Crazy Creek Original Chair Review
Manufacturer: Crazy Creek
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Crazy Creek Original Chair
$41.93 at REI
|$99.95 at REI|
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$24.95 at Amazon
|$30 List||$34 List|
|Pros||Durable, fairly comfortable, easy to use||Stable even without a backrest, high seat height, comfortable, lightweight, compact packed size||Practically indestructible, weighs less than toothpaste, insulated, inexpensive||Miniscule packed size, ultralight, insulated, doubles as a pillow||Inexpensive, comfortable, easy to set up|
|Cons||Bulky||No backrest for reclining||No backrest, requires sitting on the ground||Possibility of puncture, no backrest, requires sitting on the ground||Large packed size, lack of instructions|
|Bottom Line||This is a time-tested favorite that we think is a solid choice but that also has room to improve||Reshaping attitudes about stools on backpacking trips, the exceptional comfort, light weight, and packability of this seat make it an unexpected winner||A featherweight, versatile, and durable foam seat even ultralighters won't leave at home||An ultralight, insulated sit pad that doubles as a pillow and packs smaller than a soda can||At a bargain-basement price, this lightweight chair offers above-average comfort and is easy to use|
|Rating Categories||Crazy Creek Origina...||Big Agnes Skyline U...||Therm-a-Rest Z Seat||REI Co-op Flash Sit...||Moon Lence Camp Chair|
|Size & Weight (30%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Crazy Creek Origina...||Big Agnes Skyline U...||Therm-a-Rest Z Seat||REI Co-op Flash Sit...||Moon Lence Camp Chair|
|Main Material||Ripstop nylon and foam||70-denier Robic nylon / ripstop nylon 66||Cross-linked Polyethylene||Polyester||600D Oxford|
|Measured Weight||24 oz||20 oz||2 oz||3.0 oz||29 oz|
|Packed Size||16 x 16.5 x 1.5 in||3.25 x 3.25 x 12 in||13 x 2.5 x 2.5 in||5 x 2.5 x 2.5 in||13.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 in|
|Seat Height (butt to ground)||0 in||9.5 in||0.5 in||.75 in||9 in|
|Seat Width (at edge)||16 in||19 in||16 in||17.5 in||18 in|
|Base Size (width x depth)||16 x 16.5 in||14.5 x 12 in||16 x 13||17.5 x 13 in||13.5 x 11.5 in|
|Features||Folds flat||4 legged stool, color-coded frame, hub-less pole design||Clip loop||Inflatable, pillow conversion snap||Storage pocket|
Our Analysis and Test Results
While there are more comfortable chairs in our review, the Crazy Creek Original is moderately comfortable and performs well for a taco-style chair. Plus, it comes in a whole host of fun designs and colors, making it a fine choice for an inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to transport backpacking chair.
The Original Chair scores slightly below average in this metric when compared with all backpacking chairs in our review. That said, among the taco-style models we tested, we found this one to rank a little higher than average in comfort. We were initially turned off by the stiffness, but after testing, we found it to be more supportive than models with more pliable foam.
The Original Chair has a 16-inch back height, which hit us below the shoulder blades. It doesn't dig into the armpits, but there's still pressure against the ribs at the top of the rigid support pieces. They are well padded, so it is more of a pressure sensation than a poking one. This squeezing is common to all foam chairs we tried, but some are more painful than others. If we had a "rib-squeezing" metric, this model would rank average among similar models.
Size & Weight
Weighing in at 24 ounces on our scale, the Original Crazy Creek is one of the lighter models we tested, in line with the other taco-style chairs. Although the weight is low, this chair is too stiff to roll, so it has to be strapped to the back of your pack in its full square format. That makes it easy to remove and grab a seat on quick breaks, but it's a bit annoying having a large piece of foam flopping around on your pack, potentially getting snagged in dense brush.
The taco-style chairs are overall much more stable than their tent-style counterparts due to their proximity to the ground and the body tension-required to use them. The harder you lean back into a taco-style chair like the Original Chair, the more it will support you. We found little to no difference between the stability of this chair and any other taco-style chair we tested. As we mention elsewhere, most of the stability comes from the balance of the user in getting in and out of a ground chair.
Ease of Use
This chair's straps are easy to reach and adjust, which is crucial with a design that requires you to find the perfect reclining angle each time you sit down. We find ourselves making frequent adjustments when sitting in taco-style chairs, so being able to easily reach and maneuver the straps is a requirement.
The Original Chairhas Velcro straps to keep it closed, but we couldn't exactly figure out why. This might be a nice feature if you want to strap your seat to the outside of your backpack or when you are putting it in and out of your rooftop box.
The Original Chair is more expensive than some of the other taco-style chairs in our review, though still less expensive than any of the tent-style models. While you can get a less expensive foam chair that ranks similarly, we still think the time-tested durability of the Crazy Creek Original make it worth the extra cost.
Overall, we find the Original Chair to be a solid choice compared to its competitors. It offers decent comfort among the foam chairs — better comfort can be found in most of the tent-style models, but its durability is unmatched. We recommend this chair for anyone looking for something that can be put through the wringer and keep on performing year after year.
— Elizabeth Paashaus
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