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Best Camping Chairs | A Major Addition to Your Camping Comfort

Happy couple relaxing on camping chairs

CampingSage is all about Family Camping in Tents but with a great degree of comfort. Including the best camping chairs in your camping gear is one of our top tips for improving your camping comfort.

Camping is a family activity that is all about being active and communing with nature. It is a time to hunt, fish, and hike. Though we all enjoy getting active around the woods, there will always be moments where you just feel like sitting down. Having a good camping chair helps.

What is the best camping chair? It all depends on how you are choosing to go camping and how you want to address your comfort needs. Some of the more essential aspects to consider include:

  • Back health
  • Footrests
  • Camping in Tents vs RV
  • Portability
  • Shade requirements
  • Age
  • Simplicity
  • Weight

You are going to spend quite a bit of your camp time sitting. Having a chair and a table is brilliant for eating together, late night drinking, playing cards or boardgames, and a hundred other activities.

If you are in the market for some new camping chairs, then you are in luck. This handy guide will get you ready to find the best chair for your needs, regardless of what they may be.

What Is the Best Camping Chair?

Please note: if you click on images in this article you may be taken to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate the Camping Sage earns from qualifying purchases

Every single person will have their own “best pick” for camping chairs, simply because we all have our own unique needs. Some chairs are better for older people, while others are specifically designed with kids in mind. To make things easier, this article will help you make the most of your camping chair shopping based on the most common needs people have.

Best Camping Chair - Range of camping chairs: stool, recliner and chair, in a front country campsite
Camping chairs, recliner and stool

What Makes A Camping Chair Good?

“Good” is often in the eye of the beholder, but that does not always ring true. No matter what your personal preferences are, it is relatively clear that we all have similar standards when it comes to camping equipment. A good camping chair will:

  • Work with your camping style. For camping in tents you need lightweight, forlding or collapsible chairs. You are probable going to be limited on the room you have for your camping gear in your car or truck. A good camping chair will work with your personal needs and make the camping experience easier for you.
  • Work with your body type. Different camping chair designs have different target audiences. Some are made to be used by people who have back problems. Others are meant for kids. Some are even designed to help those who are sun-averse enjoy the great outdoors. It is up to you to match your chair to your body type.
  • Remain comfortable for you. Typical camping chairs tend to leave people feeling achy after half an hour or so. If you want a top-tier chair, you better look for the ones that have comfort in mind.
  • Are portable. No one likes having to haul an overly bulky chair around the woods, even if you own an RV. Lightweight chairs are, in most cases, the best option.
  • Are durable. Much like with anything else built for outdoor use, camping chairs have to be durable to be decent. Cheaply made chairs can break at a moment’s notice, rendering them useless.

How Much Should I Spend on a Camping Chair?

Assuming you are not shopping for a kid’s chair, a good rule of thumb is to spend anywhere from $50 to $150 if you want to have a high-quality chair. It seems like a lot but camping chairs can act as a serious investment for outdoorsy families.

A good camping chair will remain usable for years, if not decades. Families and individuals that want to go camping regularly should remember that when choosing a chair. It saves you money in the long run.

The Best Camping Chair for a Bad Back

Working in an office job or recovering from a back injury is a serious matter and sitting on the wrong camping chair can exacerbate your back pain tremendously. If you or a member of your family has back health issues, you need to have a chair that caters to that problem.

We have written an article that specifically looks at the best camping chairs for those with back problems. In short, the ideal chair for a person with a bad back will:

  • Have lumbar support built into it. Lumbar support is vital to anyone who has a back injury. Without it, your back will deal with unnecessary strain.
  • Have extra padding. “Bony” metal chairs will often exacerbate back problems and leg problems alike.
  • Be designed with posture in mind. Many Zero-Gravity chairs are top picks in this genre due to their excellent reputation for improving posture.
  • Be easy to get in and out of. Some chairs can be hard to maneuver around. This can spell disaster for frail campers.

