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If you are an adventurous person with a passion for the outdoors, you definitely need to own a camping chair. Whether it is for attending outdoor events, camping, backpacking, or chilling on your lawn, owning at least one portable camping chair is a great investment.
An indicator of a great camping chair is one that is portable, foldable, easy to set up, and lightweight. More of this will be discussed in detail below.
Before you purchase a camping chair, it is important to have a refresher on the basics and be familiar with the specifications and capabilities you should look for. To help you with this, this article contains the basics of a camping chair, a list of capabilities to look for, and some product recommendations.
Top camp chairs to choose from
Here are our top picks for camp chairs to save you the headache of going over those thousands of brands and models.
These are based on research and tested for several factors such as stability, durability, construction, comfort, etc.
After that, these are then rated into three factors, with the brand having 40% of the overall percentage while value and customer reviews weighing 30 percent each.
Camping chairs for those with back issues
Coleman portable camping quad chair
The Coleman portable camping quad chair is popular because, aside from its budget-wise price and great quality, it can also accommodate several beverages. What’s even greater is that it contains a mesh pocket where you can keep your keys, phone, and other belongings at an easy-to-reach distance.
Even if you use it under direct sunlight and expose it to water spills, you won’t worry about this chair fading because it is highly fade resistant. It can support up to 325 pounds and has a seating height of 18 inches.
- Adjustable armrest
- Has a camping bag
- Reliable and durable legs
- The seat comes with lumbar support and a pad
- Has a cup holder on the armrest which can hold up to 5 cups
- Comes with a cooler compartment for up to 4 beverages
- Not lightweight
- Steel legs could rust after a year of use
- The camping chair is difficult to put back into its bag
- The free bag is not constructed from durable material
Strongback camping chair with lumbar support
From the name itself, its lumbar support is one of its best features. This chair will not put a strain on your back because, aside from its lumbar support, it also has a firm backrest. Sitting in it for hours can be as comfortable as using a pillow.
You can also be assured that the backrest does not sag. With a seating height of 18 inches, this camping chair can accommodate up to 300 pounds.
- Lightweight weighs only 11.9 pounds.
- Fabric is made of Polyester 600D for longevity.
- Comes with a dual shoulder strap backpack for portability
- Legs constructed from steel with silver powder coating
- Does not have bar under for leg resting
- Does not have a pocket or compartment for your belongings
- Has only one small 7-centimeter cup holder, which cannot accommodate wine glasses and other beverage containers
Camping chairs for recreational vehicles (RVs)
Helinox chair one
If you are looking for a lightweight 1.96-pound chair that does not take up a lot of space, this one’s for you. This is ideal for those who are backpackers and trekkers as this chair is smaller than a newspaper.
The downside is that it lacks most of the features needed to give way to its small size. The lack of features can compromise your comfort, especially since it does not have an armrest or a headrest.
- With a backrest made of breathable mesh fabric
- Does not fade when exposed to heat and humidity
- With sturdy, rust-resistant, and stainless alumni legs
- With a ground sheet to prevent legs from slipping when used on different surfaces
- Does not have an armrest or headrest.
- Not the best choice for people shorter than 5’8”
- It cannot support heavy weight as the base support is not strong
- No necessary features such as cup holder, cooler, or storage pouch.
- The bag sags, which is not ideal for those with back pain and other lumbar issues
Helinox swivel chair
The Helinox Swivel is another lightweight option worthy of consideration. Its edge over the previously mentioned model, the Helinox chair, is that even though it is a little bit heavier, it can swivel.
This is best for tall people. It is also very comfortable to sit on because the fabric is made of breathable mesh. However, if you suffer from back pains, this is not the best choice for you as it may sag.
- Sturdy and rust-resistant legs
- Lightweight at 2.82 pounds
- Does not consume a lot of space
- No headrest
- Does not include a ground sheet for leg slipping prevention
- Shoulders of those less than 5’8 can get chaffed by the chair
- Does not have a cup holder, cooler, or storage pouch.
- Not ideal for heavy-weight people, it can only accommodate a maximum of 265 pounds.
Camping chairs for tall people
ALPS mountaineering king kong chair
This camping chair is suited for heavier and taller individuals. It can accommodate up to 800 pounds of weight and has a great sitting height, ideal for those standing 6 feet and above. It is also durable and sturdy.
It is resistant to different weather conditions because of its 6000D fabric. Another plus is that it is foldable at 5”x 5” x 18”.
