Buyer’s Guide: Camping Chairs

Head outdoors in comfort with a camping chair. Read our guide to choosing among the many available options, and don't miss our roundup of top-favorite picks.

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Best Camping Chairs

Photo: istockphoto.com

Bring indoor comfort to the great outdoors with a lightweight, hardwearing, and collapsible camping chair. These can be wonderful companions, not just at the campground, but also at the beach, sporting events, or even your own backyard.

Keep reading to learn the key features to look for in a quality camping chair and to see our favorites among the best camping chair options available today:

  1. BEST OVERALL: ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair
  2. BEST DESIGN: Helinox Chair One
  3. BEST FEATURES: Kijaro Dual Lock Portable Camping and Sports Chair
  4. BEST VALUE: Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair
  5. HONORABLE MENTION: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Portable Folding Rocking Chair

Key Considerations for Choosing a Camping Chair

  • Durable materials. Heavy-duty camping chairs are typically designed with a steel frame. If you want a light yet sturdy chair, look for an aluminum alloy frame.
  • 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. 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

Best Overall

The Best Camping Chair Option: ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair
Photo: amazon.com

This option from ALPS Mountaineering stands out most 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 tearing. 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.

Best Design

The Best Camping Chair Option: Helinox Chair One
Photo: amazon.com

At just 2.1 pounds, the Helinox Chair One weighs less than a bottle of wine, making it exceptionally portable. 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.

Best Features

The Best Camping Chair Option: Kijaro Dual Lock Portable Camping and Sports Chair
Photo: amazon.com

At 9.5 pounds with a 300-pound capacity, this chair is on the heavy side. But it’s a sturdy, well-constructed option nonetheless, boasting a range of nice-to-have features. 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.

Best Value

The Best Camping Chair Option: Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair
Photo: amazon.com

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.

Honorable Mention

The Best Camping Chair Option: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Portable Folding Rocking Chair
Photo: amazon.com

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.