Kelty Shade Shelter 2 and Mesh Lowdown Chair in the Mojave Desert of California.
Summer is in sight, and although we welcome the brighter days as Southern Californian’s, this time of year presents its challenges when going outdoors. From the beaches to the desert, the California sun can be your best friend one moment and your worst enemy the next. Thankfully we are prepared this year with the new Kelty Shade Shelter 2 and Low Down Chair. With so many exciting adventures planned, all we truly need this summer is a Kelty roof over our heads and a sturdy chair to relax in.
Earlier this year, we embarked on a four day trip to Death Valley which presented us with unfavorable weather conditions. A seemingly routine drive turned into a 1200 mile, three-state excursion. The weather beat up some of our gear and destroyed one of our camping canopies. We gave Kelty a call to see if they could help us out with our lounge needs for the summer, and they didn’t disappoint; sending us the Shade Maker 2 and Mesh Lowdown Chair.
When it comes to being in the outdoors, in the summer heat for extended periods of time, it’s crucial to cool down often, especially if you have the little ones with you. Canopies or shelters (one and the same) and camp chairs are definitely our essential base camp items. In the past, we’ve had some trouble finding a shelter option that was low enough to the ground, allowing for a comfortable lounging arrangement while also withstanding wind, sand and dirt. The Kelty Shade Maker 2 fits this niche perfectly. And with simple set-up and easy to use connecting clips, we had this shelter up in a breeze.
During our full day of testing in the Mojave Desert we experienced wind gusts of 40mph. Although Kelty doesn’t advertise this feature, the Shade Maker 2 stood its ground like a champ. The included guy lines and aluminum-hybrid poles provided enough support and flex, keeping the shelter intact and upright. For comparison, we setup a different canopy system alongside the Kelty, but were forced to secure it to the truck. We can confidently say that the Kelty performed well above expectation in this environment. NOTE: we didn’t set out to camp in these extremely windy conditions. Often, the weather changes at a moments notice, when you least expect it. Especially when responsible for the experience of others, we recommend using gear that’s rated beyond expected weather conditions. As the saying goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
The tent-like poles let the canopy flex as the relentless gusts tried to push it around. Without this feature our trip would have been over before it began. The high front and low back really helped to keep the shade low to the ground; perfect for laying down. Some may not like how low the canopy is arched with a low roofline, and we would say this is probably not the best set-up for cooking under. But when it comes to providing shelter from the sun and wind it’s going to be hard to beat.
Kelty Mesh Lowdown Chair
With relaxation in mind, we wanted a chair that could sit fairly low to the ground, and offer a relaxed seated position, with slight recline. The Kelty Mesh Lowdown Chair filled this void, perfectly.
The chair had a very sturdy feel — this is what a steel frame will give you — low seating position, adjustable back, and built in cup holder you’ll be set for a full day of relaxing. Especially in the desert, we appreciated the mesh bottom and breathable seat-back as it kept us cool most of the day, without the dreaded back-sweat. The polyester seat material made the clean-up of spills painless; just wipe away with a little water. We can’t forget to mention, the cup holder is insulated!
Packaged securely in a padded multi-function roll-tote, the Kelty Mesh Lowdown Chair is a convenient chair for car or RV camping. No longer is a chair just a chair, it’s an integral part of the camping experience. NOTE: If you have difficulty getting out of a seat that sits low, also take a look at the Kelty Deluxe Lounge Chair.
By pairing the Shade Shelter with the Lowdown Chair we have found a versatile and trustworthy lounge option for summer camping and weekend beach days. These two pieces of family oriented equipment are built with durability and simplicity in mind. And most importantly, they won’t get in the way of your fun and relaxation.
Photos and review by Corey Tull.