Boulders and logs just don’t do it for me in my ripe old age.Ã‚ I like to be off the ground, which means Crazy Creeks and Therm-a-Rest chairs aren’t adequate either unless I get all Bear Grylls and built a platform out of downed redwoods and jungle vines or whatever he uses.Ã‚ Tripod camping stools have been around for a while, but the ones I have seen or owned were not exactly featherweight compact backpacking seats.Ã‚ Coleman came out with their Exponent Trekking Stool a little while back that looked to be both light and compact, so I picked up a couple direct from Coleman to see how they fared.
The stool comes in a nice nylon carrying bag that can be left at home if you don’t want the extra weight.Ã‚ I keep mine in the bag mostly to stop at least a little of the dirt from the ground that winds up coating the stool’s legs from coating the rest of the gear in my pack.Ã‚ I was glad to have the bag on our recent Cumberland Island trip, thanks to the wet sand that coated the legs.Ã‚ Not having a bag would have meant that I either needed to figure out a way to get all the sand out of every nook and cranny of the stool or live with sand all over the rest of the gear in my pack.
The stool’s four legs fold in half, a feature which gives the unit its nice and compact size.Ã‚ The legs are made out of aluminum and are rated to hold up to 200 lbs, according to Coleman.Ã‚ The seat is nylon and is held in place for carry by a Velcro strap.
Unfold the legs, undo the Velcro strap holding the seat tight, fold out the stool, and you have a surprisingly comfortable seat.Ã‚ I tend to be leaning forward cooking food or playing with fire when I am sitting in a camp, so the lack of a backrest does not bother me.Ã‚ Despite the small sitting surface, I find the stool to be much more comfortable than most other folding chairs on the market.
One note about sitting on the stool:Ã‚ You position one of the corners to go
betwen your legs instead of on either side like a regular chair or stool.Ã‚ I have seen a couple of friends try to sit with the corners on either side, which means that the metal corners of the stool are jabbing you in the thighs or butt, which is not exactly a comfortable way to relax in your campsite.Ã‚ Well, maybe it is for some of you freaky kids out there, but not for me.
My wife and I have had our Coleman Trekking Stools for about six months so far and have been pleased with how comfortable they are and how well they perform.Ã‚ Ã‚ The going rate for the stools looks to be $20, a very reasonable price for a versatile piece of gear.