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

ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Review

Our favorite among all contenders, this chair makes camp lounging a simple and comfy affair.
Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $70 List | $67.78 at Amazon
Pros:  Large, comfortably padded seat, robust design, adequate storage
Cons:  Substantial size and weight, soaks up water
Manufacturer:   ALPS Mountaineering
By Laura Lingeman ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 24, 2019
  • Share this article:
82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 9
  • Comfort - 40% 9
  • Portability - 25% 5
  • Durability - 20% 9
  • Ease of Set-Up - 15% 10

Our Verdict

Deserving our Editors' Choice crown multiple years running, the King Kong is our favorite camping chair overall. It is a beast when it comes to sturdiness and lifespan, and we expect this model to provide seating for your bum for countless camping adventures. Not only is it durable, but its exceptional comfort allows for premium campsite lounging. It's also simple to set-up and use and, uncommon to most other models, features spacious armrests. If you regularly use camping chairs and are ready to buy your last chair, then don't hesitate to invest in the King Kong. Whether you're settling down beside the campfire at your favorite National Park or you're cheering on a sporting match from the sidelines, our Editors' Choice Award winner keeps you comfy and cozy all day long.

The only real downside of our Editors' Choice winner is its size. At 13 lbs and over three feet wide, this monster can hold up the 800 pounds. Despite its size, the King Kong is well worth the investment if you're looking for a super comfortable camping chair that lasts for years to come. Looking for something a little lighter? Our Best Buy award winner, the Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair is another great (and affordable!) option.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award   
Price $67.78 at Amazon$40.91 at Amazon$149.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$39.50 at REI$36.73 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
82
100
0
76
100
0
75
100
0
73
100
0
71
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Large, comfortably padded seat, robust design, adequate storageCarrying strap is built-in and easy to use, set-up is casual, exceptional support for your back, light weightHead/neck support, lightweight and stable, won’t sink in sand, stuff sack converts to pillowComfortable, portable, well-ventilated, stable, great storageMore supportive, very durable, low profile, easy to use
Cons Substantial size and weight, soaks up waterFabric can get dirty easily, durability could be better, cup holders could be largerExpensive, low to the groundLow back height, lower seat heightVery low to ground, no head/neck support
Bottom Line Our favorite among all contenders, this chair makes camp lounging a simple and comfy affair.Versatile, supportive, and lightweight, this high value chair is ready for outdoor concerts, sporting events, and campsites.Be the envy of all your friends next beach day with this comfortable, durable model from Helinox.It's tough to complain about this versatile and portable chair, especially considering the price.The Rendezvous is a stable supportive chair, with an exceptionally low profile and an affordable price tag!
Rating Categories ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Dual Lock Folding Chair Helinox Beach Chair REI Camp X ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous
Comfort (40%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Portability (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Durability (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
8
Ease Of Set Up (15%)
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
4
10
0
10
10
0
6
Specs ALPS... Dual Lock Folding... Helinox Beach Chair REI Camp X ALPS...
Weight (pounds) 13 lbs 9.5 lbs 3.3 lbs 7.2 lbs 7.1 lbs
Weight Capacity (pounds) 800 lbs 300 lbs 320 lbs 300 lbs 300 lbs
Folded Dimensions (inches) 38 x 7 x 7 in 37 x 6 x 6 in 18 x 6 x 5 in 32 x 8 x 8 in 29 x 8 x 8 in
Unfolded Dimensions (inches) 24 x 37 x 38 in 26 x 36 x 37 in 28 x 23 x 31.5 in 20 x 31 x 32 in 21 x 22.5 x 23.5 in
Seat Height (inches) 19 in 19 in 5 in 15 in 3 in
Features 2 cup holders, 2 side pockets, storage pocket behind headrest 2 cup holders, side pocket, carrying strap Mesh sides, storage sack converts to a pillow 1 cup holder, side pouch Mesh back and seat sides, foam-wrapped armrests

Our Analysis and Test Results

As its name suggests, the ALPS King Kong is a monster of a chair. Its sturdy and wide steel frame and comfortable padded seat made it perfect for lounging. Additionally, this chair's high-quality construction doesn't stop with its strong materials. Its armrests are sturdy, adjustable, and supportive. It also has the perfect amount of storage: two cup holders, two deep side pockets, and one narrow mesh pocket at the head of the chair. What seemed to be the primary distinguishing factor among testers who didn't prefer the King Kong was its lack of breathability and its size; it's heavy and bulky to carry.

Performance Comparison


Testers thought the King Kong had perfect storage capabilities; two cup holders  two large side pockets  and a mesh storage pocket behind the head of the chair.
Testers thought the King Kong had perfect storage capabilities; two cup holders, two large side pockets, and a mesh storage pocket behind the head of the chair.

