WALKSTOOL COMFORT 55
TEST SERIES BY ARNOLD PETERSON
November 25, 2008
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Wilmington Massachusetts USA
5' 8" (1.73 m)
165 lb (74.80 kg)
19 in (48 cm)
Presently almost all my experience has been hiking in New Hampshire, Florida, Colorado USA, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia Canada using an 11 lb (5 kg) day pack. I have backpacked on Mt. Washington and at the Imp shelter located between North Carter and Mount Moriah mountains in New Hampshire. The gear I will be writing about has been used a lot hiking mostly all year around in New Hampshire. I have completed the forty-eight 4000 footers (1219 m) of New Hampshire. My day hikes have been as long as 12 hours covering almost 20 miles (32 km).
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Scandinavian Touch AB
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.walkstool.com
Model: Walkstool Comfort 55
MSRP: US$ 89.99
Listed Weight: 28 oz (800 g)
Measured Weight: 28.5 oz (808 g)
Listed Height: 22 in (55 cm)
Measured Height: 22 in (55 cm)
Listed Width: 15 in (37.5 cm)
Measured Width: 15 in (37.5 cm)
Listed Capacity: 495 lb (225 kg)
Models Available: Comfort 45, 55, 65, Basic 50, 60
Nylon Mesh Seat
The Walkstool is packaged in a black nylon bag with white lettering stating the model and size. In this case it is the Walkstool Comfort 55cm/22in. The bag has a dual parallel nylon cord attached at both ends of the bag, which can be used to carry the bag over the shoulder. The nylon cord has a push button cinch at the opening of the bag to secure the stool in the bag.
The Walkstool is in a collapsed mode inside the bag. The stool is comprised of a seat and 3 black anodized aluminum telescoping legs. The anodized aluminum leg extensions terminate with rugged rubber tips. The leg extensions are almost completely round except for a small flattened portion. It appears that this adds to the stability of the stool. The nylon meshed triangular seat is attached at the corners to the non telescoping ends of the legs. A securing strap is attached to the nylon seat and has a snap at the other end. This strap wraps around the seat end of the stool for storing the stool in the carrying bag. A smaller belt loop strap is attached to the nylon mesh to allow one to pass a belt through the loop for hanging at the waist.
|Walkstool and carrying bag|
|nylon mesh seat|
|close up of mesh|
|corner of seat|
|end fixed stool leg|
|end part of leg extension|
|junction of legs|
|securing strap for stool|
|rubber end tips|
The Walkstool looks simple, but tough and durable. It felt a little heavier than I had thought it would. The Walkstool appears to be built for a lot of hard use. I feel I will get a lot of trouble-free years of using the Walkstool in many ways.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
I love instructions that are mainly pictures. To open, pull on rubber end of leg until it snaps into position. The red button is visible when telescopic legs are fully extended. To carry the Walkstool, pass a belt through the belt loop strap. To lock legs in the closed position twist rubber end slightly counterclockwise. To clean, pull out leg extensions and depress red button pulling on the rubber end and the legs come out easily for cleaning.
TRYING IT OUT
Within seconds after opening the carrying sack I was sitting on the Walkstool. I could lean in any direction and feel stable. I could sit for long periods and feel comfortable. I am now sitting on it to write this report at my computer. I have used it as a chair in my house, to eat meals, or to visit with friends. I sat on it outside on my asphalt driveway and lawn. I attached the Walkstool to my waist belt and walked to my neighbor's house. I had no problems on this easy walk. It will be interesting to see if it works this well on the trail. I am finding that while sitting on this stool I don't have the tendency to slouch like I might in a chair with back support. The Walkstool has performed well on all surfaces so far, except for a small crack in one of the rubber feet. This may have been a defect in the material. I have made contact with customer service and they are sending replacement tips.
I will be using the Walkstool at outdoor concerts, fairs, and festivals when no chairs are provided. The first major event for which I will use it is the 22nd annual Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell Massachusetts. I plan on being there for most of the activities which start about 5 pm on July 25 and end about 6 pm July 27.
