Alite Monarch Chair - Gear Review

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It is no secret that I like to take a few extra creature comforts along with me when heading out into the woods.  Eating dehydrated beef stroganoff and sitting on the ground are not what I call a "good time".  So, when you need to portage a crap ton of gear, shaving ounces and even pounds from you pack is always welcome.

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Alite Designs has a couple of camp chairs that redefine what an uber light camp seating can be.  With a low-to-the-ground stance, you get a bean bag chair feel, without needing help to get up.  The original Monarch chair is the lightest (only 1.15 pounds) and most packable chair I have ever seen.  It holds up to 250 pounds, and assembles in just a few seconds.  This chair is great, whether sitting around the campfire or at one of the kids ball games, it's super handy.  The one problem is that you have to balance yourself in this chair, not all that difficult unless you are on uneven or soft ground.  If , like me, you enjoy a cocktail or two around the fire you can see where issues might arise...  MSRP: $70

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For those of us that are balance challenged, Alite has the new MayFly chair.  While very similar in design to the Monarch, but no balancing is required.  It can be set up in two configurations; with two points of contact just like the Monarch, or with the addition of a "U" shaped front leg you now have four.  This means hours of relaxing in front of the fire, without the unexpected topple over.  The addition of the extra stability adds a little extra weight bringing the grand total up to 1.4 pounds... Compared to traditional camp chairs, these are a fraction.  REI's Camp X Chair weighs over 7 pounds. MSRP: $100

At camp in the BWCA this year, everyone wanted to sit in my MayFly.  After a long day on the lake, pulling up a log or busting out you canoe chair cushion just wasn't gonna cut it.  With the MayFly in the Fire Tender position all week, it was the best spot in camp. Kick back - relax - and just enjoy...

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