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Sea to Summit Air Chair

photo: Sea to Summit Air Chair camp chair

Specs

regular large
Price Current Retail: $59.95
Historic Range: $29.93-$64.95
Reviewers Paid: $25.00
Dimensions Fits all Regular, Small Air Mats (except Comfort Deluxe Insulated) Fits all Large Air Mats (except Comfort Deluxe Insulated)
Weight 8 oz / 230 g 10 oz / 280g

Reviews

1 review
5-star:   1
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

This is one of those items that is a luxury and unnecessary weight/bulk to carry around (especially for light/fast backpacking)—like my portable Wacaco espresso machine. But once you try it it’s hard to go without in some trips.

Pros

  • It works
  • Very comfortable
  • Well designed and built
  • Insulates and protects from cold/damp ground
  • Durable (so far no issues)
  • It uses the sleeping pad

Cons

  • It’s a luxury, so it’s an extra weight and bulk to carry around
  • It uses the sleeping pad

Every once in a while I buy a new item or piece of gear that has me looking and tinkering with my bag to see what could be dropped to make way for the new gadget (or become mentally prepared to carry the extra load, which is not too uncommon). 

This has happened many times before. One example is my Wacaco Nanopresso: it’s almost a pound of luxury just to have a creamy, thick, and tasty espresso out in the nature. Since that’s no little pleasure in my book, something had to give. 

The same happened with the S2S Air Chair. I bought it mostly to sit comfortably when I’m in the mood to spend some time outside (i.e. backyard camping), or even camping in a club. Or to take to outdoor concerts, picnics, and other activities. I have never had a camping/outdoor chair before, only a small foldable stool that I never took with me for backpacking.

I’m not the comfort type of backpacker/camper. On the contrary, I‘m not masochist either but I look for challenging situations in which I can test myself and develop resiliency and toughness. That’s what I like about outdoor activities.

But not every trip has to be a sufferfest. Sometimes it’s good to have moments of comfort, take some time to enjoy a music, a book, a cigar, or just the scenery when in the field. The Air Chair is an item that can provide a lot in that way. 

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The Air Chair assembled with the S2S Ultralight sleeping pad.

It is one of those simple gadgets that are well designed, thought out, and perfectly executed. I also like the fact that it utilizes a sleeping pad: I love gear that has double or triple functions, and even more when it’s a luxury item like this. The chair itself works as insulation, so it’s perfect for cold and wet situations when you still need to relax the body and get some refresh from hard efforts.

The Air Chair has two sizes, regular and large. I opted for the regular as it’s more than enough for me (6” / 176 lbs) and the large would be overkill, too much of a luxury at extra weight and bulk. If you’re looking for one, just know that the regular works with small and regular sized pads, while the large sized ones also require the large sized chair. 

I use my S2S Ultralight because I’m afraid my other pads may blow or develop leaks. I haven’t had a leak or other issue with my S2S pads until now, so currently I’m quite reliant on both the Ultralight (for summer) and the Ether XT (for cold) hammock camping and backpacking. 

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Just fold the sleeping pad twice and insert in the Air Chair. It’s ready in less than 5 minutes.

There’s a short learning curve to get the right inflation so you can fold and fit the pad into the chair right away, but it‘s simple and straightforward after that. The first time I was afraid I’d ruin the whole thing (pad and chair) by sitting on it. But after that I was resting my entire weight and completely relaxing.

It’s a joy to read, listen to SW or hit the airwaves with the ham, or just smoke a cigar and relax while watching the sun set in this chair. Yes, I enjoy doing all that while resting on a fallen tree, a rock, whatever. I love all that. But I confess that my old and beat up body can appreciate a sleeping-pad-chair every once in a while.

And often it’s cold and/or damp too, so the chair acts as insulation adding even more comfort. In those occasions I use my Tyvek tarp to keep things clean and protected (after all the pad will turn into bed soon).

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Some protection underneath for added peace of mind. 
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Ready to use, and comfortable. It’s just 230g and folds thin. I’ve found it very convenient for camping in areas where there’s no place to sit comfortably around, like some flat beachfronts and grass fields.

Cooking and eating is especially nice while sitting on the Air Chair. Just get the stuff around and do everything without even needing to rise. It’s not often that we can find a rock or other place to sit exactly where it’s most convenient for doing those things. 

When it’s time to hit the bed, just remove it and inflate a bit to put in the hammock (or tent, if you’re using one). 

Experience

The Air Chair is a luxury item for sure, but one I look forward to use in many occasions. I’m a light/fast outdoor type and not too much into comfort, but occasionally I will take the chair for camping because it’s inexpensive, not too heavy, and it’s so much comfortable. It can be used for other situations as well not just camping or backpacking, for instance open air cinemas, parties, etc. so all the better.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: USD25

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Great review, Stoic! Do you have any pictures of your chair setup?


5 months ago
StoicSurvivalist WTFradio

Thanks Alicia, just took some today, there it is! Have a nice weekend.


5 months ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice pictures—and cute dog! Thanks for sharing them, Stoic.


5 months ago
StoicSurvivalist WTFradio

lol thanks. She’s always around when I’m cleaning or dealing with the gear. She loves the grass but was just waiting for me to finish setting up to hop on and take ownership of the chair as she always does.


5 months ago
Michael -Survival Intuition

Well Stoic unlike yourself comfort and luxury are essential for me when i do anything...Kind of been raised with a silver spoon. That diy chair device looks great and seems its' comfort limits are the pad that one chooses to sleep on. Only wish it wasn't on the ground as with my back i don't think i would be ever able to get out of it. Great concept Oh and may i suggest that when you download images that you rename them prior to downloading photos with the brand name and model so that when one looks at the photos under your profile they know exactly what it is so they can search your forums for details


2 months ago
StoicSurvivalist WTFradio

LOL yeah who doesn’t like comfort eh? I do it’s just sometimes I like to suffer a bit to test my limits hahaha. Anyway, I guess you wouldn’t have problems with this chair because to get out of it you just use the “pantographic legs” to elevate (as I do), or roll to the side and stand on one arm (as I do sometimes too). It’s very comfy and once I’m in it I don’t want to get out I confess LOL. Thanks for the tip on the images, I had no idea about this. Will check it out and correct in the future!


2 months ago

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