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Exped Chair Kit: A sleeping solution for those who don't like sleeping flat on their back

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I know this sub-forum is for sleeping equipment. For me, the Exped Chair Kit has a place in the sleeping equipment discussion.

At home, I never sleep flat on my back or side. It causes me back pain. I strongly prefer to have my head and shoulders elevated with a couple of pillows stacked up against the headboard. Truth be told, I'd rather sleep sitting upright in a chair (I actually did that for several years when my back pain was much worse) than flat on my back.

This has been a huge problem for me when camping. There's no headboard in a tent to pile pillows against. I've tried raising my head with a camping pillow and putting my dry bags / portage bag under the sleeping mat. These always slide around don't get the job done for me and I can't get a good night's sleep.

On my most recent six night Allagash trip in June I decided to give the Exped Chair Kit a try. It worked fantastic for me (coupled with the Exped Megamat Lite sleeping pad but any inflatable pad should work). While advertised as a chair kit to turn a sleeping pad into a chair, it can also be used (and is shown) turning your sleeping pad into an adjustable chaise lounge. That's how I used it. It was FANTASTIC! For reading in my tent (I can't comfortably read on my back, either), I had the back up at a near 90 degree angle. And then when I got sleepy, I just adjusted the side straps and reduced the angle to one conducive to sleeping for me (30-45 degrees).

Here's the official link from Exped. One of the pics shows it in chaise lounge configuration:


As you can see in the photos on Exped's site, it's a simple product. Basically a sleeping pad cover with a zipper at one end, some aluminum support rods in the back (like the Crazy Creek chairs), and a couple of adjustable straps to set the angle.

If you like sitting up in your tent -- to read or to sleep, I highly recommend it.

EDIT: Here it is in chaise configuration:

Chair_Kit_MW_Lounge_7640171991139.png
 
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I used to do something like this with my Thermarest chair kit.........

It was ok but a much better solution (not for sleeping) was to get a much bigger tent that had the space and headroom for a Helinox "style" chair.
 
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What are the advantages (other than plushness) over a Crazy Creek chair? It looks functionally the same.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Great if this works as a sleeping solution for your back in camp.

Tangent: If stacked pillows begin not to cut it at home, think of investing in a reclining bed and mattress combo such as the Saatva below (which I have). It's also great for elevating feet, which I sometimes need for other issues.

 
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I used to do something like this with my Thermarest chair kit.........

It was ok but a much better solution (not for sleeping) was to get a much bigger tent that had the space and headroom for a Helinox "style" chair.
I bought the Thermarest at the same time as the Exped and tried them both out (at home before the trip). Liked the Exped better and returned the Thermarest.

I also hought about going the bigger tent and Helinox (or similar) chair route My 4 man tent would allow that. My 2 man not so much. Also worried about damaging tent floor.
 
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What are the advantages (other than plushness) over a Crazy Creek chair? It looks functionally the same.

In the seat configuration, not much, other than the Crazy Creek is narrower and doesn't have insulation in back. In the chaise configuration -- it's a big difference. But when you lean back in a Crazy Creek or similar, I find myself balancing on a pretty narrow area -- the seat rises. With the Exped in chaise configuration, the weight of your legs keeps that flat while you lean back.


Chair_Kit_MW_Lounge_7640171991139.png
 
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Great if this works as a sleeping solution for your back in camp.

Tangent: If stacked pillows begin not to cut it at home, think of investing in a reclining bed and mattress combo such as the Saatva below (which I have). It's also great for elevating feet, which I sometimes need for other issues.

Yeah, need one of these!
 
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I bought the Thermarest at the same time as the Exped and tried them both out (at home before the trip). Liked the Exped better and returned the Thermarest.

I also hought about going the bigger tent and Helinox (or similar) chair route My 4 man tent would allow that. My 2 man not so much. Also worried about damaging tent floor.

I'm going to test out the "chair in tent" thing with my new Alps Mountaineering 4p Acropolis, not too worried about the floor because I will probably cut most of the floor out anyway (I've been using "floorless" tents/shelters for years.

I don't use the Thermarest chair kit anymore because I upgraded to their Mondo King pad which is far too big and thick to work as a chair (would work as a "couch" if they made a specific chair kit for it or if I had the skills and motivation to make my own).
 
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