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ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Review

Our favorite among all contenders, this robust chair makes camp lounging a simple and comfortable affair
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ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Review (The perfect choice for your next camping trip, the King Kong is super comfortable, easy to use, and easy to transport...)
The perfect choice for your next camping trip, the King Kong is super comfortable, easy to use, and easy to transport thanks to its backpack style carry bag.
Credit: Trish Matheny
Price:  $80 List
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Manufacturer:   ALPS Mountaineering
By Maggie Nichols and Trish Matheny  ⋅  Oct 18, 2023
80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 17
  • Comfort - 40% 9.0
  • Portability - 25% 5.0
  • Quality - 20% 9.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9.0

Our Verdict

Deserving our favor for several years running, the Alps Mountaineering King Kong is our favorite all-around camping chair. It is a beast regarding sturdiness and lifespan, and we expect this model to provide ample seating for your bum through countless adventures. Not only is it durable, but its exceptional comfort allows for premium campsite lounging. It's simple to set up and use and features spacious armrests. The only real downside is how large it is. But if you regularly use camping chairs and are ready to buy one to last many seasons, don't hesitate to invest in the King Kong. Whether you're settling down beside the campfire at your favorite National Park or cheering on a sporting match from the sidelines, this exceptional chair will keep you comfy and cozy. Our review of the best camping chairs shows how it stacks up versus competing products.
REASONS TO BUY
Fits just about anyone
Comfortably padded seat
Super robust
Plenty of storage
Simple to use
REASONS TO AVOID
Fairly large and heavy
Holds water
Not breathable
Editor's Note: We added some new testing results and updated photos on October 18, 2023.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Bottom Line Although heavy, this robust model will provide years of high-comfort seating for campgrounds, soccer fields, and moreFull of comfortable padding and low to the ground this backpack-carry chair is ready for warming around fires and enjoying music in the parkA great combination of features and characteristics at a competitive priceA great option for those looking for a lightweight and simple design at an affordable priceEasy to set up and comfortable for taller and larger folks, while helping you save money
Rating Categories ALPS Mountaineering... REI Co-op Outward L... Kijaro Dual Lock Fo... REI Co-op Skyward GCI Outdoor Comfort...
Comfort (40%)
9.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Portability (25%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Quality (20%)
9.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Ease of Use (15%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
Specs ALPS Mountaineering... REI Co-op Outward L... Kijaro Dual Lock Fo... REI Co-op Skyward GCI Outdoor Comfort...
Weight 14.1 lbs 7.3 lbs 9.8 lbs 7.3 lbs 8.3 lbs
Weight Capacity 800 lbs 250 lbs 300 lbs 300 lbs 300 lbs
Folded Dimensions (length x width x height) 39" x 8" x 8" 27" x 23" x 6" 45" x 7" x 7" 33" x 7" x 5" 45" x 7" x 5"
Unfolded Dimensions (depth x width x height) 24" x 37" x 38" 23" x 23" x 27" 25" x 35" x 37" 31" x 31.25" x 20" 25" x 35" x 37"
Seat Height (middle) 15" 7.5" 15" 14" 15"
Features 2 cup holders, 2 side pockets, storage pocket behind headrest, adjustable armrests Backpack straps, DWR finish 2 cup holders, side pocket, carrying strap Webbing to tension the seat and back panel, integrated cup holder, drop-down pocket on left armrest, carry bag Beverage holder, small sleeve pocket

Our Analysis and Test Results

The ALPS King Kong is a massive, single-person chair with the capacity of several chairs combined — it is rated to support up to 800 pounds. This seat is large and heavy but packs handily into a durable carry bag with two adjustable, backpack-style straps to easily lug it wherever you go. It also features two cupholders, two large side storage compartments, and a bonus mesh storage area behind the head.

Performance Comparison


alps mountaineering king kong - matt hoffman enjoys his breakfast of champions while relaxing in the...
Matt Hoffman enjoys his breakfast of champions while relaxing in the ALPS Mountaineering King Kong during a sunny morning in Tuolumne Meadows.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Comfort


The King Kong is the most universally comfortable chair we tested. It features a large, well-padded seat with stable and adjustable armrests. Both the seat and the backrest are padded, helping it stay even more comfortable during those long lounge sessions in the campground. Unfortunately, the seat's padding also retains water if caught in an afternoon thunderstorm. But if properly stored, our testing team considers this padding a major bonus. Like other chairs that feature a similar design, this one has a slightly slouchy seat with a fairly upright back. Perhaps not everyone's favorite, but universally comfortable and big enough to scooch around and find your ideal position. We also appreciate the simple but ergonomic armrests. They are functional and comfortable for our testers of all sizes, and their straps make it easy to adjust them to your preferred height.


