Introduction: "Seat(less)" Strap Chair

Picture of "Seat(less)" Strap Chair

I saw this concept at a store, as a commercially made product. I thought it was great, but it could use a few modifications, then I saw the price of $40, and decided I could definitely make one that was about 1/5 the cost, and more usable, so here it is. 

The concept is simple, a highly portable strap that goes around your legs and back as you sit, and provides back support, but can be thrown in your backpack/purse/pocket and carried around. I think it's brilliant! You can use one of these on the floor, on the ground, on a couch or chair, or anywhere else where you want a little more back support. The only downside is that my rear end gets a little sore from this. I think I will add to it by taking a small piece of closed cell foam around as a seat cushion. 

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials


2" Webbing: 2-2.5 yards
1/8" or 3/16" Shock cord: 6-8"
2"  "Loop Loc": 1 
2" Tri-glide: 1
Optional- Small piece of leather or cloth

Needle and Thread
Sewing Machine is nice
Something to cut webbing and fabric/leather

I used Tubular Nylon Webbing, I would recommend against that, because it is significantly bulkier and heavier. I'd suggest either polypropylene, or if that's not available you could use flat nylon. Really you could use anything. This could be done with seat belt webbing and a buckle from an old car and look much cooler than mine. 

You could also use a variety of other options on the buckles, I just wanted something that could be adjusted and this stuff was handy. Also for mine I used 1/4" shock cord, I would recommend using lighter weight shock cord (actually the shock cord is optional). 

All of these materials can be had from a variety of retailers, some of my favorites online are: Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics and The Rainshed.

I apologize for not having pictures of the whole process. Please let me know if there are any other pictures that would be helpful! 

Step 2: Sew the Loop Loc to One End of the Webbing

Picture of Sew the Loop Loc to One End of the Webbing

Just fold the end of the webbing through the loop loc (white plastic piece) and stitch it down. I Stitched back and forth several times. sorry I don't have a picture of just this step. 

Step 3: Stitch Shock Cord Onto Webbing

Picture of Stitch Shock Cord Onto Webbing

Now you need to fold your shock cord in half, and stitch the two ends just behind the ladder lock so that it pokes out over the ladder lock. I used a stitching awl for this, but a heavy needle would probably work. 

Step 4: Make a Cover (if You Want One)

Picture of Make a Cover (if You Want One)

If you want a little cover to hide the stitching on your shock cord, then choose your material, cut a rectangle approximately 4.5" x 2". Fold it in half and sew down one edge so you have a "tube". Slide it over the part of the webbing you want to cover, and then stitch down one side through the webbing to anchor it.

Now you're done stitching! 

(BTW, I used lime green deer hide for my "cover" It came from an auction so I'm afraid I've got no idea where you can get some!)

Step 5: Feed the Webbing Through the Triglide

Picture of Feed the Webbing Through the Triglide

Bring the other end of your webbing through the triglide, then through the loop loc, then back through the triglide. This should complete your seat! 

Step 6: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

There are many ways to use this seat(less), You can use it with your legs up higher, or crossed, or even in the lotus position (though that requires a fairly long strap). Put your back strap on your lower back for lumbar support, or up higher, it's quite versatile! 

Incidentally, if you happen to have a scrap of webbing lying around, you can make a non adjustable one by just tying a Water Knot in it as shown in the last couple pictures. 

Step 7: Add Padding!

Picture of Add Padding!

Several people have expressed concerns about pressure on kidneys, discomfort, etc. so I tried a couple padding options that occurred to me.  The first is a small section of a closed cell foam sleeping pad that is ~20"x13". This is just long enough to go under my bottom, and then under the strap when it's down low. It did a really good job of spreading the pressure of the strap. The second idea was to use this with an actual sleeping pad, in a manner similar to the therm-a-rest kit for turning your sleeping pad into a stadium chair. This was also comfortable, and with the addition of some protection for your sleeping pad could be an excellent method while backpacking. I hope this helps waylay any concerns about danger, and also contribute to your comfort of course :) 


prince-of-weasels (author)2012-05-28

I'm drawing a blank on the tribe name..but this is not an improvement of an African Council Chair.Their solution to endless hours in the shade while debating council matters was a hand woven strip of cloth about eight to ten inches wide sewn in a loop just big enough to circle the torso and knees.Slipped over the head and under the arms like a hula hoop then stretched over the knees it made supprizingly comfortable sitting.Not vein squeezing cross-legged but feet and buttocks flat on the ground knees just below chin. I made mine by repurposing the legs from a couple of old pairs of jeans.

yokxi (author)2011-11-28

cool!but u could also just use that 1 of the chairs back in the back ground

ducktape.mac (author)2011-10-29

this is a simple solution to a big problem. a perfect solution too! i voted.

