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 chairs 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 camp 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 camp 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 camp 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 one of the best camping chairs 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 camp 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 seat height 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 camp 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 One 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.
If you’re willing to spend the extra cash for a quality, lighter camp chair, this is the pick for you.
Better materials make a better chair. Both the frame and the fabric in this chair are improved alternatives to other chairs, which means that it will hold a heavier camper and last longer for more camping trips.
Anodized aluminum is more resistant to corrosion than regular aluminum, which makes these chairs more weatherproof. The polyester is just as strong as nylon, but slightly less forgiving and flexible. On the plus side, it’s also more abrasion-resistant and durable.
Just like the ALPS chair, this Helinox Chair supports your back when you want to rest and recline. It also keeps your backside 11 inches off of the cold, hard ground.
The posture of this chair is more upright. This is great if you want to sit in it while working at the campfire, as it improves your functional posture without sacrificing comfort.
However, the legs of this chair are aligned with a wide side-to-side base instead of a front-to-back base. Be careful when you lean back in this chair, as it’s easy to tip over backward.
The Helinox Chair One is the best premium quality backpacking chair we could find.
It might be the most expensive chair in our article, but you get your money’s worth for the extra strength, comfort, durability, and lifespan.
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 seat height 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 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 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 with a 40″ seat height, 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.
This Coleman 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.
Cascade Mountain Tech Camping Chair – Best Picnic Chair
The Cascade Mountain Tech Camping Chair is a medium-sized, low profile chair at 20″ deep, 20″ wide, and 20″ high. It’s foldable and made of lightweight steel, only weighing 7 pounds.
The camp chair is sturdy and stable, with the ability to hold up to 250 pounds of weight.
Additionally, it comes with a convenient storage bag that has shoulder straps for ease of carrying.
The main color of this chair is black, but you can also get it in green, orange, and royal blue.
The Cascade Mountain Chair is the best camping chair for picnics because of its low-to-the-ground legs and overall low-profile frame.
This wide, comfortable, and low positioning make it easy to use at a picnic on the park, beach, or backyard where food is laid out on the ground.
It provides easy access to the food and drinks in front of you, without needing a chair table or getting out of your chair completely to serve yourself.
This chair also has a relatively wide seating area compared to some of its competitors, making it more comfortable for wide-hipped people and simply more spacious and roomy in general.
In addition to picnics, this chair is excellent for camping and festivals, where a lightweight and highly portable chair is appreciated, and outdoor movies, where low-profile chairs are necessary so that you don’t block others’ views.
The low-profile nature of this chair also means that your legs won’t dig into the front like they might on a high chair.
However, the main issue with the low-profile aspect of this chair is that it can be quite challenging to get out of.
In sum, the Cascade Mountain Chair is a fantastic chair for those who want a relatively portable, lightweight, and low-profile chair to use in a variety of different scenarios such as picnics, camping, festivals, and outdoor movies.
It is not the best for people looking to get in and out of their chairs easily. If you are not flexible or highly mobile, it might be best to get a chair that is easier to get in and out of, like the Timber Ridge Director’s Chair.
Guide Gear Oversized Club Camp Chair – Best Car Camping Chair
The Guide Gear Oversized Club Camp Chair is a huge chair at 25″ deep, 34″ wide, and 37″ high. It has puffy padding and a heavy-duty foldable frame.
This chair weighs around 19 pounds, so it is on the heavier side for foldable camping chairs, but it can hold up to 500 pounds of weight.
The bag included is durable as well, and it is a zippered bag with two handles for storage purposes or easy portability.
The main color of this chair is tan/brown, but you can also get it in red plaid or grey plaid.
This Guide Gear camp chair has great full-body support all-around given its large size, extra padding, and heavyweight support.
If you are looking for one of the most comfortable camping chairs to sit in for longer periods of time, this one is an excellent option.
Because you can relax in it for a long time, and because it is not as lightweight and portable as its camping chair competitions, this is an excellent choice for car camping.
You won’t have to try and fit it in your background or carry it around with you, but instead, find a decent spot for it in your car and only carry it from the trunk to the campfire.
The zippered carry bag included will help with packing it and out of your car as well.
However, the fabric is not breathable, so it is best for warm-to-cold temperatures and fall/early spring camping as opposed to hot temperatures and late spring/summer camping.
Otherwise, the chair might get really hot, making the user hotter than necessary as well.
Additionally, it’s a great chair for other purposes outside of camping as well, such as relaxing on your porch or reading on it in your bedroom.
Ultimately, the Guide Gear Camping Chair is perfect for camping, especially for heavier people, given its high level of comfort and weight support.
