Best Camping Chairs | Lightweight & Comfy Folding Chairs For Campsite Chilling - Outdoors Magic

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Best Camping Chairs | Lightweight & Comfy Folding Chairs For Campsite Chilling

Looking for a camping chair to take with you on that summer trip? Maybe you're even after something that's light enough to take wild camping. Whatever style you're after, you'll find the right option for you in our round up of the best camping chairs on the market

For campsite holidays, beach trips or even wild camping adventures alike, a camping chair is the item you always thank yourself for bringing. Easily forgotten, but rarely regretted; after a long day of outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking or mountain biking, a seat to sink into and rest your weary limbs can feel like a luxury. This is certainly true when the only other option might be a soggy forest floor, or hardened ground that offers no respite for your worn-out hindquarters. 

There are many factors to consider when choosing a camping chair. With everyone’s varying needs, it can be a pretty subjective task. Luxury add-ons aside, specifications are ever-broadening and span from ergonomic supportto weight capacity, and terrain-type, amongst other things. Certainlythere are also factors to avoid; we’ve all experienced the hot mess of using a festival camp chair or a petrol station favourite. Images of sinking into mud, plastic bag DIY seats, and canvas-less frames come to mind. For these reasons, here’s a list of our campsite favourites, including how-to-guide to avoid dead weight, wasted money, and sore bottoms.

Photo: iStock/ asiafoto

How To Choose A Camping Chair

Choosing a camping chair generally requires three main considerations: your primary use for the chair, your size and height preference, and your design preferenceThese preliminary considerations will help narrow down your search, avoiding endless internet sprawling, and leaving you more time to get excited about your trip. 

In terms of your primary use, thinking about the type of camping trip is key. If youre going on a backpacking or bikepacking trip, a lightweight and unassuming design will be handiest. You’ll want something that can easily attach or fit inside your backpack, without weighing you down on your travels. Or perhaps youll have a basecamp to come back to, or youre going road tripping, in which case, maybe comfort is key, and weight less of an issue. As long as it can pack away neatly and easily, these latter trip types can generally afford more luxuries in terms of camping chair comforts.   

Thinking about your primary use in terms of location and weather is also beneficial. Am I camping in a muddy forest or a sandy beach? Which chair is less likely to sink into the sand? Which will be the easiest to clean mud off? Is it going to rain? Which chair is the most waterproof? 

Once you’ve decided on your main priorities, more general features of camping chairs enter the mix. These include the size, weight, and maximum load of each chair, and will vary based on your personal specifications. Depending on your type of trip, remember to note down the difference between the chair’s packed weight, and its standing weight. This can be important in terms of having a light backpack if you’re on a multi-day hiking trip, for example. 

Finally, there are more individualised design preferences. These can range from specialised lumbar support for those with back needs, to fitted coolers, for those with beer needs. Some more luxurious than others, these are very much trip and budget dependant, and down to each person. Materials used in the design of the chair might also be worth considering, some prioritising warmth and comfort, whilst others might focus on sustainability and durability. 

In this list, we’ve tried to find an even-spread of options for 2021, encompassing a variety of styles, tailored for all terrains and personal needs.  

 

 Best Camping Chairs 2021 | Our 10 Favourites

  • Helinox Chair One
  • Vango Joro
  • Nemo Moonlite™
  • Sea To Summit Air Chair
  • Nemo Stargaze™ Recliner
  • Robens Pathfinder
  • Kelty Low Loveseat
  • Quechua Reclinable Folding Chair
  • Snow Peak Low Beach Folding Chair
  • Therm-a-rest Trekker

 

BEST BUY: Helinox Chair One

Price: £90
Weight:
890g
Material: Aluminium alloy frame, Fibre-reinforced nylon hubs, ripstop nylon fabric
Max. Load: 145kg

The second lightest camping chair (with legs) on our list, the Helinox Chair One is also one of the lightest portable chairs Helinox makes, period. It is made of an airy ripstop nylon fabric which forms a supportive framework to carry your weight. The fibre-reinforced nylon hubs add to this stability, pushing that fear of falling through the seat out of your mind.

With ventilated mesh at the back for breathability, and an aluminium alloy frame, this chair is definitely made with lightweight backpacking in mind. Though this inevitably means there’s a few trade-offs in terms of comfort, at a dainty 890g, this seems like a fair deal. Even packed away, it’s barely noticeable, and can fit easily inside or outside of your backpack. In this sense, its comfort level is very much in line with its primary use.  

At a standing height of 66 cm, and sitting 27cm off the ground, it’s a low profile chair but with a capacity of almost 23 stone, it can definitely hold its own. Check out our full Helinox Chair One for more info.

Full Specifications

Assembled height, width & depth : 66 x 50 x 52cm / packed height, width & depth: 10 x 35 x 12 cm/ 890g assembled/ 960g packed/ cup-holder and shoulder strap accessory available.

