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REI Co-op Wonderland Chair Review: A Comfortable and Attractive Take on a Classic

A sleek, modern design makes this camping chair a versatile pick for sitting around the campfire or having beers on the patio.

Kicking Back in the REI Co-op Wonderland Chair(Photo/Miya Tsudome)
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Let’s face it — brands design most camping chairs with functionality in mind, not aesthetics. When I think of a camping chair, the image that pops into my head is one of mesh and metal, with maybe a cupholder or two. Sound familiar? 

A camping chair’s aesthetics might not be important when you just need to throw it in a vehicle for setup at a campsite. But the REI Co-op Wonderland Chair is a welcome break from the norm. 

Over the past few weeks, I enjoyed sitting porch-side with this camping chair drinking evening cocktails just as much as I enjoyed taking it on car camping trips.

In short: Most of the time, my camp chairs sit gathering cobwebs in a shed until I need them. But the Wonderland chair ($100) can bridge the gap between the campground and the patio. It’s a well-designed chair you’ll actually want to integrate into your outdoor furniture, making it worth its higher price tag.

Read on to find out more about the pros and cons of the new Wonderland chair from REI.

REI Co-op Wonderland Chair


  • Weight 7 lbs., 13 oz.
  • Dimensions 21” x 24” x 35”
  • Cupholders One that swivels out under right armrest
  • Pockets None
  • Weight capacity 300 lbs.


  • Design-forward
  • Versatile
  • Comfortable, high seat


  • Bulky
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
Placing a Thermos into the Cupholder of the REI Co-op Wonderland Chair
The single swivel-out cupholder easily tucks away when not in use; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

The Wonderland is similar to the REI Outward Lawn Chair, which REI describes as “the chair from your childhood, but way more durable.” Unpacking the Wonderland chair, I felt the same way. Its wide seat and sturdy armrests reminded me of those beach chairs made with crisscrossed webbing that would imprint onto your bare legs and get threadbare and weather-beaten over time. The Wonderland is a much more attractive version, with its polyester ripstop seat in pastel colors and glazed wooden armrests. 

It’s clear that REI made this chair with high-quality materials. Its recycled seat fabric has a durable water-repellent finish, allowing it to stand up to the elements. Its coated aluminum frame keeps the total weight down. And the chair feels overall sturdy and well-constructed, even boasting a 300-pound weight capacity.

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Although the seat has no extra padding, this chair remains very comfortable. The seat itself is wide with tightly stretched fabric, allowing for good weight distribution. And it doesn’t sag in the middle. Its 16-inch high back allows you to feel fully supported as you lean back and kick your feet up. 

Weighing in at 7 pounds 13 ounces, the Wonderland isn’t the lightest camp chair on the market and is arguably on the cumbersome side of the spectrum. You won’t want to throw it into a packed-to-the-gills car as an afterthought on your way to go camping. You’ll want to plan on having the space to bring it.

Carrying the REI Co-op Wonderland Chair Using the Shoulder Strap Next to a River
The shoulder strap on the REI Co-op Wonderland Chair makes quick transport a breeze; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

This chair collapses onto itself easily, with the assistance of a tensioned strap on the back that doubles as a shoulder strap for easy transport. You wouldn’t want to carry this chair over a long distance, though. The strap isn’t padded, and carrying it can be awkward. The Outward Lawn Chair is definitely easier to transport with its included backpack straps. And I was kind of bummed to see this feature removed in the new Wonderland chair.

I used this chair for over a few weeks, and it moved around from my porch to my backyard, getting compliments from any friends who came over and took a seat. It’s a stylish chair, and I loved that it could be just as at home in my backyard as it was at a campsite.

When sitting in the Wonderland at a campground, I appreciated the cupholder that swivels out from below the seat. And the lack of mesh made my rear end less cold in the winter evenings. But this is a consideration for the hotter months, where campers might prefer a mesh seat for breathability.

REI Co-op Wonderland Chair: Conclusion

REI Co-op Wonderland Chair By the Fire
(Photo/Miya Tsudome)

The new Wonderland Chair from REI Co-op is a slightly upgraded version of the Outward Lawn Chair. With a different collapsing and carrying method, as well as a new included cupholder, the Wonderland will appeal to those who want a versatile chair they can deploy quickly and easily on their next overnight.

This chair is great for folks who want to get the most bang for their buck, and have a camping chair for lounging on the patio with friends or sitting around a solo stove in the backyard without sacrificing style. This chair is heavy and not made to be carried long distances, and also comes with a high price tag. But its attractive design and comfort make it a great choice for the aesthetically minded.

Miya Tsudome

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