Clark Ultralight Jungle Hammock
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: maybe 200?
This hammock was an experiment, and it works better than I imagined. It's cooler than a tent in hot weather, plenty warm in cool weather, and sleeping with your feet up feels good!
- Could be lighter
So the first thing is that to use it as a hammock, you need trees, or picnic shelter posts, or something. But if a few days of your hike in the woods end up where there is nothing to tie to, you can set up the fly using two hiking poles, or some other sort of sticks, and it makes a fine little low to the ground mosquito netted sleeping spot sheltered from rain.
The hammock bottom is not waterproof, which is why it is cool in hot weather, but on the ground, you need a plastic sheet and not too much water on the ground to if the floor is going to stay dry. I use a short closed cell pad in the hammock for under me on cool nights, so I have that to sleep on when I end up pitching it as a tent on the ground.
I'm 6'4" and so there is really only one sleeping position for me when it's a hammock—but it works fine, and I really like how my feet feel in the morning, well rested! The other great thing about a hammock is that you don't need flat, or soft, or dry, or brush free, ground. It really is great for spur of the moment camping. And you can sit on the edge of it while you eat and stuff, and it is more comfortable than sitting on the ground, or on wet stuff.
I like the ability to unzip the netting, but after two summers of backpacking, I haven't actually used it open, so maybe that's not such a benefit, or worth the weight.
Ease of Setup: Hammock has four total knots. Fly has two to four considering conditions. Super easy and takes only minutes.
Weight: 2 lbs
Price Paid: $179
I recently used my hammock in the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend NP and was thoroughly impressed with its ability. Super easy to set up, although I recommend a practice run before getting out in the great outdoors.
The hammock is especially easy to set up if after initial set up you untie the head end and roll entire thing (fly and guy ropes) up into itself and when you reach the other end untie and wrap that rope around the body. This allows you to tie the foot end to a tree, unroll and tie the other end without it ever touching the ground.
The mosquito netting was truly a blessing with its safe haven from the bloodthirsty masses. The ultralight version only has two pockets on the body and proved more than adequate for shoes, headlamp and water with plenty of space left over. Total weight with hammock, fly and guy cords, right at 2lbs.
I had a surprise thunderstorm blow in on me and stayed awake just waiting for the ensuing wetness, but it never happened. Tying the fly out right was definitely the key to this. And it felt pretty good looking at the tent pads near 3am and seeing at least an inch of water covering them, and I was no where near it.
The fly also made for a great shady spot to take an afternoon nap to escape the heat. I also think one of the benefits to this hammock over the Hennessey brand is that you can sit in this one like a chair. You don't have to go through some sort of rebirth everytime you want in or out or your shelter.
Overall this is a great product, and I would recommend it to any solo hiker willing to try something a little different than the standard tent.
Where to Buy
The Clark Ultralight Jungle Hammock is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
Or you may want to check for a dealer list or direct sales on the Clark website.
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