CAMPING & HIKING

Best Slackline: Fun with Balance and Tension

Slacklining on mountains
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Only the best slackline will do when you want to engage in the pastime of slacklining. When you are in search of a quality slackline, you want a product that has dynamic tension, one offering enough bounce and stretch like the type of response you would get if you were jumping on the surface of a tightly-strung trampoline. You will want to have peace of mind when using the slackline knowing full well it can bear your weight and that it will support you as you cross it.

Hanging on slackline

As you balance yourself on a long, slender stretch of webbing and carefully move yourself over the webbing from point A to point B, the last thing you want to worry about the stretch and durability of the slackline you have invested in for enjoying a pastime filled with one adrenal rush after another.

Webbing Thickness

Webbing in a slackline features different materials and it comes in different thicknesses. If you are a beginner at slacklining, you might want a certain thickness to ease yourself into the hobby. The thicknesses you can choose from include:

One-inch

This thickness has been available for quite some time, but might unnerve even the adept. The truth is this line would serve a newbie well because it supplies plenty of tension, even if it looks a bit intimidating under the foot. This fact should teach you one lesson at the outset – the thickness of the webbing you buy, while important, does not really define the durability, bounce, and tension adequacy of a slackline.

The webbing’s ability to stretch and the tension it offers are far more important. The one-inch webbing is available for purchase in polyester and nylon, and you should really put a stronger focus on the webbing than the thickness of the slackline you buy.

Two-inch

This is the industry standard these days, as many slackliners find themselves quite comfortable with the two-inch thickness. The broader surface makes people covet these slacklines because they give the user the perception of added security while using the line. The surface area is wider and this is likely to make passage over the slackline a breeze.

High altitude slacklining

These lines also feature ratchet rigging systems that are easy for the first-time slackline to use. They are designed in such a way that they are not circular or tubular in design, but consists of woven fabric that is flat to walk on. This gives a wider foot area for the user overall.

The one-inch lines can also be tubular in shape and therefore prove less desirable to some slackliners. These lines are often made of a nylon and polyester blend to ensure webbing durability. Though tougher, less flexible, and offering up a bit less stiffness overall, these lines promise a great degree of bounce.

Webbing Materials

Nylon is used in slacklines because it is highly durable, stretchy, and it supplies a good bounce when the line has tension applied to each end. Nylon is a stretchable material and this is what makes it so ideal as a material for slacklines, and it is hard to beat its genuine strength too.

Bear in mind that with the lack of stretch this line produces there is a mild compromise: it is more difficult to get the right degree of tension in a line. The nylon material can lend to greater sway when you are moving across the line and this may cause the line to bottom out or touch the ground once you end up in the very middle of the line or at the line’s weakest point in terms of tension.

Slackline materials and attachment

With the tubular one-inch slacklines, you end up walking across a tube of a flat style webbing so it is like having two layers of nylon. This might make you feel a bit more secure as you pass them. The tension in the line has mild edges and a soft feeling underfoot. Nylon is an ideal material for webbing because it is soft enough to keep your hands protected from cuts, whereas other materials that are courser have been known to cut the line user.

Systems for Tensioning

Three kinds of tensioner systems you can use when you start out with your slackline. One inch webbing material comes with the primitive tensioning system. The two-inch webbing is usually available with the ratchet system for tensioning. The more complex system for tension is a pulley choice used for highlines or rigging long lines.

Primitive Tensioning

This type of system is easy to transport and is cost-efficient. The system consists of the one-inch main webbing material to create the tight line, some rings, and a few carabiners. A line lock hitch is also part of the system and is available for use so you do not have to put knots into the webbing.

Slackline tensioning between poles

This system is a friction-dependent one, where the friction is what helps create or hold the line tension. The webbing is purposefully wrapped around a couple of carabiners and then the webbing gets passed beneath the wound webbing. When the slack in the line is removed, the material will cinch down and hold tight.

This system is more difficult to work with when trying to keep yourself of the ground as you work toward the middle of the line because of the high level of friction needed. This system is best used by the more adept slackliner who knows how to make use of a climbing or rigging system.

