Gear Review: Alite Designs Monarch Butterfly Chair
Get off the ground with this packable camp chair.
Bad news: You will tip over the first time you try this chair. Good news: The radical design, which elevates you off the cold, wet ground, is worth the pratfall. The chair uses a hammock of ripstop nylon and mesh suspended from a shock-corded aluminum tent-pole frame, balancing the sitter about five inches above the ground on two contact points. It feels like you’re leaning back on the hind legs of a four-legged chair, but after a few tries you’ll find the fulcrum–and a kicked-back kind of comfort. Pros: Gets you off the wet ground; packs down to hoagie size. Cons: Tippy; not as versatile as other packable chairs. superlightchair.com
Comfort-seeking gearheads with a good sense of balance; cush camping in wet weather
Duration: Nov. to Feb.
Conditions/locales: CO, VT, NH, MA, Wales
“It brings front-porch comfort to the backcountry.