There's nothing better than setting up your campsite, pitching your tent, getting the fire going and sitting back to relax for sundowners with a cold drink in your hand! The only downside to this is if your camp chair is old, flimsy and causes searing pains in your buttocks and lower back. Time to get a new chair then!
When we started camping and going on trips, we took a couple of old CampMaster camp chairs my dad had stored away in his garage. The chairs were probably 15 years old and had seen their fair share of camps, festivals, picnics, braais and family outings. They even served as our home furniture for a few weeks when we moved into our own place. They tore, we sewed them back up. They tore again and we sewed them back up yet again. After a couple of trips with these chairs we decided it was time for an upgrade. My wife got a bigger, more comfy chair from Cape Union Mart that had lower back support and for my birthday last year I was given a CampMaster "Classic 750 Deluxe" camp chair (I was asked what I wanted and my buttocks answered).
The Classic 750 is considerably larger (which means it's also heavier) than the old, dark green ones we had before but it is padded on all sides, has more pockets than my cargo shorts and has more 'usable' seating space. The stitching seems solid and the frame feels strong and won't bend or break easily. The claimed supported weight is 200kg (I'm almost 95kgs and the chair barely noticed) and it folds up relatively easily.
My buttocks were cradled oh so comfortably in the padded seating while my back was nestled among the soft foam-like material and my head was supported by the pillow-esque bundle of padding at the top. The back of the chair is slightly higher than on the older one, so when my 182cm body sits back, I don't have the edge of the chair poking into the middle of my spine. The arm rests are also slightly wider and don't slide down every time I rest my arm on it.
Pocket-wise, as mentioned above, this bad boy has more storage space on it than the back of a Land Cruiser pickup (which has a lot), which was one of the my prerequisites for a new camping chair. I found when I'm in camp I need to have a few things (my wife says "a lot") always handy. A small hand torch, my leather-man, mosquito spray, binoculars (during the day, of course), phone, sunglasses, car keys.... see, just a few necessities. The 750 Deluxe has a large flap on the side with two good-sized pockets for storing all you really need when sitting around a campfire.
The right arm-rest has a mega cup holder. It's suitable for a water bottle, coke bottle, beer bottle, beer can, coffee mug, rum & coke glass or even a wine glass (not all at the same time, though). Another plus for me is the mini-cool bag in the left arm-rest. Padded on top as well, with a velcro strap at the one end and double-zips that open it to the end of one side, the mini-cool bag can apparently hold a 6-pack (of whatever drink is your preference), or a couple of water bottles, cans or beers...maybe even a half-dozen mini wine bottles too. I haven't tested how long drinks stay cold in the mini-cool bag, but I presume it's not as efficient as a cool box. That's not its purpose anyway. It will keep the chillness of your cold brewski just a tad longer, while you're still finishing your first one. Good enough for me.
The CampMaster Classic 750 Deluxe is a comfy chair, but it's big and it's heavy. And weight is the enemy of the camper or overlander. So while it will make your sundowner much more enjoyable, this heavyweight will take up more space in your vehicle and will add to the overall weight you will be carrying. This may not be a problem if you're heading to the beach for the afternoon or to a family braai in your Citi Golf or if you're going around Botswana in your Land Rover Defender with a camper trailer in tow. But if you have a compact SUV, like our Toyota RAV4, this chair will take up valuable space and swallow up precious kg's.
If camping's your thing and having a nice and comfy chair to relax in around camp, then I would recommend the CampMaster Classic 750 Deluxe camping chair compared to the simpler chairs out there. Sure, any chair is better than no chair, but this chair will give you that extra bit of comfort we all (secretly) want in camp. A coolbox will keep your drinks cold to a point, but a fridge will always keep them cold, That's kind of the point I'm making. If, however, you don't really mind what you're sitting on (to a certain degree of course) or if you don't have space to spare in your vehicle then give this one a pass and go for one that is slimmer and lighter.
Pros & Cons
*RoadBeneathOurFeet is not affiliated with the brand(s) mentioned in this review. All equipment was bought by us for our own personal use and reviews are based on personal experience and preference.
"We are a young, married, Botswana-based couple with a passion for going out into nature and the bush any chance we get!"