As someone who sketches outdoor frequently, I always appreciate a good portable stool, preferable a lightweight one.
These are the stools I have in my collection, but today I'm just going to talk about the Walkstool. I bought this locally in Singapore and after doing some research, I found out it's cheaper online.
The Walkstool is a three-legged stool created by Swedish company Scandinavian Touch AB.
Three-legged stools are commonplace when you look around on Amazon or eBay. What makes the Walkstool special is its use of telescopic legs, basically, legs that can extend and retract just like a telescope.
When you extend the legs, there's a small red knob that locks into place to hold the legs in position.
If you press and depress the red knob, you can pull out the legs so that you can clean them individually in water easily.
Try not to pull out the legs too fast or the red knob might not lock in place in time and you'll pull out the legs when you don't want to.
This piece of metal that holds the three legs together, and makes the legs movable so that the stool can be deployed.
Another thing I find unique about the Walkstool is incredible weight capacity that it has. Watch this video below to see how several of them are used to hold the weight of a car.
Even the so called weakest model can handle up to 150kg of weight. And the strongest one can hold 250kg.
Of all the non-branded three-legged stools I've used before, none felt like they can hold over 100kg. In the photo above, I was standing on two stools. As I went up, I could hear the fabric of that three-legged stool tearing. Not kidding. If I have two Walkstools then, I would have no hesitation going up because I know for sure they will hold my weight.
The legs are made of aluminum and each has a big rubber feet at the end. The rubber feet do get worn off with usage, but they are also sold separately so you can replace them easily. After months of usage, I noticed that the rubber feet of my stool getting worn, but it I think they should be able to get through one year with frequent usage.
The thick mesh material of the seat is comfortable enough for long sitting periods. I like that the surface area for sitting is relatively larger than most other portable stools that I have. The mesh looks durable but I noticed mine has slight tearing from the stretch at the part where the mesh is attached to the legs. In terms of durability, the Walkstools feels like it can last for a long time.
Walkstool offers two sitting positions. By not extending the legs, you can get a lower sitting position but it's rather unsteady and you need to make more effort to balance yourself. With the legs extended, the base is larger and hence more steady.
Compared to smaller stools, it's slightly heavier but overall it's still considered lightweight. To keep the stool compact, you just retract the legs and use the Velcro provided to go around the legs to hold them together. The Walkstool comes with a carrying mesh bag.
There are two main product lines for Walkstool, namely the Comfort and Basic.
Walkstool Comfort models are made in Sweden and Walkstool Basic models are made in China.
Comfort models have the Sweden flag sewn to the seat.
They come in four sizes at sitting heights of 45, 55, 65 and 75 cm (18, 22, 26 and 30 in).
The one that I'm using is the smallest 45cm tall Comfort model. That height is the typical height of kitchen chairs.
The top section of Comfort is black and the lower legs are white.
Below's a chart comparing the different Comfort models.
The Basic models come in only two sitting heights, 50 and 60 cm (20 in and 24 in).
The top section of Basic is black and the lower legs are dark grey.
Basic models have smaller seat sizes and smaller rubber feet compared to the Comfort models. Basic models are cheaper to reflect the quality and durability as compared to the Comfort models.
Another difference is the use of plastic feet for Basic. These plastic feet wear out much faster than the thick rubber feet.
Below's the chart comparing the two Basic models.
The stool does sink into softer ground as the legs are pointed. There's an accessory called the Walkstool Steady that increases the surface area in contact with the ground, and hence make it more difficult for the stool to sink into soft ground.
The Walkstool Steady is useful for usage in rural settings or at places where the surface may be slippery. It can also be used by heavier people who want the stool to better hold their weight, and to reduce the chance of tearing at the seat mesh. Walkstool Steady prevents the legs from spreading out even when heavy weight is on top.
I swap between my different stools often and the Walkstool gets used quite often. It's useful for many outdoor activities, such as photography trips, fishing, camping, etc.
I use mine when sketching outdoors. As the seat is 45cm high, I find it difficult to reach things I put on the ground, such as my watercolour palette. That's the only inconvenience I face with using the Walkstool for sketching.
Another downside is that it's slightly heavier compared to other stools because it's larger. More materials used to make the stool means it's going to be heavier.
Compared to other portable stools, the Walkstool is significantly more expensive, but it's a quality product and I consider it money quite well spent. A few friends of mine who use this are all very satisfied. I've used many stools and the Walkstool feels the most durable and sturdy.
My recommendation before you buy it is to measure the height of the chair you commonly sit on and get the same height.