Tumble hitch

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Tumble hitch
Names Tumble hitch, a better Highwayman's hitch, Bank Robbers Knot, Getaway hitch or Quick-release knot
Category Hitch
Related Highwayman's hitch, Mooring hitch
Releasing Non-jamming
Typical use Quick-release, draw loop hitch
Caveat potentially unstable

The tumble hitch is a quick-release draw loop knot used for temporarily securing a rope such that it can be released easily and cleanly. The hitch can be untied with a tug of the working end, even when under tension. The tumble hitch is tied on the bight, but near the working end.

The working end does not need to be passed around the anchor object when tying or releasing. The passing around and holding the anchor object is the duty of bights, locked in turn by a bight nearer the working end at each step. Pulling the working end releases these in the reverse order they were tied.

Usually two locking turns (as in the pictures here) suffice for a knot secure enough for most purposes, but more may be added as needed. One may also twist each bight around itself but this will make tightening difficult. The way the working part wraps the standing part can also vary to offer higher levels of strength. Several variations of the tumble hitch exist:

  • No wrapping of the standing part, wrapping only around the post/pole/beam (essentially the Highwayman's hitch)
  • Crossing over the standing part, then wrapping around the post/pole/beam as in the pictures (better hold)
  • Wrapping the standing part half a turn, then wrapping around the post/pole/beam (even better hold)
  • wrapping the standing part a full turn, then wrapping around the post/pole/beam (even better hold than the previous one)
  • etc..

The Notable Knot Index recommends the tumble hitch as a more stable hitch than the highwayman's hitch. It is a similar hitch, but less prone to capsizing because the standing part remains passive and the locking is done by two successive bights of the working part being pushed into the previous bight thus locking it.[1]


Tying sequence for one variant of the tumble hitch:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Tumble Hitch". Notable Knot Index. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 

External links[edit]