The Best Camping Chairs for Outdoor Lounging

A supportive chair makes camping, tailgating, and concerts more comfortable.

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The Best Camping Chair Option

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Bring indoor comfort to the great outdoors with a lightweight, hardwearing, and collapsible camping chair. While some are purely functional and collapse to a small portable size, others offer features like shade canopies, swiveling, drink holders, and footrests. These handy chairs-on-the-go can be wonderful companions, not just at the campground, but also at the beach, a sporting event, or on a backyard deck or patio.

Keep reading to learn about the key features to look for in a quality camping chair, and to see the top picks among the best camping chair options available today.

  1. BEST OVERALL: ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair
  2. BEST BUDGET: Coleman Camping Chair
  3. BEST COMPACT: Cliq Camping Chair
  4. BEST HEAVY DUTY: Kijaro Dual Lock Portable Camping and Sports Chair
  5. BEST ROCKING: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Portable Folding Rocking Chair
  6. BEST LOW PROFILE: Coleman Utopia Breeze Beach Chair
  7. BEST PADDED: CORE Equipment Folding Padded Hard Arm Chair
  8. BEST WITH FOOTREST: ALPS Mountaineering Escape Camp Chair
  9. BEST WITH CANOPY: Quik Shade Max High Folding Camp Chair with Canopy
  10. BEST WITH SIDE TABLE: KingCamp Heavy Duty Camping Chair with Side Table
The Best Camping Chair Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Camping Chair

For convenient and portable outdoor seating, consider reaching for a camping chair. The best camping chair models are functional, comfortable, and durable, plus suit your budget and intended use. When selecting a camping chair, consider the chair type, size, materials, portability, and any additional comfort and convenience features.

Type

Camping chairs are available in a few main types, including standard, swivel, reclining, rocker, and low-profile chairs. Depending on the situation, each has different appealing benefits.

Standard camping chairs are the most basic and common type. They are essentially a portable outdoor folding chair, but that doesn’t mean they’re lacking in features. They still can include comfortable, breathable materials, and extra features like an ultra-compact design or built-in side tables or canopies.

Swivel chairs have fixed legs and a swivel mount which offers flexibility to pivot around, a useful feature around a campfire or circle of friends. Reclining and rocker chairs are great for relaxing; they allow you to recline or rock at your leisure.

As their name suggests, low-profile camping chairs have a short seat height and sit low to the ground. These short chairs can be harder to get in and out of, but are excellent for sitting on uneven ground, like on the beach.

Size

Camping chairs can vary widely in size and weight. Generally, camping chairs range from 1 pound to 15 pounds. Some camping chairs collapse into the size of a water bottle, while others compress into a slightly smaller size than when they are fully opened. A small, compact chair may be more suitable for backpacking trips, while a larger and more comfortable chair may be easier to transport for a weekend tailgate.

The opened chair size also is a factor. A smaller seat can be less comfortable, but that may be a worthwhile trade-off for a more portable chair for hiking or camping. For hanging out close to home, a less portable and collapsible chair can be more practical. The larger seats usually offer the most comfort.

A chair with a host of comfort accessories—like headrests, footrests, a reclining design, or a canopy—will often be larger in size. Also consider the seat’s weight capacity, which averages around 250 to 300 pounds.

Portability

When it comes to portability, consider the intended use for the camping chair. The ideal weight and folded size limitations while traveling also factor into a chair’s portability.

Lightweight chairs are built to be ultra-portable and often have a compact, no-frills design. Some can fold up as small as a water bottle, making them easy to slip into a backpack, and most will include a carrying bag. These kinds of chairs are well-suited for hikers and campers, especially those who need to carry their gear.

For the occasional backyard hangout, tailgate, or car camping weekend, compact portability may be a lesser concern. Many budget-friendly camp chairs are heavier and bulkier, and may only fold up into a long tube as tall as the chair.

With less focus on compactness, these chairs also are more likely to have extra features like larger cushions and built-in canopies, side tables, and more. An included carrying bag, shoulder strap, or backpack straps adds to convenience, making the chairs easier to lug around and store.

Material

Camping chairs most commonly have a weatherproof steel or aluminum frame. These materials are durable and cost-friendly. Aluminum frames are more likely to bend or warp, but are lightweight. Steel frames tend to be sturdier, but also are heavier.

Camping chairs are often made from synthetic textile materials like polyester and ripstop nylon. These materials are chosen for their durability and natural water-resistance, which also makes them easier to clean. Camp chairs can include solid and mesh materials. Solid fabric offers more support, while mesh textiles are more breathable.

