Once you’ve unfurled your camping chair and cracked open a fresh bevvy, the work is over. Whether you’re heading to a neighbourhood BBQ, Burning man, or just out in the woods, bringing a camping chair with you allows you to stop and stay awhile.

An unsung hero of life outdoors, a great place to sit makes all the difference in the world. We can’t all set our sights on a stump to stow our rump – if you spend enough time outside, you’ll be glad to have a place to unwind.

Camping is all about getting in touch with the simple life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leave any room for comfort on your next trip. It’s easy to take a seat for granted until you set out for the weekend without one.

A great camping throne will be one of the most versatile tools in your closet. These chairs will always fit in the car and help out on a fishing trip, at a festival, or just a breezy night in the backyard.

That adaptability is why it’s essential to take your time and fully scour the market for your next camping chair. Even if you’re shopping for a specific trip or camping style, you should leave room for improvement. No camping chair could make our list without showing excellent durability, so your next chair will be coming along for the long haul.

So, your chair should be open to improvement and pack in the necessary value to grow alongside your life outdoors. To help take a load off, this buying guide will cover the gambit of chairs, big and small, you’ll be able to find your ultimate camp chair right here! Whether you’re looking for the best budget camping chairs or something a little fancier, we’ve got you covered!

Whether you want a mini option you can throw in a backpack or the latest and greatest in portable reclining technology, we’ve got the best camping chairs on display.

Quick Answers – Check Out These Camping Chairs

#1 Best Overall Camping Chair – Kijaro Dual Lock

#2 Best Budget Camping Chair – REI Camp X

#3 Best Camping Chair For Relaxing – NEMO Stargaze Recliner

#4 Best 2 Seater – Kelty Discovery Low-Love Seat

#5 Comfiest Camping Chair – Yeti Trailhead

#6 Lightest Camping Chair – Helinox Chair Zero

#7 Best High Back Camping Chair – Big Agnes Big Six

#8 Most Compact Camping Chair – REI Flexlite

#9 Best Fold Up Camp Chair – GCI Freestyle Rocker

Choosing The Right Camping Chair

The good news is, choosing the right camping chair isn’t as complicated as agreeing on a new living room set. Still, there is no clear-cut number one option. Each camping chair on our list uses a different blend of the following factors to make up its claim to the throne, and it’s up to you to place the crown. 

Decide where you sit on the scales and match your demands with the right support system to find the best camping chairs for 2021 and beyond. Either way, we’re pretty confident you’ll find the best camping chair ever on this list!

Rei camp chair
Go for a camping chair that packs up small.

Comfort

If you don’t love sitting in it, it’s a waste of money. Period. It doesn’t matter if you have the most compact, lightest camping chair out there; you won’t bring it with you if it brings an awkward fit. 

Sitting back is all about getting comfortable. No trip starts, or hike ends until you’re off your feet for the day, so look for chairs with four support corners to bring on the repose. 

Decide what comfort means to you. Some people just need a stable spot for their bums, while others want head/armrests to take the load off. While backpacking chairs have gone a long way, no backcountry option will support like a car camper. The further away you can take your chair from the parking lot, the less comfortable it will be.

Weight

Weight isn’t as crucial for camping chairs as it is for backpacking options, but there’s still a limit. You should be comfortable carrying your chair up to one kilometre from the car.

Remember, it will likely never be the only thing you’re bringing with you. An 8-kilo chair may be acceptable on its own but would be too much to cart alongside a heavy cooler.

The heaviest two-person chair on our list tips the scales at 7 Kilos, but most of our favourite chairs stay well south of 5 kilograms. If you plan to take your chair far from the car or on overnight hikes, keep your search to options less than 1 kilo. If you’re just looking for the best car camping chair then you can go all out and get the heaviest option with no worries.

Longevity

This is the one word necessary to justify spending a splash of extra cash on your camping chair. In one six month stint, I broke through two pairs of low-quality lightweight chairs that just couldn’t hold up to daily use.

 At the end of the trip, it was clear I would have saved money by investing in a more expensive chair off the bat. The most likely place for your camping chair’s to fail is the connection points between the lightweight main materials and the poles.

Look for chairs to reinforce critical areas and use a high-quality material whose name you can pronounce to give an extra five years of comfort a seat at the table.

Bells and Whistles

Unless you’re taking your chair into the backcountry, a cupholder should be considered a bare minimum. Anything beyond a cosy place to store your beverage and four legs of stability for both your bum and your back brings a particular flash to your chair.

Seat Height

Higher chairs may get you a few dirty looks from people sitting behind you at outdoor concerts but are far more comfortable for spending the day in than a seat barely ten centimetres off the ground. 

Seats with a high seat height and lengthy backrests are only suitable for car camping. They make the difference between a chair comfortable for an hour and one comfortable all afternoon. 

