chairs for camping in the woods

Best Camping Chairs to Kick Back and Relax

The sun is going down. You’ve been hiking all day. Your feet are killing you, and your legs feel like jelly.

But, do you sit on the ground? No. Maybe a nice log or rock will do. However, you are a camping veteran, so you brought your own camping chair.

And, if you are a camping veteran sans chair, no need to worry. Simply take a look at the best camping chairs of 2020 for your next trip to the wilderness.

Best Camping Chair: Helinox Chair One Camp Chair

Review

If you are looking for the top camping chair, the Helinox Chair One is a great contender for the title. It’s packed with great features, including lightweight and very portable. It’s also very easy to set up and use. Take a look at the video from Helinox about how to set up and use the chair:

This may be basic camping chair, but sometimes basic is all you need for a great chair. It uses the same technology as the Helinox trekking and tent poles. The lightweight aluminum frame is durable enough for years of use.

The chair also has a hub-and-pole structure. This means that the poles remain attached to the seat joints. And, setting up the chair is easy. Simply move the poles into position and set-up the back. The frame stays in place and ready for the cover.

There are rubber feet at the end of the poles. But, the poles themselves are stake-like. This means that if you are setting your chair up in soft ground, it may sink a few inches.

Next, the cover itself is of synthetic mesh. This makes it quick-drying and breathable, so you can sit comfortably in different types of weather. Additionally, the entire chair folds down into a 2lb package that stores into an included zippered bag.

Finally, even larger hikers can enjoy this camping chair. Aside from the durable material, the maximum weight capacity of this chair is 320 pounds. But, this chair is not perfect.

Watch out for how you distribute your weight the first couple of times you sit down. The seat semi-reclines and will seem wobbly if you don’t sit in it the right way. Luckily, this doesn’t take long to get used to.

Pros

  • Easy setup

Simply slide the poles into place to set up the chair. The poles attach to a central hub, so you don’t need to fumble with miscellaneous poles.

  • Lightweight and portable

This chair folds up so you can place it into a convenient zippered pouch. It only weighs 2pounds, so it will not take up too much room in your pack or trunk.

  • Breathable synthetic mesh cover

Not only is the cover durable, it’s quick-drying too. That comes in handy if you are just coming out of the water, or are sitting around on a hot, sultry summer day.

Cons

  • Legs and feet may sink in soft ground

After being on your feet all day, the last thing you want is to be thwarted by mud or sand. But, that is exactly what may happen if you set this chair up on the soft ground. The feet and legs may sink an inch or three.

  • Proper weight distribution learning curve

Perhaps you are an old pro at camp chairs and already know this, but sitting in a camp chair is an art. Each chair has a different point of weight distribution. This one is no different.

If you sit in it wrong, you may tilt and wobble. Or worse, fall out or bend the aluminum legs. Just be careful the first few times you sit while you get used to it.

Materials Analysis

A lightweight aluminum alloy makes up the frame. This is great news for campers who are on weight restrictions, but maybe not so much for someone who needs a very strong pole. Nevertheless, the aluminum is the same used for tent poles and high-end trekking poles. So, it’s standard and reasonably durable.

Additionally, the cover is a nylon mesh. It’s very strong and very durable. Even better, it dries quickly. The mesh design makes it more comfortable to sit in during hot summer months.

Who It’s Best For

This is one of the top camping chairs for people who like to backpack overnight or car camp. Additionally, it is a great addition to your tailgating kit or outside music venues.

For additional information about this camping chair, click on this link:

https://www.backcountry.com/helinox-chair-one-camp-chair?skid=HEL0005-ASPPRI-ONESIZ&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6Y2FtcGluZyBjaGFpcnM6MToyOmNhbXBpbmcgY2hhaXJz

Best Camping Chair for a Bad Back: Lafuma Evolution Recliner Chair

Review

Using camping chairs can be difficult. And, not all are created equal in terms of comfort and support. This becomes very apparent if you have back problems.

The Lafuma Evolution Recliner Chair does a great job of addressing concerns of support and comfort, though. However, this is not a lightweight backpacking chair. You won’t make your back problems worse carrying it. But, you also can’t simply put it in your pack either.

One of the great features about this chair is its design. It matches your spine’s curves. This means that you aren’t putting too much pressure on specific points on your back. In addition, the chair has an adjustable headrest for increased comfort.

Let’s look at the positives and negatives of this great chair in more depth.

