View Full Version : Clark Jungle Hammock

09-11-2002, 08:42
I have one and just wanted to see some other opinions.

I also have a Hennessey. I wish I could combine the good of both into

a hybrid. Maybe a Clarkssey...

09-11-2002, 17:03
How about a review of the two, or at least a comparison from your point of view?

SGT Rock
09-11-2002, 17:19
I'd like to hear your comparison too. I just finished a hike in one and have a pretty good idea of what I think. My only two problems to finishing are these:

1. No rain yet.

2. No cold weather yet.

Other than that, I think I could do a fair comparison. I'm going to hold out and hope for rain this weekend before I post a review.

09-11-2002, 21:44
I just lost the longest post that took me an hour to think out and write. That's a pisser!!!!:mad:

Sargent, tell us what you thought about the Clark.

Hammock Hanger
09-11-2002, 22:36
Don't ya just hate when that happens!:mad: Hammock Hanger

SGT Rock
09-11-2002, 22:42
So far, these are observations:

1. The Clark is a hammock, so it is comfortable, better than a hard shelter floor or a Thermarest.

2. The Clark pockets are the number one feature IMHO. They are convenient.

3. The Headroom is nice.

So the comparison:

1. Dimensions/bottom design. The Clark is a lot shorter. I'm only 5'8" and felt cramped. I can't imagine a tall person feeling comfortable. The width of the Clark is only 4" less than the Hennessy - but the Clark uses that width in a canoe shape to give it a "No Tip" design. This design ends up cramping you into the very bottom of this shape, cocooning the sleeper in on the sides. The Hennessy, despite being only 4" more, feels a lot better. The end result is that a Hennessy user has a lot of side stretch and end room, plus they can get a flatter sleeping position by sleeping at an angle to center line. The Clark sleeper cannot do this easily because the "U" bottom makes it impossible to get off centerline, and the hammock arch is more pronounced in the bottom of the Clark.

2. No tip. The Clark claims a "no Tip design, but reference funniest trail stories thread on this site and you'll find it can happen. The Hennessy will not tip because it is secured out on the sides. This is also part of the reason the Hennessy feels roomier, because it pulls those corners out and gives you that extra space. Even though you don't sleep on it, it doesn't cramp you in either. If the Clark had side pulls, it would help, but it wouldn't work as well.

3. Fly. The Clark has what looks like a weather proof fly, but I haven't proven it yet. The Hennessy is proven to me to be exceptional at handling a bad storm. I have gone 5 days of Tropical storm weather in a Hennessy. My pick between the two though would be the Hennesy because it has a larger tarp than the Clark, and it makes a great shelter for sitting and cooking under, or dressing, or just kicking back before you climb in for bed.

4. Material. I like the silicone impregnated tarp of the Hennessy better than the Silicone coated nylon of the Clark. I'm worried that the coating could de-laminate over time. I have been told that Clark has changed to the silicone impregnated nylon. The rope on the A-Sym is better IMHO, and the tree huggers are nice to prevent tree damage.

5. Net. The Clark has a lot of head room. After sleeping in a Hennessy I didn't know what to do with all that headroom. In this area the Clark wins, but I've not needed it in a Hennessy, so I don't miss it. The Hennessy has always kept me safe from Louisiana Skeeters, and the Clark has a great net that does so too. I really like the stretch fabric the Clark uses for the net, but on the couple of nights I used it, I felt very little air flow, even taking off the tarp. It may have been the excessive heat those nights, but it honestly felt hotter inside the hammock with the net up than when I zipped it open.

Another thing I feel needs mentioning that I haven't fully figured out - one night in Louisiana the mosquitoes ate me through the bottom of the Clark! I never had that happen in the Hennessy, and Texas mosquitoes couldn't get me in the Clark, but one night in Louisiana left me with about 20-30 bites on the side I was sleeping on and my back. I've been told the Clark has changed materials, so hopefully that is solved. And it only happened one night so far in the Clark, but is the night I slept without anything under me or over me inside the hammock.

6. Entry. The Clark is VERY straightforward. There is no learning curve at all. Set up your sleeping system and climb in, then zip the fly shut. The Hennessy is very unique and the design baffles those that haven't used it much, but it works. There is a learning curve on the Hennessy, but it's short.

7. Pockets. I LOVE the Clark side pockets. They are so handy and easy to use, and they hold a lot of stuff too. The Hennessy only has the one mesh pocket that is nice and Clark should get one of those too. The Hennessy could add pockets, but they would not be as convenient as the Clark pockets. If I could change the Clark, I would make the pockets from mesh so they would be lighter, and wet stuff could go in them and dry out.

If I could add something to the Hennessy though, I would add two mesh pockets on the inside corners where the sides tie out. You could get the same utility in those corners as the side of the Clark. Big enough for a water bottle, some extra clothing in the night, and your rain gear in case it is raining when you get up. These pockets wouldn't need to be big, they would be light mesh that stretches, and since they are in the corners, they wouldn't take up sleeping space. I dare say that they could be more useful than the Clark if done right, but it would take some experimenting.

