What hammock features do I need?

Most hammocks are comfortable.  But that doesn’t mean they are all created equal.  When purchasing a hammock tent, take time to determine what features you need for the type of adventures you are planning.

Above all, take these items into consideration:

  1. What is the lowest temperature I plan to sleep in?
  2. What is the highest temperature I plan to sleep in?
  3. How important is good mosquito protection?
  4. How much awning do I want my tarp to provide for activities around the hammock on rainy days?
  5. What is my primary sleeping position (side, back or stomach)?
  6. What weight threshold would I like my combined shelter, insulation and sleeping bag to stay under?
  7. How long do I need my hammock to last?
  8. How do I wish to store my gear when sleeping in my hammock?
  9. Do I want to share my hammock with another person?

If weight is your only concern, you will be able to find many hammocks that are extremely light.  But that also means that you’ll sacrifice durability.  It also means that you may not have adequate coverage from your rain tarp.

Be aware that some kinds of added weight to a hammock can actually save weight in other areas.  For example, the four season hammock models by Clark include insulating pockets that (when used properly) can save you from having to bring any other insulation on trips that are above 32 degrees F (0 degrees C).   And when you add an underquilt (such as the Z-Liners made by Clark) you can save weight by purchasing a sleeping bag that has no under-insulation (such as those made by Big Agnes).

If you are most worried about high temperatures and mosquitoes, it’s best to get a hammock that allows breathability while keeping mosquitoes off your back.  The best example of this type of jungle hammock is the Clark TX-270, which has a breathable bottom that is mosquito-proof against all of the world’s mosquitoes.  This feature adds weight to the shelter, but for complete protection, it is worth it.

If you hope to share your hammock with another person, decide whether you are okay being forced together all night long in one big hammock bed, or if you need two separate beds that give each of you your space (see the Clark Vertex and Double V hammocks).

Clark hammocks are built for the long haul with the features that keep you comfortable when weather and terrain are at their worst.  See the unique features that make Clark hammocks the envy of the industry.