Ratchet System

Ratchets with lever and lock components are used with this system. These ratchets make it easy for you to create the necessary tension you need to make the line tight enough to prevent grounding out as you cross the line. The webbing is pushed through the inside bar on a ratchet and then slack is removed.

High tension slackline

The webbing must remain in line with the rest of the webbing as the user cranks down on the slackline. If the material does not line up there is the possibility of the material getting caught up in a cog as you try to make the line tenser or when you try to release the line.

High Tension Methods

The type of high tension pulley system one uses for slackline is dependent on whether the user plans to use the equipment for highlining, longlining, or tricklining. The components within the system are easily replaceable when needed. This system has carabiners, shackles, quick-lines, locking devices, a multiplier, static rope, and main double pulleys.

Reviews of the Top Seven Slacklines

With so many slacklines on the market, it might prove a cumbersome process when it comes time to choose the best line for your slacklining pursuits. Here you will find reviews of the seven best slacklines in the industry. The features of each are examined in full so you can get a full understanding of what you are getting with your product investment.

Some slacklines are sold solo and others come with extra benefits like tree protection and educational DVDs. Out of the seven, there is bound to be at least one slackline that will appeal to you and your need for a durable line for secure slacklining.

Slackline Industries Baseline Slackline

Slackline Industries Baseline SlacklineWeight Limit: Up to 300 pounds

Size: 50 feet and 85 feet

Specifications: Complete kit comes with 50/85 ft webbing, ratchet strap, and a tree protection guide. Comes with a loop that is reinforced for firm anchoring. European and US complaint. TüV (German Technical Association) certified. Static style webbing. Instructional DVD for beginners included.

Best Uses: beginner/intermediate slackline users.

The Slackline Industries Baseline Slackline Is a complete kit featuring a choice between 50 feet or 85 feet, an 8-foot ratchet strap, and webbing measuring the industry standard of two inches. The webbing has a maximum strength of 4 tons, and can hold a weight up to 300 pounds safely.

The line is ideal for kids five and older. It costs between $50.00 and $112.00, and you have a choice of getting the 50-foot or 85-foot selection. The line features a thick weave to ensure line durability, and can be used by beginners and intermediates for fun, coordination improvement or the enhancement of one’s core strength. The set takes less than 10 minutes to get all set up for use.

The slackline is a two-piece product which is adjustable and can easily be installed between anchor points or trees. The set is for low mounting height and it has low stretch webbing for extra tension.

Related: A similar product can be found in the Slackline Industries 50 Foot Play Line is also a kit suitable for beginners of all ages. The kit comes with the instructional DVD and information about Tree Protection and is priced at $60.00.

Alternatively, you can opt for the Slackline Industries 50FT Trick Line COMPLETE KIT for $62.00; the set features trampoline-style durable webbing, a backup line and tree protection.

Check the price on Amazon

Simian Classic Slackline Kit with Carry Bag

Simian Classic Slackline KitWeight Limit: Up to 220 pounds

Size: 50 feet and 85 feet

Specifications: A single slackline of either 50 or 85 feet in length. Two inch webbing. Tree protector units. Carrying pouch. Ratchet included.

Best Uses: beginner/intermediate slackline users.

The Simian Classic Slackline Kit with Carry Bag is priced between $$22.00 and $30.00. The set comes with a convenient carrying bag for ease of transport. The set takes under five minutes to set up. The slackline itself is made of the industry standard two-inch webbing materials.

A complete instruction manual comes with the kit. This line is powerful enough to support up to 220 pounds. The ratchet is sturdy and allows for the user to adjust the tension accordingly. The line can be made tight for the beginner or offer up less tension for the more adept slackliner who wants a bit of bounce in the line.

Can be anchored between two anchor points or two mature trees; the kit helps the user improve core balance strength and balance simultaneously. The webbing is made of polyester and it is flat for a broader foot hold.

Related: The Simian Funline Slackline is an alternative to the above 50 foot line if you are looking for something a bit shorter. This line is 40 foot in length. The kit comes with a helpline, tree protectors, carrying case, two-inch webbing 40 feet long, and a ratchet. The latter kit is only $30.00 or so.

