Clark Vertex 2 Person Hammock Review

Ordering/Shipping and First impressions

HammockAfter ordering the hammock and a few drip rings / straps for about $640 and waiting a week it arrived safely in a box. The hammock was nicely folded with all of the accessories in a perfect little pile on top. Beneath this however... was a photocopied version of the instruction manual.  Unfortunately the Clark company may need a new copier as it seem to take every page from the original manual and offset them so that 1/3 or more of the page was missing.  

Moving past the manual, the quality of the hammock is outstanding sans the normal fuzzy tails that come with new tents.  There are a total of 2 full length zippers and 8 zipper heads. In my case, it seems that the bottom zipper is "stretched" a bit on one side.  This is purely a guess on my part, but with hammock laying on the ground you can zip the outer weather shield and once you get to the right side/bottom you can feel'/see the zipper head jump over 1 or 2 teeth.  This doesn't bother me at all though.
There are a total of 9 poles that come with the hammock. 5 for the head and 4 for the foot. These are the smallest poles I've ever used, and understandably they do not have the interior space for a shock cord.  Two of each head/foot poles have rubber tips to facilitate easy travel trough the pole sleeve. 

Recommendations

  • Instruction manual - For the $600+ I paid for an item I would expect a actual through manual. Upon completing this review, I was left with large questions that the manual should have answered.
    • It was not explained that using tie backs on the head and foot pole sleeves is mandatory!  I did not do this and almost busted a pole when I sat in it because there is nothing keeping the pole from coming forward and bending too much.
    • There are 4 guys line loops on the hammock, but it was difficult finding the best angle to pull them from. Really, I'm not even sure exactly their purpose (though I suspect it's wind or sway restriction)
  • Tent Poles - Include clip cords or similar with the poles to help keep them together (During the review trip one of the foot poles was lost). (UPDATE: after purchasing a new set of foot poles to replace the one I lost I was provided for free, a set of clips by the company)
  • More Tent Poles - The head end poles are  black... yes black. That is not the best color for anything in the dark. The foot poles are white.  While this is a better color, you would not believe how much a 10 inch long blade of dead grass looks like a dropped pole.  I would love to see brighter poles, and, the 4 poles which have the tips need some other identification markers.  Because the poles are not connected, during setup you have a tendency to hold all the poles in one hand, then as you feed the poles into the sleeves, and run short, you just connect the next pole in the line.  Then when your finished pushing the next pole up and notice that you connected the wrong pole, it adds time and frustration.  A colored piece of electrical tape fixes this.