Glossary of Hammock Related Terms

Glossary of Hammock Related Terms

If you use hammocks all the time, then you will want to be familiar with the jargon. Here are some of the most useful hammock-related terms and definitions that we can find. 


This refers to a hammock whose form is not symmetrical, such that if it were folded in half along the long axis, the two halves would not correspond. This is a technique used to allow for a more comfortable ‘diagonal’ lay in the hammock by creating more room for the head and feet.


This is when the hammock occupant lays straight down the middle of an end-gathered hammock, causing their feet and head to be much higher than their butt. Most hammock occupants find this to be uncomfortable.

Bear Burrito

A derogatory term used by some bear pancakes ground-dwellers refers to a hammock and its occupant.

Bishop Bag

A typical stuff sack with a small hole on the end opposite the normal drawstring opening (often a buttonhole). The hole allows a hammock or quilt suspension cord to exit the bag such that the bag can be left in place when the contents are deployed. It is functionally different than a double-closure stuff sack in that there is never any doubt which end of the sack is which, and it allows easier stuffing of the sack since there is no second drawstring to fasten. The concept is named after one of the early members of HF.


Also known as Travelpod or Hammock Sock. A shell that encompasses the hammock to provide wind or water resistance.

Bug Net

Netting that keeps bugs out of the hammock. Can be permanently attached like the Hennessy line of hammocks, or can be removable like Speer hammocks.


This is a method of cutting a straight edge of a tarp into a curved line in order to; allow a more taut pitch to the fabric surface and to reduce flapping in the wind.

Cold Butt Syndrome

This is what happens to the hammock occupant when the insulation under their buttocks compresses, therefore; losing the insulating value resulting in a cold butt.

Cold sleeper

One who tends to feel colder than that of the temperature rating of their gear (i.e. Sleeping bags, under quilts, and the like).

Constrictor ropes

Refer to both Whoopie Slings and UCRs, which are both suspension methods made by creating adjustable constricting splices in cording.


Z-shaped overlap way to shorten the edge of a piece of material. Several darts used on each edge can create a pouch-like effect for the enclosed perimeter of the cloth.

Diagonal Lay

Is a method in which the hammock occupant lies with their head on one side and their feet on the opposite side of the hammock. With proper sag in the hammock fabric, this method allows for a flatter lay.

Diamond fly

Is a diamond or square-shaped top whose ridgeline is pitched diagonally over the hammock and has only two stakes to hold it down to the ground.

Durable Water Repellent

Also called DWR. A fabric treatment that improves wind and water resistance but allows the fabric to remain breathable. Can be a chemical wash-in or spray-on treatment to an existing fabric or can be incorporated into the material’s manufacture. Generally comes in 1.1 oz and 1.9 oz weights, and is useful for projects requiring breathability like a hammock, windsuits, quilt shells, etc.

Dutch clips

These are small, lightweight aluminium clips that replace the function of a Carabiner in an adjustable webbing suspension. They are named after their designer, who is a member of the forum.


A brand name from Amazonas. It stands for Extra Long Lasting Textiles. It is made of 55% cotton and 45% polyester. Polyester is strong and more fade-resistant. Cotton feels softer. The combination gives the best of both.

Figure 9s

Small, lightweight aluminium clips, marketed by the company ‘NiteIze’, are designed to allow the easy holding and adjustment of cording. Commonly used on top ridgelines.


See tarp.

Foot box

A compartment in a top quilt or an extension on the right-hand side of a Warbonnet Black Bird (a brand and model of the hammock) that you put your feet into.


(Pronounced “grow grain”) a ribbon-like material used as trim on many projects or as a structural element on some designs, such as tarp edging or bug netting, allowing tension to be pulled on the netting without ripping the cloth.

Ground dweller

This is a person who uses a tent, bivy bag, cowboy camps, or otherwise sleeps on the ground while camping for some reason or lack of sense.


Spanish for hammock

Hammock sock

A shell that encompasses the hammock to provide wind or water resistance and to retain some body heat.


Ones who use a hammock while camping.

Hex fly

This is a hexagonal-shaped tarp, often elongated. It has a central ridgeline and at least four stakes to hold it to the ground. These usually contain at least one catenary-cut edge.


In the context of our shop, a lounger is a type of hanging chair which is big enough for you to sit in with your feet inside it. Outside of hammock heaven or other hammock shops online, it would mean something else.


