Something that should occupy a spot on every camper’s list is a camping chair. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, plus options that you didn’t realize that you wanted.
But before you pony up the cash to buy something that’s equipped with a well-respected logo, or just looks cool sitting in the aisle of the sporting goods store, figure out what you really need.
Don’t go for the “anything’s better than sitting on a log” option. You’ll end up hating that chair, and its next owner might be the Trashman.
Like everything else in the outdoor industry, you generally get what you pay for.
Below, I cover what to look for in a chair and then review what I think are the best camping chairs capitalism has to offer.
- Here Are the Best Camping Chairs in 2020
- 1. ALPS Mountaineering Leisure Chair
- 2. ALPS Outdoorz King Kong Chair (Best for Heavy People)
- 3. Coleman Quad Chair with Cooler (Best Value)
- 4. Coleman Big and Tall Quad Chair
- 5. Coleman Camp Chair with Side Table
- 6. Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair
- 7. TravelChair Slacker Chair
- 8. Coleman Kids Quad Chair (Best for Kids)
- 9. Trekology YIZI Go Portable Camping Chair
- 10. Timber Ridge Camping Folding Chair
- 11. KingCamp Heavy Duty Folding Director Chair
- 12. Timber Ridge Director’s Chair with Cooler Bag
- 13. Professional EZ Travel Deluxe Folding Chair With Side Table
- 14. Oniva Picnic Time Fusion Outdoor Folding Chair
- 15. Sportneer Portable Lightweight Folding Camp Chairs
- 16. Nice C Ultralight High Back Folding Chair
- 17. OmniCore Designs MoonPhase Home-Away LoveSeat
- 18. XMMux Ultralight Folding Camping Chair
- 19. Fundango Folding Camping Chair
- 20. Giantex Chaise Lounge With Sun Shade
- 21. Three-in-One Multifunction Camouflage Backpack Chair
- 22. Oniva Picnic Time Folding Sports Chair
- 23. Lucky Cup Folding Stool With Carry Bag
- 24. Kelty Lowdown Portable Folding Chair
What to Look for in a Camping Chair
You probably haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about what you want or need in a camping chair, but you can be sure that the manufacturers have. Marketing of trending merchandise is brutal, and not for the faint of heart, so manufacturers are constantly in search of the shiny object that will catch the eye of potential buyers.
Below is a list of features to consider when buying a camping chair. What suits one person may not suit another, and what benefits one person may not benefit another. As you review the features of these or other chairs (or any product, for that matter) decide whether the features are practical or gimmicky, whether they are something that would come into play on a regular basis or would sit unused for the life of the chair and whether they represent genuine value, cost-wise.
What Are You Going to do With the Chair?
Whatever you buy, it needs to go with what you’re going to do. If you’re a family camper who never strays any farther from the campsite than the campground shower cabin, you can splurge a little with a chair that has cup holders, side tables, attached coolers. It’s not like you will be hiking up a 12 percent grade with it.
But if you do hike or backpack, a cumbersome chair is the last thing you need. Go lightweight and minimalistic here. Now, some chairs do a good job of bridging the gap between campground chairs and backpacking chairs, so give them a look.
Likewise, there are some chairs that are suitable for camping as well as more urban activities. Just remember the more features you get, the more they restrict the go-anywhere versatility of the chair.
The important question here becomes, “how long will it remain comfortable?” Any cheap chair can be comfortable for a few minutes, but will the comfort last? Size, cushioning, and overall design will greatly affect comfort.
You’re camping. You’re not bringing your La-Z-Boy out here. Personally, I don’t mind having a chair that isn’t padded when I’m camping.
Still, you can get padded camping chairs and some are very good quality. But don’t get a padded chair just because it’s a padded chair. Be smart. If it’s not quality-made overall, extra padding isn’t going to make it so.
The better chairs offer firm lumbar support. Also, take note of ground clearance when seated. If your rear end is barely clearing the bark shavings under the chair, that chair will probably be difficult to get out of. Older people, overweight people, and ailing people will have much more trouble sitting in a camping chair that doesn’t provide adequate back support.
People tend to spend more time in a camping chair than even their favorite recliner back home because there’s no refrigerator to raid, no doorbell to answer and no TV remote to search for. Essentially, you just sit there and enjoy the great outdoors until bedtime. That can be an eternity for some who’s not comfortable.
Sturdiness and Stability
While people who love the outdoors tend to be healthier and more slender, there’s no question that the average American camper is not the ideal weight. So when he or she plops down in a camping chair, it had better be able to stand the load. Heavier frames and cross-braces make stronger chairs. When purchasing a chair, remember that you might not be the only person to sit in it. Sure it will be your chair, but your jumbo cousin Billy Bob might not know that.
Think of sturdiness as the chair’s ability to hold weight without splitting at the seams or buckling at the knees. Stability is something else. It’s the chair’s ability to remain in an upright position when the weight has suddenly shifted or it encounters terrain that’s less than ideal. Most campgrounds are flat and the ground smooth due to constantly being tread upon, so you don’t have to worry so much about having a tippy chair.
But hike the backcountry and do some wilderness camping, and you’ll find that Mother Nature likes to jumble things up a bit, with steep grades, uneven turf and a boulder or two for good measure. Flat places upon which to set up your chair are hard to find, and are not all that flat, either.
So, select carefully, paying close attention to a chair’s legs, their apparent strength, the distance between them, the feet and the center of gravity, as best as you can determine. Only you can prevent falling out of an unsteady chair!
You, of course, want the best material you can get in your price range. There have been some innovations in recent years and some indications that manufacturers actually listened to their customers as to what was important to them regarding the quality of their products.