However, it is best for car camping, since it is a heavier chair than its competitors. If you want a slightly lighter-weight camping chair, the KingCamp Lumbar chair might work better for you.
Eagles Nest Outfitters Lounger DL – Best Camping Chair for Reading
The Eagles Nest Outfitters Lounger DL Chair is a well-sized, shock-cord camping chair with an integrated headrest, a pillow, and a high, supportive, and tilted back.
At just 4.6 pounds, it has tear-resistant material and a sturdy frame that can support up to 250 pounds.
This item does not come with a carry or storage bag as most camp chairs do. However, buyers can purchase a storage bag from Eagles Nest Outfitters separately.
The main colors of this chair are black and charcoal, but you can also get it in navy and seafoam or olive and lime.
The Eagles Nest chair is a high-quality lounge-style chair suitable for camping and other relaxing outdoor activities.
Its weight-to-weight support ratio is impressive, making it a highly efficient, convenient, and portable chair to carry around that will last throughout many camping trips.
You can also sit with your legs in a standard seating position or fold the bottom legs so that you can sit with your legs outstretched for an even more cozy, lounge-like position.
Additionally, the shock-cord assembly makes setting up the chair very straightforward and quick so that you can get to lounging as soon as possible.
Most importantly, the ability to recline in this lounge chair is a standout quality, as the back is high and supportive, and there’s an integrated headrest that includes a pillow for additional comfort.
All of these reasons point to why the Eagles Nest Chair is one of the best camp chairs for reading. You can recline, spread out, relax, and enjoy a good book next to the campfire.
If you are looking for a comfortable, sturdy, and exceptionally relaxing chair to lounge in and read in during your next camping trip, the Eagles Nest DL Lounger will do the trick.
It is also a great camping chair for those who experience back problems, as it prevents back pain even when seated for longer periods of time.
However, if you’re looking for back support specific to lumbar and need more support than the average person, checking out the KingCamp Lumbar Back Oversized Padded Chair would be a good idea.
Kelty Essential Chair – Best Budget Camping Chair
The Kelty Essential Chair is a standard-sized camp chair at 21″ deep, 37″ wide, 21.3″ high, and seven pounds.
This chair has everything you need for camping without too many extra features to keep the price low compared to other camping chairs.
You’ll get a relatively wide and spacious frame, breathable and padded polyester fabric, a sturdy steel frame, a convenient cup holder, and a portable-friendly carry-wrap.
The main colors of this chair are canyon brown and beluga, but you can also get it in deep lake blue and fallen rock brown.
The Kelty Essential Chair is an excellent camping chair option for people on a budget or people looking for a simple, straightforward camp chair that will serve their basic camping needs.
It’s a decent weight for carrying purposes and includes a carry-wrap which isn’t necessarily as easy to use as a standard bag but can double as a seating mat or a dog mat, which some people appreciate.
Plus, the cup holder is helpful for keeping your cold and hot beverages close to you while sitting around with your family or camping buddies.
Given its lighter weight, carry wrap and breathable fabric, and integrated cup holder, this chair is perfect for use cases outside of just camping as well.
You can take it to an outdoor concert, set it up before a backyard gathering, or just use it to relax on your porch in the afternoons, all year long.
Ultimately, the Kelty Essential Chair provides a well-built, sturdy, and durable camping chair option at a notably high valued price.
If you don’t mind a straight back and don’t want to spend too much on a high-quality chair, we recommend getting the Kelty.
Otherwise, if you want a reclined camping chair, spending a little more on the Eagles Nest Outfitters Lounger DL Chair might work better for you.
ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous – Best Low Camping Chair
The ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous is a low-to-the-ground camp chair at 14″ D, 22″ wide, and 24″ high. It weighs 6.8 pounds itself and can hold up to 300 pounds in weight.
It has a slight reclining back, breathable fabric, and a sturdy steel frame. A carry bag is also included for easy portability.
The main color of this chair is khaki, but you can also get it in deep-sea (blue), ocean and grey, yellow and grey, or salsa (red) and charcoal (black).
This low-camping chair is an excellent option that is sturdy enough for heavier set people but lightweight enough to take with you on a variety of camping trips.
Its main standout quality is its low-profile and reclining frame, allowing you to stretch out backward and stretch out your legs simultaneously.
It’s comfortable, easy to carry, and high-quality all around.
These qualifications make it suitable for not just camping but for other activities, including picnics, festivals, outdoor movies, sporting events, outdoor theater performances, and more.
However, the crossbar on the front of the chair might be uncomfortable for some users, as it may cause some pressure in the back of the legs when they stretch out.
