When camping and you are able to pull your vehicle up to the campsite the thought probably doesn’t cross your mind about the weight of your camp chair.. but food those that are having to carry their chair either in a pack pack or strapped to them somewhere weight is a huge concern. Today we are looking at a multitude of chair and sit pad options that are out there for those that need to keep it light..
As a side note.. My backside has graced nearly every one of these chairs at my local REI or Backwoods stores and all of them do the job they were made to do and that’s give you a place to get up off the ground. Sadly this is one area that some don’t think about and they get to camp and see everyone sitting in their comfortable chairs and they have the luxury of pulling a log or rock up to the campfire. Yes, I know some love the thought of sitting on a big hunk of wood or rock but for me I would rather have a chair and I am willing to add a little weight to my pack to have that comfort later. But.. to each his own.
So here we go with some chair and sit pad options for those that don’t want to sit on the ground, log or rock.
First up is the REI Co-Op Flexlite Air Chair. Priced at $99.99 the Air Chair is a quick set up chair that has an aluminum frame much like a tent. Think lightweight poles… The seat is made from a ripstop nylon and is water repellant os it easily repels water and anything else you might spill on it while around the campfire. The Flexlite Air Chair folds up to 5”x16” and can be stored in the stuff sack that is included. Here’s the great part.. This chair only weight 1 pound with a weight capacity of 250 pounds. Absolutely impressive. Yes, I know the chair costs $100 and some would rather drop their rears on the ground of a rock instead of pay $100 for a chair but in my opinion the comfort is what I’m looking at and it weighs near nothing. The chair comes in three color options – Orange, Black and White.. The REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair is a fantastic option.
A relative of the Flexlite Air Chair is the REI Co-op Flexlite Chair. Nope.. No Air in the name of this chair which means it’s heavier.. Not by a huge amount but it is heavier. Compared to the Air Chair the regular Flexlite Chair weighs 1 pound 12 ounces. Typically this chair retails for $79.95 and for me adding $20 to the purchase is worth dropping almost half of a chairs weight but currently the REI Co-op Flexlite Chair has been dropped to $59.93 which really makes you think. Near half the price of it’s lighter family member but almost near double the weight.. Hmmm. Makes you wonder which way you should go. The chair folds down to a 4.5” x 15” package and fits in the included stuff sack and has a weight capacity just like the Air Chair of 250 pounds. Sitting in both there really isn’t much of a difference so it comes down to price and weight between these two chairs. 1 pound and $99.99 for the Flexlite Air Chair and 1 pound 12 ounces and $59.93 for the Flexlite Chair.. You decide what works for you and budget.
One of the pricier chair options in the review is the Helinox Chair Zero. With a price take of $119.99 it’s a little higher than the Air Chair but weighs the same light 1 pound. Folded dimensions are 13.8” x 3.9” x 3.9”, so it’s a little smaller than the Air Chair and a little easier to pack away. Not much but to give it credit it is smaller. The seat sits 11” off the ground and also made with an aluminum frame and weight capacity is 265 pounds. Like the others, the Chair Zero comes with a stuff sack for easy storage. For those that are truly backpacking in to a remote location and want the luxury of a chair this may be your option. Smaller packed size with a crazy low 1 pound overall weight and will hold up 265 pounds.. this chair may be the perfect chair for those that don’t care about dropping $120 on a camp chair. And… It’s very comfortable!
Next Up -Another Helinox chair – The Helinox Chair One. Priced at $99.95 this chair is $20 cheaper than it’s sister the chair zero but it also weighs in at 2 pounds. Double the weight for a drop in price of $20. Doesn’t seem like a great deal to me. Packing down to a size of 13.8” x 3.9” x 4.7” it’s slightly larger than the Chair Zero but did I mention it’s double the weight?? Like all the other chairs listed above I have sat in this one and it’s comfortable but no more comfortable than any of the others. The only thing and I mean only thing this has that the others don’t is a weight capacity of 320 pounds. So if you need a chair that can hold over 300 pounds and still stay around 2 pounds this may be the chair for you. Other than the added weight capacity this chair makes no sense to me. If you are truly backpacking and trying to shave off as much weight as you can spend the extra $20 and get a Helinox Chair Zero over the Chair One. Easy decision…… and those colors. Ouch!!!
