Our story

How it all started

Have you ever found standard sling-style camp chairs uncomfortable? It seems to be a common consensus that traditional folding camp chair do not provide adequate back support and are uncomfortable.  Ladd Lougee, the inventor of the Strongback Chair, agrees. Here is his story:

“Most of us have had an idea or two we thought would make great products. Few of us try to do it. I had been a closet inventor for over 10 years until my first success, the STRONGBACK Chair. Creating, designing, and building something original is fun – even more so when you can help people while you do it. Following is the story of how STRONGBACK chairs evolved.

I was sold on the idea of a camp chair with back support when I was camping in the remote Mammoth Lakes area of the California Sierra Nevada Mountains. After squirming around in my chair in discomfort for the hundredth plus time, failing to get comfortable using cushions, I asked if anyone else got a sore back in these chairs. I was very surprised to hear that nearly everyone else, all people in their early thirties, did too.

That was all I needed – when I realized that it wasn’t just me, but a common problem with the majority of people, I decided to sink my teeth into it. I realized that there must be a lot of people out there using camp chairs that are quietly suffering because they do not want to complain about a problem that is often associated with old people – back pain.

So, on the following evenings and weekends, I got out my tools, made countless trips to the hardware store, and eventually came up with the STRONGBACK design. My initial vision of the solution to the problem, however, was very different than the final result. I worked through about 30 prototypes, adjusting and tweaking before I finally got it right about 1 year later. Originally I had envisioned a bunch of straps and protrusions but as I kept making the back support more effective it kept getting more simple – a great trend to eventual product success.

I’m excited STRONGBACK Chairs are finally here for the public to use. I currently enjoy designing new models so keep your eyes out each year or join our email list for the latest updates. I hope everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors a little more comfortably and a little more often.”
-Ladd Lougee, Inventor of the Strongback Chair

The Press

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