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Lightweight Backpacking Chair Kits

Lightweight Camping Chair KitsI’m not a minimalist and while I believe in the value of lightweight backpacking gear, there’s something to be said for bringing a few creature comforts along on my trips once in a while. There are times when you want to be like Andrew Skurka’s “ultimate hiker” and times when you want to be the “ultimate camping hiker”, if you follow my drift.

While sitting on the ground builds character, it does get a bit old when the ground is cold and the nights are long, something I picked up this year from congenial hammockers who like to put out a guest chair so friends can stop by for a visit at group hangs. It’s also nice to have a chair when I camp alone, so I can sit up and read more comfortably, something I have trouble with when lying down.

NameWeight (ounces)FunctionalityMSRP ($USD)
Big Agnes Big Easy Chair Kit 20"14Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility44.95
Big Agnes Big Easy Chair Kit 25"19.5Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility49.95
Big Agnes Cyclone SL Chair Kit6Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility64.95
Crazy Creek Air Chair Compact26Inflatable, Included79.95
Crazy Creek Air Chair Plus45Inflatable, Included124.50
Crazy Creek HEX 2.0 Original Chair21.9No Pad Required51.50
Crazy Creek HEX 2.0 Longback Chair24.9No Pad Required59.00
Crazy Creek Original Chair26No Pad Required48.50
Exped Chair Kit (Small)18.3Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility60.00
Exped Chair Kit (Medium)14.8Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility65.00
Exped Chair Kit (Medium-Wide)16.2Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility70.00
Exped Chair Kit (Long-Wide)16.6Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility70.00
EMS Mountain Chair24No Pad Required35.00
Grand Trunk Collapsible Micro Stool10Not a Chair Kit, but Superlight as stools go29.95
REI Trail Chair23No Pad Required24.50
Sea to Summit Air Chair (Regular)8Requires Inflatable Sea-to-Summit Pad49.95
Sea to Summit Air Chair (Large)10Requires Inflatable Sea-to-Summit Pad59.95
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Jemba Seat Kit Deluxe7Requires Inflatable NeoAir Pad49.95
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Jembe Seat Kit3.7Requires Inflatable NeoAir Pad39.95
Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair Kit 209.5Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility34.95
Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair Kit 25"13Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility49.95
Therm-a-Rest Trekker Lounge Kit 20"16Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility49.95
Therm-a-Rest Trekker Lounge Kit 25"24Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility59.95
Therm-a-Rest Compack Chair Kit 20"7Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility49.95
Therm-a-Rest Compack Chair Kit 25"9Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility59.95

A Chair Kit Primer

There are two kinds of camping chairs available today: portable chairs which weigh between 1-3 pounds and are intended for car camping, and lightweight chair kits designed for backpacking that incorporate an inflatable sleeping pad to create a simple camp chair, so you can sit upright.

The Big Agnes Cyclone SL Chair kit weighs just 6 ounces and is universally compatible with other inflatable sleeping pads
The Big Agnes Cyclone SL Chair kit weighs just 6 ounces and is universally compatible with other inflatable sleeping pads

Some old-school chair kits are still available, like those from Crazy Creek, that don’t require a sleeping pad, but they’re pretty heavy, weighing well over a pound. If you’re trying to keep your gear weight as low as possible and you already sleep with an inflatable sleeping pad, you’re best bet is to use one of the lightweight chair kits from Big Agnes or Therm-a-Rest listed above which weigh less than 8 ounces.

These chair kits work with 20″ and 25″ sleeping pads that have a mummy or rectangular shape, regardless of manufacturer in case you have an inflatable pad that’s not made by Big Agnes or Therm-a-Rest.

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