One of those innovations was the use of high-density polyester fabric, like 600D polyester (That’s 600 Derniers per square inch. Think of it as thread count.) That came out decades ago and hardly ranks as ground-breaking, but it’s become more and more standard, and less of an elites-only feature.
Oft-derided aluminum has found new respect recently, as manufacturers use more high-grade aluminum alloys that are lightweight and strong simultaneously. Pure aluminum is practically worthless anyway, and the alloy technology has steadily been producing metals from an aluminum-alloy blend, gaining some excellent results.
Steel has always been a standby for camping chairs, and it has gone through a similar metamorphosis, with improvements from new casting techniques to new finishing techniques, like powder coating.
Ease of Use, Set-Up, and Strike-Down
Some chairs suffer from poor engineering to the extent that once unfolded and sat in, they never seem to return to their original shape. Stay away from camping chairs that can’t seem to master the simple art of unfolding and folding up quickly.
Also, chairs that stay in one place on the campground aren’t an issue when it comes to folding up and storing when it’s time to go home. The ones you want to worry about are the chairs that are being relocated frequently. If you camp at one campground Friday night, drive someplace new Saturday and maybe somewhere else Sunday, you don’t want a “hold tab while squeezing chair legs together and sliding the backrest one-quarter turn while hopping on one foot” kind of chair.
(Believe me, there are chairs out there like that. Avoid them like the plague.)
Think also of attachments and accessories that attach to the chair. Do they detach just as easily? If they don’t, then don’t buy them, or find a chair that plays nice with its attachment friends. Are special tools required to put it all together? This is a red flag as well, but if you do end up with a chair that needs a tool for assembly/disassembly, make sure you bring that tool and don’t lay it down where it can get knocked into a bed of pine cones!
Some manufacturers have designed marvelously ergonomic armrests, providing the ultimate in comfort for the well-heeled user. Depending on your preferences, armrests could be the make-it, break-it factor in deciding on which chair to buy.
Many camping chairs come with cup holders in the armrests. A place to stow the brewski or your favorite beverage is nice, but do avoid chairs with flimsy cup holders if this is a feature that’s important to you.
Storage pouches, side tables, built-in coolers, rockers (turning a chair into an outdoor rocking chair) and other bonus features don’t necessarily add to a camping chair’s value, but they don’t necessarily degrade it, either. It’s all a matter of personal choice and what you’re willing to pay in order to have the coolest chair in the campground.
Apply the same principles to the extras as you would the chair itself. Will they last as long as the chair? If they don’t, could you still use the chair with a broken or worn-out accessory attached? Can the extra feature be moved or removed? For example, if the chair comes with a cup holder attached to the right arm, could the cup holder be moved to the other side for left-handed people?
The thing about extras is that they are often the “shiny object” designed to get your attention and lead you down the path toward impulse buying. The feature may not be built with endurance in mind. So if it looks thin, cheap, rickety, hard to fold down for storage or transport or just sits there looking like some design engineer had an afterthought, you’d be best off avoiding it an opting for better overall quality.
Some extra features may be things you can replicate cheaply and easily with things you already possess. Some of the chairs on our list have coolers attached to an armrest. That’s amazing, but don’t you already have a cooler? It’s the same thing with pockets, pouches, zippers, and what-not. Do you own a pair of camp shorts? Then you have pockets, pouches, zipper, and what-not already.
Care, Cleaning and Storing
Camping chairs get dirty – filthy, even. You have to wash them, which fortunately is easy for most chairs. The most popular fabrics, which are heavy into easy-to-clean polyester, ensure that clean-up is a snap.
Not all chairs are easy to clean, however. Chairs with padded cushions might not take to water as easily as other chairs, so make that an additional consideration when selecting a chair. Aluminum doesn’t rust, but the alloys it’s blended with might. We know steel rusts, so watch out for chairs that have places where rainwater (or clean-up water) might pool. These could be trouble spots later on.
Many of the chairs on our list have powder-coated steel frames. Powder coating is an impressive technology by which paint is applied in dry form to metal that has the opposite electrical charge. The metal is heated, which liquifies the paint and forces it to spread, and then dried, leaving a coating that is solid and adheres significantly better than with conventional painting.
This makes maintenance and cleaning of a camping chair much easier, but watch out for nicks. Chairs still take a considerable amount of abuse, and any places where the paint does get chipped off will be more susceptible to rust.
Here Are the Best Camping Chairs in 2020
1. ALPS Mountaineering Leisure Chair
Estimated Price: $65
My Review: If you end up buying this chair, do not, I repeat, do not say to any of your camping buddies, “Hey come try out this chair I just got. It’s awesome.” If you do, you’ll have to fight him in order to get it back.
This is one of the most comfortable camping chairs out there. The chair also has a strong steel frame that is powder-coated, a process by which powdered paint is applied electrostatically to a metal part that has the opposite polar charge. The paint clings to the metal firmly, and when heat is applied, it liquefies and spreads, all the while maintaining solid contact with the metal.
Technical stuff aside, just know that powder coating makes painted metal scuff and scrape-resistant, a good feature that goes beyond maintaining good looks. Bare metal is more vulnerable to rust.
The chair folds and unfolds easily, and comes with a 7×45-inch shoulder bag that the chair will actually fit into after the first usage. It can be very frustrating trying to stuff unwieldy chair legs into a bag that just doesn’t seem big enough to hold it. That won’t be an issue with this chair.
The seat and back are made from 600D polyester fabric, which is comfortable, durable and strong. The specs say the chair will support up to 300 pounds.
It also has solid, strong armrests and a cup holder that attaches just beneath the right armrest. The cup holder can be removed, but it cannot be moved to the left side. (That’s sad news for southpaws.)
The seat rides just 18 inches above the ground. For most users, that isn’t a major concern, but for older or heavier users, it could be.
