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It all started when...

Tanner Boeger


Most of us have had an idea or two we thought would make great products.  Few of us try to do it.  I have been a closet inventor for over 10 years until my first success, the STRONGBACK Chair.  Creating, designing and building something original is fun - even more so when you are able to help people while you do it.  Following is the story of how the STRONGBACK Chair evolved.

Ever gotten a sore back using camping chairs for too long?  You are not alone - turns out the majority of people do not find the standard sling-style chairs comfortable.  That's why you see so many people standing around or sitting on the ground with a bunch of empty camping chairs around them.  People just use them because there is no better alternative - until now.  I searched all over the internet and retail stores for any kind of camp chair to relieve my discomfort but I could not find a thing.  This is why I invented the STRONGBACK Chair - superior back support and comfort in a travel chair.  I can sit in my STRONGBACK Chair all day long without any back pain at all.  Normal travel chairs I can sit in for about 5 minutes before I start squirming in discomfort. 

I was sold on the idea for a travel chair with back support when I was camping in the remote Mammoth Lakes area of the California Sierra Nevada Mountains.  After squirming around in my chair in discomfort for the hundredth plus time, failing to get comfortable using cushions,  I asked if anyone else got a sore back in these chairs.  I was very surprised to hear that nearly everyone else, all people in their early thirties, did too.  That was all I needed - when I realized that it wasn't just me, but a common problem with the majority of people, I decided to sink my teeth into it.  I already knew form searvhing the internet that there was not a travel chair with good back support, but unitl this point, I did not know how many people needed one.  I realized that there must be a lot of people out there using travel chairs that are quietly suffering because they do not want to complain about a problem that is often associated with old people - back pain.

So, on the following evenings and weekends I got out my tools, made countless trips to the hardware store and eventually came up with the STRONGBACK design.  My initial vision of the solution to the problem, however, was very different than the final result.  I worked through about 30 prototypes, adjusting and tweaking, before I finally got it right about 1 year later.  Originally I had envisioned a bunch of straps and protrusions but as I kept making the back support more effective it kept getting more simple - a great trend to eventual product success.  All of the old standard chairs are shaped exactly wrong - they are sling style chairs that are neither comfortable nor ergonomically healthy.  Until the STRONGBACK Chair, no one could figure out how to make these sling-style chairs have effective back support without adding too much weight or bulk.  My ultimate solution was to simply reshape the frame and fabric of the chair back and seat so, like an office chair or auto seat, the fabric of the chair conformed to and supported the natural lumbar curve of the human spine. The result was a travel chair that provided comfortable and healthy positive back support while sacrificing none of the ease of use and portability qualities we enjoy in standard travel chairs. 

One really exciting part of the process was attending the Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow in 2009 and watching the excited reactions of the people who sat in my STRONGBACK Chair.  “Wow, this is great” was the common reaction by most who tried it.  I was also amazed at how many people passionately 'hated' the standard sling-style travel chairs.  From there I used my contacts made at the show to shop my chair around to various manufacturers and distributors.  A few months later I signed an exclusive licensing agreement with a well known manufacturer and distributor in the industry. 

I'm excited STRONGBACK Chairs are finally here for the public to use.  I hope everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors a little more comfortably and a little more often. 

Sitting is believing.  Try it out for yourself - our website promises a full money back guarantee if you do not feel our product is the most comfortable and ergonomically healthy travel chair you have ever sat in. 

Get out and stay active!

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  • Susan Englert on

    Our daughter and her husband sent us two Strongback chairs for Christmas. We will now sit on the beach or at an outdoor concert in actual comfort. Right now, we are enjoying them in front of the fireplace. I feel lucky to own one! Good job, Ladd!

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