“ Manufacturer: Argos / Type: Camping Furniture „
Camping is something that seems to have had a massive boost in popularity in recent years. Until now, we have resisted the temptation to jump on the camping bandwagon, mostly because I have never considered myself to be the camping type - city breaks with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants nearby are much more my 'thing' for a weekend away. However, some of our friends are into camping and, after a few drinks, we got ourselves talked into buying a tent and giving it a try. Apart from the tent, we needed to purchase a few bits and pieces to get us through the first trial weekend, including some camping chairs. As we were not sure whether we'd enjoy camping or not, we decided to head for the 'budget' end of the camping market for our purchases and decided on these folding camping chairs from Argos' value range.
* The Product *
The Argos Value Range Folding Camping Chair is similar to most of the other camping chairs on the market. It consists of a steel frame and a blue polyester fabric seat. It is armchair style, with fabric covered arms and a mesh drink holder pocket in one arm. The major advantage of the chair, like other chairs of the same style, is that folds flat easily and fits snugly into a bag meaning that it is both portable and doesn't take up much room in the car. When in use, the chair dimensions are 82cm high, 53cm wide and 53cm deep, meaning that it is plenty big enough for an average adult. When folded, the chair in the carrybag is 87cm long, 13cm wide and 12cm deep and weighs 2.4kg - this makes it ideal for taking out for picnics or to the beach as well as for camping.
* Our Experiences *
First impressions of the chair were very positive. Once removed from the bag, it unfolded very easily and held its shape well. It was relatively comfortable to sit in - not as comfortable as my much more expensive (and not very portable) garden deckchairs - but fine for sitting around chatting, eating and drinking outside our tents. The drinks holders were also a handy addition - they didn't work with my plastic wine glasses, but held cans of drink and plastic tumblers easily. They were also extremely easy to fold back up and the fact that they lie flat when folded meant that they could be piled up at the back of the tent and didn't get in the way when we were inside. However, the fabric on one of the two chairs split on the back on the second day - it is still usable at the moment but the split is widening and it will not last for much longer. I accept that this is the risk you take when buying value products, but I would have expected it to survive a few hours use without any damage - we are planning to take it back and see if we can get it replaced. The other chair, however, is fine and still looks in good condition so we may just have been unlucky and got a faulty one.
* Price and Purchasing *
These chairs are available from Argos for the bargain price of £4.99 (although this is a reduced price and the normal RRP is £6.99). They are only available in blue as the picture above.
* Final Thoughts *
I am giving this chair a three star rating due to the fact that one of them has ripped already. Without this damage, they would probably be worthy of four stars as they are very practical, portable and good value for money. I would recommend them as a short term solution if you are just trying out the camping scene, or even as additional garden chairs that you can stash in the shed until you need them for a BBQ. As we enjoyed our camping trip and are planning to do it again, we will probably end up upgrading our chairs in the future but these did a good job to start off with.