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I'd like to hang a cocoon-type hammock device from a few railings overhead. It hooks onto a single point and hangs vertically, as opposed to a traditional hammock that you'd see hung horizontally between two trees.

enter image description here

It has to support one person's weight, but none of the potential fixing points are strong enough individually. I'm looking for a way to distribute the load (as equally as possible) between multiple fixing points. I'm going down this road, because this is a rented space and I can't drill for more traditional high-load fixing points.

Off-hand diagram:

enter image description here

  • How many points you feel that you need will change the answer. Why do you think you need more that one? – Matthew Mar 5 at 21:11
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    +1 for the awesome diagram. – JPhi1618 Mar 5 at 21:13
  • @Matthew I need more than one fixing point, because I think that none of them are strong enough individually. I try to explain this in the second paragraph. The number of fixing points available is around 10. I guess that 3-4 would be sufficient. – Dominykas Mostauskis Mar 5 at 22:23
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You can use a concept from rock climbing here. There are methods of attaching to multiple anchors that are meant to distribute the load to three anchors, such as a cordalette:

cordalette

You can search and find instructions for how to tie a cordalette, which might be all you need.

There are other methods that are meant to have some slip so that the load is evenly distributed between the multiple anchor points. Here is an example:

equalizing anchor

You'll find lots of examples for this if you search for "climbing equalizing anchors" or something like that.

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The first thing that comes to mind is getting a welded steel ring to act as the "junction" point for your rope:

enter image description here

Random welded ring on Amazon

These are normally available at hardware stores in the rope and chain section. Other options would be a chain "quick link" or a load-rated carabiner (not the keychain type).

The upper ropes that are fastening to the anchor points could be looped through the ring so you don't have to try and cut and tie the right length rope to even out the load.

I think this method will work because the rope will have a load rating much higher than you need - you seem to only be limited by the strength of the anchor points.

Also keep in mind that when using multiple anchor points like this, the anchors will have a sideways force pulling on them as well as a downward force. Choose your anchors carefully. The higher the angle of the rope is, the more sideways force you have.

  • Very useful insights. I'm wondering if I'll be able to adjust the rope lengths, and therefore the load sharing, finely enough. I guess the thinner the rope I use, the finer the length adjustments of looping will be. – Dominykas Mostauskis Mar 5 at 22:41
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    The sideways force that is mentioned in this answer is something very important to consider. The OP should consider very carefully that the sideways force on some mount point types could weaken them so much as to best avoid using them at all. – Michael Karas Mar 6 at 11:20
  • @MichaelKaras I've actually opened a follow up question that's closely related to side-ways force diy.stackexchange.com/questions/159212 – Dominykas Mostauskis Mar 6 at 13:16
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Honestly I think you are over thinking this. As long as your anchor point spread out too far you shouldn't have a problem you don't really need to worry too much about transferring load because there is only one load on it. If you plan on swinging in your hammock that's a different story. On the other hand you don't have to worry about plummeting to your death either.

You could try something like thisenter image description here Using six of the anchor points that you have outlined you can easily make adjustments to the load-bearing points by adjusting three lengths.

Test your anchor points

Start with your best anchor points. Fix a rope in place at a comfortable height for you to hold on to and do a pull-up and then bounce a little. Use your judgment to figure out the quality of the anchoring. I often mount things over people's heads and the best of field test I've come up with is to hang off an individual anchor effectively quadrupling the load it would possibly see.

perhaps this is a more accurate representation of what you needenter image description here

Once you have one or two decent anchor points the rest are just insurance. With this setup always make sure the two best anchor points are together.

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