BackpackGearTest
  Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Camp Chairs and Seating > Chairs > Alite Designs Monarch Chair > Owner Review by Doug White

ALITE DESIGNS MONARCH CHAIR
BY DOUG WHITE
OWNER REVIEW
January 26, 2015

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Doug White
EMAIL: bakpack215atyahoodotcom
AGE: 33
LOCATION: Boulder, Colorado, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 170 lb (77.10 kg)

Backpacking Background: I've been backpacking for several years. I have tested a lot of different systems to find what works the best for me. I pack as light as possible without sacrificing comfort and functionality. I enjoy backpacking in all kinds of weather including winter. I also do snowshoeing and year round mountaineering as well. I backpack in Rocky Mountains just below treeline most of the time. My trips are normally at least a few miles (5 km) or more. Anytime I can get out and enjoy the mountains, even for a day hike, I do.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Alite Designs
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: www.alitedesigns.com
MSRP: US$70.00
Listed Weight: 21 oz (590 g)
Measured Weight: 20 oz (560 g)
Listed Size: 23 x 21.5 x 17 in (58 x 55 x 43 cm)
Measured Size: 23 x 22 x 22 in (58 x 56 x 56 cm)
Listed Seat Height: 7 in (18 cm)
Measured Seat Height: 7 in (18 cm)
Listed Stuffed Size: 12 x 4.5 x 4.5 in (31 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm)
Measured Stuffed Size: 14 x 5 x 5 in (36 x 13 x 13 cm)
Listed Weight Capacity: 250 lb (113 kg)
Measured Weight Capacity: I have not verified the maximum.

IMAGE 1
Chair Sling Fabric

IMAGE 2
Using The Chair In Shallow Snow



Other Details:
The Alite Designs Monarch Chair is a light-weight chair with a one-piece frame. Although the frame is one piece, it is collapsible via a shock cord and aluminum tube style design similar to many tent poles. The frame is manufactured from a strong 7000 series aluminum. The chair sling itself is a 210 denier ripstop nylon sling that the pole frame fits into via sturdy fabric pockets on each corner of the sling. When assembled, the chair has two legs that contact the ground. Sitting in the chair, the person's own legs become a third balance point allowing the chair to be supported like a tripod. The legs of the chair have rubber feet on the very bottom which expand the contact surface area, in order to keep the chair legs from digging into the ground. The two-leg design allows the chair to be rocked while a person sits in it. The chair sling also has two large sections of mesh that allow body sweat and moisutre to air out. The manufacturer claims to warranty the product for life against all defects and workmanship. The manufacturer also offers replacement chair slings for US$25.00 if it is damaged beyond the scope of the warranty. Many colors are available.

IMAGE 3
Showing The Pieces

IMAGE 4
Rubber Feet And Shock Cord

IMAGE 5
Top And Bottom Of Chair

FIELD USE

I have used this chair on at least 20 trips in temperatures as low as 0 F (-17 C) and on warmer days up to around 90 F (32 C). I have used it in thick forested regions and at treeline during day hikes and during multi-day backpacking trips. It has been tested on flat ground, uneven ground, shallow snow and deep snow.

MY EXPERIENCE

I have owned this chair for about four years now. I love it. I usually take it on day hikes when a lunch is planned. I also take it on all overnight trips unless there will be deeper snow expected. The chair is very light, yet very durable, in my experience. The nylon sling and stitching have held up well. The aluminum frame is also very durable. It is rigid enough for strength, yet has some flex to it while twisting or rocking the chair. I love the design. To me, it is simple, but still is very functional and very strong for such a lightweight item. I find the frame very easy to assemble. I have even gotten to the point where I can shake the pole around in the air and get it to connect itself. I can have this chair set up in about thirty seconds. I also like how the manufacturer has color-coated the poles and the chair sling to ease in assembly. The sling has two gold-colored pockets for the gold-colored pole ends to go into, and also has two silver-colored pockets for the two silver-colored pole ends to go into. This aides in quicker assembly. The pockets are thick and sewn onto the chair sling. They feel padded and very rugged and feel like they will last a long time. The nylon sling feels very strong as well. I have had the wind blow it into forest underbrush, yet the chair has no holes in it. The shock cord inside the poles has lasted well in the time that I've owned the chair and doesn't feel like it has lost any of its tension. The chair sling has mesh in it, which I am a big fan of. On summer days, I can feel the wind going through the mesh while I'm sitting in it.

The two-legged design is great for hills or uneven surfaces. I am very impressed with the chair for the many locations it can be used even when the ground isn't flat. The rubber feet on the bottom of the legs are strong and really do prevent the aluminum legs from digging into the ground. However, in deep snow, the legs poke right down in the snow. Because the seat height is only 7 in (18 cm), I end up sitting right on the snow and it is not comfortable. If the snow depth is shallow enough to shovel it down to bare ground, the chair works great in my experience, but when the snow is too deep to shovel quickly, the chair is useless. Another downside when I use this chair is that when I am wearing a down jacket, the down material on my back compresses against the chair to a point where it doesn't insulate and I get cold spots. This isn't really a flaw of the chair, just something that ends up happening.

I find that collapsing and storing the chair is very easy. I remove the pole assembly from the chair sling pockets and fold the pole assembly together. I then roll up the chair sling around the pole assembly and store it in an outside pocket of my pack where it is easy to get to. I don't use the stuff sack as I don't feel it is necessary. I don't use stuff sacks in general, as I feel they are one more item to manage in the field. One thing I have found is that on windy days, if I'm not sitting in the chair, the wind will take it away like a sailboat. If I'm not going to be sitting in it, but still want to leave the chair assembled, I always try to tuck it around the bottom of a well-branched tree.

Although I do not use it, the stuff sack that comes with the chair is a nylon stuff sack with an adjustable cinch strap for closing it. The stuff sack also has 3 external nylon loops on it for carrying it or fastening it in various ways.

IMAGE 6
How Pole Goes Into Pocket

THINGS I LIKE

Durable
Comfortable
Sets up easily
Light weight
Rocks back and forth
Stores small

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

Doesn't work well in deep snow
Wind blows it if I'm not sitting in it.

IMAGE 7
Showing Pole Assembled And In The Chair Sling

SUMMARY

This has been a great chair for me. I really like how light it is in weight and how comfortable it is out in the field. In my opinion, it is easy and fast to set up. It is a sturdy chair that I hope will last me a long time.

SIGNATURE

Product reviewed by Doug White.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Alite Designs gear
Read more gear reviews by Doug White

Reviews > Camp Chairs and Seating > Chairs > Alite Designs Monarch Chair > Owner Review by Doug White



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson