Man on camping chair

The 14 Best Camping Chairs for Chilled Adventures in 2018

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!

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 reviews of the 8 best camping chairs and the 6 best backpacking chairs.

ProductType of chairBest forWeightCost
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)$$
REI Camp X ChairFolding uprightDurability in summer conditions7lb (3.2kg)$
Strongback Elite with Lumbar SupportFolding uprightBack support11.9lbs (5.4kg)$$$
Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair with OttomanFolding uprightLuxury summer camping8.5lbs (3.8kg)$$
Alite Designs Monarch ChairPackableBackpacking1.1lb (0.5kg)$$
Therm-a-Rest Quadra ChairPackableBackpacking2.8lb (1.3kg)$$$
Big Agnes Helinox Chair OnePackableBackpacking2lb (0.9kg)$$$
Therm-a-Rest Trekker ChairSleeping mat converterBackpacking0.8lb (0.37kg)$
TravelChair JoeyPackableBackpacking2.3lbs (1.04kg)$$
Crazy Creek Hex 2.0Ground chairBackpacking1.3lbs (0.6kg)$

The 8 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 the wilderness.

Alps Mountaineering King Kong Camping Chair

Alps Mountaineering King Kong Chair

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.

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Coleman Oversized Quad Camping Chair with Cooler

Coleman Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler

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.

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Eureka Curvy High Back Camping Chair

Eureka Curvy High Back Chair

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.

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Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair

Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair

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.

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Kingcamp Moon Leisure Camping Chair

KingCamp Moon Leisure Chair

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.

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Rei Camp X Camp Chair

REI Camp X Chair

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.

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Strongback Elite with Lumbar Support

Strongback Elite with Lumbar Support

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.

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Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair with Ottoman

Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair with Ottoman

Luxury camping chairs don’t get more over the top that theKelsyus 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?!

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The 6 best backpacking chairs

Alite Designs Monarch Camping Chair

Alite Designs Monarch Chair

The Alite Designs Monarch Chair features an unusual layout for a camping chair: a butterfly design with just two legs. The wide nylon seat comes in a variety of bright colours and supports up to 250lb. This chair is one of the lightest on the list at just over 1.1lb, which makes it great for backpacking or carrying long distances. The unique two-leg design does sink somewhat in sand or very soft soil, so it may not be the best option for beach camping. The Monarch does not feature any drink holders or storage pockets, but the streamlined simplicity is what makes it so small and lightweight.

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Amazon | REI

Therm-a-Rest Quadra Chair

Therm-a-Rest Quadra Chair

The Therm-a-Rest Quadra Chair is extremely lightweight, making it a favourite for both backpackers and lightweight campers. It holds up to 300lb but only weighs 2.8lb! Because of the size and weight, this is an ideal chair to take on long trips when storage space is at a premium. This semi-reclining chair has a low profile and no separate arm or neck support, although it does include a large mesh pocket on one side for gear or snacks.

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Amazon | REI

Big Agnes Helinox Chair One

Big Agnes Helinox Chair One

The Big Agnes Helinox Chair One is a premium chair and one of the priciest on our list. It comes in a wide range of colours, including some designs with contrasting colours and patterns. The high-quality construction makes this chair a favourite among serious campers. Backpackers and hikers also love it because it is so portable; it weighs just under 2lb. and folds into a carrying case that is just over 14″ long. Like other lightweight chairs, the Helinox Chair One does not have any pockets or drink holders. It can support up to 320lb, however, and is extremely durable.

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Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair

Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair

The lightest option on the list is also the most unique. The Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair converts a Therm-a-Rest (or other comparable) sleeping mat into a chair. The Trekker Chair comes in two sizes and both are incredibly light. The largest style is still only 13oz! There are no drink holders in the chair, but it is the very best option for backpacking because you do not have to carry a sleeping mat and separate chair. With the unique conversion straps and buckles, your inflatable mattress can also double as your chair.

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Amazon | REI

Travelchair Joey

TravelChair Joey

Another excellent quality lightweight backpacking chair is the TravelChair Joey. It packs down to a similar size as the Crazy Creek Hex but provides an elevated and comfortable seat for those looking for a little more luxury and comfort after a long day out on the trail. Although a little heavier than the Helinox Chair One, this highly comfortable option offers a little more sturdiness on uneven ground with its anti-sink disk feet. It will leave you feeling as at home in the wilderness as it will kicking back at a backyard grill.

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Amazon | Backcountry

Crazy Creek Products HEX 2.0

Crazy Creek Hex 2.0

If you’d rather not convert your sleeping pad into a chair and risk getting it dirty or wet, the Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 is an excellent alternative. At only 1.3lbs (0.6kg) it is light enough for backpacking and rolls up to only 4 inches (10cm) in diameter. The high density foam provides 8mm of padding and insulation and doesn’t require any inflation (like the Trekker). This simple and low profile option is one of the best portable chairs for backpacking as well as other outdoor events and car camping.

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Amazon | REI

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.

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


    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


    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


    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


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.


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.


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.

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