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Best camping chair: for multi day expeditions, epic camping holidays, festival fun and fishing trips

best camping chair
(Image credit: Getty)

Bag yourself one of the best camping chairs and open up a whole new world of comfort. Whether you’re taking it easy at a festival, resting your weary limbs after a long day on the trails, telling stories around the campfire or cosying up with your partner, a good seat can add that much needed bit of luxury to any trip.

We don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the best camping chairs can change your outdoor life. If you’ve never taken one camping before, give them a try – you’ll be astonished at how comfy they make things, letting you sit off the cold ground when you’re cooking up a treat on your best camping stove, eating and or just making every evening at camp a social occasion.

best camping chair

There’s nothing like settling into a comfortable chair after an adventure in the great outdoors (Image credit: Getty)

Just for you, we’ve parked our discerning posteriors onto the crème de la crème of the best camping chairs. From lightweight expedition stools that pack neatly into your hiking backpack to comfortable thrones ideal for BBQs, festivals and camping trips, we’ve left no chair unfolded.

We love the comfort of the innovative Outwell Kentucky Lake, the spacious, two-person Kelty Low Loveseat and the wild camping potential of the ultralight Helinox Chair Zero. Consider what you’ll use your camping chair for and enjoy our selection of the very best…

The best camping chairs for comfort

best camping chair

(Image credit: Nemo)

Nemo Equipment Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair

A reclining fireside throne for leaning back, relaxing and watching the moonrise

RRP: $220 (US) / £230 (UK) / €250 (EU) | Weight: 3.23kg/7lb 2oz | Size: 68 x 92 x 112cm / 27 x 36 x 44in | Pack size: 60 x 17 x 17cm / 23.5 x 6.5 x 6.5in | Capacity: 136kg / 300lb | Colors: Sedona | Compatibility: Star gazing, car camping, picnics and backyard sleepouts

Pioneering design that reclines and swings
Headrest support
Robust materials, including aircraft-grade aluminium frame
Pole insertion points are tight
No footrest option
Pricey

Most of the best camping chairs confine you to a single position, which is fine for a many scenarios (while eating for example) – but the Stargazer lets you lay back and relax when you want to gaze up at the sky and watch the stars appear. A fine-tuned and well-engineered frame-and-pulley system allows you to recline and swing in rhythm with your thoughts and surroundings. An integrated headrest removable pillow and padded arms and leg rests further invite you to lean back and sway with the wind. 

Set-up is a three-step process that takes less than one minute, and the aircraft-grade aluminium flexes while you swing. Feature rich and relatively light, the Stargazer is a portable and luxurious lounging throne for campers, hikers, sports enthusiasts, picnickers and garden dwellers. With handy pockets for a water bottle/beer, book, smartphone, snacks and much more, there’s little reason to get out of this in a hurry, it's one of the best camping chairs out there.

best camping chair

(Image credit: GCI Outdoors)

GCI Outdoors MaxRelax Pod Rocker

A rockin’ way to relax

RRP: $80 (US) / £ (UK) | Weight: 5.2kg/11lb 4oz | Size (WxDxH): 76 x 72 x 88cm / 30 x 28.2 x 34.7in | Pack size: 102 x 2.5 x 2cm / 40 x 6.5 x 5.5in | Seat height: 51cm/20.1in | Capacity: 113kg / 250lb | Colors: Red / Blue | Compatibility: Car camping, picnics and backyard sleepouts

Spring loaded shocks support rocking
Padding adds comfort
Limited lifetime warranty
No stuff sack
Heavier than some competitive models

Why sit still when a rocking chair offers so much more pleasure? The MaxRelax Pod Rocker uses patented ‘Spring-Action Rocking Technology’ to supply a smooth, consistent rocking motion when you are sat outside staring up at the stars or into the campfire. Soft, quilted fabric on the sling style seat adds another level of comfort to the rocker. For convenience, there’s the expected cup holder and the more unexpected smartphone pocket. The Pod Rocker doesn’t come with a stuff sack, but one strap for carrying and another to keep the folded legs organized makes transport trouble-free.

best camping chair

(Image credit: YETI)

Yeti Trailhead

A sturdy, comfortable throne for campfire conversations

RRP: $300 (US) / £300 (UK) | Weight: kg /13lb 3oz | Size (WxDxH): 63.5 x 76 x 91.5cm / 25 x 30 x 36in | Pack size: 109 x 23 x 30.5cm / 43 x 9 x 12in | Seat height: 42cm/16.5in | Capacity: 225kg/500lb | Colors: Navy / Charcoal | Compatibility: Car camping and backyard barbeques

UV fabric protection
Fast set-up and take-down
Wide feet for stability
Heavy
Expensive

Yeti brings its reputation for bombproof coolers to the best camping chair market. The Trailhead is rugged, durable and – to be honest – a bit heavy. For that trade-off, comfort is king. The crossover frame makes set-up and take-down effortless. Color-coded tensioners on the back and arms lock into place for stability. This chair doesn’t wobble or tilt one bit. 

