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  1. #1
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    Default Glad I bought a Clark

    Well I went to TrailDays today (Sunday) and was interested in compairing the Spear and Hennessy hammocks to the Clark Jungle Hammock I bought last year. I was particularly interested in seeing the Hennessy because of all the interest here on Whiteblaze. So I walked right up to the Hennessy display and was completely ignored! The only people there were Mr. Hennessy himself, his brother (I was told) and another vendor who was thinking about buying a hammock.

    The other vendor was the only one who would give me the time of day! So I thought I would come back later and act more interested and maybe I could ask some questions about how to get in and out and how to position my sleeping bag etc. I came back later with the same results. I stood around, looked at the various models and again I was completely ignored!

    When I visited Mr. Spear's display, he was very nice and I could tell he was excited to explain his system and he even asked several questions about my Clark. Great conversation, nice guy!

    In all, I visited the Hennessy display 3 times. Never did get asked if I had any questions or if I was interested in their hammocks. I hope they have all the business they need because I for one consider customer service as important as the product itself and the "perspective" customer service I got today was pathetic.

    While the Hennessy did look interesting, I wonder if anyone who owns one thinks the non-zippered bug netting is a disadvantage. I realize that zippers sometimes malfunction but the Clark seems to work well without any binding. Also I was wondering how a person gets into the bottom of the Hennessy hammock, closes the trap door and positions their sleeping bag. Seems like a lot of hastle to me. Why not just zipper the bug netting and be done with it?

    Anyway, I hope everyone who owns a Hennessy is happy with it and that they get good customer service, because I for one, was not impressed!

  2. #2

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    I've heard that the Hennessy's are nice on the phone, but I can't respond to your experience. I bought mine at REI (who were completely worthless about hammocks, of course).

    The Hennessy isn't a normal hammock. You can't really compare it to a normal hammock. It has a ridgeline that actually carries much of the weight. So the part you sleep in is actually hanging down from the cords, rather than between them. This allows the bed area to be asymetrical and makes the feeling quite a bit different than laying diagnonal in a normal hammock. I find it less constraining and more comfortable.

    This difference (which is a big difference!) makes the whole thing different. I'm not sure how well it would work if it were a top-entry hammock. In any case, Tom decided to not make it that way. Having the bugnet attached isn't a huge deal, at least not to me. The integrated tarp is really nice, if possibly a little small (depends who you ask). I've yet to have my HH in a major storm, but I'd like to try the stock tarp in the rain sometime (here in Washington state, I'm sure I'll have the opportunity one of these days). But you can alway sub in a bigger tarp just fine.

    I do have a Speer-style that I made, which I like, but I think I prefer the HH. In the winter the bugnet is unnessesary, but in the winter hammocks are a little difficult.

    I love the HH as a system. It's extremely well thought-out and works well. Tom has several useful ideas (and patents) in his hammocks, which is pretty cool since they've been around so long!

    The bottom entry is very smooth. I like it a lot. Situating a pad and sleeping bag isn't any harder than a normal hammock. It some respects it's easier because there's a larger sweet spot for laying in.

    I find the tree huggers and cord very easy to use (fast, simple) and the snake skins are also really great in use.

    Customer Service aside (I have no idea, but people say they're nice on the phone) the hammock is great, comfortable, and recommended!

  3. #3

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    I have to say that I've owned(returned ) the HH a-sym and I found it to be less than is claimed. I was not comfortable in it and found the static mosquito netting to be less than desirable. I use a Byers Moskito and an Amazonas. They are lighter than the HH and very comfortable. Oh yeah, I had to purchase a separate tarp, but the HH tarp is virtually worthless anyway.
    Last edited by sawwhetowl; 05-17-2004 at 13:03. Reason: misspelling

  4. #4
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    ATWeed,

    Sorry you didn't get talked to while you were there. I hung around the Hennessy display quite a bit and would have been glad to show you around the thing. I even slept in the display a few nights with other people that were thinking of buying a hammock but wanted to try one first. I will just assume that you got there at a bad time since we were kidding Tom about never stopping to even drink water most of the day.

    I have used the Clark and like it, but I still prefer my Hennessy.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  5. #5
    Hammock and Bicycle camping Crash's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stieg
    The integrated tarp is really nice, if possibly a little small (depends who you ask). I've yet to have my HH in a major storm, but I'd like to try the stock tarp in the rain sometime (here in Washington state, I'm sure I'll have the opportunity one of these days). But you can alway sub in a bigger tarp just fine.
    I just had my HH out on the AT (Tom's Run shelter) during a major thunderstorm. 60+mph winds and heavy downpour. I did not get wet only a little damp. Its how you set it up. Use your hiking poles to adjust the height of the tie-outs. I put the tie-out rings right up to the poles' hand straps to keep the tarp from flapping in the wind. That really keeps the rain out.