Product
Description
Best Overall Camping Chair
Best Overall Camping Chair

Kijaro Dual Lock

  • > $
  • > Breathable back mesh
  • > Under-arm organiser
Best Budget Camping Chair
Best Budget Camping Chair

REI Camp X

  • > $
  • > Cheapest camping chair options
  • > Mesh backing and durable joints
Best Camping Chair For Relaxing
Best Camping Chair For Relaxing

NEMO Stargaze Recliner

  • > $$
  • > Super comfortable
  • > Automatic reclining and swinging capabilities
Best 2 Seater
Best 2 Seater

Kelty Discovery Low-Love Seat

  • > $
  • > Each arm provides a cupholder
  • > Manageable carrying case
Comfiest Camping Chair
Comfiest Camping Chair

Yeti Trailhead

  • > $$
  • > Unbeatable build quality
  • > UV rated fabric coating
Lightest Camping Chair
Lightest Camping Chair

Helinox Chair Zero

  • > $
  • > Can fit in your water bottle pocket
  • > Durable footholds
Best High Back Camping Chair
Best High Back Camping Chair

Big Agnes Big Six

  • > $
  • > High back and wide option
  • > Heavy end of ultralight chairs
Most Compact Camping Chair
Most Compact Camping Chair

REI Flexlite

  • > $
  • > Square-shaped stool
  • > Affordable chairs
Best Fold Up Camp Chair
Best Fold Up Camp Chair

GCI Camping Chair

  • > $$
  • > Lovely mesh material
  • > Folds up nicely

The Best Camping Chair For All Occasions

While we’d love to tell you there is one chair to rule them all, each occasion dictates a different throne. We’ll look at camping chairs, big and small, that dominate their weight class and fill out the details to provide a great place to sit. 

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    #1 Best Overall Camping Chair – Kijaro Dual Lock

    Kijaro Dual Lock

    Kijaro Dual Lock is our top pick for the best overall camping chair

    Specs
    • Price – $70
    • Weight – 4.26 KG

    Ranging in subtle shades of Cayman Blue Iguana to Red Rock Canyon, this monotone chair squats and pops no matter the scenario. The extra foldability offered by Kijaro’s solid joints helps the chair hold firm through the breeze and deploy in a jiffy. 

    One press turns the buckled frame into a hip-level camping chair perfect for a festival weekend or some good ole’ fashioned sitting around in the woods. 

    Back in the land of the living, The breathable back mesh stays cool on the asphalt, and the under-arm organiser keeps your keys safe while you focus on having a good time. 

    Our testers loved this chair, in fact, they reckon it might just be the comfiest camp chair. For them, it was the comfort levels of this bad boy that really stood out and made it worth the investment. It’s the one of the best camp chairs for 2021 and beyond for sure.

    +Pros
    • Two cupholders and an organisational pouch help this chair keep it all in one place
    • Durable polyester drys fast and can handle a few bumps and bruises
    -Cons
    • Kijaro isn’t known for producing the lightest and most compact camping chairs out there
    • A jack of all trades is a master of none

    #2 Best Budget Camping Chair – REI Camp X

    REI Coop Camp X Chair

    For best budget camping chair, checkout REI Camp X

    Specs
    • Price (USD) – $50
    • Weight – 3.26 KG

    Large and in charge, this bonafide budget bonfire assistant is all you’ll ever need out of a car camping chair. REI makes their living churning out everyday camping hits like this, using their industry domination to pay dividends. 

    This chair consistently ranks as one of the cheapest camping chair options, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheaply made. Great materials and a thoughtful design help support your squat in style. Rain or shine, the mesh backing and durable joints will help you and your two favourite drinks get into it. It’s one of the main reasons we’ve named it the best budget camp chair.

    REI camping chair

    Nothing feels better than lounging around after a long day of hiking around, and this chair definitely makes it all worth it. Weighing only a pound, this can easily be tossed onto/into a backpack or daypack on your next adventure. With a deep, comfortable nyon ripstop seat, your pack and legs will thank you for bringing it along. This chair is perfect for campfire hangs, basecamp seating, or even as a desk chair for my fellow digital nomads out there. With tent-pole construction chair legs, you can easily assemble the chair in under 30 seconds.

    I’ve used this chair in all types of terrain over the past few years, and I got to say, it was worth the investment. I usually beat up my gear pretty good, and this thing shows absolutely no sign of letting up anytime soon. If I had to suggest anything it would be to make the deconstructed pole system a bit smaller for ease of packing, but I’ve managed so far. If ultralight is your thing, and you want an extremely packable chair, the Flexlite should be at the top of your list of options.

