TravelChair Joey Review
Cons: Heavy, non-intuitive set-up
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Elizabeth Paashaus