On paper, the Trail Outdoor Leisure Kestrel Deluxe high back camping chair offers an impressive number of features for a low price. It has a higher back than the rest of the brand's chair range, making it that much comfier and more supportive to sit in – especially if you're tall. The brand has also added mesh sections in the seat, with the aim of helping aid breathability. So how does it perform in practice? Can it really compete with the best camping chairs? I put one to the test to find out. Read on for my full Trail Outdoor Leisure Kestrel Deluxe high back camping chair review.
Kestrel Deluxe camping chair review: design and features
Kestrel Deluxe specs
Max load: approx 120kg / 19 stone
Seat height: 45cm
Back height (from seat): approx 59cm
Folded dimensions: 92 x 15 x 15cm
The Trail Outdoor Leisure Kestrel Deluxe looks similar to your standard camping chair, with a few slight tweaks. The powder-coated tubular steel frame is designed to support a maximum weight of 120kg. The seat section is lightly padded and has a higher back section, which makes this that bit comfier than your average camping chair. Trail Outdoor Leisure has also added breathable mesh sections at seemingly quite random locations, to aid breathability on clammy days. Finally, there's a padded cup holder. It also collapses down – although not that small – and comes with a very basic drawstring bag with handle for easier toting about.
Kestrel Deluxe camping chair review: comfort and usability
In terms of comfort, the Trail Outdoor Leisure Kestrel Deluxe high back camping chair punches above its wallet-friendly price tag. The back section sits above the top of my back (I'm 5ft 8), the seat section is a fairly generous width and the padding adds cushioning. There's a mesh section along the front of the seat that means you don't have that hard canvas edge that can dig in under your knees.
The positioning of the other mesh sections is slightly more confusing. Trail Outdoor Leisure says they're "specially designed to prevent your neck, back, and buttocks getting clammy when you’re seated", but most seem to be in places where your body doesn't touch. There are two on the edges either side of your thighs and another two either side of your waist, none of which could hope to have an impact on my, er, back or buttock sweat. But they're not doing any harm.
When set up, the seat is 104cm tall, with the seat at 45cm off the ground, giving you around 59cm of back support. It's the right height for me to just have my feet flat on the ground when seated – if you're much shorter than 5ft 8, they might be dangling a bit. The back section is pretty upright but you do sit back into the seat, giving a slightly more relaxed seated position. As with many camping chairs, you'll probably need the hand rests to get up easily.
A cup holder, designed to fit a can or standard 500ml bottle, is a welcome addition – and it's padded for insulation, too.
In terms of portability, this chair is exactly as I'd expect – i.e. quite bulky and not that light, but comfortable enough to carry a short distance to the beach, or down the garden.
Kestrel Deluxe camping chair review: verdict and alternatives
For the low price, the Trail Outdoor Leisure Kestrel Deluxe high back camping chair is a great buy. It's comfier than many similar-looking chairs on the market, thanks to that higher back, extra padding, and (some of the) mesh sections built into seat. In terms of extras, I was pleased to see the cupholder (surely an essential for any camping chair) and a carry bag included – although the latter is really very basic, and the drawstring toggle on my review model has broken already.
The quality of the chair itself is very good for the price, but the 'Deluxe' of the title should be taken with a pinch of salt. There aren't the bells and whistles you'll find with pricier camping chairs, and I suspect it will have a shorter lifespan, too, although I'd fully expect for it to last for several summers.
If portability is your priority, you could look at something like the Trekology YIZI Go. For the ultimate in comfort at a blow-the-budget price, check out the Nemo Stargaze Luxury recliner. But I suspect you're here because you want a cheap but effective foldable chair for car camping trips, and for that, the Trail Outdoor Leisure Kestrel Deluxe high back camping chair is a great pick.