A spherical wonder of a camping chair that you’ll want to chill out in all day – and versatile enough to work both indoors and out.
Folds up in seconds
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Having originated in Asia, papasan chairs – also known as ‘moon chairs’ or ‘bowl chairs’ – became very popular in the United States after WWII. These luxurious round cushioned chairs are as comfy and inviting as they look, and they translate well as folding camping chairs, opening up to offer an alfresco nest in which to make yourself comfortable as the sun sets and the stars come out.
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Our top pick if you want to go for a portable moon is the Outwell Kentucky Lake camping chair. Made with a reassuringly tough steel frame, it will hold pretty much anyone’s weight who cares to sit in it, and the thick, padded circular cushion the frame holds is lovely for lounging around in, for hours at a time if you’re so inclined. We also like the adjustable and removable headrest, which makes the Kentucky Lake comfy for reading without straining your neck. Extra features include a mesh pocket on back of chair and a carry bag.
•RRP: £105 (UK)
•Weight: 8.1kg /18lb
•Size (WxDxH): 104 x 70 x 94cm / 41 x 28 x 37in
•Seat Height: 43cm / 17in
•Pack size: 30 x 35 x 105 cm / 12 x 14 x 41in
•Capacity: 120kg / 265lb
•Colours: Grey / green / red / blue
•Compatibility: Save the Kentucky Lake for longer camping holidays or use it as a patio chair
In the field
So, we’re all agreed, the Outwell Kentucky Lake is a sumptuously comfortable chair in which to park your derrière. But there is a price to pay for such outdoor decadence, and in this case it’s the hefty weight and bulk of Kentucky Lake, which means it’s only really suitable for larger car boots and longer camping or glamping holidays where you’re setting up in one spot and staying put for some time. That said, we tested the Outwell Kentucky Lake on many multiday camping and glamping trips, and it was always well worth the effort, providing sofa-style comfort even in the wild, which definitely can’t be said for your average folding camping chair. The Kentucky Lake is also brilliant for kicking back in when you’re lazing about in the garden during the summer, and it wouldn’t even look out of place in your front room, which all makes the price tag seem much more palatable. This style statement is guaranteed to get you questions and complements anywhere you set up camp.
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.