Best Camping Chairs
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When you start looking at camping chairs you will notice that there are many different construction materials, all of which every manufacturer will claim that they are using the best for the purpose. Here is a rundown on the different materials used in the manufacture of camping chairs.
Many chairs have poles made from an aluminum alloy. The specifications may state aluminum but it will be an alloy of aluminum because pure aluminum would be too soft and does not have the tensile strength. Aluminum alloys are a mixture of aluminum and other metals to maximize the strength and minimize the weight. Most aircraft are made from aluminum alloys for this reason.
Depending on the other metal mixed with the aluminum is the important factor manufacturers have to decide on. Aluminum alloys are graded with a serial number which tells you what other alloy is used in its manufacturing. 2000 series aluminum contains copper, 3000 series aluminum contains manganese, 4000 series aluminum contains silicon, 5000 series aluminum contains magnesium, and 7000 series aluminum contains zinc. 7000 series aluminum has the highest strengths of any aluminum alloy. The higher the series number the stronger the aluminum alloy. Lower than 4000 series stress corrosion cracking can be a problem. Higher than 7000 series is overkill for a chair and probably too costly.
TH72M Advanced Alloy
TH72M is an advanced alloy made by the Dongah Aluminium Corporation (DAC) in Korea. This alloy DAC have taken Titanium for its strength and aluminum for its lightness with some other materials to make an alloy stronger than other lightweight alloys. How have they done this is actually quite a simple idea. Standard aluminum alloys tubes or poles suffer from the problem of “stress corrosion cracking”.
To counter this problem previous alloy poles and tubes have been made with a thicker tube wall, this increases the weight but actually does nothing to increase the strength of the pole. The new TH72M alloy has overcome the problem of “stress corrosion cracking” meaning that the poles and tubes made from this material do not need to have as thick walls which reduce the weight a whilst maintaining the strength and life of the pole. On top of this TH72M is stronger and lighter than other aluminum alloys. As this is a new material you should expect to pay a premium for its use in any camp equipment you may buy.
Man-made synthetic fabrics are usually used as fabrics for camp chairs. The most commonly used are Nylon, Polyester, and Rip-stop Nylon. I am sure most people have come across nylon and polyester and know them to be strong and easy to care for fabric. The main advantage of this fabric other than the strength to weight ratio is the ease of care. Both are resistant to mold growth and they don’t lose their shape when wet. However, you might see on specifications terms such as 600d Polyester and Rip-stop Nylon.
The average camping chair weighs about 2.5-pounds. While this might not sound heavy, to begin with, each ounce adds up quickly when your bag is packed full of gear and camping supplies. The ultralight models, such as the Monarch, weigh in at slightly over one pound. Other, more intricate and less backpacker friendly models, such as the Coleman Quad, weigh about eight pounds.
While it is true that camping chairs are extremely versatile and be used outside of the campground, it may be a good idea to invest in more than one type of chair. While it is definitely possible, you might not want to use the same heavy beach/camping chair with a built-in cooler while you are hiking the Pacific Crest Trail as you would on a leisurely beach day with no hiking involved.
Lightweight models need to be engineered and designed carefully to minimize weight. This means that some features of the traditional type chairs have to be removed or modified. Most lightweight chairs are comfortable, but for the most part, they lack armrests and cup holders. On the brighter side, many lightweight models feature a storage pocket of some kind.
The area where the manufacturers make the most savings in weight is with the use of lightweight metal alloys and fabrics. The use of less metal tubing drastically reduces weight. Manufacturers are able to do this by reducing the seat height from the ground and reducing the back of the chair height as well. As you look closely at many of the options out there, the biggest difference in most lightweight chairs, if not all, is that they are not folding chairs, but are more similar to a tent. This means that the poles need to be fixed into shape and the fabric attached to this frame.
In reality, it is easier than it sounds to set up one of these chairs. However, because fewer metal poles are used, the stability of the chair is affected. If you throw yourself into one of these chairs, you can expect the chair to tip and throw you off the back. After mentioning all those downsides, the lightweight chairs that have made it to our top 10 list are well made, comfortable, and most importantly lightweight and take up little space when packed.
Backpacking or walking
If you think you will be walking for some time before reaching the destination where you will want to have a chair to relax on, then weight and size will be of optimal concern. Just because you plan to walk or hike for a few hours doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to relax with some luxury in your camp.
