One of the most important aspects of camping out is the seating. Portable chairs have been around for years but unless the user takes a bit of care with the initial purchase the outcome is a likely trip to the refuse station.
Sadly, cheap chairs are just that: cheap. They don’t last and they don’t they support much weight. I've seen an El Cheapo camping chair break on the first outing with the user forced to sit on the icebox for the rest of the trip.
However, this won't happen with Oztrail products! The portable chairs within their range are built strongly and are intended to go the distance.
With over two dozen items, from the Quad Stool through to the Jumbo Sun Lounge, there's a daunting selection for the camper within the Oztrail range of specialised camping equipment. Unfortunately, due to space, we can’t feature all of them but I've managed to select a likely short list of 10 chairs that I consider would be ideal around the camp site (or at home) and will provide a long life for the buyer.
To provide the necessary assessment of each chair I have sat in each for a while to gain a first hand impression of comfort and levels of support, the leg height, degree of rigidity and other issues. All legs feature wide bases to prevent the chairs from digging into soft surfaces as much as possible. All chairs share the same strong construction, ease of folding out for use, though features are somewhat different through the models.
All adult sized chairs, except the high wide and handsome Director's Jumbo, are totally collapsible in the umbrella style and fold into carry socks that are large enough to make putting them away after use very easy.
For the young camper, the Junior Deluxe Armchair is both strong and light weight and my 7yo niece tried it out for comfort and declared it to be “cool”, which sounds most positive.
The Director’s Jumbo chair folds flat rather than in on itself umbrella style and consequently one needs to allow some flat stacking space for transportation. It's very solidly built (weighs around 3kg) and will cater for the larger figure sneaking over 100kg weight.
Its size is 90cm high at the top of the backrest, and is 59cm wide and 53cm high in the seat area. A rugged 25mm aluminium tube frame, deluxe fabric, insulated arm rests and a firmly padded seat and backrest make it one of the best camping chairs one could sit on. So much so, in fact, that it could well grace the patio at home with ease on a full time basis or when guests arrive.
This folding chair can be regarded as a recliner, due to the height and reclining nature of the backrest, and is equipped with a movable head rest.
A wide chair on a 16mm frame, the Nomad features an insulated drink holder. This is the ideal chair to relax in; perhaps a little too laid back for the table at meal times but great to sit in while soaking up the winter sun and watching a rod set up in a rod holder on the beach.
The name aptly describes the manner in which the lower back is supported by the carefully designed backrest of the Regal Lumbar.
This chair is particularly rigid thanks to extra strong front and side strengthening point hubs at the lower cross points of the 19mm frame. The rigidity is teamed with a high padded backrest plus a reduced rear slope, and paired pockets are featured in the arms for storage of small items while seated.
It is a supportive chair for overall use and specially designed to assist people that might need extra back support while seated. The rigidity of the Regal Lumbar makes it extremely easy to move in and out this chair. Weight is around 2kg, height 89cm, and width 61cm. Overall, I found it very comfortable.
At 89cm high, 61cm wide the Deluxe is a comfortable chair with strong, firmly padded fabric that supports the user well. It is fairly light at just under 2kg yet feels strongly supportive in use.
Its frame is 17.5mm tubing and the main feature is an armrest mounted drink holder. The armrests are long enough to be very comfortable. This chair is ideal for general camp usage.
This is an unusual chair. It features nylon mesh panels mounted within heavy-duty 600D Ripstop polyester. Its frame is a 16mm high tensile powder coated tubing and, although the chair is somewhat smaller than others, at 56cm wide in the seat area it is one of the most comfortable camping chairs I have sat in. The mesh material stretches very tight, which makes it really supportive.
It weighs under 2kg and is ideal for all general use. It features an organiser and cup holder within the arm.
This neat stool is 41cm high, 33cm wide and is lightweight. It features a rather unique folding leg design and is ideal for occasional quick use situations. Motor cycle tourers that use their bikes to get into tucked away fishing locations would give this one the nod, and a couple could be kept stored within the back of the motor car for ready use at picnics or if driving the beach and checking out likely hot spots.
The Quad Stool is designed for quick, occasional use and takes up very little room when stored.
It might be smaller but this chair certainly does not lack strength thanks to a 14.5mm frame mated to a heavy-duty polyester fabric.
It stands 54cm tall and is 41cm wide, and also has a drink holder. Suited for all camp use for young children.
The Executive Chair provides very strong structure; thanks to its 17.5mm frame mounted to 600D polyester fabric and its front and side strengthening hubs at cross points. Wide, high, arms are a feature of this chair, which has two covered drink holders, one with an additional mesh pocket that is removable.
This chair has a high padded back and stands 84cm tall and 55mm wide, which makes it suited for most adults in general. Again, this seat is ideal for general camp use with a weight of around 2kg and would suit a less able person due to the rigidity of the frame.
Like its big brother the Deluxe Jumbo, the Deluxe is a great all rounder. It features a 17.5mm frame and well-padded fabric construction, a pair of wide arms, and a large drink holder. It stands 84cm high, 55cm wide, and weighs about 2kg. Suitable for use in all camping situations.
The Promo is, again, a great all rounder. It has similar dimensions to the Deluxe, it stands 84cm high, 55cm wide, and weighs about 2kg, with a drink holder as standard. The wide arms give the Promo that extra comfort.Reads: 4999