Check the price on Amazon

Slackline Industries Trick Line 50 feet

Slackline Industries Trick Line 50ftWeight: up to 3 tons in terms of webbing durability

Size: 50 Feet

Colors: Blue, White, and Black

Specifications: Main line featuring sewn loop on one end; ratchet, 8 feet of webbing with reinforced loop, handle grip, custom designed webbing, instruction manual, two-inch webbing.

Best Uses: For the intermediate to advanced slackliner looking to perform tricks on a line.

The Slackline Industries Trick Line 50 feet comes complete with a ratchet featuring a safety lock feature. The mainline has an extra loop sewn in toward one end of the unit, which allows for greater anchoring and more line tension. The unit comes with a rubberized hand grip for ease of handling.

There is rubberized ratchet release as well. The line has trampoline style bounce thereby aiding the user in some tricks. A full instructional guide makes it easy for the user to learn how to use the trickline. Good for ages 8 and older.

Related: The Slackline Industries Trick Line Kit is priced over $20 below the trick line 50-foot product mentioned above. The system has the same amount of bounce back two-inch durable webbing, and the much-needed bounce you will need for trick performance.

Alternatively, you can opt for the 100 foot Aggro Line from the same manufacture at a cost between$90-$100; it comes with a long lever heavy duty ratchet, eight feet of static durable webbing material which is fitted with an end loop for better anchoring, and the webbing is custom trampoline style materials.

Check the price on Amazon

GIBBON Slacklines Jibline 40-Feet Slackline

GIBBON Slacklines Jibline 40Feet SlacklineWeight: N/A

Size: 40-foot line

Specifications: Dynamically woven webbing, two-part setup; German Association for Technical Inspection approved line. 40-foot line.

Best Uses: A line made for beginners.

The GIBBON Slacklines Jibline 40-Feet Slackline is for beginners, freestylers, or those in need of an adrenaline rush. The 40-foot line is so simple to set up and disassemble, the user can just spend time concentrating on his or skills development. Intermediate users will find the line dependable as well.

The weave of the webbing is dynamic thereby allowing for more bounce and more tricks performance. The set comes in two parts for ease of set up and disassembly. The German Association of Technical Inspections find the line safe for use.

Related: An alternative for you when you want more length in a slackline is available in the Gibbons Classicline Red Edition which gives you 82 feet of solid slackline. The latter unit is the most popularly purchased slackline as it is great for beginners and advanced slackliners alike.

Two-inch-wide webbing ensures a stronger foothold. Or you can also opt for the Surfline – the purple webbing comes in 98 feet lines.

Check the price on Amazon

Slackers 50-Feet Slackline Classic Set

Slackers 50-Feet Slackline ClassicWeight: 8.35 pounds shipping weight

Size: 50 feet

Specifications: 50-foot slackline; bonus teaching line, ratchet system, super-fast set up and disassembly. Instruction guide. Storage bag included for ease of transport. Nylon webbing.

Best Uses:

The Slackers 50-Feet Slackline Classic Set comes complete with a two-inch wide slackline, a teaching line, and a full-length instruction guide on how to use the setup. The set is perfect for beginner slackliners looking to become an expert in their tricks.

The set has a ratchet tensioning system for ease of assembly and disassembly. The nylon webbing ensures product durability. Used for enhancing balance, and core strength. Two sets of lines included.

Related: You can opt for the Slackers Kit from the same manufacturer: You get a slackline set up ideal for both children and adults interested in the sport. The kit comes with a 52-inch line, two-inch webbing, gear carrying case, ratchet, and rope. The set has instructions for set up too.

Or, you can opt for the Slackers Eclipse Trick Line Slackline Kit, which has UV protected, fluorescent ink designed webbing, a rubberized grip, and a reinforced ratchet for extra safety. The set is ideal for beginners and advanced users alike.

Check the price on Amazon

Slackers 100-Feet Fearless Trickline Kit

Slackers 100-Feet Fearless TricklineWeight: 12.8 shipping pounds

Size: 100 foot

Color:

Specifications: 100 foot trickline slackline; webbing is trampoline style. Carrying case included. Two ratchets included.

Best Uses: Beginners and adepts use.

