Transformer: Keen’s Backpack Chair

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Call us soft (and many of our friends have), but we've always been a fan of Crazy Creek chairs. (Our tripmates have consistently sneered “Lazy Geek” chairs, and then promptly sat in them when we got up to pee.) We also like the contraptions that turn your sleeping pad into a chair, like this one from Big Agnes.

Now, for casual hikes and around-town outings, there's another option: Keen's new Springer Backseat Pack. This bookbag-style pack can carry lunch, your hydration reservoir, and a jacket. But more importantly, it has a fold down padded seat panel that puts a layer of foam and fabric between you and the rocky trail, or in urban settings, the cold bleachers or grimy bench. Note: the Springer is sized for adults, but they also will have the Scamper for kids 40 to 80 pounds and the Grasshopper for the wee ones. Available January 2012, $100,

–Berne Broudy

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