I have just recently caught the hammock bug, as I was always a tent lover. However, after sleeping in one of my buddies parachute hammocks I was hooked. I have been shopping around for the past couple of weeks looking for "the hammock," but there are so many choices. So I was hoping I could tell you guys what I was looking for and maybe you could give me some advice as to which hammock would best suit me.
First, off I am 5'7", 195 lbs and broad shouldered. I hike in PA usually from late April through October, so I am a far weather camper I guess you could say. The main concerns to me for a hammock is stability, weatherproof (especially rain, I hate being wet), side entry, bug proof and comfort. I have been doing a lot of investigating, and have been fairly interested in the Clark Tropical or North American, Claytor Jungle, and just recently discovered the new blackbird was causing quite a commotion. I am not interested in the Hennessy Hammocks due to their bottom entry. I want something that is easy to get in and out, including a sleeping bag inside my hammock. I also want a hammock that I can use for sleeping and as a lounger.
I like the Clark hammocks due to the pockets inside and out, how the rainfly can cocoon around the hammock, and the otion of the weather shield. Side note on the weather shield, it seems like this would cause the hammock to be really hot in summer months in the rain. Does anyone even use this feature, or does the rain fly keep you entirely dry? The only bad things I heard about the clarks are that they are hot in the summer due to the double layering and pockets, that the bungie cords for the netting and rainfly have a tendency to break, and that they are not very roomy. Any further comments on these?
I am leaning more so towards the claytor jungle hammock with an oversized rainfly. They seem like they would work well for my uses as a weekend backpacker in warmer weather, with the option of insulating with a pad since it is double lined. Some of my concerns with this model are the velcro that connects the two liners, that there are no pockets, as to the comfort of the hammock itself. I havenít really heard anything about how comfortable they are.
The Blackbird has caught my eye as well in regards to the built in shelf. I like the idea of having some of my gear up off the ground, such as with the clark hammocks. The one concern I had with this hammock is that it doesnít seem like it can be used as a lounger due to shelveds on both sides. I donít really know much about these hammocks, so any further information would be great.
I know this is long, but I felt I should let everyone know what I was looking for so I can make the correct decision to get the best backpacking experience. Thanks for your help!!!