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The Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair is a heavy-duty camping chair built for comfort. It’s oversized, which means it has a taller and wider seat with a weight capacity of 400 pounds.
To get us a closer look, Cabela’s sent Man Makes Fire a review unit. After testing the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair while camping, watching youth sports, and hanging out in the backyard with cool beverages on hot days, this is what we learned:
Big Outdoorsman XL Chair Review
The Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair is big, rugged and affordable. The rigid arms, wide base, and tall back give you lots of room to adjust your posture and sit comfortably.
At 6’3″ and 225 lbs, I’m a relatively big guy and I have room to spare in the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair.
The fabric of the chair is a stout 600-denier polyester with a padded back. Because the Big Outdoorsman XL is a roomy 25.5″ wide, the seat feels expansive compared to most cheap collapsible camp chairs.
The 19″ seat height is also suited for larger people. The seat and back design are relatively flat, not reclined. However, the fabric isn’t taught, so it adjusts to fit your butt and back. Because it’s roomy for a guy of my size, I can sit upright comfortably or even slouch a bit and prop my feet up on a rock or cooler.
The frame is made from powder-coated 22mm steel tubing with aluminum arms. The corner support braces are patented and seem to be durable. They’re definitely sturdy. After months of testing outdoors, and dragging the chair around campsites, and as well as tossing it unceremoniously into the back of my pickup, the joints and braces are holding up well.
One great feature of the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair is the rigid aluminum arms. If you’re older — or sore from a hard day of playing in the river — and want a bit of support getting into and out of the chair, you can push on the arms for leverage.
The built-in fabric cup holder is large enough for big water bottles, plus it has an organizer pocket that’s handy for your phone. I sometimes miss having a cupholder built into the arm of my camp chairs, but the deep smartphone pocket is definitely a feature I like.
The Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair weighs 14 lbs.
The included carry bag is sized to easily fit the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair. I dislike having to fight to get gear into carry bags and cases, so Cabela’s definitely got this one right. It has an extra-wide mouth with a short zipper to tidy things up once you get the chair into the bag.
There is one drawback to the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair — it takes a bit of fussing to get it completely expanded and set up correctly. The key is to spread it out then push down on the arms and hop the chair a bit to get the last inch or so expanded. Once you do this, you can fold over two latches on the backside to lock it into place.
Once you get it, it’s sturdy and stays put. I can grab the back of the chair and move it around a campsite without it collapsing at all.
When you’re ready to pack up, the chair collapses easier than it expands.
If you’re having a hard time visualizing all this, ‘fold-up’ might be the wrong word in the product name: Cabela’s says the Big Outdoorsman XL Chair “folds-up” but it really collapses up into itself. When you collapse the chair, each corner of the chair moves up and into the center.
Camping chair manufacturers have started making new extra-large and rugged camp chairs. Some customers are willing to pay more for higher-quality chairs, and some customers are simply too large to enjoy smaller camp chairs. Either way, if you’re considering the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair, you might also consider these competitive camp chair options:
Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman Director’s Chair with Side Table — The closest completition to the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair is the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman Director’s Chair with Side Table. This chair folds up and includes a side table of course, but the biggest benefit is the extra-wide seat. You get 28″ of side-to-side space. If you need a wide seat, this is the camp chair to choose.
YETI Trailhead Camp Chair — If you’re looking for a highly refined rugged camp chair, it’s hard to go wrong with the YETI Trailhead Camp Chair. It’s super sturdy, easy to deploy, and is crazy comfortable. It’s not as big as the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL, but it’s plenty stout. The main drawback is its much higher price point. (Read our full YETI Trailhead review for more detail.)
GCI Outdoors Brute Force Chair — The GCI Outdoors Brute Force Chair seems designed to compete more directly against the YETI Trailhead Camp Chair, but it is extra-large and is designed to support up to 400 lbs. The key benefits are the cooling mesh back and lightweight 10.3-pound carry weight.
Alps Mountaineering King Kong Camp Chair — The biggest benefit of the Alps Mountaineering King Kong Camp Chair is the claimed maximum weight capacity of 800 lbs. We also appreciate the dual cup holders built into the arms, as well as the organizer pocket.
The Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair is a solid, rugged, and comfortable camp chair that’s sized for bigger people. Despite it’s relatively large size, kids and smaller adults find it plenty comfortable. In fact, the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman XL Fold-Up Chair tends to attract everyone in your camp site because it’s so roomy and comfortable. The price-to-value ratio is outstanding. Very highly recommended.