I will also use it when I go bird watching or watching other wildlife. I am having trouble standing for long periods and sitting on rocks is getting painful. I need more comfort. I will use the stool at family picnics and other gatherings where one needs to bring something to sit on or face standing for long periods. I will also use it for car camping. On backpack, I will be interested to see if the Walkstool could be used as a prop for a tarp, for my bivy. I will also use it for hikes and backpacks, where having a comfortable place to sit is important to me.
I will be using the Walkstool mostly in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I expect the temperatures that I will encounter during the test period will range from a high of 100F (38 C) to a low of 35 F (2 C). There will be moderate winds at times and most likely some rain.
I will test for comfort, stability, ease of use and durability.
Will I be able to sit in the Walkstool for long periods in very hot weather and still feel comfortable? Will I stick to the surface of the stool in hot weather and still feel comfortable in cold weather?
Will this stool be stable over a range of surfaces? Will I feel balanced when sitting on this stool? How well do the stool feet provide traction on various surfaces? Many surfaces are not level, will stabilizing the stool be a problem?
Ease of use.
How easy will this stool be to carry? Will I be able to attach it easily to my backpack? When attached to my belt I will report on how it performs on the trail and walking off the trail as well. When it gets dirty will it be easy to clean? If it does get dirty, will this affect the operation of the stool? Will be it be as easy to use as the videos show? Is it easy to lock the sliding legs into position?
How well will the Walkstool stand up to being set up many times? Will there be any sign of degradation over time? Will the sun damage the material on the stool? Will rain or water cause any corrosion? How well will the rubber feet stand up to a lot of use?
At this point I like the comfort of the Walkstool and being able to use it in many places and different surfaces. I am looking forward to using daily in performing my daily activities.
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information. I wish to thank Backpackgeartesters.org and Scandinavian Touch for the opportunity to test the Walkstool Comfort 55.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I used the Walkstool at the annual Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell Massachusetts. During the festival the temperature was about 90 F (32 C) and there was little or no wind. It started to rain on the last day during the last hour. Other locations included my yard as well as the yards of my daughter and granddaughter and a couple friends in Middlesex County Massachusetts, and my son's yard in Rockingham County New Hampshire. I have used it on several hikes in Middlesex County. I use it at home while sitting at my computer.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I attended the 22nd annual Lowell Folk Festival from start to finish. The weather was hot and humid except for last hour when it started raining, bringing this great event to a slightly premature close. Since the event is always crowded with children and people in wheelchairs I decided that I would carry the Walkstool in my backpack to minimize any collisions. I attended about 20 hours at concerts and used the Walkstool almost all the time. I was comfortable when sitting on the Walkstool during the whole weekend. The Walkstool has the following distinctive advantages over a four legged folding chair; it is easier to carry, able to fit in a smaller place on the ground, and adapts to irregular and sloping surfaces. On Friday night, even though I arrived an hour early, about half the sitting space was occupied. I saw a great spot close to a large maple tree. The ground was sloping near the trunk and could not be used by a conventional folding chair. It proved to be a great spot for me and I used it for 4 hours. About an hour before the concert ended for the evening, I joined friends in a spot they had staked out at 11 am that day. This was in a flat area and with a normal height chair I would not have had a good view, but with the added height I had an excellent view. After about 5 hours of sitting I was still very comfortable. On Saturday I went to a different location where there were some chairs. The chairs are metal and not comfortable and sometimes not stable. I picked a large tree again and this time I had a blanket and a friend of mine had joined me for the day. I used the chair and she used the blanket. I now could walk away with my stool knowing that I would not lose my spot. I probably could have left the stool, but did not want to take any chances. By taking the stool I determined how easy it was to move from place to place. Walking in the crowd with my backpack was no problem. Back at the concert I noticed two other similar folding stools. I talked to the owner and he said the smaller feet on his stool sank into the soft ground. He said his sister has a Walkstool and he wished he had one instead. The surface I was on was irregular due to tree roots and I had no trouble with stability near the tree.
