy hammock recently, I decided to give Arrowhead Equipment a try for my suspension. I ordered a set of Chain Links in dark grey, and a set of cinch buckles. I thought I'd share my impressions...
Paul offers excellent customer service. He was quick and helpful with my questions and processing my order.
It was great to give AHE's cinch buckles a try. I have been using standard cinch buckles from OnRope1, and wanted to see how these would compare.
Although the AHE cinch buckles are somewhat larger, I found the weight to actually be slightly less on my scale than the OnRope1 buckles. A set of two weighed in at 1.875 oz., vs. 2oz. for a set of OnRope1 buckles. They can accomodate webbing that is slightly wider than standard 1" webbing (up to 1.25").
The buckles have some unique characteristics worth mentioning...
First, they have a unique finish on them. They are polished in such a way that they are extremely smooth, and, they are also dull rather than shiny, which adds to the stealth factor of them.
The buckle part has slightly raised 'teeth' on it, which really helps to get a good grip on the webbing straps without causing any damage. While testing this out, I purposely made my webbing go through the buckle slightly crooked, and the teeth still did their job. I had my husband try out the hammock several times to see if there would be any change in the way the buckle behaved. He weighs significantly more than I do, and there was no slippage whatsoever. I feel confident enough to forego any backup slip on my webbing.
There is a narrow end for attaching suspension rope, which makes adding the rope very simple with a quick girth, rather than a prusik.
One other thing worth mentioning (though perhaps odd to some that I would add this)... they are a lot quieter! The metallic 'ting' is muted compared to the OnRope buckles.
Paul did a fantastic job on the Chain Links. They are very nicely put together and very sturdy! I find them to be a good length for my Larks head onto my hammock ends, which I double around. Amsteel has a smooth and slipperyish finish, and I find that by wrapping around twice, it helps to keep things in place as well as distributes the pressure on the hammock fabric to a wider area. The very slight bulk of the Chain Link spiced area was not a hinderance at all when installing the Chain Links to the hammock ends or cinch buckles.
Due to the way the Chain Links are made, there is a lot less bulk than having a double (or triple) Fisherman's on the suspension attachment rope. I didn't have to tie any knots at all.
Without the need for a Double Fisherman's, or the prusik around the buckle, I see this as a weight advantage by less line being needed.
Very fast and easy installation for both the Chain Links and the cinch buckles!
I highly recommend both the Chain Links and the cinch buckles!
My thanks to Paul of Arrowhead Equipment, for helping to make my diy experience more pleasant!