Comfort or practicality? Can you have it all?
Packing for a festival with kids can be a bit of a military operation. Weighing up what you can fit in the car and physically carry versus what you’d ideally like to take is a real balance. Luxury items like camping chairs can sometimes find themselves abandoned in the hall while parents frantically try and cram the last pillow on the parcel shelf as the kids go crazy in their seats.
Our guide to dressing kids at festivals gives some good suggestions on packing essentials for little ones, but high up on most of the Festival Kidz team here is our beloved camping chairs. It’s an easy thing to decide to leave behind when limited on space but as our bones age, we all agree, the chair is a festival must.
Here are a few of our favourites. We’d love you to comment below with your tried and tested camping chairs or festival seating. Perhaps you go totally basic in favour of easy and a picnic blanket is all you need?
My personal tried and tested choice is a cup chair from Outwell that has been with me for almost 10 years. Although they are bulky, the comfort of these is hard to beat. They are great if you are breastfeeding or have little ones who want to curl up with you. Unlike regular camping chairs, the kids won’t immediately rip through the fabric seat arms when they climb on them.
Pros: extreme comfort
There’s also a baby version!
Folding Beach Chairs
These are great if you want to take your chair with you all day long. You can quickly sit down anywhere and rest your back and you are on a level with the kids who might be on a picnic blanket. You also avoid becoming one of the annoying ‘chair brigade’ who create their own rows of barricades in front of the stage that make manoeuvring a pushchair so tricky.
Two of our top picks are the Ergo Life and the Folding beach chair / cushion here:
Pros: Light weight and take anywhere
Cons: low to the ground so not great if really muddy
A clever option if you’re not taking a pushchair or festival wagon and want something that doubles up as a trolley to shift your camping gear from the car. They are raised slightly off the ground so keep you off the floor when it’s wet and you can adjust most of them to lounge out in the sunshine.
Pros: Doubles as a trolley and packs down flat to slot in the car
Cons: Kids find these irresistible to wheel each other around on so you may not get a sit down!
Ultra-light Camping Chairs
One of the biggest considerations to festival furniture is the weight and size. This often means people opt for cheap options that they don’t mind dumping at the end of the event. We see hundred on mangled gazebos, chairs and tents at the end of every festival and it really upsets us. Cheap furniture, particularly chairs, just don’t last. If you are prepared to invest in your festival camping gear then it’s really worth it.
The lightest camping chairs we have found are from Helinox. They pack up unbelievable small and will last for a long time. This one is the size of a man’s shoe!
Pros: Size, weight and quality
Cons: Price – but you get what you pay for
Inflatable Camping Chairs and Seating
Traditionally, inflatable furniture has been a one use item as it rarely makes it through the weekend with kids jumping all over it. These days though, there are a few new materials and products on the market that make this an option to consider if weight is an issue.
We think the groovy new LayBag Rocca is awesome – no pump or puff needed. Just open it up, wave at the breeze and seal. They even float!
Pros: Weight and comfort – you really can fall asleep anywhere. Eco-friendly material and production.
Cons: Not wind proof so anchor down if you don’t want it to blow away in the night. The kids love them a little too much so if you want to relax you’ll need more than 1!
So, there you have it. What are your top camping chairs or festival furniture items? We’d love to hear about your tried and tested favourites.