Saggy bottoms, bad backs…do camping chairs have to be a pain in the posterior?
No! We’ve been testing exhaustively (!) to find a camping chair that’s both supportive and upright enough for eating at a table, and slumpy enough for lazing with a book.
Here are the best camping chairs we’ve found.
Latest update: May 2021
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The best camping chair?
Our Top Pick
The best chair (for us, at least) would have a taut seat, a strong and supportive backrest, be made of aluminium for lightness and fold up reasonably small.
So, the best we’ve found are directors’ chairs, and the best of these for sturdiness has been the Coleman Deck Chair. Good support with a backrest and strong seat. Not exactly chairs for lounging in, but you could definitely read a book, play a board game or eat a meal in comfort.
This chair just seems built to last. It’s smart, simple and very supportive.
It has an aluminium frame, a sloping back and padded armrests, which incorporate carrying straps when it’s folded (to 13 x 53 x 75 cm).Weighs around 2.5kg, can carry 113kg and costs around £40. Available in khaki or green.
Best for your back
Some of our Favourites
We love how portable the Trekology range is. This updated version of the classic YIZI is our favourite.
Weighing only 2.1lbs(960g), it can hold upto 135kg, this guy punches well above it's very dainty weight. Packs down to only 36 x 11 x 15 cm in it's bag, there's a lot to love here.
This affordable MP Essentials camping chair costs around £35. It has a fold-out table and pocket storage. A choice of three colours too
Aluminium construction makes it very light, plus nice padding and support. Folds to 85cm x 45cm x 15cm, weighs 2.5kg and can carry 120kg.
Now this is a good idea. The Uquip Woody has a swivel table that also pivots so you can use it for your iPad or to rest a book.
It’s made from powder-coated aluminium and weighs around 5kg. It packs into a nice bag 86 x 53 x 13 cm. Can carry up to 120kg. Around £50. Very popular, so apologies if they go out of stock.
Best for Dining
He’s called Sidney and he weighs just under 6kg. Plus he can carry a weight of around 120kg. Packs to 120cm x 33cm and a bag’s included.
Helinox are famous for their virtually weightless chairs. They’re quite expensive and, for us, not all that comfortable because your bum is lower than your knees. However, they pack small enough to go in a rucksack, so they have their place.
The Robens Observer chair is cheaper than Helinox, but comes in only two colours. It can carry up to 120kg and weighs 1.2kg.
Nowhere near as well made as the Helinox, but a close second.
Need to lounge?
If you have the space (and the need to relax!), then an adjustable lounger is the answer. You can use it with the back straight at dinner time and lie back for a snooze afterwards. They’ll make quite a big pack-size, of course.
We’ve tried a few of the floor chairs (like this Highlander) that have no legs and use your body weight and two straps to keep the back in place. They won’t suit you if you’re looking for absolute comfort, but they’re extremely lightweight and small.
For an extra bit of cushioning, there are bulkier (and heavier) options like the BonVivo. This one is nice because, as well as having a few reclining positions, it can be used flat as a padded mat for lying on. It weighs around 3kg, though.
For ultimate loungeability, you’ll need a zero gravity chair. These are the ultimate in feet-up-snooze-and-relax, but although they’ll fold more or less flat, they’re weightier and bulkier. These Denny chairs are around £130 for two, and can support 120kg. Some people prefer a rocking chair, so we made a guide to the best rocking camping chairs too.
Steve Harding Says - They sell very comfortable, taught seat chairs, in a variety of models and different heights. So ideal for people who are vertically challenged, like me.
So a different height couple can buy a pair of chairs, but suited to the individual.
Rachel Barrett says - We’ve tried dozens, you can’t beat a vango Titan!
Camping chairs to avoid
Stylish Outwell Gorman Hills. Better than many, but still not quite supportive enough.
Lots of camping chairs use a folding, concertina-type construction. Great for packabilty, but they tend not to make the seat fabric taut enough.
We thought we’d found a good compromise in Outwell’s Gorman Hills camping chairs. They felt comfortable in the shop and, with their choice of colour and rounded armrests, were a stylish change from all that camping khaki.
A week of sitting on them, though, and the lower back twinges kicked in. We found ourselves perching on the more solid front edge of fabric to eat at a table, but more often than not, we’d slump backwards and have to hold a plate on our knees.
So, we'd always avoid any chair where the seat material isn't held completely taut. That applies to most camping chairs with this concertina-type fold.
More Chair Guides
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose a camp chair?
There are different types of camp chairs, each with their own pros and cons. A good way to choose the best camping chair is by looking at what you need it for - how often will you use it? What type of terrain do you camp on most frequently? If your answer includes any words like 'constantly,' 'every weekend' or simply 'always', then a more high-end model may be worth considering because they tend to last longer than cheaper models. For an occasional camper who camps primarily on flat ground, there's no reason not to get a less expensive option that costs half as much!
What is the most comfortable camping chair?
The best camping chair is one that you can sit in comfortably for a long period of time. When looking at the chairs, think about how they are constructed to offer support and comfort while sitting. A good rule of thumb is if your back starts hurting after 10 minutes or so, move on to another option until you find what's right for you. There really isn't any wrong answer because everyone has different preferences when it comes to their camping gear-as well as body types. Thankfully there are many options available out there that will suit your needs no matter who you are!
Can camping chairs get wet?
Camping chairs should not be left outside for extended periods of time. If they have to get wet, such as during rain or a storm, it is best to wipe them off and allow the chair fabric to dry before sitting on it again. This will prevent mold from growing and also keep bacteria at bay. To give your camping chair an extra layer of protection against water damage, try spraying waterproofing spray into the seams where possible too!
Do weight limits on camping chairs matter?
A weight limit on a camping chair is important for the safety of those seated in it. The person sitting in the chair should be able to move around safely without feeling uncomfortable or putting too much pressure on one side of their body. In some cases, chairs with higher limits can provide more stability and support than lower-limit models. One way to increase your level of comfort while out at camp, You could invest in an inflatable camping seat that provides you with extra cushioning!