Wide feet on the bottom of the legs keep you grounded, even on slightly unlevel terrain. Comfortable for hours of campfire debates, the fabric is UV rated to prevent fading over time. This is a camping throne best used when you don’t have to carry the chair very far, but once the Trailhead is set-up you won’t want to leave. Just sit back, relax and watch the sun set and the stars come out to play.

Best camping chairs

(Image credit: Kelty)

Kelty Low Loveseat

This sturdy and comfortable love seat is among the best camping chairs for two cuddly campers

RRP: $110 (US) / £89.75 (UK) | Weight: 7.12kg /15lb 6oz | Pack size: 60 x 112 x 80 cm / 34.5x11x11in | Seat Height: 34cm / 13.5in | Capacity: 181kg / 400lb | Colours: Deep lake / canyon brown / tapestry / Grey / black | Compatibility: Great for camping as a couple or for sitting with mates around a campfire

Supremely comfortable
Versatile for garden and party use
Great quality
Hard to get in and out of
Heavy and bulky

We weren’t sure we saw the point of two-person ‘loveseat’ camping chairs – until we tried Kelty’s Low model, definitely the best camping chair of its type. We’ve been testing the Low Loveseat out for over a year now, and it’s come along on every camping trip and been trotted out for every BBQ. There’s plenty of room for two people (you don’t need to be a couple to use it – as Kelty attest, there’s loads of space for ‘two people and the dog’) and it also supports solo sitters. The wide padded polyester fabric is super comfortable, dries quickly and doesn’t show dirt, and like the alloy steel frame, looks and feels like great long-lasting quality. 

Wide feet make the Loveseat sturdy and unsinkable on any surface – we’ve even used it on the beach with no issue. As the name hints, the Low Loveseat has short legs and sits close to the ground (34cm/13.5in), making it nigh-on impossible to get up from it without looking rather ungainly – not ideal if you have reduced mobility. There is a taller version available for a similar price, but what you gain in height you lose in stability. The Low Loveseat folds up in seconds and fits easily into its sturdy carry case. If you’d rather go for a one-person version, try the Kelty Lowdown chair ($55/£49.50).

Best camping chairs

(Image credit: Coleman)

Coleman Deck Chair

A handy folding table and easy transportation and storage make this a great choice for comfortable car camping

RRP: $ (US) / £70 (UK) | Weight: 3.46kg /7lb 10oz | Size (WxDxH): 62 x 55 x 78cm / 24.5 x 21.6 x 30.7in | Pack size: 13x55x78cm / 5x22x30in | Capacity: 113kg / 249lb | Colours: Grey / black | Compatibility: Perfect for picnics and car camping trips of all durations

Side table
Portable
Comfortable
Looks dirty fast

Keep your camping drinks and snacks on hand with Coleman’s comfy director-style chair – the handy side table means you don’t need to bring a separate folding camp table with you. We like the curved arms and wide supportive back panel of this model, which only weighs 3.5kg but can still take up to 113kg of weight. A smaller weight and size makes the Deck ideal for popping into motorhome storage space and car boots when you’re on the go. 

Top marks for easy transportation, too – the chair folds up in seconds, and two built-in straps mean you can carry the Deck chair without needing to stick it in an easy-to-misplace carry bag. The aluminium legs are connected, so you won’t sink into soft ground. The chair’s coated polyester material is easy to wipe clean but we’d still have preferred a darker colour to this light khaki, which does look dirty quickly. However, if you want to kick back and do your best Tarantino or Spielberg impression, this is the best camping chair for the job.

Best camping chairs

(Image credit: Outwell)

Outwell Kentucky Lake

This moon-style chair is supremely comfortable, but only suitable for longer camping trips due to its weight

RRP: £105 (UK) | Weight: 8.1kg /18lb | Size (WxDxH): 104 x 70 x 94cm / 41 x 28 x 37in | Seat Height: 43cm / 17in | Pack size: 30 x 35 x 105 cm / 12 x 14 x 41in | Capacity: 120kg / 265lb | Colours: Grey / green / red / blue | Compatibility: Save the Kentucky Lake for longer camping holidays or use it as a patio chair

Lovely design
Super comfortable
Folds up in seconds
Heavy

Ever heard of a papasan chair? Also known as a moon chair, these round cushioned designs are as comfy and inviting as they look. They translate well as folding camping chairs, and our top pick if you want to go for a portable moon is Outwell’s Kentucky Lake. Made with a steel frame, it will hold pretty much anyone’s weight, and a thick, padded circular cushion is lovely for lounging around in. We also like the adjustable and removable headrest, which makes the Kentucky Lake comfy for reading. 

