Comfort, style, versatility, and durability: this lightweight chair has it all. The Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger wins a Top Pick Award for being one of the best backpacking-specific chairs in this review. Out of the many seats we plopped ourselves into, this one is tops for shlepping deep into the backcountry. We know that some of you are scoffing at the idea of a "backpacking" chair (we were initially, too). But spend the next few minutes reading, and we'll convince you: this dual-purpose comfort haven is just the thing you need to up your comfort game on your next outing without spending a fortune.
Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger Review
Cons: Thin cushioning
Manufacturer: Crazy Creek
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
For those of you out there that are hardcore, ounce-counting backpackers, look no further than the PowerLounger. Comfort meets practicality in this chair, and with top-of-the-line design features, this product is a staff favorite. This chair is light, comfy, and versatile, making it a great investment and a clear choice for one of our Top Pick awards.
We'll be the first to admit that the cushioning on this chair is a little thin, but its high back, leg-length seat, and soft fabric helps to make for it.
The PowerLounger has a design different than that of any other taco-style chair in this review: its base folds out to leg-length, serving to protect your legs from itchy grass, muddy puddles, or rough surfaces. To stretch it out, the back must be loosened, but that's no problem for this product. The straps are easy to reach and adjust, letting you fine-tune the recliner to the perfect angle. If you'd rather have a little more cushioning, the seat can be folded over to look like any other taco-style chair, albeit with a bit more cushion.
One of our favorite features of this chair is the high back. At 20 inches, it is the tallest backrest of any of the taco models we tested. Additionally, the straps are lower down the sides than other models, allowing the arms room to move freely and comfortably. Crazy Creek struck the perfect balance with this chair.
The Hex 2.0 material is soft and comfortable, though it's not breathable. Unfortunately, none of the taco-style chairs in this review have much to offer regarding breathability. Because of this, we often found ourselves reaching for one of the tent-style chairs with a mesh back panel in hot weather, though that usually meant having to carry a bit more weight.
Since this is a backpacking review, we know that you'll be looking to count every ounce. The PowerLounger is the lightest taco-style chair in our review and also one of lightest overall; more importantly, its inclusion in your pack could be negative weight if you enlist this chair as a sleeping pad as well.
This product is the lightest taco-style chair that we tested, but two tent-style chairs are lighter: the Helinox Chair Zero and the REI Flexlite Air. That being said, tent-style chairs have little versatility when it comes to the sleeping potential of the PowerLounger. The cushioning may be thin, but if that doesn't bother you, this chair is long enough to be used as a sleeping pad when fully stretched out. There's nothing better than products that can serve multiple functions when you're far from home, and every ounce counts.
Designed for easy transport, the PowerLounger rolls up easily and even features a handy strap and buckle to keep it together in your pack. We love this feature and feel that it supports our conclusion that this is a great backpacking product. Many of the other taco-style chairs that we reviewed are stiff and do not roll easily, making them harder to transport, especially in the backcountry.
One of the biggest areas of feedback we received from our testing team was regarding the "wobbliness" of each chair. The tent-style chairs often have smaller legs with less stability, and the taco-style chairs, like the Hex, can be constricting and difficult to get in and out of.
The Hex, compared to other chairs of its type, is very stable. With longer leg padding, this chair uses your body tension to stay upright. We found it to be easily adjustable to both a more upright or reclined format.
This is one area where the PowerLounger really excels. For the minimalist backpackers here, this chair can reasonably be used as a sleeping pad, making it two items for the weight of one.
Thie PowerLounger has three useful set-ups: as a typical taco-style chair with the seat folded under, as an extended lounger with legs stretched out, and as a sleeping pad. The fabric, however, is very thin; this wouldn't be our first choice as a sleeping pad, even compared to a typical closed-cell foam pad. That being said, it also wouldn't be irrational to use it this way, depending on where you're planning on sleeping and how sensitive you are to rocks and sticks beneath you. While there are more comfortable alternatives, this chair makes more sense than any in our review for a backpacking-specific seat, and this feature helped win it our Top Pick Award.
We miss the pockets and bonus straps of other chairs in this review, but if you're looking for something to use in the backcountry and not the park, this is a great item. It's great in the park though, too!
The PowerLounger is the most expensive taco-style chair in this review, but still less expensive than the majority of the tent-style products. If you're planning to use it as both chair and sleeping pad, we believe it is a great value, saving you both money and space in your pack; this trait helped it win our Top Pick Award. Even when compared to any of the tent-style chairs in this review, the PowerLounger gets you awesome comfort at a very reasonable price. On the other hand, if a tent-style chair is your jam, there are a few great products at a similar price.
Taking home one of our esteemed Top Pick awards, the Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger is one of our favorite choices for backpacking. Its versatility pushes it over the edge for usefulness and helps us justify its higher price tag. We love the high back and soft material, and would undoubtedly tote this around with us to nearly any setting, whether we're going steps from the car or miles into the backcountry.
— Lauren DeLaunay