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Big Agnes Big Six Review

This is a tall and heavy chair with average comfort and a steep price.
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Price:  $150 List | $149.90 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Tall back, accessible height
Cons:  Expensive, heavy, less comfortable
Manufacturer:   Big Agnes
By Lauren DeLaunay ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 7, 2020
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 12
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Size - 30% 4
  • Stability - 25% 9
  • Versatility - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The Big Agnes Big Six has quite a few things going for it in the comfort department, but after repeated use, we found a few features that left us wishing for more. We immediately loved this chair's high back and height off the ground; these two things contribute significantly to its higher comfort score. On the other hand, this chair is heavy and lacking in any of the additional features offered by some of its competitors. Despite being reasonably comfortable, the Big Six is easily beaten for one of our top spots by products that are lighter with more backcountry-specific features.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Big Six is a moderately comfortable chair that could be great for someone looking for height and back support. Otherwise, it is a heavier product not well suited for long backcountry missions.

Performance Comparison


Backpacking chairs at their finest in Red Rock Canyon: Alite Stonefly (left) and Big Agnes Big Six (right)
Backpacking chairs at their finest in Red Rock Canyon: Alite Stonefly (left) and Big Agnes Big Six (right)

Comfort


Unlike many of the products we test here at OutdoorGearLab, chairs are truly a luxury item. If it's not making your camp life more comfortable, why even bother? For this reason, comfort is the most important metric that we tested for, earning a whopping 30% of each product's overall score. The Big Six has a few unique features that boost its comfort score, but it also has a few quirky traits that we find disappointing.

The first thing we noticed about the Big Six was how high the backrest is. This is perhaps the single best feature of this chair. If you're looking for more back support and somewhere to rest your head and neck, this is the only chair in this review that can give you that. There is a small amount of padding at the top of the chair that adds to this great feature. The second thing we noticed about this chair was how high it sits off the ground. Our knees ended up about the same height as our hips when we sat down (though your knees will likely be higher than your waist if you're closer to six feet tall). Our older friends and those with creaky knees found this trait desirable. It's considerably easier to get into and out of this chair than some of the ultralight models.

The tall  unique Big Six on a spring day in Bishop  California
The tall, unique Big Six on a spring day in Bishop, California

On the flip side, we do not like how high the sides are. Our arms felt completely trapped in this chair, squeezing the shoulders together or forcing the arms to hang out. Neither situation is comfortable and made it a pain to eat or play an instrument while sitting in this chair. Additionally, this product has no venting, making for a hotter seat with no airflow.

Size


Because this review is specific for backpacking, our testing team knows that every product has to be suitable for carrying long distances. This section is here to judge how heavy each model is and how easy it is to bring along for adventures. While some of the chairs we tested fold up and stow away easily, others are cumbersome. The Big Six, while small in folded size, is by far the heaviest chair in this review. The lightest come in under 20 ounces, but this one, at 49 ounces, starts to feel less like a backpacking chair and more like a camping chair.

The Big Six is made with durable yet heavy fabric.
The Big Six is made with durable yet heavy fabric.

Stability


The Big Six is surprisingly stable despite its height. We worried that being so far off the ground would make tipping easier, but we never found that to be true. The feet, while not as wide as those of some of its competitors, are plenty stable. This chair does not score the very highest in this category, but we do feel like its stability is solid enough that you don't really have to give it a second thought.

The Big Six's skeleton reveals a less-than-stable construction.
The Big Six's skeleton reveals a less-than-stable construction.

Versatility


Overall, the lack of features like pockets or cup holders on the Big Six, in addition to its large size, diminished its versatility score. While other models have a handy pocket, the Big Six has none. Moreover, while this chair's tall height makes it more comfortable to get in and out of (especially for those with aching knees and hips), it's too tall for many outdoor concerts. Its feet, while sturdy, are not the best on sand, so this isn't our first choice for the beach either.

Assembling the Big Six just in time for coffee at a Red Rock Canyon trailhead
Assembling the Big Six just in time for coffee at a Red Rock Canyon trailhead

Value


The Big Six is tied for the most expensive chair in this review. Unfortunately, its heavy weight and constricting seat make it a poor choice for such a steep price.

Conclusion


We generally found the weight of this chair to be too heavy to justify carrying far distances. We may have been able to work around this for superior comfort or great features, but the Big Six, unfortunately, has neither. Our testing team ultimately agreed that your money is likely better spent on something lighter or more comfortable.

Size comparison: the tall Big Six (right) next to the more compact Stonefly (left)
Size comparison: the tall Big Six (right) next to the more compact Stonefly (left)


Lauren DeLaunay