The durability of this chair, as well as many of the products made by ALPS Mountaineering, is legendary. Because of its steel frame, this chair is a bit heavy at nine pounds, but it’s not a backcountry camping type chair anyway, so the weight should not be an issue.
ALPS Mountaineering began in 1993, the dream of former Kelty product developer Dennis Brune. Under his leadership, ALPS Mountaineering entered a highly competitive marketplace with some innovative ideas that caught on quickly and gained a reputation for quality. ALPS Mountaineering also produces a host of outdoor gear, ranging from tents, backpacks, rainwear, beds and, of course, some excellent camping chairs. With AlPS Mountaineering, you know you’re getting something quality!
Dimensions: 27 inches wide, 16 inches deep, 38 inches high
Chair Weight: 11 pounds, six ounces
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
2. ALPS Outdoorz King Kong Chair (Best for Heavy People)
Estimated Price: $65
My Review: ALPS Outdoorz King Kong is a chair that will likely be fought over in the circle around the campfire. It has the Realtree camo pattern along the edge of the seat, behind the head and solidly on the armrests and back.
The steel frame, with criss-cross support on all four sides, is powder coated and durable. The armrests adjust, and each has its own cup holder and storage pocket. The product listing says this chair can support an incredible 800 pounds.
The seat on the King Kong measures 20 inches across, which would accommodate most average to heavy human beings, but might not be wide enough for an 800-pound gorilla.
High quality 600D polyester fabric ensures more than adequate weight support and long life. Reinforced rubber grommets add to its strength and reliability.
It folds up neatly and stores easily in its carry bag, making a 13-pound load. You wouldn’t want to hike the Appalachian Trail with it, but carrying it from the back of the SUV to the campsite is a cinch.
Dimensions: 38 inches wide, 20 inches deep, 38 inches high
Chair Weight: 13 pounds
Weight Capacity: 800 pounds
3. Coleman Quad Chair with Cooler (Best Value)
Estimated Price: $35
My Review: Coleman is a major player in the world of camping gear and well known for putting out high-quality products at a reasonable price point. That’s why you’ll see quite of few of their products on this list.
This chair here is by far their most popular model and is actually the most popular chair on the entire market. That’s mostly because it’s a budget camping chair that still offers pretty good durability and features.
It has a cushioned seat and back panel, making it surprisingly comfortable for a chair with this small of a price tag.
This chair also has some nice features, including a side cooler that is large enough to hold 4 cans, a cup holder, and a side pocket to hold personal items.
It has a collapsible, folding design that makes it easy to store and transport.
Dimensions: 24 inches wide, 18.1 inches sitting height
Chair Weight: 7.75 pounds
Weight Capacity: 325 pounds
4. Coleman Big and Tall Quad Chair
Estimated Price: $45
My Review: This is a jumbo chair that’s ideal for large people, it measures 24 inches across, and the extra-large footers provide great stability. The Quad Chair has a unique drainage system that discharges water that may collect in the seat.
Think of the times rain showers forced you to dive for the tent and you left the chair out in the deluge. With this model, you can tip the chair to get rid of the few drops of water that may remain on the seat and back.
The powder coated steel frame provides even weight distribution, capable of handling up to 600 pounds. Some of the front support bars may bother some users. The seat rests only 18 inches off the ground, with a four-inch sag, but given the sturdiness of the chair overall, getting in and out of the chair shouldn’t pose any undue problems.
The armrests adjust to several positions, and the left armrest includes a cup holder. On the right armrest is a water-resistant cell phone sleeve.
This hefty chair weighs in at around 10 pounds.
Dimensions: 24 inches wide, 20 inches deep, 38 inches high
Chair Weight: 10 pounds
Weight Capacity: 600 pounds
5. Coleman Camp Chair with Side Table
Estimated Price: $50
My Review: While you would not want to hike the Cascades with this in your backpack, this makes an extremely handy tag-along for basic campsite camping. It includes a side table with a built-in cup holder, a perfect attachment for holding a drink and a paper plate loaded with campfire cuisine.
The frame consists of heavy-duty steel and the fabric is weather-resistant nylon. The whole thing folds up in seconds and has conveniently placed handles in its folded-up configuration – just fold, grab and go. All the screws, rivets and fasteners are made of rust-free aluminum.
Coleman is one of the most recognizable brands out there in terms of camping and outdoor gear. Some people call a gas lantern a Coleman lantern, regardless of the brand, much like they used to call any camera a Kodak. The company, founded by W.C. Coleman in 1900, is now a subsidiary of Newell Brands, producing consumer and professional-grade outdoor gear and equipment throughout the world.
Dimensions: 20.5 inches wide (w/o side table) 28 inches wide (w/side table), 21 inches deep, 31 inches high
Chair Weight: 8 pounds
Weight Capacity: 225 pounds
6. Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair
Estimated Price: $120
My Review: The Helinox Chair Zero is a featherweight to other featherweights, weighing in at a minuscule 1.1 pounds. And yet, it will hold a 260-pound offensive tackle.
The mainframe is the main thing. It’s made of advanced proprietary aluminum alloy – fancy words for super-strong and it’s powder-coated in snappy yellow paint for resistance to scuffs and scratches.
The seat is UV-resistant ripstop polyester, and is machine washable. During assembly, the seat is stretched over the frame and is pulled taut by means of an internal bungee cord. It all collapses and stows into a 14-inch bag for easy traveling.
The Helinox Chair Zero was the winner of the Backpacker Gear of the Year Award in 2017, and that same year, took first place in the Outdoor Industry Awards. Helinox has won multiple awards for its various products, which include camping chairs and accessories, camping tables, and backpacking cots.
