Crazy Creek Hexalite Original Chair

It sometimes a tough decision -- take the camp chair backpacking and bear the weight, or leave it and suffer hard or wet ground. Fortunately, lightweight chairs such as the Hexalite Original Chair from Crazy Creek make the decision easier.

It sometimes a tough decision -- take the camp chair backpacking and bear the weight, or leave it and suffer hard or wet ground. Fortunately, lightweight chairs such as the Hexalite Original Chair from Crazy Creek make the decision easier.

Weighing 14.8 ounces, the Hexalite Original won't add a big load to your pack, but it still feels plenty supportive thanks to a body of 420-denier coated ripstop nylon. Soft to the touch with raised fibers in the weave, it can withstand a lot of heavy abrasion. One tester used the chair as a belay seat at the base of a Yosemite climb, and the surface that made contact with rough granite suffered minimal wear and tear. Heavier nylon ballistics cloth covers the sturdy internal stays to prevent them from chaffing you while sitting, and the stays lend enough structure and strength to support the weight of even a big fellow.

The fabric that lies close to your back and butt is a light nylon mesh, which allows air and moisture to pass through and keep you cool through prolonged bouts of sitting. Beneath this mesh fabric lies the foam for which the Hexalite chair is named. The foam is half an inch thick and has a honeycomb pattern with individual cells of open space. The clever design helps to reduce weight, makes the foam breathable and frankly just looks cool.

With all of these features, the Hexalite manages to come in at a lower retail price than a comparable chair from Crazy Creek and is lighter by almost 12 ounces. It rolls up into a nice little package and comes with a restraining strap that not only wraps the chair up tightly, but also serves as a carrying handle. And for a little added length (an extra 5 inches) and more back support, you can choose the Hexalite Longback Chair. We found that the Longback is a better choice for larger people because it also has 2 more inches of width in the seat.

Since Crazy Creek helped to set the standard for portable camp chairs, it's hard not to compare the Hexalite to others in the line. The hexagonal foam is not as comfy as the foam found in early models. And the nylon stays offer a lot of support but tend to press uncomfortably against broad shoulders and the back of thighs. Also, our testers with relatively narrow rear ends still thought that the seat was narrow and had a snug fit.

On the other hand, this chair is light and compact enough to carry on just about any journey, and we're willing to deal with a few drawbacks if it means we still get to lean back in the evening with our backsides off the ground.

SNEWS® Rating: 4 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested Retail: $39 Heaxalite Original; $50 Hexalite Longback

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