Pros

  • Zero Gravity design

The engineers at Lafuma designed this chair to follow the curves of the spine. Because of this curved feature, it provides superior back support. And, also doesn’t allow for stress points along your spine when you sit or recline.

  • Steel frame

Worried that a flimsy chair would break under your weight? Don’t worry with this one. The steel frame is very durable and has a weight capacity up to 310lb.

  • Fabric is machine-washable

And, when you have too many s’mores stuck on the seat you don’t need to worry. You can take the fabric off the chair and throw it into the washing machine for a quick clean. Not that many camp chairs can boast about that option. Break out the marshmallows!

  • Reclines

Additionally, for your napping needs this camping chair reclines. You can also adjust the head cushion too for a nice nap after a hard day of car camping.

  • 2-year warranty

Finally, this chair is nowhere near the cheapest on the market. And, you may have reservations about the price. But, you can rest easy about dropping so much cash for a camping chair. It comes with a 2-year warranty.

Cons

  • Not lightweight or compact

Unfortunately, if you are looking for a lightweight camping chair, this one is not for you. It only folds in half so it’s not compact. And, it weighs almost 19 pounds.

So, while it isn’t backbreaking to carry from your trunk to your campsite, you won’t want to strap it to your backpack and hike to your campsite.

  • Pricey

This chair falls on the “luxury” end of the camping chair spectrum. In this instance, “luxury” means “expensive.” While there are more expensive options available, this one is still pricey for a chair.

Materials Analysis

The frame is made from a strong and durable steel alloy. This gives it weight and makes it more difficult to backpack with. But, it also makes it more stable.

The fabric is a washable synthetic nylon. It’s equally strong and durable and meant to last for a long time.

Who It’s Best For

This camping chair is best for elderly people or anyone who has back problems. Because it is a little heavy, it’s best used for car or rv camping. Alternatively, you can give it a place on your patio, too.

However, although you will get your money’s worth from this chair you need to have deep pockets, to begin with.

If you want to learn more about this camping chair, click on the link below:

https://www.backcountry.com/lafuma-evolution-recliner-camping-chair?skid=LAF000T-OBS-ONESIZ&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6Y2FtcGluZyBjaGFpcnM6MjoxMzpjYW1waW5nIGNoYWlycw==

Most Comfortable Camping Chair: Kelty Deluxe Lounge Chair

Review

If you are an avid outdoorsman, you know about Kelty’s reputation for comfortable and durable outdoor gear. The Deluxe Lounge Chair model in Kelty’s camp chair line is one of the comfiest on the market.

The Deluxe Lounge Chair will make you feel like royalty around the campfire. Aside from the extra quilted cushioning that most Kelty chairs come with, it also has 3 adjustable positions, so you can find the perfect angle.

Additionally, you have room for one beer and a spare with 2 insulated cup holders. And, if you are too tired to stuff and carry your chair back to your car, don’t worry about it. The chair features a Roll-Tote storage.

Pros

  • Adjustable armrests and reclining positions

Not all bodies are the same. So, your chair shouldn’t be either. The Kelty Deluxe Lounge Chair allows you to adjust both your reclining position and armrests for maximum comfort.

  • 2 insulated cup holders

What would the great outdoors be without a cold drink in hand? This camping chair does you one better with room for two. Even better, the holders are insulated to keep your drinks at the right temperature.

  • Roll-Tote storage

This chair is a little on the heavy side, so it’s a good thing you can roll it from your car to campsite. The Roll-Tote storage makes it easy to bring everything to your site in one go.

  • 1-year warranty

While it’s not the longest warranty available, a one-year warranty should get you through more than a few camping trips. This may help lower the stress factor for spending the money on a deluxe chair.

Cons

  • It’s heavy

The deluxe chair is not the heaviest camping chair you can buy. But, it’s definitely too heavy to take while hiking into your campsite. And it would be a no-go for backpackers.

  • Height may be uncomfortable for short people

Unfortunately, if you are short you may want to buy this at your own risk. The front bar may dig into the back of your thighs if you are on the petite side. But, at medium height or higher you should be fine.

  • Expensive

Lastly, this is not a cheap chair. While there are more expensive versions out there, this one is a little on the higher end of the price scale.

Materials Analysis

The seat of this chair is 600D quilted polyester. Extra stitching from the quilting makes it more durable. And, the synthetic material lasts longer. However, the fabric doesn’t breathe. So, in hot temperatures you may get a bit sweaty after sitting in this chair for a while.

Who It’s Best For

This chair is best for people who are looking for a luxury chair for car camping, watching sports, tailgating, or outside music venues. However, this is too heavy to use for backpacking.

