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Camp Chairs?
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Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
Yes, more options! on 07/23/2012 11:30:33 MDT Print View

That Thermarest Neoair "Jembe" seat looks cool. Works like a compression sack to restrict the mattress into a drum shape for sitting. Clever idea, but it's still a "sack of potatoes" chair like the other camp stools. Lacks essential loungeability.

The Larry Chair, mentioned by Donna, weighs 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg) according to -- pretty heavy.

Also mentioned by Donna is the "Ultimate Slacker" camp stool with a back. Clocking in at 2.7lbs (1.2 kg), it's twice as heavy as the Monarch, and it doesn't seem to get good reviews, at least at

The Alite "Mantis" Donna links to does look like a stabler version of the Alite "Monarch" I'm griping about here, so I might be able to get in and out without too much tomfoolery. At 2 lbs (0.9 kg) it is 11 oz (300 g) heavier than the Monarch. At MSRP of US $120 ($85 on Amazon), it's not cheap. However, I can't complain about the build quality of the Monarch, it's nicely-engineered, so the Mantis might be equally nice.

There are a lot of options, for sure! As Brett says, one could devote a blog to the subject.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Can't Help on 07/23/2012 11:58:18 MDT Print View

I don't have a chair recommendation, but this sure seems like a case where if you're UL in all other areas, a camp chair weighing 2-3 lbs. is something that you could justify as a luxury item, as it would seem to add much to your quality of life on a trip. Most of us don't have a fused ankle and a total knee. Comfort counts for a lot when you have health issues IMO.

Karen Kennedy
(karenk) - MLife

Locale: NE NSW - Australian subtropics
Awesome chair on 07/23/2012 12:14:36 MDT Print View

Those of us in Oz will find the Alite Mantis = Helinox Chair One. We scored a couple from the first batch - for our upcoming 3 month trip by sea kayak. Comfort is sensational! Weight is around 900g, but more important for a trip in a double sea kayak with relatively modest storage, is the fact that these are quite compact when folded.

Design and comfort are exceptional. Highly recommended for UL car camping or those who need to or are prepared to carry the weight. We use a sit mat or Thinlight as insulation when necessary.

The four legs make them a stable chair, so Franco's diagnostic skills should not be necessary.

David A
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: Thanks all -- so these are the options? on 07/23/2012 20:25:03 MDT Print View

I have had a knee replacement for which I am extremely grateful, it has given me the high country back. But having a knee replacement also means I can no longer sit cross legged (Indian style)because of the torque on the joint. (Non hikers find this to be a complete non problem of course). As a hiker, not being able to sit on the ground comfortably is a fair PITA, however.

I have taken to carrying an external frame pack just so I can lean it up against a tree. Provides great lower back support too. It's a Kelty, probably from the 80's. It weighs 3 lb 2 oz. I figure I'm carrying about 18 oz worth of "chair" but it is so comfortable and completely worth it.

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts) - F

Locale: Nashville
Camp Chairs on 07/23/2012 21:01:13 MDT Print View

I agree with John. I've reduced weight in other areas so much that I always carry my REI trail stool. I enjoy being able to take it out of the side pocket of my pack when stopping for lunch or a break.

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
Re: Awesome chair on 07/23/2012 21:52:00 MDT Print View

"Those of us in Oz will find the Alite Mantis = Helinox Chair One. We scored a couple from the first batch - for our upcoming 3 month trip by sea kayak. Comfort is sensational! Weight is around 900g"

The Alite Mantis is the Real Deal and totally worth the weight. Call them our guilty pleasure if you must, but my wife and I wouldn't consider going without them.

Edited by aviddk on 07/23/2012 21:54:11 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Thanks all -- so these are the options? on 07/24/2012 04:45:35 MDT Print View

@ That Other Jack Elliott, ;-)

"As a guy who has one (1) fused ankle and (1) titanium knee..."

"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 embarrassment".

IMHO just the fact that you are out there backpacking and hiking precludes any possibility of embarrassment.

My hiking buddy also has issues with one of his ankles and an orthopedist told him, "Never stop hiking".

