A Portable Travel Chair to Help Those with Mobility Issues Stay Active
This is What I was Looking For
My criteria for the perfect chair was...
- It was lightweight.
- It was easy to carry.
- It needed to be sturdy but shouldn't look like I was getting ready to set out my fishing gear.
The Slacker Chair by Travelchair fit that criteria. It was portable and weighed less than a pound. It didn't take much to set up, but was a similar height to non-portable chairs, so I wouldn't feel like I was sitting in a kindergarten classroom.
I Needed a Travel Chair Because of My Disability
Do you have problems walking or have a physical disability that makes it difficult for you to stand for long periods of time? You have mobility issues and you know a trip to the grocery store is difficult let alone attending a wedding. You aren't comfortable going anywhere because you're not sure there will be seating and you are afraid you won't be able to walk as far as you need to. Does that sound like you? If so, then you are just like me. You can't just go anywhere. Every outing must be thought through and planned out. There is nothing spontaneous about it.
My problem is I have arthritis in my feet. This means every time I plan to go anywhere I have to think about how much standing is involved, how far I have to walk, and where the closest seats will be.
You can imagine how much thought went into my planning for my niece's wedding. There's so much standing and visiting and posing for pictures. It could give a healthy person sore feet. For me, it could be temporarily crippling.
My Choice: The Slacker Travelchair
This travel chair is the right height and completely portable. It is compact when folded. The strap adjust for easily carrying. It's affordable, too!
I'd Never Be Able to Walk Around Palmdale Estates
Here's my problem. Oh, I have many, but I'll only tell you about this one. Walking is difficult for me, but standing in place is even worse. I got nervous just thinking about going to a wedding. And, this wedding would take place on a beautiful, sprawling estate meaning there would me too much walking and standing. The ceremony would be held outdoors in an area that sloped downward into a gorgeous tree lined grove. This is where the family pictures would be taken, too.
The reception would be on the other side of beautiful historic house in a grassy garden. Then, afterwards cake and dancing would be inside.
After viewing the website, I realized that a wheelchair would not work. There were too many unpaved, dirt surfaces and hilly areas. It would be a pain to get around the house which had narrow hallways and steps leading into areas.
I decided that what I really needed was a travel chair as long as I could find one that was portable within my price range. Sure, I'd feel a bit silly carrying my own chair to a wedding. But, it would be worth the teasing if I could walk the next day.
Travel Chairs Come in a Variety of Shapes and Sizes
I thought it would be easy to pick the right chair. I wasn't prepared for all the different types and price ranges that are on the market.
Some are large and sturdy. They are meant for sitting on the lake shore while you wait for a fish to find your fishing line. They have backs and arm rests. While they are very comfortable, they are heavy as all get up. I'd have to drag that type of chair around like Igor, which would look really cute at a wedding, I might add.
Other types are multifunctional. They are designed to help you walk as well as provide you with a seat. These have handles at the top so you can you use them like a cane when folded up. The cane chairs are pretty expensive, but they do allow for a person who uses a cane to only have to hold one item. That can be pretty useful.
Others are smaller and they have one function: To provide you something to sit on. That's really all I needed!
Do you have mobility issues?
How did the Slacker Chair Hold Up?
It worked splendidly! I ended up using it three different times. Before the wedding, we were watching the photographer take the "fight sight" photographs between the bride and groom. Instead of sitting off in a corner, I was able to sit where it was taking place, make use of my camera, and ooh and aah with everybody else. I wasn't in the way and I was comfortable.
After the ceremony was the part I was most worried about: waiting to pose for family portraits. The photographer set up on the hilly part of grove. We had to stand off to the side on a small hillside as we waited our turn. I sat in my chair and waited until we were called. I didn't roll down the hill which is a plus!
The final time was one that hadn't crossed my mind. The ceremonial dances were out in the moonlight on the patio. Everyone crowded around the edge of the patio as the bride and groom took the floor. It was followed by the father/daughter dance and the mother/son dance. I didn't want to sit at our dinner table looking at everyone's backs and miss the fun. So, I grabbed my chair and sat right in the front row. I was low enough that I didn't block anyone's view.
Photo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
To Sit or Not to Sit
Do you think a portable travel chair would be useful?
My Final Assessment is a Thumbs Up
The Slacker performed really well in the situations that I needed it for. I have no complaints where it's functionality is concerned. What I wasn't satisfied with is its portability. The information from the manufacturer claimed it folded up to the size of a newspaper. I thought "Perfect! It will fit in my bag." I expected the legs to telescope and the whole chair to fold roughly in half. I was wrong. They were talking about the width not length. Folded up, it is 32 inches long. That's over half my height. (Yeah, I am really short.) The adjustable strap did make it easy to sling over my shoulder. It probably wouldn't be an issue for an average height person. However, I was worried about being tripped as it slapped just below my hip as I was walking. That would have been cute.
Beyond the misinterpretation on the size once collapsed, I'm quite pleased with my purchase. It is the right size and the right height for my needs. It is well constructed. The only thing I would change is to make it fold up smaller. I bet it could be done with telescoping legs. This would make the chair truly portable. It would be perfect for people like me who need a chair when out at events but don't necessarily want to be obvious about it.
© 2014 Melody Lassalle