You don’t have to suffer through a peewee baseball game or a Fourth of July parade on an unsupportive folding chair just to prove you’re a good parent.
By Daniel Varghese
Q: My son’s baseball season just started. I want to support him, but having to sit for hours on my cheap outdoor folding chair is testing my patience. Know of anything better?
A: I don’t envy you. The only part of baseball I enjoy is the fried foods, and I can’t imagine the concession stands at peewee games offer much there. But you are a good parent, so let’s find something to protect your posterior.
Many outdoor chair styles are available. I bet you’d be happy with something that offers a bit of padding, a sturdy frame and big arm rests, like the Alps Mountaineering King Kong chair ($80). The fabric used for the seat and back is quilted, which provides more cushion than you’d usually get in such chairs. Each arm rest incorporates a cup holder and a stash pocket, ideal for keeping a seltzer handy.
Assuming you drive to your son’s games, it is no big deal that the King Kong is a bit heavy (13 pounds) and not particularly compact. You can always fold it up and throw it in your trunk. If you want a chair with a smaller footprint, consider the REI Co-op Flexlite Air ($80). It doesn’t have arm rests, but it weighs a single pound and, folded down, measures just over a foot. I’d worry it might get uncomfortable if the games ran much longer than an hour, though.
A happy medium: the Helinox Sunset ($170). It is about 3.5 pounds and folds down to fit into a 1.5-foot-long carrying case. But unlike the Flexlite or King Kong, it has a high back that will support your neck and a panel of mesh for breathability. It is an ideal throne, especially if you can convince someone to bring you a hot dog.