The Big Agnes Skyline UL Chair.. Weighing in at 1 pound 12 ounces it’s a light chair but just not as light as a couple others. But still light for anyone looking for a good solid camp chair option. Packing down to 3.5” x 17” it will easily pack down to a size you need to either include in your pack or attache to the upside. Now.. in my opinion this chair is the most comfortable out of all the chairs reviewed here. It just has a different feel to it. I’m not sure if it’s because it feels like you are more laid back or what. It’s just different. I really like this chair and at under 2 pounds it’s a great choice. Frame like the others is made from an ultralight aluminum and the weight limit comes in at 275 pounds. Plenty for most people out on the trail. If you need more than 275 – The Helinox Chair One is the chair for you. Price for the Big Agnes Skyline UL Chair is $109.95 so a little higher than some of the other options but a great chair in my opinion. Two Thumbs Up From Me !! And…. I love the yellow color option.
The little sister to the Big Agnes Skyline UL Chair is the Big Agnes Skyline UL Stool. For those that don’t need a full size chair and just need something small maybe the stool is what fits your needs. Coming in at 1 pound 4 ounces it is surprisingly heavy for a stool but still light when it comes to carrying it around. Packed down size is 3.5” x 12” so it’s small… really small. Weight capacity of 250 pounds and like the others the frame is a lightweight aluminum. This is one of the few options in the review that I have not sat on. It was out of stock when I made my trek to my local REI. Maybe that means something… Priced at $79.95 it’s budget friendly compared to some of the other light weight options in the review but remember.. It’s a stool not a chair so if you lean back you are in for a fall… Color options like the chair – Black or Yellow
As you know there are a lot of chair options out there and we just brought you a few really good options of lightweight chairs with large weight capacities, that pack down small and don’t break the bank. Now we are going to look at a few seat pads.. For those that don’t have a problem sitting on the ground or wherever you can lay these pads out. They obviously won’t be as comfortable as a chair but they pack down to near nothing and weight far less than a chair. It comes down to what do you want to carry with you compared to comfort and price. So here we go….
The first one we are going to look at is made by the ever popular company – Therma-A-Rest. With a recognizable like they have it’s near guaranteed you will be getting a good product. The Therma-A-Rest Z-Seat Pad. I’m not sure how many products out there can boast they have three hyphens in their name… If you are looking for unique you might have found it with the three hyphen sit pad. Your friends will be envious. Their chair or pad probably at best has one hyphen… Sorry.. Back to the pad.. The Z-Seat Pad weighs an astonishing 2 ounces. For everyone highly concerned about weight I’m not sure 2 ounces can even be felt much when backpacking so this may be your option. Packed size is 12” x 2.75” x 2.5” so it’s amazing small. Small, light closed cell foam with a aluminized coating makes this pad a great choice for the camp. The pad as said before has an aluminized coating which adds warmth when resting on rocks or logs. Accordion design allows the seat to full up to an incredibly small size. And the best part… The price tag is $14.95… This is a great option if you want something that will take the edge off but not make you haul a packed down chair around with you. And at 2 ounces what else needs to be said…
Next up is the REI Co-op Sit Pad.. Weighing in at 4.4 ounces it’s another super lightweight option for sitting around camp. Unlike the Z-Seat Pad this sit pad inflates with a small valve on the side. If you own a sleeping pad this is the same concept. Inflate, sit, deflate, roll up and shove it in the included stuff sack and you are ready to go. Packed size is 3.5” x 8” and when open it is 16.5” x 12” x 1.5” so plenty of room to sit on when something basic is needed. Like the Z-Seat the price is highly attractive as well at $19.95. Just as a side note.. This sit pad gets mixed reviews. Some people love it and some hate it but at $20 it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. If you are one of those people that it doesn’t meet your needs throw it in a closet and know you are only out $20. Not as painful as finding out you don’t like a $120 chair.
And Lastly….. The REI Co-op Flash Sit Pad. Better reviews than the regular sit pad but slightly heavier this sit pad might be a good option. This sit pad has polyester and Mylar insulation layers which help retain heat and like the other pad this one inflates with a valve quickly. In addition to being a sit pad this pad can roll up and snap forming a lumbar or sleeping pillow. Killing two birds with one stone and all for a low price of $24.95. Higher than the other sit pad options but multi-use makes it worth the extra possibly to some? Some specs for the pad – weight 3 ounces, packed size of 2.5” x 5” and when inflated it expands to 16” x 11” x 1.5”.
This is obviously not an exhaustive list of sitting options out there but these are a few great options for those that are needing to pack in a chair or sit pad. All decently priced with lightweight numbers you really can’t go wrong with anything we reviewed. I would suggest heading over to REI or whatever outdoor store you shop at and sit in them to see what you like. For those that shop online.. Close your eyes and point at the screen. You can’t go wrong with any of them.