POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Apr 14, 2013
» What it is: A red and black collapsible, packable stool. It comes with a stuff sack that measures a foot long, about 5 inches wide and 2 inches deep.
» How it works: The collapsible aluminum legs, joined by shock cords, unfold easily to make the stool a seat or table. Once the leg pieces are inserted into each other, they are quite sturdy. The maker claims the stool will support 250 pounds. I had a 200-pound man try it, and it seemed stable.
» The good: With a 9-by-91⁄2- inch seat, this stool is so tiny that it could easily go into a backpack or hang on a belt. It's perfect for camping, outdoor concerts, picnics — even waiting in a ticket line. Don't be fooled by its size. I sat on this stool comfortably for an hour while watching television. The nylon material makes a soft seat. The stool also is stable enough to hold a mug of tea or a plate of food on the seat area, and the gear pocket under the seat can hold a water bottle or a couple of beers.
» The bad: If you have bad knees, this seat, just 9 1/2 inches off the ground, isn't for you. But if you're in good condition, no problem.
» Cost: $29.99
» Available from: grandtrunkgoods.com, campmor.com and sports authority.com, among others
—Shamontiel L. Vaughn, www.chicagotribune.com