Dimensions:25.5 inches wide, 19 inches deep, 25.5 inches high
Chair Weight: 1.1 pounds
Weight Capacity: 260 pounds
7. TravelChair Slacker Chair
Estimated Price: $20
My Review: It’s interesting that they call this a slacker chair – insinuating that this is for lazy people. It’s really pretty much for the opposite sort of folks – those who bust a shoelace hiking 22 miles uphill in the rain.
Its three strong, stout legs, joined together like a tripod and a seat of high-quality polyester capable of supporting 275 pounds. That’s it. Minimalists – this is for you!
The seat is nailhead fabric – a micro pattern of close stitches that resembles, what else, nailheads. It’s as tough as nails, too. The fabric is 600D ripstop polyester, and that means exactly what it sounds like it means, it stops rips.
The tripod legs are reinforced steel tubes that are powder coated for a solid exterior finish.
It should go without saying that it folds up into something resembling a newspaper and it weighs two pounds and change, but we’re saying it anyway. It comes in four colors – black, blue, red and green, and there are several multi-pack options if you want to treat the whole family to a bonanza of slacker chairs.
Dimensions: Seat Height 17.5 inches
Chair Weight: 2.2 pounds
Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
8. Coleman Kids Quad Chair (Best for Kids)
Estimated Price: $35
My Review: It’s all too common that when shopping for outdoor gear for the kids, people assume they can get by with a box store cheapie. After all, kids (the youngest ones, anyway) don’t usually go backpacking, or camp for a week in the wilderness. Why would you invest as much as you would for adult geat?
Here’s why: If you buy a cheap item, you’ll disrespect it from the beginning, and won’t likely give it the same care that you would a high-grade item. And since the cheaper units are more vulnerable to rough or neglectful handling, they’ll become junk before the first camping season has run its course.
Coleman has established itself as a family-friendly and kid-friendly company, and has come out with a line of products with younger users in mind. This quad chair is well-constructed, roomy and durable. Plus, its design is whimsical and fun, leaving no doubt who this chair belongs to. There’s even a patch that glows in the dark (not the whole chair, however).
It’s not a pint-sized chair, either. With a 24-inch seat width, it’s conceivable you could squeeze two kiddos in the chair (but don’t). The steel frame holds up to 160 pounds, so even when the kids no longer want to be identified with a “kids’ item,” it will still support them.
The rubber feet make a 90-degree angle at each corner, providing more ground contact, and therefore more stability. For kids who have trouble sitting still, this is an important feature.
A reinforced cup holder gives them a place for their grape sodas, and the ultra-strong, water-resistant polyester construction makes clean-up a snap.
Fold-up is accomplishing by pushing a button on the folding hinge to unlock the mechanism. This is a safety feature that prevents accidental fold-up.
Dimensions: 24 inches wide, ground-to-seat
Height: 10 inches
Chair Weight: 3.6 pounds
Weight Capacity: 160 pounds
9. Trekology YIZI Go Portable Camping Chair
Estimated Price: $40
My Review: Unlike some of the other chairs on our list, you can take this one to Half Dome. Being lightweight, foldable, packable and portable, this is one of my favorite camping chairs for obvious reasons.
It’s incredible that a chair with the strength, comfort, and durability of the Trekology YIZI weighs only two pounds. The 600D polyester material attaches to the aluminum alloy frame with double V stitches, so forget those worries about it ripping or fraying!
It ships with a very nice carrying bag that’s as durable as the chair is, and the bag even attaches to the frame, meaning you’ll have to try awfully hard to lose it. You won’t find fancy extras like cell phone pouches or cup holders, but for sturdiness and comfort that you can tote on your back, this chair rates as an excellent choice.
Dimensions: 28 inches high
Chair Weight: 2 pounds
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
10. Timber Ridge Camping Folding Chair
Estimated Price: $65
My Review: If you prefer a high-backed chair, this is worth investigating. The back on the Timber Ridge folding chair is a full 37 inches from the ground to the top, and 23 inches from the point where it meets the seat. Plus, it is foam padded all the way up, with extra padding on the headrest.
Let’s face it. There aren’t too many things about camping that can be described as “comfortable.” The whole idea of camping is to decline the comforts at home in order to get in touch with nature, but that doesn’t mean you should shun all forms of comfort while in the great outdoors That’s what this chair is all about.
It’s a pleasant chair to look at, all decked out in tan and black. The chair seems right at home at the edge of the woods, or smack in the middle of them.
The high-grade aluminum frame can support 300 pounds. It all folds up into an amazingly small space and fits in a sturdy polyester tote bag. The carry weight of this chair is 9.5 pounds.
The armrests are plain jane, but they’re solid and comfortable. You might not like the cup holder, however. It’s not pre-fabbed into the armest, but hangs from the frame by a strap. The product description calls it a “side storage bag” for snacks and beverages.
The only downside of this chair and the reason it isn’t ranked higher is that it isn’t very wide. I can’t comfortably sit in it with my legs spread. But, for women, this is definitely one of the best camping chairs out there!
Dimensions: 17 inches wide, 20 inches deep, 37.5 inches high
Chair Weight: 9.5 pounds
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
11. KingCamp Heavy Duty Folding Director Chair
Estimated Price: $55
My Review: If you’re going to make a camping chair for the king, you’d best get it right. So let’s see what the folks at KingCamp have for us.
Right away, you notice the sharp-looking black and red design, the side table on the right and a quality array of pouches on the left. Then you might observe its solid construction, the multi-point cross-bracing, and the padded armrests. The king is pleased.
The side table has a built-in cup holder. Granted, it’s not a huge side table, but it will hold a plate and drink just fine. If you don’t need the side table at that particular moment, it folds up nicely on separate hinges and glides.