A type of hammock that originated in Central America and is made with a loose mesh of strings.

Neo tarp

Colloquial name for the camouflage Guide Gear tarps, named after one of its most famous advocates on the forum.


The strings that attached the loop right at the end of the hammock to the bed of the hammock itself


Netting is similar to mosquito netting, but with smaller holes. Used to keep insects out of hammocks and as baffle material to separate down chambers in some quilt construction.

Pea Pod

An oversized sleeping bag by Speer Hammocks completely envelops the hammock, providing insulation above and below the hammock. Because the PeaPod does not drape over the body, a top quilt is often required below about 50 F.


A type of plastic fiber that is 100% colorfast and 100% weatherproof. This is much more durable than cotton or polyester. We are getting into the realms of one hammock for your lifetime. The downside is that it is not quite as soft. But fabrics made from this material get better every year.

Quilt loops

Single tied stitches from one side of a quilt or under insulation are often used with batting insulation.


The plastic bit that the screw goes into when you have drilled a hole in the wall. When you put the screw in it pushes the plastic against the inside of the hole and makes extra-strong support for your hammock or whatever.

Ridge Line

Two types of ridgelines. First, the structural ridgeline is very tight, non-stretchy, and sets the amount of sag on the hammock. When you pull the hammock supports tight, you’re also pulling the ridgeline tight…but since the ridgeline holds a fixed length, the fabric in the hammock body isn’t affected. I like it b/c no matter how you hang your hammock, it always has the same amount of sag. Also, you can tie the supports to the tree at a lower level and still have a comfortable hammock b/c it increases the sag. Next, non-structural ridgelines are just strung up support, bug nets or traps and don’t change how the hammock sags. Some of these are elastic and some are cord, occasionally webbing on some homemade ones. Both kinds are good for holding boots, jackets, stuff sacks with nighttime essentials, etc. I always hang my headlamp and emergency whistle up there…that way I can blow the whistle when a bear comes sniffing and never have to leave the hammock. Since I switched to a soft-sided Nalgene I use my water as a pillow, but before that, I always had a stuff sack with a snack and a bottle of water hung on the Ridgeline. Hammock ridgelines are also different from tarp ridgelines. Tarp ridgelines are sometimes just a sewn seam running along the center length that needs to be sealed, and some folks actually run a cord for the full length between the trees and the tarp lays on top of it. Each type has advantages…but as I said, don’t confuse tarp ridgelines with hammock ridgelines.

Ridge Ties

The tension lines that are used to suspend a tarp from the trees on tarps that don’t have a full-length corded ridgeline. Those tarps typically have a seam along the ridge.


Sag describes how tightly the hammock is strung between the trees. If the hammock is very loose between the trees and adopts a “U” shape, it has a lot of sags. This makes it easier to lay on the diagonal. If the hammock is strung tightly, laying on the diagonal will be more difficult and may cause a shoulder squeeze.

Segmented Pad Extender (SPE)

A padded sleeve sold by Speer Hammocks has wings to hold non-compressible insulation against the occupant’s shoulders and hips. Without a pad, the hammock will compress the sleeping bag or top quilt at these points, causing cold spots.

Shoulder squeeze

is a painful or annoying pressure on the hammock occupant‘s shoulders that happens when lying in a hammock that is too small or strung too tightly.

Side Tie-Outs

A feature of various hammocks. Elastic lines are attached to the long side of the hammock; these tie-outs are staked to the ground to pull the hammock open. It does not change how the hammock supports the user but makes it feel more open inside. The elastic also acts as a dampener to reduce the hammock’s swing.


Silicone-impregnated ripstop nylon. A ripstop nylon material impregnated with silicone, creating a waterproof, non-breathable fabric. Weight for lightweight hiking gear is usually 1.1 oz per square before the treatment is applied, so the silnylon usually ends up weighing about 1.3 oz per square yard. Also commonly found in 1.9 oz/sqyd. Used for tarps and other projects where breathability is not required.


Snakeskins are tapering cloth tubes that slide over the hammock when you are storing it. Snakeskins make it easier to set up and break down the hammock system, and can also help to keep the hammock dry. Python Skins are oversized snake skins that are large enough to hold the hammock and an under quilt. They were manufactured by Jacks R Better until Hennessy announced a patent-pending, but the term is still used to refer to oversized snakeskins.

Spinn, UL

Is a waterproof fabric lighter in weight than silnylon used for traps or other applications where waterproofing is important and brutality is not.