If you want to learn more about this comfortable camping chair, take a look at the link below:

https://www.backcountry.com/kelty-deluxe-lounge-chair?skid=KEL006P-SM-ONESIZ&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6Y2FtcGluZyBjaGFpcnM6MjoyMjpjYW1waW5nIGNoYWlycw==

Best Folding Camping Chair: TRAVELCHAIR Lounge Lizard Mesh Camping Chair

Review

Lounge in style in this folding camping chair. The Travelchair Lounge Lizard Mesh Camping Chair is for those people who want to kick back and relax, not get up and go. It’s not suitable for backpacking. But, if you are concerned about lazing about, hiking may not be your main priority.

The mesh material is a cooling fabric for comfort on hot, idle days. The only thing it’s missing is an attached cooler. But, it does have a cup holder and that’s the next best thing.

Though it doesn’t recline fully, this folding camping chair does have a stop brake so that you can recline at different angles. And the Zero Gravity suspension style seating is comfortable enough for an afternoon nap.

Finally, the Lounge Lizard folds flat for storage. And, you can buy a carrying case with a padded shoulder strap separately for easier transportation. But, you will probably want to reserve using this for instances where you will be car camping or break it out for backyard use.

For a more thorough review of the pros and cons of this foldup camping chair, keep reading below.

Pros

  • Full-length Zero-Gravity mesh lounger

The full-length size and 300lb weight capacity makes this chair useable by the different body types in your family. The mesh material is also quick-drying and great in the hotter seasons when sweating in chairs makes lounging an unpleasant experience.

  • Attached cup holder

Next, it may be a simple thing, but an attached cup holder can make a world of difference in your relaxed state. The last thing you want to do is grope around the floor looking for your drink. Especially if you are already comfortable.

  • Removable pillow

Like the cup holder, this isn’t a necessity, but it can make all the difference in the comfort of your outdoor nap times.

  • Stop brake reclining

Lastly, find the perfect angle for maximum comfort. The stop brake doesn’t hem you in to specific reclining angles. You can choose exactly how much or little you want the chair to recline.

Cons

  • Heavy

First, this chair is heavy. It’s still light enough to be considered “portable”, but you may want to keep portability limited to short trips to and from your vehicle.

  • All parts not weatherproof

Next, while the seating grommets may be stainless steel the arm rests are not. Made from “sealed” wood, the sealant may not stand up to leaving the chairs outside all the time. And, the wood may eventually warp.

  • Doesn’t fully recline

Lastly, this lounger doesn’t allow you to fully recline. This is understandable since it would offset the balance of the chair. To fully recline, the manufacturer would have had to add an additional support bar. Still, it would be nice to lay flat in these camping chairs.

Materials Analysis

The seat of this folding chair is a mold-repelling synthetic mesh. The mesh style also lends to its breathable and quick-drying features. The mesh material is fairly common to Zero-Gravity style chairs, though.

Additionally, while the grommets and attachments are stainless steel the frame is powder-covered steel. So, you may get some rust stains on your deck if you leave it out in inclement weather.

Who It’s Best For

This is the best folding chair for people who are looking for a sitting solution while car camping or outside in the backyard. The heavy weight and bulkiness is not ideal for backpackers or hiking into campsites.

https://www.backcountry.com/travelchair-lounge-lizard-mesh-camping-chair?skid=TRV000J-BK-ONESIZ&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6Y2FtcGluZyBjaGFpcnM6MToxOmNhbXBpbmcgY2hhaXJz

Top Portable Camping Chair: ALPS Mountaineering Getaway Chair

Review

Like to sit back and relax around a campfire? Ever have to rouse yourself to get a drink refill from the cooler and effectively break your relaxation vibe? With the ALPS Mountaineering Getaway Chair, you won’t have to get up for refills anymore.

You may still have to get up for other things. You know, because no chair is perfect. However, this chair is designed for those of you who want to minimize necessary movement during relaxation time.

Next, it sits low to the ground, so you aren’t towering over everyone else around the campfire. However, if you have joint problems you may have trouble getting in and out of this chair. But, if you are careful about getting in and out you shouldn’t have a problem.

Lastly, the mesh material is cool and breathable. Couple that with the attached cup holder and the armrest cooler and you are all set for lazy summer months in the great outdoors. Or, lazy backyard nights on your great outdoor patio.

Read more about this great portable camping chair below.

