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I'm planning to sew my own double-layer hammock. I found a simple pattern here:

I was thinking about modifying it a bit, to have the bottom layer made of Gore-Tex fabric. This adds some weight to the product, but also adds some layer of waterproof protection from the bottom (so maybe I could use it on the ground, where there are no trees around?).

I'm not sure how would the gore-tex behave when under the mechanical stress too. Any thoughts?

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Why would you want the underside of a hammock to be breathable? Do you go inside like a bivvy bag? – QuentinUK Feb 20 '14 at 7:33
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you want waterproofing available to put under you, I would just bring along a 2 mil thickness of plastic for use as a ground sheet. This will be much lighter and cheaper than the same square-footage of goretex. That thickness will tend to get torn on a long trip, so you may want to bring a little duct tape for use in patching it.

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Perhaps not surprisingly, there's not a lot of information floating around about what happens when you subject gore-tex to this kind of stress. Gore-tex is a porous material, so stretching it might yield unexpected results. Worst case scenario, you set your gore-tex hammock on wet ground and the water slowly seeps through. Then again, if the pores are typically 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, theoretically if you stretch those pores they'll still be thousands of times smaller than a water droplet. You may need to try it and find out.

Also, consider that you might not want to focus on waterproofing the bottom of your hammock in the first place. If you waterproof the bottom, and find yourself in a wet climate, you're more likely to be trapping moisture in than keeping it out.

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