Refers the webbing, normally ¾” to 1” in width, used to secure the hammock to a tree or stand.

Support line

See Suspension System

Suspension System

The broad term to describe the connection between the anchoring object and the actual hammock, which can be made from a number of material combinations that consist of but are not limited to: cording, webbing, knots, hardware, etc. Sometimes just referred to as ‘suspension’.


This is what happens when the hammock occupant sinks into the hammock and becomes so engulfed by the sides that they are unable to see out.


Also, known as fly or rain fly. It keeps you dry. Tarps on hammocks are generally rectangular (8’x10′), a square hung diagonally (8’x8′), or a shaped tarp (catenary cut).

Thread injector

a sewing machine

Top Quilt

An insulating layer is used inside the hammock like a blanket on top of the hammocker. An unzipped sleeping bag can also be used as a top quilt.

Travel pod

See hammock sock

Tree Huggers

Webbing straps that wrap around a tree and have loops on each end that the hammock ropes tie to. Tree huggers not only reduce damage to the tree but also are less likely to slip.


fabric hung on the bottom of a hammock to keep it dry from mist or splashing. It can be used to hold additional insulation.


An insulating layer is mounted underneath the hammock on the outside.

Utility Constrictor Rope (UCR)

is a hardware-free hammock suspension method made by splicing one length of cording through another, thus creating an adjustable constriction. These are commonly DIY items made from 12-strand single-braid cording like Amsteel.

Warm sleeper

Is one who tends to feel warmer than that of the temperature rating of their gear (i.e. Sleeping bags, under quilts, and the like).


Width ways in the weave

Weather shield

is a fabric panel or tube used on or over a hammock to keep cold and rain out. It is found on some models of Clark Hammocks and as a do-it-yourself modification.


Lengthways in the weave of the body of the fabric.

Whoopie sling

Is a hardware-free hammock suspension method made by splicing the end of a single piece of cording back through the standing end, thus creating an adjustable loop. These are commonly DIY items made from 12-strand single-braid cording like Amsteel.

Zigzag stitch

stitch used to allow the long length of a stitched line to lengthen with nylon cloth when it stretches under load.

If you think it takes too long to say “the perfect tree” and you find yourself using that expression over and over again, you can save time by using the acronym TPT. Here are some of the most common acronyms, especially those related to hammocks.


ARL – Adjustable Ridge Line
A-sym – Asymmetrical hammock, generally based on the Hennessy line
BEEP – Bottom Entry/Exit Portal
BFTH – Breakfast From The Hammock
CBS – Cold Butt Syndrome
CCF – closed cell foam, generally used for sleeping pads
CL – Continuous Loop
CRL- Continuous Ridge Line.
DIY – Do It Yourself
DL – Double Layer, as in a hammock with 2 fabric layers
DMB – Dual Mode Bridge Hammock
DWR – Durable Water Repellent, a wind- and water-resistant treatment for fabrics
HAAB – “Hook And Attached Bag” refers to hammocks like ENO, TTTM, Trek Light, etc
HF – Hammock Forums
HH – Hammock Heaven – Hammock Shop
HYOH – Hike Your Own Hike or Hang Your Own Hammock
MYOG – Make Your Own Gear
PLUQ – Poncho Liner Under Quilt
PTI – Powered Thread Injector (not a sewing machine)
RL- Ridge Line
SEEP – Side Entry/Exit Portal – often for hammock socks/pods
SLS – Single Line Suspension
SOBO – Southbound – direction of a hiker’s travel on long trails
SPE – Segmented Pad Extender, a product by Speer Hammocks that uses pads and “wings” to insulate the hammock.
SRL – Structural Ridge Line
SWT – Speer Winter Tarp
TLWUQ = JRB Torso Length Wearable Underquilt
TPT – The Perfect Trees
TPTP – The Perfect Trees Ptarmigan
TPTI – The Perfect Trees Incubator
TPTB – The Perfect Trees Burrow
TQ – Top Quilt
UC – Undercover
UCR – Utility Constrictor Rope
UGQ- Under Ground Quilts
UP – Underpad
UQ – Underquilt
VB – Vapor Barrier
VCCB – Vaseline-Cotton-Cellulose Bombs
WS – Weather Shield (Jacks ‘R’ Better or Clark Jungle Hammock)
– Also, Whoopie Sling
WS – Whoopie Slings

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