STRONGBACK Zen – Less Is Still More (Comfort)

STRONGBACK Zen in Navy/Black

Coming in at a little over half the price of its bigger brother, the STRONGBACK Zen camp chair offers the same comfort as the Elite, but in a slightly smaller, and noticeably lighter package. Before you ask what makes a folding chair worth $45.95, let me explain what this chair is all about. In addition to a sturdy frame that folds and unfolds easily, as well as tough nylon with durable stitching throughout, the STRONGBACK Zen is designed with integrated lumbar support. If you’ve ever spent time in a cheap chair, only to have to get up and move around due to a sore back, then the Zen is a bargain. Your back will thank you for this chair every time you sit in it, and you’ll get to enjoy relaxing, watching a game, or any other activity that much more. You can’t put a price on your comfort!

Tipping the scales at only 7.7 pounds, the Zen gives up some weight capacity, with a maximum load of 225 pounds, compared to the Elite’s 300. That’s more than enough for your typical outdoor enthusiast. Armrests are not quite as padded, but there’s a drink holder in each one, which we consider a fair tradeoff. Other than those two items, there’s really no compromise. The STRONGBACK Zen packs down a bit smaller, is easier to carry, and your wallet doesn’t take as big of a hit.

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Lime Green and Grey

We’ve got a large fire pit in our backyard, and entertain regularly. Despite the variety of camp chairs to choose from, our guests gravitate towards the STRONGBACK Zen (and Elite). Most of the other chairs are pretty comfortable, but once someone has spent time in one of the STRONGBACK chairs, they don’t want to give it up. The design really makes a difference, as it corrects your posture, resulting in less pressure on the spine. Of course, the height, depth, and width matter too (it’s 33″ wide, 23.5″ deep, 31″ tall, with a seat width of 20″), and we found that the Zen seems to be a good fit for all our friends, who range from just under five feet tall to an even six feet. Under or over that range, you may want to find a friend or neighbor who has one, and take it for a test sit before buying.

Black and Grey

STRONGBACK¬† guarantees their chairs for a full year against defects and breakage. That probably doesn’t get tested too often, as they seem to be very well built. If you order one and decide it’s not for you, they’ll even give you 30 days to return it, although you’ll be out of pocket the return postage. Based on the feedback from our volunteer testers, we feel it’s pretty unlikely that they see too many returns for that reason either. They’re just that comfy. Available in black/grey, navy/black, lime green/grey, and forest green/brown at

– Brian

If you’ve got a STRONGBACK, or have tried one out, we’d love for you to share your comments below.

Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the STRONGBACK Zen for free from STRONGBACK, in consideration for review publication

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Hmm…I need a new camping chair. I have 2 others but they really comfy but are kind of a pain in the rear for portability. I like to keep a good folding chair in my car for when I go mountain biking and want to sit and drink a brew or two.

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