Coleman shot for the moon with comfort and convenience enhancing features with the Vertex Plus. While some hit the mark, others weren’t as successful and the setup/stowing process can be borderline maddening.
Ease of Use The Vertex Plus carries the hallmark standard for Coleman frustration of the carry bag being too small. While a few other folding chairs in this test could use a 5-10% carry bag size increase the Vertex Plus bag could use 15-20% more space to be convenient. Once out of the bag, setup is a process. After unfolding the chair, pull the hard arms off their storage knob, then slide the back part of the arm down the frame to align the arms to click into their sitting position. Then, remove the lumbar pillow from the back pocket and wrap the holding strap around the back of the chair to clip the pillow in place. Stowing the chair involves the same steps in reverse, and then comes the wrestling match that is getting it in the bag. Granted, in most cases, the setup and stowage of a chair is a small percentage of the time of use, but compared to the other chairs in the test, the Vertex Plus is the most involved.
Comfort The Vertex Plus is an easy chair to sit in and the lumbar pillow does provide some extra comfort taking the overall feel of the chair above average. The armrests are wide and easy to relax on and the padding in the seat is nice. The backrest is the most upright of the chairs tested and this might be due to the logistical need for the lumbar pillow to work as intended.
Craftsmanship For the most part the Vertex Plus is well built. Coleman used 600 denier polyester fabric with an even mix of single and double reinforced stitching to cover a sturdy steel frame. Although the areas of single stitching are clearly a cost savings effort, all of the stitching has held up through the testing process. The hard plastic of the armrests reveal some wear as a small chip has been broken from a lower edge and scuffs are starting to show on the corners from regular use. Along with the carry bag being too small, it is not made of the same 600 denier fabric but a much lighter weight fabric which hasn’t torn yet, but I handle it with care.
Features The major plus to the Vertex Plus is all the features. For comfort there’s the padded seat and lumbar pillow. There are two cup holders—though they are just big enough for a can or bottle and won’t accommodate your drink with a coozy to keep it cool (or warm). There’s a bottle opener under the armrest as well as a swing out wine glass holder for stemware. There are two pockets, a small square 5.5” one at your hip that will fit a small book, writing implements or a pair of glasses. The other pocket is a seat back pocket that runs the length of the top of the seat back but is equally as shallow as the hip pocket. The seat back pocket is not easy to reach or use while sitting in the chair (though it’s described as “convenient”—as in “convenient for someone standing behind the chair”) but I found it to be a good place to store the carry bag. And not having a place to store the carry bag is one of my biggest pet-peeves with folding camp chairs.
Versatility As with any chair with padding built in, they are not well suited for being accidentally left out in the rain as they will take some time to dry out, but where that padding does come in handy is in cooler environments. The feet of the chair are simply rubber caps on the ends of the frame which will do fine in rocky areas or where the ground is firm, but they will readily sink in softer turf and sand. The single non-adjustable sling on the carry bag is fine for short stints, but not great for longer hauls across the parking lot to the festival grounds while carrying a full load in your arms.