Review by Arnie P
GCI Pico Arm Chair
GCI provided the Pico Arm Chair for review purposes.
Founded in 1996 as an answer to the simple question, “Why isn’t there a chair for this?” Dan Grace uses his engineering skills to design a chair to meet his criteria. In 1998 Jeffrey Polke became co-owner and added his skills in sales, marketing and retail to the company.
Product information and specifications from GCI website with minor changes
Manufacturer: GCI Outdoors
Manufacturer’s website: https://www.gcioutdoor.com/
Model: Pico Arm
Supports: 250 lb (113.6 kg)
Open size: 20.9 x 21.7 x33.9 in (53 x 55x 86 cm)
Folded size: 19.7 x 3.9 x 12.4 in (50 x 10 x 31.5 cm)
Seat height: 16.9 in (43 cm)
Unit weight: 9.7 lb (4.4 kg)
Carry/storage bag doubles as Chair Back Storage Caddy
Beverage holder, media pocket and storage pocket
Easy to open, close, carry, and store
Powder-coated aluminum and steel frame
Breathable nylon mesh and polyester fabric
Scratch-free nylon-coated feet
Colors available: Blue, Grey
Folds down to briefcase/laptop size bag with patented Pico Telescoping System
Limited lifetime warranty (see website for details)
Discovery and Description
Beep Beep,–! I see a brown UPS truck, I rush out the side door, intercept the driver on the side stairs, we exchange greetings, he hands me the package, and I return inside. Glancing out the window, I see the UPS truck left.
I open the ends of the cardboard box and push the contents out. This package is wrapped with its instructions printed on a cardboard sleeve with a plastic handle. The sleeve slides off with ease revealing a carrying case with an adjustable shoulder strap. After opening the 2 side brackets the chair lega slide out with ease. I glance at the construction, pleased with the sturdy look of the chair’s legs and frame. I haven’t forgotten the chair that collapsed on me years ago. Holding the chair with the feet down I place my foot on both feet of the chair and pull up to extend the legs. I rotate the armrest per the picture on the box. In seconds the chair is ready for use. Well, it’s ready that quickly almost every time. I find using the least amount of force to open the chair works best.
Storage places on chair
There is a drink holder on the right side of the chair. It is circular about 3 in (7.6 cm) by about 4 in (10.2 cm) deep. This pocket accommodates most beverage containers 16oz/ ½ L or smaller. Next to the drink holder is a pocket with a flap that attaches with the hook and loop method. This pocket is about 4.5 in (11.4 cm) by 4.5 in (11.4 cm). There is a zippered pocket on the left arm of the chair that is about 4.5 in (11.4 cm) by 8 in (20.3 cm).
Chair Back Storage Caddy
The Storage Caddy has a drink holder with a cinch which is about 3 in (7.6 cm) in diameter and about 4.5 in (11.4 cm) deep. A mesh pocket with a hook and loop system on the back of the Caddy. It is about 8.5 in (21.6 cm) by 6.5 in (16,5 cm). The large pocket has approximate dimensions of 19 in (48.3 cm) by 12 in (30.5 cm) by 3 in (7.6 cm) deep.
The Pico Arm chair appears tough and durable. It felt heavier than I had thought it would. The Pico Arm chair appears built for a lot of hard use. I should get a lot of trouble-free hours using the Pico Arm chair in many different ways.
Trying it out
My first use outside the house was in my backyard on the lawn and on my patio block area on one of out first warm days of the year; it felt good to sit and feel the sun. I was very comfortable, I could have stayed seated a lot longer, but had things to do. The following day, I visited Yentile Farm Recreational Facility, a former farm converted into a recreational facility. I picked a spot on a grassy area near the edge of the facility. The snow was gone and the wind really felt warm on the 80 plus degree day. The chair setup in seconds, soon, I was comfortable and stable. I am at an age where I have some trouble getting out of a chair, but not this one.
With warmer weather, I will be spending more time at Silver lake. There is a beach area as well as a grassy area. I have a new camera which I will use for bird pictures. Having a comfortable seat while waiting for birding is important. I have a few places in mind like Horn Pond, the Rail Trail in Pepperhill, and Harold Parker State Forest.
I like the structure of the Pico Arm chair, it looks strong and durable. It is also comfortable and stable while sitting in it. I am surprised there wasn’t a feature enabling me to carry it as a backpack or a hand grip for carrying.