    One hammock does not fit the needs of everyone during every season. I like the HH during buggy season and will be making a Speer type for colder weather to wrap a sleeping bag around like a pod.

    It pays to experiment and keep on adjusting your hammock to find out what works and when to use it that way.

    At the Quarry Gap shelter a boy scout (Troop 33- W. Michigan) was given an HH Asym by a guy who had no clue how to adjust it. I took it and showed the scout how to really work it. (and to check out this site for more knowledgeable experts). The guy had cut off the ropes! The guy thought to hang it like a regular hammock - slack instead of taut.
    Now his troop thinks he has the best 'tent'.
    The more you learn - the better it gets.
    When the Trail calls you,
    its not on your cellphone!

  6. #6
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sawwhetowl
    Oh yeah, I had to purchase a separate tarp, but the HH tarp is virtually worthless anyway.
    First let me say that the HH tarp is plenty large enough, and I find more to just be overkill and a pain to put up. -- I have heard or read from others who have had trouble staying dry under the A-sym fly, usually these remarks come from new hammockers who have not used the hammock enough to pass the learning curve. I have slept in a HH for over 3 years and I can tell you I have slept and just relaxed through some torrential rain and wind storms. (It can be a really enjoyable experience.) When the fly is attached correctly it keeps the hanger plenty dry.

    As for the comment about bad customer service from Tom H, I have to say I am really suprised. I was there off and on during the 3 days and he was always talking to someone. Sgt Rock and Rosleen were also there. Everytime I went by there were people hanging in the hammocks and having questions answered. I personally worked with a thru-hiker for hours on answering questions and then after he spent the night in one and spoke with Sgt Rock, I spent another hour showing him the proper way to set it all up on to real trees. I know Tom H was preoccupied for awhile on Friday morning getting all the hammocks hung. I am sorry you had that experience and I am sure Tom would apologize as well if he knew. Tom and his wife are always very customer oriented.

    There are so many hammocks on the market these days, all offer something a little different. Just as you have with tents everyone won't like the same one. However, I can say that of all the hammocks out there I see that most are HH, with Ed Speers coming in as a close second. I have a friend who has a Clark and really likes it, for me it come in way to heavy.

    Enjoy your Clark and the world of hammock camping, the way of the future.

    Sue/Hammock Hanger
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

    http://www.gcast.com/u/hammockhanger/main

  7. #7

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    QUOTE - Hammock Hanger wrote: "First let me say that the HH tarp is plenty large enough, and I find more to just be overkill and a pain to put up."


    Really? I find the HH tarp to be a minimalist item. Definitely is quick and easy to pitch. It'll keep you dry when you're hanging, but that's about it. If it's raining while I'm in camp and I'm not sleeping, I like to be able to do things without being hunched over trying to stay dry under that tiny thing. I don't like how close it needs to be pitched to the hammock either. I like more room. To each their own.

  8. #8
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sawwhetowl

    Really? I find the HH tarp to be a minimalist item. Definitely is quick and easy to pitch. It'll keep you dry when you're hanging, but that's about it. If it's raining while I'm in camp and I'm not sleeping, I like to be able to do things without being hunched over trying to stay dry under that tiny thing. I don't like how close it needs to be pitched to the hammock either. I like more room. To each their own.
    Tom Hennessy does make a large (much larger) tarp for those that feel the need. -- Ed SPeers also makes a very large tarp.

    I have comfortably sat under my hammock to picnic in the rain, do my journal or just chill out. I have use the tarp w/o the hammock on occasion for a long lunch on a rainy day. (Using my bear bag rope as the guideline.) I have a tendency to hang my hammock high and I am not that tall so I can walk under it to get in without much ducking.

    Some of the large tarps do allow more "living space" however I just don't have a need for it, so why carry it. For those that need the extra coverage check out Tom or Ed's sites.

    Sue/HH
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

    http://www.gcast.com/u/hammockhanger/main

  9. #9
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I'm with Sue. I actually bought and used a larger tarp on my last hike and found it total overkill, while on all my previous hikes I have found the Hennessy tarp to be just about right. I still have my larger tarp (Brian's MacCat Tarp), but consider it a nice piece when backpacking with my sons, that way we have a community tarp when the weather is bad that we can all three hang out together under, but for solo hiking I have decided to stick with my Original Asym tarp. Of course everything is by personal preference, so I won't say anyone is wrong for wanting a bigger space. A larger tarp doesn't weigh that much more and if it makes a person more comfortable - then it is all good
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  10. #10
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    i bought my hh ultralite backpacker from tom hennesey at trail days 2002 he is a great guy,i bought a sleeping pad and quilt from ed speer he is one of the nicest people you will ever talk to or meet,i highly recommend his hammock camping book,peter pan is really cool have a few of his products all excellent products,i dont no anything about clark jungle hammocks neo

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