I have used the Walkstool for cookouts at my daughter's house twice and my granddaughter's once. See picture below. One day the rain came quickly at my daughter's and I ran inside with the food. The Walkstool got a soaking. When the quick passing rain had gone I was able to sit on the slightly damp stool. We have 2 strip Plazas opposite each other on a major route going through town. One of the Plazas is almost finished and the other one is in the early stages of being rebuilt. I put the Walkstool in the carry bag, put the sling over my shoulder and walked to the Plazas. I went to the Starbucks and got a coffee and went outside set my Walkstool in a shaded area where I could look at this area of high road traffic. I use this as a comparison when hiking to think about how nice the trails are compared to the noise and smells of traffic in that area. I used the Walkstool carry case when I went on a bicycle ride and used the stool when I stopped for a rest.
|the chef can sit|
Carrying the Walkstool
So far I have found 3 ways to carry the Walkstool. I carry the stool with a backpack, in the carry case over my shoulder, and on a belt. When I use a backpack that does not have enough space I put the Walkstool in the carry case and put the sling over the backpack. It is then easy to secure it to the backpack preventing any shifting of the Walkstool. When the backpack has plenty of space I put the Walkstool into the backpack without the carry case. I also carry the Walkstool on my belt. There are times when it is too difficult to use the belt loop on the Walkstool. For these times I use the strap that keeps the legs together and loop it around my belt. This has worked well with some minor adjustment.
This is a very versatile device for sitting on a multitude of surfaces. The Walkstool is rugged and durable. I sit in it about 4 hours a day and there is very little sign of wear. I use it a lot because of the comfort I get and the convenience of bringing it from place to place. It sets up quickly and easily. It seems to be the perfect height. The initial problem I had was quickly resolved by customer service within a week. There are a few times when I wished the attached belt loop on the Walkstool was slightly larger to accommodate belt buckles that snap together. It would also be nice if the Walkstool could be made lighter without adding to the cost.
I will continue using the Walkstool for most of my sitting requirements on the trail, family gatherings, my backyard, hiking and backpacking. Some car camping and backpacking trips have been planned and I will be using the Walkstool on these trips.
This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.
I wish to thank Backpackgeartesters.org and Scandinavian Touch for the opportunity to test the Walkstool Comfort 55.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I car camped on 2 occasions, each for three days, in Harold Parker State Forest, Massachusetts. Temperatures were about 60 F (13 C) during the day and about 50 F (10 C) during the night.
I backpacked on the Monadnock Sunapee Greenway Trail in New Hampshire for 3 days in mid September with daytime temperatures as high as 85 F (29 C) and night time temperatures as low as 35 F (2 C).
Beaver Brook Association, Hollis, New Hampshire Temperature 60 F (13 C)
Virginia Woods, Stoneham, Massachusetts Temperature 55 F (16 C)
Middlesex Fells Reservation, Winchester, Massachusetts Temperature 57 F (14 C)
Veterans' Memorial Park, Wilmington, Massachusetts Temperature range 50 F (10 C) to 60 F (13 C)
Franconia Notch, New Hampshire Temperature range from near freezing to 60 F (13 C)
Boxford State Forest, Boxford Massachusetts Temperature range from 60 F (13 C) to 50 F (10 C)
Artist's Bluff, New Hampshire 2340 ft (713 m)
Bald Mountain, New Hampshire 2340 ft (713 m) Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire 4100 ft (1250 m)
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I found the Walkstool convenient to carry. I had a choice of putting it in my pack, using the sling on my shoulder or over the backpack, or attaching it to my belt. I also found the Walkstool stable on all the surfaces I encountered during the test period.
