Kelty Camp Chair Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Inexpensive, large dimensions
Cons: Uncomfortable, bulky
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Kelty Camp Chair
|Price||$28.85 at Amazon|
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|$109.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Inexpensive, large dimensions||Deep comfortable seat, lightweight, surprisingly stable||Extremely lightweight, comfortable positioning||Comfortable, spacious feel, stable on soft ground||Inexpensive, comfortable, easy to set up|
|Cons||Uncomfortable, bulky||Takes longer to set up||Pricey, small||Heavy, non-intuitive set-up||Rough fabric, not one of the lighter models|
|Bottom Line||This is a simple and budget-friendly model, but it isn't comfortable||This chair blends weight, comfort, and stability seamlessly for a great price||The lightweight design of this chair is coupled with a high level of comfort but also a rather high price||Sturdy and comfortable, this is a great all-around camp chair||This easy to setup chair ranks above average in comfort and is a fraction of the price of most similar models|
|Rating Categories||Kelty Camp Chair||Big Agnes Skyline UL||Helinox Chair Zero||TravelChair Joey||Sunyear Compact|
|Size & Weight (30%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Kelty Camp Chair||Big Agnes Skyline UL||Helinox Chair Zero||TravelChair Joey||Sunyear Compact|
|Main Material||Polyester and closed-cell foam||Nylon with aluminum frame||Polyester with aluminum frame||Nylon with aluminum frame||Nylon with aluminum frame|
|Measured Weight||24 oz||29 oz||18 oz||37 oz||35 oz|
|Packed Size||19.5 x 17 x 1.5 in||3.5 x 4 x 17 in||4 x 4 x 13.5 in||4 x 5 x 14.5 in||4.5 x 5.5 x 14 in|
|Seat Height (butt to ground)||0 in||9.5 in||7 in||10.5 in||9 in|
|Seat Width (at edge)||17 in||18.5 in||18 in||19 in||18.5 in|
|Base Size (width x depth)||17 x 19.5 in||15.5 x 13.5 in||13.5 x 10 in||14 x 15 in||13.5 x 12 in|
|Features||Folds flat||Color-coded frame, hub-less pole design||Slits for breathability, small hubbed pole design||Mesh, ski pole snow basket style feet, hubbed pole design||Mesh back, pocket, hubbed pole design|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Kelty makes plenty of budget-friendly camping equipment that works well, but this Camp Chair is not among the better designs they offer. While it has a tall back, it rolls the user up inside the chair, putting painful pressure on the side ribs or armpits. We believe the reason this model collapses on the user more than others with similar designs is due to the lack of structure in the foam. Our overall recommendation would be to keep shopping because there are other inexpensive models out there that feel more comfortable.
Comfort is really the metric that matters most for a chair, and, sadly, the Kelty is not up to par. The larger seat is appealing, but it just doesn't perform as expected. The squeezing caused by the chair folding in on the user is painful and even restricts breathing a bit by exerting pressure on the side ribs. All foam chairs will feel tight around the body due to their construction, but this model is noticeably worse.
Size & Weight
The Camp Chair is one of the lighter chairs we tested, in-line with the other foam models in our review. This makes it a reasonable weight to carry into the backcountry. Just like other similar models, the Kelty is basically a rectangle of foam and isn't very packable. Because of the thinner foam used on this model, you can roll it up, but there aren't any straps incorporated to keep it that way. When rolled, however, it could be strapped to the top or back of most backpacking packs.
The stability of a foam chair depends mostly on the human who is getting into it and very little on the chair design itself. There's really nothing to fall out or off of since the chair rests your bum right at ground level. Sitting in the Kelty, like every other foam chair, does require you to be comfortable getting on and off the ground. It also requires body tension to stay upright.
Ease of Use
The Kelty chair is super easy to use. You simply open it like a book, clip two buckles, and take a seat. We did note that the buckles on this model are attached so that you need to pull upward to tighten the straps, which is ergonomically more difficult than on models where the tightening is done by pulling down away from your body.
This is by far one of the least expensive chairs in our review, but it doesn't offer much in return for your money. If all you need is a foam pad for the ground, this model may meet your needs, but we think you can find better comfort for a similar price elsewhere.
Overall we did not enjoy our time in the Kelty Camp Chair and have to recommend you look elsewhere. Its price is right, but when you consider that there are more comfortable chairs of similar design, weight, and price on the market, there isn't much reason to consider this one.
— Elizabeth Paashaus