Alite Designs Monarch Chair review

Multi-day backpacking excursions generally require you to sacrifice comfort in return for a lighter pack. One of the first things to stay at home is the camp chair. But with the Alite Designs Monarch Chair, you don’t have to rely on fallen logs to sit around the campfire. The Monarch is super light and packs down to nothing, which makes it ideal for throwing in your pack without losing much room. I’ve been testing the Monarch Chair all summer, from river trips down Cataract Canyon, to backpacking in the Uinta Mountains on Kings Peak. So is the Monarch Chair worth the added weight on your back? First the details.

The Alite Designs Monarch Chair review on the shores of the Colorado River in Cataract Canyon.

The Alite Designs Monarch Chair review on the shores of the Colorado River in Cataract Canyon. (Photo: Jared Hargrave – UtahOutside.com)

The Alite Designs Monarch Chair features:

  • Weighs only 1 lb. 1. 6 oz.
  • Stows in 4.5 x 12 in. stuff sack.
  • Quick aluminum hub and pole system setup.
  • 2 rubber feet for balance and rocking.
  • Lightweight nylon fabric with breathable mesh panels.
  • I loved having the Monarch Chair along on river trips. The chair folds up so small that it takes up practically zero room in my dry bag. At camp, it was awesome to be able to sit on the beach and watch the sun go down over the red rock cliffs.

    The Monarch Chair is supported by these two rubber legs. Your own legs provide the rest of the support. (photo: Jared Hargrave - UtahOutside.com)

    The Monarch Chair is supported by these two rubber legs. You own legs provide the rest of the support. (photo: Jared Hargrave – UtahOutside.com)

    Of course backpacking trips is where the Monarch shines. Ultra-packable, and comfortable, the Monarch made my camp-mates jealous on a recent Kings Peak trip. The legs set up very easy (much like tent poles) and are color-coded so you know which section goes where on the fabric. While everyone was sitting on logs complaining about their sore back, I was resting easy in my Monarch with full back support. Some people’s first reactions when they see the chair is that it can’t possibly be comfortable with only two legs. But once you try it, it’s immediately clear that there is no issue and your own two legs provide all the support needed. The chair also lets you rock back and forth, which can’t be done with typical camp chairs. In addition to the chair’s outdoor uses, I’ve found it’s also great to take along on urban, outdoor events. The Monarch has been perfect for concerts and mountain bike movies on the grass at Red Butte Gardens.

    Chilling by the river in the Alite Designs Monarch Chair. (Photo: Andrew Wittenberg)

    Chilling by the river in the Alite Designs Monarch Chair. (Photo: Andrew Wittenberg)

    The only downside with the Alite Designs Monarch Chair is that every time I would get up and leave, I would return to find somebody sitting in it!

    The Good: Super light, packable, comfortable.

    The Bad: If you get up and walk away, someone WILL sit in it and you’ll have to fight to get your spot back.

    Final Word: Unless you’re a super weight weenie, the Alite Designs Monarch Chair will change the way you pack on multi-night trips. You’ll never want to sit on a log again.