Crazy Creek Hexalite Original Chair
BY JUSTIN POTTS
March 26, 2012
Sapulpa, Oklahoma, USA
5' 8" (1.73 m)
180 lb (81.60 kg)
Just recently have I been introduced to the backpacking community in 2011, but I fell in love with it, and I fell hard! Not a weekend goes by that I am not out in the wilderness somewhere. I have roughly 2,000 mi (3220 km) of hiking/backpacking experience mostly in Oklahoma's Wichita Wildlife Refuge. I like to pack light, with a base weight of 15 lbs (6.8 kg) but I also like to be comfortable. I hike hard and fast to reach a destination, and explore after I make camp. I shall see what this turns into as I keep backpacking.
Manufacturer: Crazy Creek Products
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.crazycreek.com/
Listed Weight: N/A
Actual Weight: 21 oz (544 g)
Note this is the older Crazy Creek Hexalite original, not the HEX 2.0
I came across the Crazy Creek Hexalite Original chair (hereafter revered to as 'the chair') on sale one day and figured, I'd give it a sit. Ever since that first sit there was never a second thought in my mind about it.
The chair measures 16.5 x 15 in (42 x 38 cm) and weighs 21 oz (544 g), and rolls to be 16.5 x 4 in (43 x 10 cm) (pictured below).
The exterior is made of 420D coated ripstop nylon which has been more than durable. The interior consists of a 0.5 in (1.27 cm) thick closed cell foam pad with hexagonal cutouts (hence the name Hexalite) as well as a total of four stays (two each, back and seat, along the outer edges), presumably aluminum, but I cannot find anything that states what it is. The chair has stay pockets made of fabric reinforced vinyl material as seen below, at the end of each stay.
The 'inside' of the chair is covered in mesh which gives it excellent breathability on those hot summer days.
|Mesh on inside|
The chair is supported by an adjustable 1 in (2.54 cm) strap, with 'CRAZY CREEK' written on it, on each side with a quick release buckle in the middle. The strap is connected to a small triangle of nylon with the Crazy Creek logo at each end. This feature increases comfort by giving more surface area, versus the 1 in (2.54 cm) strap, so that it does not cut into my outer rib cage and thigh areas as much.
The chair also has a smaller strap to secure it in the rolled position.
I have used this chair on too many trips to count but for all intents and purposes here are three memorable trips:
1) A five day, 4 night trip in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains in late summer. Elevation ~13,000 ft (3,962 m) with somewhere around 5,300 ft (1,615 m) gain/loss over the hike. Covering somewhere between 10-12 mi (16-19 km) a day.
2) A three night backpacking trip in the Wichita Wildlife Refuge in early fall. Covering 15-20 mi (24-32 km) per day. It was still fairly warm, so packs were light. The terrain was relatively flat in the backpacking area compared to other parts of the Wildlife Refuge.
3) Finally, a two night hiking/climbing trip to the Wichita Wildlife Refuge. Coverage per day undetermined.
While the chair weighs in at a beefy 21 oz (544 g) I always bring it along. Now, I know there are some people who would shake their heads in disbelief that someone would carry this extra weight. But in my opinion this creature comfort is TOTALLY worth it, and here is why:
To start things off, the chair rolls up to 16.5 x 4 inches (43 x 10 cm) which makes stowing it a breeze. I like to stow it on the outside of my pack using the sleeping pad straps, because: 1) the straps are free as I have a Big Agnes inflatable pad which packs neatly inside my pack, and 2) this way I have quick access to it for any stop we make that might require a sit.
On a side note, the chair also fits nicely into a side water bottle pocket, underneath side compression straps, or under a bungee lashing system. All of which I have used at one time or another just to see if it would stay in place.
Aside from being fairly compact, the chair is a wonderful creature comfort. It allows me to sit on the ground and have a well supported back which is nice after hiking all day with a pack. The chair also provides something dry under the ol' bum on wet ground which always boosts my morale on long wet days.
As for the chair's comfort, my buddies and I can often be caught dosing off under a shady tree, and have coined the term ''Crazy Creek dozers''.
And lastly, I prefer to use the chair in conjunction with a log or boulder so that I can dangle my legs like sitting in a normal chair back in the urban world.
Now onto the negatives of the chair...
It is a little thin in the padding department, (especially after many, many, many, hours of usage, the padding has compressed quite a bit) so the chair is not SUPER comfortable (still pretty comfy) on harder rougher ground anymore. To relieve this, I normally lean back a bit to suspend the seat portion almost like a little mini hammock.
Finally the chair is a touch unstable if I am not centered in it, and tends to collapse if I get too far off center. (Which has become a game between my companions and I, to nudge a "Crazy Creek dozer" who then becomes quite awake as they topple over.)
All in all, The Crazy Creek Hexalite has been a wonderful investment. It is a bit heavy, but the chair's durability, comfort, and packability by far outweigh the heaviness for me. And there is nothing better than seeing the face of jealousy on those who do not believe in carrying anything extra is worth it when I pop it out to sit back and relax.
Time to get back off the beaten path,
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
"Climbing 101 - Stemming: spread your legs and trust the rubber"
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