Rocks and dirt can only get you so far. When the miles are low, or even non-existent, sometimes you just want something comfortable to sit on. The Treo Chair from Thermarest provides an easy, packable solution. Light enough to carry, and large enough to carry you.
The Treo is a simple tripod balanced chair that packs down into its own legs. The four primary supports slide into small pockets on the chair, and slide into the tripod stand to create the base. It easy pulls apart, much like the poles of a tent, and quickly rolls into a tube that fit into the tripod base, that folds in on itself. A stretchy rubber ring holds the legs closed while in transport. It’s built from a fairly burly 6000 aluminum frame, with a personal favorite fabric of mine, Dyneema. Small rubber feet help keep the chair from sliding around, and the chair supports up to 250 lbs. The chair sits 13″ tall, weighs 2 lbs 4 oz, and retails for $99.
What I liked
The Treo is quite comfortable. The fabric works as a bit of a sling, or a butt hammock, keeping you from actually touching any sort of metal or hard surface. This keeps the weight distributed quite well, and provides a nice surface to lean back on.
Stability is pretty fair on level ground, with the small rubber feet doing a great job of keeping it in place. The chair twists and flexes just enough to enhance the variety of steady positions that can be used while sitting.
Packability is great for a chair. Folding into the 3 legs, the package collapses down to about the size of a paper towel roll.
Setup is straight forward, especially after the first setup. The legs only fit in their respected mounting sockets thanks to sized poles, and the pockets that hold the pole into the sling have little hand pulls to aid in assembly.
So far, durability has been solid. Dyneema fabric has always proven to be impressively strong, and the poles are thick and made from a nice 6000 grade aluminum. The tripod base is thick and constructed of a high quality ABS plastic.
What I didn’t like
I found the rubber feet somewhat prone to popping off. I’m considering a little Gorilla Glue to solve the problem. It’s only been a problem while wiggling on uneven stone surfaces, fighting to find a stable position.
While fairly stable on flat ground, trying to use the chair on any sort of angle isn’t going to work out so well. The same flexible design will end up twisting and creating a balancing act. You’ll need to find a level surface to get truly comfortable without having to fight for balance. I’ve never been unable to find a usable spot, and it’s less trouble on soft soil.
I’m really digging the Treo Chair. It’s light enough that I’ve actually carried it in on treks of just a few miles. It’s great for kicking back after a good hike and watching the sunset on a favorite cliff while making your friends jealous of your comfort. Just being off the ground is a privilege not to be unappreciated. The sturdy build promises years of reliable use, and the flexibility of the design, both in pack-ability and utilization makes it at home both on the trail and at the campground. If priorities fall on comfort over weight, it’s a solid choice.
A big thanks to Thermarest for providing this exception piece of gear for review. For more information, check out their webpage, Thermarest.com Our full disclosure is available on the Contact us page, as well as details on how we rate our products.
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