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  1. #1
    Member sam4msu's Avatar
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    Hammock weight ratings???

    How conservative are the weight ratings put on the hammocks by the manufacturers? I am thinking of a Speer and would like to save the weight and money by getting the one rated to 250#, I am between 275 and 280#. I am losing weight, but it will be a while until I am down to 250#. I realize that no one can tell me if it will fail, I am just looking for opinions and discussion on the subject.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    It has been mentioned that most manufacturers are probably conservative in their ratings for hammocks due mainly to liability issues.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  3. #3
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    American Standards typically indicate 1/2 the tested weight; I don't know about hammocks made in China such as most of the Hennessy line. Regardless, an OB/GYN friend of mine said; 'even though all studies say pregnant women can ski up through their ninth month, because of liabilities, we never would actually tell our patients to take the chance'
    Last edited by daibutsu; 01-26-2008 at 19:05.

  4. #4
    those weights likely have nothing to do with failure like ratings on rope or hardware, those items are either tested or calculated to find their actual fail strength, then a rating is decided upon. sometimes it is the actual minimum breaking strength, sometimes it is a safe working load which is often 1/3 or so of the actual break strength.

    this is likely not the case with hammocks. due to many different factors, it is likely almost impossible to tell how much weight a new hammock will hold. what % of the hammock width is the force spread over? what is the suspension angle? both of these factors are variable and both play a big role in how much force is put on the fabric. there is also the durability factor, nylon will weaken over time, light degrades, and a hammock that has seen many nights will not be as strong as it was when new.

    there are so many variable factors that any weight limit is little more than a recomendation. yes, manufacturers are trying to err on the safe side. yes, you can likely use a 250# hammock when you weigh 275, but don't expect it to last as long as if you were lighter or the hammock was stronger.

    regardless of what your hammock is rated to compared to how much you weigh, take good care of it. don't expect it to last forever if you use it alot. inspect it occasionally and when in doubt, retire it.

  5. #5
    Member sam4msu's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great points...Once again you all have helped me to make what I think is an educated decision.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by warbonnetguy View Post
    those weights likely have nothing to do with failure like ratings on rope or hardware, those items are either tested or calculated to find their actual fail strength, then a rating is decided upon. sometimes it is the actual minimum breaking strength, sometimes it is a safe working load which is often 1/3 or so of the actual break strength.

    this is likely not the case with hammocks. due to many different factors, it is likely almost impossible to tell how much weight a new hammock will hold. what % of the hammock width is the force spread over? what is the suspension angle? both of these factors are variable and both play a big role in how much force is put on the fabric. there is also the durability factor, nylon will weaken over time, light degrades, and a hammock that has seen many nights will not be as strong as it was when new.

    there are so many variable factors that any weight limit is little more than a recomendation. yes, manufacturers are trying to err on the safe side. yes, you can likely use a 250# hammock when you weigh 275, but don't expect it to last as long as if you were lighter or the hammock was stronger.

    regardless of what your hammock is rated to compared to how much you weigh, take good care of it. don't expect it to last forever if you use it alot. inspect it occasionally and when in doubt, retire it.
    That is why I have a Hennessy Explorer for backyard testing, car camping, paddling, etc. I only use my BULA when I'm carrying it in a pack.

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