I’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.
|Name||Weight (ounces)||Functionality||MSRP ($USD)|
|Big Agnes Big Easy Chair Kit 20"||14||Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility||44.95|
|Big Agnes Big Easy Chair Kit 25"||19.5||Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility||49.95|
|Big Agnes Cyclone SL Chair Kit||6||Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility||64.95|
|Crazy Creek Air Chair Compact||26||Inflatable, Included||79.95|
|Crazy Creek Air Chair Plus||45||Inflatable, Included||124.50|
|Crazy Creek HEX 2.0 Original Chair||21.9||No Pad Required||51.50|
|Crazy Creek HEX 2.0 Longback Chair||24.9||No Pad Required||59.00|
|Crazy Creek Original Chair||26||No Pad Required||48.50|
|Exped Chair Kit (Small)||18.3||Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility||60.00|
|Exped Chair Kit (Medium)||14.8||Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility||65.00|
|Exped Chair Kit (Medium-Wide)||16.2||Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility||70.00|
|Exped Chair Kit (Long-Wide)||16.6||Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility||70.00|
|EMS Mountain Chair||24||No Pad Required||35.00|
|Grand Trunk Collapsible Micro Stool||10||Not a Chair Kit, but Superlight as stools go||29.95|
|REI Trail Chair||23||No Pad Required||24.50|
|Sea to Summit Air Chair (Regular)||8||Requires Inflatable Sea-to-Summit Pad||49.95|
|Sea to Summit Air Chair (Large)||10||Requires Inflatable Sea-to-Summit Pad||59.95|
|Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Jemba Seat Kit Deluxe||7||Requires Inflatable NeoAir Pad||49.95|
|Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Jembe Seat Kit||3.7||Requires Inflatable NeoAir Pad||39.95|
|Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair Kit 20||9.5||Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility||34.95|
|Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair Kit 25"||13||Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility||49.95|
|Therm-a-Rest Trekker Lounge Kit 20"||16||Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility||49.95|
|Therm-a-Rest Compack Chair Kit 25"||9||Requires Inflatable Pad, Universal Compatibility||59.95|
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.
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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