User Review: Therm-a-Rest Compack Chair
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $25
Stuffing your Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad in this little shell to create a camp chair is a great lightweight "luxury" item for the woods. Instead of awkwardly sitting on logs or the ground, this provides comfortable back support while sitting around the fire with friends or slurping down oatmeal in the morning.
- Easily packable
- Fits short and regular length pads
- Adjustable reclining straps
- Potential to puncture Therma-a-Rest pad
- Slightly awkward to stuff in chair shell
I really like this as a piece of "luxury" lightweight camping gear, especially if you know you'll be spending a lot of time in camp.
While I haven't backpacked with it yet, I have used it on several car camping trips. Well, I brought it along on one backpacking trip but forgot to take it out!
My first experience with it was at a multi-day music concert. I was extremely comfy sitting in it in a field of grass while eating oatmeal and chatting with camp mates and lounging. It was also great as a chair in a backyard for a backyard movie showing.
Another memorable time was using it in the parking lot of a climbing area while cooking dinner, snacking and conversing. This is where I realized the drawback of the chair while car camping.
Everyone else had regular camp chairs, so they were a good foot taller than me when sitting. My trail chair, while comfortable, was awkward to get in and out of when reaching for snacks that were out of reach, since I was essentially sitting on the ground. A regular camp chair would have been more comfortable and easier to move in and out of often.
That said, it made me realize that this is good for when just lounging in the backcountry in camp and you don't need to move too fast or often.
My only other concern is puncturing the pad when sitting in it, thus potentially not having a sleeping pad for the night. I haven't done this yet thankfully but it's a worry that I have about it.
It packs up nicely — the framing and the material roll up into 24" length by 2" diameter roll that you can just shove in the side pockets and compression straps.
There are side straps that allow you to adjust how much you want to recline or sit up, which makes it nice and flexible for any situation.
I definitely recommend this as an option to have on hand for when you don't feel like hauling around a large camp chair or you know you'll be spending time in camp in between time on the trail.