The Best Camping Chairs of 2021
Whether car camping, backyard grilling, or hiking in to your favorite lakeside campsite, we found and tested the best camping chairs for every use and budget.
There’s no better way to end a day outside than gathered around the campfire. And while we’ve all spent many an evening sitting on the ground or balancing on a log, it’s hard to beat the pleasure of sitting in a good camp chair.
In order to find the best camping chairs, we’ve spent countless hours testing out chairs in a variety of locations and weather conditions. From the wilds of the Desolation Wilderness to the swamps of Apalachicola, from grilling in the backyard to relaxing in the living room, our testers have spent hours setting up, taking down, and sitting.
While testing and ranking camping chairs, we focused primarily on comfort, value, and portability (i.e., size and weight). Secondary considerations include durability, ease of setup, and additional features (like cupholders and pockets). And while there’s no single “best” chair that will suit everyone, we’ve broken the list into categories that will help identify the best chair for you.
Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys or jump to the category you’re looking for:
- Best Overall
- Best Rocking Chair
- Runner Up
- Best Budget
- Most Stable
- Best Campsite ‘Couch’
- Best for Tall People
- Best Camping Chair for Kids
- Best of the Rest
Best Camping Chairs of 2021
Best Overall Camping Chair: REI Co-op Camp X Chair
Anyone looking for a classic camp chair will be happy with the Camp X ($49) from REI. It’s a good pairing of comfort, value, durability, and extra features. And it does all of this without sacrificing too much in portability, which is why we recommend it for the best overall camping chair.
At 7 pounds, it’s not a good candidate for backpacking (check the other options below for that), but it’s a great choice for camping, concerts, soccer games, and backyard lounging. We like that the mesh keeps it breathable in hot weather and allows it to dry very quickly.
We’ve read reviews of some durability concerns but have had absolutely no problem over a year’s use. It doesn’t provide neck support, so it’s not the ultimate lounge chair. But if you want a solid, hardworking, all-around camp chair, the Camp X is for you.
- Weight: 7 lbs. 3 oz.
- Dimensions: 23″ x 21.5″ x 17″
- Good value
- Awkward-size cupholder
Best Rocking Chair: GCI Outdoor Kickback Rocker Chair
You know what takes campfire gazing to the next level? A relaxing, comfortable rocking chair. The Kickback Rocker ($55) delivers comfort and gentle rocking, in a stable and easy-to-pack package.
At nearly 11 pounds it’s certainly not ultralight, but it’s not unmanageable either. We especially like how easy it is to set up. Simply fold t open and, voila, you’re ready to relax.
The cup holder and phone holder pockets keep essentials at hand. And the included carrying case makes it easy to haul this one slung over your shoulder.
The rocking leg design makes this chair best for more level, flat surfaces.
- Weight: 10 lb. 9.6 oz.
- Dimensions: 32.5 x 31.7 x 27.2
- Easy fold-up
- Large size
- Less portability
Runner Up: NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair
If a hammock and a camp chair had a baby, it would be the Stargaze ($165). This suspended chair allows for rocking on any type of terrain, and the tall back provides full neck support.
Our Hunt Fish Editor downright loves this chair. She raved in a review, “The aircraft-grade aluminum base is heavy-duty, built with a low center of gravity that provides stability on all types of ground. The chair is a monofilament mesh, with fabric reinforcements. Built into the chair are a drink-holder and a pocket for phones and other knickknacks.”
We did find this takes a bit longer to set up than other chairs listed. And some of our testers found it a bit constricting through the shoulders. But if you’re looking for a unique chair and don’t mind making the investment, the Stargaze will serve you well.
- Weight: 6 lbs. 5 oz.
