There’s nothing quite like relaxing around the campfire (or camp stove, if that be the case), under the stars. And as much as fun as the ground can be, it sure can be a lot more comfy and enjoyable when you bring a nice camping chair with you, especially for those times when there are no logs or even rocks to sit on; not every campsite will have benches or chairs to rely on. When you want to get out of the camper and take in the world around you, you need a reliable yet comfy camping chair.
Camping chairs are better suited for car camping or RV excursions, so you aren’t lugging a giant chair around with you on your next backpacking trip. Most of the chairs on our list are designed and picked with the former in mind. That being said, if backpacking is your thing, there are quite a few nice options for you if you feel the need to bring a chair into the backcountry (such as the Travelchair Slacker), and we’ve included a few for every purpose. Of course, folding chairs are great for much more than just camping, as you can bring any of these to anything from the beach, to the BBQ.
A few things to look out for are weight capacity, size and how small the chair folds for portability, as well as the overall weight of the chair (especially if you’re going to be carrying it around with you). Below, you’ll find camping chairs with weights from as little as 2lbs to as much as 13 lbs, and with weight capacities from 250 to 800 pounds. All are guaranteed to be comfortable and convenient.
But without further ado, here are our picks for best camping chairs of 2017.
Coleman has been known for years for creating great outdoor and camping gear, and their camping chairs are no different. The Oversized Quad Chair is a comfy, durable piece of equipment, with a thick, padded seat and back, and sturdy steel frame that holds up to 300 lbs. There’s a mesh cup holder hanging off the arm-rest to keep some drinks in, and on the other arm, a built-in cooler that can hold up to four cans and keep them cool all day. How cool is that?
You can adjust the arm rests to a comfortable height for yourself, and there’s an additional storage pocket for books, magazines or anything else you could need. Thanks to its size, it’s clearly a little too big to bring hiking or backpacking, but for car or RV camping, and just using around the house and beach, Coleman has you covered.
ThermaRest makes some high-quality and very interesting chairs, that look like nothing we’ve really seen before. The Treo uses a tripod base, made from strong composite materials and capable of supporting up to 250 lbs. The Tripod shape allows it to work on surfaces that aren’t perfectly flat, such as sand or rocks, and the non-slip feet grip into the surface and prevent the chair from skidding around.
The frame is a 6000-series Aluminum frame, and the seat itself is a nylon Dyneema sling with a nice, deep sea. A built-in elastic band keeps the chair secure and folded up when carrying it around. It’s definitely too big to bring hiking or backpacking, but is a perfect, unique option for car camping or trips to the beach. And to be fair, it looks pretty cool, too.
If you like the look and build quality of the Coleman Oversized Quad but want something a little smaller and lighter, the Broadband Quad fits the bill. It’s lighter and less featured than the Oversized, missing the heavy padding, the cooler and the storage. Instead, it has a light mesh, breathable back, to keep you cool and comfortable when the weather gets a little bit much. It does include one cup holder on the right armrest, too, so a refreshing drink is never out of arm’s reach.
The steel frame ensures that the Broadband can hold up to 250 lbs, and you can be assured that the chair is built to Coleman’s quality and specs. While it’s lighter and smaller than Coleman’s other offerings, it’s still far too big for hiking, so keep this one around for camping trips and beach parties.
The Kijaro Dual Lock chair seems like a basic, lightweight chair at first glance, and at its core, it is, without any frills or add-ons. What sets it apart from other chairs, however, is its patented dual-lock technology, which locks the chair when either open or closed – keeping it from closing in on you as you try to sit, or from flying open on you when trying to carry it around.
Cup holders reside in each arm-rest, and an included organizer with zip and mesh pockets for keeping things close by. Breathable mesh on the seat back keeps you cool. The weight limit is 300 lbs, but this comes with a drawback – the chair weighs 9.5 lbs, which isn’t exactly feather-light. Still, it’s a solid option for a camping chair when you don’t have to lug it far. You also have quite the fair share of colors to choose from, with 10 options ranging from Cayman Blue Iguana to Victoria Desert Orange.