The use of lightweight and strong alloys has improved the weight and pack size of many chairs, but sometimes you will be losing some comfort and stability. Often the lighter the chair the lower the chair is to the ground. This is because to reduce the weight the manufacturer has to reduce the amount of metal used, the easiest way to do this is by shortening the pole, and therefore the chair is lower to the ground. This shouldn’t be a problem unless you find it difficult to get out of a low chair.
Days at the beach
The beach may not be the place you think of that you will need a chair. For a lot of people, a towel on the sand is all they need. But for me with kids, the days of being able to lay back and sleep on the beach are gone. I have to have a constant eye on my children to check they are not about to get knocked over by a rogue wave or swimming just a little too far from the shore.
Camp chairs have come a long way from the fold up lawn chairs. Portability and easy to use has always been important along with the strength and sturdiness of the chair. This has meant that in the past you lost out on comfort to compensate for the need for portability and weight. That is no longer the case, camping chairs as with all camping equipment have advanced over the years, so that camping is no longer living rough, but more living in luxury with the beauty of nature.
Most people would only think about taking a piece of camping furniture with them if they were using a car as transport, the added weight of a chair on your backpack was just not feasible. But with the ultra-lightweight chairs now available it is an option. So before going out and making an impulse purchase, it is important to consider how and where you will be using it the most. Overall camping chairs have come a long way and now come equipped with extra features like rocking abilities, coolers, etc. So look for a comfortable chair and any extra features are a bonus!
Top Ten Camping Chairs
1. COLEMAN OVER-SIZED QUAD
If your aim is pure luxurious comfort and to sit on a camp throne fit for the king or queen you are, then look no further. The Coleman Oversized Quad Chair is spacious so that you can really sink into it to enjoy a great campfire meal. Check out its features below.Read more
This chair is larger and more weighty than others on this list; however, it folds up easily and can be transported easily as well. The legs and rivets of the chair are made from metal. If you are looking for something that will stand the test of time and provide the ultimate sitting experience while camping, this is the chair for you. This chair is made from a very durable polyester, which means that it can be cleaned quite easily with some warm water, soap, and a cloth. Not to mention, because the material is thick, this chair should last you for camping trips to come.
This is one of the heaviest chairs on our list. It weighs about 4,000-grams. The weight doesn't come without reason, with the extra features and comfortable roomy chair, there's no way they could have skimped on metals.
Not only can you reach to the side of the chair to grab an icy cold beverage, but there is a mesh cup holder to hold it. Along the side of this chair, there is also a mesh pocket to store anything you may need, like bug spray.
The roomy 24-inch seat provides you with a luxurious amount of roominess and space so that you can really feel comfortable. And if you are a taller or larger build of a person, you will enjoy the extra space that this chair provides. The cooler that is provided will also keep you feeling satisfied, as you can grab a cold brew without even standing up.
2. Coleman Broadbrand
This camping chair is one everyone may be familiar with is it is a classic design from a quality brand. Coleman has been making camping gear for many years and if you have ever used a product from Coleman than you know that their products come with quality in mind. This chair is no different and is an affordable design, that will keep you comfortable through your camping weekend.Read more
This camping chair from Coleman is built with quality material, as does every product from Coleman usually does. It is made from a comfortable material and on the backrest it has a nylon mesh to ensure you are comfortable and get proper ventilation. This chair is built with such quality in mind it is able to seat an individual with a weight capacity of 325 pounds.
This camping chair from Coleman may be one of the toughest on our list as it is able to seat a full grown adult that weighs up to 325 pounds. Right there you know this camping chair will be the last one you ever need to purchase and will come along on many camping trips throughout your life. It also only weighs 6 pounds so it is easily transported and will not slow you down as you walk to your campsite.
This camping chair is one of the original designs and most likely you have seen one of your friends or family who have this chair from Coleman, and this is for good reason. It is a durable chair and comes to you at an affordable price, so it is a no brainer that people would find this chair popular. If you are looking for something simple, lightweight, and affordable than this may be the chair for you.
This chair has quite a simple design but it's one major feature that will keep you comfortable is the mesh backrest. This backrest will allow your body to get some ventilation and not maintain the sweat of your back pushing against the back of a closed backrest. It may seem like a minor feature but is actually a big plus.
