So Iím learning as I go, working with different DIY projects. Some Iíve been able to finish ok, like the bug netting on a $49 Safari. Some not so well, like my first attempt at a DIY synthetic peapod (I will NEVER post those pics!). After working on some of the bigger things (the bug netting), I figured making my own webbing suspension would be a piece of cake. Thatís when I learned the hard way that not all webbing strap is created equal!
I picked up thirty feet of webbing strap from backwoods daydreamer (diygearsupply.com), when I had ordered my materials for adding my bug netting. They are a great one-stop go-to site for gear makers! Their webbing cost is about .40 cents per foot. When I got the webbing strap, I noticed how soft it was, doubled layered and strong. The rating on the strap is 1500 pounds. I liked the material as it seems it would be easy to work with, fold up nicely, and soft to the touch. This webbing strap would be perfect for AHE or Warbonnet style buckles or classic ring buckles. It DID NOT do well with cinch buckles at all. I included a photo below of the buckles I use and the damaged part of the strap. I think the issue is that the softness of the strap warps and stretches then rips at the edges based on the cinch buckle design when adding a backup knot. In three nights sleep, I ended up with five similar spots, three on one strap, and two on the other. While this isnít a complete failure, it doesnít make one feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I've used Warbonnet webbing with my WBBB in the past. The straps are more densely woven, tighter, and not as soft. I wanted to try another manufacturer to see how their gear would hold up to others I have used. I picked up some webbing straps from AHE (Arrowhead Equipment). While AHE is a bit higher per foot, .50 cents over the other sites .40, and has a lower weight rating, 1000 pounds to 1500. AHE will add a sewn loop at the end of each for a biner at no extra charge, thus making them a non-DIY project. I did heat the extra stitching to clean up the ends (couldnít help myself).
The pictures of the webbing look nearly identical to that of diygearsupply.com. Shipping was about the same for both concerning cost and delivery time. But the webbing is more like that which is used at Warbonnet. Below are comparison pics. Top webbing is from AHE on each pic, while the bottom is from DIYgearsupply. I also noticed the webbing from AHE didnít stretch at all, not even after a full night sleep. The DIY webbing stretches some based on its soft woven lines. The AHE line doesnít tie a safety not as well as the DIY because of stiffness.
I think for those using classic round rings or the older style rolled edge triangle buckles, the DIY would be easier to work with. But for those of us that use cinch buckles and a backup knot, the AHE style webbing is definitely the way to go. The edges are woven tighter, no stretch equals no ripping or broken straps in the middle of the night.
If anyone has had good or bad experiences with other manufacturers webbing straps, or have pics, please feel free to add in. Iím curious of other forum memberís trials and tests.