Lizzie PopeSee other accessory reviews written by Lizzie Pope
Practical Caravan reviews the Alite Mayfly, a comfortable, stylish, lightweight, folding camping chair that is sure to brighten any pitch
Camping chairs are essential pieces of equipment for your caravan holidays – and as a piece of engineering, this distinctive chair is stunning. The Alite Mayfly really is a great looking chair and, weighing less than 1kg, it is extremely light, too. But is this enough for it to prevail in Practical Caravan's folding camping chair group test?
In order to decide what the best camping chairs on sale today are, the Practical Caravan test team established a set of criteria to use when reviewing the products in our group test of folding camping chairs. Let's start with the chair's size when folded. This was a priority because even if your caravan has loads of storage, if you're carrying enough seats for a family four, very soon four chairs could consume a lot of room.
We also took into account the question of portability – how much effort does it take to carry the chairs about? Whether you want to strap the chair to your back and go for a hike, or you simply need to take it from your pitch to your neighbour's, this is an important consideration.
One of the most critical factors when testing these chairs was weight, both the chair's weight and also the weight of the heaviest person it can support, for which our benchmark was 100kg (approximately 15.5 stone) – some chairs are less robust than others, so remember to check prior to purchase.
Value for money was a further consideration, as was ease of use. Then comes what is, for many, perhaps the most important consideration – how comfortable is the chair? A simple question, but one that's quite complex to answer. Is the folding chair in question to serve as a seat for al fresco dining or as a lounger? How far off the ground do we want to be? And how easy or difficult are these chairs to get into and out of? All this and more the Practical Caravan review team were mindful of when testing a range of folding camping chairs.
It is hard to get away from the fact that this Alite Mayfly is an expensive chair – at £60 it is considerably more pricey than other camping chairs in this test. But then it is an awfully elegant piece of engineering and, at under 1kg, it is incredibly light. And its lightness doesn't mean it is flimsy – in fact, its weight limit is 113.4kg, which makes it particularly sturdy.
The Alite Mayfly is also available in four fetching colours, comes in a sack little bigger than a pencil case and takes no time to assemble. We think that the Mayfly should prove to be comfortable for most adults to sit and enjoy time in. However, it puts you a mere 5cm from the ground and you have to be fairly flexible to get into or out of it. For some, though its fantastic portability will be a winning factor – it's probably a case of each to their own.
So, how did the other products reviewed in the Practical Caravan lightweight folding camping chair test perform? Which is the best camping chair for your caravan holidays? The Easy Camp Director's Chair scored four out of five, as did the Coleman Sling Chair. Receiving a three-star rating was the Kampa Tub Chair, while it was just two out of five for the Gelert Caldera Moon Chair. In contrast, the Gelert Milldale Executive Chair achieved an impressive five out of five, while the winner of the Practical Caravan camping chair group test was the Outwell Spring Hills camping chair.
|Maximum weight capacity||113.4kg|
|Packed size||29.2cm x 10.8cm x 10.8cm|
|Open size||51.4cm x 20.5cm x 38.1cm|
The Practical Caravan Alite Mayfly review revealed this to be a very light, stylish and comfortable camping chair. However, you sit very near the ground in it, so some might find getting in and out of it rather tricky, and its £60 price tag cannot be overlooked.
- It weighs less than 1kg and comes with a handy bag
- Quick to assemble
- Great looking
- It costs £60
- You sit very low