Inflatable Chairs: Taking Seating to the Next Level

This week my mom sent me a care package, and included with the hangers I desperately needed was something interesting: an inflatable chair. To take outside, she said, for when the weather’s nice. Ignoring the fact that it’s rained every day this week, I was intrigued by this bright orange bag. See, it’s not inflatable like a pool toy, likely to leave you gasping by the time it’s blown up, or like an air mattress, requiring a pump and a good deal of patience. Instead, this chair consists of two huge sacks with flat, bent rods at the openings that hold in the air when they’re folded down, and you fill it by swinging it around.

Okay, so the instructions don’t actually prescribe “swinging,” but that’s what it took. Because in the name of informed journalism, of course I had to test out this curious new chair before writing about it. It was an experience.

Once you unroll the bag, the pouch instructs you to “drag sack quickly through the air” to inflate it. Thing is, “dragging” gets about 5% of the bag inflated, so I had to get creative. Especially creative since I was doing it in the dorm lounge.

First I swung it around like a massive flag, but without the convenience of a pole.

Then I tried running down the hall with it trailing behind me like a cape.

And finally I settled on spinning around in circles with the bag held above me.

This was by far the most effective method, filling the bag with a substantial amount of air. From there it’s far simpler, just a matter of rolling the ends shut and fastening them. Voilà, chair!

Pleased with myself, I went to test my new chair . . . and promptly fell off the side and onto the floor.

In all the excitement of successfully setting it up, I had managed to forget that this wasn’t a normal cushion. This was a sack of air, a weighted-down balloon, and one has to take certain precautions when attempting to sit on a balloon. Like balancing, for example. Once I figured that out, it was fine.

It’s actually pretty comfortable, all things considered. Kind of like a bean bag. Definitely a nice thing to have if you’re tired of the whole folding chair scene at campouts, sports, and festivals. A quick Google search reveals that there are tons of these things out there. Some are geared more toward pools while others are designed more like bouncy castles. So many different styles, including but not limited to . . .

Couches, the ones in this picture being particularly funny as they look like canoes.

Massive armchairs, for whatever impractical but amazing reason.

Even baby ones if your phone wants to join in.

And that’s my spiel on inflatable chairs. Happy sitting!