Pros

  • Attached cooler

Yes, you read it right. This chair has an attached cooler. While it’s not big enough to carry a 12-pack of adult beverages, it’s large enough to keep a few refills on standby. Or, if you don’t want to use it for drinks, it’s also a convenient place to stash your snacks.

  • Mesh material

Next, the mesh material is a common fabric for camping chairs. But, coupled with the attached cooler and it spells summer magic. The fabric keeps you cool on hot days, and nights, around the campfire.

Cons

  • Sits low

While sitting low to the ground has a variety of benefits, many elderly people may find it difficult to get in and out of the chair. People who have hip and knee problems may find it especially difficult.

  • Sliding plastic pieces in legs

Any kind of plastic piece on a camping chair should give you pause. This is because they have a potential to break or malfunction. The ones on the back legs of this chair can get clogged by dirt and debris. If that happens, you will find it very difficult to fold the chair up again.

  • Mesh is scratchy at the seams

Lastly, the mesh may be itchy and scratchy at the seams where it attaches to the poly fabric. While this may seem like a minor annoyance, it can get frustrating when you are constantly scratched by your own chair.

Materials Analysis

Nylon mesh material is great at keeping your body cool. Additionally, the poly fabric that attaches to the frame is durable. However, the seams for the mesh and poly could be smoother.

Who It’s Best For

This is the best portable camping chair for people who don’t mind low-sitting chairs. The height is great for outdoor music venues, camping, and picnic trips. However, you shouldn’t use it in sand or areas with soft ground.

Finally, it is a bit heavy for backpackers. But, for short distance hikes, you should be fine.

For additional information about this portable camping chair, check out the link below:

https://www.backcountry.com/alps-mountaineering-getaway-chair?skid=ALM0063-BK-NYLMES&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6Y2FtcGluZyBjaGFpcnM6MTozNTpjYW1waW5nIGNoYWlycw==

Best Backpacking Chair: Alite Designs Monarch Camp Chair

Review

The Alite Designs Monarch Camp Chair is one of the best backpacking chair options on the market. It’s light as a feather – or at least, nearly so at 1.3 pounds. And, it’s comfortable to sink into after spending all day on your feet.

Made from a lightweight and durable 210D ripstop nylon fabric, it’s like turning your all-terrain tent into a chair. This sling style chair is also made from a breathable fabric, so you don’t develop unpleasant sweaty spots when you are trying to relax.

Additionally, the Monarch also gives you the option of sitting down on uneven terrain or hillsides. This is possible because you balance on 2 legs instead of a standard 4-leg frame. The 2 legs also allow you to rock back and forth if you like.

If you like what you’re reading, we’ll detail the positives and negatives about this great backpacking camping chair below.

Pros

  • Very lightweight and compact

The total weight of this chair is only 1.3lb. You have paperbacks that weigh more than this chair. It also folds down into the size of a large submarine sandwich.

  • Multi-terrain capabilities

Additionally, unlike other competitors’ chairs the Monarch isn’t limited by terrain. Soft ground, hillsides, and rocky terrain are not going to stop you from taking this out and taking a break. And, if you feel like it you can rock away. Because you balance on 2 legs instead of 4 you will have that option.

  • Breathable fabric

Lastly, the last thing you want to do is create more sweat if you are sitting down after a day of hiking. The breathable material is smooth and cooling. It’s also easier to clean than heavier materials.

Cons

  • Learning curve for 2-leg balancing on chair

One of the great features of this chair could also be a no-go for others. The 2-leg feature takes some getting used to. And, until you find the right balance you may use more leg muscles than you are willing to just to sit down.

  • Aluminum legs can snap if not balanced correctly

Next, if you don’t balance on this seat correctly you can snap or bend the legs. Unfortunately, the compromise for an ultra-light frame is an alloy that is not that sturdy. However, when you find your balance you don’t have to worry about this anymore.

Materials Analysis

The 210D nylon material is the same type used for many camping tents. So, this fabric is light and breathable. It’s also reasonably easy to clean.

Who It’s Best For

This is one of the best backpacking camp chairs you can find, if you understand that you need to learn to balance in it first. It’s also so lightweight and compact you can keep it in a purse or backpack for outside music venues and festivals.

If you’re ready to take the plunge or learn more about this intriguing chair, check out the link below:

https://www.backcountry.com/alite-designs-monarch-camp-chair?skid=ALI0002-BK-ONESIZ&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6Y2FtcGluZyBjaGFpcnM6MToyMDpjYW1waW5nIGNoYWlycw==

Other Options: Runner-Up Camping Chairs

If you didn’t find the perfect camping chair in the previous offerings, don’t despair. Your individual needs are as unique as camping chair features. So, if the other ones didn’t quite do it for you, here are some other options for great camping chairs.