I wish to thank 4alloutdoors.org and GCI for the opportunity to test the Pico Arm chair. Please check back in a month when I will have more to say.
For most of the last month, it was not the most suitable weather to test an outdoor item due to rain and cool temperatures. When the weather improved, I got quality time using the GCI Pico Arm chair. When the weather was hot, I could answer a question from a local reader in my review. I will get into comfort and more on the chair back storage Caddy.
A week at Timeshare
I was asked if the Pico chair got hot in direct sunlight. Turns out this past week the unit I was staying in had a small private deck that had full sun most of the day. We had a couple days with the temperature hovering around 90 F. I could not feel any hot spots when I sat on the chair. I found that the Pico is a great chair to read a book or look at scenery like Mt Lafayette. This deck is ideal to use the Pico chair. I will plan on taking it for future visits.
Chair Back Storage Caddy
The Storage Caddy serves several functions. The primary function is to store and carry the Pico chair. Unlike the carrying strap on most laptop packs I own, the strap of the Pico Storage Caddy does not slip off my shoulder. Now that I have carried the chair several times, I am less inclined to want a hand strap to carry the chair. The Storage Caddy is so light that if it has nothing in it, a gust of wind can lift it and it can sail a considerable distance depending on the wind. There is a bungee-like cord that crisscrosses the front of the Storage Caddy. I tried putting a book there, but there was not enough tension or friction to keep the book from sliding out. I did put a lightweight jacket there and it stayed in place with no problem.
In the next month If the weather allows I should use this chair at the local lake, the town common and a few more places. I wish to thank 4alloutdoors.org and GCI for the opportunity to test the Pico Arm chair. Please check back in a month when I will have more to say.
A last look 6-23-2017
The weather has improved from cold and rainy to hot humid and sometimes rainy. In my last look, I will focus on comfort, adaptability to various surfaces, and how far I was willing to carry the Pico armchair. I have stayed in the chair from one hour to up to four hours.
In the house
Why would I use a deck chair in the house? It is a comfortable chair that takes a small amount of space. On a warm rainy day, I wanted to do a lot of reading and quickly found that my recliner was too warm to sit in due to the high humidity. I set up the Pico Arm chair, and it was more comfortable than my recliner. Much to my surprise, I fell asleep in this chair. I spent most of the day reading except for meals and bathroom breaks. I also tried using this chair using my computer located on a desk. The surface of my desk is too high for any extended use. I used my cordless phone several times while sitting in this chair successfully and in comfort. A hand-held computer could work well.
Using the shoulder strap for carrying the Pico Arm Chair
Silver Lake is half a mile away. I walk to the lake most of the time especially when hot. The road to the lake passes through a wooded swampy area. A small pool of water sits on one side of the road, with Lubber’s brook passing under the road. It is a pleasant walk. I walked to Silver Lake using the carrying case and the shoulder strap, not knowing how far I could carry the chair before wanting to return home. I was about halfway to the lake before wanting to switch to my other shoulder. When I arrived at the lake, I was not inclined to walk any further as I was noticing some discomfort. If I was younger, I might be willing to walk a lot farther and think nothing of it. The town-owned part of the lake consists of a parking lot, a sandy unshaded beach, a fishing pier, small boat launch, and a grassy area with several large trees. On a hot and humid day, it’s refreshing to sit under a tree at Silver Lake reading or napping.
Adapting to irregular surfaces
How often have you sat on a chair and when you leaned in a direction, the chair moved without warning? I did not experience any surprise movements in the Pico chair. The grassy section at Silver Lake Beach was added 50 years ago and over the years has lost a lot of the flatness, and near the now large trees, the ground slopes. I tried putting the chair in several places. The chair felt unsteady to the touch. As my weight shifted into the chair, it was stable. The collapsing legs which do not lock into a fixed position are free to self-adjust. The front legs are connected to the rear legs by 2 hollow metal rods which are close to the foot pads of the legs. If the foot pads are unable to take the weight then the connecting rods take the weight.
I like the following: the chair is stable on irregular surfaces, it is compact and easy to carry, the comfort is outstanding. My wish list would be to have a handle as an option for carrying.
I am looking for to using this chair for many years to come in many places. I wish to thank 4alloutdoors.org and GCI for the opportunity to test the Pico Arm chair.