Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fox Valley, Illinois
Hammock: ENO, HH ULB, WBBB, GT
Zim: those are great photographs, and I thank you for posting very much.
This is my opinion from studying your photos: the one from Hammock.com is not the same one that I got from Byer of Maine. Several things stand out.
The Byer Vario has hard plastic (see my photos) hanging hooks—yours are metal. Someone could argue that metal is better than plastic, but the type of metal is forged and this may break.
The angle bracket (as mentioned by smoke) is spot welded on the Dubose—it is seam welded on the Vario. Big difference in quality of weld, and if noticed there, then likely same all over the product. For instance, in that same photograph, looking at one of the absolute key welds on the whole stand at teh meeting of the cross members: perpendicular feet to bottom bracket--a crucial weld--it is spot welded on the Dubose, and I just checked, nicely seam welded on the Byer. Big difference. Even the rubber "topper" that goes on the 3/4 inch bolts (assume they are 3/4 inch and require said wrench on the Dubose also) is not the same--it just looks different on the two hammocks.
The Dubose has metal “gaskets”, if you will, where the bottom bracket hand screw enter the green metal pipe—the Vario does not. Why are these there? I think, and this is only from studying the photos, that the steel on the Dubose is not as thick gauge as the Byer Vario. Hence, the reinforcements. I think Dubose is 69 lbs (not including the 6 lbs for packaging), and is longer with thinner metal, whereas the Byer is 60 lbs and shorter with thicker metal. For instance, if you study the metal it is smooth on the Dubose, and sort of rippled or dimpled (see my close-up bottom bracket photo—sorry my pics were so poor) on the Byer. I think it’s a different type of steel altogether, and that to me is significant.
Even the paint is different—the Byer has glossy and thick paint, the Dubose as matte green paint. (Watch out for lead for both of us, Chinese paint).
So, bottom line, they are two different hammock stands, clearly. That is, to me, a fact. Even the length is different.
That said, I am pointing out differences, and feel that the Byer might be a better construction, but I certainly do not know that, and I would be the first to say that the Dubose—one could argue—is a better value at $50 less either way. The Dubose, I believe, is an imitation of the original Byer of Maine Vario, manufactured by a completely different Chinese factory. I think, personally, that I will be getting a second stand (I have a sunroom and need a stand out there that I can take in and outdoors, leaving this one stand in the office—if I move it, my wife will change her mind and make me keep it out) and I will pay for the Byer Vario. I’m ordering it from Amazon.com tonight.
I am looking forward to hearing the input from stoik and BillyBob and stormcrow and justjeff and other Vario owners about the photos…the hammock.com model might be “good enough”. I have no idea if Dubose can be reached by phone (someone above posted about calling Byer and got a replacement part for$5 easily), and if the Dubose has a serial number and written two-year warranty like the Byer. Small but nice factors.
The hammock.com stand might be a better value, if it stands up to the test of time. Typically where it'd show it's weakness, if there is one, is that either a tube (e.g bottom bracket) would bend or stress fatigue over time, or one of the spot welds would break. Should that occur, some would argue reasonably that they'd just throw it away and buy another one. Reasonable thinking, as they could buy three DuBose stands for the price of two Byer stands. It's purely a matter of preference.
I’m sure any stand will allow hanging and is great. I again thank you for the photos, Zim, and certainly can say—if that’s your garage doors, you have a swell garage! Love the stone. Nothing Byer or Dubose about that.
Last edited by coolkayaker1; 08-17-2010 at 23:12..