Get the latest price at:
blackleaf.com

Vango Joro Camping Chair

Price: £65
Weight:
5kg
Material: Steel frame in bronze finish, recycled polyester fabric
Max. Load: 120 kg

A part of Vango’s new Earth Collection, the Vango Joro is a big favourite in terms of eco-friendly credentials. The carry bag and the fabric of the seat itself features Vango’s EcoStem fabric, made from 100% recycled single-use plastics. Kitted out with padding, and a wrap-around design, the infrastructure of this chair is resilient and snug, whilst staying true to their mission of sustainability. 

As well as adding to comfort levels, the wrap-around design keeps out any draughts, whilst giving your back a well-supported rest. Though on the heavier side, if you have a basecamp it’s definitely one for kicking back in the evening with a book in one hand, and a beer in the other. 

Related: Eco-Friendly Outdoor Gear | 10 Sustainable Hiking Products We Rate

Full Specifications

Assembled length, height & width: 30 x 97 x 30cm/ 100% recycled fabric.

Get the latest price at:
vango.co.uk

Nemo Moonlite Reclining Chair

Price: From £150
Weight: 850g
Material: Forged aluminium hubs and tubes, 100% recycled mesh fabric
Max. Load: 136 kg

Another eco-friendly favourite, the Nemo Moonlite reclining chair is much lighter option than the Vango if a lightweight kit is your priority. 100% post-consumer recycled materials are used here for the webbing and there’s a bluesign approved mesh seat.  

It also has an adjustable seating position for optimal leaning, made possible by oversized tubing and forged aluminium hubs for strength and stability. The recycled mesh is also engineered to stretch and accommodate this reclining, whilst supporting a variety of body types. The seat attaches to y-moulded, ball and socket connectors that rotate and align with your body, so comfort is not sacrificed by weightlessness, though it is on the pricier side.

Full Specifications

Assembled length, width & height: 52 x 51 x 65cm / packed length, width & height: 10 x 10 x 35cm/ 100% recycled fabric/ lightest chair with legs: 850g.

Get the latest price at:
nemo.equipment.com

Sea To Summit Air Chair

Price: £45
Weight:
230 g

Material: Fibreglass poles, Nylon fabric
Max. Load: N/A as on ground

As the lightest option (without legs), the Sea to Summit Air Chair is a hybrid sleeping mat and chair that keeps minimalism and multi-functionality at the fore.  It has a 70-denier base with 2000mm hydrostatic head protection, as well as nylon panels covering the base, to protect your mat from rough or wet ground. The elasticated gussets sewn into the sides, and abrasion resistant Ultra-Sil fabric, also act as a further protection against the risks of being seated directly on the ground. This fabric is used on the back panel and strap anchors, allowing you to lean back into a reclining position without fear of breakage. 

This is a great option for multi-day adventuring or wild camping, if really getting stuck in (or on) nature is your thing. Perhaps not if you’re planning on spending most of your time at your campsite though.  

Though it’s made to fit all Sea to Summit air mats, famed for their cosiness, the air chair set-up can also fit other brands of air mats, though make sure to check measurements and try it out beforehand. For more info on sleeping mats, check out our best sleeping mats including the Sea to Summit Comfort Light.

Full Specifications

Dimensions are mat-dependent  / regular weight: 230g / large weight: 280g/ lightest chair without legs: 230g.

Get the latest price at:
webtogs.com

Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair

Price: From £215
Weight:
3.23 kg
Material: Aircraft grade aluminium suspension frame, Non-absorbent monofilament mesh
Max. Load: 136 kg

Though the priciest on our list, its concept is probably the coolest. As the name suggests, it’s made with stargazing in mind, so has built-in rocking and reclining abilities. It’s kind of a hammock, rocking chair, and camping chair, all in one. With a supportive headrest, and a breezy non-absorbent monofilament mesh, the seat itself resists bacteria by not retaining moisture, whilst also withstanding sun exposure. This additionally makes for a breathable and comfy fabric.  

Its design accommodates every type of surface, even when you are swinging. This is due to its aircraft grade aluminium frame, and unique pole set-up (anodized pole exterior and red ferrule interior), making for precise pole connections and greater stability on precarious terrain.  

Though its set-up is supposed to be done in 3 easy steps, it’s a bit fiddlier and more time-consuming than most camping chair set-ups. This, coupled with its weight, means it’s not a backpacking chair, though can be stashed away easily in a car or in your campsite. Coined a ‘fireside favourite’, it’s quite the luxury item.

Full Specifications

Assembled length, width & height: 68 x 92 x 112cm / packed length, width & height: 60 x 17 x 17cm/ swings and reclines.

