The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

ALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat Review

A small price tag and simple design make this a good introductory backpacking chair
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $30 List
Pros:  Inexpensive, fairly comfortable, lightweight
Cons:  Bulky, thinner padding
Manufacturer:   ALPS Mountaineering
By Elizabeth Paashaus ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 6, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 11
  • Comfort - 35% 4
  • Size & Weight - 30% 6
  • Stability - 20% 5
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9

Our Verdict

The ALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat is a pretty awesome bang for your buck. While its comfort doesn't compare to most of the tent-style chairs in our review, it is one of the least expensive of any products we tested and ranks in line with its direct competitors. Nothing about its performance is exceptional, but the low price tag makes it stand out as a great option for those who want to pick up a basic chair with minimal investment. Plus, we appreciated the bonus features like stadium straps and large pockets not provided by any other model we tested.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Weekender is a great buy. For an exceptionally affordable price, you get a fairly comfortable seat with top-notch versatility. We appreciate its thoughtful design, geared toward durability and user-friendliness.

Performance Comparison


The ALPS Weekender is a great budget option with moderate comfort  a low price  and bonus features.
The ALPS Weekender is a great budget option with moderate comfort, a low price, and bonus features.

Comfort


While the back of the Weekender isn't as high nor the foam as plush as some models, the seat is an appropriate height for the typical back. The side straps are placed at an excellent height, allowing the arms to spread out. Surprisingly, we didn't feel too cramped in this chair, though the 16-inch width is on the narrower side and could be a concern for some users.

The thinner and more compressible foam on this chair means you do feel more of the rocks and sticks where you sit — so choose your location wisely. The buckles on the side straps are easy to reach and adjust, something we found necessary in this style of chair. As with other foam style chairs, expect some rib-squeezing when sitting in the Weekender. It ranks about average among the models we tested.

When sitting on a bench using the stadium straps  the thin foam buckled over the edge  reducing the support of the chair. Just don't lean too hard!
When sitting on a bench using the stadium straps, the thin foam buckled over the edge, reducing the support of the chair. Just don't lean too hard!

Size & Weight


At 26 ounces, the weight of the Weekender is in line with similar chairs. it is a bulky rectangle of foam, as you would expect of any taco-style chair, but the fact that the foam is thinner gives it a slight advantage: you can roll it for packability. It doesn't roll as well as others, but with a good strap, it's possible to fold it and strap it to the top of your pack.

Taco chairs from left to right: Crazy Creek PowerLounger  Kelty Camp Chair  ALPS Mountaineering Weekender  Crazy Creek Original Chair.
Taco chairs from left to right: Crazy Creek PowerLounger, Kelty Camp Chair, ALPS Mountaineering Weekender, Crazy Creek Original Chair.

Stability


When you are sitting on a rectangle of foam on the ground, there isn't really anywhere to fall. The stability of the Weekender ranks highly, similar to the other foam chairs we reviewed. In reality, the stability depends more on the user's ability to get up and down off the ground while holding the chair open than the chair itself.

The Weekender's buckles are easy to reach and the side straps provide plenty of wiggle room.
The Weekender's buckles are easy to reach and the side straps provide plenty of wiggle room.

Ease of Use


If you can get on and off the ground easily, then you can use the Weekender without a problem. The straps adjust easily, allowing you to fine-tune your sitting angle — an important feature on a taco-style chair where body tension and angle are what keeps you upright.

We appreciate the bonus features included on this budget model, such as straps under the seat. ALPS Mountaineering promotes these for attaching to stadium benches or canoe seats, and we love this feature for picnic tables as well. While we wouldn't recommend leaning your full weight back when relying on the stadium straps, they do allow you to sit more comfortably at a picnic table.

The rear pocket is also a nice feature for stashing a book. When grabbing the Weekender to go read by a lake, you can securely stuff your book and a small water bottle in the pocket and carry it all with the attached handles.

No other model we tested offers stadium straps. This feature allows you to add comfort and support to any bench seat.
No other model we tested offers stadium straps. This feature allows you to add comfort and support to any bench seat.

Value


This chair is one of the least expensive in our entire review, and it's also highly versatile, so we consider it a good value. For a little more money, you can buy yourself more comfort, but this chair works well and is a low-risk investment.

Conclusion


There is a lot to appreciate about the ALPS Mountaineering Weekender. From its decently comfortable cushioning to its handy pockets and straps, we believe this product will stay with you for years to come. Long-term thru-hiking? Well, maybe not. But for everything else, the Weekender can't be beaten.

The Weekender has a perfect pocket for toting along notebooks  sunscreen  and other small accessories for a minimal added weight and bulk.
The Weekender has a perfect pocket for toting along notebooks, sunscreen, and other small accessories for a minimal added weight and bulk.

Elizabeth Paashaus