Some of my initial impresssions of the Clark North American with XL fly which I just recieved this past week. I have not used it overnight yet, but have played with it extensively in my basement. First off, the price and weight are definitely a drawback. When lifting the packed up Clark in one hand and a Hennessey in the other, you definitely notice the wt difference. However, in my opinion,the many weather protective features of the Clark outweigh the competition. The XL fly which is a 20 dollar upgrade is quite effective in completely covering the entire area around the hammock. The fly is also designed to close around the hammock with velcro for maximal protection. The shape of the tarp is well thought out and allows good side coverage if you want to cook under it next to the hammock. The fly is attached to the netting via bungee cord with plastic clips which will easily snap if inadvertantly stretched too much. This is a design flaw, in my opinion. The clips are too delicate and not forgiving. Might be best to use metal clips or small caribiners. The clips are there so that you can remove the fly and still raise the mosquito netting by tying it out above your head to the tree. I dont like the rope. It frays easily and has a rough texture to it unlike the smoother ropes on the Hennessey. I am in the process of converting to caribiner and slap strap suspension. I did noticed a lot fibers fraying from the edges of the hammock where there is velcro at the side pockets. There is no apparent damage from this, but am wondering weather the velcro will continue to pull stray fibers from the hammock material like this in the future. I am still playing with getting the right tautness on the suspension for optimal hanging. I love the weathershield. I think it is the best feature of this hammock. This is not waterproof according to the manufacturer, only water resistent. I was not able to get water through it by pouring half a cup of water onto it even after I tried to force the water through by touching the wet material with my fingers.
The interior of the hammock is surprisingly tight! I was used to the HH asym which spreads out quite wide and roomy and is longer. However, I do feel that the fabric in the Clark is sturdier than other hammocks I have tried. The interior pockets on the head end are very small and unusually designed. One of the pockets is obviously intended for a handgun (living in NJ this is shocking as guns are highly controlled). I would prefer at least one pocket hanging from the top. A nice feature is a hand-hold strap at the head end for pulling yourself up toward the head if you slide down. The attached stuff-sack is ingenious and does the job relatively well, but I dont like it because getting the fly into it along with the hammock is awkward. I am going to experiment with a Bishops bag type of set up.