Choosing the right fabric for your DIY project is a key decision that you have to make before you start. Ripstop nylon or ripstop polyester? Impregnated or not. Which one has the right strength to weight ratio. Which ripstop is good for your hammock and which one for tarps or sleeping bag. In this article you will find answers for those questions.
What fabric for hammock?
The best fabric for light hammock is in our opinion ripstop nylon in a rage from 40D to 70D. That brings it to the weight between 40 to 65 grams per square meter. With those fabrics you can make a hammock that can hold 100-150kg with a reasonable weight of few hundred grams.
Why nylon and not polyester?
Nylon is breathable and more durable than polyester. Due to its stretchability it holds much more weight than polyester. Nylon 40-65 gsm can hold 100-150 of swinging weight. Polyester will not make it possible. If you want to get the same durability of polyester as nylon you have to choose two times heavier fabric.
Another reason why nylon is better for hammock is its breathability. This will improve the comfort, especially in the summer. Nylon nor polyester will not give you a proper isolation themselves but with nylon you might avoid unconformable night in hot summer season.
Another reason why nylon is better than polyester for hammock is the softness. Polyester hammock tent to be more like plastic bag when pure nylon will reward you with soft in touch nice feeling.
To sum up if you want to have a light, durable and comfortable hammock you should go for nylon. In you priority is waterproofness you might choose polyester but it is worth remebering that the rain usually comes not from the ground. If you are really afraid of rain, start thinking about tarp.
Impregnated fabric for hammock?
If you are new to fabric impregnation methods please check our article ‘Impregnation and Laminates‘ . What we recommend for hammocks is nylon with DWR (Durable Water Repellency). It gives fabric water resistance and protect the outer layer of fabric from becoming saturated with water. With DWR you can easily shake off all morning dew drops from your hammocks. This impregnation method doesn’t decrease the breathability of fabric what is in our option the most important. We wouldn’t recommend nylon with PU or silicon for the same reason why we didn’t recommend polyester. With other than DWR impregnation methods nylon loses a bit of durability and its strength. Last but not least aspect that should be taken into account is of course price. Fabric with PU or silicon are more expensive than the same fabric with DWR. Specially impregnated nylon is perfect for tarps but not necesserly for hammocks.