There are a lot of observing accessories available to the amateur astronomer – eyepieces, a Barlow, a star chart, red flashlight, etc. But there is one that is often overlooked by a beginning observer, one that makes the observing experience much more pleasant and comfortable. That accessory is a comfortable observing chair like this Starbound chair.
If you get lost in the stars, standing for hours bent over the telescope eyepiece, sooner or later your feet and legs will start aching and you’ll feel a distinct twinge in your lower back. This Starbound observing chair keeps you off your feet, with an unbent back, eliminating those unpleasant effects.
The Starbound chair’s vinyl covered seat is cushioned with foam for comfort. The height of the seat is adjustable from 9” to 32” to put virtually any observer’s eye at the right position for observing with an unbent back through refractor or catadioptric scope eyepiece.
The chair’s machined steel tube frame is welded where needed for strength and finished in a baked black powder coating that is both good-looking and resistant to rust or corrosion. The chair weighs only 16 pounds, but will support 350 pounds. All hardware is stainless steel to assure a lifetime of service. Workmanship is excellent.
The four uprights of the chair that hold the seat offer back support when the seat is set at low to medium heights. The chair’s rear legs splay outwards, offering good lateral stability. If an observer leans left or right the chair will not easily tip over. The chair folds flat for transport so it takes up little room in your car. When open, a spreader bar locks the legs in place so they can't accidentally close during use.
The thickly padded seat is bolted securely to a metal frame that slides up and down the four uprights of the chair frame. Lifting the front of the seat lets you slide the seat along the uprights to the desired observing height. Lowering the front of the seat lets gravity lock the two Delrin coated steel bars of the seat height mechanism at the desired height. The padded steel bars provide the friction needed to keep the seat from slipping on the frame (as is common on some competing seats). The more weight on the seat, the more firmly the seat is locked in place. The feature image below shows a close-up view of how the bars of the seat height mechanism clamp onto the seat’s uprights.
Easy to transport. Easy to set up, move, and take down. Easy on the legs, back, and feet. The Starbound chair is all of these. It's an observing accessory that doesn’t help you to see more. But it does help you to see in more comfort.