Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair Review
Cons: Fabric can get dirty easily, durability could be better, cup holders could be larger
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Kijaro Dual Lock chair is a tall and supportive chair with a built-in slight recline. It has a locking mechanism that keeps it pulled open and carefully closed, depending on your needs. It comes with a carry bag but also features a shoulder strap on the back of the chair itself. It also has two different-sized cup holders and a small side pocket for your phone and keys.
Comfort is a bit subjective, and what you're looking for out of a chair might be different than the next person. Our testers are divided about the comfort of the slouchy traditional models vs. the more firm, supportive models - this chair is definitely the latter. The Kijaro is positioned in a mostly upright but reasonably relaxed position that works well for closing your eyes and napping or relaxing and reading a book. While some of our testers don't really like the less-forgiving feel of this chair, others really appreciate the extra support this chair provides. The taller seat height, spacious width, and supportive fabric armrests provide comfortable seating all day.
In addition to excellent support, the Kijaro also has a ventilated back mesh panel. This feature makes long lounge sessions in the sun much more comfortable and breezy, which helps prevent your shirt from getting sweaty. However, there's no mesh panel to dry your bum, which is kind of a bummer (pun intended). And though you can physically force the armrests up or down, the slant of the back poles prevents them from resting at any spot other than all the way down to the joint, providing mostly flat, horizontal armrests.
One of our favorite features of the Kijaro's portability is its shoulder strap attached to the back poles of the chair. This adjustable strap, unique to this chair among models we tested, makes it easy to grab the Kijaro and go, without the added annoying step of stuffing it into a narrow carry bag. It works because of the dual locking mechanism that holds the chair closed while you walk. It's also about an average weight among models we tested, making it less burdensome to carry.
If you do decide to stuff your chair into its carry bag, this also comes with an adjustable strap to make it easier for anyone to carry more comfortably. Our biggest gripe about the portability of this chair is how incredibly long it is. Measuring 45 inches long all packed up, it's one of the longest packed chairs we tested. It's much longer than an average camping chair because of a unique pole set-up. The pole that reaches the top of the back of the chair also extends all the way down to be the front leg. Folded up this chair is a very odd shape that's not conveniently packable in many car trunks and sometimes bumps on your surroundings as you carry it. Once you get used to it though, it's not a terrible chair to cart around.
The seat of the Kijaro is constructed with 600 x 300D ripstop polyester and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs. This is reassuring because the taut construction of the seat makes some of our testers question if the fabric was more stressed than in some of the slouchier models. Having tested several iterations of this chair, we feel like the quality and durability of them just aren't quite as impressive as they used to be. Rather than the large plastic joiner used to fasten most sports chair legs together, Kijaro has several L-shaped brackets to connect them together before they reach the actual feet, which are narrow and plastic-coated. We didn't have any problems with this odd set-up, though we found several online users describing various issues with these joints.
We actually had to return one of the latest versions of this chair because the locking mechanism immediately stopped working, making this piece very unstable indeed. During the testing of our replacement chair, the poles continued to get looser and looser with an uncomfortable amount of wiggle room in between them. And, if it is of concern to you, the yellow material we tested does have an affinity for picking up stains rather easily.
Ease of Setup
Assembly is no problem with the Kijaro. The only challenge was finding the "lock/unlock" button that must be pressed before setting up the chair. Once you remember to push the button, set-up is over. The chair just needs to be pulled apart in the same way that the other traditional models do. The overall assembly takes less than 5 seconds and barely longer than a non-locking chair. When collapsing the Kijaro, the lock button must again be engaged to allow the chair to fold up.
Stuffing this long chair with unevenly folded feet back into its carry bag can also feel a bit like threading a giant awkward needle. And though the narrow feet don't collect sand like many of its conglomerate-footed brethren, they also don't hold the user on top of said sand very well. We found ourselves sinking a significant amount into any soft surface we tried to sit on and struggled more than usual to get a solid, level seat on the loose sediment.
Each armrest has one mesh cup holder (one is slightly larger than the other), and there is one small side storage pouch for keeping a few essentials accessible. Unfortunately, the cup holders are a little small for many coffee mugs, but they do fit 12 oz cans, and the larger one can hold a 20 ounce tumbler or a wide smartphone. The storage pouch is pretty slim and has room for a cell phone, keys, and a couple of snack bars.
Despite the price increase this chair has seen over time, it's still a pretty good value. If you're sick of the camping chair slouch and on the hunt for a supportive chair that still gives, the Kijaro holds a pretty good value for its level of supportive comfort.
The Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair is well-loved among folks who appreciate a supportive seat with solid clearance. It's our choice for Top Pick for a Supportive Seat and is also easy to carry and works well for a wide variety of activities. Overall, the Kijaro is a pretty solid choice and sure to be a number one choice for anyone sick of slouch.
— Maggie Brandenburg