So I, and my two kids, went to the local Boy Scout camp to try out my new Clark TX-150 this afternoon. So I grab the pack and one of the tarps I have for it, but not the one that came with it. I have swapped the original suspension for straps, Dutch buckles, and whoopieslings. Find appropriate trees and get it set in about 10 minutes while supervising the kids (mostly consisting of telling them to stop hitting each other with sticks). Get appropriate angle no problem (I used Derek Hansen's rule of using the thumb and index finger to form a triangle with the suspension and was spot on - guessing first time luck) Sit in it and realize a bit taut and loosen it.
I then realize that I left the poles for the hammock at home. Aargh. So I can't get it fully set up, if I had set up the poles I would have realized it was a bit taut before I sat I in it. Lesson 1 learned - don't forget poles.
Lay in the hammock, get a bit dizzy from the swaying but it quickly dissipates. Older child, the boy, decides that it is a swing and decides to start pushing. Nausea sets in a bit, but stern instructions to stop or I will get out and confiscate something of value works and he stops pushing the hammock. Nausea goes away as hammock stops swaying. Children are off abusing each other with sticks again. I relax for a few minutes and lay slightly asymetrically and am comfortable. Can't really nap because the children are still fighting.
So I let my son lay in the hammock for a few minutes. He enjoys it. While he is there I go to my pack and pull out the tarp. Open the sack and realize I had did not put the suspension system in. Aargh. Lesson 2 learned - don't forget suspension for tarp.
Now I let the little one in, my daughter, she likes it too once her brother stops trying to see if he can invert the hammock and make her fall out. Get daughter out of hammock after a bit and take it down in about 1 and a half minutes into its stuff sack and into my pack.
Initial impressions - don't forget poles or suspension for tarp (later rectified once I get home). It is was a comfy lay. Definitely needs the poles. I suspect I will need a bit of time to get used to the swaying but no nausea when the initial swaying stops. Finding appropriate trees took longer than I anticipated, lots of trees with dead branches or just dead. Setting up was not really a problem. Take down was a snap, I never put a tent away that fast, even with a partner in bad weather.
Next impression, maybe I should get another hammock for the kids.
Is the Clark worth the money from my initial impression? Yeah, especially if I remember the poles. Clean stitching, no stray bits of fabric, this was built really well. I will be using it on a camping trip in about 3 weeks, when I will be using it with the z-liner and a TQ. Another report to follow.