Expert Review: Crazy Creek Original ChairPublished on 09/02/2022 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the chair, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
Photos courtesy of Hunter Reed
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the chair, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
The Crazy Creek Original Chair is a classic, simple chair that is easy to use, easy to pack, and versatile for a lot of different outdoor activities. I recommend it for anyone looking for a backup car camping chair or one to use on rafting trips.
About the chair I own
- Model: Crazy Creek Original Chair
- When I bought this: November 2020
- Days tested: 80
- Used for: Car camping, raft trips
- Where I’ve used it: All over Utah and Colorado
- Seasons I’ve used it in: All seasons
- Experience: 20+ years of backpacking and camping
How it performs
What I was looking for
I only had one camping chair that was pretty big and bulky. I was looking for something slightly smaller that I could keep in my truck and use on raft trips. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money because I already have a tall, comfortable camping chair. This was just going to be a spare.
Why I chose this gear
I decided to go with the Crazy Creek Original because it is a classic chair that I have seen around on camping trips and during outdoor activities. It folds up easily to pack with the rest of my camping gear in a car or raft. I liked the no-legs design because, in addition to making it more packable, it made it versatile to use either on the ground or while sitting on a cooler or gearbox. I looked at a few different Crazy Creek models, but decided this one fit my needs well. Crazy Creek makes a few that have extra padding, are extra light, or are slightly different sizes. I didn’t really want anything fancy or designed for being ultralight, so I went with the classic mode.
What I love about it
- Durability: The fact that it is designed to be used on the ground means it needs to be made out of pretty solid materials. The material is a thick polyester ripstop nylon; I have used it for about 80 days and it still looks brand new.
- Weather Resistance: The polyester ripstop nylon on the outside of the Crazy Creek is very water resistant. Even on days where it has gotten wet, it dries super quick.
- Weight: This chair weighs 1.6lbs. It is light while still maintaining some structural integrity that makes it fairly comfortable to sit in for extended periods of time.
- Ease of Use: There are two straps on either side of the chair. When not buckled it lays flat. When buckled, the two sides sit together to form a chair. The buckles are adjustable so I can have more of a recline or upright position. It is easy to assemble, disassemble, and use.
- Versatility: Camping chairs are always something my friends forget, so they end up sitting on my Yeti 65L cooler. The Crazy Creek can be used on top of it and it makes it quite a bit more comfortable. It can also be used on other surfaces that might normally not be super comfy to sit on, such as rocky areas and truck tailgates.
- Car camping: It is so easy to keep in my truck because it slides under my sleeping platform. It is awesome to have a backup chair in case my other isn't packed, or in case I am with someone who needs a chair.
- Packability: It can be stored either with the straps buckled or unbuckled. When folded, it’s even smaller and can slide between camping gear in a car or raft.
- Features: This chair comes in a ton of different colors.
- Other: Given the stiffness and shape of the Crazy Creek when folded up, I have heard of people using it as a splint for a broken leg or arm in backcountry emergency situations.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Comfort: Compared to any other regular chair, it is not very comfortable. It is really minimalist, and I usually use it on the ground—which is just less comfortable than sitting in a chair with legs, armrests, and a more comfortable back panel.
- Stability: The Crazy Creek feels pretty stable while sitting in it, but it is annoying that it folds over every time I stand up. Whenever I stand up to grab food and return with my hands full, I get back to my chair and have to fold it up again.
- Backpacking: It’s not a heavy chair, but at 1.6lbs, I wouldn't bring it backpacking. I know people who bring their Crazy Creeks on every backpacking trip and it isn’t a problem for them, but for me it’s a bit inconvenient.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with this gear was on a camping trip to Moab, Utah. I had forgotten my regular camping chair and was bummed because it was too cold to sit on the ground. I had totally forgotten that I had kept my Crazy Creek in my truck, so I only found it as I was looking for some things to make dinner a few hours after we arrived. I was so happy to have a backup option with me. It made sitting by the fire on the cold ground way more enjoyable!
Value for the money vs. other options
This chair retails for $59. I think it is worth it and I would for sure purchase it again. I will say it is a bit more niche, so I would specifically recommend it for someone who already has another comfortable camping chair and is looking for a backup, or someone who does raft trips. For an everyday main camping chair, it is not my favorite. Instead, I would get something like the Travel Chair Frenchcut Chair because it is taller, not on the ground, has cupholders, and is overall more comfortable.
The Crazy Creek Original Chair is a packable, versatile chair that is nice to have in the backcountry specifically during car camping and raft trips. Though it is not the most comfortable chair in the world, I love having it as a backup. My Crazy Creek has lived in my truck pretty much since I got it because it is so easy to fold up and store, and it has saved me and my friends who have forgotten camp chairs quite a few times.