Foldable, Five-Person 'Couch' for the Outdoors

By JASON MAGNESS

I am an active person, but sometimes I like to sit back and chill. In fact, one of the only things that keeps me from being a coach potato is that I like the outdoors too much. But what if I could take my couch with me. . . . Just imagine lounging around a campfire, marshmallow stick or a beer in hand, kicking back with a bunch of buddies on a couch and watching the sun go down in the type of full HD and surround sound that a flat-screen will never match.

Travel Bench.jpg

El Grande 5 is a “couch” made for the great outdoors

A unique car-camping product called the El Grande 5, made by TravelChair Inc., was designed with just such ambitions in mind. The company sells the five-seat “outdoors couch” for family camping, backyard cook-outs, and for people on the sidelines watching their kids at a local sporting event.

The couch’s five seats, each equipped with a cup holder, support 300 pounds apiece. The accordion-like seating area stretches to 95 inches wide when open, comfortably seating five people, but it folds up small into a shoulder-bag case for transport. The couch weighs 23 pounds, making it movable even by children when heading from your car down a short path to a campsite.

Travel Bench in case copy.jpg

Couch packs into a shoulder case

We used the El Grande 5 couch during a recent four-day adventure race in the Sierra Nevada mountains. No, we did not bring the couch with us into the wilderness. But at transition areas, members of our crew who were not racing would drive ahead and set up the El Grande 5 for us to temporarily lounge out, rest, and eat for a precious few minutes before getting on the move again.

The couch boasts rugged construction compared to many of the cheaper discount store style chairs on the market. It deploys in seconds, each seat unfolding and snapping into place.

TravelBench.jpg

It weighs 23 pounds, but supports collectively up to 1,500 pounds of “couch potato” weight (300 pounds per seat)

One other cool thing that TravelChair offers: Its seats can get their backrests printed on with logos, letting them double as a banner for your family or group. Ours touts a “Team YogaSlackers” motif to identify the couch and personalize our very own place to chill outside.

Sure, you could use logs to sit on around a campfire. They are free. But at $155, the El Grande 5 is a worthy upgrade if you want to sit back and enjoy the backcountry in a whole new light.

—Bend., Ore., based contributing editor Jason Magness is a founder of the YogaSlackers group as well as a member of our ultra/multi-sport/adventure-racing squad, Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers.

Posted by Joey - 11/03/2011 05:53 PM

That’s the dumbest piece of camping furniture I’ve ever seen. It’s basically just five uncomfortable camping chairs in a huge, heavy package. Just get five chairs and put them close together—you’ll even get armrests and cup holders that way.

Posted by DR - 11/07/2011 11:03 AM

I am bias (VP of Sales and MRKT – TravelChair and I like to cuddle) but these things rock….Check out the vid to see how they work. Joey – there are cup-holders that do a decent job at holding my beer’s – :) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfyrtfmhgGc

Add Comment

  1. Add link by using "LinkText":http://google.com