Remember those lightweight aluminum fold up chairs with plastic mesh web strips we used to hang on a hook in the garage? Every summer we'd drag tme out to either a lawn event or to the beach. Sure they used to fray at the edges and then rust, but with a new roll of webbing they were as good as new.
Enter the first generation of snazzy chairs that were sturdy enough to hold not only our widening bottoms but bottles and glasses fit in the side pouches or tray tables on the arms. Only a tornado could blow away those new chairs introduced into the leisure market in the 1980s.
They came in their own cases and packed up as small as a full sized beach umbrella. You'd sling the case over your arm and trek uphill or downhill until you settled on your patch of land and began to reassemble them? Sturdy little buggers they were. Taut and tough like an army cot. After low back-breaking sling-ass evening at the beach or Tanglewood, the engineer types helped the non-mechanical people fold and slide the chairs back into its own nifty neat sleeve. They only weighed as much as a few golf clubs, but they weren't unsightly when not in use like the cheapo, low-tech old chairs were.
Thirty more years of portable chair engineering has taken us to every convenience you'd want in a chair. Canopies, tables, footrests. Every year another chair item to make a trip to outdoors a pleasure. Before we knew it, the chairs had gotten almost as heavy as carrying a sailboat boom on your shoulder. I secretly craved my mother-inlaw's ten dollar aluminum rusted chairs from the 1950s. She gave them to me when she moved.
We gave away our high tech chairs and went in search of something lightweight, ugly and low tech. This 2012 summer scene at Compo Beach? Mostly aluminum plastic webbed chairs? Maybe it's not necessary to put engineering minds into creating a luxury portable chair with so many bells and whistles, ones that by sheer weight alone could deter you from taking them out of the car. Maybe those chairs are better off in an RV.