Byer Of Maine Vario Steel Hammock Stand
Here' s the official company website: http://www.byerofmaine.com/the-vario-hammcok-stand.html
Please Google Image search "byer vario" to see many other photos of it (I have added pictures in separate post below)
I’m new to ‘mocking, and was in search of a place to hang on my tree-less lot or in my home, and considered everything from sinking a 6x6 outside to having something welded like shadowmoss to hanging from ceiling joists like knotty and pedro. But I have found my solution: a Byer of Maine Vario Steel Hammock Stand. I want to post about it for anyone else wanting to hang at home. A few of you, like bearpaw, justjeff and duroc2006 (who has outdoor photos in the HF gallery), have this stand, but I see no dedicated information about it on Hammock Forum.
It’s a 12.25 foot length span steel structure available as of this writing for $149 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!
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 a spare $150 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.