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 following question: “Why isn’t there a chair for this?” Dan Grace asked and answered his question by using his engineering skills to design a chair to meet his criteria. In 1998 Jeffrey Polke joined as co-owner and added his skills in sales, marketing and retail.
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 is not there.
After opening the ends of the cardboard box I push the contents out. This package is wrapped with the instructions printed cardboard sleeve with a plastic handle. The sleeve slides off with ease revealing the carrying case with an adjustable shoulder strap. After opening the 2 side brackets the chair slides out with ease. I glance at the construction, pleased with the sturdy look of the legs and frame of the chair. I have never 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 to sit. Well, almost all the time. I find using the least amount of force to open the chair works the best.
Storage places on chair
A drink holder is on the right side of the chair. It is about 3 in (7.6 cm) by about 4 in (10.2 cm) deep. This pocket accommodates most beverage containers ½ L or smaller. Next to the drink holder is a pocket with a flap that attaches with the hook and loop method. The size of this pocket is about 4.5 in (11.4 cm) by 4.5 in (11.4 cm). On the left arm of the chair is a zippered pocket with dimensions of 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 looks 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. It was 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 a lot longer but had things to do. On the following day, I visited Yentile Farm Recreational Facility. This is a former farm converted into a recreational facility. I picked a spot on a grassy area near the edge of the facility. Now that the snow was gone the wind really felt warm on this 80 plus degree day. The chair setup in seconds, and 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. The is a beach area as well as a grassy area. I have a new camera which I will be using 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 was no provision 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 about 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.