Get the latest price at:
nemoequipment.com

 

Robens Pathfinder Lite Camping Chair

Price: £64
Weight:
915g
Material: Polyester mesh fabric, Aluminium frame
Max. Load: 120kg 

Similar in design to the Helinox Chair Zero, the Robens Pathfinder Lite is a key rival in terms of value for money. Made with a 420-denier, ripstop polyestermesh fabric, it makes for a tough, weatherproof chair, without the added weight. The mesh panels also add to its breathability and increased back support, though it’s a low-ground chair so not for exceptionally tall backs.  

With an all-in-one assembling frame, its construction time is minimal, much like its pack size which you can literally carry in one hand. The carry bag also attaches nicely to the bottom of the frame making for a handy organiser at your campsite. Likewise at the foot of the frame are fitted rubber feet for durability and extra grip on the ground, though watch not to lose them as they are removable.  

Full Specifications 

Assembled length, width & height: 49 x 48 x 68cm / packed length, width & height: 32 x 12 x 9cm.

Get the latest price at:
robens.de

Kelty Low Loveseat

Price: From £89
Weight:
6.8kg
Material: Steel frame, 600-denier polyester fabric
Max. Load: 181.4 kg

As a two-seater camping chair, the Kelty Low Loveseat is perfect for a two-person holiday, or as an extra seat for a canine companion. It’s fitted with two insulated adjustable cup holders, with mesh bottoms for easy cleaning, so is built with relaxing at your campsite in mind. That being said, there’s a bar in between the two seats, so it’s not ideal for lying across.  

With a slight recline, extra padding, and adjustable arm rests for different heights, it nevertheless retains big comfort points. It’s also very wide and roomy for optimal lounging and sinking capabilities 

At 6.8kg, it’s pretty heavy so is better left at your campsite, though it folds up accordion-style like a traditional camping chair so can be packed away discreetly. Check out their website for some excellent pics of dogs in their camping elements. 

Related: Best Two Person Tents For Hiking

Full Specifications

Seat height: 34cm / seat width: 112cm / 34cm above ground / packed length, width & height: 88 x 28 x 28cm/ two-person seat.

Get the latest price at:
kelty.com

 

Quechua Extremely Comfortable Reclining Chair

Price: £35
Weight:
4.85kg
Material: Polyester fabric, 40% aluminium 40% steel 20% polypropylene frame
Max. Load: 110kg

The Quechua Reclining Chair is another heavy-duty option with optimum comfort and back supportDesigned with campsite comforts in mind rather than portability, it has a cushioned headrest, two armrests, an adjustable recliner, and a ventilated back for supreme breathability. 

 

Full Specifications

Seat height: 44cm /  dimensions: 86 x 58 x 10 cm / hand-wash / reclining and foldable.

Get the latest price at:
decathlon.co.uk

Snow Peak Low Beach Folding Chair

Price: £250
Weight:
3.5kg
Material: Bamboo, Aluminium, Canvas, Stainless Steel
Max. Load: 113kg

The Snow Peak Low Beach Folding Chair is perhaps the most traditional option here in our camping chair round up. With natural wood used as armrests, and a hard-wearing rugged cotton canvas seat, it’s very old school in its design, though progressive in its performance. Considering the materials used, it’s actually fairly lightweight for its style, and can be fitted easily into the nylon carry bag.  

It’s definitely for people who prefer the non-plasticky look, whilst also craving versatility it would suit your home garden just as much as a campsite so has bonus points for multi-functionality. There is also a neat little mesh pocket at the back as a storage option. Easily collapsible, with sturdy legs and feet; it’s very much a premium take on a traditional camping chair.  

Full Specifications

Assembled length, width & height: 82.3 x 54.9 x 66cm / bamboo armrests/ foldable.

Get the latest price at:
blackleaf.com

Therm-a-rest Trekker Chair

Price: £35
Weight:
290g
Material: Ultralight nylon, Fibreglass poles, 75-denier ripstop polyester
Max. Load: 136 kg (more in terms of leaning)

As the cheapest option in this list, the Therm-a-rest Trekker chair is another hybrid mattress/ chair sleeveIt can fit any 20-inch Thermarest mattress, with elastic sleeve edges that stretch to fit both Therm-a-rest NeoAir and other lightweight inflatable pads. Your comfort level is therefore very much dependent on which sleeping mat you choose.

The sleeve is made from 75-denier ripstop polyester to help protect against various types of terrain, from damp forest floors to rougher, rockier grounds. Furthermore, the ultralight nylon and fibreglass poles make for an unbelievably light chair which packs up very tactfully. 

Full Specifications

20 inch and 25 inch options/ assembled length, width & height: 114 x 51 x 10cm (add 5 inches for larger option) / cheapest: £34.29.

Get the latest price at:
webtogs.com

 

Main Photo: Kelty

 

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