I have never tried a Clark or PapaSmurf Dangerbird. But I have or have had most of the other most popular ones. I have, after several years of using all of those I have never really been able to definitely choose one as the hands down fav over all the rest, so I'm never much help in a discussion like this.
As soon as I have decided I have settled down to one favorite, seems like a few months later I am rethinking it. Plus, my choice often depends on what insulation I am feeling preferential to. A particular insulation may work better or even only with a particular hammock.
I go from one to the other in the backyard or on day hikes or car camps. But when it comes time for a trip backpacking trip, it is always really hard to decide on what hammock/insulation combo to take. Part of the hard decision is weight vs comfort/convenience/weather proofing/tarp considerations. But really, there are several very good choices all of which get the job done fine and dandy.
Do I actually have a favorite based on what I end up ( after much brain strain) choosing for my backpacking trips? Maybe/kind of.
The first 2 week long hammocking trips to the western mountains ( one year apart) were simply using my first setup, the HH Explorer UL bottom entry plus an HH Super Shelter. That was in fall 06 and I got it because I didn't know any better, did not know of any other choices. This system still works fine for me and is still pretty darn comfy. If it was all I had, I'd still be plenty happy with it. Biggest selling point: lot's of extra built in wind and water protection with the HHSS's undercover - even when using that tiny HH tarp with just 2 stakes - all as part of the system weight and price. This bomb proof simplicity appeals to me. Plus the hammock may not be the most comfy in all positions, but it has proven plenty comfy in several positions for me, so good enough. I don't even mind the bottom entry, got really used to it. Once in a while I still consider reverting back to this original starter system.
On my next two week long western trips, after going back and forth a whole bunch, I settled on my Claytor No Net. Which is not all that heavy compared to my 1.7 Black Bird or JRB Bridge, though it is double layer. It is very near the top for overall comfort, but saves me maybe 8 or 10 oz, and I can still use a pad in the pad pocket if it all hits the fan. But probably the main reason I settled on that hammock was because right before the final pack up, I decided "Nope, I want to take my Speer Pea Pod!". And that hammock works better for me with the Pea Pod quilt than any other hammock I have.
On both of those trips, I had one night on the first trip and one night kind of on the 2nd trip where I thought: "why didn't I just bring my JRB BMBH like I started to?". I had one bad night ( the last night ) on the 1st trip where I just could not get my legs right, could not get comfortable. I guess I went to bed with something out of adjustment. I made some adjustments during the snowy night but just never could get it right on this one night out of the week. When it happened one night ( same exact leg weirdness) on the 2nd trip, I seemed to get things back to OK by getting out in the middle of the night and raising the foot end quite a bit higher on the tree, but it messed me up for a few hours.
But on both of those nights I recall thinking: "I have never had any leg discomfort with the JRB Bridge hammock, not ever for even a minute". And my MW under quilts are definitely one of the very best, fool proof combos used with that hammock. I have taken this combo on a few shorter trips here in the east and it has always worked just perfectly. There is a lack of shoulder room but this has got to where it does not bother me and certainly does not interfere with my sleeping. And there is never any hint of leg discomfort or side "hitch" when side sleeping, which I do a lot of with this hammock. Plus, if I ever was to need to augment with a pad, this is my hands down/no contest choice of hammocks to use with a pad. So maybe this ought to be the one I would have if I could only pick one? Maybe.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
Last edited by BillyBob58; 07-10-2012 at 13:17..