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REI Flexlite Chair

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: REI Flexlite Chair camp chair

I am swiftly falling in love with this chair. Value for money is unmatched.

Pros

  • Comfort
  • Price

Cons

  • None — yet

I bought this chair to replace one of REI's Camp Stools, as my regular backpacking partner frequently experiences back pains requiring a chair with a back, as opposed to a stool. We have now used it on four trips and a car-camping trip, and we love it. It may not be as light as some chairs and stools out there, but the ability to lean back after a long day of hiking is luscious.

Putting the poles into their slots in the chair fabric is a little challenging the first few times—even with the instructions printed handily onto the carrying bag. But after a few tries, the whole thing slips together with ease.

Similar chairs save weight with more expensive materials, or by having only two legs. After testing in the store, I decided that having four legs and not having to hold myself steady was well worth the extra weight, as was the money saved on basic aluminum over titanium or other strange alloys.

My only worry about this chair is the construction. The aluminum poles slip into chunky plastic hubs which will in all likelihood last a good long time—for us little folk. And the same caveat holds for the fabric portions of the chair. Even after a few weary plops onto it, everything seems to be holding up just fine. But it just doesn't feel monstrously durable. Of course, this is mere projection, extrapolation, and unsupported prediction. But I can't quite shake it.

Edit 9/2019: Five years later, and this chair is still going strong. We picked up a second one a year later, and REI shifted the geometry slightly—the older one is wider, the newer one deeper—both are comfortable and the alteration actually suits me better while the older model suits my wife better. Still rock solid, with no signs of fraying, bending, or shock-cord degradation.
chairs.jpgLook closely: the chair on the right is the older model with the wider base, while the left chair is newer and has the deeper base. This photo is from...2017?

Edit 2/2023: Now eight and half years of use, and still no sign of wear. I use mine approximately every other week when I sit down to cook up lunch in the middle of my long solo dayhikes, and it's just so lovely to have this in the pack rather than sit on the ground.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $69.50

The Flex Lite chair is excellent for bike touring, backpacking, anything where you want a comfortable chair, but not a lot of weight. It is durable, and easy to pack into a small package. I would definitely recommend this camp chair.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact when folded up
  • Comfortable
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Small feet

The REI Flex Lite chair is a great addition to a bike touring setup. It consists of a frame made of sturdy shock-corded tent poles, and a sling type seat that attaches to the frame at four points with reinforced pockets. It sits somewhat low to the ground (handy if you want to sit in a chair in your tent—like when it's pouring down rain outside), and is very comfortable. The seat is quick drying if it gets wet. It easily folds up and stores in its own bag.

The only complaint I have is that the rubber feet on the ends of the legs are a little small. They are fine if the ground or surface the chair is sitting on is hard. However, if the ground is soft, the legs sink into it and can cause the chair to tip over.

Overall, I love this chair, and will take it with me on every tour. And, finally, the price is very reasonable.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $70

Perfect for the backcountry or the neighborhood cookout! This simple little chair goes a long way when you can't find a log to park your rear on. Awesome for early morning stretches to put on boots!

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Too comfortable :)

Finally got to use my Flex Lite in the backcountry of the Sangres near Crestone, Colorado! I'd been using downed trees as seats every trip since I could remember, and sometimes just the ground... well this added a sense of home luxury to the trip!

After a long hike we brought the lightweight, easy to set up chairs into a field and basked in the glory of the surrounding mountains. Almost fell asleep as the sun warmed up.

I like the fact that for a few ounces I can now sit comfortably anywhere! And talk about easy set p, but I am a little worried about the shock cord going slack at some point... but probably won't happen for years to come. This is a keeper!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $60

This chair is great! It's light and compact. Perfect for backpacking.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Easy setup
  • Comfortable

IMG_0104.jpg
This chair is great! It's light and compact. I ended up just strapping it to the outside of my pack during a Memorial Day backpacking trip. It's easy to set up. I'm 6'4" and I was able to stretch my feet out and lounge. The back goes almost to my shoulders when lounging.
IMG_0128.jpg

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $69.50

Good camping/hiking chair. Strong and lightweight. Not too big...it packs away fairly small.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Strong
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • In seated position, knees are above waist
  • Takes a while to learn how to repack

 

IMG_1072.jpg
Somewhere along the Great Wall route, Beijing

I have owned this chair for two years and I am happy with it. I cook, eat, and drink my well earned glass of wine after a long day of hiking seated in this chair. Bought one for my son...he loves it also. In all, it's great to be off the ground. I guess the ultralights will find this accessory an apostasy, but it is such a civilized comfort! 

Source: bought it new

Lightweight camp chair.

Pros

  • Light-ish
  • Easy to set up
  • Quality

Cons

  • Fairly bulky

Purchased the Flexlite in 2016 after considering against the Helinox. Ultimately chose the REI on price ($20 less) and comfort with REI products. 

The chair is pretty great—comfortable, super easy to set up and breakdown. Bought for weekend backpack trips for comfort. It's a little bulky/heavy, especially as a non-necessity, but a nice reward after lugging a pack all day. 

Pretty happy with it.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $75

I overlooked the wobble in favor of size and weight. However, my mesh developed a rip, not due to weight (I'm 160 lbs) or misuse. There is NO customer service!

Pros

  • Light
  • Compact

Cons

  • Wobbles
  • Fragile
  • NO parts or customer service

These chairs are not cheap, and there are NO resources for replacement parts. REI will not replace them after one year. Youngone Corp who manufactures the chair is impossible to contact. There is NO customer service or even an email. So they are essentially a $90 throwaway.

Shame on those that preach sustainability or carbon footprint.    

Background

No other experience with Flexlite chairs.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90 total

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Specs

Price MSRP: $69.50
Historic Range: $47.93-$79.95
Reviewers Paid: $60.00-$90.00
Weight 1 lb 12 oz
Capacity 250 lb
Product Details from REI »

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