5 out of 5
Great affordable hammock stand
January 07, 2012
Very easy to assemble (you do need some basic tools, i.e. socket wrench and channel-lock pliers), easy to adjust as well for different hammock lengths. This is also one of the few hammock stands (maybe the only one) compact enough that can ship directly to an APO/FPO/DPO address in its original package. The box weighs 60 pounds and the dimensions are within the 108" size restriction. I'm very happy with this hammock stand.Pros: easy to assemble, Cons: basic tools required and not included in box
Perfect for the indoor hang!
August 15, 2010
It's a 12.25 foot length span steel structure available as of this writing complete, including free shipping and no sales tax. Although there are many online retailers, Fogdog.com is where I ordered mine. It arrived in one large box from UPS on my driveway. It is 60 lbs, and believe me, it's every bit of that weight--I struggled to get that box into the house. The shipping on this stand must be half the price! It is ideal for many hammocks--"real" hammocks--like a Hennessey, an ENO, a Clark, and Warbonnet and on and on. I was skeptical that a hammock stand could be strong enough for serious hammocking, and I also questioned the ability to hold a sling hammock (not a Pawleys Island type cross-barred rope hammock). Well, the moment I was putting together the Vario, my fears were out the window. This is all steel, it has only 8 pieces, all machined to fit together perfectly. There are clean welds on this German engineered, China manufactured product (at least that's how Byer of Maine states it). It has four three-quarter inch nuts/bolts that hold the perpendicular "feet" in place, and no other tools. Everything else is hand screwed, such as the hand nut on the bottom length slider, and the two end height adjustment sliders. So, the neat thing about this is, it can be fully adjusted by hand, which will come in very handy for taking it apart in 2-3 pieces to move, for instance to take it outside on a sunny day. In my living room, I immediately attached ENO slap straps and ENO SN and later a DN, and slept in it all night. The steel stand takes the weight and forces admirably. There's a slight in-bowing of the uprights when you first get into the hammock, and I have loaded it to over 200lbs, and there is no fear of failure once I became comfortable with it. No major sway once in it, and I slept in it for two nights successfully, no bending, twisting or breaking. It has a stated weight limit of 300 lbs. It does come with a serial number, and has a written two year warranty, although it does not state how one would initiate the warranty--hopefully it would not include the buyer shipping the item back to Oriono, ME, which would be cost prohibitive; likely it'd be merely shipping back for replacement the one piece that failed. The suspension point is on a very hard plastic "hook" at the end of the stand--it works well for any hook, strap or rope. I suppose one could drill into the steel with a heavy duty drill if they wanted to add a screw-eye, but I don't think it necessary, and it would compromise the forest green (only available color) finish. The finish is presumably waterproof, but steel of course is not; I imagine keeping this stand outdoors, it would last for years but require some Krylon/Rustoleum annually. All-in-all, it solves my issues with hanging indoors and on my treeless yard. There is an available extension that is $35 shipped, and it brings the total length from 12.25 feet to 15 feet. I am ordering it, although I'm not certain I will use it--even a long ENO fits on this stand well and the uprights are not even fully extended for the ENO. Adding length, and putting the upright to maximum height, may be needed for some outdoor uses, such as for adding tarp lines, etc. So, I'm getting the extension so that it's not an issue in the future. But it works well right out of the box, and if I had three spare Benjamins burning a hole in my Levi's, I'd consider buying another stand for future use before they either stop making it or cheapen it up in some way (e.g. use inferior metal). The one thing that, even studying the photos of the dozens of metal and wood stands on places like eBay, you cannot appreciate from a photo is the heftiness, and the quality of material of a product. I wanted to let everyone know that this stand works very well, is a great and mobile indoor/outdoor stand, and will last decades. I have studied the Flex that some have mentioned on other websites for the Byer hammock, and when I watch my 123 lb wife get into it, I can really see it (more than I can feel it when I settle in)! In fact, the bottom bracket flexes down toward the floor by at least 1 inch! Alarmed, I went and got a couple hardcover books (I read on a Kindle now and books are little more than paperweights and hammock stabilizers in my house these days) and put them under the middle of the bottom bar in hopes of "helping the Vario out". Well, lo and behold, when I sat in it and the bottom bar hit the book and would not flex, what happened? The four "feet" came off the floor! (Grizz and Kuzuko and the math whizzes would have known this without "War and Peace" under there). Ah ha! Like those banana shaped wooden hammock stands--it suddenly dawned on me--this Vario is already precisely calibrated to allow flex in the uprights and the bottom bar. Each takes its own percentage, if you will, of the total flex, which allows a weight of up to 300lbs to hang from a 12.5 foot distance on a 60 lb contraption. So, in the end, I think "pre-loading" the flexible uprights with cam buckles, or putting books under the bottom bar as I just did, is not recommended. The steel stand works best, and is least likely to have shear force wear and metal fatigue and breakage, if it is just left alone and enjoyed. With all that said, I could be wrong.
Already own the Byer Vario Adjustable Hammock Stand? Tell us your thoughts.