During this test period, I hiked on 9 different days. On all these hikes I used a day pack to carry the Walkstool. I hiked a series of 3 one day hikes in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire. On the first hike I hiked on Cannon Mountain for 3 hours with temperatures close to freezing, no wind, and a cloudy and overcast sky. I climbed to about 3500 ft (1067 m). I was bushwhacking through moderately young forest with a lot of evergreen, maple, and birch trees. The ascent was very steep as well as the descent. This hike was a good place to use the Walkstool. There are several places on the mountain where there are great views of the valleys below. Sitting was limited to the partially frozen ground, mossy areas, and ice covered rocks. It was a treat to be able to pull out the Walkstool, set it up quickly almost anywhere and enjoy the scenery. On the second hike in this area, the temperature was about 55 F (16 C), a slight wind, and sunny. I hiked from the parking lot for the Cannon Ski Tram to Echo Lake and stopped at the lake to take in views. A section on the lake shore line has beach sand and is soft. I set up the Walkstool on the sand and it did not sink much into the sand. This hike was between 2 and 3 hours. On the 3rd day, I hiked to the trailhead for Bald Mountain and Artist's Bluff, with a temperature of 60 F (13 C), a slight breeze and sunny skies. There are several places where there were rock outcroppings that afforded good views of Cannon Mountain as well as Lafayette Mountain. The Walkstool was very stable on large granite rocks that were reasonably flat, but had very rough surfaces. I was able to quickly position the Walkstool and sit with confidence, knowing that I was not going to slip or slide. This hike was almost 3 hours. The last hike in this test test period happened in Boxford State Forest. Temperatures started at 60 F (13 C) and dropped to 50 F (10 C) as the winds increased. I used the the Walksrool on this 5 hour plus hike during rest periods. It had rained the night before and our group had 16 hikers so there was not much dry sitting space. With the Walkstool, I had a highly portable seat.
I hiked at the Beaver Brook Association in Hollis New Hampshire with 5 other hikers. The temperature was 60 F (13 C), it was sunny and there was very little wind. We stopped at a pond to rest. I was able to set up the Walkstool and be comfortable very quickly. See picture below.
|snack break at Beaver Brook|
I hiked on 5 occasions in Massachusetts during this test period, all between 2 and 3 hours. One hike was in Virginia Woods, with a temperature close to 50 F (10 C) and a slight wind. Our group of 12 stopped on a rock ledge area and I quickly set up my Walkstool. See picture below. Another hike was in Middlesex Fells Reservation, Winchester, with similar results.
|rest break at Virginia Woods|
The remaining 3 hikes were done within a few miles of my house. They were all almost 3 hours long, with temperatures about 55 F (16 C). I was always able to find a place to set up the Walkstool quickly and with stability. The Walkstool accommodates the following types of ground surfaces: sand, rock and spongy soil.
I car camped in Harold Parker State Forest for 3 days on each of two separate occasions. I used the Walkstool at the campsite while cooking, eating, just sitting around, and on short hikes taken from the campsite. See picture below. On these hikes I used the sling to carry the Walkstool. This turned out to be a very good way to carry the Walkstool. Reducing the size and weight of camping equipment means at some time I can use a smaller vehicle to car camp with.
|car camping in style|
Seven of us went on a 3 day backpack on the Monadnock Sunapee Green trail in New Hampshire. Since there was no space in my backpack, I used the sling to carry the Walkstool and placed it over my backpack. The first night was spent at General George Washington shelter. After setting up our tents, we sat around and socialized. One of the women hikers tried the Walkstool. She had several things to say about her experience with the Walkstool. She thought the seat surface material was cool, well ventilated, and easy to clean. She liked that the seat was soft on the edges so that it avoids cutting into thigh muscles. She thought the leg joint of the stool articulated very smoothly and easily; and that the fold up action was also great. The next day we hiked about 5 miles (8 km) north to Max Israel campsite. Although the Walkstool is less than 2 lb (900 g), on a hike like this with some elevation gain, I was beginning to feel the extra strain of the added weight. My pack weight for this trip, including Walkstool, was about 27 lb (12 kg).
After day hiking, car camping, and backpacking, I would take the Walkstool on all car camping trips, most day hikes, and some backpacks. With each backpack, I need to evaluate the usefulness of the Walkstool versus my ability to carry the extra weight. I am sure that if I were stronger, the extra weight would be worth the effort. Other than the minor problem I had initially, which customer service solved very quickly, I am totally pleased with the product. It did exceed my expectations. For the strength and durability if offers, it is very light in weight. I have used it a lot out in the field and almost daily in my house. It has shown very little signs of wear. It is small, light and easy to carry. I am able to set it up and take it down quickly.
I will continue to use the Walkstool regularly in my house. I will use it on most day hikes I go on. I will probably stop using it for outdoor use when there is snow on the ground. The Walkstool will become a part of my car camping gear. I will take the Walkstool on some backpacks.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
I wish to thank Backpackgeartesters.org and Scandinavian Touch for the opportunity to test the Walkstool Comfort 55.
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