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Camping chairs

Best Camping Chairs for Chilled Adventures in 2019

A great camping chair has innumerable uses, from surrounding the campfire on a backcountry adventure to weekend soccer games in town. For years, I fell into a cycle of buying whichever outdoor folding chair was the least expensive and then feeling frustrated when the chair quickly broke. Once I took the time to choose a chair based on features and size, I ended up with a much better fit for my needs. A great portable chair does not need to be expensive either. Spending the time to pick a chair with the features most important to you is worth the time and effort!

Summary of the top camp chairs in 2019

This quick overview of the best camping chairs gives you a basic idea of which chair might suit you best. But for the full details of each, skip ahead to the 9 best camping chairs. If you’re looking for super lightweight and mega portable options read our guide to backpacking chairs and stools.

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ProductType of chairBest forWeightCost
Helinox Sunset ChairFolding uprightLow weight3.3lbs (1.5kg)$$$$
Alps Mountaineering King Kong ChairFolding uprightStrength and comfort13lb (5.9kg)$$
Coleman Oversized Quad Chair with CoolerFolding uprightDrinking!7.5lb (3.4kg)$
Eureka Curvy High Back ChairFolding uprightComfort and support13.3lb (6kg)$$
Kijaro Dual Lock Folding ChairFolding uprightSummer camping9.5lb (4.3kg)$
KingCamp Moon Leisure ChairFolding bucket styleComfort10lb (4.5kg)$$
REI Camp X ChairFolding uprightDurability in summer conditions7.2lb (3.2kg)$
Strongback Elite with Lumbar SupportFolding uprightBack support11.9lbs (5.4kg)$$$
Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair with OttomanFolding uprightLuxury summer camping8.5lbs (3.8kg)$$

FAQs when choosing the best camp chairs

What is the most comfortable camp chair?
If comfort is top of your agenda when choosing a camping chair, then take a look at the Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair with Ottoman. Complete with a footrest and sunshade, it’s a superb option for spending lots of time in. Alternatively, the KingCamp Moon Leisure Chair has extra padding right through the seat, and its circular design makes it super comfy when sitting in lots of different positions.
What are camping chairs made out of?
Most camping chairs have frames made of steel or aluminum. The lightweight backpacking chairs usually have aluminum frames to save weight. The seats of camping chairs are usually made from tough polyester with a high denier (D) rating.
What is the best heavy duty camping chair?
The Alps Mountaineering King Kong Chair has the strength to hold up to 800lbs (363kg)! This is by far the strongest chair on our list with the next strongest being the Big Agnes Helinox Chair One which has a weight capacity of 320lbs / 145kg.
What is the most lightweight camping chair
If you’re after an upright camping chair that is high off the ground then the most lightweight option on our list is the Helinox Sunset Chair which weighs only 3.3lbs (1.5kg).

If you’re looking for something mega lightweight then check out our guide to backpacking chairs.

And if you want to convert your sleeping pad into a chair then the Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair weighs only 0.8lb (0.37kg).


The 9 best camping chairs

Once you have narrowed down your must-have features, choose from one of these fantastic camping chairs to kick back in and enjoy lounging in the sun or sitting in comfort playing games around the campgire.

Helinox Sunset Chair

Helinox Sunset Chair

Weight capacity: 320lbs / 145kg

Eco-conscious: Helinox use an eco-friendly system to treat aluminium components
The Helinox Sunset Chair is our eco-friendly choice for campers who like a little extra comfort. To reduce negative environmental impact during the manufacturing process, Helinox have used DAC’s Green Anodising System with a water recycling program to treat all aluminium alloy components in the Sunset Chair.

When it comes to portability, the folding frame is super light, just 1.5 kg, but still holds a weight of up to 320 lbs. It pops up in seconds with a simple bungee cord pole structure and packs away into a convenient carry bag. The main fabric is UV resistant and well ventilated. Ideal for summertime camping trips. A nice finishing touch is that the carry bag doubles as a pillow.

