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A Portable Travel Chair to Help Those with Mobility Issues Stay Active

Updated on January 16, 2016
The Slacker Chair shown next to kitchen chairs
The Slacker Chair shown next to kitchen chairs | Source

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

TravelChair Slacker Chair, Black
TravelChair Slacker Chair, Black

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.

Only a fraction of the grounds at the wedding venue
Only a fraction of the grounds at the wedding venue | Source

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?

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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 Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The open slacker chair is the same height as our dining room chairs.The seat is in a triangular shape which fits the 3 legged style.The slacker chair folds up quite easily into a thin shape.It is 32 inches from end to end when foldedA velcro strap around seat keeps the chair legs secure for carrying.
The open slacker chair is the same height as our dining room chairs.
The open slacker chair is the same height as our dining room chairs. | Source
The seat is in a triangular shape which fits the 3 legged style.
The seat is in a triangular shape which fits the 3 legged style. | Source
The slacker chair folds up quite easily into a thin shape.
The slacker chair folds up quite easily into a thin shape. | Source
It is 32 inches from end to end when folded
It is 32 inches from end to end when folded | Source
A velcro strap around seat keeps the chair legs secure for carrying.
A velcro strap around seat keeps the chair legs secure for carrying. | Source

To Sit or Not to Sit

Do you think a portable travel chair would be useful?

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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

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    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      This is a must have, useful invention!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Suzanne, thank you for your comment! A chair like this could be handy in many situations. Though, I was disappointed that it didn't fold up smaller. If it really was the length of a newspaper, it was be much more convenient and handy.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Sounds like a great portable chair to have if you encounter mobility problems! I think it would also come in handy at the beach too. As someone said, keeping it in the car for emergencies is ideal, though disappointed to hear it wasn't the size of a newspaper. Voted useful!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Susanna, I understand what you are going through. I am impressed that you get in 4 miles a day. Having a seat handy would certainly make it easy for rest stops.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 2 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Now this looks just what I need. Only this year I developed arthritis in my feet but I hate to give up my walking (4 miles at least each day) and I could continue if only I could rest every 10 minutes or so. On a seat. Not on the ground :)

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Antonio, We used to think of these types of chairs only for fishing and camping trips and at the weekend soccer game. But, if you have a disability that affects your standing or walking, it can be a necessity.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Portable chairs have definitely become very popular and more importantly they are practical and useful. It's great to see how this particular model, that you have showcased here, worked perfectly for you!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 3 years ago from California

      Marlene, you know what I'm talking about then! You can't go anywhere without knowing how far it is to walk, where there are seats, and if you can get back to the car afterward. I really found the chair to be helpful. It really doesn't weigh anything so I didn't feel burdened with it.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Oh, I feel your pain. I have arthritis in both of my feet, so like you, before I go anywhere I think about how much walking and standing is involved. There were times I would make it to my destination only to wish I had not walked so far because the return walk was excruciating. I need to get a portable chair. I'm the same height as you so I'll probably have the same issues with the fitting over the shoulders. Still, I'm going to look into getting one. Thank you for such a thorough review. I can see myself sitting in a portable chair sometime in the near future.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 3 years ago from Kansas

      Looks like a pretty handy size.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      I don't but I have seen others use this. Very nice for people that need to set and rest.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 3 years ago from California

      It comes in handy, doesn't it? I felt a bit foolish taking mine to a wedding, but I was glad I had it with me as I was able to save my feet considerable pain.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      I have one of these and they are very convenient, and just as you describe. I have mine in the car ready for any eventuality.

    • profile image

      mumsgather 3 years ago

      We like to go for picnics. So I think a portable chair would be useful for us instead if sitting on old newspapers.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 3 years ago from California

      Goatfury, Thanks! Yes, this was a migrated hub. It fell into WIP just before the transfer. I had to clean it up a bit before it was presentable.

    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Looks good! Did this Hub migrate over from Squidoo? If so, it looks like you did an awesome job making the migration work.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 3 years ago from California

      LindaJM, I found this one to be lightweight, so it was really burdensome to drag around. I'm not a very big person and stuff like this is usually hard for me to carry. I can see where a portable chair would come in handy with your bike rides. I am sure it's even more difficult some days to find an open bench.

    • LindaJM profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      This looks very convenient! I need a chair to carry with me on the back of my bicycle. The reason why, is that I occasionally need to rest, and almost every bench I pass is in the sunshine. When I'm tired from cycling, I want to rest in the shade... so having my own chair would help.