Our research into light ways to travel has opened my eyes to new gadgets, technologies and designs that continue to surprise. It’s amazing how creative solutions are being created in the industrial world, it’s almost hard to keep up.
But there is a market for anyone who has an entrepreneurial spirit, and that is lightweight doubles for couples. What I mean is, there is a very limited range of double sleeping bags, mattresses and sleeping bag liners that fit our tight specifications. But that’s crazy. How many couples go backpacking together, share a mountaineering hobby, share a motorcycle for travel?
We’ve room enough in the tent to create a living room area. I think I mentioned how the ‘garage’ would have room for a sofa. Now, I know you can get inflatable chairs for two, but they aren’t small or light when packed. A light, small packing two-seater chair is one of those products that there’s a market for but is extraordinarily hard to find.
Something I like about the US is that it caters for those who like to travel light. Bushcraft isn’t an anomaly in the population and there is some understanding that guys don’t always go alone. Can’t say that the gear is cheap – it isn’t, and a lot of it isn’t available on the other side of the Atlantic. The concept of lightweight doubles for couples, however, is something that doesn’t exist in my head alone.
So we do get to snuggle up. But not on the sofa.
However, we did find chairs which I have to claim are comfier than the sofa we do have. Mind you it’s an old sofa and has a very long history to it, it’s had to survive many a teenager sleepover and party too.
The search for comfy seating begins.
Lightweight, small enough packable dimensions to fit on the bike, sturdy enough to cope with the midriffs and not so low to the ground that we need a crane to get back up again (we are getting older). Oh, and it would be nice to have a drink holder, backrest and ground support so that legs don’t disappear into the quagmire of mud we’re inevitably going to meet.
Weight, size and comfort are always a compromise combination. So although not as light or as small as I’d hoped at the start, the chairs fit into this bag and are well within our limit.
It’s not as big as it looks in the photo – the propagator in the background has created an illusion. However, it is big enough to hold the chair with lots of room that makes it easy to fold it back in again.
So far so good.
It’s easy to assemble. The metal supports are based on the tent pole system and they almost pop themselves into place as you take them out of the sack. Then the ‘canvas’ slides onto the poles to produce this:
The first thing I miss is armrests, and lower myself carefully into the seat, not really believing it’s as good as the reviews and half expect it to topple back.
It got the toppling back test, I leaned back, I rocked her, but heck it’s a sturdy chair and complete with backrest, this isn’t going to topple over.
What else did we want? Oh yes, drinks holder. It doesn’t have one, but yup they’ve thought of it and you can purchase one separately and it clicks into place.
Full bottle? I’m thinking that half the drink is going to be fed to the worms. But look – there’s no-one sitting in the chair. Once someone’s sitting it, the tension makes it more upright and it works!
The full glass test. Happy to report, none spilled.
And – it’s an optional extra – there’s a fitted ground sheet to stop those legs going into the ground.
However, there was something I didn’t think of. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pillow rest every now and then?
Remember that bag? Stuff it with your favourite jumper or a compressible pillow (I found one!!), and it attaches to make a pillow rest. Unstuffed pillow in the following picture, just to give you an idea.
All good, but it’s minus the snuggle factor. Oh well, guess we’ll have to settle for footsie under the table.
What? We’re bringing a table you ask?
Verd’s bike, which is a bigger beast than mine has ‘squarer’ panniers that become functional as seats or mini tables. However, take a look at this clever idea.
Someone came up with the idea of creating a metal insert to go between the two panniers to create a larger and sturdier table. It slides neatly and unobtrusively into a pannier. Cool, huh?
I’m amazed by how brilliant some designers out there are. But where, oh, where is the snuggle sofa?
Oh, wait, what’s this?
There’s footage of three people sitting on one. Seems like a possible snuggle sofa solution to me. Verd, whose find-the-impossible skills are quite astounding found a different brand for a quarter of the price. Can’t wait to try it out!