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  1. #1
    Senior Member coolkayaker1's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by coolkayaker1; 08-15-2010 at 19:52.

  2. #2
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    When I was looking for a hammock stand quite awhile back. I considered the Vario stand along with quite a few others. Ultimately I got a stand for $49.00 from my local Wal-mart store on a end of the season clearance sale (the cheap price swayed me). It is a fairly sturdy stand. Although it does flex a bit when getting in or out. I have been considering get a set on extensions made for it as described on a few threads here. But your description of the Byer makes me wonder if I would not have been better served by getting one of them. Oh well!
    Terry

  3. #3
    Senior Member coolkayaker1's Avatar
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    Photos

    Here are some photos of the Vario stand. Sorry blurry--I was nervous knowing these will be on Hammock Forum. :-)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by coolkayaker1; 08-14-2010 at 08:04.

  4. #4
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting the pictures. Now I for sure wish that I had got one. Going with the cheapest is not necessarily the best way to go sometimes and this appears to be one of them. Darn!
    Terry

  5. #5
    Senior Member coolkayaker1's Avatar
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    I know what you mean, and from the distant photo they show of these things on all ads, one cannot tell if any of them are any good. That's why I wanted to write something up for information on this great website. And I don't work for Byer of Maine, and don't even know anyone from the state of Maine, so this is unbiased.

    Never too late, Poppa==gift yours to someone.
    Last edited by coolkayaker1; 08-14-2010 at 09:40.

  6. #6
    richtorfla's Avatar
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    Thanks Cool. Looks nice and well built. Was looking at these and still hadn't made up my mine if I am going to buy one or biuld one out of 2x4's.

  7. #7
    Senior Member stoikurt's Avatar
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    I have one and it is quite sturdy. The steel is about 1/8" Thucydides so it's not that cheap thin wall steel. I've had it outside in the waether for a time with no signs of any rust development. I bouught the extension but have never used it. My hammocks have whoopie slings on them and I just double loop the end of the whoopie sling around the plastic post. It's very sturdy and shows no sign of loosening in the pipe or breaking. I just added an ENO Double to my collection and I think I really need to shorten the length and extend the uprights so I can get more sag in the hammock.

    I recently used it at a Boy Scout camporee held at a fair grounds (ie-no trees). Several Just Jeff suggested how to use a tarp with it. The stand will bow inwards a little under load so that would cause a tarp to sag. Tie one end of your tarp to one end of the stand. The cord on the other end of the tarp should wrap around the other end of the stand and then hang downward with about a 10 pound or so counterweight. The cord should be able to slide over the end of the stand so the counterweight will take up the slack in the tarp when under load. This worked quite well. As soon as I can find my picture of that setup I'll add it to this post.
    Stoikurt
    "Work to Live...Don't Live to Work!"

  8. #8
    Senior Member stoikurt's Avatar
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    UI have one and it is quite sturdy. The steel is about 1/8" thickd so it's not that cheap thin wall steel. I've had it outside in the weather for a time with no signs of any rust development. I bought the extension but have never used it. My hammocks have whoopie slings on them and I just double loop the end of the whoopie sling around the plastic post. It's very sturdy and shows no sign of loosening in the pipe or breaking. I just added an ENO Double to my collection and I think I really need to shorten the length of the stand and extend the uprights so I can get more sag in the hammock.

    I recently used it at a Boy Scout camporee held at a fair grounds (ie-no trees). Several years ago Just Jeff suggested how to use a tarp with it. The stand will bow inwards a little under load so that would cause a tarp to sag. Tie one end of your tarp to one end of the stand. The cord on the other end of the tarp should wrap around the other end of the stand and then hang downward with about a 10 pound or so counterweight. The cord should be able to slide over the end of the stand so the counterweight will take up the slack in the tarp when under load. This worked quite well. As soon as I can find my picture of that setup I'll add it to this post.
    Stoikurt
    "Work to Live...Don't Live to Work!"

  9. #9
    Senior Member coolkayaker1's Avatar
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    "Tie one end of your tarp to one end of the stand. The cord on the other end of the tarp should wrap around the other end of the stand and then hang downward with about a 10 pound or so counterweight. The cord should be able to slide over the end of the stand so the counterweight will take up the slack in the tarp when under load"--Just JEff and stoikurt.

    Wow, GReat tip, thanks. looking forward to those pictures, stoikurt
    Loads of HF'ers have them: BillyBob, stormcrow, lost cause, et al.

    Plus you reminded me of something--in the box, and all packed down, I'd says it's about 4 feet long, and one foot wide and 6 inches tall. The box ia destroyed because of the weight of the thing (pokes holes in box during shipping). But as you mention going to the fairgrounds, although I wouldn;t want to move this daily, if I were going to a beach house or staying somewhere for a few days-a week, it'd be reasonable to disassemble (less than 15 minutes) and pack this baby in the back of an SUV for use at vacation.

    Here's another thread about Vario:
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ght=byer+stand

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ght=byer+vario
    Last edited by coolkayaker1; 08-14-2010 at 10:34.

  10. #10
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolkayaker1 View Post

    ..................................
    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. ..............

    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—..............
    Did you already order it? I got one with mine and have never used it, and doubt I ever will. I am more likely to shorten it as much as possible for my HH safari. This is the only way I can stay off the ground with that hammock, because it hangs so far below the RL, so much sag. The height is fine until I get in and the thing flexes.

    All in all, it has been very handy and useful, but with 3 flaws.
    1: First, the flexing of the uprights is a hassle with some hammocks. Zero with my claytor, a LOT with my Speer, and a good bit with the other hammocks, especially those with structural RLs. I manage to work around this, but it can be a hassle. Still better than no trees, and useful for indoor hanging.
    2: If anything needs an extension, IMO, it is the uprights. It would be great if there was an optional way to raise the height, straight up, a foot or two. This would make it much easier to stay off the ground with the likes of my Safari, even after the thing flexes.
    3: I don't like that steel bar right under my back. If any thing ever gives out, that is going to provide a bunch of extra hurt.

    Still, all things considered, I have used it a lot. In places where I otherwise would not be hanging!
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

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