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10/30/2020 2:42:12 PM
Posted: 10/1/2008 12:33:58 PM EDT
Any feedback on speer, clark, hennesy?

I'm am leaning towards an eno hammock and bugnet with a speer tarp.  Could easily set up for ground use tarp style camping using the hammock and net as a bivy if their are no trees.

camping this weekend in my tent made me think maybe hammocks are the way to go, the ground is hard even with my prolite pad.
Link Posted: 10/1/2008 12:47:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/1/2008 12:52:42 PM EDT by Essayons]
I use a Hennesy sometimes.  I got an Expedition Asym,  (IIRC) because I weighed 235 when I bought it (I'm at 205 now ).

I have no complaints.  Mine is a nice field drab color (a little more brown than OD) and I can sleep comfortably in it on my side or my back.  I've slept in it down to the high 20s and low 30s using a thin (1/3") closed cell EVA foam pad I got from www.owareusa.com between me and the fabric.  I was going to link to the product, but don't see it anymore.

If I were shopping for a hammock today, I'd take a look at www.jacksrbetter.com/

ETA it's great for the car camping/shooting trips my buddies and I go on a couple times a year.  It's also great for backpacking as long as I'm camping below the tree line.
Link Posted: 10/1/2008 1:34:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/1/2008 1:49:19 PM EDT
Rodent did a write up on the Clark and Hennessy. It is in the archives so I will copy and paste it for you since you cannot access them. I own a Hennessy and love the thing.


From Rodent's write up, the pics have all been deleted so you will have to do your own search on those to see what the hammocks look like.


First, thanks to our fellow outdoorsman and Arfcommer None. In an obviously drunken moment, he mailed me his Hennessy hammock so that I could try it out and compare it to a Clark. (Would you loan your gear to a guy named "Rodent" that you knew from an internet forum?!)

Anyway, both companies make a variety of models/options. What we have here is a Hennessy "Ultralight Backpacker Asym":

www.hennessyhammock.com/catalogue.html

and a Clark "North American" with an optional, larger rain fly:

www.junglehammock.com/deluxefeatures.php

It's not really a proper comparison, because the two models are designed for different purposes, and not to compete with each other. There are models from each company that are very similar in cost, weight and intended use. These just aren't them. But, how often do we allow logic to rear it's ugly head here on Arfcom? So, off to the woods for a couple days of off-and-on rain with temps in the fifties:

If you haven't tried hammock camping yet, or if you've only tried it with cheap hammocks, you're in for a pleasant surprise. They dramatically increase the number of useable campsites because it doesn't matter how level, wet or rocky the ground is. All you need is a couple trees, or even a tree and your pick-up truck. And when you leave, there's no trace that you've ever been there - not even flattened vegetation. They're pretty comfortable; I'd say equal to the way I usually sleep on the ground, with two Ridgerest foam pads. They're very light, especially when you consider that they replace not only your tent, but also your ground pad and ground cloth. The only disadvantage to them is that they tend to be cold. Your body compresses whatever insulation is beneath you, and air circulates under the hammock. It's a bad combination unless it's July in Florida and you're TRYING to stay cool.

The flies of both these hammocks can be pitched at different angles to offer varying degrees of protection from sun and rain. They both have dry, shady footprints for cooking and other tasks. Both hammocks offer complete protection from insects. The Clark's mosquito netting can be unzipped and stuck into a pocket when not in use, allowing better visibility and more fresh air. The Hennessy's can't be removed, but then there are no zippers to fail. (My experience has been that zippers are the most unreliable part of tents, backpacks and clothing.)

The Hennessy costs about $180 and weighs 2 pounds. It's very easy to hang. Tie it between two trees, slip the "snake skins" off, and tie out the rain fly's two remaining corners. To strike your camp, untie the fly, slip the snake skins over everything, untie from the trees, and put it into it's stuff sack. The "snake skin" option is a great idea, as it keeps the hammock compact and clean - it never touches the ground. The hammock is relatively roomy inside, and if you sleep at a diagonal angle, your body is almost flat. In other words, you can sleep on your side if you like. Private Root Beer and I both slept in it, and we both gave it the edge for comfort.





