Competor's product

Posted by Peter on 19th June 2023

I saw that a competitor had released a product not that dissimilar from our Frammock (significantly cheaper), so I ordered it and assembled it following a swift delivery in a good box.

They have sheathed the steel in foam in China, so I didn't have to, and replaced our Net with a Mesh, so I won’t have to lace it either.

The instructions included a nice bit of marketing and were in booklet form with warnings in myriad languages, so far, I am impressed (which is not a good feeling).

I am not a fan of the mesh, it feels plastic, sweaty, there is Velcro, or their ropes, more black plastic.

I take the vernier to the steel and am gratified to find its thinner and thinner, 25mm & 1.2mm Brave use 28mm diameter and 1.5mm wall thickness.

The steel has been squared off at the ends, where it will join to form a single shape, which is clever: when we were designing the Frammock we ran into a problem quite far down the track that would have been solved by such squaring and allowed us to have 4 pieces and a smaller box. In the end we had to make the Frammock from just 2 pieces.

But also meant we did not need bolts.

I don’t like nuts and bolts on swings, but these eye-bolts were so thin with the ropes pre-strung through their loops that I got my first real flush of superiority. Feeling better I looked for the hole in the tube (part of the reason I don’t like bolts) and I ripped the foam. Now I am buzzing and the bolts were an absolute faff, each one needs a washer and a spring clip, (cos they don’t have Nylock nuts). The nut the washers the foam are all competing for the same space with my fingers and my pride is becoming appalling. Surely - surely these get lost in the grass, I dropped 2 nuts in the office.

I get all four bolts home, and reach for the padded seats only to discover I have built it wrong. I check the instructions, its an honest mistake, it wasn’t clear (I’m not cheating).

But I am biased, so take this with a pinch of salt…

Our steel is stronger, our foam is tougher, our ropes are nicer, perhaps their mesh is better than our net (its not, our net is lovely you can see through it and feel like you are flying, it makes the whole thing seem as ephemeral as an insect’s wing, it’s unbelievably stylish, even though it’s not black).

Our build takes longer, but it’s not fiddly.

Our shape is more pleasing, its not a sweat box, there is no Velcro anywhere.

Ours costs about 60% more.

I wonder if ropes-through-eyebolts is a good idea, there is metal-on-rope movement, not much, but well, we would not do it, when we designed the Frammock we just flat out rejected that idea.