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
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Price:  $70 List | $55.99 at Amazon
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 Laura Lingeman ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 5, 2019
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RANKED
#1 of 11
  • Comfort - 40% 9
  • Portability - 25% 6
  • Durability - 20% 9
  • Ease of Setup - 15% 10

Our Verdict

Deserving our Editors' Choice crown 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 seated 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. Its only real downside is how large it is. At 13lb and over three feet wide, it's a beastly piece of furniture that can bear up to 800lb. 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 you're cheering on a sporting match from the sidelines, this Editors' Choice Award winner keeps you comfy and cozy all day long.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $55.99 at Amazon$149.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$39.50 at REI$99.95 at Amazon$39.48 at Amazon
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Pros Fits just about anyone, comfortably padded seat, super robust, plenty of storage, simple to useHead/neck support, lightweight and stable, won’t sink in sand, stuff sack converts to pillowComfortable, portable, well-ventilated, stable, great storage, easy to use, inexpensiveSeats two people, comfortable padded design, stable and durable, easy to set up and take down, handy cup holder plusCarrying strap is built-in and easy to use, set-up is casual, exceptional support for your back, lightweight
Cons Fairly large and heavy, holds water, not breathableExpensive, low to the groundLow back height, slightly lower seat height, cup holder not ideal for thin beveragesPoor ventilation, heavy, bulkyFabric can get dirty easily, durability could be better, cup holders could be larger
Bottom Line Our favorite among all contenders, this chair makes camp lounging a simple and comfy affair.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.A surprisingly comfortable and durable, though heavy, option for you and a friend (furry or otherwise)!Versatile, supportive, and lightweight, this high value chair is ready for outdoor concerts, sporting events, and campsites.
Rating Categories ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Helinox Beach Chair REI Co-op Camp X Kelty Low Loveseat Dual Lock Folding Chair
Comfort (40%)
10
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9
10
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8
10
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7
10
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8
10
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7
Portability (25%)
10
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6
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7
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4
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7
Durability (20%)
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9
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7
10
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6
10
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8
10
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5
Ease Of Setup (15%)
10
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10
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5
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9
Specs ALPS... Helinox Beach Chair REI Co-op Camp X Kelty Low Loveseat Dual Lock Folding...
Weight (pounds) 14.1 lb 3.3 lb 8.0 lb 15.5 lb 9.8 lb
Weight Capacity (pounds) 800 lb 320 lb 300 lb 500 lb 300 lb
Folded Dimensions (inches) 39 x 8 x 8 in 18 x 6 x 5 in 33 x 7 x 7 in 34 x 12 x 7 in 45 x 7 x 7 in
Unfolded Dimensions (inches) 24 x 37 x 38 in 28 x 23 x 32 in 21 x 31 x 31 in 23.5 x 44 x 31.5 in 25 x 35 x 37 in
Seat Height (inches) 15.0 in 5.0 in 11.5 in 7.0 in 15.0 in
Features 2 cup holders, 2 side pockets, storage pocket behind headrest, adjustable armrests Mesh sides, storage sack converts to a pillow 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

Our Analysis and Test Results

The ALPS King Kong is a massive, single-person chair with the capacity of several chairs combined - up to 800 lb! It's 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


A favorite among testers  the King Kong is a giant and comfortable chair.
A favorite among testers, the King Kong is a giant and comfortable chair.

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 to stay more comfortable for long lounge sessions. 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. 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 are functional and comfortable for testers of all sizes and their straps make them easy to adjust to your perfect height. Testers love how wide the chair is because people of all sizes can sprawl out and enjoy every inch of its roomy plushness.


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

Padding everywhere! Plus adjustable armrests and a tall seat height make this chair comfortable for a variety of folks.
Padding everywhere! Plus adjustable armrests and a tall seat height make this chair comfortable for a variety of folks.

Portability


As the heaviest single-person chair we tested, the King Kong is no small item to bring with on long walks. 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! Fortunately, ALPS included not one shoulder strap but two to help you backpack-style huck this large chair along for the ride.


We think that this oversized, heavy package that is the 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 parade, this might not be the right choice for that occasion.

Not one but TWO adjustable shoulder straps help ease the burden of carrying this oversized chair.
Not one but TWO adjustable shoulder straps help ease the burden of carrying this oversized chair.

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" powder-coated 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. It also packs into a reinforced carry bag that's actually up to the task, 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 that ours frayed the fabric on the back corners of the chair just a touch from being sat in up against other surfaces. However, the damage is minor and appears to be mostly cosmetic.

Superficial damage on the back corner from sitting too close to things.
Superficial damage on the back corner from sitting too close to things.

Ease of Setup


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!


It does take a little bit of finagling to fit back into its stiff carry bag and sometimes forced us to almost peel it out. We also occasionally accidentally brought sand home from the beach that got stuck in the many crevices of the plastic feet - minor concerns.

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.
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.

Features


The King Kong has two large side storage pockets that can each easily hold a flat, average-sized magazine. It also has two small cup holders that work fine for cans and skinny bottles but certainly won't hold a standard Nalgene or large coffee thermos - or even a wide smartphone (like an iPhone 8+). It also has another wide but short mesh storage pouch running 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 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.

Two large pockets adorn each arm of the King Kong.
Two large pockets adorn each arm of the King Kong.

Value


Although a little pricey compared to most other chairs we tested, we think this price is well worth what you get in sturdiness and longevity. 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 absolutely pays off.

Plenty of space still  despite this chair lover's 6'1" stature!
Plenty of space still, despite this chair lover's 6'1" stature!

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.

Everyone loves a comfy seat.
Everyone loves a comfy seat.


Laura Lingeman