Mr.1911 (author)ducktape.mac2011-11-23

I concur,five stars.

lordofducttape545 (author)2011-10-23


AngryRedhead (author)2011-10-20

Nice!  My only recommended alteration involves how you stitched since there will be a lot of tension, and the stitches could pop quite suddenly.  However, it should be quite quick to fix.  Instead of running a few lines of stitches to secure the webbing to the loop loc, try this stitch pattern.  You'll see the same stitch pattern on many items such as backpacks, boxers/briefs, and leashes.  It's very strong and durable, and it takes 15 seconds.  If you want to get the stitches very close to the loop loc, use a zipper foot which generally comes with all machines.

higginbo (author)AngryRedhead2011-10-20

Thanks! that's a good idea and would look more attractive as well. :)

ccrewe (author)2011-10-13

Mabey im not understanding something, why not just ditch the strap and sit cross legged? and what if you have to get up and run away for some reason..... now long does it take to unstrap yourself? Is this really usefull or is it a joke?

higginbo (author)ccrewe2011-10-14

The strap is to give you back support. It also allows you to hold your knees up higher than just sitting cross legged. Basically it is giving support more like a chair, without the chair. Also, I don't know how long it takes to get from sitting to running, but it just wraps around you, so it wouldn't be that big of a deal to stand up and run off I don't think.

Tumunga (author)2011-10-11

Looks good, but what do you do if you're all strapped in, sitting by the campfire, snacking on fresh salmon and smores, when Palin, I mean momma grizzly comes strolling by to have a snack? How quick would one be able to shed this device, and commence to hauling rump?

higginbo (author)Tumunga2011-10-11

It would probably not be much different than a crazy creek style chair. You'd be a lot more likely to trip on this apparatus though if you leaped up and started "hauling rump". There are definitely better alternatives (Like standing) if you think you might have to leap to your feet and run for your life at any moment. ;) Thanks for considering our safety :)

Tumunga (author)higginbo2011-10-12

You're welcome! LOL

chellspecker (author)2011-10-10

As simple as this last suggestion is, it would still make a nice instructable, if well-illustrated. I like that it would also keep your shoulders warm.

dwebb3 (author)2011-10-07

Wow I really like this concept and this will be my first undertaking of an "ible" thanks!

Leosmama (author)dwebb32011-10-10

go for it dwebb3
and don't let anyone tell you which is or isn't a 'better' "ible" - that is your coice alone :)

triumphman (author)dwebb32011-10-09

Pick a better 'ible!

facklere (author)2011-10-08

What function does the shock cord have? I can't see what it's doing.

higginbo (author)facklere2011-10-08

when you fold it up the shock cord pulls around it and keeps it in a little bundle to help keep it together. That's why it's not strictly neccessary

facklere (author)higginbo2011-10-10

Oh! That's actually pretty handy. Thanks.

riff raff (author)2011-10-10

Or, you could just...I dunno... SIT DOWN. Talk about a superfluous concept. Like I need to carry something else around in order to sit down. I must be missing the point.

That One Eegit (author)riff raff2011-10-10

It allows you to lean back, as if you were in a chair.

wholcombe (author)2011-10-10

my yoga instructor showed me something similar using a yoga strap.
It was really quite comfortable, and depending on where you put the back strap you could just lean back and veg.