8. Cold weather. I tried the Ultralight, so cold weather wise; I didn't see a big advantage from the pockets in that respect. The sides cocoon you more, so it would be worse than the Hennessy for compressing the loft on the sides. So considering those two factors, I would expect that the Hennessy would have a slight advantage.

The pockets on the Deluxe Clark models are supposed to cover more bottom area, so the pockets act as a second insulation layer. But at 18 ounces heavier and $100 more, I would rather use another 14 ounce 1/2" foam pad that costs $12 inside the hammock.

9. Weight/cost.

Hennessy A-Sym Ultralight = $149 / 31.0 ounces without Snakeskins; $169 / 31.8 with Snakeskins.

Clark Ultralight Jungle Hammock = $169 / 38.3 ounces.

Hennessy costs less and weighs less.

10. Set up. The Hennessy is very easy to figure out. Two main lines and two side tie outs for the hammock. You can tie the fly to the side tie outs, and the other corners connect to the main lines. The Clark uses two main lines, then the tarp has two lines that tie to the same trees, two side tie outs, two lines to tie from the tarp to the mosquito net to lift it, another shock cord under the foot end of the hammock, and a Velcro flap to close at the foot end to keep the rain out of that end. In the end, the Hennessy is a little easier to set up, but the Clark isn't hard by any means.

11. Lounging and sitting. Since the Clark has a zip off fly, it is easy to lounge around in with or without the net. the Hennessy takes some constructive thinking, but you can do it too. You just have to do the half fold trick to sit or lounge without the net, and have to climb in to do with the net. In this the Clark has an advantage.

12. Other design features and concerns.

Hennessy - I really like the Snakeskins for the Hennessy, they are worth the extra $20 IMHO. The A-Sym tarp is a good size and shape for making a pure tarp set up when you don't want to use the hammock. The Hennessy can also be set up as a bivy with 4 stakes and two poles.

Clark - the Tarp for the Clark isn't as easy to just set up any old way, it has a special design to fit the Clark. I don't know if the Clark could be set up as a bivy, something to look into. The Clark drip rings are something I've never needed on the Hennessy, but must be needed on the Clark. I think they could be replaced by a drip string, which is light and simple to make - it's something I learned years ago when making poncho shelters. The Clark Ultralight is also a little larger when packed than the Hennessy. The zipper on the Clark is nice, but it can wear out, that is why Tom Hennessy resists putting one on any Hennessy model - I would keep very good care of the zipper if I owned one, zipper failure would be bad.


That is my observations so far. If I had to pick or recommend, I would recommends the Hennessy A-Sym Ultralight Hammock with Snakeskins.

09-12-2002, 13:45
What is a "drip string" and how do you use one on a tarp/poncho?


SGT Rock
09-12-2002, 18:10
If you have ever strung a poncho as a tarp on trees, often the strings run down from the tree to the poncho. When it rains, water runs down the tree and/or on the string down to the poncho. From capillary action, the water can actually run on the underside of your tarp until it hits a low point and forms a drip under the tarp itself. You may even think you have a leak, but it is the water doing what water will do. The solution for this is simple, take a small piece of string and tie it to the support line about 1/2"-1" from the tarp with a tail that hangs about 1/2". The trick is to get the water to follow the little string and drip off the end of that instead of continuing down the support line to the tarp.

Hammocks can have the same problem because the support lines will always run downhill. On the Hennessy I have never had this problem although I put drip strings on my first ever trip with the Hennessy because I was afraid of this. They came off sometime on the first hike and I never missed them. I think the tension knot on the main line probably is doing the same job because it forms that lowest point along the line, and water drips from there.

On the Clark, apparently they had some problem during the R&D and decided to use a big hunk of metal the main rope snakes in, around, and back through to do the same job as a little string.

The Weasel
09-13-2002, 02:25

I've been backpacking for over 40 years, and NEVER heard of "drip strings". This is an INCREDIBLE thing, and damn! I've never EVER thought of it.

Send this in to Backpacker "Know How" section. (Honest!!!) AND set it up as a special thread in "Gear General" here. Wow. GREAT idea. All of a sudden, I want it to rain just to try them out (even on my Hennessey Hammock!).

The Weasel

SGT Rock
09-13-2002, 08:59
Wow, I've taught ya'll something new. Cool.

I think will take a picture and send it with an explination. I thought this was one of those standard tricks like using a tent stake instead of a trowel.

09-13-2002, 09:04
Cool. I am a long time tarper (is that the right word). Never even heard of drip lines. I have seen this problem in heavy rain before. Didn't know what it was, probably thought that my coated nylon tarp was leaking. I was usually just glad I wasn't getting as wet as if I didn't have a tarp. :)

SGT Rock
09-13-2002, 12:26
Besides the side track about drip strings, I would like to hear from other hammock people like hikerhead to see how they feel about the two hammocks.

Hammock Hanger
09-13-2002, 13:01
with a Clark. I demoed one at the Ruck last year.

