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Sling-Light Chair

photo: Sling-Light Chair camp chair

Specs

Price MSRP: $143.95
Reviewers Paid: $75.00
Weight 18 oz / 510 g (chair), 4 oz / 113 g (headrest)
Dimensions 26 x 16 x 1.5 in / 66 x 41 x 3 cm
Maximum working load 250 lbs / 113 kg
Maximum design load 450 lbs / 204 kg
Frame Heat-treated aluminum alloy drawn seamless tube
Sling Nylon, double layer insulated with closed cell foam

Reviews

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

Best camp chair ever on the market!

Pros

  • COMFORT!
  • Lightweight
  • Adaptable. Multi-positions.

Cons

  • Has to be tied outside most packs
  • People with bad knees may find it difficult to get up and out of the chair

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The Sling-Light Chair is one of my favorite pieces of gear.

And...IT IS NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION!

So why would I waste my time writing about it? It is with hope that someone in the industry sees it, buys the rights to it, copies it, or whatever it takes to make it available once again.

I've had this chair since the late 1980s and it's still going strong. I know a handful of people who also have the chair and have had it for nearly as long. Virtually everyone I know who ever tried it LIKES IT.

My long time camping partner and myself have asked each other many times, "Why hasn't this chair caught on?  Why do so few people even know about it? Why don't camping stores ever stock it? Why is it so hard to get?"

Some of the answer is that it has been produced by a small cottage shop, by a man who preceded the internet, in a niche market, for a product that you can get by without.

I have talked with the company owner a few times over the years. (I have no connection to the either him or the company.) About 4 or 5 years ago I wanted to order a chair for a friend as a gift. I called to place an order and as usual the owner answered the phone himself. He took my info for the order and then we started chitchatting about the chair.

He has been quietly making them since back in the 1970s. Doing it his way, and on his terms. He told me he had enough materials on hand to make them for about two more years and that he planned to retire. After hanging up the phone I periodically thought about what he had said for another year or two  I decided that I had better get a spare in case anything ever happened to my old one. I called him up again and placed another order. 

Then about a year later I noticed on his spartan website that he was no longer taking orders.  (The website is still up at http://www.slinglight.com/)

The inventor/maker has obviously decided to give up the work life. But someone needs to take his unique product and run with it. No other backpackable camp chair comes close to it for comfort or versatility.

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The "sling" aspect of the chair allows one to lay back like a recliner...or sit up to cook or tend the fire...or just relax in between. Being able to occasionally change or adjust your position prevents the feeling of having held the same position for too long. I couldn't begin to count the number of times I have fallen asleep in this chair.

As I see it, there are only two cons regarding the Sling-Light:

  • 1.  Obese people or older folks with bad knees may have difficulty using it, or more specifically, getting out of it. One has to pretty much have the agility to stand up from a squat.


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  • 2. The other con is that it has to be tied to the outside of most backpacks. That's not a big deal to me but may be a deal breaker for other people. 


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It will however fit inside my Mystery Ranch Crew Cab.

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Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $75

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review, Cadenza. Good work ordering an extra chair while you still could.


5 years ago
whomeworry

In fact Crazy Creek produced a knock-off of the Slinglite, but they too seem to have discontinued production. The Crazy Creek chair was almost identical, but weighed 3 oz more than the Slinglite. The design of these chairs affords recliner-like comfort. Several times I have awakened in the middle of the night in this chair, having dozed off under the stars, covered by my sleeping bag, while snow camping. It is that comfortable. But I also attest getting out of the chair is an ordeal, regardless of one's age. I have owned my Slinglite since 1978 and even in the vigor of youth I found exiting the chair tedious and physical. I witnessed friend damage his UL throne when he lost his balance while getting up; damaged observed on other Slinglites leads me to believe this is a frequent consequence resulting from the near-to-ground position the user must rise from to exit the chair. Nowadays I generally use my bear canister with a foam pad on the lid as a stool, in lieu of packing the Slinglite, as I am the hyper one doing the camp chores and prefer the ease of use it affords. But the Slinglite still accompanies me on base camps and snow camps.


5 years ago
g00se

I completely understand the knee thing. It's ironic that I can run, cave, and backpack, but getting up from a chair like this kills my knees.


5 years ago
Bruce Parker

I've got acouple of these chairs that I really love. I've found the best way to get up out of it is to roll out of it to were I basically end up on my hands and knees. Pretty easy to stand up from that position.


5 years ago
Bruce Parker

Forgot to metion that one thing that really makes this chair comfortable is the clip on headrest that mine came with. The review doesn't mention this.


5 years ago
Cadenza

I have the headrest but I never use it. Out of sight, out of mind.


5 years ago

I too wish someone would start making these again. Light and comfortable. Too great a design to not be manufactured.


Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Headrest is GREAT
  • Easy to strap onto outside of pack

Cons

  • Takes some dexterity to get up out of.

I too wish someone would start making these again. They are the BOMB. I, and my trout fishing buddies, bought Slinglites from the manufacturer in the late '70s—sold out of his home in California, if I recall.

In forty-plus years backpacking and fishing in WV/MD/PA/VA, none of us have had any issues with them...no bends, breaks, or failures among the four Slinglites! Wish I could say the same for the four of us!!

Experience

Have used this or a Crazy Creek for (OMG) 40 years. Slinglite is more comfortable than Crazy Creek. CC is easier to pack in than SL. I opt for SL 9 times out of 10. Cool to see photos of people using SL. I haven't seen one outside of our small group.

Source: bought it new

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Gib! Thanks for sharing your experience with these chairs.


7 months ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Hey Gib, we just learned via the manufacturer that they are producing Sling-Light chairs again.


2 months ago

I also have one of these chairs bought from REI many years ago. Still going strong. Not used much, as stated, hard to strap onto backpack. Would buy another if the opportunity came up.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Hard to pack

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: ?

Developer and manufacturer of the Sling-Light camp chair

I manufacture the Sling-Light camp chair and headrest and have since 1977. We stopped making the chair from 2014 to 2019 because of low demand and high production run costs. We restarted production in 2019 and it is available to order directly from the Sling-Light website.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • No assembly
  • Snap on the headrest and sit down

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Does not disassemble for transport

I developed and manufacture the Sling-Light camp chair and headrest so I will let the customers review the chair as I have seen in this section.

It is a great chair, but has its limitations as to size, weight, and cost. It is a product that is designed specifically for backpacking, which is where the size, weight, and cost come into play. It generally is most comfortable for people of 5'11" and less than 175 lbs.

Because it is a sling design you can slide around as well as adjust the angle of the frame with the V-brace to be very to reasonably comfortable. 

Experience

45 years of use!

Source: We manufacture the Sling-Light camp chairs

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for letting us know that you're producing these chairs again, Stephen.


2 months ago

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