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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
alps mountaineering king kong camping chair review
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.
Credit: Laura Lingeman
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $120 List | $62.73 at REI
Pros:  Fits just about anyone, comfortably padded seat, super robust, plenty of storage, simple to use
Cons:  Fairly large and heavy, holds water, not breathable
Manufacturer:   ALPS Mountaineering
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 3, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 16
  • 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 when it comes to 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 several seasons, then 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.

Editor's Note: We added some new information on alternative choices if this chair doesn't strike your fancy on November 3, 2022.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $120 List
$62.73 at REI
$50 List
$49.95 at REI
$104.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$70 List
$42.99 at Amazon
$45 List
$45.00 at REI
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Pros Fits just about anyone, comfortably padded seat, super robust, plenty of storage, simple to useComfortable, well-ventilated, stable, great storage, easy to use, good priceSeats two people, comfortable padded design, stable and durable, easy to set up and take down, handy cup holdersCarrying strap is built-in and easy to use, set-up is casual, exceptional support for your back, lightweightEasy to set up, tall angled back, supportive, high seat height, less expensive
Cons Fairly large and heavy, holds water, not breathableLow back height, slightly lower seat height, cup holder not ideal for thin beveragesPoor ventilation, heavy, bulkyFabric can get dirty easily, cup holders could be largerVery tall seat, limited pockets, no locking mechanism, long when packed
Bottom Line Our favorite among all contenders, this robust chair makes camp lounging a simple and comfortable affairIt's tough to complain about this versatile and portable chair, especially considering the priceLike a portable love seat, this two-person chair is surprisingly comfortable and durable for you and a friendTaking the slouch out of camping chairs, this highly supportive model is easy to get in and out ofA tall chair with a simple set up that's easy to use and less expensive to buy
Rating Categories ALPS Mountaineering... REI Co-op Camp X Kelty Low Loveseat Kijaro Dual Lock Fo... GCI Outdoor Comfort...
Comfort (40%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Portability (25%)
5.0
7.0
4.0
7.0
6.0
Quality (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
Ease of Use (15%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
Specs ALPS Mountaineering... REI Co-op Camp X Kelty Low Loveseat Kijaro Dual Lock Fo... GCI Outdoor Comfort...
Weight 14.1 lbs 8.0 lbs 15.5 lbs 9.8 lbs 8.3 lbs
Weight Capacity 800 lbs 300 lbs 500 lbs 300 lbs 300 lbs
Folded Dimensions (length x width x height) 39" x 8" x 8" 33" x 7" x 7" 34" x 12" x 7" 45" x 7" x 7" 45" x 7" x 5"
Unfolded Dimensions (depth x width x height) 24" x 37" x 38" 21" x 31" x 31" 24" x 44" x 32" 25" x 35" x 37" 25" x 35" x 37"
Seat Height (middle) 15" 11.5" 7" 15" 15"
Features 2 cup holders, 2 side pockets, storage pocket behind headrest, adjustable armrests 1 uniquely shaped cup holder, "stowable" armrest pouch, adjustable armrests Seats two, 2 insulated adjustable drink holders, adjustable armrests 2 cup holders, side pocket, carrying strap 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 camping chair review - a favorite among testers, the king kong is a giant and comfortable...
A favorite among testers, the King Kong is a giant and comfortable chair.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


The King Kong is the most universally comfortable chair we tested. While certain others had bigger fans for specific reasons, the King Kong is a great fit for everyone. It features a large, well-padded seat with stable and adjustable armrests. Both the seat and the backrest are padded, helping it stay more comfortable for long lounge sessions. Unfortunately, this padding results in the chair's fabric holding water after rainstorms, but unless you leave your chair out in the rain often, we still consider the padded seat a bonus. Like most similar chairs, 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 were functional and comfortable for our testers of all sizes, and their straps make them easy to adjust to your perfect height.


The King Kong is also a fairly high chair with a 15-inch seat, making it straightforward to get in and out of. However, this size and height combination did leave some of our short-legged testers feeling a bit out of place in this oversized chair.

alps mountaineering king kong camping chair review - padding everywhere! plus adjustable armrests and a tall seat height...
Padding everywhere! Plus adjustable armrests and a tall seat height make this chair comfortable for a variety of folks.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Portability


As one of the heaviest single-person chairs we tested, the King Kong is no small item to bring with you on long walks. It weighs 14 pounds and has a beefy steel frame that makes the chair somewhat difficult to carry unless it is packed inside its storage bag. The collapsed chair is still over three feet long. Fortunately, ALPS included not one shoulder strap but two to help you backpack-style huck this large chair along for the ride.


Despite the size, we think the oversized and heavy package 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, this is an all-award great choice.

alps mountaineering king kong camping chair review - not one but two adjustable shoulder straps help ease the burden of...
Not one but TWO adjustable shoulder straps help ease the burden of carrying this oversized chair.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Quality


If you can live with the lack of portability 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, 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. 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 be wiped out. 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.

alps mountaineering king kong camping chair review - superficial damage on the back corner from sitting too close to...
Superficial damage on the back corner from sitting too close to things.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

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. Pull apart two of its legs, and 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 fine for cans and skinny bottles but won't hold a standard Nalgene, large coffee thermos, or even a wide smartphone. Another wide but short mesh storage pouch runs the width of the chair behind the head. We can't decide what it is supposed to be for but had success storing small items like keys and lighters.


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 the armrests 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 carry bag, but nothing overly irritating.

alps mountaineering king kong camping chair review - though they don't sink too far into the sand, these feet do have a...
Though they don't sink too far into the sand, these feet do have a tendency to bring some of the beach home with them.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

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 that lasts a long time. If you use camping chairs regularly, the King Kong is worthy of your investment.

alps mountaineering king kong camping chair review - plenty of space still, despite this chair lover's 6'1" stature!
Plenty of space still, despite this chair lover's 6'1" stature!
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

What Other Camping Chairs Should You Consider?


While we think the ALPS Mountaineering King Kong is the best option for people who use camping chairs often, whether it is in the woods, at a tailgate, or grilling at a BBQ, we wanted to highlight a couple other options with similar features. If you are looking for a more affordable model, consider the REI Co-op Camp Xtra which features a comparable design and wide seat, just a little shorter back rest. 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 camping chair review - everyone loves a comfy seat.
Everyone loves a comfy seat.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Nichols
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