Caveman (author)2011-10-10

And this site. Much better.:

Caveman (author)2011-10-10

Check this site for more info.
This is a very old idea. Thanks for reminding me of it.

lsanders3 (author)2011-10-09

I see this as being potetional very dangerous to use. first it appears that it could cut off circulation especially in the legs, put a tremedous amount pressure on the lumbar spine, as well as cause possible damage to organs such as kidneys.

higginbo (author)lsanders32011-10-09

I'd say it all depends how you're sitting in it. My lumbar spine hurts after just a few minutes of sitting on the ground unsupported, but not when I use this... that's purely anecdotal of course. As I mentioned below, it does cut off my circulation a bit, but less than just sitting cross legged does. Again, just based on my own experience. Perhaps I'll ask my chiropractor about it.

lsanders3 (author)higginbo2011-10-09

I would like to hear what the Chiropractor says. Thanks for commenting back so quickly.

cattibalistic (author)2011-10-09

You can probably use a sweatshirt for it.

phnxpete (author)2011-10-09

I think it is a good idea but there are some design issues. I'm guessing the idea may of come from a product in the Nada Chair line. the single strap can cut into the areas in contact including the kidney area by adding fabric and or pads it can more easily distribute the load and add comfort and safety.
Part of the idea with the original designs is also for posture correction and prevent slouching. I think you are on the right path but t could use some fine tuning.

notalis1970 (author)2011-10-09

My husband says it look like it would hurt your back after a bit. What if you put a back support made from, I don't know, an old motocross back protector?

higginbo (author)notalis19702011-10-09

that would probably be quite comfortable!

M4industries (author)2011-10-09

That looks quite uncomfortable. Correct me if I'm wrong.

higginbo (author)M4industries2011-10-09

It depends what you compare it too. Compared to a real chair you might keep in your living room it is quite uncomfortable. However I find it much better than simply sitting on the ground with no support. Personally I don't use it in my home, I carry it in my backpack for when I'm in between classes, or if I decide to eat lunch outside. This certainly wouldn't be my first choice to sit in all day long, but neither would anything on the ground really.

zazenergy (author)2011-10-07

woah! pretty neat! do you feel like this ever makes your legs fall asleep?

triumphman (author)zazenergy2011-10-09


higginbo (author)zazenergy2011-10-08

It does occasionally make my feet fall asleep, however, sitting cross legged without it also makes my legs fall asleep.... so I'm not sure if that means much. Also, since you can sit in it so many ways I just shift around and it's fine.

triumphman (author)2011-10-09

I don't think you could wear this for very long! Ouch! Your Chiro-man would get a few visits after wearing this thing! No thank you!

dkuckuk (author)2011-10-09

Great rework of an old idea, naysayers aside, I've used one of these for some time as a backpacking chair - it works great and, at less than 2 ounces, is 1/3 the weight of my Big Agnes Cyclone chair and a WHOLE lot easier to set up for short stops. No leg problems, no back problems (better than sitting cross-legged, actually).

Made mine from a luggage strap bought at the dollar store. Cut out the buckle and re-threaded the cut end through the adjuster. Total cost: $1.08 (and now I've got a perfectly good side-click buckle to do something with...)

vegasrandall (author)2011-10-09

If you take a blanket and fold it corner to corner to make a drape the blanket over your shoulders as you sit .you then cross the ends over your knees and tuck them inside of each other. You can lean back and stay warm if you are in front of a fire. This is known as the indian armchair.

jlytle-1 (author)vegasrandall2011-10-09

I'm having trouble visualizing how this works. Do you know of any sites that illustrate how to do it? It sounds like it would be really useful for camping, but I can't seem to figure out how it works.

bhisma (author)2011-10-09

This is a very old concept. It has been used to keep medidation posture by Tibetan yogis. Milarepa, the famous saint from Tibet, is always depicted with a meditation ribbon across his chest.

keviboy (author)2011-10-09

You could get the webbing from a motor recyclers old seat belts and maybe use the clasp as well...they would be almost next to nothing but may need washing first.

higginbo (author)2011-10-08

I've entered this into the "pocket Size" contest, so if you like it and want to vote for me I'd appreciate it! :) Only if you really think this is the best entry though.

tqwerty (author)2011-10-07

Ohhh, I saw this in Reader's Digest.
Great idea making it yourself.

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Bio: I live on a small piece of land that my wife and I are slowly trying to turn into a Permaculture Farm. During the day ... More »
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