We did a lot of reading, beverage drinking, sunbathing, and eating for this review (undoubtedly affirming that we have cool jobs), and our testers, friends, and family came away in agreement that 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 this review, it is one of the least expensive of any products we tested and excels amongst its direct competitors. It's more versatile than many of the products we tested, and we think you'll be bringing it with you everywhere you go.
ALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat Review
Cons: Not as lightweight as others in our review
Manufacturer: ALPS Mountaineering
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Weekender is a great buy: for an exceptionally affordable price, you get a very comfortable seat with top-notch versatility. We appreciate its thoughtful design, geared toward durability and user-friendliness.
What's a chair without comfort? We were looking for something that made even our most adventurous days in the mountains more enjoyable, and we found that with the Weekender. While the back isn't as high or 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. We didn't feel cramped at all in this chair, though the 16-inch width is on the narrower side and could be a concern for some users.
The material on the Weekender is soft, though not breathable like the tent-style chairs we tested. The average amount of cushioning helps to ease the discomfort of sitting on hard or wet surfaces. The buckles on the side straps are easy to reach and adjust, something we found necessary in this style of chair. Because this model has to be adjusted just right depending on how level the ground is, adjustment is key; we were always able to find just the right balance with this chair.
Weight and packability are, no surprise, highly important when heading outside. The 28 ounce Weekender is the heaviest of the taco-style chairs in this review, but the difference is small and, in our opinion, pretty insignificant. Its heft is due to bonus features, discussed in more detail in the "Versatility" section below, and since those features are one of the main reasons we love this chair, it's hard to argue against their added weight. For the extremely weight-conscious, we doubt you'll be bringing any of these chairs on your fastpack of the Pacific Crest Trail anyway, but we think that the few extra ounces here are justified.
While the majority of chairs in this review are what we're calling "tent-style," meaning they're set up off the ground with poles, we've included a few "taco-styles" as well. The Weekender is a super simple chair, and as such, the "stability" is a bit easier to judge.
Taco-style chairs stay upright because of the user, not because of their autonomous shape. By sitting in the chair, the user presses their back on one side and legs on the other, creating a surprisingly comfortable and sturdy seat. It's easy to rock back-and-forth without tipping over because the user is in charge. This chair is super easy to adjust, so no matter how upright or reclined you want to be, you're unlikely to find yourself tipping over.
We've spent our time living out of cars, in tents, and on the road, and we know the value of multifunctional gear. One of our favorite things about the Weekender is how often we found ourselves using it, from concerts to cookouts to camping. It has great features like the mesh pocket on the back, which we loved using for storing a book or lunch when heading to the park. This is an excellent chair for picnics and concerts where you only need to bring a handful of items with you. On hot summer days, we appreciated being able to throw our phone and wallet in the pocket to head to the park and spend the afternoon lounging with friends.
Additionally, this chair features 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. Because taco style chairs require the oppositional force of your legs on one-half and your back on the other, we're happy to find that we can use the Weekender in more settings than a typical chair of this design.
This chair is one of the least expensive in our entire review, and it's also highly versatile, so we consider it an exceptional value. We found ourselves reaching for the Weekender more often than any of this style, and found that a higher price does not necessarily equate to superior comfort. We strongly recommend this chair to anyone looking to get a reliable product, and at this price, you can grab one for every member of your family!
There is a lot to appreciate about the ALPS Mountaineering Weekender. From its 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.
— Lauren DeLaunay