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  1. #11
    smithobx's Avatar
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    I bought my first camping hammock abou 6 months ago. It was an HH with the full super shelter. I also bought a Claytor Expedition model. I tested the HH and experimented in the yard quite a bit, befor taking the HH on a Three night trip in the SNP, near Charlottesville. Loved the comfort and freedom of site selection--did not like: the lack of headroom(that d@#*% ridgeline ripped my glasses off every time I tried to get in or out), I found the bottom entry a pain, especially with the SS in place. I also did not like the hassle of getting in and out of a sleeping bag, or trying to add or remove clothing inside the HH without being strangled by that d---- ridgeline. Not being able to reach outside for water or to retrieve some item from your pack was another big negative, not to mention the inability to cook without leaving the hammock in cold weather. I also froze my but off, but that was probably due to my lack of experience with the SS. When I got back form the trip, I pulled out the Claytor and all the negatives went away. I sold the HH, upgraded to the Claytor Jungle Hammock and never looked back. I could go on about headroom, water proof double bottom, and the versatility of being able to change from rope to webbing but I guess you figured out which I prefer. I cannot compare to the Speer as I have never used that brand.
    Last edited by smithobx; 05-24-2007 at 09:18.

  2. #12

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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Did you make this Safari yourself, or is this the standard HH Safari model? With removable netting?

    I would love to make this netting removable, but taking the plunge is a bit scary! So, what, you just cut it off? And then what? Is there a thread somewhere telling exactly how to do this?

    Thanks everybody for the opinions/info. Keep it coming! Neo, isn't that Claytor (sp?) better than either HH or Speer?
    Not Neo, but of course the Tom Claytor Jungle Hammock is the world's greatest hammock! Claytor Jungle Hammocks are kinda like sex......you know you're gonna like it before you even get to try it.

    Back to reality....there are several things I really like about the Claytor hammock. First off, I could never deal with the (in my estimation) the hassle of a bottom entry and the lack of zippers/velcro on the bug netting. You ever notice that the new hammock hangin' logos have the person lounging with one leg hanging out of the hammock? Guess what...that ain't happening when you're all coccooned up in a Hennesy. And how the heck are you going to reach your beverage and snacks? There are a many reasons why I need to enter, remove or place things in my hammock while camping. It would drive me nuts if I had to crawl under hammock, seperate the velcro( not to mention the noise it makes) and crawl through a hole, every time I needed to.

    Getting more specific to the Claytor hammock...I really like the double bottom as it holds any pad in place quite well. I can move around as much as I want and the pad stays in place. I can see the merits of an underquilt but as of yet I'm not ready to part with that much dough when the pad serves me quite well. I've slept quite comfortably down to 32 degrees and don't plan on hammocking any colder.

    I like the added length of the Claytor as I am on the tall side.

    I love the way the netting is suspended and the ability to use a spreader bar to open it up. Originally I made spreader bars from wooden dowels but soon discovered it's easier to just make one on site from small dead branches readily available in the woods. They don't even need to be measured and literally only take seconds to install. It makes it seem quite spacious when inside. If you want to lounge/sit you can use a clothes pin to lift the netting and keep it out of the way.

    Overall I have found the quality to be excellent. I sleep like the proverbial baby in my Jungle Hammock. I'm also using the ring system which I love.

    In sum, it was the length, ability to top load and especially the double bottom that sold me on the Claytor. The new hammocks that were recently posted look very interesting as do many of the homemade rigs. Of course when it's all said and done it boils down to your personal likes and dislikes.

    BTW...my wife will be going away for 21/2 months this summer and I will be kayaking and hammocking extensively. (read....almost constantly)

    Miguel

  3. #13
    Member Touch of Grey's Avatar
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    Have both a Speer and HH...

    I have both a Speer and an HH. Both have things that please me. I used the HH during my most recent AT thru attempt with both my homemade KAQ under quilt and the SS undercover.

    Comfort wise, the HH is slightly more comfortable to sleep in for me at least. On the otherhand as noted it does have some issues that bother me. They both have to do with the underquilt more so than the hammock itself but when you are doing three season camping the UQ is a necessity. The problem for me is that stretching the quilt or SS foam to one side is stressful on the side tie-outs and the foam can tear easily. Thus for long term hiking. I will most likely use the Speer and the Peapod UQ exclusively. For short-term or car camping the HH will get the nod.

    Other than the UQ issues I would venture to guess that I would use my HH 10 percent more than my Speer. Both do an adequate job of keeping me warm now down to the mid-20's and windy conditions.