On the left side, there is a hanging bag with four pouches of varying sizes. Two smaller, vertically-oriented pouches are useful to hold a cellphone, small flashlight and maybe a Swiss army knife. A larger pouch is perfect for a large flashlight or bottled water. Lastly, there’s a horizontally-oriented pouch with a zippered closure for keeping any number of items. While none of the pouches are waterproof, they offer some degree of protection against the elements.
The frame is powder-coated steel in gunmetal gray, and the padded seat and back are totally separate, meaning airflow is unrestricted – a distinct advantage over many one-piece camping chairs. The KingDavid heavy duty camping chair will support up to 396 pounds.
Despite all the extras and the various pivot points, it folds up and unfolds in seconds. Once folded up, the chair can easily be carried with a sturdy top strap handle. This is clearly not a backpacking chair, but for any other purpose, it’s a winner.
KingCamp was formed in 2002, and its current product lines include camp furniture, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, and accessories. In 2010, KingCamp became the designated equipment dealer for the National Camping Conference.
Dimensions: 20.8 inches wide, ground-to-seat distance 17.7 inches
Chair Weight: 9.7 pounds
Weight Capacity: 396 pounds
12. Timber Ridge Director’s Chair with Cooler Bag
Estimated Price: $65
My Review: With this model, you get dueling cup holders. The cup holder on the right armrest is part of a spiffy side table, so there’s that, but the cup holder just off the left armrest nestles down into a plump cooler bag. So who wins this duel? You do, if you get this chair.
You’re not going to feed the whole family with what you can store in the insulated cooler bag, but the 14 inches x 9 compartment is big enough to hold a couple of cans of soda and a sandwich. The zip-down, fabric-covered top doubles as a side table, so in addition to having dueling cup holders, you have dueling side tables.
The frame is high grade aluminum and the fabric is super tough polyester. The backrest is padded, and it narrows as it nears the seat, so as to create a couple of gaps for airflow. Just under the seat is a mesh cellphone holder – a really nice feature that takes advantage of an otherwise wasted surface area.
It unfolds in seconds and folds for travel just as quickly and easily. To fold it up, you simply put foot pressure on the bottom support rail and pull the chair handles straight up. There is an attached carry handle for easy transport.
Dimensions: 20.9 inches wide, 35 inches tall
Chair Weight: 7.28 pounds.
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds.
13. Professional EZ Travel Deluxe Folding Chair With Side Table
Estimated Price: $160
My Review: The frame is what sets this chair apart from the others. It’s aluminum, yes, but it aluminum like you’ve never seen before. The frame is not completely hollow, but has a honeycomb-like ridge system within, adding strength without adding a whole lot of weight.
The seat and back are made from 600D polyester, which is one of the strongest man-made fabrics in the business, resistant to tears, rips, punctures, and fraying. There’s extra stitching where the polyester attaches to the metal frame, giving this chair a 320-pound weight capacity.
It has a sturdy side table that is hard-finished to resist whatever might get dumped on it. The side table pivots on heavy-duty swivels. The whole shebang folds up with ease (folded-up size is 6 inches x 20 inches by 31 inches), and with a weight of only seven pounds, it can also be carried with ease by a top-mounted handle.
Dimensions: 24 inches wide, 20 inches deep, 31 inches tall
Chair Weight: 7 pounds
Weight Capacity: 320 pounds
14. Oniva Picnic Time Fusion Outdoor Folding Chair
Estimated Price: $75
My Review: Ignore the envious stares from the people at the other campsites sitting on their ordinary camping chairs. You deserve this.
This is the Cadillac, the Tesla and the Beemer of camping chairs. The product description hypes this as the “perfect outdoor chair,” and it might very well be that. Whatever the situation, whatever the need, this chair has the features to take care of it.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before we discuss the extras, let’s discuss the comfort of this chair. With a ribbed, padded seat and upper back support, plus padded armrests, it pampers the body with opulent cushioning, even if you weigh 350 pounds. Powder-coated, high quality aluminum provides plenty of support through well-engineered cross-bracing.
But that’s not what’s going to make your campsite neighbors throw their lame chairs into the lake and retreat into their tents. It’s the extras, like the enormous cooler attached to the left armrest. The cooler holds 25 cans of pop or adult beverages and has its own backpack straps (not that you’re going to hike the Grand Canyon rim with it, but it helps when you’re unloading the SUV and have tent poles in one hand and a sleeping bag in the other).
On the outside of the cooler are extra pockets for a cell phone and other necessities, loops for hanging umbrellas and perhaps a flashlight and pouches for snacks or whatever you want to put in there.
Then, on the right armrest, there is a two-tiered hanging shelf system with a table on top. Of course, there is a cup holder on top. Would you expect anything less? The shelves can be adjusted to provide perfect cubby holes for cameras, books, binoculars, bug spray and that propane lighter that you said you didn’t need but brought anyway. And don’t forget the all-purpose bag that wraps around the right armrest.
There are so many pockets, pouches, bags, and shelves on this bad boy, you’re going to have to make a seating chart so that you know where everything is.
So, yeah, this is more for the softer side of camping, but it can’t all backcountry survival challenges.
Dimensions: (Fully expanded with all attachments) 34 inches wide, 24 inches tall and 18.5 inches deep.
Chair Weight: 13.4 pounds.
Weight Capacity: 350 pounds.
15. Sportneer Portable Lightweight Folding Camp Chairs
Estimated Price: $50
My Review: You get two chairs for the price of two. Special pricing is not the incentive here, but the idea of you owning a paired set is. You and your partner can hike, backpack, camp and just hang out at the tailgate party in style with these two durable and comfortable chairs.
