The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

TravelChair Joey Review

The Joey is an excellent camp chair that provides a comfortable and sturdy seat.
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Price:  $85 List | $55.05 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, study, inexpensive
Cons:  Heavy
Manufacturer:   TravelChair
By Lauren DeLaunay ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 6, 2019
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#3 of 11
  • Comfort - 35% 9
  • Packing Size - 25% 5
  • Durability - 20% 8
  • Versatility - 20% 7

Our Verdict

The TravelChair Joey quickly impressed our team. Our testers loved its stability and comfort, and though not particularly lightweight, we found it to be an excellent choice for nearby adventures. While other products in this review excelled in other categories, like the Helinox Chair Zero for weight or the Alite Stonefly for versatility, the Joey was undoubtedly comfortable and one of our top choices for car camping.

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Our Analysis and Test Results

The Joey was one of the most comfortable chairs out of the nearly dozen in this review, and its wide, sturdy feet made it a great purchase for any environment. We would recommend this chair to any of our friends or family looking for a comfortable, portable camp chair at a very reasonable cost.

Performance Comparison

From left to right: TravelChair Joey  Helinox Swivel  REI Flexlite.
From left to right: TravelChair Joey, Helinox Swivel, REI Flexlite.


It was a nice change of pace to review a luxury item, as we had the unique opportunity to be concerned with comfort as function, not in addition to it. The Joey provides an excellent place to sit and relax after a long day of adventuring.

We felt supported in the strong material of the Joey. Made of thick canvas material, this chair stood out in serious comparison to the Helinox Chair Zero, whose flimsy material left us afraid of sitting down too forcefully. This chair has great mesh panels for ventilation that are well positioned for optimal breathability. We would be happy to snooze here on a hot summer day, as opposed to the Helinox Swivel Chair whose vent locations seemed less than ideal.

Soaking up sunshine in the Joey.
Soaking up sunshine in the Joey.

While the seat feels slightly more shallow than that of the Flexlite, the remarkable stability of this chair let us sink back and use up all the available space. The sides are slighter higher than the Flexlite's, but we felt snug and secure despite having slightly awkward arm positioning. One of our favorite qualities of this chair is the high seat. Eleven inches off the ground, we had an easy time getting in and out of this chair, as opposed to the awkward, 8-inch tall Chair Zero.

The wide feet made it nearly impossible to tip the Joey over, and we could happily use it on a variety of surfaces. While the Joey didn't take home any awards, it is definitely one of our favorites for car camping or in locations where weight is less important.

Packing Size

The main way that the Joey lost points in this review was in weight. At 38 ounces, this chair was still lighter than the Swivel and the Big Six but was heavier than nearly every other model we tested.

As a purely backpacking item, we think this chair is too heavy. If we needed something to carry far into the backcountry, we would opt for the Helinox Chair Zero whose 17-ounce design was even lighter than any of the taco-style chairs in this review. However, weight did not hold us back from believing in the Joey's ability to be an excellent camp or beach chair. It folds easily, compacts to nearly the same size as any of the other tent style chairs in this review, and can fit nicely in a backpack or beach bag. And while we may not be willing to carry it for miles on end, we do think it would make an excellent piece at your local climbing area as a belay seat or spot to rest in between laps on your favorite route.

Packed up and ready to relax.
Packed up and ready to relax.


For this metric, we looked to the weakest point of the chair: where the fabric meets the poles. Each tent-style chair in this review features corner holsters, and some are more durable than others. We were impressed by TravelChair's thoughtful construction compared to the competition.

The Joey's holsters are made with very thick material, leaving us confident that the chair would not fail at this weak spot. The fabric is strong and durable, and we would happily invest in this well-made product, expecting adventures for years to come. We found this comparable to the holsters on the Swivel, and both chairs were awarded high marks in this category. We found this to be a small improvement over the less stiff holsters on the Flexlite and a significant one over the flimsy Chair Zero.

Great holsters on the Joey.
Great holsters on the Joey.


When traveling, we love having products that serve more than the original purpose. We thought that the smart feet of the Joey made this one of the most versatile products we tested.

The Joey performed better on the beach than most other products in this review. It sits high off the ground, and its broad feet keep it from sinking into the sand. The Alite Stonefly excels in sand as well, as its legs include horizontal bars that distribute weight well on uneven terrain.

Taking a break in the Buttermilks with the Joey.
Taking a break in the Buttermilks with the Joey.

This chair performed excellently on grass and uneven surfaces where some of its competitors, like the REI Flexlite, were impractical. We wish the Joey featured the side pocket of the Flexlite, but that's just about the only thing we would change about it. Because of its weight, the Joey could be considered too cumbersome to bring along on longer backcountry adventures, but we would pick this chair over any other in this review for any activity close to the car.

Best Applications

Even though this is a backpacking review, we know that these chairs can serve a variety of roles. The Joey is a great car camping chair, and is almost light enough to be used on short backpacking trips for those that are set on bringing a seat. While the Chair Zero makes for a better backcountry companion because of its minuscule weight, the Joey will happily accompany you to the beach, park, or cookout. For days at the crag or lake, we would include this chair in our pack above any other. However, tent-style chairs are sometimes prohibited at outdoor concerts because of their height; in this case, we would recommend the very comfortable Crazy Creek PowerLounger or the less expensive ALPS Mountaineering Weekender.

The Joey's wide feet hold up well during a sunny beach day in Santa Cruz.
The Joey's wide feet hold up well during a sunny beach day in Santa Cruz.


The Joey is one of the least expensive of the tent-style chairs we tested for this review, and for that reason, we think it is an excellent value. It is widely versatile and very comfortable, especially when compared to its taco chair counterparts, and we would gladly recommend this to anyone looking for a well-rounded portable seat.


We realize we're deviating from the backpacking setting of this review just a little bit here. We just couldn't help but want to appreciate all of this product's great qualities, and we wouldn't be surprised if you got so attached to yours that you ended up schlepping it into the mountains. You can't put a price on comfort, and fortunately, you don't have to negotiate much with the TravelChair Joey. We're confident you'll make your friends jealous at your next picnic with this excellent buy.

Sand  rock  or grass  the Joey is an excellent choice.
Sand, rock, or grass, the Joey is an excellent choice.

Lauren DeLaunay