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What Is a Travel Chair?

By S. Gonzales
Updated Jan 21, 2024
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Travel chairs are portable chairs that are meant to be used outside of the home. These chairs are primarily used in exterior settings where a chair would be beneficial but are not likely to be found, such as at the beach, at picnics, on camping grounds or at outdoor sporting events. Features can vary between manufacturers and chair designs, but fade-resistant nylon and tough frame tubing are often used to create these types of chairs.

There are a variety of features that a travel chair can have. One of the most common is the capability of being folded for easy transport. This ability to be folded can make a travel chair extra-portable and usable in any location.

Travel chairs can be made out of fabric and frame tubing that are designed to support the user and hold his or her posture. A travel chair is usually made out of strong fabric that has been tested as being fade-resistant and tubing that deters undue wobbling and accidental falling. Specific materials that are commonly used in the construction of travel chairs include nylon, polyester, grommets and rivets. Although fabric hook-and-loop fasteners are not strong enough to be used as part of the chair's support system, they can be incorporated into the design as a means for its owner to keep the chair in a solid position while transporting it from one location to another. Fabric manipulation such as webbing and double stitching can also work to make a travel chair as strong as it can be.

The design of a particular travel chair can vary between manufacturers. For example, some travel chairs do not have backrests, and others include wide backrests. Similarly, armrests might also be missing from this type of chair. When major features such as these have been left out of a travel chair's design, it usually is for maximum portability. The features that are offered can also depend on the design and the manufacturer; some travel chairs come with cup holders already built into the chair, offering the user another level of comfort when using the chair.

Although it is small and portable by nature, a travel chair is built to be able to support more than the average weight. This durability, combined with its portability, makes it a popular alternative to a standard chair in many types of environments. Travel chairs can come with carrying bags to aid the user in transporting them.

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Discussion Comments
By julies — On Nov 13, 2011

Every year I go to our state fair, I see people carrying around these portable travel chairs with them. They are different than a chair you would see at a sporting event or a picnic, as these are very portable and lightweight.

They look almost like a walking stick with a small seat on the end of it. They fold up so they are portable and easy to carry around if you aren't sitting on it.

The next time I see one I am going to ask them where they found this kind of travel chair. There have been many times I wish I had something like this so I could sit down for a few minutes.

If you have to stand in a long line to wait for something or are waiting for a performance and all the seats are taken, having something like this would be much better than standing.

You wouldn't use this kind of travel chair to sit in for several hours, but it would be perfect for a few minutes at a time.

Has anybody else seen something like this or know where you can get them?

By SarahSon — On Nov 12, 2011

We don't go anywhere without travel chairs in the back of the van. Between all the kids sporting events, we often use these several times a week.

They are much more comfortable than sitting on hard bleachers. I always make sure to get ones that have a back rest, as it is not very comfortable to sit very long without one.

The nylon fabric holds up pretty well, but after a couple years of being used quite a bit, they need to be replaced as they start to wear out.

I really like the carrying cases they come in, as you can throw one over your shoulder and it leaves your hands free to carry whatever else you need.

By lonelygod — On Nov 11, 2011

@manykitties2 - I have one of those fabric folding chairs with the carrying case and it is really comfortable and easy to take with me on trips. I definitely think they are sturdy. I have the travel chair Lounge Lizard, and I love that it has a holding area for my drinks.

One thing to look for if you are shopping for a travel chair is one made out of a breathable fabric. Nothing is worse than getting sweaty and stuck to your chair on a hot day. The Lounge Lizard travel chairs are made with a mesh fabric which helps keep everything dry. You may want to check them out.

By manykitties2 — On Nov 11, 2011

There is a travel chair company that is currently set up in our mall. They come every summer and sell a huge variety of travel chairs, and recently I have been thinking about getting one. I usually go to the beach and occasionally outdoor concerts, and lugging folding lawn chairs along has been a huge hassle.

Does anyone know if the folding travel chair with footrest is comfortable and sturdy?

The chair itself is made out of a heavy fabric and can be folded to fit in a over the shoulder carrying bag, which would be really handy. I especially like that it is supposed to be waterproof.

By GreenWeaver — On Nov 10, 2011

I live on the beach and to really appreciate the relaxing nature of the beach you really need a good lounge chair. A regular fold out chair doesn’t do it for me because I can’t relax in one of those. It feels very stiff and I can barely move.

I like to recline and take in the ocean breeze and I just don’t get that from sitting in a chair at a 90 degree angle.

I know that these lounge chairs tend to weigh a little bit more, but they are totally worth it when you take them to the beach. I even have a cart that lets me lug my lounge chairs with me so that it makes it easier for me to carry them to the beach.

By subway11 — On Nov 10, 2011

I carry along a couple of outdoor folding chairs that are really lightweight for my kid’s soccer games. The chairs are really sturdy and they even have some that come with a cover to block out the sun.

Those are great, but unfortunately I have plain fold out chairs with no cover or cup holder. It works fine and I can’t complain because I got my chairs as a gift from the dealer for buying my car. These are great camping chairs too.

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