Using the Clark Vertex Hammock at Boy Scout Camp
This year, Boy Scout camp was exhausting (wait? Isn’t iteveryyear?). Mornings began around 4:45 AM as we jumped in the pool for Polar Bear swims or the Tenderfoot Run around camp, and ended at 10 PM (or later) with evening campfires and Cat Eye hikes. One thing that I looked forward to every day was sleeping in my hammock.
今年我带来了各种吊床，认为一些侦察员或领导人可能想要尝试一下。我的部队loves这Tentsile Stingray“alien tent,” which had to be used in turns during the week because of high demand. I also strung up theDD Jungle Hammock,尤里卡！Chrysalis Hommock., and the brand-newHummingbird hammocksingle for different members of the troop to use. One of the positive feedback items from the troop’s review of camp was to现场平台帐篷沟，只需使用吊床. Sounds good to me!
今年，我11岁的儿子在他的第一个夏令营加入了我。我刚刚发货了两个人克拉克顶点吊床to review for my book and I was eager to try it out with my son. We spent the week in the Vertex and enjoyed out time together.
The Clark Vertex Hammock is a two-person hammock, designed around two Mayan-style hammocks connected together by a fabric spacer and enclosed with an integrated, zippered bug net and weather shield. The fabric spacer has four main storage pockets. Two of the pockets are separated by a hook-and-loop fastener that can be separated to make one large pocket.
Hammock:67 oz (1,909 g) (in stuff sack)
Poles:7 oz (193 g) (in stuff sack)
The bug net and weather shield are held up above the head and foot end with small-diameter, segmented, fiberglass tent poles. These poles help create a spacious interior but are not required to pitch the hammock. Tie-out points both inside the bug netting and outside allow the fabric to be pulled out without the tent poles to save some pack weight.
A large outer storage pocket is present on the lower foot area of each hammock, and a pouch is located on the top foot end of the hammock to store the weather shield and bug net if not used.
The overall build quality and construction isexcellent：缝合均匀，符合，织物是高质量的。吊床附带了一个多页所有者手册，显示了如何设置套件以获得最佳性能。
The poly rope is also resistant to knots and Clark secured them with bread twisty ties until the knots “set” under weight (the twisty ties are only meant to be a temporary hold and should be removed once the suspension has been used a few times). The poly rope does have other advantages: it has a lower stretch than nylon and is resistant to wicking moisture. The stiff rope also doesn’t bind as easy when knots are used, allowing you to untie a lash or knot more easily. In talking with Clark, they admit that the poly ropes are designed to reach a broad customer base who may not have any prior hammock experience. The ropes provide a baseline suspension. They’ve also designed the suspension so it can be easily removed should you want to swap out for any preferred method.
One of the first things I did was remove the poly ropes and replace them with continuous loops of 7/64″ Amsteel. These continuous loopsallowed me to use a variety of suspension systems. On the foot end, since the two hammocks converge to a single point, I connected a single loop of Amsteel together on a ring or carabiner to make set-up a little easier.
Since I didn’t need the weather shield, I unzipped it to the foot end and tucked it away into the storage pocket.
The tent poles use a unique connection system since the diameter is so small. I haven’t seen tent poles this small; it’s very cool. The longer pole on the head end kept separating, so I super-glued the shock cord segments so they would stay together. I’ve been told that all the new models the pole tips have all been glued at the factory.
Clark has really pioneered the use of segmented tent poles in their hammock designs, but these have been carefully crafted to provide just the right amount of lift without really requiring the structural support you need on a tent. The smaller diameter allows the fiberglass poles to flex more as you move in the hammock, thus lowering the strain on the fabric. I guess it would be fair to call these hammock poles, since they offer a similar yet distinctive role compared with tents.
After a week of using the Vertex, one worry I have is the sharp corners along the zipper where the bug netting meets the hammock body. There was a lot of strain on the fabric right where the zipper turns. I’ve yet to try the Vertex without the tent poles, but I speculate that if I remove the poles it will help reduce the strain along the zipper line. I didn’t experience any failures on the zipper or create any tears, but it was difficult to pull the zipper around the corner.
Strain on the zipper is due, in part, to how the Vertex is hung. With this test trip, the trees were not very cooperative in providing three perfectly spaced trees. The distance between them was longer than desired and I had to climb higher up on the trees to set an anchor point. While the hang itself was suitable, it wasn’t ideal for the Vertex, and since there is no ridge line to keep the hammock in an ideal sag, the further apart the anchor points, the more the hammock will splay, which puts more strain on the zippers for example.
In talking with Clark, they highly recommend looking for locations that have trees closer together to achieve an optimal hang.
Outer Storage Pockets
The outer storage pockets are large enough to hold a pair of shoes or boots, but I just used it for holding unused stuff sacks. These pockets end up being around my upper leg and knee when I lay in the hammock. The pockets are gusseted and have ample room for gear without impacting the lay of the hammock.
The inner shelf has a listed weight capacity of 150 lbs (68 kg), so my son and I placed our packs and gear in this area, keeping it protected from the elements and bugs. Interestingly enough, when this center area was loaded up with our gear, it made my sleep less comfortable. All the gear really loaded this area down and negatively affected the way the hammocks performed. I finally removed most of the gear and got a much better lay in my hammock bed.
Because of the tent poles, I had to pitch the tarp fairly high to clear the top of the hammock. This is actually one thing I like about hammocks verses tents: I was able to easily walk under the tarp without ducking or crawling. For better weather protection, primarily in the winter, pitching a tarp lower to the ground helps prevent drafts, but the Vertex with tent poles makes it difficult to do this with the stock tarp. Removing the tent poles and just using a guy line to hold up the bug net allows the tarp to be pitched much lower, if needed. However, combined with the weather cover and pitching down the corners, there really isn’t a huge need to lower the tarp.
Sleeping in the Vertex
With two separate hammocks, my son and I could enter and move without disturbing the other. I often went to bed after my son, and when getting in, I never shook his side or made him wake up. As I mentioned before, with the center panel loaded with gear, I wasn’t able to get the best lay, but when I removed the heavy gear, it worked out much better.
The hammock beds themselves are typical.
Setting Up At Camp
I’ve pitched two tents side-by-side before, much like how the Vertex is set up, but I found some challenges when setting up the hammock at camp. You’d think that with a forest full of trees (or in my case, a particular camp site), it would be easy to find three trees that would work, but it proved harder than I thought. The Vertex cannot be set up if the two trees on the head end are too far apart (width) for fear of ripping the hammock apart. If the trees are closer together, that is fine; it just means the center panel is not taut, but it still works as a storage area.
Set-up on the Vertex was more difficult than using two separate hammocks, but I really liked having an enclosed space that my son and I shared together. It made it more convenient to stay protected from the bugs, and being so close, we could talk and feel close even though we were in separate beds.
Upgrading the suspension system really improved the setup time and usability, plus I could use tree straps; a necessity in many areas.