Great for festivals and casual camping holidays in non-prickly environments, the Pod is perfect for free ranging kids of all ages (including those well north of 20, 30, 40, 50 years of age…) who will love sitting on (and playing with) these squashy chairs.
Easy to pack away
Pump not included
Not as hardy as a traditional chair
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The Hi-Gear Inflatable Pod Chair may only be suitable for car-based trips, as opposed to wilderness forays, but it’s good fun to lounge around on in the garden, at the beach or around the campsite, and very well-priced. Some of you may remember when the ultimate in teenage bedroom furniture was an inflatable bubble chair – well, with Hi-Gear’s inflatable Pod chair you can add a slice of that ’90s nostalgia to your camping setup.
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Okay, so it isn’t particularly practical for more adventurous camping (or indeed, for camping anywhere but on grass, sand and other forgiving surfaces) but it is great fun, and extremely comfortable for lounging around on, for children and adults alike. You’ll need a pump to use the Pod, obviously, and this isn’t included, but once inflated it holds its shape well.
•RRP: £25 (UK)
•Weight: 1.44kg /3lb 3oz
•Inflated size: 105 x 98 x 76cm / 41 x 38.5 x 30in
•Capacity: 100kg / 220lb
•Compatibility: Adds extra comfort to family summer camping holidays, and easy to transport in smaller cars
In the field
We tested the chair out on a camping weekend in Devon and used it inside a glamping tent and outside on grass with no issues. As with all inflatable items, long-term durability will probably be an issue, and we do think the plastic Hi-Gear Inflatable Pod Chair might not last more than a few summers of regular use, unlike tougher steel or aluminium chairs. That said, for the price this is a fuss-free and fun chair, and we were surprised at how comfy it is to lean back on, even when you are reading. On the plus side, deflating the Pod and rolling it up into a slim tube makes it easy to pack away and store, and at 1.4kg it doesn’t add much weight to your camping set-up. The soft flocked surface feels nice against bare skin, unlike the sticky plastic chairs of yore, and the Pod will easily support anyone weighing up to 100kg – although you do end up very close to the ground, which won’t suit people who find it hard to get in and out of low-rider chairs.
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.