Each chair weighs only two pounds, yet the cross-braced aluminum frame and super-strong nylon fabric can support up to 350 pounds. It sets up in seconds and folds up just as quickly. A single heavy-duty bag holds both chairs, and yes, they both fit.
Sections of the backrest allow the free flow of air through mesh netting. On muggy summer nights, or on nights when you’ve set up a little closer to the campfire than you intended, this can help keep you comfortable. Non-slip rubber leg grips assure reliable support on loose ground.
If there’s one drawback, it’s the elevation of the chairs above the ground. They sit rather low and that might pose a problem for someone with back issues or weight issues.
Dimensions: 26 inches high (back height)
Chair Weight: 2 pounds
Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
16. Nice C Ultralight High Back Folding Chair
Estimated Price: $95
My Review: If you’re an avid backpacker and frequent hiker, you probably weigh less than 250 pounds, unless you’re six-foot-seven. But even if you do weigh 250, you can sit in this backpacking chair.
The Nice C Ultralight High Back Folding Chair is made with the backpacker in mind. The orthopedic-recommended design provides unexpected comfort for a chair that weighs less than three pounds. The back support rides high and has a comfy attached pillow, while the industrial-grade Oxford 1000D polyester is incredibly strong and durable.
There’s not a whole lot of framework to this chair, but what framework there is provides plenty of support. It’s made from aviation-grade 7075 aluminum.
Portability is this chair’s main ingredient. The mesh polyester and the frame detach and fold up separately, and stow in a case that is only 17 inches long with a loop strap that can attach to your backpack system. Assembly is a quick, simple two-step process.
The product shown is a two-pack, but you can order a single chair.
Chair Weight: 2.8 pounds
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
17. OmniCore Designs MoonPhase Home-Away LoveSeat
Estimated Price: $80
My Review: Two comfy chairs joined together in the center make this a nice campground loveseat. It’s not a gimmicky novelty, either. Several manufacturers now produce similar products. This is one of the best options.
There are armrests on each side, and each armrest has its own cupholder. Great thought, but problems could ensue if two right-handers sit together (or lefties). Each seat supports 300 pounds on cross-braced steel supports. The reinforced nylon fabric sheds moisture quickly, resists tears and punctures and will probably outlast the cuteness of this item.
The only issue is – and hey, this is the reality of life – if you and the other person with whom you share the chair go your separate ways, then what becomes of the chair? Ah, you’ll figure it out. Order it. Show some commitment.
If this type of item appeals to you, buy it because its quality speaks for itself. Let the other couples say what they will.
Dimensions: 58 inches wide, 20 inches deep, 38 inches high
Chair Weight: 21 pounds
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds (per seat)
18. XMMux Ultralight Folding Camping Chair
Estimated Price: $50
My Review: You don’t have to take it anymore. Non-adjustable chairs, that is. The XMmux Ultralight is adjustable, and it’s about time!
You can adjust the back support angle between 90 degrees and 125 degrees, for more of a laid back configuration. Whichever position you select, your body will be supported by padding and pillows from the low back to the head. There are other models with fixed backs for roughly the same price.
The frame is different from many other camping chairs. Most camping chairs rest on four feet at the bottom of the frame, but this chair rests on four aluminum rods that run parallel to the ground and remain in contact with the ground. This provides a high degree of stability.
The front rods extend straight out, providing side-to-side stability, while the back rods angle out at a 22-degree angle, which provides front-to-back stability. If you frequently set up camp on a sandy riverbank, or go to the beach, this is the ideal chair. The flattened-out base will not sink into the sand.
All of the metal framework is 7075 aluminum – about the best you can get for this purpose. The high-grade polyester is dense on the seat and upper back, but leave a gap that is covered only by loose mesh for improved air circulation.
The XMmus Ultralight comes in three sizes – (1) Adjustable Back, (2) Tall Back and (3) Normal. You can also order the adjustable back and the normal sizes in blue. Tall back is not currently available in blue.
Some assembly and disassembly is required. To assemble, the user connects all the frame pieces and then stretches the Oxford cloth over the assembled frame. The assembly is completed by putting the top through the openings in the cloth and the bottom last. A few users reported having difficulty with this procedure, and the company encourages those who have trouble to contact customer service.
You can’t lose any section of the frame. All the sections are connected by an elastic rope that passes through the inside of the tubes.
This unit weighs just 4.7 pounds and stows in a 20-inch x 6-inch carry bag with a shoulder strap. If you’re particularly fit, you might consider this a backpacking chair, but it’s certainly not as nimble as some other models.
Chair Weight: 4.7 pounds
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
19. Fundango Folding Camping Chair
Estimated Price: $80
My Review: Would ya look at the legs on that thing! It looks like a giant centipede. The first thought you might have on this is, “Wow, I’ll bet that’s hell to fold up.”
Surprisingly, this camping chair/chaise lounge might actually be the easiest-folding model on our list. To fold it up, you simply grab the armrest and push forward. The chair squeezes together like an accordion. Then all you do is fit the carrying bag over the top and slide it down the folded-up chair and pull the drawstring tight. Voila!
Sling the shoulder strap over your shoulder and away you go! At 45 inches in length, the bag is a bit cumbersome, and some thought must be given to packing the trunk or the luggage carrier.
If there are any challenges to the fold-up, unfold process, it would be the weight of the unit. At 17 pounds, it’s not exactly a lightweight, and some people might have a little trouble fitting it into the carrying bag.
The frame on this is heavy-duty, thick-walled steel that has been powder coated for durability and scuff resistance. It’s important to have a sturdy framework, not only for support and stability, for folding and unfolding. If one arm or one bracket gets bent even slightly, the chair won’t fold up as neatly as it should, if at all.
