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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Need Help Choosing Hammock!!!

    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!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member GOLFER's Avatar
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    the blackbird is a very comfortable. But I haven't used any others

  3. #3
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Hey ... fun getting into a new venture ain't it?
    I don't know much about the Clark but they have a huge following.
    But the Blackbird I do know and really like it a lot...
    Here is a video that I did on the BlackBird if you care to tale a gander:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxevtxnkmkk
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    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



    Shug's YouTube Videos

    Hammock How-To Videos ..... Essentials For Noobs

    Shug and Friends Jammin'

  4. #4
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    I think that you're right on track with your feature comparisons. It really is going to come down to weighing the features and considering your personal needs in a hammock.

    Note - the Clark weather shield isn't said to be 'hot' by many of the users here, because it doesn't have to be closed.

    Note - the BlackBird doesn't have 2 shelves, only one. Check out the video section for detailed reveiws, especially Shug's video.

    Let us know what you decide, and welcome to the forum.
    ďI think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.Ē - Cormac McCarthy

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGard2010 View Post
    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.
    The blackbird only has a shelf on one side, and it can definitely be used as a lounger.

  6. #6
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    You will end up with all three eventually. It's a disease.

    I haven't had any problems with my Clark NA, and I've never had a problem overheating in the summer in it - lots of ways to vent, and you can enter from either side. It is an excellent hammock. Likewise, the bungee cords breaking - it hasn't happened to me. That could be user error, as I could see how that could happen if someone didn't detach the tarp or lengthen the bungees and then put too much stress on the attachment. Just extend your bungees if you want more head room between the hammock and the tarp - I made custom length bungees/tarp tensioners that I use so I can "raise the ceiling." The pockets are handy, but you are right about the Clark NA being narrow.

    I haven't used my BlackBird in the summer yet, so I can't compare. But I love the amount of room inside the BlackBird. Very comfortable hammock. Very well made. Nice features. Looking forward to my second BlackBird shortly.

    Neo is the expert on Claytors. Can't comment on them, because it is the one hammock that I haven't owned.

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Consider a Bridge style Hammock? Best nights sleep on the trail. IMHO
    Check it out here: http://www.jacksrbetter.com/BMBH.htm

  8. #8
    Senior Member cavediver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishinFinn View Post
    You will end up with all three eventually. It's a disease.

    I haven't had any problems with my Clark NA, and I've never had a problem overheating in the summer in it - lots of ways to vent, and you can enter from either side. It is an excellent hammock. Likewise, the bungee cords breaking - it hasn't happened to me. That could be user error, as I could see how that could happen if someone didn't detach the tarp or lengthen the bungees and then put too much stress on the attachment. Just extend your bungees if you want more head room between the hammock and the tarp - I made custom length bungees/tarp tensioners that I use so I can "raise the ceiling." The pockets are handy, but you are right about the Clark NA being narrow.

    I haven't used my BlackBird in the summer yet, so I can't compare. But I love the amount of room inside the BlackBird. Very comfortable hammock. Very well made. Nice features. Looking forward to my second BlackBird shortly.

    Neo is the expert on Claytors. Can't comment on them, because it is the one hammock that I haven't owned.


    I will echo what FishinFinn say's I now have three Clark hammocks and love them all. I can say that the little bungees that break I believe out of all those that have them I am the only one that broke it and it was all my fault as FishinFinn said. And Since I broke mine I made sure that anyone who every asked a question about the Clarks that I told them about it and posted it everywhere and also mentioned it in my video of the Clark.

    I too also own one of the finest hammock that everyone is in a rave about and that is the BlackBird In my opinion it is one of the best out there besides the Clarks I own.I think I have seen them all now and with the weather Shield that FishinFinn made me it is now one that I feel safer sleeping in when bad weather is around. I also have the big tarp that warbonnett Guy sells and it is the best investment that I have bought so far bar none when it comes to tarps. I have have several now.

    I dont think that you will go wrong with the Clark NA or the BlackBird the Clark has allot more features and with out buying added thing it is a true 4 season hammock. The Black bird with a few added things can be a true 4 season hammock I have used it in almost all 4 seasons here.

    The Clark has way more storage space on the out side which is one of the main reason's I bought my first one. The BlackBird has a huge shelf on the inside that is very convenient and I love it for that.

    When it comes down to price and things do your homework put it to pin and paper all the things you need to make a hammock work for a winter season because that will be the most you would ever need anything and go from there as the weather changes of course so to does the thing's that you will need to make it work.

    In the end it only you that can make that decision for your self all we can do as members is try to give good input and most will always say what works for them and why and then you can take your research and build off that.

    enjoy hanging and the great outdoors with what ever you get and one of the best things is you can tweak it how ever you want when you get it. that is about the most fun I have had is playing with different things to see if they work.

    take care

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I would add to what has already been said by suggesting that you research insulating methods and decide what's in your budget. If you are going with a pad, I suggest something with a pad pocket to make it easier to use a pad or pads.

    I can't imagine anyone not being happy with the Blackbird. One, because I like it that much, and two, because I have yet to read a single negative thing about it.
    Last edited by lori; 03-22-2009 at 22:54.

  10. #10
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Compass View Post
    Consider a Bridge style Hammock? Best nights sleep on the trail. IMHO
    Check it out here: http://www.jacksrbetter.com/BMBH.htm
    I would have mentioned the BMBH as well, but one of his requirements is side entry.

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