An affordable bucket chair that is ideal if you’re moving from site to site, although it’s not quite compact enough to please the true minimalist packers.
Easy to pack away
Comfortable bucket design
Quick to assemble
Sinks into soft ground
Not quite compact enough to fit in a small backpack
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The Alpkit Vagabond is one of the lightest bucket chairs we tested – weighing in at just under 1kg – but despite looking small at first glance, it can accommodate campers of all shapes and sizes easily, and feels reassuringly solid to sit in. Bucket-style chairs are a great choice if you don’t want to feel weighed down by bulky camping kit, and they are ideal for quick overnight escapades as well as day trips into the great outdoors, and al fresco festivals.
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The Vagabond doesn’t fold up quite as small as some of the other bucket chairs we tested (such as the Helinox Zero, which fits in a water bottle pocket) but it will still fit in a larger backpack – and it is far more affordable than the pricier chairs in this category. We really liked the tough seat fabric and the mesh panels, which are great for keeping your back cool in the dog days of summer. The Alpkit Vagabond doesn’t pop into shape instantly but assembly is quick and easy.
RRP: £30 (UK)
Weight: 1kg/2lb 3.2oz
Pack size: 34x11x11cm / 13x4x4in
Compatibility: Great for weekend trips and no-frills camping
In the field
We tested the chair out on a weekend car camping trip and were impressed with how strong it proved, holding even the tallest and heaviest campers we could find in comfort. The only downside is that the slim feet do sink into soft muddy ground or sand, so the Alpkit Vagabond is only really suitable for harder surfaces. The low seat height is great if you are cooking on a stove that’s perched on the floor, or you could make things easier with a table – Alpkit also make an easy to assemble low Vagabond camping table to match their chair, and the combination of the two is a great way to fit a entire picnic setup in the back of your car while taking up minimal space.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.