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910 ALITE - Mayfly Chair 2014-03-05

Jenny Lake, Tetons, camp

A few years ago we saw a friend at a cookout with an ALITE Monarch chair. He flipped out the frame, slipped the sling in place, and presto - a chair. It was impressive, but we had good chairs.

We owned the REI Stowaway Chair. The chairs were very comfortable but they were not lightweight, compact, or made well. Each year I had to re-sew or re-attach some part of the chairs. Oh, we could have returned them to REI, but they were so used, we figured we got our money's worth.

On our summer trip, 2013, my Stowaway ripped again. We decided that it was time to shop for new chairs. We wanted to replace the Stowaways with more compact and lighter weight chairs. After looking at several chairs and seats we decided on ALITE's Mayfly chair. The Mayfly did not feel quite as sturdy nor as comfortable as the Stowaway, but that was the trade off. In return we got a chair that was about 1/4th of the weight and only took up a smidgen of the stowed space of our old chairs. The new chairs fit happily in our Yakima box.

After our shopping in Denver we made a brief visit to Leadville (CO). That night we played with the chairs and by morning, we were ready to get rid of our Stowaway chairs. The Mayfly was our new chairs and we gave the Stowaways to a church operated second hand store.

Trying to repair the chair

Leaving Leadville, we traveled to Jackson (WY). During our two week stay, we began having trouble with our new chairs. The small connector sleeve that fit into the chair's feet, pushed back into frame. It happened to my chair first and I tried to repair the chair. With our limited tool repair kit we kept in the car, we could not extract the sleeve. Soon, Amy's chair did exactly the same thing as mine. We needed knew chairs.

We emailed ALITE. Customer Service responded that they had received a bad batch of chairs. We happened to have bought two chairs from the bad lot. ALITE stood by their warranty, but they were not easy to reach. Customer Service seemed to only be present during normal business hours or in other words while we were in the mountains. We were not going to burn a day of mountain time to call about some chairs! We wrote again that we were camping without chairs and needed the replacement pieces, asap. Despite both parties efforts, we were unable to get the replacement pieces. We were scheduled to leave the Tetons in a few days and were headed back to Colorado. We would stop in Fort Collins at the REI.

Frame of the Mayfly (photo of the new chair)

When we arrived at REI, their Customer Service Department was more than happy to help us return the chairs. We replaced the chairs with new Mayflys.

New Mayfly

What? Fools!

We really did like the chairs, we just had a difficult Customer Service experience.

So for a few Mayfly notes ...

The chair's stuff sack is small, but the right size. After using the chair we actually were able to fit the folded chair back in the stuff sack.

The instructions for assembling the seat are on the stuff sack.

It takes literally seconds to assemble the chair.

The chair may be used with or without the front support frame.

The chair sits a couple of inches off the ground.

The Mayfly weighs 1.4 pounds - less than the standard Crazy Creek chair. Our old Stowaways weighed about 6 pounds each.

Stuff sack with instructions

We had lots of reasons not to buy the Mayfly, when we replaced them. But, we chose the Mayfly again, because it was a good, lightweight and compact, design. We hope to get many years of service from the chairs. We will let you know!

Happy Mayfly trails


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