- Dimensions: 45.5″ x 36″ x 25.5″
- Hammock-chair hybrid
- Takes longer to set up
Best Budget Camping Chair: Coleman Portable Quad Chair with Cooler
Just $35 and it comes with a built-in cooler? Yep, this is a bargain-hunter’s dream. And to top it off, we found it impressively comfortable. At 24 inches wide, it provides a roomier seat than the smaller backpacking options we’ve reviewed. It also has a taller seat height and more upright back, which makes getting in and out easier.
You wouldn’t want to haul this for long distances, and the steel-frame can rust if left out in the rain. But for hanging in the backyard, sitting on the sidelines, or car camping, it’s a solid option.
- Weight: 9 lb. 4 oz.
- Dimensions: 24″ x 37″ x 40″
- built-in cooler
- Large size
- Less portability
- long-term durability
Most Stable Camping Chair: YETI Trailhead Camping Chair
Let’s get a few things out of the way first. If you despise everything YETI, this chair isn’t for you. If you’re looking for the cheapest chair, this isn’t it.
But if you’re looking for an incredibly comfortable, durable, and stable chair you’re in the right spot.
At 13 pounds, the YETI Trailhead ($299) falls in the middle ground of acceptable camp chair weights. The FlexGrid fabric is uniformly supportive and UV-resistant. It’s also pleasantly breathable on hot days.
It folds up easily and packs into a carry bag complete with backpack straps. The Lockdown feature on the back of the chair ensures that it won’t accidentally fold up on you. And we like the wide-grippy feet. In addition to camping, we’ve used this chair for nearly a year as a daily office spot. It shows no signs of wear and we’ve been comfortable throughout.
It may be overkill for a quick, casual campout, but if you want a super comfortable, super stable chair this is it. When grilling out with Grandpa or offering Mom a spot to relax by the fire, this is the chair we reach for.
- Weight: 13 lb.
- Dimensions: 30″ x 35″ x 26.5″
- Super stable
Best Campsite ‘Couch’: Kelty Discovery Low Loveseat
Get cozy with this camping loveseat ($115-173). The steel frame is plenty strong (even for two people) and can easily handle 600 pounds. We like that the seat is slightly reclined for comfort, and our testers found the shorter height of the Low allowed for a more relaxed lounge. But tall couples may prefer the standard loveseat, which is a few inches taller.
The armrest cupholders have a divider so you can fit both larger and smaller bottles. Though it certainly isn’t the lightest chair on the list, we were still impressed with how easily it packed up. The carrying bag simply clips around the chair and has a comfortable carrying strap. You wouldn’t want to hike any distance with this, but for campfire nights or outdoor concerts, this is a top pick.
- Weight: 15 lbs. 6 oz.
- Dimensions: 44″ x 23.5″ x 31.5″
- Campfire snuggling
- Adjustable cupholders
Best for Tall People: Helinox Sunset Chair
For the ultimate in comfort, look no further. The Sunset Chair ($150) from Helinox offers a wide seat and tall back for total lounging comfort. The double cupholders keep drinks close, and the mesh back keeps things cool even on the hottest summer days.
This was the favorite among our taller testers. They appreciated not having to scrunch their legs up to sit and also noted that the back was actually tall enough for total neck support. Helinox has built a reputation for building top-quality chairs, and this is no exception.
Weight: 3 lbs. 4.8 oz.
Dimensions:23.2 x 28.7 x 38.6
Pros: Tall back, fast setup, packable
Best Camping Chair for Kids: REI Co-op Camp Chair Kids’
Make s’more time even more fun for your mini, with this pint-sized camp chair. Out little testers love that they can carry their own chair and easily climb in and out alone.
At four pounds it’s light enough for even young children to drag into place. And with a seat height of 11 inches off the ground it works well for a range of children. The kid testers in our group especially seemed to like that it is a miniature version of the adult chair.
It proved impressively sturdy and stable even as a 3-year-old climbed repeatedly climbed in and out. We found this best for kids under 9 years old, but that will depend on the height and weight of each kid.
Weight: 4 lb.
