Pocket Chair?

-- Last Updated: Apr-13-11 11:34 PM EST --

Has anyone here ever brought a pocket chair along on their canoe or kayak camping trips? As someone who NEVER has bought a thing advertised on an infomercial, this is one thing I am considering as a "luxury" carry-along.

For those of you not familiar, it's basically a camp chair that folds up small enough to fit inside of a cargo pocket, purse, or easily a kayak hatch (or even more easily into a canoe).

If it works reliably, it would be great for sitting around campfires and what not. Definitely not a necessity by any means but it would be nice. For $15 for two (add s&h), seems like it wouldn't be much of a risk even if it only held up for a few uses. Basically wondering if anyone else has already bought and tested one. If so, what is the quality like? Any response is much appreciated, whether one has used the product or not.

I’d try it
I have a folding stool of the same design, probably from the 70’s, that I found in a friend’s shed. doesn’t work too well in soft ground (mud/sand) but great for backpacking or kayaking as it takes almost no space.

I always carry a folding Arm Chair…in the hatch…(ain’t a high capacity boat with LARGE oval hatches GREAT!).

There is no reason not to carry a chair…if you have no hatch room, simply strap it on the rear deck…if’n yer a thinkin man, you might roll it in a thermarest slightly inflated so if it goes overboard you can retrieve it 'cause it FLOATS…

and before all you young whipper snappers start the “Clean Deck” discussion all over again, just chalk my suggestion up to “mental Defect due to advanced age”

and let it go…after 10 hours of paddling, I find a chair is one thing I will NOT do without.

Man, that is one tiny chair, I’m not sure I could handle it, or vice versa. I’ve always liked the looks of the Kermit chair, but it costs 17 times more than the pocket chair - for $129, the Kermit chair should have a massage feature…

Some other choices
I don’t know if I would call the “pocket chair” a chair, since it looks more so like a small foot stool. I personally prefer a chair with a back rest.

I have these two chairs, and here they are.

The Cabelas Seclusion Gobbler lounger is basically a low beach chair, and very comfortable. Once folded up it slides in and out of my rear kayak oval hatch. It also slides into the front hatch of my Chesapeake 17. I actually do take this to the public beaches when not kayaking. It does get some looks and comments regarding the cammo material but I don’t mind. However if anyone knows if they make this chair with a one color material seat and back rest I would get one for my wife. At a total of 26$ I don’t feel this is breaking the wallet.


REI sells the Alite Monarch butterfly chair, I have one of these also. It’s a bit more pricey at 60$ and requires a bit of getting used to since there is a balancing act required getting in and out of it. Yet once in it I find it also comfortable. This chair has bungees inside the pole like supports so it practically puts itself together when you take it out of the bag. The bag it fits in is practically the size of a lunch bag, and at 18oz is very light. When in the bag this chair easily fits behind my kayak seat and the bulkhead. I don’t have a kayak with a day hatch, but I would guess it would easily fit through a day hatch. If I don’t want to lug around the Gobbler chair, or I am crammed for space, this chair is coming along.


One more
The Monarch chair looks interesting, and is really compact. Not sure I’d want to have to balance myself all the time.

I just ran across this TriLite stool by Byer of Maine, which looks pretty well made:


I bring my thermarest chair
IF you already use a thermarest then you can get their simple, collapsible frame that forms the thermarest into a chair. For my kayaking I like it because the chair frame collapses to long and skinny like tent poles and fits nicely in my far bow or stern area.

Kermit chair…
I have to admit I broke down and bought two of these a few years ago to use on paddling trips and because they pack so easily in my roadster.

The initial cash layout hurts, but you soon forget about it. They are really well made, SERIOUSLY comfortable and totally live up to their reputation.

When we have company over and I pull them out for extra chairs, they are always popular, and people have been known to fight over who gets to sit in them on card night.

Folding camp chair
I take this


everywhere: day kayaking, kayak camping, hiking, even biking. The only place I don’t take it is backpacking. It makes such a big difference in your comfort. Absolutely worth the space and weight. In a kayak you should have plenty of room for one of these.

I carry

– Last Updated: Apr-17-11 5:41 AM EST –

The Camptime Roll a Chair. It's a little pricey but comfortable and light weight plus it fits inside the hatches on my kayak.


