Camping Furniture Reviews

October 2, 2002
Filed under Camp Furniture, Camping Gear

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Camp furniture is one of those items that frequently doesnt make the list of outdoor essentials. That is to say, you can survive without it. Life in camp, however, can be so much more enjoyable and relaxing with some nice pieces of furniture for eating, sleeping, and just plain lounging around on. On the following pages, we feature some examples of camp furniture with which we are familiar. Take a look, and see what best suits your outdoor living, dining and snoozing style.


A handful of outdoor furniture items are available from AboGear (404/437-0015; abogear.com), but our favorites are the PorTable Hi/Lo (MSRP: $70) and the Sling Thing (MSRP: $70). The PorTable Hi/Lo is a two-height (high or low), adjustable table measuring 27 inches across the top, and 29 inches or 19 inches high, depending on leg settings. The legs are formed aluminum tube designed so they wont sink into the ground. The tabletop is a folding, shock-corded design. The Sling Thing is a portable free-standing hammock thats great for the campground its easy to set up using the clip-fastener joints, and it weighs just 15 pounds. The frame is powdercoated-steel tube and the hammock cloth is sturdy 600-denier polyester. Weight limit for the Sling Thing is 250 pounds.


This company manufactures and imports a number of brands of outdoor and patio furniture, but does no direct sales. Its products are available through giant retailers such as Wal-Mart. We are most interested in the Sportsmans Choice line of camping furniture from All-Luminum Products (215/632-2800; all-luminum.com). Camp furniture ranging from folding stools to portable beds and cots are available in the Sportsmans Choice brand. Some of our favorites from the line are the Camp Stool, steel-frame Adirondack Chair, Kids Adirondack Chair and Cook-Top Tables. The Sportsmans Camp Stool (MSRP : $8.95) is a lightweight, powdercoated-steel-framed folding stool on U-shaped nonsinking legs. Its nylon seat is rugged 210-denier material, and a carry strap can be slung over your shoulder. A big step up in comfort is the powdercoated-steel-framed, folding Adirondack Chair. The Sportsmans Adirondack (MSRP: $59.95) offers a padded nylon seat and back, with paddle-shaped hardwood armrests, and a carry strap. Also offered and very nice for the young ones is the Sportsmans Kids Adirondack (MSRP: $29.95), which shares the padded nylon seating of the adult version, but without the wood armrests and carry strap. The companys Cook-Tops (three sizes) serve as camp tables with folding legs. The heat-resistant aluminum-clad tabletops can handle a stove and hot pots and pans without trouble. We like the largest (MSRP: $59.95) of the three Cook-Top Tables which features a 24×60-inch top that folds in half for storage and travel.


When you think of finely crafted wooden camp furniture, think Byer of Maine (800/338-0580; byerofmaine.com). The common threads running through all Byer camp furniture are epoxy-glued, high-stress joints; kiln-dried, select North American hardwoods (maple, birch, beech and ash), and UV-resistant polyester fabrics. We especially like the Penobscot Glider, Nomad Travel Table and the Katahdin Cot. The Penobscot Glider (MSRP: $59.95) is a full-size sling chair offering a gliding frame with continuous adjustment. Its all-weather polyester fabric and poly-filled pillow provide durable and comfortable seating with a 250-pound capacity. Folded flat, the chair measures 47×22.5×5 inches. The Nomad Travel Table (MSRP: $54.95) offers a 30-inch, square, 28-inch-high, roll-up wood-slat tabletop and Cuprinol-treated frame that is ideal for camp meals or games, and can carry up to 100 pounds. The heat-resistant tabletop cover is also a storage bag. Maines rugged Mount Katahdin inspired the naming of Byers most popular cot. Its Katahdin Cot (MSRP: $74.95) provides a 25×76-inch sleeping area and stands 17 inches tall when set up. The cot features a polyester cover with double-needle stitching, and it all knocks down easily for storage. The cots center leg is reinforced with 14-gauge galvanized steel braces. Its rated for a 225-pound capacity.


Camping World offers its padded Foldaway Recliner, (pictured on page 28) a comfortable, metal-framed reclining chair with seven adjustable positions, extra padding in the armrests and headrest, and a retractable footrest. It comes with your choice of tan- or teal-striped upholstery, weighs 19 pounds, folds nearly flat for storage, and has an MSRP of $69.99. This national retailer offers catalog, as well as brick-and-mortar store sales. For catalog sales, call 800/626-5944. To locate the nearest store or receive a catalog, call 800/838-1923 or check out campingworld.com.


From the name in family camping gear comes quite a selection of outdoor furniture. Some of our favorites come from the Coleman (800/835-3278; coleman.com) Sequoia and Silver Collections. From the aluminum-tube-frame Silver line, we like the Rocker Chair, Woodsman Chair and Bunkhouse Deluxe Bed. Our picks from the powdercoated-steel-tube frame Sequoia group are the Admirals Chair and Converta Cot. The Rocker Chair (MSRP: $42.99) has hardwood crossbars and polyester-seating surface construction. A foam-padded integrated pillow, foam-padded armrests, and a smooth rocking motion make this chair a winner. Colemans Woodsman Chair (MSRP: $12.99) is a typical campstool design with a fabric-paneled, tube-framed back. The Bunkhouse Deluxe Bed (MSRP: $59.99) measures 26×74 inches, stands 13 inches off the ground when set up for sleeping, and features spring-suspension construction for comfort. Elastic straps keep the 1.5-inch, cloth-covered foam mattress on the frame. A wide seating area, 600-denier polyester fabric, padded armrests, convenient 10×13.75-inch side table, and high back are features of the Admirals Chair (MSRP: $44.99). The Converta Cot (MSRP: $39.99) provides the utility of a lounge chair and sleeping cot with its four-position adjustable back and two-position adjustable footrest. Theres no pad, but the weather-resistant polyester fabric is durable. When set up for sleeping, the Converta Cot measures 25×76 inches, and stands 11.5 inches tall.