Cons: I found the huge ropes used for the guyed lines over kill. I thought it was more time consuming to erect. It is more rectangular and there for you get more of a "hammock dip", as you can't really get on that angle like the Hennessy. It was heavier and more expensive. I felt the learning curve with it would be longer.

Pros: It had a side zipper which was nice (but adds to the weight) It had large out side pockets but these didn't thrill me. (Except you could fill them with leaves in really cold weather.)

I personally wasn't won over by it at all. I think I'll be a die hard Hennessy fan for years to come.

Sgt: I have slept thru torrential rain storms with strong winds and been very dry in both my Asym & Ultralite.

I was a little chilled in weather in the 20's (expect the time I used a 3/4 lite thermarest and 20 degree bag.) In the 30's I was okay as long as I had a pad between the sleeping bag and the hammock. Upper 30's a z-rest worked better then the reflector pad. Higher 30's the reflector pad was fine.

Hammock Hanger

09-13-2002, 17:28
Sgt Rock--

Hey great job on the review-you are the king of details...

Yeah, I agree with most everything you said. And I agree with Hammock Hanger about the ropes. I think you could save a pound if you switched out the Clark main line for the Hennessey's. I've thought about trying that but I'd probably screw something up trying.

I do believe the Clark, the Delux model(it has the extra vapor barrier that zips over the bug netting) is better in colder weather than the Hennessey.

If found that if you stretch out the Clark good and tight you can get almost horizontal, your butt may swag a little but I think it's comfy like that. I slept sideways in it also with no problem.

The pockets are handy and I do think they provide some insolation from the cold. You're suppose to fill them with clothing on cold nights.

The zippers I can't see adding that much weight. I'll take that trade off just so I can unzip everything off of it and be totally out in the nice cool breeze.

It is totally tip free unless your foolish enough to try to sit down on it too close to the rope. While laying in it there's absolutely no way to tip over. I better not go that far, but you'd have to be doing something really outragious for that to happen.

How you got bug bits from underneath is puzzleing, you must have some monster bugs down that way.

I have had a few equipment failures with the Clark but I confess that I think that was from mostly from me. I pulled out the loops and the snapbucklels broke on me. I must say Clark did a good job on fixing them for free and sent it right back. I think the problem was that the bungee cord goes not have enoug stretch in it. I bought some stretch cord and small metal carabiners and replace the bungee. I also added about a foot of the stretch cord between the fly and the line. That seemed to add a little more give to it.

I think the fly on the Clark is better, it's rectanglar whereas the Hennessey is tappered, wide in the middle, narrow at the head and foot. There's another trade off again, less weight or more fly.

I have had it in the rain and cold and there was no water seapadge and no condinsation problems with the vapor barrier.

Lastly, I've no problems at all with the Hennessey. I've had it in the rain and stayed dry. It's lighter, maybe easier to set up. BUT YOU CAN"T ZIP THE BUG SCREEN OFF. I like a little air movement and the Clark wins handsdown on that. Nothing is perfect, if Hennessey could add that feature, it would be close.

That was my opinion....LET THE BEATTING BEGIN:eek:

Hammock Hanger
09-13-2002, 18:47
Would you like a whip or a paddle? (I know I have a sick sense of humor, sorry!) :rolleyes:

Hammock Hanger

SGT Rock
09-13-2002, 19:00
Beat him with a bunjie cord off the Clark LOL.

The problem I have with using extra clothing under me is the fact I'm already trying to limit how much extra clothing I have in the first place. If I have it, I would probably wear it in really cold weather, and if I'm not wearing it, I don't know if I have enough to evenly space underneath to make it worth while.

Anyway, I don't know if you have tried the A-Sym Hennessy, I am a firm beliver that the A-Sym tarp is superior to the Clark I used, it's bigger and works well in applications besides being on the hammock, while the Clark is smaller and has that beak on the foot end.

09-15-2002, 08:36
About the mosquito bites--

I had that problem the first (and so far only) time I used my H.H. here in Mexico. I don't remember the exact model--it was green, and cost about $120 a few years ago. But the material turned out to be completely porous to the local mosquitoes--I got bit all over. No fun.

I emailed Hennessey, and they said that their new
ultralight backpacker a-sym and ultralight safari models use a different material that is actually impervious to mosquitoes, so we arranged a swap. Since receiving the new hammock I haven't had a chance to use it, so can't confirm the "mosquito-proof" claims. However, in all fairness, they said (and what Sgt Rock reported confirms this) that only a very few users, in areas with absurdly voracious mosquitoes, have had problems with being bit. So for most people this just isn't a problem; if it is just switch to one of the hammocks with the new material.

09-16-2002, 22:00
:eek: Oooooch!!!

01-29-2003, 10:10
has anyone used the Treeboat or Dryad (terrelogic)?

SGT Rock
01-29-2003, 11:04
Not that I know of. But there are a couple of places to ask. At www.hikinghq.net/forums/ I have a hammock forum,

and there is a hammock mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping/

01-31-2003, 09:41
great info. great group. thanks