Packable Chairs offer Comfort, Support 'round the old campfire

In a pinch, an old-fashioned log will do. But for more comfortable seating around the proverbial campfire this summer you should go with one of these lightweight, made-for-camping chairs. We put three different models to the test last month, from a lux “hammock” seat to a simple square of foam. —Stephen Regenold

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Alite Designs Mayfly, $100. Hands down the most comfy seat in this review, the Alite Mayfly cradles with a swoop of lightweight fabric. You can sit stable or gently rock on the chair’s frame.

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Light aluminum poles connect to give structure to the nylon “hammock” of a seat. The whole unit packs up small and weighs just 1.4 pounds, allowing for use in backpacking or car camping situations. 250-pound weight limit.

Crazy Creek Air Chair Plus, $124. A chair/sleeping pad combination, this Crazy Creek product kills two birds with one stone. The inflatable pad lies flat on the ground or in a tent and is 70 inches long for sleeping.

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Come time to sit up, straps and plastic buckles convert the pad into an L-shape chair. Total weight is about 2 lb. 13 oz., making the combo unit ostensibly lighter weight than the two products it will replace.

Therm-a-Rest Z Seat, $15. Minimalist backpackers will love this no-fuss seat from Therm-a-Rest, which is just a small square of foldable foam. It weighs almost nothing (1.8 ounces), packs small, and is made in the USA.

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No back support, but the pad does offer insulation from the cold, hard ground and keeps your butt dry, too. Bonus: The Z Seat’s price is as low as $12 online.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.GearJunkie.com.

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