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TravelChair Joey Review

This is an excellent camp chair that provides a comfortable and sturdy seat
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Price:  $100 List | $63.56 at Amazon
Pros:  Comfortable, spacious feel, stable on soft ground
Cons:  Heavy, non-intuitive set-up
Manufacturer:   TravelChair
By Elizabeth Paashaus ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 6, 2020
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 11
  • Comfort - 35% 8
  • Size & Weight - 30% 6
  • Stability - 20% 9
  • Ease of Use - 15% 5

Our Verdict

Our testers appreciate the stability and comfort of the TravelChair Joey. Though it's not particularly lightweight, we find it to be an excellent choice for adventures close to home. The wide feet make it the best option in our test for use on soft ground, and it is one of the more comfortable and stable feeling chairs in out test. We were, however, surprised by the lack of clarity on how to set it up and still have trouble determining which way the fabric goes. That said, it's a good all-around camp chair for car camping, beach-going, or short backpacking trips, all for a moderate price.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Joey ranks highly in comfort, and its wide, sturdy feet make 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 reasonable cost.

Performance Comparison


The Joey is such a comfortable spot to soak up some springtime sun.
The Joey is such a comfortable spot to soak up some springtime sun.

Comfort


The Joey provides an excellent place to sit and relax after a long day of adventuring. We felt very supported in the strong material of this chair. It's made of thick canvas and stands out compared to models with flimsy material — some of which left us afraid of sitting down too forcefully! The Joey also has excellent mesh panels for ventilation that are well-positioned for optimal breathability. We were happy to relax here on a hot summer day!

While this seat feels slightly more shallow than some other options in our review, the remarkable stability allows you to sink back and use up all the available space. The sides are relatively high, but this allows you to feel snug and secure despite the slightly awkward arm positioning. A favorite aspect of this chair is the nice high seat. With your bum almost 11 inches off the ground, it's easy to get in and out of the Joey, as opposed to many of the chairs we tested that sit very low to or directly on the ground.

The closer a chair gets you to sitting with 90-degree bends in your hips and knees  the more comfortable most folks will be. The super tall Joey does an excellent job of this for a compact chair.
The closer a chair gets you to sitting with 90-degree bends in your hips and knees, the more comfortable most folks will be. The super tall Joey does an excellent job of this for a compact chair.

Size & Weight


At 37 ounces, the Joey is not the heaviest in our review, but it's close. As a purely backpacking item, this chair is too heavy. If we needed something to carry far into the backcountry, there are a few great models that come in under 20 ounces. However, weight does not hold the Joey back from being an excellent camp or beach chair. It packs easily into a day pack or beach bag. And while carrying this chair for miles on end probably doesn't make sense, it's a solid piece to bring to your local climbing area as a belay seat or spot to rest in between laps on your favorite route.

In a pack with large side pockets and a matching carrying capability  you could bring it with you  but the weight makes the Joey less than ideal for backpacking.
In a pack with large side pockets and a matching carrying capability, you could bring it with you, but the weight makes the Joey less than ideal for backpacking.

Stability


Most models in our test offer small feet with a diameter of 1 inch at the most, but the Joey stands out from the pack for its trekking pole basket-like feet that offer great performance on any surface. This seat doesn't take home any awards, but it is still one of our favorites for car camping or in locations where weight is less critical. And while other chairs sink into sand or mud, the Joey will keep you upright and dry.

When seated, we notice some wobble side to side but feel extremely stable front to back. It's actually so hard to tip backward that even reclining onto the two rear feet is difficult to pull off.

These feet look like snow baskets on a trekking pole and perform the same function; keeping you afloat on soft surfaces.
These feet look like snow baskets on a trekking pole and perform the same function; keeping you afloat on soft surfaces.

Ease of Use


As you might expect, the Joey goes together like most of the other tent-style chairs in our review with one exception: there are no indicators on the chair to tell you which side of the fabric goes up. We can differentiate sides from top and bottom due to the curves in the fabric that form the seat, but each time we set it up, we find ourselves tilting our head to the side, turning the fabric back and forth, and trying to decide which way is up. Inside the bag are printed pictures, but you still have to assess the seams in the drawing to decide which way it faces.

Otherwise, this chair is a breeze to set up and break down. We like the size and the zippered bag that allows the folded up poles and fabric to slide in easily even if you don't roll the fabric just right.

In order to determine which way is up  you have to pay attention to the seams.
In order to determine which way is up, you have to pay attention to the seams.

Value


The Joey is in the lower price range of the tent-style chairs we tested for this review, and for that reason, we think it offers excellent value. It is very comfortable, reliably stable, and we would gladly recommend it to anyone looking for a well-rounded portable seat.

Conclusion


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 the great qualities of the Joey, and we wouldn't be surprised if you get so attached to yours that you do end up schlepping it into the mountains. It isn't the chair for you if you are looking for something ultralight to carry on backpacking trips, but we're confident you'll make your friends jealous at your next picnic with this excellent buy.

You can see how the user is positioned high which helps the knees and hips but you'll also note that angle of the back leans pretty far  straining the neck to support your head.
You can see how the user is positioned high which helps the knees and hips but you'll also note that angle of the back leans pretty far, straining the neck to support your head.

Elizabeth Paashaus