The Slackers 100-Feet Fearless Trickline comes with durable webbing, and two ratchets for superior, trampoline like tension and bounce. Excellent for the neophyte looking for something to train on or the adept to show off some serious skills. The line is 100 feet in length and the convenient carrying case ensures ease of storage and transport.

Related: A great alternative is the Slackline Kit: 52 Foot Classic Trickline Slackline Set which is the Official 2017 Edition of the PRO 2.O line with a travel bag and training line included for beginners.  The line comes with 52 feet of webbing.

Check the price on Amazon

SLACKERS Slackline 50′ Wave Walker Kit

SLACKERS Slackline 50 Wave WalkerWeight: 8.7 shipping pounds

Size: 50 foot

Specifications: 50 foot trickline slackline; webbing is trampoline style. Carrying case included. Two ratchets included.

Best Uses: The line is great for the beginning slacker.

The SLACKERS Slackline 50′ Wave Walker Kit is about $80-90. You get everything you need to start slacklining; It is a tight, low, and short line suitable for beginners just learning how expert movements on a slackline. The set comes with a teaching line to help along with balance.

The set is ideal for ages five and older. Set up and disassembly in about ten minutes. Used for training in balance and in strengthening core muscles.

Related:  Another alternative to the line above is the Slackline Industries Trick Line 50 feet at a price of $85.00 mentioned earlier in this article: The product is made of exceptional materials and allows for great bounce back for the newbie and advance learner.  As an alternative, you can opt for the Trailblaze Slackline Kit for around $60.00.

Check the price on Amazon

 Keeping Safe While Having Fun Slacklining

The only way you will have a truly good time slacklining is if you take part in the sport safely and you use the top of the line equipment. Slacklining proves to be the most fun when you can still be confident in the slackline to uphold you throughout its use.

Kid slackline practice

As you shop for the proper slackline your need for confidence should stand paramount primarily when making buying decisions and this includes product pricing. It is possible to get high quality slacklines with exceptional features and a great price if you are willing to do your homework and do a bit of comparative shopping.

Some of the top seven slacklines mentioned here are a good place to start with your slackline shopping experience.  Please leave your comments about this article and the above-mentioned products in the comment area.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Janet Wilder

    My first experiences walking on a slackline were with tubular setups. I will admit that I was quite reluctant to try again, but eventually a friend introduced me to flat woven slacklines, which were a much more manageable fit for me. Anyone who is considering beginning should start with the flat woven variety, and if they find that they want something that is more of a challenge, then they can work up to a tubular design.

  • Daniel Carraway

    Glad that you find the slackline enjoyable. There’s nothing like giving your whole focus on something, right? When I want to clear my mind and declutter, I just call my friends over and we “do the slackline!” Yup, then good food and conversation after. 🙂

  • Josephine Charles

    This absolutely terrifies me. I’m completely unsure that I would be able to do this. I feel like I would have to have the slack line like an inch off the ground to even start. I would be too afraid to even try this. I have some pretty out going friends, though, who I know for sure would try this. I will have to show them this article.

  • Tyler LeBlanc

    I have tried this out a total of one time in my life. I’m not sure if it was my thing, I was pretty terrible at it. I wasn’t really high off the ground so maybe that would help with some more excitement? Or just totally terrify me, I honestly couldn’t know. But after reading this article, it’s something I might try again. I just think I needed to find the right equipment to give me more of a confidence boost.

  • Daniel Carraway

    Start low on the ground, if you must. No need to put the line way up, that’s for sure. You need to get accustomed to how your feet feels when it touches the slackline. At first, like anything that’s new – you’ll fall several times. But once you have the hang of it, you’ll be fine.
    This simple outdoor activities have a lot of benefits, too.
    Concentration and focus will be improved, and you’ll have a lot of fun away from the TV and your other gadgets.
    Try it and see.

  • Daniel Carraway

    You will definitely need quality gear in order to have a great time. These slacklines that I’ve reviewed are all awesome. They’re very sturdy and secure.
    These lines can adequately hold up a great amount of weight so you won’t worry about breakage. The first time we’ve tried it, it was pretty frustrating. But after several attempts, we felt very confident that we can have this activity regularly – and we’re still at it!

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