There’s one downside here – the hefty weight and bulk of the chair, which means it’s only really suitable for larger car boots and longer camping or glamping holidays where you’re setting up in one spot. That said, the Kentucky Lake is also brilliant set up in the garden all summer long, and wouldn’t even look out of place in your sitting room. Extra features include a mesh pocket on back of the chair and a carry bag. For comfort, it's up with the very best camping chairs.

The best camping chairs for lightweight adventures

best camping chair

(Image credit: Big Agnes)

Big Agnes Big Six Armchair

A light, portable and comfortable pew

RRP: $200 (US) / £130 (UK) | Weight: 1.87kg / 4lb 2oz | Size: 101.5 x 61 x 66cm / 40 x 24 x 26in | Pack size: 56 x 13 x 15cm / 22 x 5 x 6in | Seat height: 51cm/20in | Capacity: 136kg / 300lb | Colors: Asphalt Gray & Blue / Lichen pattern / Blue & gray / Brown trout pattern | Compatibility: Overnight hikes if you’re feeling strong, climbing crags, car camping, picnics and backyard sleepouts

Lightweight aluminium pole system
Cup holders
Funky colorways available
Set-up can take longer than similar models
Slightly too bulky for backpacking
Pricey

There is usually a trade-off in camp chair design, and saving weight often means some sacrifice in comfort. The Big Six has no truck with compromise – it’s comfy and light (although it’s a bit bulky to take backpacking). A tall back and wide seat cradle your body and, as a new feature for this chair, cup holders on each arm keep your favorite beverages close at hand – perfect for oft-forgotten left-handed drinkers (and those thirsty types who like to have two drinks on the go, or one for now and one lined up for later).

The Big Six boasts a patented hub-less frame construction, color-coded shock cord poles and a self-adjusting center pole creates a stable platform on uneven terrain. It packs small, with a stuff sack included. Durable fabrics and lightweight aircraft aluminium poles stand up to a busy season outside. Some of the vivid patterns used are inspired by the flora and fauna of Routt County, Colorado, home of Big Agnes Mountain. 

Also, this is one of the best camping chair purchases for giving back, as a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each these chairs goes to supporting the Continental Divide Trail Coalition and the Yampa River Fund.

best camping chair

(Image credit: ALPS Mountaineering)

ALPS Mountaineering Simmer Chair

Solid, sturdy, backpack-worthy way to watch the world go by

RRP: $50 (US) / £50 (UK) | Weight: 2kg/4lb 6oz | Size (WxDxH): 63.5 x 58.5 x 67cm / 25 x 23 x 26.5in | Pack size: 15 x 10 x 44.5cm / 6 x 4 x 17.5in | Seat height: 30.5cm / 12in | Capacity: 125kg/275lb | Colors: Salsa/Charcoal, Citrus/Charcoal Compatibility:** Car camping, picnics and backyard sleepouts

Good price
Mesh fabric keeps you cool
Sturdy steel frame
Compact folding design
Low to the ground for taller users
Best suited for flat ground
Bit bulky for real backpacking

This is a lightweight, comfortable and easily collapsible camp chair that’s light enough to carry in your pack for some overnight adventures, although the packed size does mean it’s a little long for carting on big backpacking trips. However, add the Simmer chair to your gear list and you will be rewarded with a comfortable place to rest whatever kind of camping you enjoy. Compact, with a rugged powder-coated steel frame, the nylon mesh seat fabric keeps you cool, no matter how hot the sun gets. Deep pole pockets at each corner create a solid fit for the chair frame. 

For some older and/or taller users, the-close-to-the ground seat might be a bit challenging to get up out of. One of the smart features we really liked about the Simmer Chair is that the carry bag (which is, of course, included) can be attached to the legs of the chair for use as a zippered accessory pocket.

Best camping chairs

(Image credit: Henilox)

Helinox Chair Zero

Our top pick for wild camping, the light-as-a-feather Chair Zero takes up as much space as a water bottle

RRP: $120 (US) / £107 (UK) | Weight: 510kg /1lb 2oz | Size (WxDxH): 48 x 52 x 64cm / 18.5 x 20 x 25in | Pack size: 35x10x10cm / 14x4x4in | Capacity: 120kg/265lb | Colours: Grey / black | Compatibility: Perfect for backpacking and cycling adventures where space is at a premium

Lightweight
Super compact
Free seat warmer
Feet do sink on soft ground
Relatively expensive

After a portable mini chair for lightweight adventures? Look no further than the Helinox Zero, possibly the best camping chair for backpacking. It may look and feel like your standard comfortable camping chair, but this clever design is lightweight and packs down small enough to fit in the side pocket of a backpack, or into a small daysack. It may be compact but it feels very strong and solid, made with ripstop polyester and aluminium poles, and can support up to 120kg. It’s also surprisingly comfortable even though it’s so low to the ground, and hugs your back nicely and supports most of your body even if you’re tall. 