Our Pick

When it comes to having a camping chair that works with back pain, you need to splurge. It is a health matter. Every one of the chairs in our review of the best camping chairs for people with bad backs are great choices. In the end we chose 2:

STRONGBACK Elite Camping Chair

This chair features an award-winning patented design with lumbar support. Not only does it support your spine, but it also aligns your posture and eases tension in your back.

Our second choice is a collapsible recliner.

Lafuma Futura Air Comfort Folding Recliner

The Best Camping Chair with Footrests

People who have blood pressure issues or diabetes are likely to want to kick up their feet after a hike on the trail. The same can be said for people who have circulation problems or just ridiculously tired feet.

Chairs with footrests are more plentiful than most people think. They also happen to come with way more amenities than you’d believe. So, the real criteria to search for this type of chair is comfort.

Our Pick

If you are looking to lounge out in style, you can’t go wrong with the Sport Brella Lounge Chair. Along with a lovely footrest, this adjustable reclining chair offers sitters an umbrella, three different reclining positions, and a cup holder.

Saying this chair is designed with comfort is an understatement. Believe it or not, this lounge chair also happens to be a serious steal. Despite its strong “country club” vibe, the Brella usually retails for under $60.

The Best Camping Chairs for Tent Camping

Another major game-changer in the camping chair world deals with the camping style you are working with. RV camping chairs are not the same as tent camping chairs. The difference between these two chairs deals primarily with bulk and weight versus the features offered.

If you are going the “traditional” camping route, picking a lightweight, petite chair that fits nicely in a sedan is a better bet. After all, you are going to need to make sure that your other camping gear will fit in your car.

Our Pick for Tent Camping

Traditional campers have to look for compact lightweight models of chairs. Luckily that does not mean you need to skip on luxury. The Helinox XL Lightweight Chair seat is a perfect example of a luxury camping chair that can be packed up and brought on the go.

Helinox also make a swivel camping chair whichg is slightly heavier at 2 pounds, 11 ounces. However, it also is designed to be packable and transportable through a “stuff sack.” When it is unfolded, campers get to enjoy comfortable, supportive rest that is UV-resistant and breezy as ever.

Helinox chairs come with a five-year manufacturer warranty and glowing reviews from camping enthusiasts.

The Best Camping Chair for Portability

If you have young campers with you, have to carry a lot, or just want something lightweight, there are several options for you.  A little portability, therefore, can go a long way.

If you have a lot to pack, or just happen to have issues with lugging stuff around, the best camping chair for your needs will be the most lightweight. It is just that simple.

Our Pick

When it comes to getting an ultra-lightweight chair, you can’t get any better than the Helinox Zero. It is currently the most lightweight camping chair on the market, clocking in at a scant 1.1 pounds!

Like other chairs on this list, the Helinox Zero is also built with comfort and durability in mind. The end result is a sturdy camping chair that feels like a house chair but only weighs a pound. At around $125, this is one chair that earns its high price tag with groundbreaking technology.

The Best Camping Chair for Shade Lovers

Camping might be a very sunlight-intensive activity, but that does not mean all campers enjoy the sun. Those who are sensitive to light, enjoy the shade, or burn easily would be wise to get a camping chair that keeps the day at bay.

Choosing a camping chair for the sun-averse is a little more complicated than most others on this list. When choosing the right camping chair for your sun-averse friend, consider these essential aspects:

  • Coverage. Ideally, the chair you pick will have an umbrella that covers the majority of their body with shade.
  • UV protection. Most people don’t know this, but shade-producing materials don’t always do enough to protect others from the sun. It is essential to make sure the chair you pick has an actual SPF protection rating before you buy it.
  • Breathability. Many UV-protective chairs aren’t very breathable. You will need to find a chair that breathes if you want to remain comfortable.
  • Padding. Just because you are worried about the light does not mean you shouldn’t also keep an eye out for comfort.