The framework is all cross-braced under the seat and will support up to 264 pounds. As this is a chaise lounge, there is some degree of difficulty in climbing on or off the chair, but the comfort is worth the effort. It should be noted that this is not a multi-position chaise lounger. Everything about the unit is based on an average person’s height and weight. If you are on the extreme end of the scale, this might not be the model for you.
The polyester cleans easily and is double-stitched at the stress points. The armrests are polyester cloth-covered and the right armrest has a mesh cup holder.
Dimensions: 34 inches between the armrests, 33.8 inches from the top to the ground, 59 inches from the front edge to back leg, 20 inches from the ground to the footrest.
Chair Weight: 17 pounds.
Weight Capacity: 264 pounds.
20. Giantex Chaise Lounge With Sun Shade
Estimated Price: $45
My Review: The Giantex Chaise Lounge has an attachable sunshade that deploys in different positions to provide the perfect shade regardless of the sun’s angle. The canopy attaches to the frame right behind the user’s head and has two pivot points to achieve the perfect position. The holding bracket moves forward and back on the lower pivot point, and the shade rotates at different angles on the upper pivot point.
That’s not the only thing that’s adjustable. The back support has four positions, from totally flat to a sitting position (slightly leaned back). The adjustments are easy to do, made easier by the strong steel framework underneath. The weight capacity is 264 pounds. And then there’s the footrest, which is also adjustable, but only to two positions.
Powder-coated steel gives the frame plenty of durability and support. While some camping chaise lounges have a host of arms, brackets, bars, and beams, the Giantex has three simple support brackets that won’t dig into soft soil or sand.
Fold-up and transport are also easy, but there is no carry bag and no handle, so points off for that.
Strong but breathable Oxford polyester fabric ensures support and comfort. Water either passes through quickly or beads up and runs downhill, and the fabric is also resistant to heat and intense sunlight. It comes in three colors – black, navy and red.
This chaise lounge is a great choice for the campsite, patio, backyard, beach or riverbank.
Giantex is not known as a camping and outdoor supplier, but is gaining a reputation in the outdoor and patio furniture niche. Their product line includes camp chairs, camp tables, and upscale patio furniture.
Dimensions: 23 inches wide, 73 inches from the footrest to the back framework, between 19.5 inches to 32.5 inches from ground to top of frame at the head.
Chair Weight: 10.5 pounds
Weight Capacity: 264 pounds
21. Three-in-One Multifunction Camouflage Backpack Chair
Estimated Price: $35
My Review: Don’t tell the weekend warrior that this versatile item is meant primarily for the serious backpacker/long-distance hiker/wilderness freak. Well, actually do tell him, because this three-in-one dazzler will turn wannabes into wanna-buys.
So let’s start with part one, the backpack. It’s big and tough, has a camo pattern and pouches for flashlights, dry snacks, smartphones, tablets, compasses, lighters, trail guides, journals and whatever you can think of.
You might have seen this product listed a year or so ago and went thumbs-down on it because the backpack seemed more suitable for a child than a full-grown adult. Well, that’s all changed. The new and improved outfit features a 15 inch (height) x 11.02 inch (width) x 6.5-inch backpack, made from 600 PVC Oxford cloth that is waterproof (not just water resistant, but waterproof), non-slip and wear-resistant. 600D Oxford cloth is already incredibly tough and durable, but when PVC fibers are woven into it, it becomes other-worldly in terms of water resistance and toughness.
There are two camouflage patterns to choose from.
Now here’s the cool part – literally. One of the pouches on the backpack is actually an insulated cooler. Keep your Sauvignon blanc and goat cheese chilled for hours (or your Dr. Pepper and bologna – whatever you’re into) while you trek. The cooler section is as large as the backpack is and has a high-grade, non-snag zipper that locks air out and helps keep things cool.
With all this rugged, high-grade gear afoot, it would be a shame if you had to sit in the dirt or a soggy log in order to have a snack. But don’t worry. This three-in-one rig also includes a comfortable stool. Now, we’re not talking about an Ethan Allen club chair here, but for a stool, you can carry on your back for miles and hardly even feel it, this is going to seem awfully comfortable at day’s end.
The fabric is the same as the backpack, in the same camo pattern. The weight capacity on this stool is 330 pounds.
Binding all this together is high-grade tubular steel that provides amazing strength despite its feather weight. So, not counting the wine and cheese, this whole thing – the backpack, cooler and stool – weighs less than four pounds.
But wait, there’s more. If you’re a true survivalist, a genuine outdoorsman and all that, you have to be prepared to wet a line and catch a fish any time the opportunity presents itself. So as an oddly satisfying bonus, this item comes with a nifty collection of fish hooks. One hundred fish hooks, ten each of numbers 8 through 18, are included in a compartmentalized snap case.
Now, there’s no line, reel, rod, lures or bail, but yeah, it’s got the fish hooks.
Dimensions: (Fully assembled, ready to carry) 14.7 inches wide, 17.32 inches high, 12.2 inches deep.
Weight: 3.6 pounds
Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
22. Oniva Picnic Time Folding Sports Chair
Estimated Price: $70
My Review: If the Oniva Fusion chair was a little much for you, this more sedate model might be just right for you. It has extras, but just not as abundantly as the other model.
This is the alpha chair to the others in the Oniva line, and it sets an example for chairs of many brands to follow. First off, it’s a strikingly handsome chair, with a brightly polished aluminum frame, clean lines, and nice details.
Strong, high-quality polyester comprises the seat and backrest, and there is a gap between the two that allows a free flow of air – a feature too often overlooked by other manufacturers. Chairs with just one piece of fabric for the seat and back can hinder airflow and make the user pretty uncomfortable, especially on muggy summer evenings.