- Comes with a dual shoulder strapped 7×41” carrying case
- Seats are padded
- Legs are resistant to rust
- Has two side pockets and storage space
- Has 2 cup holders on the armrest
- Not ideal for those under 5’7 as you’ll have a hard time getting out
- Fabric tends to hold rainwater and can get moldy
KingCamp camping chair
If you are suffering from back pains, this is the best fit for you as it offers lumbar support. This also comes with a headrest for neck and head support, thus, a winner in the area of comfort. This 41-inch, 11-pound camping chair is also a good choice for tall individuals because of its 18 inches seat height.
- Sufficient capacity of 350 pounds
- Has a 3-can beer cooler below the right arm
- Has 2 pounces for storage
- Large folding dimension of 38” x 9’ x 8”
- Not that portable with its 11 pounds weight
- Carrying case not large enough to cater to the camping chair
Camping chairs with canopies
Sport-brella recliner chair
This durable camping chair comes with an overhead canopy with UVA/UVB ray protection and metallic undercoating for extra sun protection. It can also swivel in three different settings and is adjustable to specifically block the sun’s direction.
It is extremely comfortable because, aside from its reclining chair and umbrella, it also has a detachable footrest for additional comfort.
- The armrest has a bottle-holder
- With an adjustable and detachable umbrella
- Has a pouch that can accommodate up to 4 cans
- With an adjustable three-optioned recliner for sitting, reclining, and napping.
- Umbrella cannot withstand strong winds
- Has a narrow seat, not ideal for the heavier ones
- It can only accommodate up to 250 pounds of weight
If blocking the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays is your priority, this camping chair is best suited for your needs. From the name itself, Quick shade, this camping chair has an overhead canopy that can be adjusted to block the sun and even rain from different directions. You also get a storage pouch under the right armrest to store your belongings.
- The armrest has 2 cup holders
- Has a 22.5” seat with a 19” height
- Non-saggy and comfortable backrest
- Water and stain-resistant fabric made of 300x 600D polyester
- The backrest cannot support the neck or head
- 225-pound weight capacity only ideal for slim people
- Non-durable armrest material may rip within a few months
- The overhead canopy may obstruct the view and is not ideal for outdoor events
Camping chair with a rocking motion
GCI outdoor freestyle rocker chair
This rocking chair is best for backyard and front-country camping use. It is the leader in durability and comfort with firm support despite its rocking motion. If properly taken care of, this chair can last for many years.
- Capable of rocking motion
- Non-saggy, comfortable to the back
- Cupholder is flimsy
- Heavy, weighs 13 pounds
- Can produce squeaky sounds
Types of camp chairs
Since it only has two legs, your feet will serve as the chair’s front leg. You may swing a little because of this. The drawback with this type is that you are prone to losing balance and falling over.
From the name itself, it has three legs which are more stable than the two-legged chair but not as reliable as the four-legged one. These are simple, not heavy, and ideal for outdoor adventures and trails.
Classic camp chairs
These have four legs, a flat seat, and a straight back. These are affordable and not tippy. Because of their height, you can easily sit and stand on them.
These are the best chairs to use for uneven ground or even for a sandy surface as these are ready.
What to look for in a camping chair
Purpose and versatility
It is important to know when, where, and for what you will use your camping chair. Is it more for watching outdoor games like soccer games? Is it for more adventurous activities like backpacking and viewing? Is it for car camping or backyard barbecuing?
Is it for multi-purpose use? How often are you going to use it? Is it yearly, monthly, weekly or daily? Once you know where you will need it for, it is easy to focus on the price and the feature and capability you should prioritize. Make sure that it has the necessary features for the intended purposes.
Portability and ease of use
For those who travel and walk long distances a lot, this one should be prioritized. Choose a camping chair that is not so heavy since it is not the only thing you will be taking on your trip.
You also have to bring your tents, cooking gear, etc. Consider also the foldability and the carrying bag that comes with it.
Go for a camping chair that is easy to fold and unfold. Ideally, it is best to have a foldable camping chair, one that does not take up much space. Look for ones that can be folded inwards or with a torpedo-like shape when folded.
It does not take up much space. Choosing the ones with a thin folding dimension could consume a lot of space when laid flat. It should be easy to unfold, set up, and fold back into its carrying bag.
Aside from the foldability, also choose one with a carrying bag. Choose a camping chair that, when folded, can fit perfectly in its carrying bag. In some models, you’ll find a hard time fitting the chair in its bag, so be wary of those items.
Strapping the camping chair across your back through a bag is more practical than carrying it with your arms.
Height and weight
Another factor for portability is height and weight. If possible, choose the most lightweight option without compromising the features and functionality. In terms of its height, if you are a fan of going to outdoor events with your camping chair, choose a low chair type, one that does not obstruct the view of other people.
However, if your focus is comfort and you have weak knees, high-seated chairs are best suited for you as it is easy to get in and out of them.
