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The ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chair is a straightforward, well-built camp chair that has a super-strong weight capacity of 400 pounds.
This is the kind of camp chair that tends to get overlooked because it doesn’t have any fancy features — so we’re going to give it a bit of love here at Man Makes Fire. I bought two of the chairs because they’re relatively compact, rugged, and made with fast-drying mesh — perfect for camping and even better for rafting and float trips.
After testing the chairs at the beach and on a backcountry day-trip, this is what we learned:
The ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chair
First, the ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chair has a no-frills design — no arm rests, no cup holders. It’s a camp chair with the general shape of a kitchen chair.
That’s not to say it’s not well-designed. ALPS says its Adventure Chair has patented, telescoping legs that help provide extra support. For instance, the front corners of the chair have aluminum supports that extend from each corner straight down. Many competing camp chairs don’t have this extra corner leg support.
The frame is also made from powder-coated aluminum, which is lighter than steel and lasts longer in wet environments.
Durable Mesh Seat
The seat and back fabric is made from a durable mesh. At the beach, water passes through and it dries fast. No more sitting in a wet chair when you don’t want to be wet.
For camping, I’m a fan of the mesh, too. We usually collapse our camp chairs at night so dew doesn’t saturate the seats overnight. What I like about the mesh is that even if you forget, your seat will remain very close to dry.
The ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chair is built to last.
The fabric stress points are also reinforced. Plus, the seat itself has an extra “X” section of material criss-crossing from all four corners. This reduces the sag and likely helps the chair meet its 400 lbs capacity rating.
As for comfort, I’m pleased. For reference, I’m about 6’3″ and 225 pounds. The backrest is short but strong and the seat’s shape provides a bit more support than most similarly shaped camp chairs. I can sit relatively upright to eat at a camp table or to hold a plate in my lap. And I can slump a bit and still remain comfortable at the beach — even though its shape isn’t all kick-back-and-relax like the ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous Chair.
The ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chair packs down to about 7″ x 30″ which makes it a bit more compact than most typical camp chairs. It’s not ultra-packable, but it’s reasonable. I was particularly drawn to the Adventure Chair because I didn’t want a high-backed seat that resulted in a camp chair that was three feet or longer for travel or rafting.
For weight, the Adventure Chair saves some weight through the use of the aluminum frame (which is lighter than comparable steel frames). It weighs in at a respectable 5.5 lbs.
Here is where the ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chair gets interesting: cost-to-value. At first glance, the ALPS Adventure Chair seems expensive compared to the cheap camp chair competition. For instance, you might be able to find the ALPS Mountaineering Adventure chair on sale for about $67~ at REI right now. Not a bad deal.
But if your expectations focus on price, you might look at the Walmart Ozark Trail Camping Chair for $5.98 . . . and think maybe you should just buy a cheap chair instead.
Not so fast.
Is the Ozark Trail Chair a great deal? I’ve used, and broken, and had chairs break underneath me and spill my drink plenty of times in the past — and all of them were cheap camp chairs that lasted a season and ended up in the landfill.
Cheap gear that quickly ends up in a landfill is not a good value for anyone. The ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chair is built to last. More importantly, it’s built to survive the beach and wet rafting trips.
I’m glad I bought two and I expect them to be in my camp chair rotation for years to come.
The ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chair has one big drawback — no cup holders. Part of its compact yet strong design is to forego arm rests, which are often used for cup holders. This means that on leisurely camping trips when space isn’t an issue, I’ll still take more lounge-friendly chairs like the YETI Trailhead Camp Chair or the GSI Outdoors Freestyle Rocker.
Even so, the compact design is great when you have a lot of people crowding around a campfire — having a few chairs that aren’t ridiculously wide do help manage chair placement and people traffic around the fire.
I also have a tiny, puzzling drawback: The included carrying case is just a little short and a little too snug. Sure, I can get the chair into the bag, but I have to pay attention, and putting a camp chair in a bag should require barely any attention. The bag should have a slightly bigger diameter because the bag doesn’t have to be snug. And it’s inexplicably a couple inches too short — the backrest pokes out the top just a bit. I can not come up with a reason why a slightly longer bag would be a bad thing. I’m nitpicking here, but everyone who puts the camp chair away in the bag is confused about why it won’t go down all the way . . . when it is down as far as it can go. Weird.
Competitive Alternatives & Options
There aren’t many camp chairs with the same basic collapsible design like the ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chair. However, there are some alternative options that get close to the packable simplicity of the ALPS Adventure Chair:
Eureka Lowrider Chair — The Eureka Lowrider folds up slightly smaller than the ALPS Adventure Chair and weighs a few ounces less. Another benefit is that it comes with a cupholder. The only drawback is that its seat height is 12 inches — as the name suggests. If you want a packable camp chair with a bit more relaxing ergonomics, check out the Lowrider Chair.
GCI Outdoor Quik-E-Seat Chair — The GCI Outdoor Quik-E-Seat is a cross between a folding stool and a camp chair. The biggest benefits is it’s small packed size, 4 lbs 6 oz weight, and drink holder. The biggest drawback is that it’s made for more upright sitting.
If you’re tired of cheap camp chairs falling apart when you’re trying to have a good time camping, grab a couple of ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chairs. They’re great for guests at your camping spot, great for eating, great for kids, great for roasting marshmallows, and great for sitting at the river bank with your feet in cool water. They’re also built to last far longer than the department store chairs you see poking out of boxes in the aisles each summer. Like I said, if you’d rather not send cheap chairs to the landfill, the ALPS Mountaineering Adventure Chair is a good place to start. Highly recommended.