I am large, not as large as I used to be, but still larger than I wish to be – think rugby player two decades past his prime. There are fewer advantages to being large than one who is not large might imagine. Yes, we do get more automatic respect than most, we can reach things in the supermarket which little old ladies cannot, and we get to eat more with less consequence. But that is pretty much where it ends. Finding clothing and shoes is often a problem or damn near impossible when south of the US or Spain (with exceptions). Our feet hang off the end of other people’s beds, we struggle to fit in the GOAT (Classic Defender), and we break furniture with our bulk. We bang our heads a lot, airplane and car seats can be torture, our backs suffer the consequences of our ego, and people expect large men to be perpetually tough, like being 6-foot-5 means your heart won’t get broken by a wicked 5-foot-2 and insults just bounce off your gorilla back.
Not only am I an ample 260-pounds, but I also live outdoors with a large son (and petite wife and daughter) as we are full-time vehicle-based travelers who regularly cross borders. I have broken a mountain of camping chairs, and my son, ever competing with Pops, has broken a few too. We have been unable to break the Dometic Go Chair; Lord knows I am as surprised as Mrs. Bell.
We had the privilege of meeting Owen Mesdag, the Dometic Product Manager (and the guy behind the GO range), at his home in Seattle. We played a few games of charades under the Christmas tree before he sent us on our merry way to Mexico with a brand new, light blue Dometic Go chair tucked under the arm. The first time I sat on the chair, I knew that this was no ordinary chair.
Part of the excellent, award-winning Dometic Go collection, the Go Compact Camp Chair features seating that supports up to 280 lbs and is made from heavy-duty 600D fabric, lightweight aluminum, and beech wood armrests. The chair folds for simple packing/storing and includes a rear seat pocket and carrying sack.
The chair has traveled with us for the last eight and a half months and has been used and fought over almost daily. It has been packed and unpacked from the carrying sack more than a hundred times and has been blasted by snow and ice in Idaho and sun and sand in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. We really do put our gear to the test.
There are just so many. The chair weighs next to nothing and folds up quickly with one hand and a knee or two hands and a squeeze. Packing the chair in the storage bag isn’t even a bit of a pain in the butt, and when stored, it is relatively compact with squared ends. The carrying sack can be folded neatly and stored in the rear pocket (which provides lumbar support, I have no idea if this feature is intentional or not). Whether sitting up-right like Prince Phillip or slouching like The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, you will be equally comfortable, truly comfortable, and more comfortable than should be possible in a camping chair. To quote Mr. Mesdag,
“The seat is made out of two sections of material to better conform to your body instead of just one like a hammock.”
The chair is attractive, and the designers have avoided camo, go-fast stripes and glaring logos, intricate and generally useless padding, and superfluous pockets. This chair is not pretending to be a multi-tool or a Swiss Army Knife; it will not charge your phone or chill your drinks or hold your fishing rod for you. It is a chair, and its primary occupation is that of being a chair.
As is to be expected when the firstborn continuously forgets to pack the chair before going to sleep, the chair has been exposed to more sun than an old Florida fisherman. The beech wood arms have faded gently, and the chair fabric is not the blue it once was, but neither of these materials appear truly weathered. The stitching has struggled with the constant use but has at pressure points merely stretched, not frayed or broken. Essentially there are no significant negative issues with this camping chair.
If I was today equipping an overland vehicle, I would hassle the salesman for a bulk discount and buy the entire Dometic Go range, including a complete set of chairs; I am that impressed with the chair and the other Dometic Go products I have been fortunate enough to have a good look at. Over three decades of using camping chairs, the Dometic Go Compact Camp Chair is my pick of them all, built to last and built for purpose.
$150 | dometic.com
Our No Compromise Clause: We carefully screen all contributors to ensure they are independent and impartial. We never have and never will accept advertorial, and we do not allow advertising to influence our product or destination reviews.