Hard-core backpackers tend to dismiss the idea of carrying an ultralight chair along on a trek, but the Hex 2.0 has nonetheless won a fair share of them over to the cushy side. And why not? This chair is renowned for its comfort, weighs only 1 lb. 5 oz., rolls up into a tight 16.5 inch by 4 inch cylinder for clipping to the bottom of your pack, has an adjustable seat back, and supports up to 250 pounds. Instead of seeking out rocks and logs to sit on in remote, middle-of-nowhere spots, you can simply unroll your Hex 2.0, set it up in seconds, and then lean back and relax in comfort.

The Hex 2.0 is strong, durable and easy on the joints. High-density EVA foam provides a cushy 8mm of insulated comfort; the outer shell of coated ripstop nylon protects you from wet ground; and the inner surface (water-resistant and breathable 70D coated ripstop nylon) is durable, easy to keep clean, and seals out grit. Metal posts running down the sides maintain sturdiness. All webbing and connections are made from super-durable materials.

The chair comes in multiple color combinations, including Royal/Emerald Green, Eggplant/Grey, Moss Green/Ash Grey, and Black/Royal Blue. $53.50. crazycreek.com.

In Sonoma County, Crazy Creek products are carried by REI in Santa Rosa.

Pinot Noir


Cherry Tart

Cherry Tart, 2014 California Pinot Noir, 14.5% alcohol, $20. ★★★1/2

This is a tasty bottle of cherry fruit, with a hint of herbs and a touch of smoke. The pinot’s concentrated, upfront fruit shows well with its bright acidity. It’s uncomplicated, but a great summer quaff. This pinot is a steal from winemaker Jayson Woodbridge, who also makes the upscale Hundred Acre cabernet sauvignon that sells for $350 a bottle.


Siduri, 2014 Santa Lucia Highlands, 14.4%, $35. ★★★★: This is a seriously good pinot with layered notes of blackberry, herbs and tobacco. Generous fruit. Great backbone. Well crafted.

Martin Ray, 2014 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 13.8%, $30. ★★★1/2: This pinot has concentrated cherry fruit, bright acid and good balance. Herbs and spice play back up. Nice length.

Patz & Hall, 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 14.2%, $46. ★★★★1/2: This pinot has great structure and complexity. It has fruit flavors of strawberry and raspberry, with a high-toned note of cranberry. Layered in the mix are herbs and cocoa. It’s dry and finishes crisp.

Cobb, 2013 Jack Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, 12.8%, $75. ★★★★: This is a lovely pinot with a range of flavors — black cherry, mineral, and black pepper. It’s a touch earthy and it works. Lingering finish. Top rate.


Peg Melnik's wine blog: Tasting Room