In sum, the ALPS Mountaineering chair is a convenient and straightforward low-profile chair that is perfect for people looking to stay lower to the ground and stretch out.
Though, given the crossbar in the front that might put pressure on some people’s legs, the Cascade Mountain Tech Camping Chair might be a better low-profile camping chair option for some people.
Timber Ridge Laurel Outdoor – Best Camping Chair With Cooler
The Timber Ridge Laurel Outdoor Chair has a feature that stands out among many of its competitors — an attached cooler.
Additionally, this foldable director-style chair is well-sized for a range of adults at 20.87″ deep, 35.04″ wide, and 13.78 high.
Made is padded polyester and a sturdy aluminum frame, this chair can support up to 300 pounds but only weighs 7.8 pounds.
Lastly, this chair has not only a cooler but also a table, two cup holders, and a phone pocket underneath the seat.
The only color option for this chair is grey.
Timber Ridge’s Lauren Outdoor camp chair is one of the best camping chairs for people who like to have more than one cold beverage on hand.
It’s also a great camping chair to keep food at whichever temperature you would like it to be, all thanks to the insulated cooler on the side.
The attached cooler provides easy access to food and beverages, making it a solid and practical chair choice for camping trips as well as family outings, sporting events, barbecues, backyard gatherings, and other outdoor events.
Plus, the top functions as a working table when the cooler is closed, making it even more user-friendly for storing and eating snacks outdoors.
Finally, if you want to keep your phone nearby for pictures and videos, but you don’t want your food and drinks to have to share table space with your phone, you can tuck your phone away in the convenient phone pocket underneath the seat instead.
In sum, the Timber Ridge Laurel Outdoor chair is an exceptionally user-friendly and feature-heavy chair that is great for versatile outdoor use.
If you have a decently lightweight chair that you can take anywhere from camping to sporting events to live shows, then this chair can appropriately serve various needs at each location — and keep your drinks cold all the while.
However, if you want a storage bag for your phone as well as other items (e.g., magazines, maps, books, etc.), the KingCamp Lumbar chair will provide all of the same features with more storage and a little more comfort as well.
Coleman Broadband Mesh Quad Camping Chair – Best Camping Chair Under $40
The Coleman Broadband Mesh Quad chair has extra-wide 21.3″ seating, with a depth of 35.5″ and a seat height of 31.1.”
It’s a portable, foldable chair with breathable nylon mesh fabric and a steel frame that can support up to 250 pounds.
It’s also a super lightweight chair at just 3.88 pounds and comes with an integrated beverage holder, armrests, and a sling carry bang.
The only color option for this chair is red.
Coleman’s Broadband Mesh chair is the best camping chair under $40, given its user-friendly features such as a cup holder, armrests, and sling carry bag.
These are the main features that people are looking for in a basic camping chair, and it’s impressive that this chair includes all of them for under $40.
Plus, the chair is equipped with a mesh back, which is perfect for spring and summer camping when users tend to get very hot. This breathable mesh has a cooling effect, making the chair more comfortable for more extended periods.
However, perhaps due to its lower price, it is not the most durable out of its camping chair competitors. Many people find that the chair might break or bend after a few good uses.
The carry bag is quite flimsy and might tear after a while as well. For these reasons, this is not the highest value camping chair, even though it’s one of the cheapest with the specifications it has.
The Coleman Broadband camp chair provides all the basic features you need at a very affordable price.
If you are looking to get a chair for temporary use and are not looking for an item that will last you years on end, this camp chair is a fine choice.
Otherwise, if you want a more stable and high-quality cup holder chair, paying more for the Kelty Essential Chair might be better for you.
KingCamp Lumbar Back – Best Quad Chair
The KingCamp Lumbar Back Chair focuses on lumbar support, with an alignment strap to make sure that your lumbar stays in place while sitting in the chair.
This chair also includes a range of features, such as a mesh cup holder, a storage bag, and an insulated cooler that can hold three standard-sized cans.
With dimensions at 24″ deep, 23.5″ wide, and 41″ high, this foldable, padded, and steel-tubed chair weighs 11.9 pounds and can hold up to 350 pounds. It also comes with a shoulder carry bag.
The main color of this chair is black and medium-grey, but you can also get it in navy and beige, or navy and grey. Additionally, you have the option to purchase a two-pack and get two black and medium-grey chairs for a significantly discounted price.
The KingCamp Lumber chair is excellent for people who want to protect their lumbar, especially taller people.
This is the best quad chair given its padded comfort and convenient features — such as the storage side bag, the cooler, and the cup holder — that allows you to stay seated and comfortable instead of getting in and out of your chair.