Heres a company that offers the outdoor enthusiast a wide variety of sturdy, stylish and comfortable furniture for the campground. We picked a trio of products to highlight that include the Lafuma (303/527-1460; lafumausa.com) Maxi Pop-Up Chair, TGX Table, and the LGZ reclining sun bed or cot. The Maxi Pop-Up Chair is a low-slung chair with a high back and aluminum-tube construction. Elastomer-injected joints allow the seat and legs to automatically unfold and fall into place for easy set up. A removable and replaceable polyester canvas seat, strap to keep the chair fastened, and a carrying strap are included. It weighs just 4 pounds, 6 ounces and carries an MSRP of $49. Lafumas 69-inch-wide TGX Table (MSRP: $99) has metal folding and telescoping legs for adjustability on uneven ground or for three different heights up to 49 inches. Quick-release lever-locking devices make the table legs a snap to adjust, the table weighs 15 pounds, and folds down to 27×35.5×2 inches. The Cadillac of reclining camp furniture, the LGZ sun bed/cot (MSRP: $130) from Lafuma weighs 13 pounds and 14 ounces, has four adjustable headrest positions, nonpinching joints, a safety-rack adjustment system, and an elastic suspension for the seating surface. The LGZs Batyline canvas seating surface is made of a combination of polyester and PVC to make it rip and tear resistant.


With a new catalog for seemingly every season, occasion and category during the year, L. L. Bean (800/221-4221; llbean.com) can probably outfit your entire family with camping goods. Bean camp furniture on our list includes the Captains Camp Chair and Baxter Folding Cot. The Captains Camp Chair is a large (22.5×17.75-inch seat bottom, 19-inch-tall back) perch with wide cloth armrests. Seat material is 820-denier nylon oxford with a polyurethane, water-resistant coating, attached to a powdercoated-steel-tube frame. The chair weighs 9 pounds, 1 ounce, and can hold 250 pounds. Beans Baxter Folding Cot uses a solid ash frame and enamel-coated, steel-tube legs for its poly-ester platform. When set up for sleeping, the 12-pound cot measures 76×25 inches, stands 14 inches high, and has a capacity of 250 pounds. MSRP: $39 and $75, respectively.


This is a company that has been doing a lot of work on its sleep systems, developing some outstanding sleeping pad and bag values for the family camper, as well as the backpacker. Slumberjack (800/233-6283; slumberjack.com) also makes sleep accessories such as camp pillows, and it produces a line of upscale camp furniture called the Big Comfort Collection. Our hot picks from this brand line are the Big Easy Rocker, Big Quad Lounger and Big Lux Cot. The Big Easy Rocker (MSRP: $59.99) offers 600-denier, durable polyester seating (25 inches wide) and powdercoated-steel legs, and when set up, provides a 325-pound weight capacity and a smooth rocking motion for the ultimate in campsite relaxation. Not rocking, but just as comfortable in its own right, the Big Quad Lounger (MSRP: $39.99) from Slumberjack has a 25-inch seat width, 325-pound weight capacity, wide polyester armrests with a cup-holder, and a foot rest. Aluminum tubing and 600-denier polyester are used for this kicked-back chair. However, the Big Lux Cot (MSRP: $99.95) is a real treat, with its sleeve design that allows a sleeping pad to be slid inside the cots 600-denier polyester sleeping surface for comfort and insulation. An aluminum-tube frame and legs support the 32×82-inch cot, keeping it 18 inches off the ground.


Wenzel (800/325-4121; wenzelco.com) offers one of the more comfy pieces of family camping furniture weve found. The companys Insta-Bed airbed was a big hit a couple of years ago, and the Insta-Bed II improves on the breed. This 5-inch-thick (when fully inflated), flocked-top, inflatable bed has a built-in battery-powered (four D cells) pump with a new dual control switch allowing one-touch inflation or deflation. Seamless construction with a pillow section, and an additional foot-operated manual pump are featured. Three sizes are available: twin (74×39 inches), full (74×54 inches) and queen (78×60 inches). MSRP: $69.99, $74.99 and $79.99, respectively.


If youre looking for something you can throw in your pack, take a look at the small, unframed camp chairs from manufacturers such as Cascade Designs (800/531-9531; cascadedesigns.com), Crazy Creek (800/331-0304; crazycreek.com) and High Country (800/304-4442; paramountoutfitters.com). These simple chairs offer the basics a back support and a clean, dry place to sit and are lightweight and easily stuffed into a daypack for trailside breaks. One of our favorites is Cascade Designs line of Therm-A-Rest Easy Chairs. Its newest edition, the Camp Chair (MSRP: $40), doesnt require the insertion of a sleeping pad for insulation or comfort, as do the Ultimate and Lite chair models. The Camp Chair is made with EVA closed-cell foam cushions sewn inside the ripstop nylon cover, and features wide composite stays and adjustable straps for back support, a carry handle, and mesh storage pocket on the back. Two sizes are available: large (18.5 inches wide) and medium (16.5 inches wide). The large CampChair weighs just 26 ounces.


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