The seat is a little wider than usual at 19.5 inches, and the chair has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
Just below the right armrest – which is comfortably padded – is a side table that can be folded flat when not in use. There’s no cup holder on the side table, but there is one the multi-pocketed pouch that hangs from the left armrest. This is the best feature of this chair. The pocketed bag has pouches, loops, and pouches of various sizes, great for holding drinks, cellphones, snacks, flashlights, lighters, and whatnot.
It all folds up into a trim, flat package, and there is a handle and shoulder strap for easy transport.
All of the chairs in Oniva’s Picnic brand line carry a lifetime guarantee.
Dimensions: 19.5 inches wide, other dimensions N/A
Chair Weight: 9.48 pounds.
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds.
23. Lucky Cup Folding Stool With Carry Bag
Estimated Price: $20
My Review: This is a very nifty little all-purpose stool, and it’s so easy to carry, you’ll be tempted to take it with you the next time you have to deal with the line at the DMV. It’s made of strong, durable Oxford polyester in a camo print and powder-coated steel pipe, so it’s got lasting power.
The sitting height on this is 12.5 inches, compared to nine inches or so for most products of this type. This makes it easier on ancient knees (or young knees, for that matter). The maximum weight on this tiny tot is a surprising 286 pounds.
The design and function of this stool is fairly basic, but one nice extra is the 5 x 7 (approximate) pouch that hangs from the seat. It folds up and stows into a 16 x 4 (approximate) bag.
The usefulness of the Lucky Cup folding stool is limited only by your imagination. Take it with you hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, picnicking and swimming. Use it while pulling weeds out of the flower bed or waxing the car fenders.
Dimensions: 14 inches wide, 14 inches deep, 12.5 inches tall.
Chair Weight: 1.6 pounds.
Weight Capacity: 286 pounds.
24. Kelty Lowdown Portable Folding Chair
Estimated Price: $55
My Review: The first thing you’ll notice on this Kelty Lowdown Camping Chair is that it is indeed lowdown. It sits low to the ground. That might not be good news for folks with back issues or who weigh a bit too much, even though it’s rated for 350 pounds. The chair also tips back ever so slightly for a truly laid-back feeling
The steel frame is strong and durable with rigid cross-bracing at the primary stress points. One of the main reasons why lesser chairs don’t seem to fold up right after a few uses is that the frame gets bent and doesn’t return to its original shape. The only time you would notice it is during the fold-up process. You won’t have to worry about that with this model.
The armrests are insulated and there is a cup holder on the right armrest. Plus, you can make a few minor adjustments to them. The seat and back are constructed of high quality polyester that will last then the pickup truck bed you’ll probably be stowing them in.
They call the color combination deep lake and fallen rock, and it is indeed a very pleasant-looking chair, with bold earth colors.
It all rolls up into one of the nicer tote bags on our list, with three strong straps and buckles that snap together with a satisfying “click,” rather than cling together a la Velcro.
If you’re an avid backpacker who’s in great shape, you might want to consider this for backpacking excursions. It weighs eight pounds and change, (compared to under three pounds for most backpacking camp chairs) so it’s not for softies. If that doesn’t bother you, then, by all means, give this chair a try on your next hike in the backwoods.
Dimensions: 20 inches wide, 21.5 inches deep, 29 inches high
Chair Weight: 8.11 pounds
Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
What is 600D Polyester?
In short, polyester is poly – meaning many – and ester – many esters. An ester is formed when an acid and alkaline interact and exchange molecules. The esters bond together to form synthetic fabrics of various thicknesses.
The thickness is measured in terms of a unit of measure called a denier. Polyester comes in a number of thicknesses, ranging from 210D to 600D, with polyester of 210D to 300D considered lightweight. Therefore, 600D polyester has two to three times the “thread count” – although it’s not really called threat count – of the 210D and 300D fabrics.
600D polyester is used in making the sturdiest bags, garments, tarps, boat covers, awnings, tents, equipment bags, luggage, and camping chairs. Not only is 600D polyester stronger and more durable than lighter fabrics, it also sheds water betting and resists mold and mildew better.
So when you see a camping chair that has been constructed of 600D polyester, you know that you’re getting quality.
What Are the Different Grades of Aluminum?
Some of the chairs on our list mention a certain grade of aluminum, like “aircraft grade aluminum.” But what does that mean?
Most aluminum used in product manufacturing is aluminum plus alloys. Pure aluminum is not suitable, due to its high fatigue rate (tendency to lose its shape and strength). Plus, raw aluminum is difficult to weld and is susceptible to oxidation (loss of mass due to exposure to oxygen and moisture).
So aluminum is merged with various alloys in order to achieve toughness, hardness, yield strength and other attributes. Aluminum is often listed with a four-digit suffix and other indicia that identify the alloys that are included in the metal.
Essentially, the higher the four-digit number, the stronger the aluminum alloy, but it’s not quite that simple. So-called aircraft-grade aluminum can have suffixes of 2024, 6061, 7075 and others. When a manufacturer lists its product as having been made from aircraft-grade aluminum, it is most likely referring to the 6061 and 7075 grades (the strongest), which are alloyed with zinc for rigidity.
Lower-strength aluminum alloys, as well as pure aluminum, are used in electrical applications, house wiring, connectors, etc., but not in load-bearing applications.
Corporal Wabo is a former Infantry Squad Leader with 3rd Bn 4th Marines that specialized in Mortars. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, hiking, running, shooting guns, and reviewing gear. He started this website while transitioning out of the Marines, and since has recruited several other Marines to help him work on the Marine Approved website. We are currently looking for former Marines to join the team who are interested in writing about tactical gear, survival gear, hiking supplies, etc. For more information about us or joining the team, check out the “About Us” tab.