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Gear Review: TRONO Camping Chair

09.19.18

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Gear Review: TRONO Camping Chair

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  • When packed up, the TRONO Camping Chair measures about 14 inches long and weighs about 1.7 pounds.- Gear Review: TRONO Camping Chair
  • A primary feature of the TRONO Camping Chair is that it packs into a lightweight portable bag and can easily be carried anywhere.- Gear Review: TRONO Camping Chair
  • The Trono Camping Chair comes with a small shoulder sling bag, making it easy to haul around.- Gear Review: TRONO Camping Chair
  • The TRONO Camping Chair inflates by catching air inside the material.- Gear Review: TRONO Camping Chair
  • After rolling up the tube to compress the air into the seat, a buckle holds the air inside.- Gear Review: TRONO Camping Chair
  • All TRONO Camping Chairs come with a soft cover that zips onto the chair once it is inflated for a softer seat.- Gear Review: TRONO Camping Chair
  • The TRONO Camping Chair is a lightweight inflatable chair that can easily be carried almost anywhere.- Gear Review: TRONO Camping Chair
  • Haning out on the TRONO Camping Chairs cliffside above the ocean!- Gear Review: TRONO Camping Chair
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TRONO Camping Chair specs

  • Weight: 1.7 lbs
  • Carrying capacity: 330 lbs

Where to get it

Price: $69-$79

The Bottom Line: The TRONO Camping Chair aims to take the concept of a lightweight inflatable system into the area of camping chairs. Constructed of nylon parachute material and similar to the inflatable hammocks that seem to have seen a recent surge in popularity, the TRONO Camping Chair maintains an upright sitting position, while its deflated weight of just under 2 pounds allows for maximum portability.

Packing into a small included shoulder sling bag when deflated, the packed chair can easily be swung over an arm or stuffed into a day pack. Setting up the chair requires holding open the wide air tube and either spinning or running a little bit to catch some air inside. Once semi-inflated, you quickly roll the tube down to compress the air into the main bulk of the chair and then snap a buckle shut. While the running and/or spinning motion can look a little goofy, it becomes easier to stand still and just make a quick whipping motion to fill the chair with a little bit of practice. (An additional hack would be simply holding the tube up on a windy day or beside an air vent.)

The chair itself is made from a thin synthetic nylon material that is water resistant, so setting up the chair in wet conditions or on snow won't damage the material at all, and it seems to dry pretty quickly. Each camping chair comes with a soft cover that zips onto the chair to make it a little bit more comfortable and less slick. The covers are machine-washable, as well.

All chair purchases include the chair body, the soft cover, the shoulder sling carrying bag, and a small patch repair kit. Additional options include a protective bottom footprint and a screw-down stake to hold your chair in place in windy conditions. TRONO also offers chairs and covers in a variety of colors.

Since receiving my chair, I've used it in a variety of places and conditions, and here's what I've found:

First, the areas for improvement: The chair slowly loses air over time. I've had a similar problem with nearly every inflatable hammock I've had, and the solution is to simply take a few seconds to reinflate it. With the TRONO Camping Chair, it seems to stay pretty solidly inflated for a couple of hours before requiring a reinflation. Second, the soft cover material is not water resistant. This is definitely not a big deal, it just means that the cover may soak up water and get weighted down a bit. 

Now for what I've enjoyed most about the chair: Even though it advertises itself as a camp chair, over time I've found this to be one of the most versatile lounge chairs I've ever owned. It definitely gets some use camping, but I live in a city, and I have begun using my TRONO chairs in a lot of ways: I've taken these to the beach, to music festivals, to the drive-in theater to set up outside the car, and on hikes to mountaintops where you really don't want to be carrying excess weight for the climb; I've also used them on my lawn on warm evenings and in my front yard to watch projected movies on my outside wall at night. 

Simply put, I've gotten far more use out of my chairs in non-camping situations, and I have found myself bringing these chairs along for more and more activities lately, from outdoor adventuring to urban activities. I've never had an issue with a puncture, as the material seems to be a medium-thick nylon, but you do have to be careful about checking for any sharp surfaces or objects before throwing these down. And because they are inflatable and not solid, two people trying to share a chair just causes it to sit awkwardly, so sitting on these would require individual chairs for everyone. The water-resistant material has let me set it up at the beach, on pool decks, and in the snow, and the water beads up and can be wiped off easily.

All in all, I've been extremely happy with my TRONO Camping Chair. It's biggest strength is that it can be used in a far wider variety of settings than simply as a camp chair, and its portability leads me to keep adding it to my bag and finding new uses for it. 

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