Find the latest price at:
REI | Amazon


Alps Mountaineering King Kong Camping Chair

Alps Mountaineering King Kong Chair

Weight capacity: 800lbs / 363kg

If you are looking for a chair that is both sturdy and comfortable, look no further than the Alps Mountaineering King Kong Chair. The back and seat are padded for extra comfort. The armrests feature a drink holder and storage pocket each. A mesh pocket at the back of the chair spans the entire width, perfect for keeping sunscreen or snacks within reach at all times. The frame is made from heavy-duty steel and can support up to 800lb! The chair is roomy and comfortable, even for people with extra long legs. The sturdy frame and extra size do make this a heavy chair: the chair comes in at a full 13lb.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Coleman Oversized Quad Camping Chair with Cooler

Coleman Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler

Weight capacity: 300lbs / 136kg

The Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler from Coleman is the perfect chair for campers who take their drinks seriously. One of the adjustable-height armrests includes a built-in cooler pocket that can hold up to four cans at once. The chair weighs just over 7.5lb, making it easier to transport than many of the chairs on our list, but not nearly light enough for backpacking. The storage and overall comfort make this one of our top picks for car camping and long sporting events. It can support up to 300lb and includes one mesh storage pocket for snacks or magazines.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Eureka Curvy High Back Camping Chair

Eureka Curvy High Back Chair

Weight capacity: 300lbs / 136kg

If comfort is your main priority when shopping for a camping chair, the Eureka Curvy High Back Chair may be the perfect chair for you. Like the name implies, the high-back design provides neck and head support for even the tallest users. This comfortable camping chair is padded and also includes a mesh panel that extends into the back for extra airflow and breathability. This is especially nice for hot and humid areas. The size and extra padding make this one of the heavier chairs on the list at 13.3lb. It does include a single drink holster which works for bottles and other sealed drinks, although it is inconvenient for open containers.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair

Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair

Weight capacity: 300lbs / 136kg

The Kiljaro Dual Lock Folding Chair is a great basic folding chair. It comes in eleven bright colours and is one of the least expensive chairs on the list. It supports up to 300lb and has a drink holder in each armrest. The unique locking legs lock open and closed, adding extra stability when in use and keeping the chair from opening up during transport. The mesh back makes the chair very breathable for summer camping.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Kingcamp Moon Leisure Camping Chair

KingCamp Moon Leisure Chair

Weight capacity: 260lbs / 118kg

The distinctive circular design of the KingCamp Moon Leisure Chair makes it incredibly comfortable for curling up with a book or by the fire. It holds up to 260lb and includes a large storage pocket on the back. Although the chair weighs 10lb, the handles affixed to the back of the chair itself make carrying it more convenient than other chairs the same size. Because the chair sits low to the ground, it is best for smooth surfaces like backyards and level campgrounds.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Rei Camp X Camp Chair

REI Camp X Chair

Weight capacity: 300lbs / 136kg

The REI Camp X Chair is built for years of regular use. The steel frame is coated to prevent rust and to protect the frame and keep it looking new. This durable camping chair weighs just over 7lb and can hold up to 300lb. The lightweight material is stretched across the frame in order to better distribute weight, making it both sturdy and comfortable. The one drink holder narrows on one end to hold unusual container sizes and shapes. The cost and versatility of the Camp X make it a great option for an all-purpose folding camp chair.

Find the latest price on:
REI


Strongback Elite with Lumbar Support

Strongback Elite with Lumbar Support

Weight capacity: 300lbs / 136kg

This may be one of the most expensive portable chairs on our list, but the Strongback Elite is worth its weight in gold if you struggle with back problems. The ergonomic seat is designed to promote good posture and is the best camping chair for bad backs on our list. It is also a hit amongst tall campers due to the extra height in the back support. Made with heavy duty 600 denier polyester fabric and a durable steel frame, this folding camp chair is built to last. It also has a handy cup holder and a carry bag with handles.

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair with Ottoman

Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair with Ottoman

Weight capacity: 250lbs / 113kg

Luxury camping chairs don’t get more over the top that the Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair with Ottoman. Featuring an integrated fold out footrest and drink holder, this unique camping chair is ideal for lazy, hot days at the campground. The fold out canopy offers 50+ UPF sun protection and also doubles as a carry bag (complete with carry handles!). And the mesh panelling through the seat and backrest helps to keep you extra cool in the heat. Is there anything this cool camping chair doesn’t do? It lacks the padding and support of other heavier weight camping chairs, and it doesn’t have a built-in cooler like the Coleman Quad — what’s that about?!

