Walkstool Comfort 65
When you’re out away from your vehicle it is hard to strap a regular camping chair onto your rucksack and sitting on ammo crates, stumps or the ground can only provide so much comfort. I happened to check out the Walkstool line of folding stools at Mountain Equipment Coop when I was looking for a sleeping pad. The first thing I noticed when I picked it up was how light and compact it was. When I sat on it the deal was done.
-Light and compact
-Can hold up to 250kg/550lbs
-Can be used in both legs extended and retracted setups
-Comfortable seating area
-Various heights in the models to choose from to get the best setup for you
-Price may be high for some
-With the taller models leaning to far forward on a leg can cause it to bend
During my time camping and in the army I have bought multiple models of folding stools. They were often cheaply made and not worth the materials they were built out of. They would collapse or fall apart if a person over 200lbs sat on them. The Walkstool boasts an almost insane load bearing capacity of 550lbs. I can toss on all of my kit and sit on this stool and I am still under its weight limits. That’s with a fully loaded rucksack and full battle rattle.
To be fair I had the Walkstool Basic and one of the plastic rivets that held the seat fabric on broke. This is a somewhat freak accident. All of the Basics are made in China while the Comforts are produced in Sweden. I attributed this to a bubble in the plastic when it was formed causing it to be weakened. Not really the fault of the manufacturer as they couldn’t see it. I did end up replacing the Basic with a Comfort and haven’t looked back. The three biggest things I like about the Comfort model are the seat size is now 3 inches bigger, the stool sits 6 inches higher and the seat area is made of mesh.
The Walkstool Comfort is a great seat because of its versatility and weight. It weighs in at a scant 850g/30oz which is worth the tiny bit of extra weight to carry. It comes in its own carrying case but typically I strap it to the side of my rucksack or pack that I am using for the day. Or if you don’t want to use those straps Granite Tactical Gear makes a slick little storage pouch http://www.granitegearstore.com/WALKSTOOL-POUCH-P192C34.aspx . That pouch allows you to have a dedicated pouch on your pack using Molle to attach it. Looking now at the pouch it may only work for those with the shorter models of the Walkstool so its best to call and ask. When collapsed and strapped closed the stool is only 18 inches in height.
The Walkstool consists of few moving parts to operate it. When you are storing it there is a single strap with a metal button that keeps the seat section from unfolding. Despite the many many times I have opened this button it still holds the same which is nice. The next part of the stool consists of unfolding the seating area of the stool which is just pulling the corners outward. Now you can extended the legs if you want to sit higher up or leave them collapsed to be closer to the ground. To extend the legs you just pull the leg out and a red tab will snap into a hole. In the picture below you can see the hole that the red button will protrude through when the leg is extended. You can also see the rubber feet which help the stool from sliding on hard surfaces and from sinking into the ground.
In order to close the legs the small red button needs to be pressed in to collapse the leg. If your pulling the leg out to fast it can sometimes skip the hole and come out of the tube. Just press the red tab ob each side to push it back in. If you ever have to replace the legs of the Walkstool you just press the red button in and pull past the hole. Some people have managed to fold the legs by leaning on uneven ground. So its important to make sure your roughly putting the same amount of pressure on each leg when sitting. I haven’t witnessed this yet but I have read accounts of it happening. Replacement parts are fairly easy to get.
When I am operating my Jet Boil or using other cooking stoves I prefer to leave the legs collapsed. This allows me to lean in and prepare my food or whatever it is I may be picking up and putting back on the ground. This also prevents me from snapping a leg by leaning in and putting too much pressure on it. The low setting allows you to keep a low profile in your biv area while still affording you some comfort.
When extended the stool is 26 inches in height allowing for a very comfortable sitting position. This allows me to sit in the stool with my upper section of my legs being pretty much parallel to the ground. The higher mode is good when you want some comfort and don’t need to do too many things near the ground. I typically use this setting near tables or fishing etc.
I won’t review the case that the Walkstool comes in because I don’t use it. It looks nice and seems to have the same attention to detail and quality as the rest of the stool.
The Walkstool Comfort 65 may seem like it’s a bit expensive at $99 but the extra comfort it affords and the sturdiness of it makes it worth its weight in platinum. The Comfort is light, strong, and comfortable and packs away easily. The two height settings allow you to tailor it for the job at hand. The large mesh seating area doesn’t have any pressure points on your legs and allows airflow to keep you from sweating. If you haven’t checked these out already check your local outdoor/camping store for these and give them a test run.