Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Product Review: Blacks Eurohike Compact Chair

Product: Eurohike Compact Chair
Manufacturer / Distributor: Blacks
Technical Details: Product code 096193 Steel Frame, Polyester fabric in black, folds to a compact size, (they say) easy to carry to the camp site, beach or to an outdoor event. (I say) it's a bit heavy for carrying long distances. Comes with a cover.
Summary: A larger more comfortable chair suitable for use when working plein air not far from the vehicle which got you there. Rather large, heavy and awkward to carry any distance and/or on public transport.
Who should buy this?: Artists who like their creature comforts - even if it's just for sitting down and taking a long hard look at what you've done
Who should not buy this? Artists who have trouble carrying awkward shapes or heavy weights.
  • VERY comfortable. Good if you're going to be spending all day working plein air
  • ideal for the middle aged artist - and even more confortable than alternatives - whose hips are no longer slim
  • has a 'hole' in the arm of the chair intended for drinks but does very nicely as a water pot holder for watercolourists - so long as you've got the right sized pot for your water
  • durable
  • looks complicated but erects relatively easily
Think Again?
  • comfort comes with a price - this is not a lightweight option
  • tendency to make you want to lean back and close your eyes
  • any colour you like as long as it's black!
  • getting it in and out of its cover has a certain nuisance value
  • If travelling by air this will need to checked separately as "item" at airports so you need to allow extra time to do this
Suppliers: Available from Blacks £19.99

I wouldn't like you to think that I have an extensive sleection of sketching chairs and stools - but this one joined my collection as a bargain in a sale at Blacks! Plus it seems sensible to do all the chairs and stools in one fell swoop!

My second sketching chair looks like the picture on the left.

The current version - the Eurohike Compact Chair - has a slightly different seat design which you can see on the Blacks website.

The design is essentially the same ie a strong steel frame and a polyester 'aerated' fabric seat and back. It is is amazingly comfortable, especially for those of us who are finding slim hips a dim and distant memory.

It even has a neat socket for drinks - which would work well for those using watercolours.

However the disadvantage of this chair is its size and its weight. When wrapped in its carry bag, it's heavy (3 kg / 6.6lb). That's double the weight of my Phillips chair (3.3 lbs) which completely rules out this chair for overseas trips. Also its size when folded is BIG. Its carry bag is also not the easiest thing to sling over your shoulder while carrying the rest of my plein air gear. In my view, this is the one to stick in the car and take out when using the car for pelin air trips within the UK.

One big bonus for me was it was super cheap in a sale and only cost me £14.99. It now costs £19.99 but that's still a very reasonable price - but maybe watch out for sale bargains?

On my Art Equipment - Resources for Artists site, I've listed:
  • other folding chairs and stools for plein air work
  • bags, backpacks, totes and trollies
If you're thinking of doing more plein air work this summer or maybe even going on a painting trip or holiday you might want to take a peek.

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