Wood frames with cotton, canvas, or linen textile camping chairs also are available. While they are less rugged, they are a more elegant outdoor seating option for an outdoor picnic or dinner party.

Comfort

A high-quality camping chair brings comfortable seating to the great outdoors. A supportive seat, breathable mesh materials, or soft padding increase comfort and are worthwhile features to look for in a camping chair.

Besides comfortable materials, also look for a design that supports your body. Most camp chairs have a sling seat design that cradles a body. A solid backrest, headrest, footrest, and armrests can provide even better full-body support, and adjustable options help cater to any height.

Built-in sunshades or canopies can help protect sitters from the elements, like beaming sun or light rain. These features can help make a beach chair more comfortable for those who prefer the shade. Combined with a reclining or rocking design, these outdoor chairs offer some great R&R features.

Accessories

Additional accessories can make a camping chair more comfortable or convenient to use. Features like drink holders, storage pockets, side tables, and extra cushions can take your camping chair to the next level.

  • Drink holders: Whether you’re out camping or at a tailgate, a drink holder is a useful accessory to hold a cup of coffee in the morning or a refreshing beverage at night.
  • Storage pockets: Camping chairs can include storage pockets attached to the seat or armest. These pockets can be small to hold odds and ends, or larger to hold drinks, snacks, and bottles of sunscreen. Lined storage pockets can help keep a canned drink or two cold.
  • Side tables: A built-in side table is useful for placing snacks, drinks, or a camping dinner.
  • Extra cushions: While they undoubtedly add to size, extra cushions take the comfort level up a notch for an amply-padded outdoor seat.

Our Top Picks

A supportive camping chair brings comfortable seating wherever you need it, whether it’s hanging out in your own backyard or for camping, tailgates, or outdoor concerts. With the above considerations in mind, the following camping chairs are selected because they are comfortable, portable, and durable for season after season of outdoor fun.

Best Overall

The Best Camping Chair Option:
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This comfortable camping chair option from ALPS Mountaineering stands out most for its rugged durability. The frame is powder-coated steel, while the 600-denier polyester fabric, often used for camping bags and backpacks, makes it highly resistant to tearing.

The chair weighs 13 pounds and can hold an impressive 800 pounds of weight, making it a durable and reliable pick for frequent use. To add to its comfort and convenience, each adjustable chair armrest has a cup holder and a side pocket. In addition, a large mesh back pocket helps to maximize storage. A shoulder carry bag makes it easy to transport and store the chair.

Best Budget

The Best Camping Chair Option:
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The Coleman Quad is top of its class when it comes to budget camping chairs. In addition to a classic design, the Quad Chair boasts comfort, sturdiness, and ample support. The durable steel frame can hold up to 325 pounds and features a roomy cushioned back and seat. This chair weighs around 8 pounds and comes with a convenient carrying bag.

A range of features help make lounging more comfortable, including a mesh cup holder, a side pocket for snacks and gadgets, and a built-in cooler pouch. The cooler pouch holds up to four cans to keep refreshing drinks within easy reach.

Best Compact

The Best Camping Chair Option:
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Hikers, campers, and those short on storage space will likely enjoy the Cliq Camping Chair. This portable chair weighs only 3.5 pounds and is hardly larger than a water bottle when folded up. The compact size means this chair is easy to carry just about anywhere, from a camping trip to the beach.

Despite its compact folded size, the chair sets up in five seconds with a patented click-in-place design. It also doesn’t skimp on support, and features a tip-proof base that can support up to 300 pounds. The aircraft-grade aluminum frame and twice-stitched, ripstop nylon fabric helps keep weight down without sacrificing durability.

Best Heavy Duty

The Best Camping Chair Option:
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At 9.5 pounds with a 300-pound capacity, this chair from Kijaro is on the heavy side. But it’s a sturdy, well-constructed option, boasting a range of nice-to-have features. The arms and seat lock open and shut (with an easy push mechanism) for added back support and stability.

The chair is made from durable ripstop polyester which provides a no-sag seat for those who prefer firmer seating. A mesh back helps keep the chair breathable on hot and sunny days. Additional features include two mesh cup holders, a handy zip pocket organizer, and a carrying bag and strap to take this durable chair anywhere.

Best Rocking

The Best Camping Chair Option:
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Bring the soothing comfort of a rocking chair outdoors with the GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocking Chair. This portable rocker features a patented spring-action rocking system that lends it a smooth and relaxing rocking motion. Instead of a curved rocker, it features a flat base with a rocking mechanism, which allows it to rock on any outdoor surface.

