Andy Westlake tests out the Sitpack, a portable, folding stool

Sitpack at a glance:

If you spend a lot of your time on your feet, maybe trekking to a distant photographic location, then the idea of a compact, portable seat will surely be tempting. Sitpack is a single-legged stool that folds away to the size of a 500ml beer can: a shooting stick for the festival generation, if you like. When the time comes to rest your weary legs, simply open out the two parts of the hinged cover, slide up the shaped section that holds them open, twist the locking collar below it, pull down the telescopic leg, and twist tightly to make sure that all six of its glass fibre reinforced polycarbonate sections fix firmly in place (in hindsight, perhaps I shouldn’t have used the word ‘simply’.) You can then perch on your monopod seat, relying on its large rubber foot to stop it from slipping away.

On its own, the plastic seat is rather hard and slippery, so you’ll probably want to add the neoprene cover. This makes the seat much more comfortable, but adds £22 to the price. It also adds two small triangular attachment points for the optional carrying strap (that’ll be another £14, please).

The company claims the Sitpack will support up to 100kg – well over 15 stone – and that its height is adjustable to suit all users. In reality, it can be set to either of two lengths, about 78cm and 90cm; the latter was about right for me as a six-footer.

But does it work? Well perhaps, as long as you assemble it correctly and don’t mind the slightly precarious balancing act involved in its use. But if you fail to lock any of the sections, it’ll collapse under your weight, and you’ll have to take it apart completely to rebuild it. The instructions even have a prominent link to a video that explains how to do this, which doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence.

To be honest, Sitpack feels like an overcomplicated answer to a problem that’s already been solved. It’s OK if you demand something that packs really small, but for most people a shooting stick or folding stool would surely make more sense.

SCORE: 3 out of 5