Our Pick

Finding an excellent chair for someone sensitive to light isn’t easy. However, GYMAX Canopy Chair does a good job. This canopy chair has a wind-resistant canopy that protects sitters from the sun and is 100% UV-resistant.

The Best Camping Chair for Kids

Kids and adults have different bodies. Is it any surprise that they have different camping chair needs, too? A camping chair that is made for adults may be difficult for children to sit in, and also might not be as safe as it should be.

It is also worth pointing out that children can be picky when it comes to their chair’s aesthetics. Parents with picky kids should consider getting a chair that has a fun print if it is available to them.

Special Advice for Choosing a Kids’ Camping Chair

Kids can be challenging to shop for, simply because of the way they can react to their chosen items. If your child is fussy or just strong-willed, these tips below can help you do your best:

  • Let your kid pick out his or her own chair. Kids love to have a say in their own camping gear. Allowing them to pick out a favorite chair is a quick and easy way to get them excited about camping.
  • Don’t get too worried about comfort. Children don’t need the extra padding and cushioning that adults do, especially when it comes to camping chairs. Besides, if they’re like most other kids, they will be too busy running around to use the chair for a long time.
  • It is okay to stay budget friendly. You shouldn’t feel the need to spend a fortune on a child’s chair. They will grow out of it sooner than you think, so plan for a small number of uses!

Our Pick

Just about any colorful, child-sized camping chair will be a smart idea. We love this adorable Kids Director Chair. It’s a bit chunky but, having it’s own table attached, makes it easier for serving drinks and food.

The Best Camping Chair for the Elderly

Elderly people enjoy camping just as much as young’uns do. If fact, grandparents, camping with an extended family, is one of our core target groups. Afterall, while we don’t consider ourselves as elderly, we are definitely in the older camper, camping with family, group.

As we get older we do develop particular needs. Any camping chair that is designed for bad backs can work well, but it also can be wise to choose a chair that takes things a step further.

Many elderly individuals have a hard time getting up from chairs and might enjoy having a little rocking action in order to make standing easier on their knees. Though they aren’t easy to find, there are chairs out there that act as rocking camping chairs.

Our Pick

If you want a truly luxurious camping chair for grandpa or grandma, the best choice you can find is the GCI RoadTrip Rocker Chair, which acts as a portable rocking chair with extra balance added to the seat.

This comfortable chair gently rocks back and forth, much like rockers at home. It is surprisingly easy to set up, and while it is a little heavier at around 13 pounds, it still is fully foldable and portable enough to carry short distances without a hassle.

Anyone who has an elderly relative who enjoys outdoor life should consider getting this as a gift before their next camping trip. At only $70, it is a seriously enjoyable way to show your love.

The Best Camping Chair for Babies

Babies can go camping too, and when they do, moms might need a break from holding them once in a while. A camping chair that is specifically designed to keep them safe is a great way to take the pressure off parents for a while.

When choosing a baby’s camping chair, make sure to look for:

  • Safety Features. You want to have a chair that will keep your child locked in and secure, without the risk of toppling over.
  • Sun Protection. Children are far more sensitive to sunlight than people realize.
  • Lightweight Builds. Let’s face it–moms already have a lot to lug around. Minimizing weight load is important.
  • A Tray. If you can find a tray for your child’s chair, that is an added bonus once feeding time arrives.

Does Your Child Need A Baby Camping Chair?

The term “baby” is a little bit of a misnomer. Most of the chairs available are designed for babies and toddlers up to about 45-50 pounds. They are also designed to adjust to sizes for babies under a year old.

If you have a child who is fussy, extra young or needs special protections, then getting a baby chair might make a lot of sense.

Our Pick

We have found camping high chairs to be a bit bulky for packing. Instead, we recommend booster seats. These can either sit on the floor – totally stable and safe – or strapped to other chairs.

