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Camp Chairs?
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Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
Camp Chairs? on 07/22/2012 22:12:03 MDT Print View

I have an Alite Monarch chair ( which I've taken on a couple of trips, and, frankly, it's not for me. The 1.3 lbs (580gm) weight I don't mind, but sitting in the darn thing without falling over requires much more coödination than I possess, and don't ask me about getting in and out of that thing!

I have tumbled out of it more than I've fallen walking home from my favorite pub. The only advantage to falling over in the backcountry is that there are fewer people to witness my clumsiness.

So, I ask the esteemed group: what camp chairs to you bring?

(And for you smart-alecks out there: I don't need a snapshot of a stump, a log, a rock, a hammock or a chunk of ground: I'm old, my bones are old, my old white a$$ wants comfort.)

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Camp Chairs? on 07/22/2012 22:15:59 MDT Print View

Well actually a hammock does make a great chair. Other than that I just use a section of Ridgerest. I use to bring a Therm a rest pad and chair kit. Had to stop taking it. Did not like the looks from the uncomfortable others.


Locale: South West US
Re: Camp Chairs? on 07/22/2012 22:38:14 MDT Print View

The REI Trail Stool was lookin' pretty good to me.

There's also the sling-light.

Happy sitting,


Erik Hagen
(EWH100) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Sling light chair on 07/22/2012 23:00:13 MDT Print View

I like the looks of that sling light chair

Edited by EWH100 on 07/22/2012 23:02:07 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Camp Chairs? on 07/22/2012 23:14:12 MDT Print View

The slinglight chair isn't much easier to get in and out of than the Monarch and it felt flimsy to me. Maybe they are better if you weigh 165 rather than 220. I do carry a sit pad and use it to supplement my short sleeping pad.

+1 on a hammock. They really are luxurious on a day hike. A lightweight one with suspension is a little under a pound. You do need a couple trees :)

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
All or nothing on 07/23/2012 00:04:09 MDT Print View

I was considering the NeoAir sit pad, but instead bought a big heavy reclining chair:
Basically I decided that I do enough car camping I might as well go for it. I have a couple trail stools, but even for short backpacking trips I never found it worth the weight or hassle. The Alite Monarch Butterfly Chair is comfortable to sit in, but the weight you have to place on the heal of your feet to balance it becomes uncomfortable with time, especially if you have been hiking. On a side note letting a little air out of a regular size NeoAir mat it folds in three for a very nice sitting pad. If you are comfortable placing the pad directly on the ground (I am), then it is similar, although lower and wider, than what you get with the thermarest Jembe, but without any extra weight or cost.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Camp Chairs? on 07/23/2012 01:11:53 MDT Print View

A YouTube clip of you falling over on your Monarch chair may help in pinpointing the problem and finding a solution.
Multiple falls taken from different angles would speed up the process.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Camp Chairs? on 07/23/2012 01:47:45 MDT Print View

I have a couple big car camping chairs. Too big for backpacking. Also a little cold to sit around at night during the time of year I like to go camping. I've put a foam pad in the bottom, but I'd like to come up with a better way to insulate the seat so I can enjoy more sit time under the stars.

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Camp Chairs? on 07/23/2012 03:40:53 MDT Print View

For short trips I bring my Crazy Creek chair that weighs 1.3 lbs and rolls up nicely. Otherwise I just use a small sit pad. That chair you use also makes a four-legged model but hard to find. Lafuma makes a 4 legged one but too heavy for backpacking but it sure is comfy. I saw a couple use them on one of their backpacking trips.

Edited by leadfoot on 07/23/2012 03:42:13 MDT.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
One Pounder from REI on 07/23/2012 07:41:54 MDT Print View

The REI camp stool does it for me. I pull off the shoulder strap and it comes out to a pound. It sits low, but taller than the Monarchs and perfect for sitting in front of the BearVault stovetop while cooking dinner. The REI stool has flat/widened feet on it, and these are less likely to post-hole than simple round feet (as on my $10 Big 5 loaners) in soft soil.

I can't lean back, but then that's what large rocks are for. I can, however, easily move it, stand and sit up and down into it without the stool pitching and it's great for putting shoes on and off when I'm feeling a little creaky.

