a young girl and a black lab dog with several camp blankets sitting on the Kelty couch
(Photo/Bryce Denton)

Ultimate Camp Chair Gets Big Upgrade: Kelty Lowdown Couch Review

Finally, a one-size-fits-all solution to having multiple pieces of camp furniture. With the Kelty Couch, you may need just the one.

As gear testers and editors, we are usually the first to hear about some cool new piece of gear in the pipeline. This was true of the long-awaited announcement of the Kelty Couch. Launched in April (though stock is still trickling in right now), the Kelty Lowdown Couch is a three-person camping chair, an upgrade based on Kelty’s Low Loveseat two-person variety.

Now, this three-person Lowdown Couch isn’t designed to be the most lightweight, nor the most comfortable (though maybe it is) — it’s simply meant to be the ultimate piece of camp furniture. Kelty settled on the magic number of three to accommodate a whole range of users.

In short: For over a month, we’ve taken this chair out nearly every time we’ve gone camping, to friends’ backyards, to the park, on road trips, and more. The Kelty Lowdown Couch is solidly built, with comfortable quilted fabric, and is an awesome size.

Want one camping chair that can support you, or you and your partner, you and your kid, or the dogs? The Kelty Couch is it.

Kelty Lowdown Couch Review

kelty lowdown couch

We had to wait a few months for a sample, which is already a good sign when gear is in high demand. But even before testing, we noticed how functional and awesome this camp “couch” could be. Consolidating three camp chairs into one is genius, especially if you and your crew like to keep cozy around the campfire anyway.

Kelty Couch Specs

  • Materials: 600-denier poly fabric, powder-coated steel frame, mesh
  • Features: adjustable armrests, two insulated collapsible drink holders
  • Seats: 3+
  • Included: carry wrap and mat
  • Verified weight: 20.6 lbs.

After using the couch a few times this spring, I can say it’s lived up to its purpose. The reclining angle and height off the ground are both pretty perfect. I also love the adjustable cup holders; they fit anything from a small insulated coffee mug to a hefty Nalgene.

I also see awesome usage scenarios at camps, outdoor retreats, and things like tailgating or watching soccer games. Really, this is great for anywhere you are going outside with a group and don’t want to have to pack individual seating.

Setup

unfolding and packing up the steel-frame Kelty Couch camp chair
Opening up the Kelty couch; (photo/Mary Murphy)

One of my favorite features of this camp chair that I noticed the first time out was the ease of setup and breakdown at camp. The chair is tightly wrapped and contained in the carry bag (which doubles as a ground mat for your kid, dog, or picnic accouterments), and is easy to open up with one or two people.

When the camping trip is done or sunset-watching is over, packing up is just as easy. I really appreciate that the mat keeps the chair both contained and clean.

Once the chair is fully open, just plop down and enjoy. I think the chair is the perfect height off the ground (about 12 inches), which is slightly lower than Kelty’s two-person loveseat. The chair is sectioned off into three “seats” — with enough room between them to be comfortable when seated. It can support up to 600 pounds, which is more than enough (and pretty impressive) for a camp chair designed to hold three adults.

It’s spacious. I don’t think I’ve ever used this word to describe a camp chair, but it’s true.

Carrying the Kelty Couch

the kelty couch packed size, ready to carry
(Photo/Mary Murphy)

Honestly, we almost can’t call this a negative, because it’s not like this camp chair is marketed as light — but the weight is a factor. This three-person, family-sized camping chair weighs 20 pounds. I carried it on several occasions (short distances and long) to push the limits of the chair.

Realistically, I wouldn’t want to carry this chair (and a backpack, cooler, etc.) more than ¾ of a mile, especially if you are carrying any other gear. But aside from that, I really couldn’t fault this chair in any way.

Carrying it down to a lake, over to a local park, or up a trail to an established campsite — short distances to your destination — is what this chair is best for, and probably the most common scenario anyway.

Now, onto comfort when carrying: you can do a shoulder-carry or cross-body, and we tried both. The shoulder-carry is probably more comfortable on the arms, though this chair is heavy. I opted to loosen up the carry strap and carry cross-body so as not to strain my shoulders most of the time.

On either end, there’s a grab handle on either end for an easy two-person carry. This is a nice addition. Kudos to Kelty for adding this feature.

Why We Love It, Why You Should Buy

kelty lowdown couch camping chair 3-person size
The Kelty couch is slightly reclined for better comfort; (photo/Mary Murphy)

It doesn’t really matter what the size of your family is: two people, two people and a dog, one person and a kid, two people and a kid, heck, one person and three dogs — there’s room for all on the Kelty Couch.

Technically, this is a three-person camping chair. But in testing with kids and pets, we’d describe this chair as three-plus (there’s extra room for snuggling, too).

Considering the packed size, open size, and weight, this piece of camp furniture might just be one of our new staff favorites.

Conclusion

The Kelty Lowdown Couch sells for $180 MSRP. Divided by three people (as opposed to buying separate chairs), that’s actually a great deal for a piece of camp furniture.

If you like to keep your pets and campmates close, or are looking for a versatile camp chair for your family, consider the Kelty Couch. It’s roomy, comfortable, and durable — you won’t be disappointed.

Check Price at REICheck Price at Kelty

The kelty couch camping chair overlooking a lake at dusk
(Photo/Mary Murphy)
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Mary Murphy
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Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee. She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.