With a high weight capacity of 350 pounds, this is also an ideal camp chair for larger people who want ample support.
Fortunately, at 11.9 pounds, it’s still lightweight enough to go camping, especially car camping.
And with the carry bag, as well as the range of versatile-use features, it’s convenient enough to take it with you to many other activities and events as well.
People with lumbar issues will appreciate this chair while fishing, traveling, having a picnic, watching an outdoor movie, or catching up with friends at a patio party.
How to Choose the Best Camping Chair
Before you buy a new camping chair, here are a few things to consider when you’re finding the perfect outdoor or camp chair.
Types of Camp Chair
You’d be really surprised to find out quite how many different types of camp chair there are. We all have really different needs, whether that’s our body shape, our comfort levels, the available storage space we have, how portable we want our chair to be… The list goes on and on!
Here’s some of the different uses and designs along with the features that make them stand out.
There are few things as indulgent as sitting by a campfire in a rocking chair. The only real difference between rockers and a classic camp chair are the feet. Some camp chairs are dedicated rockers but others, like the Helinox Sunset Chair, can be adapted into a rocking chair by adding rockers to the feet.
Which means if you want an occasion rocker, you can actually have the best of both worlds.
The main features of a backpacking chair compared to standard camping chairs are the weight and packed size. Backpacking trips can be really tough if you take too much gear. And a lot of backpackers will choose not to take a backpacking chair at all!
However, an ultralight camping chair can make all the difference when it comes to being comfortable on your trip. If you can deal with the extra ounces, the main compromises you will have to make are on price (backpacking chairs are rarely cheap), height (they are rarely tall chairs) and weight capacity (they aren’t always built with the heaviest frames in mind).
Double Camping Chairs
At the opposite end of the spectrum from an ultralight camping chair you have double camp chairs or “loveseats”. A loveseat isn’t the most portable camping chair but they are really popular with couples.
In the same way as rocking next to a camp fire conjures up happy scenes, so too does being able to snuggle up to your significant other.
Double camping chairs aren’t necessarily very expensive but they are, by their nature, quite bulky and heavy.
A beach chair is a bit different from other chairs. Beach chairs are usually really low chairs (I say ‘usually’ because low chairs present challenges for the elderly which are discusses in this article) and they are specially designed not to sink into the sand.
Some of the camp 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 outdoor concerts.
For standard camping, sitting around the fire or just in the backyard, a chair with durable legs might be better, to keep you off the dirt and comfortable.
Classic Camp Chairs
I guess we all know what a classic camp chair looks like. They aren’t lightweight chairs like the Helinox Chair Zero. But they tend to have a decent ground to seat height. You often get nice features like adjustable armrests, a seamless mesh seat, a carrying bag, a storage pocket or two, cup holders and so forth. Even cheap camp chairs often have a lot to offer.
Weight & Packed Size
Camps chairs can weigh anything from less than a pound to over 15lbs. It depends on a lot of factors but it stands to reason that a cheap, heavy duty camp chair is going to weigh substantially more than a highly technical ultralight camping chair. The lightest chair we could find, by the way, was the Helinox Chair Zero at 1lb 1oz).
Similarly, the packed size is important to a lot of people. Perhaps you need it a super portable chair for backpacking trips or you want a beach chair that’s easy to cart across the sand. It may be that you don’t have much space to store stuff and when your camp chair folds up, it needs to be stowed neatly. Again, the Helinox Chair Zero is probably the most compact chair we could find when packed (13.5″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″).
Size & Comfort
There are lots of factors that make a comfortable chair. From seat height to adjustable armrests to high backs and more.
Ground to Seat Height
Ground to seat height is very important to some people and not at all important to others. If you struggle to get in and out of low chairs, then having a decent seat height is really important for you.
If weight and portability are more to you, then seat height is very possibly something you are willing to compromise on.
Personally, I don’t find sitting in a low down position uncomfortable (my Helinox chair zero is one of the most comfortable chairs I’ve ever sat in and it’s just a few inches off the ground). But it absolutely would be an issue if I didn’t have full mobility.
Camping chairs tend to support a minimum of 250lbs while really heavy duty ones can support up to 800lbs. Just be sure to check the capacity before you buy.
Not important to some people and vital to others. My Helinox chair has just mesh (no padding) and it’s supremely comfortable for such a compact chair. But for others padding makes or breaks the experience.
If you have a bad back them extra padding and lumbar support can make for a really supportive 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 camp chair. Most folks seem comfortable budgeting $40 – $70 for a camp 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 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 Chair Zero, 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.