The material it is made of, the fabric, and the leg quality are some of the considerations in determining the durability, reliability, and longevity of your camping chair.
Choose one that is constructed from sturdy aluminum or steel. Ideally, it should have to brace under the legs for added stability. Do not forget to consider the fabric of the chair. Polyester or high-quality canvas are great choices because these are durable and do not easily tear up.
Choose durable and sturdy legs. Be wary of those who easily snap. Strike a balance between strength and foldability because if you opt for super firm ones, you’ll have difficulty folding it. Consider the durability, foldability, and weight of your chair’s steel tubing.
If you travel and move a lot, it is important to consider the stability of your camping chair. Choose one that can adapt well to various surfaces and textures may it be uneven, rocky, sandy, wet, etc.
Several factors would help you determine how comfortable a chair is. It should at least have back support, a comfortable height and weight capacity, and some storage pouches to place your belongings.
If you have pre-existing back concerns, choose a camping chair that won’t worsen it. Don’t choose the units that have sunken backs. Look for ones that offer back and lumbar support with extra padding at the lower part.
This way, you can maintain your good posture and prevent the worsening of current conditions.
Canopy or shade
Some camping chairs come with an umbrella or canopy to protect the user from UV rays or from rain. It can be made of canvas material or nylon. This is a must-have feature, especially if you travel a lot to places with extreme weather conditions. If you are tall, choose a camp chair whose canopy would not touch your head.
Storage pouches and cup holders
Having a spot to put your cups, phones, keys, and other belongings is important. Without it, you would have to keep your hands full or look for a table to put it on. In worse cases, you could spill your drinks, drop your phone or lose your keys.
Other considerations if you are tall:
This is also called back seat height. If you are tall, stay away from too short a set setbackght as it may strain your upper back and neck. It can even lead to neck cramps if used for extended periods. Look for a backrest with enough height to support your neck and head.
If you are tall, it is very important to consider the ground-to-seat height or commonly referred to as the seat’s height. It was mentioned above that if you frequently attend concerts and other outdoor activities, choosing a seat with a short height is ideal.
However, if you are on the taller side of the spectrum, this might compromise your comfort. Choose a seat height that won’t obstruct other people’s view without compromising your comfort, even when you sit at it for extended periods of time.
Frequently asked questions
How do I choose a camp chair?
Here are some of the aspects you must consider when choosing a chair
- Purpose- Are you using it for backpacking, hiking, car camping, watching concerts, or for sitting in the backyard? Your next priorities will highly depend on what you will use them for.
- Height and portability- If you have knee issues, chairs with short heights can be a dealbreaker. Choose a chair from which you can easily and comfortably sit and get out of
- Features and capabilities- Do you consider cup holders and storage pouches essential? Or do you prioritize sun and rain protection? Are you more of a rocking chair kind of person? Understanding your priorities will help you choose the best camp chair.
How much weight can a camping chair accommodate?
Different brands have different weight capacities. Be sure to check it in the product description. To be safe, choose a chair that can hold at least 250 pounds.
How much is a camping chair?
Depending on its quality, features, and capabilities, a camp chair’s price can be as low as 25 dollars to as high as 250 dollars. If you rarely use them, there is no need to buy high-end ones. Just make sure to strike a balance between your budget, the frequency of use, and its features.
I prioritize comfort; what camping chair should I get?
The word comfort can be subjective, and it depends on your body type, height, and weight. YETI Trailhead scored the highest in terms of stability and comfort. For laying back and taking a nap, the best choice is the GCI Zero gravity camping chair.
How will I know if that is the chair size for me?
Most camping chairs created in the market are 21 inches wide and are fit for adults. However, if you really want to be sure, the most practical tip is to measure a chair from your home, one in which you are comfortable sitting in.
The size of that chair at home is the size of the camping chair you should get.
Is it okay if my camping chair got wet?
Yes, camping chairs getting wet is fine. It will not be damaged by a little spill and rain. However, depending on the fabric it has, some may dry faster than others.
Should I consider the camp chair’s weight and packed size?
The packed size and your camp chair’s weight will determine its portability. If you travel a lot, it is best to choose a chair which is easy to hand carry, the REI, for instance.
How should I clean my camp chair?
Before anything else, check the product’s instructions on how to clean it. As a general rule, you can use mild detergent and warm water. Use a soft brush to rub the detergent on the chair. After that, rinse it with cool water.
Choosing a camping chair all boils down to a combination of these factors: purpose and use, durability and longevity, foldability and flexibility, capabilities and features, and your budget. Be sure to choose wisely; after all, going to the store without a plan in mind might lead you to a regretful purchase.