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MEC Basecamp Chair Review

MEC has become a staple of Canadian outdoor gear and rightfully so. They’re products are well-built, well-priced and last a long time.

The Basecamp chair from MEC comes from this exact lineage: well-built and well-priced. It’s a sturdy camp chair that will last a long time. It does have a couple quirks. We tested one at the campsite and around the fire to see how it felt.


  • Sturdy
  • Bag with carry handle


  • Heavier


  • Carry bag with handle
  • Steel frame
  • 600 denier mesh fabric
  • $47.97 CAD
  • 11.5 pounds (5.2 kg)
  • 300 pound (136 kg) capacity
  • Unfolded size: 20 x 21 x 38 inches (52 x 55 x 96 cm)
  • Packed size: 8.4 x 8.4 x 38 inches (21.5 x 21.5 x 96 cm)


Carrying is nice with the Basecamp. It’s a little on the heavy side at 11.5 pounds. Many of the bigger camp chairs are in this weight range though. It’s going to be much heavier than something like the Helinox Chair One Highback but is going to be far more sturdy and comfortable.

The bag for the Basecamp is long with a good sized opening. I tried putting the bag on both directions. No issues. I liked putting the bag on over the top with the feet down so I didn’t have to pick it up but then the feet are facing up towards the opening. The carry strap is off-center on the bag so it hangs further down on one end.


One of the benefits of regular camp chairs is quick setup. Pull it out of the bag and pull it open. The Basecamp is fast to set up like this. It folds open with a quick pull and you’re ready to sit. No building anything.

The cupholder sits folded under the main seat when it’s packed. It rotates out to use. I had to be careful that it didn’t catch on anything when I was setting up and packing but most of the time it was fine and tucked away easily.

The feet are fair sized with a rubbery foot on the end. They sink into sand a little bit but not to much. They’re about 1 inch wide and 2 long with a bit of traction on the bottom. Not as large as the feet on the Strongback Elite but a fair size.


The Basecamp is a comfortable chair to sit in. It’s crazy sturdy. There isn’t a loose part or anything that moves. Even the cupholder is held on with a metal ring.

The bottom is nice and wide and comfortable to sit on. The back is very upright but still well-padded. It’d be nice if the back was a little more reclined. The arms have a bit padding on them but could use a little more and be a little wider.

The cupholder is 3″ wide and 3.5 inches deep, easily holding a drink can. It’s right under the armrest so it doesn’t hold big tumblers well.


The bag that comes with the Basecamp is well sized for the chair. The opening is quite large and it’s easy to stuff the chair in from either end. I like sliding the bag over when it’s standing. A drawstring closes the end quickly. The shoulder strap stays out of the way but is a nice way to carry the chair.

Size and Weight

At 11.5 pounds (5.2 kg), the Basecamp isn’t light but it’s on par with many of the other camp chairs. Weight usually means durability and this one is solid. After it’s unfolded, it’s very solid.

When unfolded, it’s 20 x 21 x 38 inches (52 x 55 x 96 cm). Packed up, it’s 8.4 x 8.4 x 38 inches (21.5 x 21.5 x 96 cm).


I really like the quality and the durable feel of the basecamp. It feels solid folded and unfolded. There are no loose joints or parts that move when they shouldn’t. For chairs that will get hundreds of pounds dropped on them constantly (us humans), it’s nice to have a solid feel.

Who is MEC?

In 1970 four climbers were on a trip down to Mount Baker and were throwing around ideas of creating an outdor store like REI in Canada. In 1971 they started buying gear from REI and other stores in the Us and bringing it back to Vancouver to sell to climbers and outdoor groups. MEC was born.

Even today they focus on the best gear for the best price and carry gear from many different manufacturers including their own. They have over 2000 employees and 5 million members.


The MEC Basecamp chair is a sturdy addition to the campsite. I was very impressed with the stability and sturdy feel to it. The back could be reclined a little more but it’s well padded. The armrests could be a little wider but otherwise are comfortable and the bottom is soft and comfortable.

This exact model may have been discontinued so it might be harder to find in the future.

Verdict: Recommended (if your on a budget) see our rating system

Usual Price: $35.48 USD ($47.97 CAD)


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