Alite Monarch Chairsearch

Alite Monarch Chair

Alite Monarch Chair

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Wow, what a price! Just bought two of these from REI a few weeks ago... $70 a pop. Wish I had known Massdrop would be picking them up!
wooden
Doesn't REI have a good return policy? You could always return them and save yourself $60
Are legs/poles shockcorded (like Helinox chairs) or do you have to assemble it each time (put pole A into slot B)?

Alite website described it as:

"color coded aluminum for easy assembly"
cwmst22
Found my own answer. The poles are shock corded:

https://youtu.be/fv1px73S_qg
I read a comment below that this is better for lounging than sitting in and doing work. Any one else feel the same way about this chair? Would I be better off getting a four leg chair that I can sit in while cooking?
I am tempted...so tempted.... Were it not for the new Helinox Zero chair, I wouldn't hesitate. But now I'm in a conundrum over whether to get this Alite Monarch, or wait for the Helinox Zero chair - albeit it's bound to be quite a bit more expensive but I suspect I will prefer the 4 legs and higher seat height. Anyone have both chairs with some thoughts?
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EmmaL
I accidentally bought a Monarch chair this summer while on a road trip. We thought we were buying the Alite Mayfly but someone had put a Monarch in the Mayfly bag. I ended up really enjoying the Monarch chair and after we all fell backwards out of the chair once have gotten the hang of it LOL. I especially like that i can put my feet up on a log to really relax, or can kind of gently rock in the chair while watching the campfire. (Ultimately we exchanged it because we had paid for the more expensive chair and the elastic on the Monarch was giving out prematurely). But I've been using my new Mayfly in Monarch mode.

After we got back from vacation I purchased a Helinox Zero for my husband (who wanted a four legged chair) but it's so narrow in the butt/hip area. Neither of us liked the chair (I'm a 5'6" woman who weighs about 135 lbs, husband is 5'10 190 lbs) and we're going to return it even though I got it on super sale.
EmmaL
I don't have this Alite chair, but I tested it at REI and I preferred four-legged chairs.

I have since purchased a Moon Lence chair at ~2lb ($32 on Amazon, almost the same as the Helinox Chair One that retails for $100 but is about $70 right now at discount sites). I also purchased a Helinox Chair Zero (1.1lb) when it was on sale (it retails for $120, I paid $90).

I love both of these chairs. I actually use the Moon Lence a lot at home (as a patio chair, or a chair by the door to sit in whilst putting on shoes). It is larger and thus a bit more comfortable than the Chair Zero (a 6' tall 185lb man finds the Moon Lence comfortable). Since it cost less and is more durable, I'm not worried about overuse at home.

I save the Chair Zero for backpacking. I find it to be comfortable and have adequate room in the seat, but I am a 5'3" 110lb woman, so YMMV. It was so nice on my last trip to bring the chair to the lakeside and have a seat while I was treating water. It made that task enjoyable! I will likely try and cut weight elsewhere in my pack (maybe carry 500ml less water, and stop to treat water more often?) in order to take this "luxury item" with me on all my backpack trips.

I'm actually thinking about buying another Moon Lence chair so both my partner and I can sit on the patio at the same time (we have IKEA patio chairs but these are much more comfortable). Also I bought a collapsible table from them, and had an issue, so I contacted their customer service. I wasn't expecting a good experience (there are a gazillion Chinese companies on Amazon hawking similar chairs), but they really took care of me. In fact it would be awesome if Massdrop could partner with them.
Definitely not meant for someone with bad knees!
This chair is actually pretty darn tooting nice. You may think you'd fall all over the place and struggle to keep upright and strain your legs. I've tried it out and sitting in it is so straightforward, your body just knows what to do. Furthermore your body mass is still largely supported by the chair legs, not your own. It really wasn't a core exercise to sit in this thing. small, pretty light. makes for a nice sit! That's about it
Where's the rest of it?
These chairs are awesome for those lounging activities where you absolutely, positively can not fall asleep.
I recommend getting to a store and trying whatever chair you are considering or even better borrowing one from a friend and trying it out on trail for a few days. That being said I find this to be a very comfortable chair and use it regularly. I don't consider using this chair as core exercise even though muscles are engaged as with sitting upright in most chairs. Being able to make small adjustments in angle and easily rock makes this quite comfortable and stretching out your legs is easy to do as well. It's good on uneven ground and slopes where the 4-legged chairs can be wobbly.
The Helinox Ground Chair has some good points such as being comfortable, more stable, and higher off of the ground. I've sat in one but haven't carried one. It's is about twice the price and only about 2 ounces heavier than the Monarch. That's not really significant if you're making the choice to carry an extra pound or so worth of chair on trail in the first place.
Bottom line is try before you buy if possible. If I'm going out for more than 2 days or so I'm inclined to leave the chair at home in favor of something extra tasty to eat or drink.
Contrary opinion: I've seen glowing reviews of this thing, but I think this chair is tremendously dumb. I haven't owned one, but I checked it out in-store at a nearby Alite Outpost. It requires using your legs to balance and stay upright. The last thing I want while I'm trying to eat my dinner after hiking 15 miles with 30 lbs of pack weight is core exercise. I much prefer my Helinox Ground Chair, which is lighter by a few oz and easier to recline in (albeit a bit pricier).

One benefit is the two-legged design is uniquely suited to sitting on uneven ground and slopes. Might be great if you're sitting on an inclined lawn in an amphitheater or a hill. On the trail, I'm not pitching my freestanding tent up or taking an extended break if the ground isn't reasonably flat, but maybe it would work if you're a hammock or a tarp backpacker.

So to review, for serious backpackers there are lighter options out there that are more comfortable and marginally more expensive. More casual user can get away with something cheaper and also more comfortable. On slopes this chair is a great option, but I doubt it's relevant to most potential users. Too many compromises. Pass.
dchu101
Thanks for this, it helped change my mind. I went and visited an REI close that had these chairs. Going to have to agree, I don't want to balance after hiking up a 14er just to relax.
I really wish they had a picture of someone sitting in this thing; I really don't see how you can just throw a 2 leg chair out there and not mention anything about it or show how to use it. so weird
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We shouldn't have to search other places of the web to find a picture showing the item in use when Massdrop is trying to sell it. Yes, Google exists and it's easy to search things, but that is beside the point. With such an uncommon design, there should be an image of the chair in use. No picture of anyone sitting in it is like trying to sell a folding knife with only a picture of it folded.
planb10113
Well, Veruca, this really shouldn't be a problem for someone with as much time to waste as you. Cheers!
How is it in the sand?
iamjamesmcgill
Firm sand will be ok but rocking in the chair or twisting in softer sand would make the legs evenually sink in until the bottom of the chair was on the ground although that would still be prety comfortable. The balls/feet on this chair are big enough to slow down the rate of sinking much more than some of the 4-leg chairs like the Helinox.