REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (2024)

Packability meets hammock-like lounging with nearly rocker-like movement in this lightweight, low-to-the-ground model

REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (1)

REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (2)

Price:$100 List

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Manufacturer:REI Co-op

By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor ⋅ May 16, 2022

57

OVERALL
SCORE

RANKED
#12 of 15

  • Comfort - 40%5.0

  • Portability - 25%8.0

  • Quality - 20%6.0

  • Ease of Use - 15%3.0

RELATED: Best Camping Chairs of 2023


Our Verdict

This tall-backed but low-sitting chair from REI offers an interesting combination of traits that some of our testers loved and others didn't care for. The Flexlite Camp Dreamer lives up to its name with long flexible poles that let you sway a bit — not quite as big as a rocking chair arc or hammock, but reminiscent of both. Its fabric is very tight on the frame, making it an extra challenge to put together, but we still like what we get from this lightweight model with an optional headrest. If you enjoy sitting in a hammock and enjoy being able to move in your seat, this might just be the chair for you. We think smaller, youthful bodies will appreciate this chair most, as it's a little tippy and takes some effort to enter and exit.

REASONS TO BUY

Flexible frame

Middle-ground height

Lightweight

Removable headrest

REASONS TO AVOID

Difficult to assemble at first

Less stable

Odd pockets


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AwardsREI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (8)REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (9)REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (10)REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (11)
Price$100 List
$99.95 at REI
$80 List
$79.99 at Amazon
$60 List
$59.95 at REI
$50 List
$27.49 at Amazon
$39.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score

57

80

75

68

63

Star Rating
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Bottom LineThis lightweight, lowdown chair combines hammock-like lounging with almost a rocking chair movement in a packable packageAlthough heavy, this robust model provides years of high-comfort seating at campgrounds or soccer fieldsIt's tough to complain about this versatile and portable chair, especially considering the priceA great combination of features and characteristics at a competitive priceEasy to set up and comfortable for taller and larger folks, while helping you save money
Rating CategoriesREI Co-op Flexlite...ALPS Mountaineering...REI Co-op Camp XKijaro Dual Lock Fo...GCI Outdoor Comfort...
Comfort (40%)

5.0

9.0

7.0

7.0

6.0

Portability (25%)

8.0

5.0

7.0

7.0

6.0

Quality (20%)

6.0

9.0

8.0

6.0

5.0

Ease of Use (15%)

3.0

9.0

9.0

7.0

9.0

SpecsREI Co-op Flexlite...ALPS Mountaineering...REI Co-op Camp XKijaro Dual Lock Fo...GCI Outdoor Comfort...
Weight3.5 lbs14.1 lbs8.0 lbs9.8 lbs8.3 lbs
Weight Capacity300 lbs800 lbs300 lbs300 lbs300 lbs
Folded Dimensions (length x width x height)20" x 7" x 6"39" x 8" x 8"33" x 7" x 7"45" x 7" x 7"45" x 7" x 5"
Unfolded Dimensions (depth x width x height)27" x 25" x 37"24" x 37" x 38"21" x 31" x 31"25" x 35" x 37"25" x 35" x 37"
Seat Height (middle)10.5"15"11.5"15"15"
FeaturesVents, 2 mesh pockets, removable head rest , DWR finish2 cup holders, 2 side pockets, storage pocket behind headrest, adjustable armrests1 uniquely shaped cup holder, "stowable" armrest pouch, adjustable armrests2 cup holders, side pocket, carrying strapBeverage holder, small sleeve pocket

Show full specification details ▼Hide full specification details ▲

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Flexlite Camp Dreamer is a high-backed, very packable camping chair. It comes apart completely and rolls up into a relatively small stuff sack, and it features two long, narrow mesh side pockets and a removable headrest.

Performance Comparison


REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (13)


Comfort


The Camp Dreamer proved to be a polarizing chair, with some of our testers loving it and others looking elsewhere. The seat is supported on its four corners, providing a more hammock-like feel. It's narrower than a typical folded camping chair, furthering that feeling of being enveloped in a pouch of material. Testers who liked this chair tend to prefer a more slouched style of seat over a more rigid, supportive seat. The chair also lives up to the "flex" in its name, as the poles all flex readily while you're using it. Once again, this proved divisive among our testers, down similar lines. Those who like to rock, swing, and fidget enjoy the flexibility in the Camp Dreamer's poles, while others found it "weird" and "offputting" to move when they preferred to be still.

This chair falls into a middle ground of seat height — the front edge is about 17 inches from the ground (sinking several inches when sat in), and the middle rests around 10.5 inches from the ground. It feels like a kind of high-backed, low chair (but not nearly as low as many others we tested), and the higher front edge of the bucket-like seat adds some height, helping it to feel like a medium-low chair. And as you'd expect, this low height, bucket-like shape, and a lack of armrests make it challenging for many folks to get out of easily.

REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (14)


Portability


This chair comes apart fully for transport. Bungee cords connect the poles together, and the fabric pops off all four corners. Once you've removed the headrest pillow, the whole thing can be rolled up and stuffed into a small drawstring sack that weighs a little over 3 pounds. Compared to many giant chairs that simply fold shut, the Camp Dreamer seems small and lightweight. Up against the other chairs we've tested that come apart in similar ways, it's still fairly light and reasonably small, though not something we'd take on an overnight backpacking trip. Its stuff sack also lacks a handle of any kind, which can be slightly annoying depending on how you prefer to carry it.

REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (15)


Durability


The Camp Dreamer is sold with a claimed capacity of 300 pounds, which is pretty standard among camping chairs. It's made of DWR-treated ripstop polyester with aluminum poles, helping it to be lightweight while still fairly durable. Though the poles flex quite a bit during our stand and jump tests, they're made to do so, and we never felt like they were on the verge of breaking. The bungee cord connecting them is fairly thick, but we've seen many bungee cords break down after a few seasons of regular use and sun exposure to trust this system long-term.

REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (16)


Ease of Use


We've put together and tested more than our fair share of this chair style over the years. They can never be as easy as the simple accordion fold-out of classic camping chairs. However, the Camp Dreamer is perhaps the most challenging model of this style that we have ever used. Its tall back puts the poles even farther apart than many similar models, but the fabric doesn't stretch. We are no strangers to the tricks involved in getting these chairs together, but this model proved to be exceptionally difficult, taking us a few grunt-filled minutes to get it together the first time. After leaving it set up for several days, it stretched a bit and became slightly easier but remains challenging to set up.

REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (17)


The Dreamer has two mesh pockets that are elongated slits on either side and not quite right for anything. They'll fit most smartphones, and you can put a drink in them, but they're not great at holding onto your items while you get in and out of the seat.

REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (18)


Value


The Camp Dreamer is decently priced, but our team of testers found its unique attributes to be polarizing. We think smaller, younger bodies will appreciate this model most and may find it worth the price.

Conclusion


The REI Flexlite Camp Dreamer is an interesting camping chair that combines elements of hammocking, rocking, and lounging. It's lightweight and portable but not ideal for all body sizes and ages. We also think a few features could benefit from some tweaking before we would readily recommend this model.

REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (19)


Maggie Nichols

REI Co-op Flexlite Camp Dreamer Review (2024)

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