    I also prefer a slightly larger tarp coverage. I have a MacCat Standard which gives me the coverage I want without getting overboard on it. Yes there was one night about a mile from Blue Mt. in GA (shelter just before Unicoi Gap) where the winds blew and the rain came very hard and the rain blew thru the tarp and up under the tarp but that is probably one of the great exceptions to everyday use.

    I did pickup some sil-nylon at a recent close-out sale of the local Minnesota Fabrics and Hancock Fabrics stores here in Michigan and have ideas to make a Cat Tarp of my own using the Black Cat template. This way I can custom tailor the tarp to cover better without getting into the next size commercial tarp available such as the MacCat Deluxe. Or if I can figure it out I like the Tarptent I have seen used with a hammock. That is another possibility.

    I like Brians design but hey if I can make it custom to my dimensions then why not?

    TOG
    Last edited by Touch of Grey; 05-24-2007 at 11:01. Reason: Spelling errors...

  4. #14
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    I made the Safari myself. Made the bug netting removable using Velcro. Some like zippers better. Your choice.

    I made the bug netting on my HH ULBA removable using Velcro there also.

    Removing the bug netting from a Hennessy is very easy once you decide to take the plunge. Hang the hammock normally with the sides tied out......................................
    Done.

    I am assuming that the procedure for zippers is pretty much the same.

    One advantage of the Velcro - you no longer need the over cover. If you use the Velcro Omni Tape or Free Magic or use matching Velcro on opposite sides of the hammock, then when you get in the hammock without tying the sides out, you can pull the sides of the hammock together (like the bottom entry/exit slit), sticking the Velcro together and close-up the hammock. You can leave a small or large a hole over your head as desired and, of course, 2 really small holes around the ridgeline on the ends. That works really neat and traps a lot of heat inside the hammock. Instant over cover without carrying one.

    OK, this should be a real adventure as soon as I grow the ba*ls!
    I guess this sewing is done with a machine, and I've never touched one. Is there a particular place where you get your materials, such as the bug netting?

    Thanks for the directions!

  5. #15
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    No way I have the %^&** to do it myself.
    The only way I'd take it off and install a zipper is if I was sure my local
    seamstress could sew it up right.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  6. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticFringer View Post
    The only way I'd take it off and install a zipper is if I was sure my local seamstress could sew it up right.
    Good luck with that. Most of these prom dress making ladies have never heard of ripstop or silnylon or packcloth.

  7. #17
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    Wink Like my Speer

    I'm new to hiking and hammocking, but after 3 1/2 weeks on the AT in my Speer every night - I have definitely formed some opinions.
    I like sitting in my hammock to put my shoes on in the morning and taking them off after a long day on the trail. I like the coverage of the Speer tarp (although that is probably a little off topic on this thread). With the peapod, I could put my sit pad under the hammock to give my torso that extra bit of insulation on those cold nights. Finally, when it got down to 11 F plus wind and snow, I was the only person in camp that was warm all night (ceptin' the obligatory potty break at 2 a.m.) In fact, throughout my hike, I can say I was never cold even though we rarely enjoyed more than a 40 degree night and saw more than 1 subfreezing sleep
    It's about the journey

  8. #18
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskeyjoe View Post
    I'm new to hiking and hammocking, but after 3 1/2 weeks on the AT in my Speer every night - I have definitely formed some opinions.
    I like sitting in my hammock to put my shoes on in the morning and taking them off after a long day on the trail. I like the coverage of the Speer tarp (although that is probably a little off topic on this thread). With the peapod, I could put my sit pad under the hammock to give my torso that extra bit of insulation on those cold nights. Finally, when it got down to 11 F plus wind and snow, I was the only person in camp that was warm all night (ceptin' the obligatory potty break at 2 a.m.) In fact, throughout my hike, I can say I was never cold even though we rarely enjoyed more than a 40 degree night and saw more than 1 subfreezing sleep
    Great report, very useful info, WJ! Did you have one of the newer 20* bottom rated PeaPods? What kind of bag did you need inside that PeaPod on the 11* night?
    Bill

  9. #19
    Senior Member
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    I've worked as a BC ranger for many years and have used the HHs for about 80 nights and our Speers for close to 120 nights.

    When it is really cold or when there are few misquitos or when I want to ''become one acquainted with the night" I like the simplicity and flexibility of the Speers.

    BUT if I could only have one it would be the Hennessy.

    Comfort level is roughly the same....and these are the only hammocks I know.

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