If you have babies – our favorite high chair is the Summer Pop ‘n Sit SE Highchair

As you child gets a little older our favorite booster seat is the Summer Pop ‘n Sit SE Booster Chair.

The Best Camping Chair for People Who Keep Things Simple

Most of the chairs featured in this article come with tons of bells and whistles. It is understandable; people usually want to have a fancy camping chair if they are going to splurge, right?

Sometimes, keeping it simple is better. Simple gives you an easy setup. Simple makes things versatile. Simple is…simple. If you enjoy the simpler stuff in life, then the only things you should really concern yourself with are comfort and durability.

Our Pick

Most simple chairs are not exactly versatile when it comes to different types of terrain, but some designers are hoping to change that. Simple does not have to mean bad. The Everywhere Chair is an excellent example of what we mean.

Though the design is relatively simple, the concepts are impressive as can be. The Everywhere Chair is one of the only camping chairs that is designed to work on different types of terrains. You can scale mountains, sit on hills, and also hit the beach without a second thought.

It comes with a chic carrying case and three different back adjustment levels. Not bad for $35, wouldn’t you say?

The Best Camping Chair for Backpackers

Backpacking is one of the more popular ways campers get to enjoy the great outdoors, so it only makes sense to include a chair that is easy to carry. Backpacking chairs are popular enough to warrant their own genre. Finding the cream of the crop is no easy issue.

A good backpacking chair will:

  • Feel comfortable on your back as well as when you are sitting on it. This is a must. Backpacking chairs that strain your back can cause permanent damage at worst and premature fatigue at best.
  • Remain relatively lightweight. Even if you are a strong individual, having a lighter chair will be a godsend during long haul trips.
  • Be easy to set up and versatile on most terrain. Let’s face it–the woods you plan to hike won’t always have even terrain. A chair that can handle this is a must.

Our Pick

Most of the ultra-lightweight chairs already mentioned in this article will also work wonderfully as backpacking chairs. However, if you are looking for a chair that is designed with backpacking in mind, there’s another option you should consider: the Big Agnes Skyline UL.

This simple-looking chair is made for rugged backpacking and is remarkably durable. Though it is made with a solid design, it is still lightweight and has a reputation for being one of the most comfortable chairs of its type.

The Skyline UL chair isn’t exactly cheap. However, you will quickly forget the price tag once you first sit down in it post-hike. 

The Best Camping Chair for Heavy People

Heavy people face a unique problem when it comes to camping chair shopping. Most camping chairs are designed to work with people under 250 to 300 pounds. If you are a bigger person, there’s a good chance that most camping chairs on the market will break after you use them.

If you weigh over 350 pounds, then you will need a specialty campaign chair that is designed for your weight. Otherwise, you run the risk of having an injury due to a broken chair. Thankfully, there are plenty of great chair designs that are meant for bigger guys.

Our Pick

If weight capacity is an issue, then you should check out the Kijaro XXL, one of the most popular plus-sized chairs. The Kijaro XXL can hold up to 400 pounds thanks to its double-locking technology and sturdy material quality.

Comfort-wise, you are not going to find a better chair. The Kijaro XXL comes with two cup holders, an oversized build, as well as a breathable mesh back that helps keep you cool on hot summer days. You can grab this model on Amazon for the low price of $48.

Conclusion

Asking for the best camping chair to buy is never a one-size-fits-all matter, especially when you have a large family filled with people of different ages. If you want to make sure that the chair you get will be the right one for you, take a moment to think about what you need before you buy.

The world of camping equipment has changed drastically in the past 20 years. You no longer have to sacrifice comfort or deal with “risky” chairs when you are out in the woods. By choosing a quality chair that has your needs in mind, you’ll be able to use your chair for tons of different occasions.

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Keith Longmire

Keith Longmire

I’m the guy that loves camping, insists on family camping trips, and the editor and owner of Campingsage.com

I love camping and the outdoors. Through this site I hope to help you enjoy it too.

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