Let me start with full disclosure… The hanging recliner chair I built and show in these pictures is not 10oz. It’s 14oz not including whoopies and tree straps. I used 1.9oz ripstop and polyester strapping which added about 4oz to the base weight. If you use 1.6 NylonD or PolyD, some 7/64 amsteel (instead of straps), and the same design, then the weight will be about 10oz. Add a couple of whoopie slings and lightweight tree straps and the total weight should be under 14oz.
If you use a cinch bag, you can compress the size down to softball size (just like a lightweight hammock). Here are a couple of pics of the finished product:
For those interested in knowing the pattern/process, here you go… WARNING! This is a long post.
I started with a base sheet of 60”x90”. Give the 90” sides a ½” hem. On the 60” sides, do your favorite channel seem. I did a 2.5” triple stitch on each side because I was not sure if I was going to use strapping or whoopies for suspension. I found the whoopies work fine by the way…
So now you’ve got a rectangle that is approximately 85”x59” and hemmed on all sides. This is where a little creativity was needed. The first one I made I used a common pattern for making hammock chairs with yarn or cotton fabric. When it was done I found it difficult getting my rear back far enough in the chair to be truly comfortable. I needed more fabric in the seat area. So here’s what I did.
1. Find the center point on the 85” side. This will now be the top of your recliner.
2. Measure and mark 17” out from the center point in both directions.
3. From the same center point, measure and mark a spot 28” from the top.
4. Connect the dots so you’ve mapped a triangle that is 34”x28”.
5. Pull the two 17” points together with the ‘wedge’ stopping at your 28” mark.
6. Sew the wedge closed and cut off the excess material. Make a couple of stitch lines to add a little strength.
This is what you project should look like at this point:
Main Seat Panel.jpg
**Spec ial Note** If you don’t plan on using a pad like I did, then you will want to take a larger wedge of material in the horizontal direction. My best guess would be 19” to 20” in each direction (38” to 40” total). The nice thing is you can now hang the chair and see how it feels. If your upper body lays too far back, then keep sewing deeper wedges until you find your comfort sweet spot. Also, if you are very tall, you may want to increase the 28” appropriately. I’m 6ft and the 28” was right for me.
If all you want is a simple chair, you’re done! And your chair could weigh only 7 oz depending on your fabric choice.
If you want a recliner and a pad then read on…
You are now ready to add the leg extension. Find the center point on the bottom part of your fabric rectangle (this is the longest side now). One thing I did with the leg extension panel was make the part that attaches to the seat wider than the rest of the panel. Here’s a pic to show you what I mean:
This helped me get the most support under my legs as possible using the main body of fabric. The leg panel I used was 43”x25”. Don’t forget – the part that attaches to the main seat panel is wider than 25”. After a ½” hem the finished panel was 42”x24”; with 9” of the 43” attached under the main seat. If you plan on using a pad like me, then I suggest you sew mattress pockets/sleeves before attaching it to the main seat panel. My air mattress is 73” long and 2.5” thick fully inflated. All my measurements are for using that mattress. It’s a Klymit Insulated Static V pad for those that want to know. Leave about 4” at very end of the foot panel. You will need this area to attach straps and use as a foot line/foot rest. Thanks to Pipsissewa for that idea!! So attach straps to each corner of the leg panel like this:
So you should have your leg panel with mattress pockets and corner straps ready to attach to the main seat panel. Using the center point your found earlier on the bottom, center and attach the leg panel.
After you’ve done that we need to plan the pocket for the top of the mattress. Lay your chair flat on the floor and put your inflated mattress in the pocket/sleeve. Mark the fabric at the top of the mattress. Don’t leave any ‘play’ for the mattress. You want it locked in place in the chair. For my chair I also planned on using an inflatable pillow for my head. Both the mattress and pillow are staples in my backpack for my trips. The top mattress pocket on my chair went all the way to the top of my chair. I left one side open to insert my pillow. Here’s a pic of what I’m doing a poor job explaining:
You’re almost done!!
Let’s talk about the fixed ridgeline. I tested ridgeline lengths from 26” to 42” long. I settled on 33” as the most comfortable for me. Here is where you can use 7/64” amsteel. I used polyester straps.
Finally, you need to attach the foot box (end of the leg panel) to the ridgeline. I wanted to make this part adjustable while sitting in the chair. Here’s a pic showing the adjustable strap system I made. I’m sure that many here with more DIY experience and ‘Dutch bling’ knowledge can come up with a better way to make this part adjustable…
So there you have it. This Camp Recliner weighs in at 18 oz including tree straps and whoopies. Using a lighter fabric and amsteel/zing-it should get you down to 10oz chair wt. and 14oz including suspension/tree straps. For me it’s well worth the extra 1 pound to have a very comfortable place to sit, read, nap, etc. after a long hike.
Questions, comments, and feedback is always welcome… Happy Hanging!!