2008 Camp Furniture Buyer’s Guide

May 29, 2008
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GCI OUTDOOR WILDERNESS RECLINERThe rise of basecamping is propelling a number of new camp furniture offerings with durable construction, comfort and effective features. Our Camp Furniture Buyer’s Guide is a selection of seats, tables, and other furniture to help make your outdoor adventures more comfortable.


Rebranding itself this year, the company has also redesigned its product lineup, such as its Wilderness Recliner. Offering the comfort of a den chair with the portability of a small folding stool, the recliner comes with a fully padded seat, backrest and headrest. It also features a single buckle backrest adjustment, allowing you to lounge in your most comfortable position. Its new look is paired with a new feature-lumbar support for added back support. $60. GCI Outdoor: 800/956-7328; /gcioutdoor.com/.


The versatile Overnighter SpaceSaver Cot works well for tall campers (up to 6 feet, 8 inches) or anyone looking for some personal space. The nice thing about it is that it’s also detachable to be used separately. The airbed features a coil system that contours to your body for better support, and has a valve system with two sealing points, contributing to a leak-free night of sleep. Users can remove the bed cover to wash it in cool water and line-dry. $95. Coleman: 800/835-3278; /coleman/.


Sometimes having an extra table and seating at camp makes a world of difference. For 2008 Eureka! is making it convenient to have just that with its new three-piece table and bench set. Made of light aluminum construction, the table measures 46x27x28 inches and has a carrying weight of 38 pounds when it’s in its clever carrying case, which pulls double duty as the bench seats. The bench legs automatically lock into position when the case is fully opened, and each bench seat measures 48×9.5×16.5 inches when in use. The table folds flat when stored. $150. Eureka!: 800/572-8822; /eurekatent.com/.


Camp kitchens may not fall in the “roughing it” category, but certainly camp chefs will appreciate cooking and organizing things on this Camp Gourmet Kitchen. Outfitted with plenty of cooking and storage shelves, the kitchen features twin sinks that convert into locking storage compartments and cutting boards that double as windscreens. The kitchen offers other versatile features such as adjustable legs, a modular cooking shelf/dish rack that attaches six different ways, and plumbing for pressurized fresh and waste water. $150. GSI Outdoors: 800/704-4474; /gsioutdoors.com/.


This year the company went all out with a new basecamp furniture line, featuring five different chairs, a camp kitchen and three tables. One of the popular items is the steel Soft Top Table, which works as a serving table, but also as a game table for checkers or chess with its printed board game top. It also comes with beverage holders and side mesh pockets for drying items or storing playing cards. Available in two sizes, the large table measures 26.75×26.75×26.75 inches and weighs 5.6 pounds; the small measures 19x18x19 inches and weighs 4.6 pounds. Both sizes have a 65-pound weight carrying capacity. $35, Large; $25, Small. Kelty: 800/535-3589; /kelty.com/.


The company that makes the popular zero-gravity chair also makes the new aluminum Beach Elips chair, which morphs well into a camp chair. The seat’s low-slung seat and back can be laid completely flat, turning it into a small couch (nice for the beach or camp). The sturdy chair’s fabric is resistant to tears and offers great UV resistance, an antibacterial treatment, and plenty of ventilation. Available in bright mandarine (shown) or kiwi. $75. Lafuma: 800/514-4807; /lafumausa.com/.


We’re sure you’ll be glad to take a seat in the Comfort LTG chair, one of many new camp furniture products REI is offering this year. Made of powdercoated steel, anyone can transport the 6-pound Comfort LTG to camp via a loop that hangs off the back bar. And practically anyone can sit on the chair thanks to a 250-pound weight carrying capacity and a low-to-the-ground design. A nice touch is the attached lumbar pad on a slider that adjusts to the user. This is one chair that might be best stored in the trunk of your vehicle for any outdoor adventure. $29. REI: 800/426-4840; /rei.com/.


Known for its durable camp furniture products, the company’s Quad chair is the company’s hottest seller. For starters, the chair’s steel frame supports up to 325 pounds, and is outfitted with a fabric that withstands wear-and-tear as well as the worst elements. A padded back support is also included for extra comfort, and a slide-action armrest makes it simple to fold up. Polyester mesh construction makes the chair breathable during hot days. The chair comes with its own stuff sack for easy storage. $45. Slumberjack: 800/233-6283; /slumberjack.com/.


The versatile Backseat Hiker Chair by Travel Chair performs both functions effectively. The 27-liter daypack-sized panel-lodaing backpack acts like a standard backpack-featuring all the necessary straps as well as hydration compatibility-and a lumbar area at the base of the pack for added comfort. It sports an aluminum frame and weighs less than 5 pounds. Once you find your campsite, the chair deploys quickly in a scissors-like motion. A handy net pocket is located on the side of the chair to hold such items as sunglasses and utility knives. MSRP: $90. Travel Chair: 253/851-7519; travelchair.com.


Best known for its car rack systems, Thule also offers other clever gear organizing products-in this case a collapsible seat with storage. The Load Off works for campouts, spectating or even tailgating because you can hold 2500 cubic inches worth of gear in the under seat unit (measures (18x16x11 inches). A nice plus is the included large mat for when you change in and out of footwear (better than hopping on one foot). MSRP: $70. Thule: 203/881-9600; thule.com.

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