Hillsound BTR Stool
A nifty little stool that is small enough to take along on almost any adventure and comfortable enough to meet the needs of most sitting situations. Best of all, it’s totally dummy proof! No fiddling around or asking yourself, “how does this work again?” It’s super straightforward, easy to use, and comes in two sizes (14" and 17").
- Easy to use/foolproof
- Compact design
- Two size options (14" and 17")
- Detachable seat
- Weight limit (240 lbs or 110 kg)
I’ve used the Hillsound BTR stool for a month-and-a-half, having taken it fishing, camping, hiking, wildlife watching, and to a few backyard campfires/cookouts. I think it is best used when needing a seat in the backcountry and not necessarily at a backyard campfire where a full-sized chair with arms and a backrest is readily available.
To that point, I plan to take the BTR stool hunting later this fall as I think that would be a perfect use due to it being both quiet and small/light enough to make for a respectable hunting stool and the orange legs don't hurt either (a favorite color among hunters). I'll report back after I've had a fair go with it hunting.
Ease of Use:
There are only three steps to set up the stool and all can be done in under 10 seconds (I timed myself and it took a little over 6 seconds).
Construction and Features:
The BTR stool legs are made of Aluminum Alloy 7001 and the seat is nylon mesh which dries quickly when wet. No, I didn’t pee my pants. I accidentally left it out in the rain overnight. That’s how I learned that the mesh dried quickly. The feet are a hard plastic material that do dig a little bit into soft soil but are pretty easy to clean.
The most mysterious part of the stool is the PhantomLock technology that’s inside the legs, allowing them to click into place and lock tight. I’m not going to try to pretend I know how this works...I mean it is called “PhantomLock” so I’m betting it’s some sort of magic and wizardry. But it works well, nonetheless.
Lastly, one feature that is easily overlooked is the fact that the seat is detachable. This would make it easier to wash the mesh seat or even repair/replace in case it gets damaged (neither of which I've had to do yet, but it's good to know I can, if needed).
Size and Weight:
The BTR comes in two sizes, a 14" (35.6cm) and a 17" (43.2cm). These sizes indicate the height of the seat when set up. Standing at 6'2" (1.88m), I tested the 14" stool and it is admittedly a little small for me. Not to the point of it being a big issue, but I'm guessing that anyone 6' (1.8m) or above should probably go for the 17" stool. My wife is 5'10" (1.78m) and thought the size was okay, but without testing the 17" stool, it's difficult to fully know.
In terms of packed down size, the stool takes up a space of 11.5" by 3" (29.1cm by 7.6cm). That's pretty darn small! Easy enough to stash in any pack's side pouch, strap on to a pack's external webbing, or simply leave it in the truck of your vehicle for easy access when trying to change out of your sweaty hiking boots. It takes up so little room it's easy to bring along and at 12.7 oz. (361g) it's not very heavy either.
While not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, here’s how the Hillsound BTR stool stacks up against some of my other portable sitting devices; the Helinox Swivel chair and the LEKI Sub1 chair.
Each seat has its advantages and disadvantages:
- Advantage—most comfortable for both short and long periods of time
- Disadvantage—heaviest and takes up the most room when packed
- Advantage—highest weight limit (320 lbs or 145 kg)
- Disadvantage—poorly designed feet get caked in mud and hard to clean
- Advantage—lightest, smallest to pack, and easiest to set up and tear-down
- Disadvantage—lowest weight limit (240 lbs or 110 kg)
I recommend the BTR stool for those who want a simple, straightforward, no nonsense, well-designed, easy to use (is that enough descriptors?) stool for use when camping, hiking, bike packing, multi-day paddling, hunting, and so much more. The small size, light weight and easy setup make it a great option for a wide range of folks, especially those needing to carry a seat into the backcountry, at least those who weigh less than 240 lbs (110 kg).
I'd like to see Hillsound make another version of this stool for those who exceed the weight limit of this one, given the limit is fairly low compared to other seats on the market.
Backcountry chairs often go with me on long hikes, mountain bike rides, camping trips, and hunting days afield. I've used a variety of seats in the past ranging everywhere from a 5 gallon bucket to some fancy, state-of-the-art seats tailored for the outdoor industry.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Sample for testing and review provided by Hillsound)
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Current Retail: $63.71
Historic Range: $59.00-$65.00
|Weight||12.2 oz / 346 g||14.1 oz / 399 g|
|In use||12"L x 11"W x 14.4"H||14"L x 13"W x 17.7"H|
|Folded||3"L x 3"W x 11.4"H||3"L x 3"W x 13.4"H|
backpacking, bikepacking, camping, fishing, hunting, disc golf, photography, travel / sightseeing
100% Nylon Mesh
Aluminum Alloy 7001
240 lbs / 110 kg