Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair
Reasonably lightweight and compact when rolled up.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $25 ($39.95 new)
Reasonably lightweight and compact when rolled up. Comfy to sit on, but fussy to setup, and because you need your sleeping pad to sleep ON, it's kind of inconvenient.
- Easy to adjust
- Annoying to setup
- Need to partly disassemble to use sleeping pad for sleep
Okay, it is a good product, but not a great product.
Here's the good: it's reasonably lightweight enough for backpacking (but not for ultralight fanatics). And, once it is set up, it IS comfortable and easily adjustable for your body weight and how upright or leaned-back you want to sit. Note that this does NOT have legs. You are basically sitting on a leg-less chair.
Here's how it works and why it's also not so great. The product is completely unpadded. That's why it's so lightweight. The padding comes from using YOUR not-included self-inflating sleeping pad. You could also use a foam pad like a RidgeRest Classic.
To set it up, you fold over 1/3 the length of the sleeping pad and insert this double-thick part in the bottom of the chair, and then insert the remaining single-thick 1/3 of the pad into the chair back. You CAN'T do this if the pad is fully inflated. You're best off letting it partially inflate, leaving the air valve open, inserting the pad into the chair, then closing the air valve. Then, you sit down and adjust the strap lengths until comfortable. So, some "assembly" required to setup.
But here's the real issue: you need that pad to sleep on!
So, now it's time to sleep, and you have to let the straps out, wrestle out the bottom 2/3 of the pad from the chair, get the pad fully inflated, and then you're good to sleep. But THEN, the next day, if you want to use the chair, you need to reassemble it, etc. Repeat each day.
One caveat: if you don't care about having any padding under your butt, you can use the chair without any padding at all, in which case this is quite a fantastic product, right? :-) The construction seems quite solid and the chair is available for 20" and 25" inch self-inflating sleeping pads. My sleeping pad is standard length but it will work with any length pad.
Great comfort item for a compact pack. I often get…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $28
Great comfort item for a compact pack.
- Works with your Therm-a-Rest pad
- Not readily available for use (see below)
- Requires your Therm-a-Rest sleep pad
- Slightly time consuming to set up
- Difficult to get in and out of due to sitting on the ground
I often get tired after a long day (or hike) with sitting on the ground or hard rock so I set out searching for a comfort that was light and did not take up much space in my pack. The Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair was a solution.
The chair (if you want to call it that) requires a Therm-a-Rest sleep pad (which can be a downside) but considering I already had one. Great! The frame is very simple just fabric, two wrapped poles (which provide the support), and adjustable clasp. Total weight is around 12.6 ounces minus bag. The frame requires you to partially inflate the sleep pad then fold it into the slots, adjust, then continue inflating to your desired firmness. The two clasp on the side are adjustable and can be tightened or loosened depending on how straight you want to sit.
The one I did like about it was that you could pretty much sit anywhere you want compared to other chairs that have legs. The negative is that unless you have a rock or log you are relegated to sitting on the ground. It does offer comfort against the hard ground (especially after a long hike/day) but it is a little difficult to get out of if on the ground.
The other negative I would have to add is that it is not a fast setup chair. If you stop for lunch it is really a pain to set up just for 15 minutes of comfort. This is a minor negative as sitting is only a short break when you still have more hiking to do.
Overall I like this little addition. I do like that it is compact and lightweight especially for the cost. I like that it utilizes something I already carry (my sleep pad) so I do not have to weigh my pack down more with a heavier chair if I am trying to save weight. What I do not like about it is that I usually have to wait until the end of the day to use it while my buddies break their chairs out when we stop for lunch. I look at it as one of my evening rewards.
I saw this on sale, and thought I should get it just…
Price Paid: $25
I saw this on sale, and thought I should get it just cuz. When I got home I set it up, just for fun. I was skeptical, it didn't look super sturdy. WOW was the first thing though that came into my mind! I can't believe how strong it is!!!! And comfy! This is a must if you own a Therm-a-Rest! and there are no excuses for not having one!
I forgot to mention, that this is a great product because now you're getting twice as much use out of your expensive Therm-a-Rest pad!
This is a comfort item that I have grown to like.
Price Paid: $30
This is a comfort item that I have grown to like. In the Deep South we don't have rocks to use as seats, and most of the time logs are pine (which means sap). One of the things my wife complained most about when backpacking was not having a place to sit with back support.
This problem is solved with the Trekker Chair. It allows your sleeping mat to be transformed into a chair complete with a back. It is surprisingly comfortable even though it does not elevate you off the ground.
I had thought that being elevated above the ground was important, so we had purchased stools to take backpacking (1 lb 8 oz each). But with no back support, they stayed home on almost every trip. With the Trekker Chair (10.5 oz) we have a comfortable place to relax at camp, lean back and read, eat, etc.
The design of the chair is smart and the materials are sturdy. You can adjust the chair to many different configurations to suit your personal sitting style. Very versatile piece of equipment.
My wife calls this our best gear purchase ever.