    +Pros
    • If you don’t plan on walking far, you’ll never need another camping chair
    • Mesh backing lets a cool breeze flow
    -Cons
    • Large cupholders make for wobbly steinie’s
    • Sits low to the ground

    #3 Best Camping Chair For Relaxing – NEMO Stargaze Recliner

    NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair

    Our top pick for the best camping chair for relaxing is NEMO Stargaze Recliner

    Specs
    • Price (USD) – $250
    • Weight – 2.86 KG

    Just wait until Lazy-boy gets a whiff of this. Take the day off and spend it in this super comfortable camping chair. It comes at an incredibly high price point for a camping chair, but it backs up that beefy budget by redefining a camping chair. The chair holds firm with solid, padded armrests, but unlike these other lame stationery options, that’s not all. 

    The Stargazing specialist can also recline down to provide a new way to lay in the backcountry. The chair has automatic reclining and swinging capabilities that give your back some much-needed freedom of movement. 

    Nemo isn’t afraid of tearing up traditional outdoor design and starting fresh. This recliner turns everything on its head by offering multidirectional sitting and staying (relatively) mobile.

    Of course, our testers just loved the comfort levels of this chair. But more specifically they said it feels like a chair more suited towards sitting back with a book or a beer around the fire than something more active like fishing or cooking.

    +Pros
    • Absolutely incredible combination of low weight and comfort
    • Practical enough to serve as an everyday piece of furniture
    -Cons
    • Makes the woods look like a cyber cafe
    • If you’re in the trees, you may be better off with a hammock

    #4 Best 2 Seater – Kelty Discovery Low-Love Seat

    Kelty Low Loveseat Camping Chair

    Meet the best 2 seater, Kelty Discovery Low-Love Seat

    Specs
    • Price (USD) – $140
    • Weight – 7 KG

    There aren’t many more adorable things than a luggable loveseat. Whether you’re roasting chestnuts over an open fire, combining body heat to stay warm under the Friday night lights, or just sitting around watching the dogs roam free, bring along this chair built for two. 

    Unlike two-person tents, this chair doesn’t actually mean one plus a dog. It’s comfy enough to stretch out, and each arm provides a cup holder. Kelty kept things compact and made sure the chair could collapse down inside its own manageable carrying case. Many more oversized chairs come with a bag, but not many folds up as nicely as this one. 

    Our loved-up team gave this double chair a good run out and their feedback was glowing. Two main things they noted are first, how sturdy the legs are and how well it holds the weight of two people. secondly, they felt that although the chair is heavier than others, it was still lighter and less cumbersome than carting two separate chairs.

    +Pros
    • A more compact carrying size than some 1 person camping chairs
    • 7 kilo’s certainly isn’t light, but considering you could do a lot worse considering the extra seat
    -Cons
    • No middle armrest options
    • Too large to fit inside a backpack
    The best present of all… is CONVENIENCE!

    Now, you could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

    So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card! REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

    Buy on REI!

    #5 Comfiest Camping Chair – Yeti Trailhead

    YETI Trailhead Camp Chair

    For comfiest camping chair, checkout Yeti Trailhead

    Specs
    • Price (USD) – $300
    • Weight – 5.9 KG

    Confident enough to fit in with the patio furniture and mobile enough to fit in the back of any trunk, you may never leave the house without your new favourite camping chair ever again. People often swear that most high-end camping chairs sit the same way, and then they spend an afternoon at the trailhead. 

    The folding chair collapses into a narrow carrying case that can be slung over your shoulder or worn like a backpack. Still, the chair is slightly too heavy to take too far from the nearest parking lot. 

    Once you make camp, the chair pops out in a hurry, and you can sit back and soak it all in. Thanks to their unbeatable build quality, Yeti’s products always demand a high price. In this comfy camping chair, They thought of everything, down to UV rated fabric coating, to survive the test of time. 

    Our team made sure to give this beast of a chair a good old test and they bloody loved it. In fact, they named it the most comfortable bag chair on the market and we can see why. Sure, it’s a big boy and it’s pretty expensive, but ya know, sometimes comfort is worth paying for!

    +Pros
    • Get cozy with a loved one or support the whole family up to 225 kilos
    • The best camping chair on the market for spending the day in
    -Cons
    • 300$ for a camping chair that’s restricted to car camping

    #6 Lightest Camping Chair – Helinox Chair Zero

    Helinox Chair Zero

    Helinox Chair Zero is one of the lightest camping chair

    Specs
    • Price (USD) – $130
    • Weight – 0.45 KG

    On the opposite end of the scale is our favourite backpacking chair. You could fit six of these into your pack before you reach the weight of many camping chairs. The chair zero can fit in your water bottle pocket and unfold into a suitable chair kilometres from the nearest parking lot. 

