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Favorite camp chair

Oct 11, 2020
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As a minimalist backpacker in the seventies I viewed weight and bulk as the enemy and only took what I considered necessities. I cut the handle short on my tooth brush and used a poncho as both a raincoat and as a tarp to sleep under. In the eighties I took a 14 day river trip and everyday watched the guide take out a collapsible chair then sit comfortably watching the river rush by while I sat on the cold hard ground. This changed my opinion on how I viewed what I consider luxury equipment. Comfort has become an important factor when I evaluate equipment.

After that river trip I purchased a Sling-Light camping chair. I used it backpacking, canoeing, and at sporting events for 30 years. Eventually the chair was broken and because it was no longer in production I purchased an Alite Mayfly chair.

I prefer lightweight compact chairs that sit low to the ground and that have a tall back with a headrest. This allows me to stretch my legs out on the ground and lean back with my head supported. I can comfortably fall asleep in this type of chair. The ability to use the chair both inside and out side of my tent is also important to me.

The Alite Mayfly chair is lightweight compact and comfortable while sitting upright but the Sling-Light I feel is a better lounger. For this reason I decided to modify the Alite chair. I lengthened the frame and added a tall seat sling. After the modifications I prefer the Alite chair for comfort and the ability to use it both inside and outside of my tent.

Do you have a favorite camp chair?

The Sling-Light chair was out of production but the original manufacturer received requests to manufacture a limited production run so I purchased one after I had already purchased the Alite chair . This is how I am able to display it in the photos.


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Been through a few chairs, got a new Helionox Beach Chair and it is hands down the best so far for comfort, weight etc (so far)

and a pic on location with the "under quilt" installed

For a very long time, Kathleen and I used white buckets as chairs, as here on the Thelon River.

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A few years ago, Kathleen bought us Helinox Ground Chairs for Christmas. We absolutely love them, as here on Great Slave Lake.


Their feet are rounded, and appropriate for relaxing in the tent.


Below was one of our favourite camp chairs on the South Nahanni River.


Not as good though, as this camp chair on the Coppermine River, just below Bloody Falls, one day away from the town of Kugluktuk.

If I ever go light weight again, I'll want one of the thermarest-converter things. The Neo-air is a great sleeping pad that I'll be bringing anyway, and the converter thing can't weigh much. Last time, I used one of the things I call "crazy creek" chairs. I used to laugh at those things but after using them, became a convert. My current one is by Eastern Mountain Sports, may be called mountain chair and weighs about a pound.

Even if I'm on a heavy-packed trip, I still bring the crazy-creek for use in the tent, and in the cold it makes a great insulating layer for the heavy chair, which just has a fabric bottom.

I tried a Crazy Creek chair. I wanted a chair that worked well both inside and outside of my tent. The Crazy Creek worked inside my tent but I preferred the Sling-Light when outside. Neither chair worked well for both and I didn't want to carry 2 chairs so I chose the Sling-Light at that time.

The Alite chair works well for both. I remove the front support for inside use. This allows me to sit as low as possible and my sleeping pad cushions the bottom providing one comfortable chair for both inside and outside use.

Crazy Creek style chairs are popular. I see them mounted in kayaks and canoes and used as stadium and camp chairs.


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I have a vintage camp chair, I think it might be a Coleman. It's held up well thru the years and comes in handy around the shop. I like it when I get dual usage out of my gear. It has a handy pouch under the seat, unfortunately I put stuff in there and then end up looking all over my kit for that stuff later in the trip.

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I also take a wooden frame canvas chair I restored with my wall tent sometimes, pretty comfortable, I could never get out of those low chairs so this is a good compromise for me. (and I like the "wood canvas" statement...haha, actually, I like this picture, wool shirt, wool blanket, bean boots, cotton pants, cold handle frying pan with some fresh Brats, Schmidt pack saw, Snow and Neally Cruiser ax, blue metal cup, canvas tent, wood tent frame, sitting on a wanigan...whats not to love)

...but Robin, how much does it weigh? :-(

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One time I was tent bound due to weather, I didn't have a chair that worked inside my tent and I wanted to sit up without having to lean forward all the time. I tried several improvised ideas including stuffing equipment and clothing behind me to wrapping equipment straps around my back and feet. "Necessity is the mother of invention". I tried to make myself into a Crazy Creek chair. Nothing I tried worked as well as a proper chair.


