Your current camp chair is a piece of crap, and YETI knows it. “In our research, people break a lot of chairs,” says Rob Murdock, YETI’s VP of Innovation. “People buy, break, and buy again.” It’s hardly surprising: No assemblage of aluminum tubing and nylon sold for $15 can indefinitely support American butts.
So YETI built something that can. The Base Camp Hondo Chair is the company’s latest take on “wildly stronger” outdoor gear. At $300, it’s also wildly more expensive than the drugstore models favored by most campers and tailgaters. Unlike those, however, the Hondo is virtually indestructible.
Double-walled tubing made of 6061 aluminum gets baked in a blast furnace for 25 hours to make the frame's metal 200 percent stronger. Then, it’s welded using the same methods that mountain bike manufacturers rely on to build frames that hold up under intense impact. In YETI’s testing, the Base Camp Hondo throne supported 3,000 pounds of lead shot without collapsing (only when someone whacked its legs with a stick did it finally crumple under the load).
The Base Camp Hondo is also irresistibly comfortable, thanks to design wizardry that YETI imported from Herman Miller (the brand behind the coveted $800-$1,300 Aeron office chair). Sure, it may look like any other folding chair, but the Hondo’s trampoline-style back and seat cradles your parts so gently, you’ll have a hard time tearing yourself out of it—even to fetch another beer (a cup-holder is in the works to keep said beer at the ready).
The YETI chair hits market this spring, and will only be sold online and at YETI’s flagship store in Austin, Texas. But you can also try it out this summer at Squaw Valley, Jackson Hole, Copper Mountain, and Steamboat. These four ski areas are among the six that have partnered with YETI to feature its products. This past winter at Piste, the restaurant atop the Bridger Gondola at Jackson Hole, servers refilled diners’ water glasses using YETI Rambler Bottles. This summer, visitors to those four western resorts will see YETI chairs parked around base area fire pits and après-spots.