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  1. #1

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    Do the underneath pockets leave cold spots?

    Age 61 and the idea of camping with a hammock was unknown to me. Amazing what you will find on the internet when you are supposed to be working.
    I retire in 2 months and my retirement gift to myself is going to be a hammock - leaning now towards either a Clark or a Warbonnet.
    Anyway, I am now in the research stage of buying my first hammock. I have never slept in one or even seen a camping hammock. The Clark really appeals to me but I have a few questions to ask of experienced users.
    The underneath pockets - if I understand correctly, there are 6 separate pockets. Do the areas where these pockets meet leave cold spots by not creating a double layer of fabric? Or do the pockets somehow overlap at the edges to create a continuous second layer?
    Also, aside from their usefulness in storing stuff, are the empty pockets any better at insulating than a double layer bottom like on the WBBB?

  2. #2
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    I would highly recommend getting a good quality underquilt for either hammock.

    The pockets on the clark are quit "baggy" and create a relatively dead air mass below the hammock. As the air moves across the surface of the hammock the air robs the hammock of heat. These baggy pockets create a gap that helps "reduce" this rapid heat loss. For me, I do not rely on empty pockets for warmth or insulation. Just not warm enough for me. Several report success in stuffing the pockets with clothes or other fluffy items. Also, Clark has a z-liner insulation option which consists of seven separate insulation pads that are inserted into the pockets. If not positioned carefully, I can get cold spots between the z-liner pads in cold environments. There are times I use the z-liner but, for me, I prefer a down underquilt. Very warm, very comfortable.

    The dual layer WB hammock is not really any different than a single layer hammock in terms of insulation value. The dual layer option is nice because it allows you position a traditional foam camping pad or other similar insulation that is relatively noncompressible between the layers. The pad is held in place between the two layers. You could just place the pad in the bottom of a single layer hammock, but wrestling with pad and keeping in the right position can be challenging.

    Unless your only going to use your hammock in conditions that are very warm, plan on getting an underquilt - it makes all the difference in the world.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bear bag hanger's Avatar
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    I have the WBBB and am very happy with it, haven't tried a Clark yet. It occurs to me that carrying enough stuff to fill all the pockets underneath a Clark might get a little heavy for a backpacker.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bradley's Avatar
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    The pockets have a center seperater . . .

    the pockets do add warmth . . . in hot conditions maybe to much . . . or not.

    The Z-Liner, will be great for cooler nights . . .

    more in the pockets for cold nights
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  5. #5
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    I have a NX-250 with z-liner, but I am not too experienced with it. I bought it a few weeks ago and we had really cold conditions here since, so I had no overnight hang in this hammock so far. But I had the chance to test hammock and z-liner in cold, windy and overall bad weather.

    If it's cold, with empty pockets you feel like your a*** is directly exposed to nature. With the z-liner pads in the pockets you get warm enough for temperatures around 5C (my experience, using a winter sleeping bag. I'm a warm sleeper). Shoulders never got cold. There are cold spots at the seams of the pockets, you can guess where, if you look at the last picture in the post above. I have a small sitting pad made of reflectix, it's big enough to cover the cold spots under my a**. With this i feel fine.

    I'll agree that a underquilt can be a better solution than the z-liner, because of those cold spots. On the other hand you should consider that a z-liner...

    ... is substantially easier to set up, no worries at night and always stays in position.

    ... can be adapted to the climate by leaving the footpad at home or take just four of the six insulation pads with you. Big Advantage in my eyes.

    ... might be enough insulation for your needs. When I go on hikes I really love it when the trees have leaves. So temperatures are moderate compared to the conditions we have now (not extreme for the season, but -10C feels cold to me). If I had to sleep in my hammock tonight I'd put on waaarm underwear and add a reflectix or ccf mat or a thermarest to my z-liner.

  6. #6
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    Also with the z-liner you still have access to the pockets of the Clark for storing a few items. I generally don't bother with trying to access the pockets when using an UQ. Would probably upset the effectiveness of the UQ if you put too much in the pockets but couldn't say for sure.

    Hmmm maybe another experiment is in order.......

  7. #7

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    OK, this has been a big help.
    Here's my take on this so far...

    1. The empty pockets do not add a great deal of insulation.
    2. The seams between the pockets offer no insulation even with pads in place.
    3. To fill the pockets with enough gear to provide a decent amount of insulation would require more gear than I would probably want to carry.
    4. An underquilt is desirable but limits access to the pockets.
    5. An additional pad covering the seams (with Z-liners in the pockets) would solve the problem of cold spots.

    So...it seems that as far as bottom insulation goes, the Clark and the Warbonnet are about even.

    Thanks for the responses - any more experience or information is certainly welcome.

  8. #8

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    I just read the thread started by Bradley titled 'Z liner Mod'.

    It was also very helpful in answering my questions.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Slo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passinthru View Post
    OK, this has been a big help.
    Here's my take on this so far...

    1. The empty pockets do not add a great deal of insulation.
    2. The seams between the pockets offer no insulation even with pads in place.
    3. To fill the pockets with enough gear to provide a decent amount of insulation would require more gear than I would probably want to carry.
    4. An underquilt is desirable but limits access to the pockets.
    5. An additional pad covering the seams (with Z-liners in the pockets) would solve the problem of cold spots.

    So...it seems that as far as bottom insulation goes, the Clark and the Warbonnet are about even.

    Thanks for the responses - any more experience or information is certainly welcome.

    If they are about even as far as insulation, maybe the fact you have a gear shelf inside the blackbird you can access easily, where as your UQ covers your gear storage in the Clark, might make a difference for you...
    "I ain't here for a long time, I'm here for a good time"

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  10. #10
    Senior Member photomankc's Avatar
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    You can still sorta use the pockets with a quilt. I have been camping in my Clark a couple of years now and about half that with underquilts. No, you can not empty the pack into the pockets like I could do with my old insulated pad. I use the pockets now for light items and clothes and the heavy stuff stays in the pack. Underquilts are hands-down the most comfortable and warmest sleeping method of insulation in the hammock, but certainly not the most affordable.

    I do find getting them to snug up against the bottom of the hammock without self-compressing can be a real challenge. The most significant issue for me is preventing the sides of the quilt from falling away from the sides of the hammock and leaving my arms freezing with my back and neck roasting.

    I try to make sure that I distribute my clothes around the pockets so that they add insulation rather than make a giant lump that creates air gaps that make cold spots. The weather shield on the Clark is another really nice feature. It knocks out the drafts and raises the inside temp of the hammock noticeably on cold nights.

    I'm about to try out a Black Bird myself. My daughter is stealing my old North American and I wanted to try something a little less expensive this go around. I will miss the pockets and the weather shield but I think I will appreciate the flatter lay and simpler hang setup of the Black Bird.

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