Heather Hohnholz
(Hawke) - M
Best solution I've seen on 07/23/2012 08:32:45 MDT Print View

As long as you're in an area with the proper materials available:

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Slinglight on 07/23/2012 08:38:03 MDT Print View

The Slinglight is definitely not flimsy. I weighed over 200 when I first got it. It's rock solid. It's easy to get into. You do have to squat and grab the frame with both hands to lower yourself onto it. But even with my bad knees, it's not a problem. If you're willing to carry the weight, you'll love it. I leave the headrest at home unless I know it's an easy trip with lots of camp and stargazing time.

It pairs up well with my Shangri-La 3. If I put it right in the center, I can sit it in inside the SL3 with headroom to spare. Very nice on rainy nights (like last Friday) to be able to sit and read and listen to the rain.

Edited by rlnunix on 07/23/2012 08:45:00 MDT.

Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
Thanks all -- so these are the options? on 07/23/2012 08:40:23 MDT Print View

RK: I had a Slinglight and, as Dale says, it ain't much easier to get into or out of than the Monarch. It is light and sturdy, though. I gifted mine to my son, who is far more agile, and he loves it. [EDIT: Randy, I agree: the Slinglight does not feel flimsy. I'd-a kept mine but I found it a pain to pack because it doesn't break down, and my combination of metal knee and fused ankle makes it stupid-difficult to get out of.]

Brett is right that the Monarch doesn't let a fellow take his weight off his feet, they are required for balancing and, my footsies prefer to be off-duty at the end of a long trail day.

The REI camp stool that RK helpfully points to seems a possibility although I'm really looking for a chair with a back so I can recline a bit and suitable rocks or trees cannot always be counted on to exist in the exact spot I want for lounging view-taking-in. Sitting like a sack of potatoes on a stool just doesn't seem loungy enough. But, as Erik points out, it sure is nice to have something--anything--to sit on when putting on shoes or cooking.

The Crazy Creek chair mentioned by Donna looks like a Thermarest chair I used to bring. As a guy who has one (1) fused ankle and (1) titanium knee, I can say that climbing down to the ground and back up to get into & out of a chair like that isn't easy in the least and necessitates lots of undignified grunting and contorting.

I'm not a hammock person. Don't care to spend any time not sleeping laying down, and while the Hennessy Hammock is the best solution for a side-sleeper, the weight and cost, not to mention the frequent number of times my chosen campsite has no suitable pairs of trees, take hammocks out of the running as a camp chair.

Finally, Franco suggests that "A YouTube clip of you falling over on your Monarch chair may help in pinpointing the problem and finding a solution. Multiple falls taken from different angles would speed up the process."

I'll get a camera crew to follow me on my next backpack and see if I can't get enough data for analysis and embarassment.

So I think we have covered the options? Self-supporting or sitter-operated sling types like the Slinglight or Monarch, folding flat-on-the-ground chairs like the Crazy Creek and Thermarest, and stools like the REI? Anything else out there except for some massive car-camping chair from Walmart?

Edited by JackElliott on 07/23/2012 08:43:28 MDT.

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Camp Chairs? on 07/23/2012 10:03:42 MDT Print View

It seems that pretty much any light camp chair/stool will be low to the ground or knees in your face. My Crazy Creek allows me to stretch out and rest my back. Getting out of it isn't any different than crawling out of my sleeping bag on the ground and getting out of my tent. I have trouble as well, but I found an easy way to work my body to an upright position without any problems.

Here is the Alite Mantis that I mentioned.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
BV500 on 07/23/2012 10:05:45 MDT Print View

Probably won't work for you, but it is worth mentioning that the BV500 works well as a stool. If you already bring a bear can, the additional weight of the big BV500 (8 ounces more than the BV450) make it competitive for dual use.

Peter Griffith
(petergriffith) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Re: Thanks all -- so these are the options? on 07/23/2012 10:06:10 MDT Print View

How about the Thermarest Neoair Jembe seat? Kind of like the REI stool but without the weight. I have no experience with it. Anyone used it?

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Thanks all -- so these are the options? on 07/23/2012 10:09:56 MDT Print View

this is like a stool with a back..

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Re: Thanks all -- so these are the options? on 07/23/2012 10:15:51 MDT Print View

and a folding chair...not sure the weight.

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Ideal camping chair on 07/23/2012 10:20:04 MDT Print View

This seems like one of those subjects you could spend a lifetime on in search of the ever elusive ideal camping chair. Maybe start a blog and get a good following with a title like “Adventures in camping chairs.”

Cam Baker
(Trail_Turkey) - F
Jerry-Chair on 07/23/2012 10:51:13 MDT Print View

I don't think the Jerry-Chair was mentioned (thought I may have missed it). Requires adjustable treking poles and a sit pad is nice: