Buyer’s Guide: Camping Chairs
A lightweight and durable outdoor chair comes in handy not just at the campground, but at picnics, sporting events, and beyond. Ahead, learn the features to look for when comparing models on the market—and see which five we recommend as top favorites.
The popularity of camping has surged in recent years, according to industry studies. One reason more folks are heading outdoors? Improved comfort!
Camping chairs go a long way toward ensuring a relaxed, pleasurable experience in nature. But you don’t need to be a trailblazing hiker to appreciate portable outdoor seating. Lightweight, hardwearing, and collapsible in construction, camping chairs can be a great companion on trips to the beach, the football game, or the park for a picnic.
Keep reading to get to learn the key features to look for in a quality camping chair and to see our top five favorites:
- BEST OVERALL: ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair
- BEST DESIGN: Helinox Chair One
- BEST FEATURES: Kijaro Dual Lock Portable Camping and Sports Chair
- BEST VALUE: Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair
- HONORABLE MENTION: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Portable Folding Rocking Chair
Key Considerations for Choosing a Camping Chair
- Durable materials. A heavy-duty camping chair will have a steel frame, with rust-resistant powder-coated steel a plus for maximum longevity. If you want a light yet sturdy chair, look for an aluminum alloy frame. Resilient polyester is the fabric of choice for most camping chair seats and backs; it’s also machine washable.
- Portability versus weight. Camping chairs range in weight from two pounds to nearly 20 pounds. For outings where you won’t need to tote the chair for very long, a chair weighing five to nine pounds shouldn’t feel like too much a load and ought to provide comfort and good back support. If you’ll be hiking far with the chair, purchase one in the two- to five-pound range, and make sure it comes with a strap and a carrying bag for compact portability.
- Convenient accessories. Consider how you’ll use the chair when checking out its extras, such as an insulated drinks holder or a carrying pouch. Removable cushions and padded seats, headrests, storage pockets, and even adjustable sun shades may be included. Of course, accessories add weight, so if streamlined portability is a priority, go with minimal to no add-on features.
Our Top Picks
1. BEST OVERALL: ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair
We love this snazzy option from Alps Mountaineering for its rugged durability. The frame is powder-coated steel, while the 600D polyester fabric, often used for camping bags and backpacks, makes it highly resistant to tears. The chair weighs a moderate 5.4 pounds and can hold up to 325 pounds of weight. A shoulder carry bag, cup holder, adjustable armrests, and side pockets are included. The King Kong chair, which has a limited lifetime warranty, is available in khaki, deep sea blue, and salsa red.
2. BEST DESIGN: Helinox Chair One
At just 2.1 pounds, the Helinox Chair One weighs less than a bottle of wine, so it easily goes wherever the fun is. The frame is constructed of a proprietary aluminum alloy and paired with durable, machine-washable, ultraviolet-resistant 600D polyester, giving the chair a 320-pound capacity.
3. BEST FEATURES: Kijaro Dual Lock Portable Camping and Sports Chair
At 9.5 pounds with a 300-pound capacity, the Kijaro is on the heavy side. But it’s a sturdy, well-constructed chair boasting a range of features that make it ideal for sporting events. The arms and seat lock open and shut (with an easy push mechanism) for great back support, and extras include a carrying bag and strap, two mesh cup holders, a zip pocket organizer, and cell phone holder. The ripstop polyester fabric even comes in eight cool colors, and the chair is covered by a limited one-year warranty.
4. BEST VALUE: Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair
Founded in 1900, Coleman has long been a company that campers rely on, and chairs like this one are one reason why. In addition to a classic design, the Quad Chair boasts comfort, sturdiness, and ample support. The steel frame can hold up to 325 pounds, and the chair weighs in at 7.75 pounds. Included are a cushioned seat, a built-in cooler pouch, a mesh cup holder, and a side pocket for snacks and gadgets.
5. HONORABLE MENTION: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Portable Folding Rocking Chair
This is a great portable rocker, thanks to the patented spring-action technology that lends it a smooth, relaxing rocking motion. The powder-coated steel frame can handle up to 250 pounds, and while the chair weighs a hefty 12.1 pounds, it does collapse for easy storage and can be carried by the included handle. Additional features include padded arm rests and a built-in drinks holder. The product comes with a limited lifetime warranty.