Dimensions: 24.5 x 26.5 x 16.25
Pros: Light, portable, mini version of the adult chair
Cons: Best for kids 9 and under
Best of the Rest
If you’re looking for a chair that’s equally at home backpacking, camping, or lounging at the lake, check out the Flexlite. The mesh kept back sweat at bay during the hot summer months. And it dries quickly, so you can happily play near the river without worry.
That said, we did find it less stable than some of the other chairs tested and it had a propensity to easily sink when set up on soft ground. But it’s a good value for the small size and comfort offered. However, if portability is a top priority for you, we recommend checking out the REI Flexlite Air Chair, which retails for $100 and weighs just 1 pound (including the carrying sack).
Weight: 1 lb. 12 oz.
Dimensions: 26″ x 20″ x 20″
Pros: Breathable mesh, lightweight
Cons: Less stable, legs easily sink into soft ground
Does your idea of a good camp chair include catching a few zs? Then you’re going to love the Zero Gravity Lounger. It’s the ultimate camp recliner and our favorite nap-inducing chair. We liked that you can simply lounge back and then lock your desired spot into place.
The mesh back is breathable and it folds up easily. It doesn’t pack down particularly small or include a carrying case, but it’s easy enough to carry around the campsite or backyard. The armrests are comfortable and our testers like the adjustable head pillow. You can also completely remove the pillow if you don’t want to use it.
Our testers under 5’5 found it more difficult to recline this chair and not as comfortable in an upright position. Our 6″ tester finds it immensely comfortable and worthy of a fireside snooze.
Weight: 20 lb.
Dimensions: 43.1 x 35 x 30.3
Pros: Recliner, nap-worthy, breathable
Cons: Heavy, doesn’t pack small
Do you want a camp chair with an added dash of style? The classic looks of the Kanpai Bamboo Chair ($150) may be just what you’re after. It folds up simply. And we like that the top and bottom rungs rotate slightly for a comfortable carry.
The cotton canvas duck fabric feels nice agains the skin and has proven over a year’s use. It will take longer to dry than other mesh chairs if left in the rain.
The biggest point of contention is the seat height. At 19.5 inches, it’s a lower-type chair. We found this very comfortable, but it could be more difficult to get out of for some. The lower height makes it extra sturdy and even a rambunctious toddler can climb in and out easily.
Weight: 7 lb. 5.6 oz.
Dimensions: 25.5 x 21.5 x 19.5
Pros: Stylish, comfortable, durable
Cons: Short ground height can be hard to get out of
The classically designed Outward Lawn Chair ($80) hits a sweet spot between comfort and weight. At a little over 7 pounds, it’s easy to tote around. And we are particularly fond of the easy-to-use backpack straps.
The ripstop nylon is very durable and the DWR finish means it easily repels light rain. It also helps keep it cleaner should you accidentally spill.
It sits 6-inches taller than the Low Outward Lawn Chair and our testing panel all found it a comfortable height. It doesn’t lounge back or pack super small, but this is an all around solid chair. It’s comfortable, light, and easy to set up. And with the backpack straps, it’s a top pick for music festivals or soccer-field days.
Weight: 7 lb. 7 oz.
Dimensions: 23 x 25 x 35
Pros: Backpack carry straps, comfortable
Cons: Doesn’t pack super small
The Chair Zero from Helinox revolutionized the backpacking chair world. Suddenly, bringing a chair on the trail seemed not only doable but rather reasonable. It weighs just 1 pound and packs down to the size of a Nalgene bottle.
It sacrifices a little stability in order to maximize portability but still manages to be very comfortable. The Chair Zero was more popular with our smaller testers, but it does accommodate people up 265 pounds, and our 6-foot tester fit in it just fine.
For $20 less you could get REI’s Flexlite Air Chair for the same weight.
Weight: 1 lb.
