It’s hard to think of anything more relaxing than sitting outside. Whether you’re watching the world go by, or reading a book, or taking in some rays.
The last thing you want to do is spoil that experience by having an uncomfortable camping chair. Or one that flakes on you after a couple of uses.
The problem with trying to establish the very best camping chair is that everyone has different needs. You might have a bad back, or want a recliner, or need a heavy duty chair, or a super-lightweight one for backpacking. Perhaps you’ll only use a camping chair that has a footrest…
Rather than publish an outrageously long list of camp chairs, we’ve got a dedicated article on each of those types of chair (click on any of the links above ). Meanwhile this post summarises the best in each category.
If you are in the market for a good camping chair, read on! (But if you can’t be bothered to go through all the options and just need a recommendation, then check out the ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous – it’s got everything you want in a great camping chair and more!)
The ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous chair is a folding chair that measures 22”W x 14”D x 24” high. It’s relatively lightweight at 6.8 lbs and has the capacity to hold up to 300 lbs.
To me, this is the best camping chair is because of the meshing on all sides. This provides great ventilation for not just camping but any outdoor activity. It’s easy to fold up and pack up with all the rest of the gear without sacrificing the comfort.
If you want something that is easy to fold and pack up, then this is the chair you want. It sits low to the ground and has plenty of ventilation to make sure you are comfortable. It’s great to sit in for fishing or any other outdoor camping activity.
This heavy duty camping chair can hold up to 250 pounds, yet it weighs just 3.88 pounds. It’s easy to carry around and measures 21.3 inches by 31.1 inches by 35.8 inches when it’s unfolded. The height of the seat is 18 inches above the ground.
The Coleman Broadband Mesh Quad camping chair offers the best price for quality — it’s heavy duty but comes at a great price. It’s portable, can be folded easily to carry around, and is extremely lightweight at under 4 pounds.
Unlike other heavy duty camping chairs, this one isn’t as big, but it does have a spacious seat measuring about 21.3 inches. The main reason we classify this quite basic chair as a heavy duty camping chair is due to its durability. The materials used in the chair — such as the strong steel frame — are built to last.
The seat has a breathable mesh on the back that can keep you cool on hot days. However, it may not be the most comfortable for taller people due to the lower backrest. The chair is made of a durable mesh and polyester that doesn’t wear out easily.
The chair has an integrated mesh cup holder with adjustable arms that lets you customize to suit your preference. It comes with a carry bag to help you transport it, and out of all the choices, this is the one you want to take hiking with you!
The Coleman Broadband Mesh Quad Camping Chair has a strong steel frame that makes it sturdy.
If you’re operating on a strict budget and want to acquire a heavy duty camping chair, then this is a fantastic option designed to withstand heavy use. Its collapsible, lightweight design together with a convenient carry bag makes it easy to transport and store.
It’s not quite as comfortable as higher quality camping chairs. However, it offers value for money if you want to keep your costs low and acquire something to do the job.
The Helinox chair is made with an aluminum frame and can hold up to 300 lbs. It’s 20” x 26” x 21” and weighs about 2 lbs. When packed away, Helinox boast it is on the size of a water bottle or large shoe.
This camping chair revolutionised my backpacking experience. It’s pricey, sure, and that’s probably why it took so long for me to buy one. But now I look back on the years and years where I would sit on a rock for ‘comfort’ and ask myself…WHY?!
Funny story: when I bought this home the day before we left for a trip and told my wife how much I’d spent she laughed in my face! And she didn’t stop there! She continued to ridicule me while I put it together. But then she saw my expression when I sat in it. I was shocked how comfortable it was! She immediately demanded to have a go herself and…here’s the funny bit…spent the rest of the day trying to buy herself one before we left the next day!
(Luckily, a local store got one shipped to them overnight and we were able to pick it up on our way out of town).
It’s a really low slung chair. And when you first put it up I guess most people would be sceptical about it’s comfort, as I was. But a lot of thought and effort has been put into the design. The whole seat has a lot of give and that means you can sit with you legs straight out in front of you leaning back, or with your legs tucked in underneath with your weight quite forward.
Either way you’re well-supported and well-balanced whatever position you adopt.
It’s extremely easy to assemble and break down. There are only two components: the frame and the seat. The frame is an interlocking mechanism that’s intuitive. And the seat corners just slip over the top.
The only downside I can speak to after literally 7+ years of use is that the feet slide into soft ground. It is quite frustrating. I’ve toyed with the idea of bringing a tennis ball cut in half to overcome that. But so far I’ve just had to adjust where I’m sitting to make sure I place the feet where they won’t sink.
I camped and backpacked for 15 years without a chair because I thought it was an unnecessary luxury. Then I found this chair and I can honestly say I will never go camping or backpacking again without one. It adds weight to your back and takes up space. Sure. But the sheer comfort it brings to your outdoors experience more than makes up for that.
It’s expensive, yes. But I’m 100% confident mine will last well into its second decade of punishing use. All memory of the money I spent has long since faded from my mind. I get nothing but joy from using this excellent bit of kit.
