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The 8 Best Camping Chairs for Every Adventure

Best Camping Chairs 0 Hero
Photo: YETI Hondo

As the weather begins to warm up again, it’s becoming more comfortable to return to the natural spaces we love the most — like National and State Parks, beaches, city parks, campgrounds, and so much more. And while you’ll probably want to get out there, set up camp, and go hiking first and foremost, you’ll eventually end up back around the fire. Once that happens, you’re also going to need somewhere to sit and kick back until it comes time to hit the hay.

Since sitting yourself down in the dirt or on a log isn’t really a sustainable option for hours, if not days of living in the wilderness, we suggest finding yourself a suitable camping chair. However, that’s not as simple a prospect as it might seem, as there are loads of them available — many of which are definitely not worth your hard-earned money. To make your search a bit simpler, we’ve put together the following collection of what we believe are the best camping chairs for every adventure.

Best Camping Chairs

What To Look For

Look Before You Sit

As mentioned, finding the perfect camping chair is a personal quest that requires you to figure out your hierarchy of needs. Some chairs are overbuilt and loaded with features, but they don’t travel well — making them not so great for backpacking. Similarly, an ultralight stool doesn’t offer a ton in the way of leaned-back relaxation. Here we’ve outlined some of the most important things to look for in your search.

Weight Limit: Unless you’re a powerlifting bodybuilder, this is probably not going to be the biggest issue. However, it’s definitely still worth considering, as some chairs are built for relatively lightweight people. Not to mention, the closer you are to the upper weight limit of a chair, the higher the likelihood that said chair’s longevity will be cut short — especially if you have a habit of “plopping” down into your seat, as the added force of impact puts a greater strain on its structure.

Materials: Most camping chairs were built with wear-and-tear in mind, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re built to take a beating. Look for reliable and durable materials like high-strength metals, high-tensile nylon, etc. A chair built from solid steel and ballistic nylon is naturally going to be more durable than something crafted from cheap polyester and low-grade aluminum. That’s just the nature of the materials.

Packability: This is going to matter much more depending on your mode of transportation. For instance, most folding chairs won’t be too much of a burden if you’re car camping, as they can be stashed in the back of your vehicle or on a roof rack. However, if you’re backpacking, every single ounce counts, as does the size and shape of the packed chair. Of course, stripping down a seat to its most minimalist elements can also compromise the comfort it offers. It might not be a deal-breaker either way, but it’s certainly food for thought.

Reclining/Rocking: It’s the least critical of these factors, but no less a feature worth considering. The ability to recline and/or rock might not make or break your choice of camping chair, but it certainly helps improve the argument for or against the varying options. That goes double if you’re a fan of impromptu afternoon naps or evening stargazing. The bigger impact of reclining and/or rocking mechanisms, however, is that they can sometimes add weight and bulk to these chairs, which is worth keeping in mind.

CLIQ Portable Camping Chair

CLIQ Portable Camping Chair
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Lightweight and compact, yet durable
  • Simple setup
  • Not the most luxurious option
  • Too heavy for taking on hikes

Best Overall: It won’t have the luxury of some of the other options in this guide, but this collapsible chair from CLIQ is the very best option when considering both the necessity of a comfortable seat and the enduring spirit of camping outdoors. Formerly called the Go Chair, this was actually a crowdsourced project from IndieGoGo that raised a whopping $1.5 million. And though that number is impressive, it’s only possible because the chair itself is exceptional — boasting an ultra-compact closed format (about the size of a water bottle), a setup that takes just five seconds, a construction of aircraft-grade aluminum that supports up to 300 lbs, and more.

Weight: 3.5lbs
Weight Capacity: 300lbs
Packed Dimensions: 13” x 3.4” x 3.4”

Helinox Savanna

Helinox Savanna
  • Super comfortable
  • High back makes it good for cat naps
  • Lightweight
  • There are lighter options from Helinox

Best Runner-Up: Helinox, especially in more recent years, has been one of the most impactful and recognizable names in camping-friendly furniture. And, wouldn’t you know it, it specializes in seating solutions as well. The gear brand has so many fantastic options that it’s probably harder to find a chair we don’t like. While its Chair Zero is a popular choice, and for good reason, we’ve gone with a more premium option: the Savanna model. Weighing 4.2lbs, it’s a few pounds heavier than its cohort, but that also significantly increases the weight capacity as well as its comfort, with a higher back for ultimate relaxation.

Weight: 4.2lbs
Weight Capacity: 320lbs
Packed Dimensions: 21.5” x 6.5” x 6”

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker
  • Comfortable
  • Has a fun rocking feature
  • Can be cumbersome if trying to save space
  • Doesn’t support heavier sitters

Best Budget Pick: While not ideal for backpacking due to its 12.1-pound weight and fairly large footprint (even when folded), there’s no denying the unique comfort offered by the GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker camping chair, and for a great budget-friendly price. You see, at the bottom back of this chair’s frame, there’s a pair of spring-loaded pistons that allow users to literally rock back and forth like a rocking chair. It also comes equipped with a simple carry handle and cupholder for drinks, has a 250-pound weight limit, and has a lifetime warranty from the company.

