The Vango Radiate range takes some of the brand's bestselling chairs and adds a heated section, to let you sit comfortably outside for longer. They're aimed at cold-hating glampers and caravanners, but in these times of outdoor socialising when the weather is perhaps not quite ready for it, you might well find yourself using them in your local park or a friend's garden.
There are a few variations within the range: the Radiate Embrace (a soft, bucket style seat aimed more at campers) and three chunkier seats – the Radiate DLX (which we're focusing on here), Grande DLX (larger), and the Radiate Tall (similar but no head rest). The features are similar across the range. We put one to the test to see if this range is worthy of inclusion in our best camping chair guide. Read on for our full Vango Radiate DLX camping chair review.
- Browse the Radiate chair range at Vango
Vango Radiate DLX camping chair review: design and comfort
The Vango Radiate DLX's robust steel frame has an attractively texturised finish, and will support campers of up to 140kg/22st. The large padded seat and backrest are clad in something called 'Radiate Heather' fabric, which feels high-quality and durable. A pillow can be slid up or down the length of the back rest, for use as a headrest or even lumbar support, if you like (although you probably don't want to block the heated section). You can also lift the armrests to adjust the angle of the back rest – the seven settings range from orthopaedically upright to practically horizontal, for the chillest of campers.
We have no complaints about the comfort of the Vango Radiate DLX. It's study, very supportive, and can be adjusted to suit different situations and sizes of sitter. The plastic armrests don't look quite as premium as the rest of the seat but do their job well. The only other other minor complaint on the design side of things is that there there are no pockets or cup holders built in to the seat.
Weighting in at 140kg, this is by no means a lightweight or compact option. However, it does fold down very flat, which means it's relatively easy to store or pack for its size. Folding and putting up the seat is as simple as folding the frame out, although it does take a second to figure out what is supposed to be going where (or perhaps that's just us).
Vango Radiate DLX camping chair review: heating
The heat for the Vango Radiate is accessed via a power pack that's stashed in a handy pocket on the edge of the seat. It's compatible with a range of USB power banks, but Vango recommends ones with an output of 5V/2.1A. Note, no power source is included with the chair; you'll need to buy one separately if you don't have one kicking around already.
The controls are one-button-simple, but Vango has opted for a wildly unintuitive colour coding system to indicate the heat setting. Press the button once and it'll glow red. This is the hottest setting. Press again to turn it down to purple (second hottest, of course), green (third hottest) and blue (coolest). Once you've got this down it's not too tough to remember, though.
The heat comes via a flexible Graphene heating element that's positioned in the base of the chair, so around your lower back. Although you're only getting heat in that part of your body, it heats up quickly and does a good job of warming you up in general.
Vango Radiate DLX camping chair review: specs
- Weight: 5.86kg
- Max load: 140kg
- Folded size: L112.0 x H12.0 x W65.0cm
- Chair size: H116 x D65 x W65cm
- Seat height: 46cm
- Seat width: 47.5cm
Vango Radiate DLX camping chair review: verdict
For a touch of luxury, or if you just feel the cold more than most, the Vango Radiate range could be the answer to all your woes. Ignore the heating element and you've still got a sturdy, high quality and supremely comfortable chair – the chance to use it to keep you toasty on chilly evenings is an added extra that few will complain about. Folded down, it's such more manageable than most chairs of this size too. For campers short on space or looking for something less heavy, we'd recommend checking out the Vango Radiate Embrace as an alternative.