3. GCI Outdoor Freestyle
This camping chair brought to you by GCI is a new style of camping chair that seems to be sweeping the nation as it offers an extra comfort your standard camping chair does not. This camping chair offers the ability to be a rocking chair!Read more
This camping chair brought to you by GCI is a comfortable chair that is made from durable material and has durable and stable supports. The chair itself is made from a strong fabric and the support is made from steel. It is so durable it can hold up to 250 pounds. If you choose to invest in this chair for your next camping trip, expect it to possibly be your last you ever purchase.
This chair is built with a durable and strong base and can support up to 250 pounds which is an average adult, so you should have no problem getting comfortable in this chair during your next camping trip. It also only weighs 12 pounds, so it is easy to transport form your car to your favorite spot on your campsite.
This camping chair is high quality and is highly rated among consumers and that is for good reason. Not only is it brought to us by a great brand known for making quality camping gear but also is built with integrity and quality to ensure it will be the last camping chair you will ever need. The extra rocking feature adds a great sense of comfortability as many of use when camping will lean back on our camping chair which may cause it to break or for us to fall, bow with the GCI Freestyle, you have the option to rock back and forth without damaging the chair or putting yourself in harms way.
This camping chair is like many others on our list as it is built to last and is durable, but the one feature that really differentiates this chair from the competition is the rocking features. Not only are you able to relax and take in the view of nature but you can also have the feeling of rocking back and forth as you take in those views.
4. REI CO-OP FLEX LITE
REI’s Co-op Flex Lite Chair is designed to be very lightweight, and also comes with a carrying case to make things easier for you to use. It’s also made with a very strong aluminum frame, so you’ll get a lot of durabilities if you decide to purchase this chair.Read more
The frame is aluminum and the seat material ripstop nylon meaning this chair is strong and durable with a maximum capacity of 113kg. The seat fabric contains breathable mesh panels which allow air to circulate and reduce the weight.
Weighing only under 500 grams it is easy to carry. The packed size would easily strap to a backpack without it extending past the normal width of the pack, or likewise, it will not take up much space in the car.
There is a mesh side pocket to store your phone, torch or any other item you want to keep to hand. Also, it’s very easy to pack this chair down or take it out whenever you are ready to use it.
The carry case does not fix to the frame and either you have to stow it someplace safe in your camp or use the side pocket. If you use the side pocket for the carrying case, then your most used accessories are sitting on your lap.
5. ALITE MONARCH
The Monarch is like the butterfly; it shares its name with very light and is designed to be able to travel vast distances. If you need a light chair for a long journey this might just do it.Read more
The Monarch features 7000 aluminum frame and 210D ripstop nylon fabric, which will hold up to 113kg of weight. It is made with a durable 210D ripstop nylon fabric and is very strong. It’s also very lightweight, which is a real benefit when you need to carry your chair along.
The chair is very light weighing only 586 grams.
This is a good idea to keep the weight down, by using a minimum amount of poles, but because it has only two legs don’t fall asleep in it as you will fall out the chair. And I can imagine a surprise gust of wind might just knock you off balance and send you falling backward or forwards on your face.
The chair sits on only two legs which allow you to rock back and forward like porch rocking chair, also allowing comfortable and stable seating on a sloped and uneven ground. The packed size is tiny, slightly bigger than a compact umbrella, the kind of umbrella you would put in a bag or briefcase.
6. HELINOX ONE
This is the chair that revolutionized the lightweight camping chair market. First produced in 2012 the “Chair One” has won the red dot design award and was voted the best outdoor accessory at the Munich ISPO in 2013.Read more
The frame is made of TH72M titanium and aluminum mix alloy giving it strength and lightness and covered with a high strength non-stretch fabric, it can easily support your weight with a maximum capacity of 145kg. Once you have assembled the chair which is easy with the elastic shock cord linking frame, the carry bag can be attached to the frame to store things, such as a camera, cell phone or flashlight. You get a high-strength, non-stretch fabric with this chair. Without the extra groundsheet, the chair will sink into sand when you sit in it.
The “Chair One” is incredibly light at only 890 grams and packs into a small lunch box size bag.
The chair is not a normal folding camp chair and needs to be assembled. Although this is easy and very quick to do if you want a folding type of chair this is not what you need. But if you want a lightweight and comfortable chair then you have found it.
The frame of this chair is designed to flex a small amount enabling it to mold to your body shape. When packed the carry bag has a webbing ladder and two loops making it easy to attach to a backpack of a motorbike. If you plan to use this chair in the sand then the optional groundsheet is a must to stop the legs from sinking into the sand or soft muddy ground. And if it gets cold you can use the optional duck filled seat warmer.
