I’m more of a car camper than backpacker, just because of where I live and that I’m often with my kids, who aren’t big fans of roughing it. Hopefully that’ll change as they get older and we can plan trips further afield if they show interest.
That being said, even when backpacking I like to be comfortable. Sure, I could travel ultralight, carrying the bare necessities and getting by, but comfort in camp goes a long way in making a tough day’s walking more bearable. When I chatted with TravelChair about bringing their Joey Chair along on UintasHike16, they weren’t a 100% sure that we’d want to carry their chairs. I told them I was happy to take one along and that I’d poll the rest of the group – with all in, TravelChair came on board as a partner.
Packaged, the Joey is slightly larger than some camp chairs (15″x5″x5″), and a bit heavier, at 2 pounds, 5.5 ounces. That being said, no problems fitting it into my backpack, it sets up quickly and easily, and is super comfortable when sitting down to eat or rest.
I carried a lot of weight for our hike, but used pretty much everything I brought. The Joey wasn’t the heaviest nor the lightest of the items I brought, but it got used several times a day, from breakfast to sitting streamside to dinner and a campfire. Definitely worth bringing along.
There are a few minor changes I’d make. TravelChair could streamline the base of the chair feet – shaped kind of like ski pole baskets, there was too much material in the way when setting up on rocky ground. They could also add some drainage to the seat itself – one of our chairs was left out overnight in pouring rain and a mini pond resulted. Neither of these should dissuade you from checking out the Joey.
I can recommend this as a backpacking chair if you’re willing to carry a little extra weight (but save $$$ over lighter options). Throwing this in for car camping is a no-brainer, and, if you’re a parent, this is a great option for field-side seating or bringing to the beach.