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Reviews > Camp Chairs and Seating > Chairs > TravelChair Joey Chair > Test Report by Michael Mosack

JOEY CHAIR
TEST SERIES BY MIKE MOSACK
LONG-TERM REPORT
March 15, 2015

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Mosack
EMAIL: mosack(at)earthlink(dot)net
AGE: 51
LOCATION: San Diego, CA USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 240 lb (109.00 kg)

I've been backpacking for over 30 years, doing solo and group trips, with and without kids. I do day trips, weekenders and week-long or longer trips throughout the year. I backpack in all climates and seasons, from summer desert trips to Spring/Winter camping in Michigan, California and Grand Canyon, Arizona and I worked in Afghanistan for 4 years & rely on my equipment constantly. I prefer to go lighter when possible and am always trying new items. Quality and reliability of items are paramount to me over price and weight.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: TravelChair
IMAGE 1
Image from manufacturer's website

Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: www.travelchair.com
MSRP: US $78.99
Listed Weight: Stated "Under 2 lbs" (0.91 kg)
Measured Weight: 2.07 lbs oz (0.94 kg) without case
Product is made in China

Other details:
Capacity 300 lbs (136 kg)
Listed dimensions verified accurate:
Packed - 4" X 4" X 14" (10 X 10 X 35 cm)
Set up - 21" X 21" X 28" (53 X 53 X 71 cm)
Seat dimensions - 21" X 21" (53 X 53 cm)
Seat height - 16" (41 cm)

Composition Materials:
Anodized aluminum frame
Ripstop fabric with breathable mesh panels
High strength plastic
Bar tack (reinforced) sewing

Available colors
Green - Actual product color being tested here
Yellow
Black
Red
Purple

The Joey Chair, hereafter referred to as the chair, is a lightweight, comfortable, packable chair that supports up to 300lbs (136 kg). The chair comes with a matching case with a full length zip access and mesh sides for ventilation. The manufacturer says this chair packs down to about the size of a California burrito. I live in California and I'll admit that this is close! Designed to pack small yet remain strong, the features include a mesh backing in the seat panels to allow ventilation; wide feet on the legs of the chair to add stability in softer ground when sitting. a high seat height comparable to normal full-size chairs, and reinforced corners for added strength. The chair is designed for use anywhere you can think of where you might need or want a chair that is comfortable, strong, and packs very small for traveling.

IMAGE 2
Actual chair tested

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The price tag for this chair initially caught me off-guard. I found myself double-checking the price to verify that what I was seeing was the actual price. Normally I would never consider spending so much on a camping chair but after setting this up and seeing what this seems capable of, I am truly impressed and highly considering buying a second one for my wife.

This chair comes already packed in a soft case. Its packed size is incredibly small as compared to so many collapsible camping chairs already on the market. The stitching is very well done and it is reinforced (bar tack) style for added strength. I really like the seatbelt type webbing used which adds strength to the corners. I've had so many other chairs from other manufacturers that used lesser quality materials and it became quickly evident in how fast those other chairs fell apart.

This chair is comfortable to sit in and I can see this chair will definitely make its way into my Harley Davidson's saddlebag as it is the only full-size chair to fit there. My wife will be so jealous. Well actually I am confident that she will be taking over ownership of this chair very soon.

IMAGE 3

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

There are printed set up instructions located on the inside of the soft case. The set up for me was very straightforward and easy. The frame pieces are connected by elastic bungee-type cords within the aluminum pole's sections much like modern tents, so there are no loose pieces to have to put together. The actual seat fabric is separate from the frame and I pulled each corner over the frame ends to set up the chair. Once all four seat corners are secured, the chair is ready to be used.

TRYING IT OUT

I pulled out the chair from its case and the frame began to snap together on its own. It didn't completely set itself up but some if it did and that was how my experience with this chair began. It was truly very simple and quick. There are no arm rests but since this is a camping chair designed to pack very small I am not disappointed in the least. The chair is comfortable to sit on. There is a mesh backing within the seat panels which allows for airflow so I am pretty excited to see how this test will go.

SUMMARY

So far, this chair looks as if it is a winner. The quality of construction is topnotch and the design that allows this to have a 300 lb capacity yet pack as small as it does is quite impressive to me. I am looking forward to getting this chair out and testing it.
Standout Features:
Compact
Light weight
Sets up fast

Con:
Discrepancy between manufacturer stated weight "Under 2 lbs" to actual measured weight being heavier. The upside to this is that the weight difference to me is not that important compared to the other features, but it is disappointing that the manufacturer seems to be misleading consumers needlessly in this case.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Two-day trip, to the Pacific Crest Trail section in Laguna Mountain region of Southern California (CA), USA
Conditions: Foot trails and forest access dirt roads. Temperatures ranging from 45 to 70 F (7 to 21 C). Weather was cool and dry with partly cloudy skies.

