Crazy Creek Celebrates 20 Years of Seating Comfort in the Great Outdoors

Campers and those that brave the backcountry have earned a prideful reputation for roughing it – crawling into cold sleeping bags at night and nibbling on dehydrated foods to ensure a light carrying load. But something outdoor enthusiasts haven’t had to sacrifice for the last 20 years is a warm, comfortable seat, thanks to Crazy Creek – creator of the first portable, lightweight chair that brought revolutionary comfort to outdoor seating in 1987.
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RED LODGE, MT – Campers and those that brave the backcountry have earned a prideful reputation for roughing it – crawling into cold sleeping bags at night and nibbling on dehydrated foods to ensure a light carrying load. But something outdoor enthusiasts haven't had to sacrifice for the last 20 years is a warm, comfortable seat, thanks to Crazy Creek – creator of the first portable, lightweight chair that brought revolutionary comfort to outdoor seating in 1987.

As the comfort-purveying company turns 20 this year, many recall the seating revolution that started with a simple seat called “The Chair,” which replaced the tree stump and log as the outdoor enthusiast's best available seat.

“Prior to ‘The Chair,' the expectation for sitting comfort in the outdoors simply wasn't there,” said Rob Hart, founder and president of Crazy Creek. “Your best bet for a seat was the most level log or tree stump you could find or drag into camp. People expected a cushioned, supportive place to sit at home, but it was considered an impracticality for any outdoor excursions.”

And they were right. The only “outdoor” chairs available at the time were the framed, aluminum-style patio chairs that worked fine for the deck, but weren't very compact and portable and would surely bog down any backcountry excursion. So, the concept of a warm, dry, comfortable seat in the outdoors continued to elude even the most avid enthusiasts.

Not to say they weren't trying. When Rob Hart became an Outward Bound instructor in the mid-1980s, he found that he wasn't the only one searching for a soft, comfortable place to sit in camp on expeditions. In fact, several other instructors had crafted their own chair creations for trips, yet most lacked quality construction and rarely lasted the length of the course.

So, Hart figured he could improve on the rudimentary offerings and began fiddling with an old wooden chair in his free time – hoping to create something that was compact and light to pack in and comfortable once you arrived. Seventeen attempts later, he had the prototype that met all of the conditions for the ideal outdoor chair. Armed with a sewing machine and word-of-mouth marketing, Hart began manufacturing Crazy Creek's “The Chair.”

Hart's friends and colleagues – mountain guides and other outdoor professionals – became his first enthusiastic customers, and soon word spread that this simple chair creation was the start of a seating revolution. Outside Magazine confirmed this in 1988, when they named The Chair “the greatest invention in camp comfort since the foam sleeping pad.”

The rest is history. Twenty years later, the basic design of the “The Chair” (now called the Original Chair™) remains virtually unchanged and is still Crazy Creek's most popular, versatile and “bomb-proof” seat to this day. Not surprisingly, Crazy Creek's customer base has grown significantly and become more sophisticated regarding what they look for in an outdoor chair.

“People are now looking for styles to serve a variety of occasions, including off-the-ground seating, ultra-lightweight offerings for backpacking, and use in canoes and kayaks,” said Hart. “But comfort and durability are still king. Crazy Creek has expanded and kept up with expectations by making modifications to original designs and introducing chairs with even greater comfort and more revolutionary features, such as On Air Comfort Technology & Motion Response™ Cushioning in the AIR Line™, which provides adjustable air cushioning and molds to the body with every move.”

The Crazy Creek line now boasts 37 products in addition to “The Chair,” including several varieties based on the original revolutionary model in the Adventurer Line; lightweight chairs that double as sleeping pads in the AIR Line™; a Water Line of seats for canoeing and kayaking; a Crazy Legs™ Line of framed chairs, including the popular Leisure Swivel, which features an innovative patent-pending swiveling table; a variety of off-the-ground personal sleeping shelters called Crazy Cribs™; Stadium & Sports Chairs and more.

Thanks to Crazy Creek, adventuring people all over the world now take comfort in outdoor seating for granted, but it's not hard to remember what it was like just 20 years ago when comfort seekers would squabble over who had the best tree stump in camp.

“Since the beginning, Crazy Creek has had just one mission,“ said Hart. “Improving comfort in the outdoors in an effort to make it easier for people to just sit around, relax and enjoy the world around them.”

Crazy Creek is the creator of versatile, portable, comfort products and the choice among veteran outdoor enthusiasts and those looking for top quality, lightweight products. The company offers a complete line of chairs, hammocks, tarps, coolers and other accessories for active pursuits, and the products are available at leading sports and specialty retailers worldwide. For more information contact Crazy Creek at (800) 331-0304.

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