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Hands-on Gear Review

Therm-a-Rest Trekker Review

Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair
Price:   $40 List | $25.97 at Backcountry
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Pros:  Comfortable, packs small
Cons:  Need to have a compatible sleeping pad, takes time to assemble, adjust just right and dissasemble
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Therm-a-Rest

Our Verdict

The Thermarest Trekker was one of the most comfortable chairs in our review. For some, this is the ideal backpacking chair, especially if you already have a pad that will fit right in it. However, it does take a while to set up, and your comfort and stability results will vary based on which pad you have to insert in. If you don't already have a compatible inflatable mattress, it will take some time, and probably more than $100 to get the right combination of pad and chair. Another chair to consider is the Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger, our Editors' Choice winner. Or, if you want the best value in a backpacking chair, we recommend the Crazy Creek Original.

RELATED REVIEW: The Best Backpacking Camp Chair Review

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Score Product Price Main Material Manufacturer Weight (oz) OGL Weight (oz)
Editors' Choice Award
foam and nylon 30 30
Best Buy Award
foam and nylon 30 25
foam and nylon 21 22
Top Pick Award
nylon with aluminum frame 18 19
nylon (you add sleeping pad) 10.5 27 w pad 11 w/o pad
inflatible nylon-coated pad 3 3

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Chris McNamara
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Last Updated:
March 13, 2012



If you get just the right sleeping pad in this chair, it is about as comfortable as a light backpacking chair gets. Every other chair we tested is made of foam covered with nylon or just stretched nylon. This chair gives you that soft air cushion feel. If you already have a sleeping pad you love, it is the lightest way to get deluxe comfort in the backcountry.


This chair takes more adjustment and assembly time than other chairs in our review. You have to inflate the sleeping pad and lightly wrestle it into the chair sleeve. Usually, the pad is just a little too inflated or not inflated enough. So you may have to remove the pad and adjust the air pressure. Finally, it takes some adjusting on the sides to make this pad feel stable.

It can take a lot of micro adjustments to make this pad feel stable. If it is not adjusted just right, you can easily fall over if you turn your body 90 degrees.

Other Versions

Therm-a-Rest Compack Chair
Therm-a-Rest Compack
  • Cost - $50
  • Weight - 6oz
  • Slightly less comfortable than this chair
  • Ideal for backpacking when weight is more important than slightly less comfort
Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: April 14, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:   
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100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (1)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 33%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Apr 14, 2016 - 09:57am
rubyrijl · Camper · Portage, WI
Silly people. Don't put a pad in it. Folds up compactly. Easy to stuff in backpack, or motorcycle bag, gear bag, diaper bag! Have used on kayak trips, canoeing (as a back rest), sporting events, backpacking, etc., etc. We don't leave home without them. But I have NEVER put a pad in them.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Nov 13, 2013 - 09:46pm
Drift Woody · Backpacker · Downers Grove, IL
I was surprised to see the Trekker Chair rated lower than the Easy Creek chairs which work as a chair essentially the same way. While the EC's are more complete by themselves and quicker to utilize, they are much less versatile. Why? Because a variety of pads can be used in the Trekker, from minimalist (like half a Z-Rest closed cell) to a variety of inflatable/insulated pads that have more warmth & comfort than the single option you get with an EC.

Of course the pads are purchased separately for the Trekker, but if you're a veteran backpacker like me you already have a variety of pads that can be used with the Trekker — and most of those pads are much better for sleeping on top of than what comes with a full-length EC. If you're carrying a good sleeping pad anyway and also want a chair, why carry the additional weight & bulk of the pad built into the EC?

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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