Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger Review
Cons: Thin cushioning
Manufacturer: Crazy Creek
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Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger
|Price||$70.98 at Amazon||Check Price at REI|
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|Pros||Versatile, comfortable, lightweight||Deep comfortable seat, lightweight, surprisingly stable||Stable even without a backrest, high seat height, comfortable, lightweight, compact packed size||Extremely lightweight, comfortable positioning||Practically indestructible, weighs less than toothpaste, insulated, inexpensive|
|Cons||Thin cushioning||Takes longer to set up||No backrest for reclining||Pricey, small||No backrest, requires sitting on the ground|
|Bottom Line||This taco-style chair is versatile, more comfortable than most foam chairs, and is light enough for the backcountry||An excellent combination of comfort, weight, and stability||Reshaping attitudes about stools on backpacking trips, the exceptional comfort, light weight, and packability of this seat make it an unexpected winner||This chair offers the highest comfort of any super light model we tested||A featherweight, versatile, and durable foam seat even ultralighters won't leave at home|
|Rating Categories||Hex 2.0 PowerLounger||Big Agnes Skyline UL||Big Agnes Skyline U...||Helinox Chair Zero||Therm-a-Rest Z Seat|
|Size & Weight (30%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Hex 2.0 PowerLounger||Big Agnes Skyline UL||Big Agnes Skyline U...||Helinox Chair Zero||Therm-a-Rest Z Seat|
|Main Material||Ripstop nylon and foam||Nylon with aluminum frame||70-denier Robic nylon / ripstop nylon 66||Polyester with aluminum frame||Cross-linked Polyethylene|
|Measured Weight||29 oz||29 oz||20 oz||18 oz||2 oz|
|Packed Size||6 x 6 x 20.5 in||3.5 x 4 x 17 in||3.25 x 3.25 x 12 in||4 x 4 x 13.5 in||13 x 2.5 x 2.5 in|
|Seat Height (butt to ground)||0 in||9.5 in||9.5 in||7 in||0.5 in|
|Seat Width (at edge)||18 in||18.5 in||19 in||18 in||16 in|
|Base Size (width x depth)||18 x 17 in||15.5 x 13.5 in||14.5 x 12 in||13.5 x 10 in||16 x 13|
|Features||Rolls up, fold out section||Color-coded frame, hub-less pole design||4 legged stool, color-coded frame, hub-less pole design||Slits for breathability, small hubbed pole design||Clip loop|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Among taco-style foam chairs, the differences are pretty slight, but the Hex 2.0 PowerLounger offers a few unique features that we found greatly impact the comfort and likelihood of bringing a foam chair along. Read on to learn why we are stoked on the tall back, lower attachment points for the webbing, the fold-out flap, and the perforated foam.
In an apples-to-apples comparison among the foam chairs, the PowerLounger ranks significantly above the others, but when compared to the tent-style chairs with their comfy suspended seats, the luxury begins to pale.
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. This longer profile also adds versatility to this model. It can be used under your sleeping pad for added warmth or even used as a stand-alone extremely minimalist sleeping pad.
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. The positioning of these straps along with the high back also seems to keep the chair from squeezing in your shoulders too much or digging into your armpits. Granted, every taco-style chair we tested does round the shoulders in more than the tent-style chairs, which is why they tend to rank lower in comfort.
In general, foam chairs also rank lower in comfort because you are sitting on the ground, padded only by a thin piece of foam. After a little while, your tailbone may begin to feel sore. If you are considering a foam chair, you should also be aware that the PowerLounger, like others, requires your legs to remain in one position to keep you upright. You won't have the option to bend your legs at different angles if they begin to feel restless.
Size & Weight
The PowerLounger is one of the lighter chairs in our review, but its weight doesn't really impress us. At 29 ounces, we rank it better than the other slightly lighter taco-style models because of its size when rolled up.
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.
The cushioning may be thin, but if that doesn't bother you, this chair is long enough to be used as a 3/4 length sleeping pad when fully stretched out. Or maybe you combine it with an ultralight sleeping pad to create a 4 season pad. Because it can help you save a little weight elsewhere in your pack, you may find it worth it to bring this chair along. There's nothing better than products that can serve multiple functions when you're far from home, and every ounce counts.
Taco-style foam chairs, and the PowerLounger is no exception, are stable in one sense but cause instability in another. Let us explain: you can't exactly fall out or a chair that is just supporting a reclined position while you sit on the ground — there's nothing to break underneath you. However, getting in and out of a floppy ground seat can present a challenge of its own. This lack of stability comes down to the person more than the chair but is definitely worth noting. It's awkward to get yourself down on the ground, and back your bum into the seat while holding it open with one hand. We will give you a moment to picture that.
The PowerLounger, compared to other chairs of its type, is stable. With longer leg padding, this chair makes better use of your body tension to stay upright. We found it to be easily adjustable to both a more upright or reclined format. A fun feature that we feel adds to the comfort of any foam chair is the ability to rock back and forth with no loss of stability.
Ease of Use
Not much can go wrong when setting this seat up. If not already clipped, all that is necessary is to snap two buckles together and slide to the desired tension. The sliders loosen by pulling on them towards you and tighten by pulling the webbing tail away from you. This is easier to perform than when they face the opposite way.
When packing the PowerLounger away, you can choose to simply fold it in half or roll it for the most compact package. Rolling the chair takes a couple of extra steps: the webbing needs to be fairly loose, then you'll fold the edges of the chair in before folding in the seat half and then rolling. It isn't hard to do but is noticeably more involved than the other foam chairs that merely need to be folded in half and toted away by their handles.
As mentioned before, some of the challenge of using this chair is in how difficult it is for you to get on and off of the ground. If your motivation for bringing a chair along is to avoid this kind of thing, a tent-style chair will better suit your needs. The PowerLounger offers no more or less difficulty of getting in and out of than any other taco model we tested.
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 a chair and sleeping pad, we believe it is a great value, saving you both money and space in your pack. 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.
The Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger is one of our favorite choices among taco-style chairs. Its comfort and versatility push it over the edge for usefulness and help justify its higher price tag. We love the high back and soft material and if a taco-style chair is what you are looking for, you'll be happy picking this one to tote, whether you're going steps from the car or miles into the backcountry.
— Elizabeth Paashaus