Camping can be either a wonderful opportunity to relax and disconnect, or it can be part of a demanding experience that pushes you to your physical limits. Either way, there is essential camping gear that nobody would ever dare leave behind – such as a Swiss Army knife or sleeping bag – and then, there’s camping gear that feels like a luxury, at least until you find yourself missing it.
Unjustly so, camping chairs tend to fall into the latter category. The need for a good, comfy place to sit may seem like one of the luxuries you are trying to leave behind, but chances are, the next morning’s climb will be severely dampened by back pain or any sore spots in your neck.
Naturally, camping requires durable, weatherproofed, and light equipment. Hikers need to ensure they can pack everything and then, carry it around until their next spot, and there is little point in investing in high-priced gear if it won’t make it through your first fall.
Usually, our testing processes don’t require us to sit so much, so we’ll take this as a rare opportunity to enjoy. We’ve compiled the best valued camping chairs available for this season. No product can hit all target audiences, but we have strived to include something for everyone: from hardcore adventurers to those on leisurely family trips.
Helinox has paid an unusual amount of attention to details: from the seat to the carrying sack, all the materials have been engineered to provide maximum durability while keeping the total weight low. The best proof of this is the proprietary aluminum alloy used in the chair’s structure. It will hold up to 260 pounds easily and provide you with a stable grip on the ground.
Meanwhile, all the fabric and mesh parts are not only quick-drying, but also meant to resist extreme weather and direct UV radiation – so, no burning your thighs on a hot day.
All of this, plus a carrying bag, at only 1.18 pounds make the Chair Zero one of the lightest options out there.
The frame is unlikely to bend or break even if you take a small (or light) person on your lap, as it can withstand up to 242 pounds. The moisture-wicking mesh will keep you cool and dry – no gross sweat puddles forming on it – and it can be easily removed and thrown into the washer after the trip is over.
As an extra plus, the assembly is easy and remarkably intuitive. Once assembled, the chair has a special hook to hold its packing bag. This may seem like a small detail unless you’ve ever delayed an entire morning looking for a bag that went missing overnight. We have. And we don’t want to do it again.
A sturdy aluminum frame and a high-quality, breathable nylon and polyester mesh combine here to provide you with a portable set of armrests and back support, no matter where you go. This chair will remain cool even in very hot weather and will dry quickly if an unexpected downpour hits.
This model can resist up to 330 pounds of you but weighs only 4 pounds. The L-shaped layout will let it open quickly and be ready for you to sit on it in mere seconds. Finally, the hooks beneath will secure it to benches or to your backpack.
The Anigu does not come with a blanket and a glass of champagne included, but it clearly aims to be the business class seat of camping chairs. Its adjustable reclining system and footrest allow you to spread out to your heart’s content – and despite being fully foldable, it is still stable enough to allow for a quick nap if the weather and mosquitoes allow it. A cup holder and a washable storage bag round out the package, which, by the way, will set you back by 11 pounds. It will carry up to 260 pounds, though, so consider the frame load part of your workout.
Designed to fit two people, this model trades the lighter aluminum for a sturdier steel frame, which allows it to seat up to 400 pounds.
When fully assembled, the back seat reclines just over the standard 90°, which only serves to encourage cuddling further. The armrests are fully adjustable, and the 600-Denier quilted polyester makes it ideal for winter expeditions and colder climates. An insulated beverage holder completes the package.
More than simply a little bit of shade, the Canopy is graded to provide up to 50+ UPF sun protection. This is no excuse to leave sunblock behind, but it will make it safe for you to lounge around and enjoy the heat a little longer.
Although it weighs just under 10 pounds, this canopy chair can support up to 250 pounds. The bagless design allows for easy assembly, and it comes with a very sturdy shoulder strap.
The smooth movement and clever frame design won’t jeopardize your neck, though. This chair is remarkably stable and can support weights of up to 250 pounds. The powder-coated steel frame requires some extra forethought when assembling, but it will last through several years of heavy outdoor use. Once it’s time to pack up, it folds back remarkably easy. Plus, the entire package will only add 12 pounds to your total load.
With a total weight just under 10 pounds each, these chairs stack up nicely and easily, making them ideal for large crews. If the trip includes messier or smaller kids, the side table will put them right on the same comfort level as a baby chair, but without the weight and mess.
Each chair supports up to 300 pounds of weight and has a total height of 32 inches when fully assembled. In addition, the wide frame (a full 19 inches) and thick canvas will keep it from wiggling, sinking, or sliding whenever you sit down or stand up.
With a total width of 32 inches when fully assembled, these chairs are also ideal for larger people who would normally find nowhere to place their legs when on a standard foldable chair. The industrial-grade steel frame is rust-proofed while the breathable Oxford fabric that covers it won’t make anything sweat uncomfortably.
It includes a built-in cup holder, a carrying bag, and a large pocket in the back. The KingCamp Moon Saucer is truly a throne fit for the king of the outdoors.
What is the most comfortable height for your legs and back? The height that you can choose, naturally. The YIZI GO’s smart adjustable mechanism somehow remains light in weight but heavy in duty (it can support up to 300 pounds).
The fabric seat has been equipped with side mesh panels that allow for a bit of extra air circulation, which radically improves its comfort grading on hot and humid days. Is the breeze chilling you? Just zip them back up! The 600-denier polyester will keep you soft and warm.
Their Chair One follows the same line and has been specially designed for those seeking to camp out in colder climates. The essentials are all there – from aluminum poles to storage bag to a resistant mesh that won’t crack or tear. However, the cleverness hiding beneath it all will improve your comfort fivefold without you even noticing or having to carry a heavy load.
The mesh fabric is padded and waterproofed, providing you with a warm and dry refuge. As an added bonus, the printed design looks interesting without being too flashy, adding just the right bit of coolness to the overall look. This chair can carry up to 320 pounds, ranking it firmly inside the heavy-duty category. However, when disassembled and packed, it weighs less than 2 pounds and is barely 14 inches long. It’s literally something you can throw behind your back and carry around without even noticing it’s there.
The deep recline offered by this chair makes it feel almost like a hammock, and it is indeed a great alternative to one if you are after that soft and peaceful rocking feeling but can’t rely on the right trees being available.
All the other basics – from an anti-rip polyester blend to cup holders – are included, but ENO has thrown one extra perk into their best-loved model: the legs can be adjusted for two different heights.
An aluminum alloy frame and rip-stop nylon fabric provide the basic stability and lightness that you would expect on any “Best of” list. However, the Mantis’ main distinctive feature is its unique shape. In addition to being eye-catching, it offers some extra support at points that are often ignored by camping chairs.
The chair will resist weights of up to 250 pounds, despite barely weighing 1.6 pounds. It also includes a stuff sack and easy assembly instructions.
With a total weight of 12.5 pounds, this is not the kind of chair that backpackers would seek out. However, if your excursions tend to include a car, then don’t underestimate the soft feel of the chair’s 600-denier polyester and its superb 800-pound capacity. The seat height is a full 18 inches, the highest of all chairs listed here.
Two cup holders and a rainproof side pocket will let you keep everything in place and in control.