Camping and outdoor chairs come in all shapes and sizes, there are literally hundreds to choose from on the market and we are often left scratching heads when it comes to deciding what we need.
There are chairs to suit each type of outdoors situation, whether it’s serious hiking or just relaxed camping with the family over the summer break. In this mix we have a myriad of styles and designs to choose from, ranging from formal upright chairs and the tripod bucket seat types, to very simple low seats for the backpacking minimalist outdoorsman.
Amongst us are a defined group of outdoors people always looking for the bare minimum when it comes to equipment, their focus being on minimum weight, minimum size when packed as well as minimum effort to setup their pment.
These guys will want and need a chair that has these attributes to make their time in the outdoors a pleasure. If you are an outdoorsman spending a lot of time in the wilderness and trekking distances where the weight of your provisions and pack is of utmost importance, then we have found the perfect ultralight packable chair for you.
It’s the Alite Mayfly… one of the 2017 Winners of our Best Lightweight Backpacking Chairs Review.
What We Love Most About the Alite Designs Mayfly
The Alite Mayfly chair is a real minimalist chair that packs down into a relatively small package and weighs almost nothing, in fact if you hold the packed chair in your hand you will wonder if something is missing.
The chair has a modern look to it, giving an immediate feeling of minimalism and simplicity. The Material used for the seat feels tough and durable to the touch and will definitely leave you confident in its strength and capability.
Weight & Dimensions
Being a minimal design, the Mayfly’s dimensions are a lot smaller than other styles of outdoor chair; however the unique sling type seat accommodates most people easily and has a weight capacity of 250 pounds. Unpacked, the Mayfly is 20” x 20” x 15”.
The overall weight of the mayfly is a mere 1.5 pounds, making it one of the lightest chairs to have a carrying capacity of 250 pounds!
Loads of Great Designs
With over 10 color and design options, there’s sure to be a style that suits you perfectly.
Alite prides itself in their durable ultralight designs and backs this with a lifetime guarantee on their products.
The Mayfly design makes use of a simple aluminium frame setup which is interconnected with tough stretch cord as well as having colour coded connection points, making it easy to snap into position.
The seat sling is made from a tough 210D ripstop material that has been reinforced at the corner connection points for added durability. A lot of other chairs with corner locators are not that well reinforced, but Alite did not overlook this and has made sure that the key points taking all the weight and pressure are suitably strengthened.
Optional Front Leg
Now the Alite mayfly has a removable front leg system to turn your chair into a balance or rocking chair. This does not undermine the carrying capacity or stability of the chair, as the main frame connects to the four corners of the sling.
It gives the user the freedom to customize the chair from a basic seat into a more versatile lounging seat. We think this is a great idea!
Alite Mayfly vs Monarch
By removing the optional front leg, you’re essentially turning the Mayfly into a Monarch. They both have the same quality and brand assurance behind them. (This counts for a lot in a time when almost every good hiking chair brand is being ripped-off by a cheaper copy with poor manufacturing.)
Setting up the Chair
The Mayfly is actually very simple to erect with its easy to understand system of aluminium poles.
The back and front poles snap to position into a cup shaped holder which forms the main base on the ground. These poles snap into place on the four connection points on the corners of the sling.
The optional front leg snaps into place at the same connection point as the front support frame.
Literally takes a minute or so to erect the chair from the stuff bag.
A Comfortable Sit
The sling design of the Mayfly could be compared to a hammock in a sense. The sling itself has no framework meaning that there are no rigid parts to the seat.
It’s more of a floating feel you get when you sit down here, definitely for relaxing totally after a day’s hiking or travelling by bike.
With the front leg support removed the chair can be used as a rocker or balance chair, sounds uncomfortable to have to balance yourself right? Well it’s actually super comfortable, by using your feet now as the front support, you can position yourself slightly back to stargaze for a while or more forward as you please.
The Mayfly packs down to an 11, 5” x 4, 3” x 4, 3” stuff bag, which is really small for a whole chair. This small size and ultralight weight makes it ideal for stashing in a back pack side pocket and will easily fit to a bicycle frame or motorcycle pannier.
It is literally so small and light that one could even pack it in a daypack for a day hike without it being a burden. Obviously the 1, 5 pound weight is a bonus here.
An Easy Choice
It is fairly safe to say that this product is the perfect minimalist chair when it comes to size, weight and packability.
We see this chair going on extended cycling tours, fishing trips, wilderness hikes and motorcycle road trips where you want to have comfort at the end of the day, but don’t want to slog a 10 pound camp chair along with you.
You won’t go wrong with the Alite Mayfly, it’s a well-made, quality outdoor chair backed by a no-fuss lifetime guarantee. A brilliant choice for the minimalist outdoorsman.