Saturday, January 25, 2014

Why I won’t buy a Kermit chair


Behold the Kermit chair, long considered the premiere motorcycle camping chair.

Many, if not most, of my BMW motorcycle friends own at least one of these and carry them to rallies and other events. They are considered a de rigueur accessory, at least in the BMW motorcycle community. (That means you can’t be cool without one.)

The Kermit chair disassembles into a relatively small package that goes into a 4”x22” sack and weighs about 5.3 pounds.

Even when I had more disposable income to play with, I couldn’t see spending $139 for a camping chair that still needed $40 leg extensions to achieve a comfortable height. But the 22” packed dimension was the real deal-breaker for me. I just hate the idea of giving up that much packing space on my bike for a chair.

But the older I get, the more I require the comfort of a camp chair. Sitting on the ground is very uncomfortable for me and I can only stand for so long before that becomes tiresome.

walmart chairSo I came to the realization that it makes more economic sense to ride to the rally venue without a chair, set up my tent and dump my stuff, and ride to the nearest Walmart – there are 4,177 of them in the U.S. – and buy a reasonably comfortable cheapo $7 folding chair to use for the duration of the rally. They even come with a built-in cup holder or two that would cost me another $18 on a Kermit chair, pushing the Kermit cost (with leg extenders) to $197. At the end of the rally, I pack my tent and other gear and donate the Walmart chair to whoever wants it.

For $197, I can buy, use and abandon 28 Walmart folding chairs. If I were to go to all the rallies I can stand this year – Daytona, European Riders Rally, BMW RA, BMW MOA, and Falling Leaf – and repeat that pace year after year, it will take me more than five years to spend as much as a tricked-out Kermit chair costs. (I only made it to two rallies last year, so five a year is pushing it for me.)

Besides, I don’t have to worry about someone stealing my chair.

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