Are there any ideas out there that I'm not aware of? What would you do and why?
I got a Byer Mosquito Hammock as a gift last year. I ripped the netting from the zipper within minutes and I was trying to be careful. When it tore lose, it tore most all the way and with the greatest of ease too.
So, here's what I've been thinking...
Magnets. You can get small (less than "1/4" dia.), super strong, magnets now.
I've seen latches that use these little magnets and they seem to hold very well.
It's be easy to stitch a pair of little magnets with "Pull Tabs" every foot or so along your seam and it'd probably weigh little or no more than velcro or zippers.
Getting them off my wife's purses and make-up kits is getting tougher though. She's starting to eye me funny when I check to see how the latches work on the new stuff she brings home. I may have to find a new source to get enough to finish my hammock.
Doesn't Billy Mays sell a "Clever Clasp"? Maybe I can get her to order some of those