If you’re on the fence, just get off and buy one!
The GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker weighs 12.1 pounds. Its folded dimensions are 25 inches by 4.9 inches by 34.8 inches, and when unfolded it measures 25 inches by 4.9 inches by 24 inches. The height of the seat is 19.7 inches and it has a weight capacity of 250 pounds.
Here we have something a little different. If you’re going camping to get away from the city and relax in nature, this might be just what you’ve been looking for. The GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker is a portable rocking chair, so you can enjoy the motion no matter where you are.
The Spring-Action Rocking Technology offers a smooth and relaxing movement. The shocks at the back ensure a rocking motion on soft or hard ground.
The frame of the chair is made from a powder-coated steel frame, which is scratch resistant to keep it looking fresh. Due to its strong frame, it can support fairly large weights.
The chair has padded armrests to ensure comfort. Similarly, the breathable back mesh has a cooling effect during hot days and prevents that back sweat we all hate.
This chair doesn’t feature any side pockets like many other camping chairs, but it does have a mesh cup holder. It also has an integrated carrying handle for ease of transport. The chair can fold easily and quickly due to the patented Eazy-Fold Technology.
Some of the strongest features include its sturdy design and comfortable seat that doesn’t sag. However, at 12.1 pounds, it’s relatively heavy and bulky, so using the chair near your car is the best option.
This GCI Outdoor chair is the best for relaxing and stands out when it comes to durability and comfort. A unique feature is the rocking motion that suits people who like swaying and motion.
The downside is that the chair is relatively bulky and heavy even when it’s packed. If portability is not an issue, then this is your best choice that will last for a long time.
The King Kong is made with a steel frame, can hold up to 800lbs and measures 38”W x 20”D x 38”H. It comes in several different colors: a jazzy charcoal/citrus, an elegant ‘deep sea’ blue, an understated khaki (pictured), and an electric salsa!
In my opinion, this King Kong chair really does live up to its name. Its steel frame and weight capacity really make it a hardy and tough option. The fabric surrounds the solid steel bars and feels like it can handle the stress of an outdoor environment.
This chair has a high back and is super comfortable to sit in. Each armrest has a cup holder and the arms are adjustable. It has a solid leg system that is sturdy and will feel properly anchored down while you sit in it.
I have actually written a whole article reviewing a range of the Best Heavy Duty Camping Chairs (6 in all). The ALPS Mountaineering King Kong came out on top but if you would like to read a more in-depth review of the chair, or even compare it to the others I looked at (you never know, one of them might be better suited to your specific needs) then check it out over here…
The Stargaze weighs in at 7lbs 2oz and has a capacity for 300lbs. It’s a free-swinging rocker and comes in 4 different colors.
It boasts an adjustable headrest, a monofilament mesh seat, a built in cup holder and a pocket for accessories. It breaks down into its own carry case which measures 23.5″ x 6.5″ x 6.5″.
It also comes with a lifetime guarantee from Nemo.
This is a beautifully-designed bit of kit and super comfortable. It comes with a hefty price tag but most people who spring for it have absolutely no regrets.
More than just a recliner, it’s got an insanely relaxing swinging motion to it. No buttons or catches…you just lean back and the elastic holds you.
Not your “normal” reclining camping chair but it’s so much more than a chair because of that. It’s expensive, yes, but it’s also the best recliner on the market. Buy it, and you’ll likely find it so comfortable that your friends and family will occupy it when you don’t!
If this doesn’t look quite right for you, I’ve written a whole article on reclining camping chairs which you can check out here. It’s got various options for different designs and different budgets. (But you should still buy the Stargaze…!)
The Gigatent Quad weighs 9lbs and breaks down into its own carry case measuring 38″ x 8″ x 8″. It has a capacity of 250lbs.
It’s a relatively high chair rising 40″ off the ground and, unlike many camping chairs, has a high back. The seat is 21″ wide and it well-padded.
It comes in 4 different colors. And some of the colors actually have slightly different designs. Specifically, a little storage pocket inside the footrest itself. All the colors come with a cup holder as standard.
This is a chair designed with relaxation in mind. It’s not one your take hiking or backpacking (too heavy and bulky). But if you’re car camping, staying on a campground or in an RV it’s just about perfect for anyone who likes to put their feet up of an evening. Or for a daytime nap. Or in the morning. Before breakfast.
Basically, if you’re the sort of person who, like me, believes that you should never stand if you can sit, then you will probably really enjoy this chair.
It’s fairly heavy but stows away nice and neat. It’s not going to be taking up too much room amongst all your gear. I love the padded seat (and if you have kids, they will too, curse them).
A lot of camping chairs are quite low to the ground (especially those designed with maximum portability in mind) but this one is a very pleasant distance from the ground. Definitely a hit for anyone who’s starting feel the odd twinge. The high back is also a solid plus in this regard.
