Product: Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair 20
Years tested: 2+
Weight: 306g approx
Price: £44.95 (Ultralight outdoor gear)
A couple of years ago, I received the Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair 20 as a birthday present. I wanted to add a touch of comfort to my wild camping trips and considered the Helinox chairs, but I ultimately chose this one due to its weight and cost-effectiveness (the Helinox weighs approximately 664g and costs £120).
Comfort and Convenience:
The Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair 20 works with your sleeping mat. Simply slide in the mat, click a couple of toggles, and you have yourself a chair or even a lounger if that’s your preference (check out the video for a demonstration).
What do I love about it?
Having comfortable support while I’m pitched up is definitely a luxury. This chair is more of a “nice to have” than a “need to have,” but if you suffer from a bad back, the support it provides is a lifesaver. The adjustable toggles make it easy to find a position to suit, whether you prefer sitting upright or leaning back to admire the view from inside your tent.
Its also super lightweight so I don’t have to worry about it adding unnecessary weight to my pack and it doesn’t take up a lot of space.. Once you’ve pitched your tent and sorted out your sleep system, simply slip the mat into the designated placeholder, and you’re good to go.
What are my niggles?
First, the chair uses your sleeping mat (yes, that’s the whole idea). However, I personally hesitate to use it outside my tent due to the risk of punctures or general dirtiness, considering I have to take it inside the tent and sleep on it. In the past, I’ve addressed this concern by using a picnic rug or, on colder evenings, slipping the mat into a foil blanket, which serves as both a puncture protector and an outdoor blanket.
Additionally, the chair is so lightweight that if left unattended outside, it has the potential to blow away (mine almost ended up in Wast Water). As a result, I primarily use it inside my tent, occasionally venturing outside if I have something to place under it.
Conclusions & Final Considerations
If you’re as particular as I am about keeping your sleeping mat clean, consider whether you’re comfortable using this chair primarily inside your tent and if you have enough headroom to sit up comfortably. However, if you have a tent with a spacious vestibule designed with the view in mind, like an MSR, you’ll probably find this type of chair will work.
If you’re open to using it outside, the Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair 20 offers a more affordable and lightweight alternative to other expensive chairs on the market. Please note that I do not know its compatibility with other (non Therm-a-Rest) mats, but I believe most mats would fit this design. For reference, I use the Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus (Regular), which is probably its max width capacity.
Using the Therm-a-Rest chair as a lounger to look at the morning view.