The powder-coated steel frame can handle up to 250 pounds. While the chair weighs a hefty 12.1 pounds, it is easy to collapse with a pull of the Eazy-Fold tab and can be carried using the built-in handle. Additional features include padded armrests and a built-in drinks holder.

Best Low Profile

The Best Camping Chair Option:
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Beach days are a breeze with the Coleman Utopia Breeze Beach Chair. This lightweight chair features a 10-inch sitting height that’s ideal for stretching legs out in the sand. The low-profile, powder-coated steel frame remains stable, even on slightly uneven sand or surfaces, and supports up to 250 pounds.

A full-size backrest and seat offer ample support for hours of comfort. To keep items off the ground, this beach chair features a mesh cup holder and a useful seatback pocket. With its included carrying bag, this 5.3-pound colorful chair is well-suited for relaxed beach outings.

Best Padded

The Best Camping Chair Option:
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Lounge in plush comfort with this padded camping chair from Core Equipment. This supportive chair features a comfortable padded seat and back. The surface is covered with a brushed polyester fabric that is soft-to-the-touch compared to other stiff outdoor fabrics. To add even more comfort, this chair does away with flimsy fabric sling arms, opting for hard, padded arms for extra support.

A steel frame makes this chair as durable as it is cozy. The spacious seat can hold up to 300 pounds. Extra features include an oversized cup holder and an organizer pocket to keep items close by. When the outdoor fun is over, fold down the chair and place it in the included carry bag for transport and storage.

Best with Footrest

The Best Camping Chair Option:
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Put those feet up in the great outdoors with the help from ALPS Mountaineering Escape Camp Chair. This camping chair features a convenient built-in footrest, which is a perfect feature to help create an ultimate lounging chair. To suit all heights and sizes, both the footrest and armrests are adjustable. Plus, the footrest is removable to convert the seat into a standard camping chair.

This chair features a powder-coated steel frame that holds up to 225 pounds. A seat, footrest, and full back offer comfortable support and the polyester fabric is easy to wipe clean. The chair weighs 10 pounds and collapses down to fit in the included shoulder bag.

Best with Canopy

The Best Camping Chair Option:
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Stay protected on bright and sunny days with this canopy camp chair from Quik Shade. This camping chair features an overhead canopy to bring a shady spot wherever this seat is parked. The angle-adjustable sunshade can raise, lower, and tilt from side to side for flexible protection from UV rays.

The sunshade sits upon a standard camping chair, which features a sturdy steel frame that supports up to 225 pounds. The supportive seat and full back are made from stain-resistant polyester and includes armrests with dual mesh cupholders and an organizer pouch. When it’s time to pack up, use the included nylon carrying strap to transport the folded chair.

Best with Side Table

The Best Camping Chair Option:
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Set up for a day of outdoor relaxing with the KingCamp Heavy Duty Folding Director Chair. At 14.8 pounds, this wide camping chair is less portable than some other options. But it makes up for it with its heavy-duty frame and host of comfort features.

The steel frame supports up to 330 pounds and uses reinforced oxford cloth to create a wide seat and backrest. Padded armrests add to comfort. On one side of the chair, a built-in, fold-up table with a cup holder provides a spot to place drinks and food. On the other side, a 12-liter capacity insulated cooler bag helps to keep beverages cold.

FAQs About Your New Camping Chair

A supportive and comfortable camping chair is a useful tagalong for outdoor adventures. Camping trips, beach days, and tailgates can be just a little more comfortable with the right portable seat. Read on for answers to some frequently asked questions about choosing and using your new camping chair.

Q. Who makes the best camping chair?

Established outdoor gear brands like Coleman, GCI Outdoor, REI Co-op, ALPS Mountaineering, and YETI create reliable, comfortable, and stylish camping chairs.

Q. What is the most comfortable camping chair?

When shopping for a comfortable camping chair, look for features like breathable, supportive, or padded seats, backrests and armrests. Additional features like headrests, footrests, and sunshades can add to comfort.

Q. What is the best compact camping chair?

The Cliq Camping Chair is an excellent compact option for campers, hikers, and more.

Q. What is the best camping rocking chair?

The GCI Outdoor Freestyle Portable Folding Rocking Chair is one of the best camping rocker chair options due to its smooth spring-action rocking system.

Final Thoughts

The best camping chairs provide a comfy portable seat for any outdoor setting. There’s a chair out there for almost every need, from ultra-compact seats for a long hiking trip to luxurious chairs for a backyard cookout. With one of the supportive camping chairs above, comfortable seating can be brought along to nearly any adventure.