Comfort


The King Kong received almost a perfect score for comfort. Our biggest comfort critique is that it is not as supportive as the Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair or the GCI Freestyle Rocker. It also does not have a headrest like the Nemo Stargaze Recliner. What the King Kong does have is a large, well-padded seat with stable and adjustable armrests. Both the seat and the backrest are padded, just like the two-seater, Kelty Low Loveseat. Unfortunately, this padding does result in the chair's fabric holding water during rainstorms, but unless you leave your chair out in the rain often, the padded seat is still considered a bonus. We also value the simple but ergonomic armrests. They are functional and comfortable for testers of all sizes. Testers love how wide the chair is because people of all sizes can sprawl out and enjoy every inch of its roomy plushness.


Live in a rainy place? Check out the REI Camp X or the ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous, which both have mesh backs and seats.

The padded seat was much appreciated in the comfort department. Do be aware that it can soak up water during rainstorms (which results in a wet bum). The King Kong earned a 9 out of 10 in the comfort department. Along with the Eureka Curvy  it was the only other contender to earn this near perfect score.
The padded seat was much appreciated in the comfort department. Do be aware that it can soak up water during rainstorms (which results in a wet bum). The King Kong earned a 9 out of 10 in the comfort department. Along with the Eureka Curvy, it was the only other contender to earn this near perfect score.

Portability


As the heaviest single-person chair we tested, it is no surprise that the King Kong didn't receive great scores in portability. Its beefy steel frame makes the chair somewhat difficult to carry unless it is packed up inside of its storage bag. The collapsed chair is still over three feet long. Though shorter than many similar chairs when collapsed, that still doesn't make it easily portable. Our Best Buy model, the Kijaro, performs nearly as well in all of the metrics as the King Kong, but is almost four pounds lighter and has a carrying strap attached to the chair itself. If the size of the King Kong doesn't turn you away and you have a friend (furry or otherwise) to share your seat with, you might consider checking out the ultra comfy Kelty Low Loveseat. If the large dimensions of the King Kong do deter you, check out the Kijaro.


Durability


If you can live with the lack of portability of this chair, you will be rewarded with its mega durability. The King Kong's frame is comprised of 1/2" steel bars, and its seat is made from 600D polyester. Its widely spaced legs make the chair extremely sturdy - including 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.


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 be wiped out. Surprisingly, the cup holders of the King Kong are cheap looking. Where the mesh cup holder is sewn into the armrest there is a hard plastic piece that reinforces the stitching of the two materials. On one of the cup holders, the plastic ring cracked. That said, the stitching was undamaged, and it appeared that the fractures were cosmetic.

The King Kong has an 800-pound limit...here  our testers pile on to see what it can really hold!
The King Kong has an 800-pound limit...here, our testers pile on to see what it can really hold!

Ease of Set-Up


This chair is super simple to use. It takes a few seconds to set-up and take down. Assembly is like that of many of the other traditional models we tested. Pull apart two of its legs, and it's done!


Features


The King Kong has two side storage pockets and two cup holders. It also has another small mesh storage pouch behind the head of the chair. We can't decide what it is supposed to be for but had success storing small items like keys or lighters in it. Feeding slack through a buckle can adjust its armrests. Although the King Kong's armrests don't appear to be all that special, it is one of the few products in this review with satisfactory armrests. The armrests on many other models weren't comfortable, couldn't be reached by shorter people, or were non-existent. To our appreciation, the King Kong has spacious, easy-to-reach armrests that adjust. As mentioned, the storage pouches of the chair are lined with a non-porous material that can be easily wiped out, another simple yet innovative perk that increases our love for this chair.

The King Kong has a narrow storage pocket at the head of the chair's back rest as well as adjustable arm rests.
The King Kong has a narrow storage pocket at the head of the chair's back rest as well as adjustable arm rests.

Best Applications


This chair is great for any activity that doesn't require carrying your chair for too long. It will be the envy of all of the other chairs at the campground, and it's an ideal seat for tailgating or BBQs. The only chair that we found that was more frequently sat in when we turned our backs is the Kelty Low Loveseat. The King Kong's size and sturdiness make it the most appropriate model for anyone needing a larger load capacity or anyone who has trouble getting out of lower camping chairs like the Rendezvous. Due to the seat's affinity for storing water, it's not ideal for rainy climates or activities that involve water.

There is no better name for this chair than the King Kong - it's huge  strong  and... cozy?
There is no better name for this chair than the King Kong - it's huge, strong, and... cozy?

Value


Although a little pricey, we think $70 is a good value for this chair due to how sturdy it is. ALPS Mountaineering wasn't kidding when they said they wanted to make a camping chair that lasts a long time. If you use camping chairs regularly, then this chair is an investment that pays off.

Conclusion


Our testers love the ALPS Mountaineering King Kong due to its unrivaled sturdiness, size, and durability. It is very comfortable and a good value considering its superior construction. Although the King Kong is a "standard camping chair" we love that ALPS Mountaineering was able to execute this design so well. Our Editors' Choice award winner doesn't have too many crazy features or capabilities, but everything it did have was done well. We think it is the best option for people who use camping chairs often, whether it is out camping, at a tailgate, or grilling at a BBQ.

This pocked is a great place to put sunglasses  keys  and other small items.
This pocked is a great place to put sunglasses, keys, and other small items.


Laura Lingeman