The Alps Mountaineering King Kong Camping Chair is designed for the large wilderness man, or woman, in your group. Its weight capacity is a whopping 800 pounds. So, if you don’t have an extra-large camper with you, 3 or 4 of your friends could still sit in it and it won’t break.

Next, if you are looking for a simpler camping chair design, the TravelChair Slacker Camp Chair may be the answer for you. It’s an inexpensive camp stool option that is simple and light in design. And, it’s way better than sitting on the floor.

Finally, if you tend to camp with your significant other, why carry separate chairs? The Kelty Low Love Camp Chair is big enough to accommodate two. It sits low and reclines a little bit for comfortable nights in front of the campfire.

Camping Chair Considerations

Is there a chair that will fit every outdoor situation and need you may have? Probably not. But, there are some that come close.

To find that chair, though, you need to prioritize your wants in camping chair features. These are some common considerations to think about when choosing the best camping chair for you:

  • Height

At the end of the day, chair height will be very important to you. Low chairs are very comfortable but may be challenging for anyone with hip and knee problems. Alternatively, higher heights are great for people with long legs. But, short people may find the uneven weight distribution uncomfortable.

  • Material

Material considerations go for the seat and frame. Steel frames may be stronger than aluminum, but they are also heavier. Also, poly blend fabric seats are very tough, but they don’t breathe very well.

  • Weight and portability

If you will be transporting or backpacking with your chairs, this will be an important issue. Finding out how much a chair weighs and how small it packs can make or break your backpacking or camping checklist.

  • Frame legs

Next, aren’t all chair legs created equal? The answer to that is a resounding “no”. Standard chairs have 4 legs, but newer models may only have 2. Some swivel while others rock.

Understanding how the chair legs will affect your comfort is equally important as finding one to accommodate your frame.

  • Environment

This is one of the most important considerations. But, it really has more to do with you than the individual chair. Where you plan on using the camping chair will dictate what you decide for all the other features.

Different camping types have different chair needs. For example, if you plan on backpacking you will need something that is very light and very portable. On the other hand, if you are driving into your campground you can afford a heavier camping chair.

Likewise, if you need a camping chair for other venues such as tailgating or music festival venues. Tailgating is generally on a flat and stable surface, but you will be socializing a lot. So, you would need a chair that is higher in height for socializing. But, the leg type is not as important as you will be on a flat surface.

  • Additional Features

Lastly, added features such as cup holders, coolers, and pillows may seem inconsequential, but when you are relaxing after a long day of hiking they make a difference. So, while they may not be deal-breakers if these additions are not included, they may go a long way to upping the chair’s appeal.

Final Thoughts

Your camping chair needs may be different than your neighbor’s needs. Or, your spouse’s needs. Since your individual needs may be different than the next person, only you can decide which chair is ultimately the best one for you.

And, while Alite’s Monarch camping chair may be the best backpacking chair on this list, you may prefer to go with Travelchair’s Slacker Camping Chair instead. Both are great for backpacking, but the Travelchair Slacker is a less expensive option. And, you don’t need special balancing to sit in it.

Next, if you prefer something in a lower price range than the Helinox Chair, you can try the ALPS Mountaineering Getaway Chair. This one is everything you expect from a great camping chair with a few added features, and a little less money.

Ready to relax in comfort with your own built-in arm cooler? This chair is ready for you to purchase. Check out the link below to get yours:

https://www.backcountry.com/alps-mountaineering-getaway-chair?skid=ALM0063-BK-NYLMES&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6Y2FtcGluZyBjaGFpcnM6MTozNTpjYW1waW5nIGNoYWlycw==

Lastly, the Helinox Chair One Camp Chair combines the best features of different leading brands into one chair. That’s why it’s one of the top camping chairs on the market right now. It’s lightweight, portable, breathable, and more importantly – comfortable.

So, if you are ready to take the next step, click on the link below to get your own Helinox Chair One Camp Chair:

https://www.backcountry.com/helinox-chair-one-camp-chair?skid=HEL0005-ASPPRI-ONESIZ&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6Y2FtcGluZyBjaGFpcnM6MToyOmNhbXBpbmcgY2hhaXJz

Whether you choose the Helinox or Alps camping chair, or something completely different, remember that this is for your individual comfort. Pick a chair that will make you happy. And, start your wilderness relaxation in comfort.

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