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We use Travel Chair. They’re a lot cheaper than the big named chairs, and they’ve held up for four years so far. They’re equally as comfy and no need to modify or bring tennis balls for the feet when in sand. I’ve tried a few similar, big name chairs, and they feel the same, truly.

I also have, but don’t bring both, a crazy creek chair. Love it, but prolonged sitting ends up a little too folded for me. I have thought about the UL chairs like these that sit lower, because like many on here, I enjoy the head support after a long day and the extended legs. Plus having them in a tent is nice.

Our pup usually finds a way get her whole body in one at some point…. No damage yet
sadly, due to a back injury and neuropathy in my legs, I can't use any of those spindly "umbrella" chairs because I need to push with my arms to get up and quickly wreck even high- end folders. Lately I've had to carry a full- size "director's" style chair, I had one like Robin's but it disappeared at a group camp and haven't found a decent replacement since...
For 20 years or so, I used these Coleman folding chairs, similar to Robin's. These weighed less than 1 lb each, and were comfortable enough if I wedged something in the frame to lessen the backwards lean. Pic below is my then 14 year old son on Rock Pond (ADK's Whitney Wilderness).


About ten years ago, I switched to a Helinox chair, mostly because I read yellowcanoe's rave reviews of them. Much more comfortable, and easier to fit in my pack, but a bit heavier.

On a trip to Fish Pond (ADK's), one of my buddies bragged about his Amazon knockoff chair, mentioning that his cost 1/3 of what mine cost me. He then continued to make side by side comparisons, which led to two broken legs and a broken jaw...


No, not anyone's legs or jaw!! In a short time, his 230 lbs body bent, and then broke his knockoff chair legs, and also broke the jaw on my nephew's Leatherman pliers when they attempted a field repair. That was nearly 10 years ago, we still laugh about it!! A lot.
The pic above shows his chair with the first broken leg next to my "expensive" Helinox.
Here's a vote for the Kermit Chair. Simply the most comfortable and stable camp chair I've ever used. You can put all your weight on one armrest when getting in or out and it stays put. Oak and denier nylon. Not too heavy, packs flat or into a small bundle. Classic looks.

They'll last forever but I would be lying if I didn't say that they require maintenance over the years. I've replaced many of the pins, epoxied fittings back into place and even epoxied a broken oak stay that was the casualty of a tipsy campmate.
Just purchased the Nemo Moonlight reclining chair. They have last year’s colors at half price.
Meet my new travel companion 'Brie'. She weighs in at 1.7 oz, is made from closed cell foam and has an uncanny resemblance to an unwrapped French soft cheese. Not having access to a hot knife, I took the kitchen knife to it.
The Forest Service decreed last year that food food has to be hung on, usually not existent, trees of the required caliber or stored in 'bear-proof' containers such as the BearVault 500. The addition of 'Brie' makes it into a very comfortable stool. 'Brie' can also be used on hard Canadian shield rock or a sitting log.
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We have a Helinox chair also. I prefer the above setup.
From NAPA Auto Parts, of all places. I really like the Maxi Trac Folding Chair it sets up and takes down easily, packs small, is sturdy and has an extra high supportive back
Even better is is now on sale for just $22.99, although I have seen it as low as $17.99 when I bought mine at half the then full price.

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I had a Helinox and it was awesome but small. I bought a Big Agnes Mica Basin XL and can't believe the difference in comfort. It's a couple ounces more, but the bag is close to the same size. The seat is higher and that width... It's a great chair for the over 6'/230# crowd. Heck, I've had a 6'5"/ 320# guy in it with no issues.