It’s great to hear from someone else that the Vario stand is working out. You sleep in it every night—wow! You must have a spine that looks like a twisted tree root, PKT.
Hey, I finally did what SandyKayak suggested (great suggestion SandyKayak): I called Byer of Maine (800-338-0580) and simply mentioned that I am thinking of buying a Vario, but saw one on hammocks.com and wondering if that is a Byer of Maine? I then got the straight scoop which explains everything we have been saying on here, and why the above poster’s hammocks.com box from over a years ago said “Vario” on it, etc. Ready?
Hammocks.com was a retailer and sold official Byer of Maine Vario hammock stands until about two years ago. Then, they ceased ordering from Byer of Maine and had “knock-offs”—that’s the word used by Byer customer service—manufactured in China. Orders from hammocks.com to Byer thus ceased when they started selling the knock-offs. Hammocks.com has not an official retailer of Byer stands as of the time they opted to make and sell knock-offs
So, that makes perfect sense. I doubt (and this is me talking, not Byer of ME now) that the two hammock stands, the Vario and the “knock-off”, are made in the exact same Chinese plant—likely Byer would stop the contract if the same company was making knock-offs. Plus, there's just too many differences. I think the length difference, Dubose almost two feet longer with shipping wt 69 lbs, versus the 64 lb shipping weight of the Byer suggests a lighter-weight Dubose product.
So the length difference, the paint type difference and color difference (and color choices with the Dubose), the different knobs, the different hanging hardware, the spot welding versus seam welding and the different warranties (2 years with Byer) are all because they are, as surmised, different hammock stands. That’s a fact.
To finish, just to be sure, I asked Byer rep if the hammock stand sold from Amazon is a Byer of Maine, and she stated, “Yes, absolutely, Amazon is an official Byer of Maine retailer.”
So there it is, ladies and gentlemen. Anyone buying from hammocks.com two years or more ago (and likely more recently than that as they likely had overstock) owns a Byer of ME. Now, it’s a knock off.
Now, with all that said, someone would have to make a personal decision as to whether a $99 stand is as good for them as the $149 stand—the former has the merit of being cheaper, and if breaks, replace it. Two Byers for the price of three Dubose…a personal decision. The photos, including from Zim, are exceedingly helpful for future purchasers to make the decision that is best for them.
Glad to get all this on here for future buyers.