The ropes are very strong and thin, I believe they are "Spectra". Straps go around the trees proper so as not to leave marks. It's a good system, strong, compact and light:



The Clark costs about $300 with the optional extra-large rain fly. It weighs 3 1/2 pounds. It's essentially a three-season tent that happens to not touch the ground. Once you tie it between two trees, the fly is tied above it, and then there are four additional corners to tie. So, eight knots at eight tie-off points instead of the Hennessy's four. The payoff is more dry area under the larger fly. It has two layers of weather protection: The rain-fly and a zip-up "weather shield" as well. There are two nice interior pockets, and six large pockets underneath. They provide a still air space for insulation as well as room for gear,and dramatically increase the warmth of the hammock. It stores inside one of it's own pockets. For cold or wet conditions, and for keeping gear organized and off the ground, it's the better choice. Nephew not included:



It uses poly lines, with rather bulky aluminum drip rings:



I thought the knot diagrams were a nice touch:



You'd do well to make yourself familiar with some basic knots before you try to hang either hammock in the dark. I used modified (the rabbit goes around the tree twice instead of once, for you former Boy Scouts) slippery bowlines and tautline hitches.



Both hammocks are well-made, innovative, quality products. Depending on your needs, I don't think you would regret buying either one. I'd like to see a manufacturer come out with one that combines the best features of both: The Hennessy's flat sleeping position, "snake skins" and Spectra lines, and the Clark's storage pockets, extra weather protection, and knot-tying diagrams.

Link Posted: 10/1/2008 7:19:28 PM EDT
For those that have access to the archives, the link to the thread above is archive.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=18&t=572539.  The pictures are gone, but replies and such are still present.
Link Posted: 10/1/2008 7:41:30 PM EDT
I have a speer and love it. It is lightweight, very comfortable, and extremely uncomplicated... all of which are things I look for in a camping setup. I do quite a bit of hiking and camping, and the ability to set up my hammock very quickly (5 minutes tops if I'm pokey about it) means that I will go ahead and run it out for breaks that I expect to last for anything longer than a simple breather.

I do not wake up cramped, sore, or bruised like I do when I sleep on the ground (even with my inflatable big agnes pad). Sleeping is very, very comfortable. In fact, I kinda have a hard time not falling asleep after I lay down in it.

A big issue you need to address with ANY hammock set up is how to insulate your back side. If you don't have a foam pad, or an underquilt, and it's 50 degrees out, then it's like sitting in a pool of 50 degree water.

For me, any temperature under about 75* requires insulation under me to stay comfortable. So either get a jacks-r-better, kick-ass quilt, or a speer SPE to stay warm or go over to hammock forum and learn how to make a multi-quilt.
Link Posted: 10/1/2008 7:59:34 PM EDT
FWIW, Wiggy's has their Lamilite poncho liners on sale for $17.50.  You could probably shithook a decent, but inexpensive, underquilt from one of those.
Link Posted: 10/1/2008 8:03:59 PM EDT
I keep a Hennessy in my trunk.  Easy to set up, small, light.  I use a inflatable pad underneath me for insulation when it gets cool.  No other hammock system to compare it with, though.  Normal tents are more comfortable (slightly) and roomy (lots)...but this is really compact.
Link Posted: 10/2/2008 5:29:54 AM EDT
I have a clark north american and I love it. it is small, light and sets up quickly. With a pad and a good bag its VERY confortable. I have a 7 year old son so I won't say I'll never sleep in a tent again but when flying solo i'll be in the hammock. Its a bit pricey at $300 but good gear rarely is cheap
Link Posted: 10/2/2008 5:54:38 AM EDT
HH Explorer Ultralight w/MacCat Deluxe tarp

Link Posted: 10/2/2008 6:41:11 AM EDT
Thanks guys.

None of you really seems to have had a bad experiance with any of the options, so that is good.
Link Posted: 10/2/2008 8:33:13 AM EDT
I use a home-made cinched end hammock and 10 x 10 silynlon tarp.   3/8 military foam pad with a Pacific Outdoors Equipment  ThermoMax inflatable pad for insulation under me.  I have been down to 15 degrees and been comfortable.  I'll never sleep on the ground again if I can help it!

You can get loads of info and pictures of peoples setups (including mine) at www.hammockforums.net
Link Posted: 10/3/2008 4:38:05 AM EDT
I use the largest Henessy hammock, a fleece sleeping bag liner and a cotton baby pillow case to stuff my pullover into to make a pillow.  I sleep better in that than I do in my own bed (a fact that I point out to my wife often).

South American hunting camps either have A-frame huts, in which case hunters sleep shoulder to shoulder slung accross the gable or in 8-post circular thatch huts in which case the hammocks are slung like the spokes of a wheel.

I've slept on jungle roads slung between a tree and Toyota pickup, I've slept in the ruins of buildings tied to anything solid, I've slept on boats tied to rigging, I've made tree blinds out of hammocks.