7. KELTY LINGER LOW BACK
This chair is the smaller back version of the linger high-back one. The linger low back chair also sits higher off the ground than most at 36cm, meaning that sitting and getting up should be easier.Read more
Comprised of a solid aluminum frame and featuring a carrying case, this chair is very easy to pack down. Made with durability in mind, the materials manufactured into this chair are made to be long-lasting. The frame is aluminum and the high denier nylon fabric gives the chair a high capacity of 113.4kg. The packed size is more manageable with the longest length of 46cm.
This chair weighs about 1,100-grams. This weight is manageable for a long hike, but not ideal.
If you want a chair that sits higher to the ground so that it is easy for you to get in and out of it, then this chair will certainly help you. You’ll be able to easily use it and relax whenever you need to.
The chair is still heavier than other chairs on the market and definitely not a backpack chair. But if you plan to throw in in the back of the car or strap it to your bike its a good strong and well-priced chair.
8. ALPS MOUNTAINEERING READY LITE
This chair is heavy in comparison to other chairs of the same size. But it is worth a mention because of the strength of the frame since you’ll get a lot of durability with this chair.Read more
Where most chairs use straight aluminum poles the ready lite low poles are curved. This increases the overall strength by reducing the number of joints.
The fabric is a high 420 denier ripstop polyester with a nylon mesh center to allow airflow. So, the chair is very comfortable, durable, and breathable.
The chair is quite heavy, in comparison to others on our list, weighing over 1 kg.
The arrangement of the feet and base would reduce sinking into soft ground or sand if you were at the beach. So, if you like this feeling, this might be a good choice for you.
The poles attached to it are plastic which makes the chair look less sturdy. Reviewers have also mentioned that the base is cheap looking. If you can get past the "look" of the chair, you will find that it is actually durable and built intelligently.
9. TRAVELCHAIR JOEY
While not the lightest camping chair on our list, the TravelChair Joey offers you a lot of comfort with its overall design. So if comfort and durability are priorities for you, you might want to consider purchasing this chair.Read more
The TravelChair Joey is designed with an anodized aluminum frame that can hold up to 300 pounds, so it is quite durable. The materials are abrasion-resistant and developed to handle a lot of abuse. Made with polyester fabrics and mesh vents, this chair also features ripstop fabric, which makes it durable and long-lasting. Plus, it offers a lot of ventilation where you need it, so the chair will always feel relaxing whenever you use it.
Advertised as the same packed size and weight of a California burrito, this chairs weighs 1,065-grams.
Developed to sit high off the ground, this chair is very easy to get in and out of if that’s a concern for you. Also, it’s manufactured so that it sits securely on the ground without sinking into it.
Made with anti-sink disk feet, you won’t have to worry about this camping chair wedging in the sand while you are at the beach or camping. Also, this chair is very compact, making it easy to take along with you.
10. HELINOX ZERO
Zero is a word that really does suit this chair. Helinox has taken their lightest chair the “Chair One” and managed somehow to save 400grams off the weight.Read more
The frame is made of a YH72M a titanium and aluminum alloy giving it strength and lightness, covered with a lightweight non-stretch fabric. According to The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the average weight of a man in the US is 81.7kg, this chair has a maximum capacity of 120kg, even if you are heavier than the average man this chair will support you.
You get a lightweight stretch fabric with this chair, so it’s not as durable as some other options on our list. However, if you need a good chair that is easy to carry, then you’ll love how portable this chair is.
The “Chair Zero” weighs an amazing 490 grams. Yes! You read it right, it weighs less than a 600ml bottle of water. You could even call this a backpack chair it is so light.
The Chair packs down into a small bag smaller than my kids' school lunch box. The chair is lightweight but it is not a folding chair, it fits together a bit more like a tent than a typical folding chair. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and erecting the chair is simple. The sitting position is good but low to the ground. The four legs support the chair well but if you were using this on the beach or muddy terrain the legs may sink into the ground with your weight.
The construction of this chair is quite genius. How something so small can hold something (or someone) so large is amazing. One possible downside to this chair is the fact that it does not fold and will need to be assembled each time. Reviewers boast that the set up is simple and isn't an issue. This chair sits low to the ground and while that may be ideal for some people, it may be difficult for others to get in an out of.
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