A folding chair is an essential accessory for your caravan holidays – how does the Outwell Spring Hills camping chair fare in the Practical Caravan review?
Outwell's Spring Hills camping chair is the best lightweight seat for your caravan holidays, we discover in our mega test of 2014 chairs. At first glance it looks like many others we tested, so why do our expert judges rate it so highly?
First of all, it's sturdy and strong, capable of supporting somebody up to approximately 20 stone 6 pounds in weight (130kg or 286.6 pounds). This is reassuring, even if you're nowhere near that weight, because you know it's not likely to collapse if you sit down a bit heavily or if your child or dog leaps onto your lap unexpectedly! Some other chairs will only take up to 15.5 stone.
Part of the strength in this lightweight camping chair undoubtedly comes from the powder coated steel and alloyed metal frame, and its use of the popular scissor-style folding construction. The Spring Hills has a good trick up its sleeve here, since it has support bars around the seat base. This construction means that it has the strength of a director's chair and makes you feel more secure when you're sitting in the seat.
It's also very quick to put up and pack away, even if you've never done it before.
The Spring Hills chair comes in three choices of colours, Pepper Black, Blue or Green, all of which are practical designs that won't show the dirt. The seat fabric is Polyester, so it's easy to wipe clean in case of food and drink spills and pretty quick drying when it's been left outside in a rain shower.
When it comes to comfort levels, the good news is that the ample seat and back is ergonomically designed. The Outwell Spring Hills chair is very comfy. The seat's size is 65 cm wide x 70 cm deep x 97 cm high (approximately 25.5 inches x 27.5 inches x 3 foot 2 inches).
Unlike a few other chairs tested, this seat does not chafe at your legs when you're sitting in it. Such things do depend on each user's height, of course, so it's best to try it out for size before you buy. The seat is 42 cm (16.5 inches) off the ground and this height plus the strong chair arms mean that it's easy for most people to get in and out of this chair.
This smart camping chair has good wide feet, so it's unlikely to sink into the grass beneath you. Whether you're lounging it or sitting upright reading or eating at a table, the Spring Hills camping chair is comfortable for most people.
If you're off on a picnic, or just want to stow the chair in your caravan locker, it's handy that the Spring Hills chair comes in a carry bag to keep it neat and in good condition. Another folding chair to receive a five-star rating in this Practical Caravan group test was the Gelert Milldale Executive Chair, while the Gelert Caldera Moon Chair got two stars, the Coleman Sling Chair and the Easy Camp Director's Chair both got four stars, and the Kampa Tub Chair and the Alite Mayfly scored three out of five.
Outwell is a well respected brand in the world of outdoor accessories and the firm also has a good range of other camping chairs, tents, awnings, lightweight Melamine crockery, cutlery, camping stoves and more.
|Load capacity||Up to 130 kg (20 stone 6 pounds)|
|Chair's weight||4.3 kg (9lb 5oz)|
|Seat height||42cm (16.5")|
|Chair height||97cm (3'2")|
|Chair width||65cm (25.5")|
|Chair depth||70cm (3'2")|
|Packed chair size||20x20cm x 95cm (7.8" x 7.8" x 3'1")|
|Frame and legs||Powder coated steel and alloyed metals|
|Colours available||Pepper Black, Green, Blue|
|Price||£36.99 (July 2014)|
The Outwell Spring Hills camping chair is our judge's choice for the best product in our mega folding chairs test. We give this winning seat a five-star rating.
- It's strong and sturdy and will support someone up to 20 stone 6 pounds in weight
- It is comfy for both lounging and sitting up eating
- It's one of the easiest chairs from which to stand up
- At £36.99 it's not the cheapest chair tested
- It weighs 4.3kg (9lb 5oz) – that's not much, but check your payload