If you aren’t aware of Front Runner products we suggest you check West Supply out. Front Runner is a South African based company making a whole raft of excellent outdoor equipment, specialising in roof racks and then cool things that attach to roof racks.
This is not a paid review. The two chairs were bought at retail price from the legends at www.westsupply.co.nz who are the NZ distributors for Front Runner.
Finding the perfect camp chair is near on impossible. You need to find chairs that can be stowed in your storage space. But there’s not much point in having a chair that you don’t like sitting on it. Check out our How to; Packing post for more about this.
We have worn out a mish-mash of chairs that had either been donated or panic bought on the way out of town on a roadie. The budget camp chairs had failed because of cheap rivets giving way or corroding. Or equally as frustrating; changing campers and having to reassess the storage.
Our previous Kathmandu $50.00 chairs had stood the test of time. They had been a pretty good compromise. They weren’t super comfortable, but they weren’t terrible. The crunch point came because they didn’t stow well in our new camper, and being really honest I hated the colour of them.
The Expanders had been on our radar for a long time but at over double the price of the Kathmandu ones they seemed pricey. Let’s get real here, we are talking $115.00 rrp, these aren’t expensive investments.
Folded down… or more accurately telescoped down, they stow well in our rectangular external storage box. Expanded for use, the director style chairs are really comfortable. They are quite weighty compared to other camp chairs of the same size, but still only 4 kgs it is hardly an issue. I’m rolling with that infers a bit more quality and sturdiness. They are rated to 113kgs which is low compared to similarly priced chairs. Most in this $90-120 nzd price bracket and weight have 150-200 kg ratings.
There is no doubt the Expanders are the most compact camp chairs in their comfort/size/price bracket. Their stowed space is 1/16 of their deployed size. It’s impressive, in fact no other camp chair in the same range comes close. Once you get the hang of folding them out, which is easy, they are a pleasure to use.
The build quality, a few months in, seems really good. The pocket and drink holders are great, the carry handle is really good, the height is perfect for use with a table. The only gripe so far is probably self inflicted. They are stowed in the same box wet wetsuits are stored and there is rust appearing on some of the rivets. These have been sprayed now with Ditrimol, so here is hoping that’s been halted.