We’re back from the big trip. We made it through 4 nights in our hammocks even though we had a cabin with regular beds 20 yards away. It was always at least in the 60’s so we never had to brave cold weather. It was chilly a couple of the mornings, but no big deal. We were on the edge of a large open hill side, but in the lee of the wind. We actually would have preferred more breezes to help cool things off. It would have helped with bugs as well. We twice had heavy rain, but never at night while in the hammocks. We were in the cabin for one, and down hill to town on the other. Both the Clark & Claytor stayed dry. One of the tarp ropes was loose when we got back, but I’m sure that was my fault.
We had planned to switch hammocks at least one of the nights, but didn’t. I was in my Clark and here’re my thoughts: The bug net seemed a little close above you, but it wasn’t a problem when asleep, only noticed compared to the Claytor with the tabs to use a stick to keep the bug net spread wider. With an ‘egg crate’ WM pad beneath it helped spread out the bottom a little. Heat was more of an issue than cold. My back was a little sweaty a couple of the mornings. The pad also bunched up a little, and maneuvering around while inside and on it is a challenge, but I imagine they are all that way. Better to have it right before getting in. I did not trim the corners as advised, simply didn’t get around to it, and it wasn’t THAT big of a deal.
I used an old sleeping bag, not particularly small, but I didn’t want to use my zero° mummy with it as warm as it was. I used it as a quilt. It worked fine, but was actually too big and was bunched up. Again, not a big deal, but a regular blanket or quilt with less material would have been fine with the temps we were facing. The inside pocket was good for holding a cell phone and my headlamp. My back was a little stiff upon waking, but no more so than with a regular bed.
The Claytor: My son was in the Jungle Hammock and seemed comfortable each night. He had much more of an issue sleeping outside with the possibility of bears than with the hammock itself. He used his headlamp to read for a while each night. The ease of inserting the pad between the double layer bottom was a plus. I’d have to use them more to decide if the Clark’s pockets (clearly more versatile) are better than the Claytor’s bottom (more pad friendly, but less suitable for other tasks).
I used the Clark’s XL fly, and a SG ‘Neo’ tarp for the Claytor. I actually had them overlapping since my son liked the idea of my being that close. Seems the Neo tarp would be better to set up first in the rain, you’d have much more room to set up the hammock, but clearly you’d be at the edge to attach main lines anyway.
Over all, I can’t see a tent has any advantage over the hammocks unless you’re talking a 3 man or larger tent. They would then have a couple of advantages, but clearly the weight difference puts them in a different category.