Handy Hammock Review
This isn't the first review of this product. If you're interested in the read, here are just a few others who have also reviewed this product:
Just Jeff's review
Dejoha, a.k.a. Derek Hansen's review
Being military, my choice of housing is sometimes limited. So when I was in the market for renting a new place a few months ago and found a beautiful home in the foothills not far from base, I eagerly jumped at the opportunity (I don't think it was on the market more than 2 hours before I had set up an initial walk-through with the realtor). Unfortunately, for all it's amenities, it lacks trees of any variety save a few bushes and a small dying weeping willow (unless I can nurse it back to health, that is). I considered building my own hammock stand out of 2 x 4's for a while, but the promise of portability led me to the Handy Hammock stand.
This is a very well thought out system, with great care taken in every aspect of its manufacture. It's apparent that the highest quality materials were selected and that nothing was left un-scrutinized. The instructions have wonderful pictures that help you along the way, and once you've done it once it almost becomes second nature.
-High-quality product, constructed to exacting specifications
-Light weight components, making it easier to carry with you than a 2 x 4 stand
-Fits nicely in my kayak, making my kayak camping trips all the more enjoyable
-Easy to understand instructions (with the aid of the accompanying pictures)
-Fills a niche in the Hammock industry (as noted by Just Jeff on another post)
-Initial set-up can be a bit confusing your first time
-Using your own hammock could be problematic using the stock ground plate string (see pictures)
-Hammock touches the ground during initial set-up (I like to keep my sleeping quarters off the ground and as clean as possible)
-Using a rain fly may require additional tinkering, YMMV
-Modifications can be difficult, depending on your level of patience
Customer Service Review
I did have one gripe with the product, which is that I was somehow sent a stand set that was missing a set of ground plates (the whole thing requires 3 sets of ground plates, whereas I only received 2). However, that has been resolved. The seller, Jason Andrews, was very communicative. He seemed genuinely distraught that my package was missing an item, and immediately resolved the issue for me. Also, I ordered the 'Beach Pegs' so that I could take it with me on my overnight kayak trips where I camp on sandbars on either side of the river I float. They weren't in the initial package, which concerned me. Ever at the ready with a quick and helpful response, Jason assured me they had been sent in a separate package and should arrive within a few days. Sure enough, they did. Again, customer service here was no less than 5 stars. On average his responses to my emails were within the hour (sometimes within minutes!). Not what I'm used to, but then again I'm used to ordering from mostly big box retailers. Either way, this is how business should be done, and I feel its well worth the mention that Jason went above and beyond IMHO.
Hopefully the pictures loaded. They didn't on my work computer, but access to images is sometimes restricted outright, regardless of the image. If they didn't load, there's a link at the bottom that has the images. It should be mentioned that I did try to set it up without the missing ground plates (I was terribly eager to see just how it worked). This should NOT be attempted by ANYONE! It was a TERRIBLE idea, and a lesson learned well enough for all who read this thread. The problem here is that the two sets of ground plates for the guy lines are required to keep the guy lines in place, and the third set is to keep the struts from driving themselves into the ground more than anything (or at least that's how it appears to me). But I digress. On to the initial 'successful' set-up. I apologize that I don't have pictures, but maybe I can snap some and post them when I get home.
The stand went up as expected. The hammock does touch the ground, which was noted above, but other than that no significant problems. Using the guy lines as a measuring device (as instructed) make the hammock tight to attach to the tops of the struts, so a small amount of sag could be used, YMMV.
The Ultimate Hang has a great illustration on modifying this stand, and that's what I've used. I purchased a set of o-rings from Jason to use to hang my own hammock. I also used Amsteel to make two continuous loops and added whoopie hooks to each before splicing. Changing the o-rings (or re-using the o-rings from the hammock provided) is pretty straight forward. Attaching permanent guy lines to the ground plates is easier when it is half set-up (once you have ALL the ground plates staked out that is). The shock cord mentioned in the mod comes in extra handy as it prevents the struts from falling over during set-up. Replacing the center line from step 4 can be a bit tricky no matter how you do it. If your replacement line is too short and your hammock (and rear) touches ground. If its too long you'll never be able to get the thing hung. I found it feasible to use about an extra foot through the holes, hang the hammock, and adjust the distance and re-stake. This may sound a bit confusing, but that's because it is. This was the most difficult part of the modification process. But overall, it isn't impossible with a little patience and a sound barrier so the neighbors don't hear the choice 4-letter words you select to berate the system until you get it just right :D
I'm very happy with this purchase, and even happier I was able to do business with somebody who is so customer oriented. I would HIGHLY recommend this product to anyone without trees in their backyard, someone who routinely camps without aforementioned trees, or just someone who wants the ability to always take their hammock with them (which is everybody on this forum, right?). Either way, I know EXACTLY where I'll be after work today!
For more information on the modifications mentioned above, and for an in-depth review of the hammock stand from Derek Hansen, please visit The Ultimate Hang - Handy Hammock Stand Review
Nice review and WOW, my review made in there with the likes of Just Jeff and Dejoha. I must be moving up in the world. I have been thinking about getting the beach stakes/pegs. Let us know how they work out for you. I may need a set, or come up with another solution. I still need to set mine up, with a tarp, to "test" things out.....RR