If you want a camping chair with a footrest, this is a slam dunk. Not too bulky. Not too pricey. Very, very comfortable. There’s not a to dislike about it. A solid buy!
There are actually quite a good selection of “footrest camping chairs” available on the market these days. So if you don’t like the look of the Gigatent Quad, you should have a look at my dedicated article looking at a wider range of camping chairs with footrests.
The KingCamp can support up to 350 lbs. Its dimensions are 23.5” x 23.5” 41” while its overall weight is 11.3 lbs.
This is the most comfortable chair because of its lumbar support. Quite honestly, I have not found a chair that is as comfortable as this. The high back gives you options to rest your head back and it has some cushion right where your lower back rests. It’s a great chair if you are going to sit for long periods of time.
This chair is not only comfortable but also works as an insulator for cold drinks. It’s got an extra cushion and feels like the sofa of camping chairs. The head and neck rest make it great for lounging and also comes with a storage pouch. If you want to sit around the campsite all day and just relax then I would recommend this chair.
The Coleman Quad Chair comes with a 4-can cooler pouch and is lightweight at 8.3 lbs. The dimensions are 8.1″ x 37.6″ x 9.1″. It has a weight capacity of 350 lbs.
This is the best fold out chair because despite its rather simple design, it still comes with a cooler, cup holders, and a small storage pouch. It’s convenient and easy to assemble and disassemble.
This chair has a cushioned seat and all the little camping chair amenities you could want. They are roomy and comfortable and can hold up to 350 lbs. It is sturdy and comes apart easily. It’s easy to carry and you can pick from different colors.
Specially designed for back support, this Strongback chair comes with a convenient carrying case and a 300-pound capacity. It is known for its comfort and how easy it is to transport.
Don’t let back pain stop you from getting out there and enjoying the outdoors. The Strongback chair is super supportive, while still portable. Its low design makes it good for stadiums and bleachers, too.
I found this chair way more supportive than most camping chairs. It is a little heavier than some other models like the Crazy Creek, but totally worth it for the high level of comfort.
This Strongback chair is lightly heavier but super comfortable. You’d love it for camping, stadium events or backpacking.
This Crazy Creek is light, packable and surprisingly comfortable for its size. It is made of durable, water-resistant nylon and can be rolled up to take up minimal space.
There are a lot of benefits to owning a Crazy Creek, especially if you are a backpacker. This is the only chair on this list that I would recommend to someone who does a lot of long, overnight treks. You can easily pack it with you, and it can also unclip to double as a sleeping pad.
This little folding chair can turn any surface into a seat. I find it super useful for stadiums as well as campfires.
Portable, comfortable and versatile, the Crazy Creek Hex is great for light travelers.
What to look for in a camping chair
Before you make a purchase, here are a few things to consider when you’re finding the perfect outdoor or camping chair.
How Much Weight Can a Camping Chair Hold?
Most camping chairs can hold at least 250lbs (although I’d say a rating of 250lbs is relatively rare). A normal weight rating for a camping chair is in the region of 300lbs – 350lbs. There are an increasing number of camping chairs coming onto the market that are much sturdier. The mighty “King Kong” from ALPS Mountaineering, for example, is rated to hold 800lbs!
How Much Does a Camping Chair Weigh?
Camping chairs tend to weigh anything from 1lb to 15lbs. Obviously this varies tremendously depending on the style of chair, its intended use and the materials it’s made from. Expect backpacking chairs to weigh in the 1lb – 4lbs range (though 4lbs is quite a lot to hike with). Most standard camping chairs seem to fall in the 4lbs – 8lbs range. For over-sized, heavy-duty camping chairs, expect to lug around 8lbs – 12lbs.
How Much Does a Camping Chair Cost?
Camping chairs can cost anything between $20 for a basic chair from Walmart and $300+ for an over-priced Yeti camping chair. Most folks seem comfortable budgeting $40 – $70 for a camping chair and that should buy you something reasonably good. Expect to pay $100+ for good specialist designs (for example lightweight camping chairs, or ones that fold down really compact, or heavy duty designs).
Camping vs. Backpacking
It’s important to remember that some chairs are far more portable than others. Consider where you are going to use your chair most and how you are going to get it there – if you generally go car-camping or just take day trips to the beach, you can value support and comfort over portability. But if you want to take your chair on a longer backpacking trip, make sure it is lightweight and packable.
Legs or no legs?
Some of the camping chairs reviewed here have legs, others do not. Legless chairs like the Crazy Creek are designed to be placed on a higher surface to turn a rough log or bench into a supportive chair. You might want to consider a legless seat if you plan to use it for sporting events or concerts.
Before buying a chair, you should also take note of the type of material used. If you plan on using your chair outdoors often, make sure it is weather-proof and durable. Or you could always make you own!
Camping chairs come in handy more often than you might think. The chairs I have reviewed here are all light and portable, simple to use and comfortable for any outdoor circumstances. The Helinox One, in particular, is an essential part of my pack, alongside my tarp. But any of them would make a great investment for a happier camping trip.