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Ultra-Packable Camp Chair Sets Up in 3 Breaths: Crazy Creek AirCliner Review

We tested the lightest, most packable, and by far the most expensive creation from the beloved portable chair brand Crazy Creek.
Crazy Creek AirCliner portable camp chair(Photo/Will Brendza)
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My friends were all sitting in their portable camp chairs at the finish line of the half-marathon. We were waiting to cheer on the lone runner among us who was bound to come jogging over the dusty high desert horizon any minute. However, I didn’t have a camp chair. Luckily, though, I was still prepared.

I went into my truck and rooted around in the bed until I found it, rolled up and taking up almost no space whatsoever: the Crazy Creek AirCliner. A new creation from the longtime portable chair maker was the first Crazy Creek that ever really appealed to me — primarily out of curiosity.

I returned to my group with the 29-ounce roll under my arm, to the bemusement of my friends. As if performing some kind of balloon street act, I dramatically popped open the valve, pressed my lips to it, and started blowing. In just three breaths, the chair took shape — plush and beckoning my bottom.

It wasn’t an overly impressive spectacle at first, but the more my friends saw me use the Crazy Creek AirCliner, the more interest they expressed. And I pretty much fell in love with this thing from the moment my tuchus touched it.

As long as it never punctures, this might be my new favorite camp comfort to keep in my kit.

In short: The Crazy Creek AirCliner is a comfortable camp, backpack, and general outdoor chair. It’s insulated, has a water-repellent coating, and works as a seat for two. It also makes for a great napping pad, is lighter than all my other camp furniture, and takes up little to no space. But it is Crazy Creek’s most expensive product yet, and puncturing it would render it useless. But until that happens, this chair has me impressed.

If you’re in the market for camp chairs, compare your options in GearJunkie’s guide to the Best Camping Chairs.

Crazy Creek AirCliner Portable Chair


  • Weight 29 oz.
  • Materials Recycled 420D/210D ripstop nylon
  • Rolls up to 2.7" diameter
  • 3-Dimensional weld with inner baffle design
  • Water-repellent coating C-Zero


  • Great for winter or summer
  • Packs down for easy storage/transportation
  • Weighs very little
  • Doubles as a "napping pad"
  • Inflates in three breaths


  • If it punctures, it is useless
  • More than double the price of a standard Crazy Creek

Crazy Creek AirCliner Portable Chair Review

Crazy Creek AirCliner portable camp chair
(Photo/Will Brendza)

Most everyone in the outdoors is likely familiar with Crazy Creek. The ground-height chairs have been popular at campgrounds, parks, BBQs, public sporting events, and concerts for decades.

I always felt awkward carrying them around, though. A Crazy Creek was never “cumbersome,” but the standard flat bi-fold design always seemed to flail around as people carried them, flapping in a breeze off of a pack, or sitting in the dirt unused like a sad clamshell.

Crazy Creek AirCliner portable camp chair
(Photo/Will Brendza)

Crazy Creek does offer a rollable foam portable chair called the Hex 2.0, which weighs 1.25 pounds (or 20 ounces). When rolled up, the Hex 2.0 has a diameter of 4 inches, compared to the AirCliner’s 2.7-inch rolled diameter. While the AirCliner does outweigh the Hex 2.0 by 9 ounces, the packability is far superior.

To me, that vastly expands the settings where a portable chair like this is useful. It could be easily packed for backpacking trips, stored in a dry bag with other items on river trips, or feasibly strapped to a bike frame if you were bikepacking.

Compared to the standard flat Crazy Creeks and even the rollable Hex 2.0, this AirCliner is much more versatile for such a small weight difference.

Crazy Creek AirCliner: Ultralight Camp Chair

Crazy Creek AirCliner portable camp chair
(Photo/Will Brendza)

I used the AirCliner on several camping trips, at my friend’s half-marathon, and chilling at one of my favorite secluded creek spots with my dog. It was great in every one of those scenarios.

I’m looking forward to bringing this chair on backcountry tours in the winter. I usually sit on my pack, jacket, or sometimes my skis to avoid sitting directly on the snow. On a longer tour, it could be luxe to use this instead.

The outer material has a water-repellent coating, so snow won’t stick to it. And the air insulation should provide a barrier from the cold for at least a while.

The water repellency also works well for creek, river, or lake days. Water beads off of this one quickly — even for cleaning, you could spray it with a hose, shake it out, and it would be dry. Nifty.


(Photo/Will Brendza)

Obviously, durability is a big concern with anything inflatable. Especially with a seat like this one, it needs to be able to withstand some rough and tumble use. Most of the time, people will be sitting on this directly on the ground — on top of rocks, twigs, brambles, goatsheads, you name it. If it’s susceptible to punctures, it is essentially useless.

I’m happy to report, though, that I haven’t really had to worry very much about popping my AirCliner. The recycled 420D/210D ripstop nylon Crazy Creek uses here feels very durable. And the attachment points for the straps are reinforced with double stitches.

Still, I have doubts. I am tough on inflatable gear, and my single biggest reservation about this chair is that it’s going to deflate on me at some point when I’m deep in the backcountry. And then, I’ll just be carrying around dead weight. At least it’s only 29 ounces.

Early testing has proven some measure of durability with the AirCliner. But, further testing will be necessary to ascertain the true measure of its muscle.

Comfort & Ease of Use

Crazy Creek AirCliner portable camp chair
(Photo/Will Brendza)

This is more comfortable than any Crazy Creek I’ve used. And it’s more comfortable than a lot of folding camp chairs.

You can recline in it (as the name AirCliner suggests). And you can adjust the straps if you’d rather sit up straight. There isn’t much to the seat design itself, which has made Crazy Creeks so crazy popular since 1987.

Here’s where this inflatable seat blew my mind, though — when I blew it up.

I counted every time I inflated this thing, and it only took three full breaths to reach its inflated capacity. I’ve used camp pillows that require more lung work.

Multiuse, With Limitations

(Photo/Will Brendza)

Like all Crazy Creeks, this one can be opened up so two people can sit on one surface. Because it inflates and insulates, it also makes a great napping pad.

Although the brand says it will work as a “sleeping pad,” I don’t think that’s a fair description. It’s only long enough for your shoulders and hips — so if this were your primary sleeping pad, it would be pretty minimal. But for trailside or quiet park naps? It’s perfect.

Crazy Creek AirCliner portable camp chair
(Photo/Will Brendza)

I also keep a standard foam bifold Crazy Creek in my truck that I use for padding if I’m kneeling in the back, laying under the truck, or as buffers when I’m moving things.

I haven’t sat in that Crazy Creek in a long time, but I use it in other configurations often.

This AirCliner would not serve those uses. Even with that 420D/210D ripstop nylon with a price tag of $125, I wouldn’t even want to try it.

Crazy Creek AirCliner: Who Is It For?

Crazy Creek AirCliner portable camp chair
(Photo/Will Brendza)

Anyone who has wanted a more packable, lighter Crazy Creek will appreciate this AirCliner. I think it is a far more versatile and functional design for people who want a camp chair in the backcountry without sacrificing pack space to do so.

It’s also an awesome product for anyone who uses Crazy Creeks as they’re intended. If you plan on using your portable chair to sit at soccer games, concerts, or while car camping, you’ll enjoy the AirCliner.

If you mostly use them as foam pads for moving things or doing car work, this is probably not the Crazy Creek for you. It’s also covered by a full-year warranty, so if you manage to blow a hole in your seat, Crazy Creek will replace it. Just know that you’re covered for 1 year.

My personal opinion: This brand has successfully “reinvented the wheel” with the AirCliner. It is a superior Crazy Creek.

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