The King Kong measures 38 inches high with a 15-inch seat, which makes it straightforward to get in and out of. However, this size and height combination left some of our short-legged testers feeling a bit out of place in this oversized chair.

alps mountaineering king kong - adjustable armrests are just one of the features that make this...
Adjustable armrests are just one of the features that make this chair so comfortable.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Portability


As one of the heaviest single-person chairs we tested, the King Kong is no small item to haul around. Weighing in at 14 pounds and featuring a beefy metal frame that measures over 3 feet long, this chair can be difficult to carry. Fortunately, ALPS thoughtfully included not one shoulder strap but two to help you distribute the weight of this large chair in a backpack-style storage bag.


Despite the size, we think the oversized and heavy King Kong is absolutely worth hauling around, considering its comfort and super rugged construction. If you know you're going to be parking far away and walking a mile to the beach or a parade, this might not be the right choice for that occasion. But for more casual affairs with a minimum commute, this chair is an all-around great choice.

alps mountaineering king kong - the backpack style carry bag makes it easier to lug around all 14...
The backpack style carry bag makes it easier to lug around all 14 pounds of this heavy-duty camping chair.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Quality


If you can live with the heft and bulk of this chair, you will be rewarded with its mega durability. The King Kong frame is comprised of 1/2" powder-coated steel bars, and its seat is made from 600D polyester. The widely spaced legs make the chair extremely sturdy, especially on uneven or rocky terrain. Neither leaning back onto the rear two legs of the chair nor rocking the chair from side to side revealed any stability issues. It also packs into a reinforced carry bag, and the whole package is backed by a lifetime manufacturer's warranty.


The storage pockets of the chair are built from the same 600D polyester, with the added benefit of being lined with a smooth plastic-like material that can easily be cleaned. Surprisingly, the cup holders of the King Kong are made of just mesh — the only part of the chair that isn't thick and reinforced. We also noticed some of the fabric fraying after rubbing on other surfaces, but the damage was minor and mostly cosmetic. This heavy-duty chair even withstood the weight of 5 adults, far exceeding the 800-pound weight limit, when our testing team overloaded the frame during a morning coffee session at the Search and Rescue site in Tuolumne Meadows. Top-notch quality and a sturdy frame make this a great choice for those looking for a chair that will last many years.

Quality tested and approved thanks to five friends that were willing...
Quality tested and approved thanks to five friends that were willing to pile onto the King Kong in order to exceed the 800 pound weight limit.
Figuring out how to fit all the friends.
Figuring out how to fit all the friends.
Doing our due diligence to fully push the limits of this chair.
Doing our due diligence to fully push the limits of this chair.

Ease of Use


This chair is super simple to use, taking only a few seconds to set up and tear down. Assembly is like that of many of the other traditional models we tested. Simply pull apart two of its legs, and voila, you're done. A few features worth mentioning are the two large side storage pockets that can each easily hold a flat, average-sized magazine. Two small cup holders work great for aluminum cans and skinny bottles but won't hold a standard Nalgene, large coffee thermos, or even a wide smartphone. A short and wide mesh storage pouch runs along the width of the chair behind the head and is ideal for small items such as keys, lighters, utensils, and smartphones.


Although the armrests don't appear to be all that special, the King Kong is one of the few products in this review with satisfactory armrests. We love that you can easily adjust them to support different body types, a simple yet innovative perk. When it is time to break down this heavy-duty chair, it takes some finagling to fit everything back into the stiff and durable carry bag, but nothing overly irritating.

alps mountaineering king kong - like many traditional camping chairs, the accordion-style design is...
Like many traditional camping chairs, the accordion-style design is intuitive and very easy to use.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Should You Buy the ALPS Mountaineering King Kong?


Our testers love the King Kong due to its unrivaled sturdiness, size, and durability. ALPS Mountaineering wasn't kidding when they said they wanted to make a camping chair you can count on. If you use camping chairs regularly, the King Kong is worthy of your investment.

alps mountaineering king kong - this heavy duty chair will be a solid choice for many years to come...
This heavy duty chair will be a solid choice for many years to come, thanks to features like the super durable and powder-coated steel frame
Credit: Trish Matheny

What Other Camping Chairs Should You Consider?


While we think the King Kong is the best option for people who use camping chairs often, whether in the campground, at a tailgate, or grilling at a BBQ, but we want to highlight a couple of other options with similar features. If you are looking for a more affordable model, consider the REI Co-op Skyward, which features a comparable design, wide seat, and a little shorter backrest. If you are considering maximum comfort and a design that is the epitome of quality and luxury, check out the Yeti Trailhead.

alps mountaineering king kong - time to kick back, relax, and enjoy a slow morning thanks to this...
Time to kick back, relax, and enjoy a slow morning thanks to this super comfortable and versatile camping chair.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Maggie Nichols and Trish Matheny