It seems to me that we'd want wide nylon straps for the hammock suspension because it stretches and conforms somewhat to the tree and allows for the angle of attack of the load, distributing weight more evenly along stretched-out and pliable surfaces. A non-flexing strap carries weight only on the outside, up-tree edge of the strap, defeating the purpose of width at the load-bearing point.
Some spring in the suspension might also be desired, which nylon provides.
Contrariwise, on a tarp ridge line the load is perpendicular to the tree and evenly distributed over the entire width of the strap; and we would not necessarily want it to stretch in that application.
So, using that rationale I ordered wide nylon straps from Hammock Bliss, 6' long, and for the tarp ridge line 1" x 4' polyester straps from: http://www.strapworks.com/Strapworks...ling_s/174.htm, where you can build your own. Wish I had found Strapworks earlier.
I don't weigh much, Brute, and plan to use the length only if needed. I expect to lap most trees. If I had found Strapworks sooner the straps would be shorter. That said, I've seen two-foot trees before.
Ok I read a few articles and check out some manufaturers websites and from what I have gathered that Typical Nylon Straps/webbing will stretch between 6-9% of the taught length. Polyester webbing also stretches and will stretch up to 3% of its taught length. However, Nylon will continue to stretch even further when wet and also discolors and deteriorates when exposed to UV rays, hence, it is not recommended in marine based uses. Polyester is not affected by moisture or UV rays and is typically used in marine based uses.
I happened to have some nylon webbing so I plan to actually test these statistics for myself and I will take pictures. Personally, I do believe Nylon stretches more than poly; even more than the 3%-6% difference described above.
But stretch is not such a bad thing, X. That allows the strap to conform to and grip the tree, better distributing weight over a greater surface, which is better for the tree. Plus, if I am hanging there with all my weight on it I want it to grab as much bark as possible because I'd rather touch the ground slow than fast!
I can see an argument to both sides there. It really doesn't matter that much anyway. I haven't had an issue with my polyester straps gripping a tree yet. Just the same, I'm guessing you haven't had any issues with the nylon webbing stretching to far. Hey if it works, then it works. Plain and simple.
Edit: In reference to your earlier post.
Any technical benefit to using nylon webbing is greatly overcome by 1)the aggravation factor of having to re-adjust the hammock suspension because of stretch, 2)increased UV degradation, 3)increased water absorbency (those things get heavy) and 4)dye-transfer (especially when damp).
Polyester webbing simply doesn't have those same drawbacks in a hammock setting.
Nylon webbing has a lot of great uses, but it's not coincidence that most of the hammockers on this forum prefer polyester webbing over nylon for suspension use.
“I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy
A 30* angle on a more static material (polyester) will put the entire load on the uphill edge of the strap. Only a load perpendicular to the tree will distribute the load to the entire width of the static strap, which is what I chose for my tarp ridge line application.
For the hammock, a nylon strap (more dynamic) will stretch on the upper edge and allow a geometrically proportionate distribution of the load across the width of the strap at an angle.
I just returned from the park to test my new hammock and nylon straps. I encountered odd angles and various surfaces on the trees. A green sprout was on one in exactly the wrong place but instead of breaking it off I just strapped over it with my softer material. The 6' nylon straps conformed to the many variables and I felt very safe. The "bend but not break" principle is at work in a nylon strap.
I also feel better about distributing weight on the tree over a greater surface. Trees have feelings, too. ;-)