Party On,



Locale: South West US
Re: Camp Chairs on 07/24/2012 05:32:01 MDT Print View

That Helinox looks like it's taller than the Alite Mantis. A little heavier too but still reasonable. Might be a good option given Mr. Elliott's criteria.

Edited by oiboyroi on 07/24/2012 05:32:55 MDT.

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Camp Chairs on 07/24/2012 05:53:08 MDT Print View

The Alite Mantis is on sale thru Amazon. Heck..I might get one!

Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
Alite Mantis on 07/24/2012 09:19:10 MDT Print View

Hm, so the Alite Mantis is looking pretty interesting at this point.

Does anyone have a photo of the Alite Mantis' frame broken down and bundled for packing?

Only because while the Alite Monarch's aluminum framework--a bunch of nicely-machined tubes and fittings held together with shock cord--doesn't fold flat: there's this central cross fitting that prevents the cluster of tubes and bits from being collapsed into a nice neat bundle. Not a real problem of design or reliability, and not a hassle to pack, but it just looks aesthetically...stupid. To save weight I don't use the provided cordura-like stuff sack, but just bundle the collapsed frame with a couple hair bands.

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Alite Mantis on 07/24/2012 12:25:56 MDT Print View

Here....and read the comments as well.

Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
A Nightmare of Tubing!!! on 07/24/2012 12:53:37 MDT Print View

LOL -- at 1:18 you can see what a wonderfully angular mess of parts the broken-down frame looks like. Oh well, it's a minor matter.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: A Nightmare of Tubing!!! on 07/24/2012 13:08:20 MDT Print View

Actually the Monarch looks the same unfolded, but I've had no problems with it.

FWIW, over on there is a design for a MYOG chair composed of a long strip of fabric (+/- a pad)/ The top of the fabric strip is supported by two trekking poles, your butt sits on the lower part of the fabric on the ground, and you lean against the top section. I think I've got the directions saved as a word document - if you are interested, PM me your email, and I'll send it to you (or anyone else).

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Mantis on 07/24/2012 13:13:56 MDT Print View

Looks like you still have to squat down to get into it. Is that going to work for you?

Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
Flat on the ground? Not me. on 07/24/2012 13:14:26 MDT Print View

It's not the assembled shape of the chairs I'm commenting on, it's the remarkable tangle of tubes that make up the unassembled frame.

As a fellow with a metal knee and a fused ankle -- I believe I've mentioned this before? -- sitting flat on the ground is not very comfortable. First, those of us with these physical "features" can neither kneel, squat, nor sit cross-legged, meditation style. Sitting flat on the ground with one's legs stuck straight out in front becomes tired real fast. And don't even get me started on how much of a pain it is to get down on or up from the ground.

Brian Keith Gunter

Locale: Midwest
chair on 07/24/2012 13:35:46 MDT Print View

I have the Monarch and love it.

If you find a "once in a trip perfect spot" to set up the chair its great. A tree behind, to avoid the "fallback", a rock or stump to the side to avoid the "crash and burn", or the firm terra to prevent the "titanic", its the most camp comfort I have found for my old ankles, beat up knees, and post "under the knife" back.

Well worth the 1.3 lbs for my weekend to weeklong trips.

Lou Gehrig
(lou4gehrig) - F
lounger on 07/24/2012 13:48:54 MDT Print View

Thermarest also makes the trekker lounge

and trekker chair

both use your mattress and are great for lounging.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Here ya go! on 07/24/2012 13:50:27 MDT Print View

Cane Seat

Only 28 oz - less than the Alite, acts as a trekking cane (!), no sitting on the ground! Plus it's cheap - only $28 at Amazon! What more could you want????? ;-)

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
One minute set up and take down on 07/24/2012 13:59:05 MDT Print View

The Mantis can be set up or taken down in one minute. We rarely stop without taking the time to shake out ours. We store them in the side pockets of our backpacks so they are easy to access. The huge advantage of course is that you really can relax your back. My wife can scooch down in hers and have her head supported by the back. Everytime we sit in ours we think they are totally worth the carry weight.

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
1# 11oz. weight on 07/24/2012 17:15:30 MDT Print View

First I wanted to point out that the weight with cover is 1 lb. 11 oz. Here are couple of pictures that may help the OP.

Alite Mantis Frame

Alite Mantis packed without cover