The most tranquil time around camp is as the sun sets over the huge mopani trees of Moremi and the fire clatters in front of you while you sit on your favourite chair with a chilled G&T, listening to the jackals welcoming dusk. Said chair can make or break the moment. So, what makes a good camping chair? Anton Willemse explores.
When choosing chairs for your overlanding trips there are many things to consider, of which comfort levels is only one. Depending on whether you travel with an SUV and caravan or a bakkie with a rooftop tent and canopy, your choice of camping chairs may differ. Critical aspects to bear in mind include whether they are easy to pack, aren’t too heavy, can carry your weight and – of course – that they are at least somewhat comfortable.
Thankfully, the question of where to find such chairs is not one of the things you need to worry about. Tentco has a wide a range of chairs available through various retailers across the country. The range includes everything from the more old-school director’s chair made from ripstop canvas with a steel frame, to the more luxurious SLX-2 chair with its 150kg weight capacity and Oxford Nylon cover that is as comfy as your Lazy Boy at home.
There are five basic aspects to consider when buying a camping chair:
1. Style suited to you:
A foldable chair is, of course, essential as it takes up less space, but comfort is also a big priority and you can only achieve this if you choose a chair that is suited to you. Consider your needs, your body frame and how often you will use it on safari. Then pick one that you feel comfortable in.
2. Quality and weight capacity:
Pick a chair that suits your weight. There is nothing more embarrassing than sitting around a campfire with your family and the next moment you are on your back on the ground, entangled in a poorly constructed camping chair. Make sure of the build quality of your chair – it will also make it more durable and long-lasting.
3. Weighted chairs:
The weight of the chair is as important as its weight capacity. The first rule of packing for an overlanding or camping trip is to keep it as light as possible. So, be sure to pick a chair that won’t take up half your vehicle’s GVM.
Be mindful of the price. The cheaper the chair, the more likely it is that the build quality and materials used are of a lower standard. Don’t expect an R300 chair to be as durable as a chair that costs R750 or more. Save up and get a chair that will last – in the long run, this is the more affordable option as replacing those R300 chairs with every trip can get a bit much!
5. Creature comforts:
Gone are the days when camping chairs were just stools with pieces of canvas. They now come with side tables, cup holders and some even have handy little cooler bags in the armrests. Consider the extras available in relation to the price and choose your chair accordingly.
Pop onto the Tentco website to find a Tentco agent close to you: http://www.tentco.co.za/index.php/quick-links/local-agents