I’m fairly confident in assuming that many of you, like me, have evolved well beyond the days of sitting on rocks and fallen logs. As camp chairs get smaller, lighter, and more comfortable, a relaxing repose around camp is easier than ever. The Treo Chair from Therm-a-Rest is my favorite backcountry throne and for a number of reasons.
At just over 2-pounds, I concede the Treo isn’t featherlight. It has some heft to it making it perhaps too heavy for some pursuits like bike or backpacking, but for motorcycle or vehicle travel, it’s actually quite light. When packed within its three-sided hard shell cocoon, it is only 4.5-inches in diameter by 10.5-inches in length. In other words, pretty tiny for what it is. Once assembled, a procedure that I can complete in under two minutes, the Treo is surprisingly big and truly comfortable..
Unlike similar chairs that transform into a low-slung bucket for your butt, the Treo has a high perch. I attribute much of its comfort to that extra height and the wide, 20-inch seat with near vertical sides. Other similar chairs have a funky funnel shape that just feels odd after a few minutes squeezed within their confines. The back of the Treo is again, wide, flat, and comfortable.
Many have asked how supportive the three legs are. On firm ground, they’re as supportive as any four-legged sitter, but on soft ground you will want to keep your wits about you. With a maximum weight capacity of 250-pounds, the Treo is an impressive piece of furniture considering how simple it is.
From what I can gather, the materials and design are so well paired, I have a hard time envisioning any part of the chair failing. It is extremely well made, with nice refined touches like small grab-tabs at the corners of the nylon seat to help with assembly. That nylon seat is constructed with white Dyneema ripstop. Dyneema is a fiber similar to Kevlar and extremely durable.
The one thing I love about the Treo above all is the lack of a stuff-sack. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hunted around a campsite looking for the bag for my other chairs. The Treo’s aluminum stays and nylon seat pack within the three heavy duty ABS plastic base legs. A stout rubber strap, held captive to one leg, holds the entire package in one tight bundle. In its closed form, it seems positively indestructible.
Sold for $100 and made in the USA, I think it is a great value as well. Good chairs are hard to find, and this category of compact furniture is becoming a competitive market, but I see the Treo quickly earning a loyal following. You can count me amongst the converts.
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