Weight: 12.1lbs
Weight Capacity: 250lbs
Packed Dimensions: 34.8” x 25” x 4.9”

NEMO Stargaze Recliner

NEMO Stargazer Chair
  • Really easy assembly
  • Sturdy
  • Fun to use
  • Price just went up significantly
  • May get tiresome if sitting all day

Best Hammock Chair: One of the best parts about getting out into the great outdoors is being able to appreciate all facets of nature, including the celestial expanse above our heads. And perhaps no chair is better equipped for that particular endeavor than the NEMO Stargaze Recliner. As the name suggests, this hammock chair is designed for reclining far enough back that users will be able to appreciate the vast cosmos without unnecessary neck strain. Recently updated for more sturdiness and quicker setup, it also boasts a padded headrest and armrests, a water-resistant external fabric, an integrated cupholder and stash pocket, and so much more. It also has a 300-pound weight limit and weighs just about 8lbs, making it a great addition to just about anyone’s camping loadout.

Weight: 7.94oz
Weight Capacity: 300lbs
Packed Dimensions: 21.8” x 9.2” x 7.6”

Therm-a-Rest Trekker Lounge Chair Kit

ThermaRest Trekker Lounge Chair Kit
  • Incredibly lightweight and durable
  • Budget-friendly
  • Extremely packable
  • Mattress sold separately
  • Takes some time to set up

Best for Backpackers: While most backpackers will take what they can get, this Trekker Lounge Chair from Therm-a-Rest is the most “luxurious” option available for anyone who still needs good support despite their minimalist hobby. A bare-bones option that pairs with the brand’s own NeoAir inflatable mattress (or other air mattress pads), this is essentially a chair scaffolding kit that creates a 4-inch stadium-style seat cushion — equipped with a reclining backrest — that uses the ground as your very own footrest. There are 20-inch and 25-inch options available and the polyester ripstop unit stuffs into your pants pocket once you remove the mattress pad and nylon/fiberglass support poles.

Weight: 0.63lbs or 0.81lbs
Weight Capacity: Depends on the mattress pad
Packed Dimensions: 4” x 20” or 6” x 21”

Kelty Loveseat

Kelty Loveseat
  • Lets you snuggle with your significant other
  • Spacious enough for platonic friends as well
  • Smart structural design
  • Weight limit could be higher

Best for Couples: For some, the one hindrance of most camping chairs is the inability to share them with somebody else. If you’re lucky enough to have a significant other with which to share your outdoor adventures, you can enjoy the comfort and warmth of the campfire in tandem on this Kelty Loveseat. Clocking in at 15.38lbs, the chair features a double steel folding frame, puncture-resistant quilted 600-denier polyester fabric, two armrests (each with its own cupholder), and an included roll for easier transportation and storage.

Weight: 15.38lbs
Weight Capacity: 400lbs
Packed Dimensions: 34.5” x 11” x 11”

ALPS Mountaineering King Kong

ALPS King Kong
  • Incredible weight limit
  • Budget friendly
  • Heavier than its less-capable counterparts

Best for Larger Loungers: There are few things more embarrassing than breaking or bending the support frame on a camping chair. Now, big and tall adventurers can rest easy with ALPS Mountaineering’s aptly-named King Kong, a 24-inch-wide lounger with a whopping 800-pound weight limit! It gets the job done with its powder-coated steel frame and quilted 600D polyester fabric, but the chair isn’t without some luxurious amenities as well. Each armrest sports a cup holder and a hanging gear pouch, and the back features a mesh pocket.

Weight: 13lbs
Weight Capacity: 800lbs
Packed Dimensions: 40” x 8” x 9”

YETI Hondo Base Camp Chair

YETI Hondo Base Camp Chair
  • High weight limit
  • Meticulous and durable construction
  • Best high-end option
  • Pricey

Best for Glamping: ​​If you know the YETI name, it’s likely because of the company’s exceptional adventure-focused coolers and water bottles. As it turns out, the Texas-based brand has also been turning its expertise towards other types of outdoor gear — including camp chairs. And that bodes well for those who expect their gear to perform at the highest levels. In fact, YETI built its Hondo Camp Chair to outperform most other folding seats on the market. That means it can support 500 pounds, features the same kind of heavy-duty hinges you might find on an off-road truck, is reinforced with two layers of age-hardened aluminum alloy, is UV-proof (meaning it won’t breakdown with exposure to the sun), and, thankfully, it even has an included cupholder. Sure, it might not recline and it’s not the most compact option, but it beats out the competition in almost every other regard.

Weight: 16.5lbs
Weight Capacity: 500lbs
Packed Dimensions: 32” x 26.5” x 7”

The Best Rooftop Tents for Car Camping

Photo: iKamper SKYCAMP 2.0

If you’re a fan of car camping, get yourself off the ground with one of the quality sleepers from our guide to the best rooftop tents.