Dimensions: 20.5″ x 18.9″ x 25.2″
Pros: Lightweight, portable
Cons: Expensive, narrower seat
How to Choose a Camping Chair
Here are eight factors we used when testing that will help you find the best camping chair.
Type of Use
How will you use the chair? Whether you enjoy car camping, backpacking, soccer game viewing, backyard barbecuing, or some mix of it all, it helps to have a clear idea of how you’ll use your camping chair. It will help you narrow down which of the other factors are most important.
This ties into the above consideration. Are you looking for a chair that works for backpacking? Do you plan to use it once a month, once a week, or every day? These factors will affect price and can determine if it’s worth spending more for a chair that pairs comfort with packability (like the Helinox Zero). Or perhaps a budget pick like Coleman will suit your needs well without emptying the wallet.
Nobody wants an uncomfortable camping chair. When considering comfort, we looked at seat-back height, width, materials, and overall design. Comfort varies from person to person and depends a lot on your size, build, and mobility.
Weight and Packed Dimensions
This is paramount if you’re backpacking, semi-important when packing the rig for car camping, and not very important when setting up in the backyard.
Ease of Setup
No one wants to spend 20 minutes fighting to set up their camp chair. Or worse, trying to wrangle it back into its carrying bag. We want to be able to set up and take down the chair without instructions or excessive time dedicated to the task.
All of the chairs included here are easy to set up. Some simply fold open, whereas others take a couple minutes to assemble. The NEMO Stargazer is one that takes a bit more time to set up. But we were able to do it without reading the directions, and the trade-off for the fun, rocking chair feature is worth it.
The height from the ground to the bottom of the seat is an often overlooked, yet extremely important consideration. This dictates not only how bent your legs will be, but also makes a chair easier or more difficult to get out of. In general, those with knee issues or mobility concerns will have an easier time getting out of taller chairs. Consider something like the Coleman Quad Chair or the Yeti Trailhead.
Sitting around the campfire should be a relaxing time. And that means not having to worry about falling out of your chair (especially if you’re enjoying a few campfire cocktails). A wider leg base provides extra stability but often comes at the cost of weight and pack size.
Drink-holders, pockets, carrying bags, and more — these extra features may seem inconsequential, but they can really take a camp chair from OK to awesome.
Whether you choose the tiniest camp chair, the biggest camp chair, the cheapest camping chair, or something in between, don’t forget what it’s really all about: getting outside. Throw a fresh log on the fire, pull up a chair, and enjoy an evening under the stars.
What is the most comfortable camping chair?
The most comfortable camping chair varies from person to person and depends largely on your body type and height. Our testers gave the Yeti Trailhead extremely high marks for comfort and stability, though that does come with a price tradeoff.
The REI X chair is also quite comfortable. And if you want to layback and take a nap, the GCI Zero Gravity chair is a winner.
How do I choose a camp chair?
First, think about how you’re going to use the chair. If you plan on backpacking or hiking into camp, then a lightweight, small chair will serve you best. If you’re car camping or hanging in the backyard, go for maximum comfort and features.
You may also want to consider your mobility and height. Lower chairs can be more challenging to get in and out of if you have knee issues or any other mobility concern. Taller people also tend to prefer a chair with a bit more height to it.
Last, think about the features you would enjoy. Is a cupholder important? Or maybe you really want a rocking camp chair? Whatever it is, chances are you can find a camp chair that perfectly suits your outdoor-loving needs.
Can camping chairs get wet?
Yes. All the camping chairs on this list can get wet. Some will dry more quickly than others, but none of them will be damaged by a little rain.
Does the weight and packed size matter for a camp chair?
The weight and packed size relates to how portable a chair is. For car camping, this mainly matters for fitting everything in your vehicle and carrying it short distances. If you’re spending a lot of time at the ball field, you may want a camp chair that you can carry hands-free. The REI has backpack straps, for a convenient carry.
If you plan to backpack or hike a longer distance with your chair, the weight and packed size is very important.
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