How to Choose the Best Camping Chairs

How to Choose the Best Camping Chairs

Sure, you could sit on the ground (or a log, or a boulder) when you’re camping. But why, when we live in a world with camping chairs? Sorry Mother Nature, these portable seats are infinitely more comfortable than a rock. Camp chairs also come in handy on beach trips, picnics, and outdoor concerts. Here’s how to choose the best one for you. 

What’s your top priority—comfort or weight?

Camping chairs run the gamut from minimalist, ultra-portable designs to sturdy, cushy thrones. If the latter sounds more like your style, know that the tradeoff will be a heavier, less packable chair. Some models in this category weigh 15 pounds or more and will be bulky even when folded up. Conversely, if you’d rather have an ultralight chair that you can even take backpacking, you’ll find options that weigh 3 pounds or less and break down into easy-packing bundles. But these chairs won’t be as supportive or have all the bells and whistles, like headrests and armrests and drink holders. If space and weight are extremely limited, consider a packable camp stool or a frameless, folding foam chair. These tend to be some of the most affordable pieces of camp furniture, too.

How durable does it need to be?

Take a look at the materials used: A frame made from steel will be stronger and last longer than one made from aluminum (and also heavier). Seats are typically made from nylon, polyester, foam, and/or mesh. Check the denier (a measure of fabric strength); the higher the number, the more durable the fabric. Some materials also have a waterproof or water-resistant coating for added weatherproofness.

What size do you need?

Camp chairs range from ground-scraping low riders to about the same size as a kitchen chair, so make sure the chair’s height makes it comfortable for you to get in and out of. (A folding foam chair sits directly on the ground.) Lower chairs tend to be more stable on uneven ground. Also consider the weight capacity: Lightweight camping chairs typically will support around 250 pounds, while the sturdiest models accommodate up to 500 pounds.

What features do you want?

Some chairs come tricked out with features great for comfort (armrests, headrests, sun shades) and convenience (cup holders, pockets). Some even rock or swing. Shop accordingly, remembering that more features usually cost more. 

What about other camp furniture?

Beyond chairs, you can also outfit your camp with portable camping tables. The largest models serve as dining tables for a group, medium-size tables work well for food prep or playing games, and the smallest options are essentially side tables for your drink or plate. As with camp chairs, the larger, more durable tables tend to be heavier and less packable, not to mention more expensive. 

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.