Sitting up higher.
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We’re deep into the summer of 2020 here in the United States, and to be honest, there’s not much that feels safe to do in the midst of this pandemic other than to go outside. Camping, kayaks, and (socially-distanced) cookouts have been the name of the game for our family, which means we’re taking a close look at the latest outdoors innovations all summer long.
There’s nothing our family fights over more than a good seat, so I’ve been hard at work prepping a comparison of some of the most innovative seating options out there. Sitpack from Denmark recently sent over a production sample of their new “Campster” chair, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at this compact chair that tries to solve a familiar problem.
What Does It Claim to Do?
The Campster is an Indiegogo project to build a lightweight and highly portable chair that’s high-backed and actually comfortable to sit in. They claim that it’s the most “lightweight full-chair height” portable chair ever, with a fold-out design that similar to other chairs we’ve reviewed, but with a much higher seating stance.
I was told that the production sample I received was missing a few minor improvements (like better-locking support arms and rubber feet for the legs), but after spending a while with the Campster, I feel like I already have a good sense of its pros and cons.
What I Like About the Campster
First-thing’s first… this chair is actually light! At just over 2lbs, I found the Campster just as easy to tote around as my beloved Helinox chair. In fact, it’s extreme light weight makes the similarly designed Cliq Chair feel like carrying a brick (though it is definitely more stable; more on that in a minute). The included sling bag is a great touch, and I was able to get the chair out of the bag (and back into it!) with little effort.
Getting the Campster set up is a breeze, with legs that fall into place with gravity and a unique support arm system that locks into place with a telescoping motion followed by a simple twist to align the white markings. I’m not sure it’s much faster than other arm locking systems, but it does feel much less likely to pinch your fingers than the push button system found in the Cliq Chair.
The Campster’s claim to fame is the high-backed seating posture, and it definitely achieves that goal. Sitting on the Campster is more akin to sitting on a tall stool that the lounge-like sitting position of the Cliq Chair or a Helinox. For a quick seat, I like having the Campster around, but over time, I found myself preferring the more supportive seating posture of the other chairs.
What I Don’t Like (at Least Right Now)
That leads me into the aspects of the Campster that I don’t enjoy as much, which is primarily the way I find myself repositioning my body in the chair after just a few minutes. Sitting upright like on a stool feels pretty solid, but when reclining against the (otherwise comfortable) seat back, both my wife and I found ourselves sliding down to the edge of the front support and needing to position our legs in a way to hold us up. That position is fine for a few minutes at a time, but it requires you to shift back and forth between sitting up and leaning back to remain comfortable if you’re sitting for a longer period.
Also, I found the tripod style legs to feel slightly less confident than the other chairs with 4 legs, and although Sitpack says they’re upgrading the locking mechanism in the arms, I could see the novel twist-based locking mechanism losing its rigidity over time.
This is just a first look, but I did find the Campster to be a fun little chair. Whether its the right chair for you will depend on your preferred seating posture and habits. If you’re looking for a lightweight chair to throw in your pack for a quick hike to a waterfall, the Campster may be exactly what you’re looking for.