    You won’t find any of the same comforts as larger camping chairs, that’s not what the Helinox is aiming for. It’s a full-on backpacker, using tent pole-style foldability to save valuable space. That results in a chair you can truly take anywhere. 

    Our testers were pretty keen to give this chair a go. Most of us are pretty hardcore backpackers who love to travel as light as possible. It’s no surprise that their main comment was in relation to the inexplicable lightness of this backpacking chair. But most importantly they also remarked that given the compromise in design, it was still darn comfortable and pretty stable to boot.

    +Pros
    • The best camping chair for hike-in camping, or day-hikes with lunch breaks
    • Durable footholds stay steady on uneven, rocky terrain
    -Cons
    • Not much more than a stoop
    • Tent-pole style backpacking chairs that save weight at all cost can break quickly

    #7 Best High Back Camping Chair – Big Agnes Big Six

    Big Agnes Big Six Camp Chair

    Big Agnes Big Six is our top pick for the best high back camping chair

    Specs
    • Price (USD) – $190
    • Weight – 1.45 KG

    This chair puts the Big in Agnes by taking a typical backpacking chair and stretching things out. Spartan hikers and minimalists no doubt love the weightlessness of a tiny chair, but sometimes we could all use a bit more cushion at a camp. This high back and wide option make sure we don’t need to choose. 

    While it’s certainly on the heavy end of ultralight chairs, it’s still a breeze to carry a kilometre or two, and it provides much more value than a typical 3-cornered tent-pole design. Big Agnes makes it easy to treat yourself to a splash of comfort next time you head into the backcountry. 

    Our testers named this the best high back camping chair for a reason. The taller members of the group really appreciated the extra support where other chairs are severely lacking. Given the extra height, they also felt it also didn’t add too much weight to their setup for the extra comfort.

    +Pros
    • Adds a headrest and wide legs that can reach the quads
    • Sits high and brings stability to the backcountry
    -Cons
    • Heavy for a backpacking chair, too barebones for a car camper
    • The chair’s high sides can start to hug your arms awkwardly

    #8 Most Compact Camping Chair – REI Flexlite

    REI Coop Flexlite Camp Chair

    Meet the most compact camping chair, REI Flexlite

    Specs
    • Price (USD) – $70
    • Weight – 0.77 KG

    An extra .3 kilometres heavier than the lightest camping chair on our list, the Flexlite adds a few precious grams to expand its camping chair to four corners. The square-shaped stool unfolds in two steps and brings camp anywhere. You can easily fit this camping chair in a day bag or fanny pack.

    This extra weight also manifests at a lower price. The affordability of this camping chair makes it easier to overlook a few flaws and appreciate the simplicity of this option. While it’s not the most comfortable chair you can take into the woods, it’s all you need to enjoy a weekend outside. 

    Our testers loved how compact and light this chair was and they just loved how easily it fit into their packs and how little they felt it on their backs. The only notable drawbacks are a lack of stability compared to larger chairs but that is to be expected with something so tiny.

    +Pros
    • Affordable chairs are always better off protected by REI’s stalwart return policy
    • Somehow feels right both at the crag and in the parking lot
    -Cons
    • It can be hard to justify lugging this kind of weight on longer backpacking expeditions
    • No pockets, cupholders, or frills of any kind

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      How We Tested This Gear

      There is no perfect way to test out travel and outdoor gear. Regardless, the team here at The Broke Backpacker do have a SHIT TON of experience in this area and we’ve gotten pretty talented at it over the years, even if I do say so myself!

      Whenever we test a bit of gear, one of our team takes it out for a spin and puts it through its paces. In all cases, we pay close attention to certain details including things like how heavy or light it is, how well made a piece of gear is, how packable it is and most important of all, how well it actually does it’s job!

      Finally, we also take into account the price of the piece of gear – that means, expensive items that underperform will lose points, whereas budget gear may be given more leeway and minor failures treated less harshly.

      Final Thoughts on Camping Chairs

      These durable camping chairs can easily fit in the car’s trunk and help take a load off. Once the tents or tables are set up and the grills on, the right camping chair provides the cherry on top and allows you to sit down and appreciate your time outside.

       As you can see from our list, no one camping chair style fits every adventure. Modern models cover all sorts of grounds, ranging from plush comforts that rival the living room to ultralight backless beauties. We didn’t even touch on kids camping chairs, that’s another ball game.  

      Now the choice is yours. The best camping chair is actually a combination of a few different sizes, so just like the three bears, you can have chairs large, medium, and small. Of course, if it were up to us, we’d have one of every style of gear waiting for us at home, but nobody has the garages and wallet with enough free space for everything. 

      Choose wisely now, and you’ll be sitting and pondering in style for decades. 


      Bye for now, but not forever!

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        And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!