I’ve been packing one of these around for a while…


Tripod stool is least likely to wobble on uneven ground. Sit in it like a tractor or cushy bicycle seat. Very comfortable and easy to pack. Nothing high-tech or trendy about it. Just enough there to get the job done. Cheap.

Got trees?
I’ve seen a hung chair consisting of parachute cloth. Basically it’s like a chair version of a hammock, but you only need one tree to use it. It would be lighter and more compact than any other chair, I think. But you need a strong tree.

I’ve seen those hammock chairs as well, the only problem being you can’t have the chair where you would normally want it (i.e. around a campfire, which you wouldn’t build in the immediate vicinity of trees). They are compact and quite comfortable though.

Ideally, I would like a chair with a backrest. The butterfly chair looks good except for the balancing act. As for a typical tailgating or beach chair, those are too big as both weight and space are at a premium in my kayak.

Just seen the ad, and although it has no backrest I’d assume it’d be better than sitting on a log or one of the ice chests the canoe’s haul along. The search continues.

This one looks like it would work better
with a WAG bag


check these

This combined with a foam pad might do the trick…

Pocket on what - a shirt?
In a nutshell - if it has no backrest, it’s a garbage (I haven’t seen it).

It’s interesting how people call a “pocket chair” something that fits in a “cargo pocket” (is it cargo pants pocket?) or a kayak hatch or into a canoe. There is little in common between those three. Breaking it down:

  1. Cargo pants pocket - nothing bigger than a small pillow - Thermarest Trail Seat - will fit in there. A chair? you kidding me.

  2. Kayak hatch. Ok, what “kayak”? They range from 18" to 30" beam width and from 12ft to 20ft length - at least. Most folding camp chairs will fit through an average kayak hatch.

  3. Canoe. Yes, of course! One can fit a pair of normal dining room chairs in a canoe. Not that there is much need to carry those in canoes…

    Now, about camp chairs on a kayak/canoe trip. The best compromise is a leg-less arm-less camp chair a-la Crazy Creek. It has the bare minimum of what I consider necessary - a backrest, and it can be placed on any terrain - sand, boulders, or thorny shrubs.

    Why not full-length Thermarest in a chair-like shell: because you will puncture it and then sleep on a flat rug with no air.

    Why not Kermit or cheaper metal frame knock-offs. If you have plenty of room (empty kayak, short and easy trip) - sure, why not, bring it.

“Why not full-length Thermarest …
in a chair-like shell? Because you will puncture it and then sleep on a flat rug with no air.”

I will?! That’s horrifying! When will this happen? In the fourth year? In the fifth? I ask because it hasn’t happened in the first three and I want to prepare.


– Last Updated: Apr-17-11 3:46 PM EST –

got punctured in the first 5 or 6 days of my 3-weeks vacation trip. The was a lot of thorns and sharp debris on the ground, though. Didn't have much luck with their repair kit, and had to sleep on a flat rug the rest of the trip. It was one of those light models with very little foam (there is a foam in it, just not much). There is a higher risk to puncture it when sitting than sleeping, 'cause you clean the area under tent thoroughly and weight distribution is more even. No big deal if it's a one-night weekend trip; and a big problem on a multiday trip in the middle of nowhere - even if it only happens once in 5 years, you'll remember this trip for years to come. You can sit on a PFD without suffering, but good sleep is extremely important.

Back support in this type of chair is rather poor, anyway. Another problem is dew - if it gets wet in the evening (not if, but when), you have to sleep on a wet pad. And yet another problem (or inconvenience) is extra time and efforts of deflating/inflating it (self-inflatable, but a few extra blows are often needed) and fitting in a chair shell when you're tired or when it's a short lunch stop.

Thermarest-type chairs work well in the
Northwest. But if you camp in an environment in which thorns and dew before bedtime are a problem, then yes, I can see your point. I think I’m just as careful where I sit as I am where I put my tent too.

pocket chair
we have 2 and they work well for what they are, small camp stools that get your ass off the ground. they are NOT a substitute for a normal camp “chair” they are a substitute for NO chair!

they fold way smaller than any thermo-chair, you don’t have to risk putting holes in your “bed” or spilling chili on your “bed” or having to sit at ground level. I do like the simple padded crazy creek type chairs but to use my bed for an outdoor chair ain’t gunna happen. My sleeping pad is my bed and stays in the tent!

ALL of the other examples, save for the nada-system, are all too big, bulky for my taste.