Meet REI Flexlite Camp Dreamer: A Lightweight Folding Camping Chair

The REI Flexlite Camp Dreamer is the new high-backed, pillow-crowned camping chair in the ever-growing line of Flexlite chairs from REI Co-Op.

REI-Flexlite-Camp-Dreamer-without-person-fully-assembled
The REI Flexlite Camp Dreamer.

REI Flexlite chairs — known for how easily they collapse and set up with a tent-pole style hub — were originally built for backpacking. They typically have extremely lightweight designs (for chairs), are made to slide easily into a backpack, and provide quality fireside rest miles into the wild.

The general design has been so popular (and comfortable) that REI has released a number of versions, most of which follow the small-ish form factor.

But now there’s a fully functional car camping chair, and it’s called the Camp Dreamer. This is a bigger Flexlite chair that features a high back, wide seat, two mesh pockets, and a removable headrest.

REI-Flexlite-Camp-Dreamer-head-rest-flipped-back
Relaxing in the Camp Dreamer. The headrest here is flipped up for testing. It’s more comfortable when using the headrest, but sometimes leaning the head back is a good change (especially for napping).

The whole thing packs into an included carrying case and weighs about three and a half pounds. This is a stretch for backpacking — though we wouldn’t count it out for a luxurious overnight — but it hits a serious sweet spot for car campers, festival-goers, and backyard aficionados.

See the REI Flexlite Camp Dreamer

Unique Features of the REI Flexlite Camp Dreamer

The main feature of the Camp Dreamer is that of all REI Flexlite chairs — it breaks down impressively small for a chair of its size. It does this through a pole hub structure most often seen in backpacking tents.

REI-Flexlite-Camp-Dreamer-all-pieces
The REI Flexlite Camp Dreamer breaks down into four pieces: aluminum pole hub, chair fabric, headrest, and the carrying case.

The Flexlite Camp Dreamer’s poles are made of aluminum, snap easily into two hubs, and create a highly supportive structure once the fabric is locked into place. The fabric feels good against the skin, and each corner has a pull tab to help lock the chair into place.

REI-Flexlite-Camp-Dreamer-structure-without-seat
The Camp Dreamer pole hub sets up before the chair fabric is fastened.

Two impressive notes for the Camp Dreamer’s structure are the rugged rubber feet on the bottom of the chair. These assure your chair will stay in place, and increase the durability of a product that’ll probably get some abuse over the years.

REI-Flexlite-Camp-Dreamer-rubber-feet-to-stay-in-place
Rugged design is important for collapsible poles. The sturdy rubber feet and four-point support make sure this chair will last.

The second is the height of the back of the chair — 36 full inches from the ground — which will allow even a tall person to sit comfortably. This is by far the most back support of any Flexlite chair, and it allows full relaxation. The resting position is laid back, but not full lounge, so you can still eat and read easily.

The chair also sports two mesh cup holders that secure products quite well.

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Note both the height of the chair and the convenient mesh pockets.

A headrest that’s ahead of the rest

The main claim to fame of the Flexlite Camp Dreamer is the removable headrest, or pillow. It’s simple and effective. Over a full inch thick, the headrest is made of soft, comfy foam and positioned to give the head and neck relief.

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The headrest provides more comfort, and versatility, than any other Flexlite chair.

You can also quickly remove the headrest if it’s not to your liking, or if you want a different position. Offer it up to anyone else in camp — it serves as a pretty solid sit pad. Finally, it makes a great flat surface in your lap (or in the tent) to play cards or eat a precarious bowl of stew.

See the REI Flexlite Camp Dreamer

Who is REI Co-Op?

REI Co-Op doesn’t really need an introduction — it’s the in-house brand of the largest U.S. outdoor retailer. The company is known for creating thoughtful, sustainable products that rival (and often beat out) big brand competitors.

The REI Flexlite Camp Dreamer is the newest Flexlite chair, and it works well for car camping, the backyard, or any place you need to post up.


This article is sponsored by REI Co-Op.

Backpackers.com Affiliate Policy: This guide contains affiliate links, which help fund our website. When you click on the links to purchase the gear we get a commission, and this goes a long way to creating guides, gear reviews, and other excellent content.

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