Martin Luther King said: "Free your mind and your ass will follow".  I say: "Buy a Henessy hammock and free your ass".
Link Posted: 10/3/2008 10:22:51 AM EDT
I'm working on a home made hammock right now.  I've got it to the point where I can hang in it but I still need to add the zipper and bug netting...then sew a tarp.  Haven't been able to work on it for several weeks due to post Ike issues.

It's comfortable and I don't see going back to the ground unless I'm camping with my wife and kid.  She prefers a tent.

My wife is volunteering tonight at a fund raiser for Ike victims.  I see a night in front of the sewing machine once the little one is in bed.
Link Posted: 10/3/2008 10:56:45 AM EDT
Did you do a Speer style? I'll probably order some 1.1 ripstop next week.
Link Posted: 10/4/2008 11:34:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By EdB:
I have a clark north american and I love it. it is small, light and sets up quickly. With a pad and a good bag its VERY confortable. I have a 7 year old son so I won't say I'll never sleep in a tent again but when flying solo i'll be in the hammock. Its a bit pricey at $300 but good gear rarely is cheap


+1  but no children.

great design. I keep dry in wet weather. with a pad - warm in cold weather and with the weather shields back - cool in hot weather (the bug screen works great). great design. there is even a pocket inside that is perfect for your gun.  

it's comfortable; i am able to sleep on my side.  i can hang in most areas without being on the look out for a suitable place to put the tent. i no longer crawl all over the floor to get in and out.  in addition to between trees, i have hung from the tire carrier on my jeep to a fence post, between two trees over a brook (i just had to try), on the side of a steep mountain and between my motorcycls and a road sign -- and i just got it a couple of months ago.  

i recommend the clark.
Link Posted: 10/4/2008 3:57:19 PM EDT

I've logged several months in a Hennessy Expedition Asysm over the last 5 years.  I highly recommend it.
Link Posted: 10/4/2008 4:07:54 PM EDT
Hennesy here. Everyone who tries it loves it. Works almost anywhere. I loaned mine to my brother for a mountain hike. It rained the entire trip and while everyone else had water runoff problems, etc. in their tents he was high & dry, comfortable, and his friends hated him.
Link Posted: 10/5/2008 5:53:10 AM EDT
how is the ingress and egress in that hennesy. it seeems to me that it would be a pain.
Link Posted: 10/5/2008 6:35:10 AM EDT
It is easy. Stand up through the opening, sit down, lay back. Easier than unzip, crouch down, crawl in.
Link Posted: 10/5/2008 9:00:47 AM EDT
Yeah, it's not a big deal. The velcro pretty much snaps back together when you lift your legs up. I still run my fingers along the entrance to make sure I don't have any gaps that'll let skeeters in. Haven't had any problems with the bottom-entry.
Link Posted: 10/5/2008 6:10:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JaxShooter:
Did you do a Speer style? I'll probably order some 1.1 ripstop next week.


I'm making the Hennessy clone but with a zippered removable bug net.
Link Posted: 10/6/2008 4:44:44 AM EDT
Cool. The zipper mod is something I want to do with my Hennessy but I'll have to wait for later in the year since I have more outings planned. I really need to get off my but and order the fabric for my underquilt so I can knock that out before my next trip.
Link Posted: 10/13/2008 7:17:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2008 7:19:46 AM EDT by Grunteled]
My main three problems in my Clark were:

1.) Side sleeping.  While it's possible to do I was not comfortable until I got a system together.  I need an inflatable pillow to go between my knees on my side or under them on my back.  I need an air mattress to hold the sides out and keep the hammock more open.  Once I got that down comfort was greatly improved.


2.) Water following the ropes.   Clark did away with the drip rings saying they were no longer needed because the rope didn't wick.   That depends.  I was stuck in a two day rain event and after the second day water was dripping into the hammock from the ends because the rope had saturated with water.  It was simply streaming down the rope right to the hammock.  After getting a set of drip rings and leaving the hammock out in the yard during 4 days of rain to test, the problem was solved.  Drip rings I consider a must have.

3.) Warmth.  In shoulder season where you have lows in the 40s and 30s the pockets were not near enough insulation to sleep well.  And I sleep hot so it's hard to make me feel cold enough to complain.  I solved this issue with my down-filled air mat.  With that under me I stay warm just fine and I use my sleeping bag unzipped as a quilt.  works very well.  Still with the down-mat it's not much lighter than a solo tent once I add it all up.  But it's FAR more comfortable and it doubles as a lounge chair in camp.  Hard to beat that!