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Types of camping chairs

Car camping chairs

Designed with comfort and luxury in mind, rather than weight and portability, the best camping chairs should offer good support to those who enjoy spending time sitting around at camp. Many chairs for car camping have extra features such as drinks holders or foot rests and they are also well suited to time hanging out in the backyard, picnics, sports events and festivals.

Backpacking chairs

Low weight and portability are the most desirable features of backpacking chairs. And although they provide ample amounts of comfort to a weary trekker, there is less focus on the extra frills that come with car camping chairs. The best backpacking chairs should weight no more than 3lbs (1.3kg), but the weight of the chair you choose also comes down to personal preference as to how much extra weight you are willing to carry for the sake of a comfortable evening at camp.

If you’re looking for something lightweight and portable then check out our guide to backpacking chairs and stools.


Features of the best camping chairs

As mentioned, the best backpacking chairs tend to have very few extra features compared with portable chairs for car camping. So here are some features you may want to consider when buying the best camp chair:

  • Drink holder of camping chair

    Cup holder

    A cup holder is an essential feature of a camping chair. Usually made from lightweight mesh, they are located in one of both arms of the chair. They make mealtimes and campfires much more relaxing with no reaching for your drink or potential spillages!

  • Foot of camping chair

    Grippy feet

    On a more practical level, the best camping chairs should have strong and durable feet with sturdy, non-pointy grips to prevent the chair from sinking into soft ground.

  • Carry case of chair

    Carry case

    The means to carry a camping chair is really important — even if you’re just moving it from the car to camp. So look for a chair with a case that preferably has carry straps.

  • Pocket of the best camping chair

    Pockets

    Some camping chairs have pockets that hang off the chair arms or on the back of the back rest. These are useful for keeping the essentials within easy reach (suncream, book, bottle opener etc).

  • Canopy of camping chair

    Shade

    Deluxe camping and beach chairs have shades fitted for extra sun protection. Often removable and usually adjustable, they take luxury camping chairs to the next level!

  • Foot rest of chair

    Foot rest

    Although these may seem a little decadent, camping chairs with footrests can be a major benefit for those with a bad back (or those just looking for that extra bit of comfort!). Like shades, they are usually removable and adjustable.

  • Cooler attached to camping chair

    Cooler

    Yep! Some camping chairs even have built-in cooler pockets — ideal for the exceptionally lazy/dedicated drinkers out there!


The best camping chairs in the dessert

What to look for when buying camping and backpacking chairs

Comfort

The most comfortable camping chairs will provide good lower back support and will not be too close to the ground. There should be no edges digging into your legs or back when you put your weight into them, and your hips shouldn’t to pushing against the arms. If this is the case then you may want to opt for a wider chair like the Coleman Oversized Quad.

The best heavy duty camping chairs will also have padding in the seat and backrest for added comfort.

Materials

The best lightweight camping chairs feature strong aluminium legs/frame with hard wearing mesh or partial mesh polyester panels. Mesh panels are excellent for use in hot weather to keep air flowing through the back and seat.

Heavier weight car camping chairs, on the other hand, opt for steel frames, fewer mesh panels, and padded high denier tough fabric.

Portability

It’s not just low weight that matters if you are a backpacker or hiker looking for camping chair comfort. How easy your chair is to carry and how small it folds down are equally as important when it comes to portability. The best portable chairs should come with a carry case with handles or straps. And for those wanting to take their chairs hiking or backpacking, a chair needs to pack down as small as possible, either to fit inside a backpack or to secure onto the outside.


While it is true that you can find folding camping chairs at nearly every major supermarket in the summertime, the best chair is one that fits your expected uses and includes your preferred features. With so many fantastic options for comfortable camping chairs, why not take the time to find your perfect chair? Grab the chair that best fits your needs and relax in comfort on your next outdoor adventure.

About the author

author-kimberley

Kimberly Mays is a writer and editor living in Western North Carolina, where she spends weekends in the garden and hiking with her husband and children.

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