Grand Trunk Trunk Straps
Current Retail: $29.95
Historic Range: $16.95-$29.99
Grand Trunk's “Trunk Straps” are a well-made, convenient suspension system for front country hammock hanging. It eliminates the need to know hammock knots or the need to buy other suspension systems that come with a learning curve.
The straps are best for hammocks relying on carabiners for hanging. I definitely feel the pros outweigh the cons for car camping applications.
- Quick and easy to set up
- Multiple attachment points for just the right hang
- Ridiculously long (that's good!)
- Wide/Tree friendly
- Pricey (compared to knowing your hammock knots)
First, a word on tree straps:
My first hammock came with two lengths of 6mm prusik cord to hang the hammock with. I didn't understand at the time how bad this is for trees. When a narrow diameter rope is hitched around a smaller tree and weighted, it can severely damage and even kill the tree. Fortunately, I quickly learned about this issue and switched to using "tree straps."
A tree strap is flat webbing, ideally at least 1" wide. If you are a heavier person, then placing something like a folded tarp or piece of clothing between the strap and tree can help even more. Unfortunately, many novice hangers still rely on narrow cordage to hang their hammock. For this reason, I have read about some locations banning the use of hammocks. If you are interested in hammock hanging, then you need tree straps as part of your suspension system.
There are a lot of things I like about the Trunk Straps for car camping/front country use (I have some reviews coming in the next couple of months for backcountry straps.). In fact, Grand Trunk seems to have stolen my unspoken idea.
For several years now, I have thought about a pair of retired Black Diamond Daisy Chains I use to own. They were sewn almost identical to the Trunk Straps, and they would have worked in a similar manner, but they were too narrow.
In no particular order, here is what I like about the Trunk Straps:
1. They are quick to set up.
Like a Daisy Chain, each Trunk Strap is sewn webbing, with numerous loops (18) to clip into with a hammock carabiner. The end with the Grand Trunk logo is secured by a simple girth hitch around the tree. Setup literally takes a few seconds per strap.
2. They are easy to use.
Once the straps are girth hitched around the tree, it is only a matter of selecting the right anchor loop to clip the hammock into (Note: The ideal strap hang is at a 30-degree angle. For more on this see the Hammock Hang Calculator.)
3. You know they are going to hold.
Every honest hammock hanger will admit to it. As you first ease your butt into your hammock, you are wondering if you tied that Marlin Spike Hitch correctly, or, more to the point, did your Whoopie Sling sit correctly on the knot (not the toggle). That's why you will always notice a hammock hanger gingerly lowering himself into his hammock.
With the Trunk Straps, none of that uncertainty exists. Clip in, and you're secure. With each strap holding 200 lbs, your hammock will fail before the suspension.
4. They are long enough for your needs.
On a recent weekend of car camping, I could not find any campsites with two trees close together. Having two 10' straps made all the difference. Note in the picture below, my DreamHammock DangerBird has an 11' ridgeline. These two trees are roughly 30' apart. Without the Trunk Straps I would have been FORCED to sleep in that popup camper with my snoring wife and stinky teenage son instead of in the comfort of my favorite hammock.
5. They are tree friendly.
Earlier in this review, I mentioned my original idea of using a climber's Daisy Chain for the same application. However, it would be too narrow. Hanging in a hammock puts a tremendous amount of force on trees. Ropes, prusik cord, and narrow straps (like a climber's Daisy Chain) can dig into a tree's bark and kill it. The Trunk Straps' 1” width provides plenty of breadth for hanging.
Conclusion (with a quick reference to the cons):
If you want light and cheap suspension, learn the Marlin Spike Hitch and use Whoopie Slings. The Trunk Straps are not the right suspension system for someone trying to lighten their pack load. At 6 oz per strap, the Trunk Straps are actually heavier than some hammocks.
At $30 for a pair, you are paying almost double what you can pay for Whoopie Slings and simple Tree Straps, but if you are new to hammock hanging, this is a great item to start off with.
At 12 ounces, these are not going into my backpack, but they will be the suspension system I grab when I am car camping or hanging in the woods near my house.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Samples provided by Grand Trunk for testing and review)