For a serious chair that is both extra comfortable and extra sturdy, this chair from CORE has you covered. Just looking at its robust steel frame, you can tell this thing is built to last, and it has a weight limit of 300 lbs. The 25.5” seat is made from 600D brushed polyester, woven in a thick, soft padded quilt with thick, padded arms. There’s also a built-in, extra-large drink holder, and a mesh pocket for keeping your phone, keys or anything else.
The CORE is rock-solid, and thus, like the Kijaro, a little bit heavy, but you can still take it out for RV camping, ballgames and cookouts.
The Moon Lence is an ultra-light, ultra-portable camping chair, and is the first on our list that is truly cutout for backpacking, coming in at only 2 pounds. It folds down to a very small package that fits right into a mesh carrying case and is only about a foot long when fully packed; if you are a backpacker who favors a chair but doesn’t want to be lugging too much around, the Moon Lence might just be the perfect option. Moon Lence even mentions that it can be fitted into carry-on luggage, if necessary. The frame itself is a high-strength aluminum alloy frame capable of supporting 242lbs, and the seat is a 1000D Oxford cloth. It’s got a unique shape, similar to the ThermaRest Treo, that is comfortable but not so deep as too make it hard to get in and out of. Moon Lence also claims how easy it is to clean, needing merely a quick wipe with soap and water to remove any dirt or messes.
Looking for an absolute beast of a chair? The King Kong Chair from ALPS Mountaineering weighs in at a hefty 12.5 lbs (that’s more than six times the weight of the Moon Lence, for perspective) and is capable of holding up to 800 lbs of weight. At that kind of weight, you probably won’t be taking it on any extended hiking or backpacking trips, but it’s more than suitable for anything else. The robust frame is made of powder coated steel, and the seat itself is made of 600D nylon fabric that is quilted and padded throughout. Each of the adjustable armrests has a cup holder and side pocket. A shoulder bag is included for carrying it around and storing it. If weight isn’t a problem and you’re just looking for a chair you know you can count on and never fail, this is the one.
So how do you improve upon a basic, trusty product like a camping chair? Add a canopy and footrest, of course. The Kelsyus Original is a classic, mesh camping chair, capable of holding up to 250 lbs, but with the added perk of a canopy, providing shade and sun protection up to 50 UPF – which means that not only will you be supremely cool and comfortable as you chill in the sun, but will never have to worry about getting sunburned again (while relaxing, that is). Obviously, it’s a little big for carrying around, clocking in at a hefty 13 lbs (the most on our list) but if you’re just looking for a chair perfect for the backyard, the beach or the tailgate, you can count on this one to keep you in the shade.
Let’s say you don’t need a full-on chair, and just want something to keep you off the ground around the campfire – like a stool. The Travelchair Slacker is folding stool with a tripod frame and a 600 polyester ripstop seat. The whole thing is reinforced and fully capable of supporting up to 275 lbs. Despite that, however, it remains ultralight at only 2.2lbs, and is still quite compact when folded down; Travelchair compares it to a rolled-up newspaper, and it’s small and light enough to clip to the outside of your pack. It is thus, along with the Moon Lence, one of the only options on our list for a folding chair suitable for backpacking and hiking, and can go almost anywhere you can.
For something a little larger and cozier, the Quattro Lax is another fine offering a Coleman, a double folding chair that seats two people in perfect outdoor bliss. The two armrests contain two 2 mesh cup holders, so each of you can enjoy their own beverage, while the 2 seatback mesh pockets hold just about anything else. The frame is a sturdy steel, and just like Coleman’s other chairs, the Quattro Lax can hold a fair bit – up to 225lbs per side. It folds down easily and comes with an included carry bag. If you feel like you need a portable bench on your next camping trip or beach day, the Quattro Lax is a perfect choice.
Camping Chair Wrap-Up
In conclusion, our top choice for a camping chair is the Oversized Quad, with its padded quilt back and built-in armrest cooler. It’s a great, all-around camping chair for car camping and general use outdoors when you don’t have to hike too far. If you are backpacking, we recommend the Moon Lence, which folds down to about a foot in length and only weights 2 lbs – perfect for fitting comfortably in your pack without bogging you down.