Ride your bike to the top of a mountain, tackle rapids or race down a dizzying hill. But sometimes you just want to have some quiet time at camp. Read a book, chat, eat some chips with a cold drink. For once, do nothing. All you need is a comfortable camp chair.

The picnic tables are nice but the benches are not that soft.

The camp chair of yesteryear, with its crisscross straps attached to the frame, is still going strong: On the Canadian Tire website, the model is called “Classic Retro” and sells for $39.99.

Nowadays, there are more modern models available, aimed primarily at comfort, but there is also a new class of ultra-light chairs that appeared a few years ago and have been gaining popularity ever since.

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“The most popular ones are light and compact”, says Hugues Grenier, camping goods buyer at La Corday. They can be taken anywhere, whether camping or just a trip to the park. They can be put in a backpack and taken with you when you travel by bike. »

Helinox is one of the leading companies that manufactures this type of chair. It is a set of unfolded aluminum bars onto which a polyester seat is attached (with some difficulty at first). The lightest model, the Helinox Zero, weighs less than 500 grams.

“If you have a little bit of space while hiking, you can bring it with you,” Grenier says. As you get older, you may find that you like being a little bit more comfortable when taking a break. »

Lightness comes at a price: Helinox Zero models typically retail for around $200, while the same manufacturer’s One model is twice as heavy and costs $160.

Manufacturers offer a range of accessories, such as little mats or balls that you attach to the ends of the chair legs to keep the chair from sinking into the sand, fleece covers for cooler nights and even stakes to keep your ultra-light chair firmly in the ground – you don’t want to lose your precious investment at the first gust of wind.

There are also swivel chairs that can rotate from the potato chip side to the soft drink side. Helinox also sells Lullaby Skates for a couple of hundred dollars.

It may not be a bestseller, but it’s available, and you can do it on your balcony at home.

Hugues Grenier, buyer of the La Cordais campsite

This type of chair is so popular that La Cordée offers it under its own brand.

“They are made in China but imported by Onata GV, a Quebec company, Wendake, which makes GV snowshoes.

“We wanted to deal with a local company,” Grenier says. “Their products may be a little heavier than Helinox, but they’re also less expensive.”

La Cordée continues to offer an old classic of minimalist seating, the Crazy Creek Chair, which has no legs and is made up of two panels connected by a strap.

“It’s almost ‘nostalgic camp,'” says Hugues Grenier. It still sells well and is something people are looking for, although it can be a little heavier than the aluminum-wheel-based ones sold by Helinox. Customers are increasingly turning to these modern chairs. »

La Corde wanted to specialize in light and compact chairs, while SAIL offers a slightly wider range of products, including more elaborate folding chairs with armrests, cup holders, tablets and even footrests. La Dolce Vita, that is.

Comfort comes at a cost: These chairs can weigh five to ten times more than Helinox’s smaller Zero, but they can also cost half as much.

Canadian Tire offers some very inexpensive camping chairs under their Outbound brand. Obviously they’re not lightweight or pack down as compactly as chairs can, but they’re good enough for eating some chips and reading a short novel.


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A 3+ hour video about hiking without words. Relaxation guaranteed. Here is a short excerpt:

This is the length (in metres) of the Belvedere Trail in the Parc des Grands Jardins, probably the shortest SEPAQ trail. It won’t tire you out.