When it comes to camping chairs, things have come a long way from the uncomfortable, unstable $5 plastic disposable chairs that were the norm twenty years ago. Today’s models come in a variety of weights, sizes and styles that suit all needs, whether you are a solo backpacker or a family taking out the camper van. Resting your back and legs when camping is extremely important, especially if you are exerting yourself continually, and a quick break in a camping chair will do much more for you than simply sitting on an uncomfortable surface. In the following guide we look at ten quality options that will help you put your feet up and relax.
The Coleman Oversized is an excellent camping chair- Its cushioned back and seat ensures comfort as well as providing additional back support. Its generous cooler pouch has space for up to four cans and it is easily folded and carried. This chair also provides a good height and well as generous seat room, so it’s ideal for the larger camper. The materials aren’t the best (its polyester seating is adequate but the steel frame will require attention in order to ensure that it does not rust over time), but this chair outperforms for its price bracket. The weight and size preclude this from a backpacking trip, but it makes an excellent chair for casual camping.
If you are a backpacker in the market for a lightweight chair the Helinox Zero could be an ideal purchase.It weighs a very impressive 17 oz and packs to a compact size of 10 x 3.9 x 3.9 in – small enough to fit onto the side of a backpack. Assembly is easy and quick thanks to the single shock corder pole structure. At such a weight you might be thinking the Zero must make compromises on comfort, but we didn’t find that to be the case. It’s 11 in off the ground, which might be a bit of a problem for the long-legged, and it can support a weight of 265 lb, which should be enough for most backpackers.
Although not as light as the Helinox Chair Zero the TrekUltra comes in at a respectable 2.6 lb, making this chair an option for most scenarios. The TrekUltra’s aluminium frame is quick to assemble and folds into a very compact 14.5 x 5.5 x 4 in. The chair sits 14 in off the ground, which gives plenty of leg room.
The chair also comes with two sets of feet, so you can swap out one set of ultralight feet for a set of all terrain adjustables, which means you can use this seat on either hard surfaces or on sand. It can handle a bit more weight than the Helinox as well, supporting a load of up to 350 lb. The chair’s seat can also be removed and machine washed
What are one of the esssentials of a chair? If you answered “legs”, hang your head in shame, because the Crazy Creek Hex’s legless design provides backpackers and campers with an intriguing design. It’s very quick to set up and take down, and the angle of the back rest can be adjusted via the nylon straps. It’s sturdy, fairly light weight, and packs down to a small size.
Obviously, lacking legs, this design isn’t suitable for those of us with back issues, and this chair does not lift you off the ground like other camping chairs, but if its design appeals to you, then its EVA foam interior provides reasonable comfort at a very reasonable price.
The Crazy Creek comes with no legs, the Alite Monarch comes with two, and like the Crazy Creek the design is something you’ll instantly warm to or decide is not for you.
Rather than resting on all fours like other chairs, the Alite requires you to use your feet for balance. This design choice creates a light, easy to fold away chair that is great fun to use and is great choice for those looking for something a little different in their chairs. The chair packs into a 12 x 4.5 x 4.5 in size and sits 7 in off the ground. Although not really suitable for long or leisurely use, the Alite is extremely well constructed (its frame is aluminium and the seat material is ripstop nylon) and can hold up to a
250 lb load.
The Sunyear Folding Chair is a interesting choice for those campers on a budget looking for a lightweight chair Weighing in at just short of 3 lb, this generous sized chair offers a level of comfort beyond its price range. The Sunyear packs down to a 14.6 x 3.9 x 3.9 in size. IT can handle a 250 lb weight. The Sunyear comes with specially designed saucer shaped feet, which are designed for a firm grip on softer terrain such as sand and mud. If weight is more of a concern to you than comfort, then an alternate version of the Sunyear, one without the integrated pillow, will be of interest. The latter weighs in at 2 lb, 0.9 lb lighter than the pillow version.
The only drawback we saw with the Sunyear was the build quality. It isn’t as sturdy as some of its rivals, and even though it claims a weight support of 250 lb, the supports of the chair seem to strain under heavier loads.
The Chaheati Heated Chair will allow you to enjoy the great outdoors even when the temperature is less than ideal. This camp chair heats up in less than 20 seconds, and comes along with four heat presets that range from 98 degrees to 145 degrees. It runs off a Lithium Ion battery, which is included. The chair can run for up to six hours. It’s cordless and has two drink holders. Given its size and weight you won’t be carrying this on your back in Yosemite, but if you want to enjoy being outside in lower temperatures without suffering any discomfort, this is the chair for you.
According to Al Gore global warming is a problem. A big problem. Which means that we campers need a method to protect ourselves from this deadly thing called the Sun. This is where the Quick Shade Adjustable comes in. The chair features 2 mesh cup holders. The polyester seating is both water and stain resistant and its steel frame can support a weight of up to 224 lb. But the real selling point of this chair is the integrated sun shade, whic can be raised and lowered and also tlited to your heart’s desire. This chair is ideal for the summer months, and if you happen to fall asleep, you won’t wake up with a burnt face. One thing we would have liked to see is a removable canopy, which would have lowered the weight of the chair. Instead, the canopy can fold and fit behind the chair when you do not need it.
Many of the chairs we have featured in this article can handle weights of up to 220-250 lb, but what about the bigger camper? Help is at hand with the Ozark Trail. The sturdy steel frame and polyester material can support a weight of up to 500 lb. It also comes with a very elegant folded mini-table that has a cup container. One feature we loved with this chair was the seat height, which comes in at 20 in. Usually you will find that the actual seat height of a foldable chair will be lower than the advertised height because of seat sag. The Ozark, however, displayed no sagging, and the polyester seats remains stretched at taut. This chair is on the heavy side, so be prepared to tone the arm muscles if you are moving around a lot. It also doesn’t come with a carry bag.
The Quickplay PRO is ideal if you need to seat a group of people in a compact space. Quickplay markets the PRO as a solution for sports teams and sports spectators, and while it certainly can be used as such, we feel it is ideal for a family with children. Each seat is 17 in wide and come with a 11.5 in high seat back. You can purchase the Quickplay in either a 4, 6 or 9 seat configuration. You don’t have to spend time assembling the bench either; the bench features a quick folding steel frame. it can be transported in its own bag and the steel frame, although not the highest quality material, is strong enough to handle an energetic troupe of kids.