Five-day motorcycle trip to Laughlin and Las Vegas, Nevada USA
Conditions: Paved roads and parking lots. Temperatures ranged from 35 to 55 F (2 to 13 C).
Weather was way too cold for southern Nevada for us but we muscled through it. We even went through some snow in Temecula, CA on the way home.

Two-day backpack trip on private land, Lubbock, Texas USA.
Conditions: Mostly common desert terrain (sandy, rocky, scrub brush, cactus, etc) with some foot trails and dirt roads. Temperatures ranged from 45 to 70 F (7 to 21 C).
Weather was clear, sunny skies, and dry.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

My wife and I like take off on the Harley as often as we can. We like to eat out and one of our favorite types of trips is finding where the food trucks are. She really prefers to have a place to sit and eat rather than sitting on the ground and sometimes the lack of a chair keeps us from eating outside. The Joey chair packs so small I can carry it with me everywhere and it easily fits inside my bike's saddlebag. As you can see, there is still plenty of room for other essentials in the bike.

IMAGE 4


The chair has performed very well to date. I have gone through so many other types of collapsible chairs and none have held up to even normal use for any length of time as compared to this chair. Some common failure points I've experienced in other chairs have been the sewn corner points where the chair frame supports meet the material. As shown in the below photo, the chair stitching and material has held up extremely well.

IMAGE 5


The chair secures perfectly being held by the bottom straps on my weekender pack. I leave the chair's case at home when I take it backpacking and sometimes when hiking depending on if I have a pack with me or not.

IMAGE 7


The chair is a hit with my friends and family. The lack of arm rests does not seem to be an issue at all for any of us. The convenience of having a chair that packs down so small yet supports as much weight as it does is remarkable to me. I have yet to find a place where the chair's feet sink into the ground, but I'll keep looking. The chair breathes enough that I do not get warm sitting in it for long periods of time. The material finish is a little slippery but the depth of the seat is deep enough that I never get the feeling I am sliding out.

SUMMARY

Ok, so I am liking this chair a lot so far. It has shown it can handle my weight with ease and it shows no wear and the stitching is still looking new. The feet have not sunk down and the supporting legs and frame have not poked through either the feet or corner pockets. The seat is comfortable and ventilates well. The chair seems to hold up to differing terrain and concrete and packs down so small that I can easily take it with me about everywhere.

On the down side, it is quite pricey and it is hard to get over that unless one trusts the chair enough to pay the money up front. I would have never considered paying the price tag for this chair unproven. Having had it now and seeing what it can do first hand, I am planning on buying a second one so my wife and I don't have to fight for this one. The weight is a little heavy for my style of backpacking, but for any other use, I think it is fine. Depending on the trip, I'd have no problem sucking up the weight for the convenience of having a real chair to sit in.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Location #1 - Pacific Crest Trail section in Laguna Mountain Region of Southern California, USA
Elevation: Ranging from approximately 1500 to 4400 ft (450 to 1350 m)
Conditions: Ungroomed, dry, foot trails and forest service access dirt roads. Temperatures ranging from 55 to 75 F (13 to 24 C)
Duration: Two trips, 2 and 3 days (and nights)

Location #2 - Private ranch property in Midland, Texas USA
Elevation: Ranging from approximately 2700 to 2800 ft (820 to 850 m)
Conditions: Open land, ungroomed, dry, foot trails and dirt roads. Temperatures ranging from 45 to 75 F (7 to 24 C)
Duration: 3 days

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I don't know what else I can add to this report that I've not already said. In completing the LTR phase of this test, I found that the chair has held up very well. There are no pulled seams or broken stitching. The leg and frame poles fit snugly into the corner pockets and there are no failure points. The colorfastness of the chair material still looks like it did when new.

Cleaning the chair has been easy. If muddy, I would let it dry and the mud would mostly shake off. I would then just wipe the chair and it would be clean. At home, I used a hose and sprayed the chair and then let it air dry, which worked well.

IMAGE 8



SUMMARY

This test is complete, but I am not done with this chair. I am leaving for Arizona Bike Week and this chair has a reserved place in my bike's saddle bag. I've been testing products for a while now and occasionally, there are products that stand out in my opinion. This chair is one of them. The manufacturer's claims are spot on. I am also ordering a second chair. That is about the best endorsement I can give.

Cons -
The price is high
The weight is a little heavy for longer backpacking trips
My wife wants to take it from me so I'm buying a second chair

Pros -
Easy set up
It can handle my size and weight with ease
It's incredibly durable and comfortable
Great design and engineered for a multitude of terrain conditions
The seat is comfortable and ventilates well
It packs down very small

I would like to thank both TravelChair and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.

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

Read more reviews of TravelChair gear
Read more gear reviews by Michael Mosack

Reviews > Camp Chairs and Seating > Chairs > TravelChair Joey Chair > Test Report by Michael Mosack



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