Now I sleep till morning without waking except to pee and that is much better than my previous tent experience.  It is not an out-of-the-box solution.  You have to spend a little time finding what works well for you.



Link Posted: 10/13/2008 7:23:51 AM EDT
Adding drip lines is easy enough.

I just got the JRB WeatherShield and suspension system. Unfortunately the package arrived after I'd already left for this weekend's camping trip so I'll have to give it its first run tonight. I'm hoping it'll get me through my 3-day hike at the end of the month and give me enough time to make my DIY underquilt.
Link Posted: 10/13/2008 7:30:53 AM EDT
Travel Hammocks

Depends on what type of climate/weather.  I have the Ultralight, and use a tarp if it's gonna rain or if it's cold.  They also have the Skeeter Beeter which i great for the bugs.

I put a Thermarest in with me and it's great for winter camping.
Link Posted: 10/13/2008 7:33:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JaxShooter:
Adding drip lines is easy enough.

I just got the JRB WeatherShield and suspension system. Unfortunately the package arrived after I'd already left for this weekend's camping trip so I'll have to give it its first run tonight. I'm hoping it'll get me through my 3-day hike at the end of the month and give me enough time to make my DIY underquilt.


I went with the rings.  The way the water was sheeting on the Clark ropes in heavy rain didn't make me feel a string was going to take care of it.  I have not tested that though.  
Link Posted: 10/13/2008 9:20:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
My main three problems in my Clark were:

1.) Side sleeping.  While it's possible to do I was not comfortable until I got a system together.  I need an inflatable pillow to go between my knees on my side or under them on my back.  I need an air mattress to hold the sides out and keep the hammock more open.  Once I got that down comfort was greatly improved.


2.) Water following the ropes.   Clark did away with the drip rings saying they were no longer needed because the rope didn't wick.   That depends.  I was stuck in a two day rain event and after the second day water was dripping into the hammock from the ends because the rope had saturated with water.  It was simply streaming down the rope right to the hammock.  After getting a set of drip rings and leaving the hammock out in the yard during 4 days of rain to test, the problem was solved.  Drip rings I consider a must have.

3.) Warmth.  In shoulder season where you have lows in the 40s and 30s the pockets were not near enough insulation to sleep well.  And I sleep hot so it's hard to make me feel cold enough to complain.  I solved this issue with my down-filled air mat.  With that under me I stay warm just fine and I use my sleeping bag unzipped as a quilt.  works very well.  Still with the down-mat it's not much lighter than a solo tent once I add it all up.  But it's FAR more comfortable and it doubles as a lounge chair in camp.  Hard to beat that!


Now I sleep till morning without waking except to pee and that is much better than my previous tent experience.  It is not an out-of-the-box solution.  You have to spend a little time finding what works well for you.

www.cranehome.org/adobe-galleries/castor-river-camping-2008/content/bin/images/large/_MG_3434.jpg

www.cranehome.org/adobe-galleries/castor-river-camping-2008/content/bin/images/large/_MG_3441.jpg


i got my clark north american last spring. it came with drip rings. i have not had a problem with rainwater.  i use a closed cell foam pad so far i have not been cold and my pad stiffens the bottom a bit so i side sleeping just fine.
Link Posted: 10/13/2008 10:42:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By joedapro:
i got my clark north american last spring. it came with drip rings. i have not had a problem with rainwater.  i use a closed cell foam pad so far i have not been cold and my pad stiffens the bottom a bit so i side sleeping just fine.


I got mine in the late spring.  It didn't.     Clark gave me the rings for free though and they replaced my rainfly when it tore on the rear seam even though that was likely my fault.  Good company to deal with.  Always responded to emails right away.

I can't get comfortable on CCF pads so that didn't work for me.  My self-inflating thermarest didn't either.  It always creased in some uncomfortable way.  The Exped DownMat 7 has been awesome so far.  I tried other stuff first because the Exped is a brick on weight but I keep coming back to the Exped for comfort.

As I said.  Each person is going to have to find what works for them in a hammock.  

Just a note.... the RX-200 rainfly is really nice.  That's the Super-sized version of the XL fly.  It's a foot longer end to to end and makes it a little easier to position the hammock.  I also like the way it attaches on the RX-200 verses the standard XL.
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 6:15:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/18/2008 6:16:51 AM EDT by brownees]
I did a bunch of research on all the hammocks mentioned, and chose this one...the jungle hammock.
http://www.mosquitohammock.com/

I'm in the military and go to the field frequently.  These have held up to wind, rain and snow.  Add a sleeping pad between the double bottom and you are set.
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