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Backpacker Magazine – July/August 2013

Gear Review: Alite Mayfly Chair

A packable, comfortable camp chair that's not tippy.

by: Kristin Hostetter

Alite Mayfly Chair (Courtesy Photo)
Alite Mayfly Chair (Courtesy Photo)

Campground comfort often comes with a space and weight penalty, but the Mayfly is so packable (think of a fat foot-long from Subway) that I even carried it on several Vermont overnight hikes. This comfy, contoured, sling-type chair is made from thick aluminum poles and 210-denier ripstop nylon with two mesh side panels that offer ventilation on hot nights. The Mayfly stood up to major thrashing from my two boys around plenty of campfire rings and a dozen early-season Little League games, too. Cool feature: You can rig it as a rocking chair (omit the front stabilizer pole) or a solid, low-to-the-ground perch that sets you up for ergonomic (no slouching) stove fiddling, marshmallow roasting, and s’more assembly. $100; 1 lb. 10 oz.;

Best for
Comfort-seeking campers

Tester Data

Kristin Hostetter
When Feb. to May
Where All over New England
“It’s more stable than other chairs of this type because it has two long crossbars that maintain contact with the ground—no tippy little legs.”

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Reader Rating: -


Star Star
bitten kitten and smitten
Aug 15, 2013

re: ALITE MAYFLY CHAIR. I owned & used it at home for 3 days.
Not awesome once I sat in it--no head support, not much thigh support. If car camping, too low for use around the campfire. If backpacking, leave this at home, just break out the 2.5" thick air mattress and really relax. The extra weight/cost of the air mattress will be less than the 26 oz/$100 of this chair. This is $100 you will never see again--you'll feel much better donating this $ to charity.

Cute & innovative but it's still a solution looking for a problem.

Star Star Star
Aug 13, 2013

it small it doesnt weigh much but it a lottle hard to sit into and.get.out of when your legs are dead. the poles on the back poke into my back.a little but that trade off. i got it used for 20$ and retails for something like 60-70$. i wouldnt pay more than 45 for it. too expensive wouldnt use it for a long trip. im 5'8" 165lbs.

Star Star Star Star Star
Bak Pack, Boulder
Aug 13, 2013

I have the 2-legged version of this chair, the Monarch chair. It's awesome. It's a little different but once you figure it out, it's great. It's about 10 ounces lighter than the Mayfly if you can deal with only having to legs on the chair. Packs down similar to a similar size too. Great for day-hikes or overnights. Every time I get it out, people ask about it.

Aug 13, 2013

Did you actually sit in this chair? My husband and I tried it out at a store and thought it was really uncomfortable--especially on the back as the chair made you sit like the letter C. Sure it's small and packable, but if it's not at all comfortable what's the point?

Star Star Star Star Star
Aug 13, 2013

I bought this from REI best chair for backpacking. SUPER lightweight and is VERY comfortable. I am 6'-2" 215 lbs and this is sturdy and doesn't sink into the ground.


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