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Reviews > Camp Tables and Seating > Seating Pads > NEMO Chipper Closed Cell Foam Seat Pad > Test Report by Mike Lipay

NEMO - Chipper Reclaimed Closed-Cell Foam Seat
Mike Lipay
Initial Report May 17, 2021

Reviewer Information
Location:Plum, Pennsylvania, USA
Height:5' 6" (1.6 meters)
Weight:162 lb (73.5 kg)
Background:I’ve been hiking since ’65 with occasional backpacking trips (backpacking became a love affair in the early 80’s). My first sleeping bag weighed in at 8 lb (3.6 kg) by itself! These days my loaded pack only weighs about 15 lb (6.8 kg) sans food. While most of my adventures are in the Northeast I’ve also been spending a good deal of time in the desert Southwest and most places in-between. My trips tend be in the cooler months - September through May - as I’m not much of a hot-weather person.

Initial Report - July 25, 2021

The NEMO Chipper is a light-weight, foldable seat cushion made of 100% reclaimed (not recycled - more below) material.

Product Information
Manufacturer: NEMO Equipment, Inc.
Weight: Manufacturer: 5.6 oz (160 g) Weighed: 4.6 oz (132 g)
Dimensions: Manufacturer: Folded: 12.5 x 4.0 x 2.5 in 32.0 x 10.5 x 5.7 cm Open: 13.0 x 17.0 x 1.0 in 32.0 x 42.0 x 2.0 cm Measured: Folded: 12.5 x 4.0 x 23.0 in 31.8 x 10.2 x 58.4 cm Open: 13.0 x 16.5 x 1.0 in 33.0 x 41.9 x 2.5 cm
MSRP: $19.95 US

Manufacturing Note

The Chipper Reclaimed Closed-Cell Foam Seat is made from 100% reclaimed product. Reclaimed product is material leftover from other items they manufacture. From their estimates this reduces their carbon footprint by not having to manufacture new product to make the seat. This keeps 8.8 tons of foam out of landfills and 48 tons of carbon monoxide out of the environment. Since each seat is made from scraps no two seats look exactly alike, giving each customer a unique seat cushion.

Additionally, the packaging itself is made of 100% recycled paper products, and can itself be recycled.

Initial Impressions

On one side of the Chipper there is a loop with a snap to open the loop. The purpose of the loop is as a point where it can be staked to the ground, clipped to a pack, or hung from something. For my pack an elastic strap to hold it closed would be a nice addition. I could then clip it to one of the loops so it wouldn’t flop around on the back of the pack, or take up one of the pouches.

The Chipper is not flat, it is more like an egg carton with dimples poking through the opposite side. The pattern of these dimples is such that, when the Chipper is folded, they nest into the opposite dimple fitting together nicely; this keeps the folded Chipper as thin as possible.

Pressing in on the Chipper I was a bit surprised, some of the dimples are amazingly soft, others have hard spots (relative). After checking things out a bit more I think the hard spots occur when foam from two different batches (color changes) merge. Understand, hard is relative to soft, the hard spots are by no means solid or uncomfortable.

First Use:

I had an interesting opportunity this weekend - backpack on a beach while helping to clean up the environment - sort of like the Adopt-a-Highway program but for beaches. I took the Chipper along with me as picnic benches and breakwater rocks are not known for comfortable sitting for long stretches. I was very pleased with the Chipper’s performance and found that having it folded in half provides the right size and extra cushioning over having it fully open.

I couldn’t take the camera out to the breakwaters, so no photos of its use there, but one thing I can say is that the Chipper provided nice insulation from the sun-baked breaker rocks we had to sit on.

At this point I am pleased with the performance on the NEMO Chipper; time will tell if this initial impression holds.

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Long Term Report - November 29, 2021

Dates Location Distance Weather
Oct 2, 2021 Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, Pennsylvania 5 miles, 8 km 75-80F, 24-27C, Sunny, warm
This was supposed to be a fall foliage hike, sponsored by a local state park, but the trees (and weather) just didn’t cooperate. Nevertheless we stopped midway through the hike for lunch. I got lots of stares and questions about the Chipper Foam Seat. It was nice to sit comfortably on the ground still wet from the morning dew.
Oct 14, 2021 Roaring Run Wild Area, Pennsylvania 7.8 miles, 12.5 km 64-73F, 18-23C, Cloudy
Stopped for a quick lunch, here I used the Chipper Foam Seat on a moss covered rock, the Chipper kept my pants from getting wet and stained.
Nov 6, 2021 Aspen Meadow/Aspen Draw, Arizona 7.7 miles, 12.4 km 48-64F, 9-18C, Cloudy
We did an early start to the day, welcomed by cold weather (for Arizona). Stopped shortly into the hike for breakfast. The ground was wet so I placed the NEMO Chipper on a log and was able to enjoy the meal without getting my pants wet. Next day we attended the Day of the Dead parade, got there early to get a good spot and I used the Chipper as a seat on the sidewalk, much nicer than sitting on a hard cement surface.

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I have really enjoyed testing the NEMO Chipper Foam Seat, and without a doubt this has become a part of my regular gear, whether out for a day hike or on a backpacking trip. While not part of my report I took the Chipper with me on my flight to Tucson, Arizona, and used it in the airport when the only seating available was on the ground. Because of the flight I booked I had to travel to the airline's hub (a 7-hour flight) then transfer onto a regional plane for a 3-hour flight. Regional planes are not known for their comfort, so I used the Chipper on the airline seat and had a much more enjoyable experience than I usually do on this flight.

What I like about the NEMO Chipper Reclaimed Closed-Cell Foam Seat:

  • Light weight, smart looking, and small in size.
  • Insulates nicely from hot and cold surfaces.
  • Comfortable for at least short periods.
  • Completely made from repurposed and recycled (sleeve) materials.

What I don't like about the NEMO Chipper Reclaimed Closed-Cell Foam Seat:

  • No strap to hold it together when closed, this is more of an issue than I had thought. I started using a rubber band, but they break rather easily after repeated use. My next try is a double-sided hook-and-loop type fastener.


This ends my Long Term Report. I’d like to thank NEMO Equipment Inc. and for the opportunity to test the Chipper Closed-Cell Foam seat.

Read more reviews of NEMO gear
Read more gear reviews by Mike Lipay

Reviews > Camp Tables and Seating > Seating Pads > NEMO Chipper Closed Cell Foam Seat Pad > Test Report by Mike Lipay

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