ALITE Monarch Backpacking Chair: Burrito Sized for Your Next Outdoor Adventure - ITS Tactical
 

ALITE Monarch Backpacking Chair: Burrito Sized for Your Next Outdoor Adventure

By Bryan Black

ALITE Monarch Backpacking Chair

A Burrito Sized Backpacking Chair that weighs just over a pound? Yep, you read that right. It’s not exactly a Taco Bell Burrito I’m talking about, but more a San Diego Burrito. If you’ve ever had one than you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I think they weight about the same too!

In the neverending quest to find a small, lightweight backpacking chair I’ve purchased quite a few different options over the years.

I’ll talk about why the ALITE Designs Monarch Chair trumps all those that I’ve come across and why it should be on your next packing list!

ALITE Monarch Backpacking Chair

ALITE Monarch Backpacking Chair

Weighing hardly more than a packaged MRE, the 1.4 lb. ALITE Monarch Chair provides a comfortable way to rest after a long hike on the trail.

While not specifically marketed as a backpacking chair, it’s hard to deny that anything as small and lightweight couldn’t be what you’d be looking for in a backpacking chair. Doing away with the slip cover for the chair will even bring the weight down to 1.3 lbs.

I first saw the ALITE Chair at REI and immediately wanted to try it out. After sitting in the demo unit they had there I was sold. I’ve been now using the chair off and on for the better part of 6 months with nothing but great things to say about its construction and durability. I had my doubts about the dependability of the heavy duty rubber feet that the chair pivots on, but I’m happy to report they’ve held up nicely.

ALITE Monarch Backpacking Chair

I was worried that on uneven surfaces or rocks that they’d fall off or become damaged, but neither has occurred. ALITE Designs is not a company I would have considered had I seen their other products before I came across this chair, but there’s no denying this is a fantastic backpacking chair that’s well made.

With other products like the “Sexy Hotness Sleeping Bag” made for “making love in the woods” they’re not exactly marketing this product to the readers of this Website, but the Monarch Chair is definitely something to keep on your radar.

Other Backpacking Chairs

ALITE Monarch Backpacking Chair

I’ve tried other “folding chairs” and found they either weighed too much for backpacking or had no back support whatsoever. There’s also the designs that act as a slip cover for your ground pad, but those aren’t very comfortable and I’ve actually broken one of those before while leaning back. They force you to sit fairly flat on the ground and you’re also on the ground, compared to off of it with the Monarch Chair.

With the Monarch, the rubber feet act as two of the four points needed to balance the chair with your feet providing the other two. I’ve found this to be annoying at times when I want to be off my feet, but you can simply throw a bulky item or backpack under your butt to take some of the weight off your feet and stabilize the chair. It’s not a perfect system, but it does work if that’s an issue for you.

I know this isn’t the be all end all of backpacking chairs, but it’s definitely the best I’ve come across yet.

Construction and Details

ALITE Monarch Backpacking Chair

  • Super light, high-strength 7075 Aluminum tent pole structure with user-replaceable shock cord.
  • 210D nylon ripstop fabric with mesh side panels
  • Assembled Dimensions: 23″H x 21.5″W x 17″D
  • Packed Dimensions: 4.5″ x 13″
  • Weight w/ Stuff Sack: 1.4 lbs.
  • Weight w/o Stuff Sack: 1.3 lbs.
  • Stuff Sack features non-stretch drawstring and daisy chain attachment loops
  • Non-Skid Rubber Feet
  • Holds up to 250 lbs.
  • Made in the Philippines

Assembly

ALITE Monarch Backpacking Chair

The ALITE Monarch Chair is a breeze to assemble, disassemble and repack. To assemble the chair, just pull the rolled chair cover out of the stuff sack and remove the folded pole. A quick shake will even assemble most of the pole and the other sections snap together quite easily. Simply insert the gold tipped ends into the corresponding gold colored points on the chair cover and the others into the grey colored points.

To disassemble, pull the tips out of the attachment points and quickly break down the pole. The chair cover gets folded in half and wrapped around the pole and placed in the stuff sack.

Video and Photos

Here’s a quick video review that shows the chair in use and the assembly and disassembly.

What backpacking/camping chairs have you used? How do you feel they would compare to the ALITE Monarch Chair?

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Discussion

  • Kifaru is working on a chair. Just sayin’… 🙂

    • Looks interesting, but appears bulky for backpacking use. Thanks for the link brother!

    • Madnet

      Bryan………..Notice your sporting your new TAD shorts and new Infidel shirt!!! Matches well with the chair!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • You bet brother! Loving the new shorts and of course the Infidel shirt 🙂

    • Jan

      Time for a little review of basic math. This chair does not weigh 1.3 onces…It does weight 19 onces OR 1.3 POUNDS!…OR 1 pound and 3 ounces.

    • SL

      @Jan Time for a little math review for you lol. 1.3 pounds does not equal 1 pound and 3 ounces. It’s almost 1pound and 5 ounces. I love it when someone tries to be a smarty pants rascal and then gets it wrong 🙂

  • Dig the force 10 shorts!

    I sat in an ALITE Monarch in an REI store and it’s a nice, comfortable design but if I’m carrying a thermarest anyway, I might have a hard time ditching the sleeve thing (thermarest trekker chair) which weighs in under a pound.

  • Hi gents,

    I use the Big Agnes camp chair, which is about 12 oz. It’s just a couple of stays, and my mattress fits inside the pocket. Pretty cozy and I like low chairs for backpacking for reading in the tent. I love it but it’s mattress-specific.

    Skunk

  • Failure Drill

    I hump a lazyboy…..ain’t skeered of a lil weight!!

  • The Captain

    So when is this added to the ITS Store? 😉

  • flyahawk

    My wife and I both carried one on a recent 5 day backpacking trip in NC. Worth every ounce! Not too bulky at all unless you have an uber ultralight weight pack. We both agreed that we will not be going backpacking without again (ans she’s a pretty small girl, the added bulk and weight didn’t even phase her). Being up off the ground and having back support was great. It easy to cook out of and is very stable. It easy to lounge back or sit up right. We bought them with the intention of using them motorcycle camping as well. We haven’t gotten to take a trip with them yet. But they fit that bill perfect. Weight isn’t a huge issue and the size is easily stowed away. Highly recommend them!

  • tiger27

    Thanks Brian, Do they have a model with a beer holder or a built in hydration pack for my rum n’ coke?
    🙂

  • chester

    “With other products like the “Sexy Hotness Sleeping Bag” made for “making love in the woods” they’re not exactly marketing this product to the readers of this Website, but the Monarch Chair is definitely something to keep on your radar.”

    Um, are you implying that ITS tactical readers don’t get laid in the woods? You’re on your own there pal.

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