Ever desperately need to sit, but couldn't find a proper seat anywhere? Maybe every seat in the room was occupied or you were outside and there wasn't a seat, stump or large rock – nothing. Whatever the situation, you were left standing there sore-legged and achy-backed. Never again, with the new Sitpack Zen. This ultra-portable, carbon-and-aluminum stool carries in a backpack or on your shoulder and ensures you always have a place to take the load right off.
Even if you can't personally relate to the lack-of-seat dilemma above, it seems to be an issue for plenty of others, an issue that has inspired companies and designers to come up with all kinds of solutions. For travellers, there's the WalkinBag. For outdoorsy sitters/poopers, there's Bog in a Bag. For those that have no idea what they're going to encounter, there's the Stooler. And that's just the tip of the iceberg in a segment that includes ultralight folding chairs, stool backpacks, inflatable butt cushions, walking pole seats, and all forms of other portable sitting contraptions.
Back in 2014, Denmark-based Sitpack entered the portable seat scene with a product of the same name. The original Sitpack caught the support of more than 7,000 crowd-funding backers and started a bit of a sitting revolution. The company puts shipment numbers at 60,000 across 76 countries in under two years.
Despite always having a seat available, the folks at Sitpack don't seem the types to sit back and rest on their laurels. They have been hard at work collecting feedback and designing an even lighter, sleeker collapsible seat. They call it the Zen.
We're not sure how comfortable it is, but the Zen is definitely a slick little gizmo. The self-contained package hangs a small, 8.7 x 1.7-in (22 x 4.5-cm) cylinder from an integrated carry strap. Deploying it takes seconds and is a matter of opening the side wings into a Y, which in turn tightens the two sides of the Kevlar strap, turning the nylon shoulder pad into a seat cushion. The cylinder below the wings is a 38-in (97-cm) telescoping leg that can be adjusted to your preferred height. It's a very simple, quick process that all but takes care of itself.
Once the Zen is set up, you simply lean up against it with your backside on the cushion between the wings. It's not a freestanding chair that will take all of your weight, but it's certain to be more comfortable than looking around angrily for a chair that isn't there.
Sitpack has developed two different Zen models. They're both the same size, but the flagship X-II pairs aluminum wings with carbon fiber leg tubes for a weight of just 12.6 oz (360 g). The X-I uses all-aluminum construction and weighs in at an even pound (460 g). Each can support roughly 330 lb (150 kg).
Sitpack is running a Kickstarter now, offering the X-1 at the US$59 pledge level and the X-II at the $99 pledge level – sizeable discounts off the respective $100 and $179 estimated retails. It's already shot way past its $30K goal by pulling in over $270K, so as long as everything else lines up as planned, deliveries will begin in June.
For those that need a portable seat yesterday or want to slide a Sitpack under the Christmas tree, the latest version of the original Sitpack is available for $55. This 1.3-lb (600-g) model features a simpler T-leg design.
Watch the Sitpack Zen Kickstarter video below.
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