The Zero currently comes with a free removable padded seat warmer, which you can leave behind if space is at a premium but which definitely makes the minimalist nylon bucket seat comfier and warmer if you do use it. This chair has a three-digit price tag, but we’d argue it’s well worth it if you’re often exploring off the beaten track.

Best camping chairs

(Image credit: Alpkit)

Alpkit Vagabond

This lightweight, simple and affordable bucket-style design is one of the best camping chairs for shorter trips

RRP: £30 (UK) | Weight: 1kg/2lb 3.2oz | Pack size: 34x11x11cm / 13x4x4in | Colours: Grey | Compatibility: Great for weekend trips and no-frills camping

Easy to pack away
Comfy bucket design
Quick to assemble
Sinks into soft ground
Not quite compact enough to fit in a rucksack

Bucket-style chairs are a great choice if you don’t want to feel weighed down by bulky camping kit, and are ideal for quick overnighters as well as day trips and festivals. Alpkit’s Vagabond is one of the lightest bucket chairs we tested at under 1kg, but despite looking dinky it takes campers of all shapes and sizes easily, and feels reassuringly solid. It doesn’t fold up quite as small as some of the other bucket chairs we tested, such as the Helinox Zero, but it will still fit in a larger backpack. We liked the tough fabric and the mesh panels, which are great for keeping you cool in the dog days of summer. The Vagabond doesn’t pop into shape instantly, but assembly is quick and easy. The only downside is that the slim feet do sink into soft muddy ground or sand, so it’s only really suitable for harder surfaces. The Vagabond’s low height is great if you’re cooking on a stove that’s perched on the floor, or you could make things easier with a table – Alpkit also make an easy to assemble low Vagabond camping table to match their chair.

Best camping chairs

(Image credit: Hi-Gear)

Hi-Gear Inflatable Pod Chair

This comfy, lightweight inflatable seat is a little bit different – and great fun for kids

RRP: £25 (UK) | Weight: 1.44kg /3lb 3oz | Inflated size: 105 x 98 x 76cm / 41 x 38.5 x 30in | Capacity: 100kg / 220lb | Colours: Green | Compatibility: Adds extra comfort to family summer camping holidays, and easy to transport in smaller cars

Easy to pack away
Lightweight
Can puncture
Pump not included
Not as hardy as a traditional chair

Remember when the ultimate in teenage bedroom furniture was an inflatable bubble chair? Get a slice of that ’90s nostalgia for your camping setup with Hi-Gear’s inflatable Pod chair. Ok, so it isn’t practical for more adventurous camping (or indeed, for camping anywhere but on grass and other forgiving surfaces) but it’s great fun, and surprisingly comfortable for lounging around on for children and adults alike. You’ll need a pump to inflate the Pod, which isn’t included, but once blown up it holds its shape well. Plus, deflating the Pod and rolling it up into a slim tube makes it easy to pack away, and at 1.4kg it doesn’t add much weight to your camping set-up. The soft-flocked surface feels nice against bare skin, unlike the plastic chairs of yore, and the Pod will easily support anyone weighing up to 100kg, although you do end up very low to the ground. Great for festivals and perfect for free-ranging kids, who will love sitting on (and playing with) these squashy chairs.

The best camping chairs for value

Best camping chairs

(Image credit: Quechua)

Quechua Low

Decathlon’s bucket chair is ideal for fast-paced adventures – and brilliant for those on a budget

RRP: $25 (US) / £25 (UK) | Weight: 1kg /2lb 3oz | Seat Height: 25cm / 9.8in | Pack size: 38 x 12 x 8 cm / 15 x 5 x 3in | Capacity: 110kg / 242lb | Colours: Grey/Dark petrol blue/Plum/Caribbean blue | Compatibility: Small, light and portable, perfect for wild camping, cycling and hiking

Compact
Good value for money
Fiddly to assemble at first
Some sinking

In the market for a lightweight bucket chair but don’t want to splash too much cash? Decathlon, purveyors of affordable and functional camping kit, have come through yet again with this low folding camping chair, which at just 1kg is great for wild camping, weekend camping and bike packing. This little chair packs down very small indeed – we even managed to squeeze the pack into a water bottle pocket – which is perfect for multi-day hikes or for popping in your pannier for a pit stop on longer cycle rides. You’ll need to assemble the chair when you need it, which we found a faff to figure out on our first attempt as no instructions are included, but it does only take a minute or two once you get the hang of it. Like with all the smaller chairs we tested, there’s some sinking if you’re on soft ground (a pity, as wider ski pole-style basket tips would help stop this). The Low Chair doesn’t feel as strong and sturdy to sit in as some of its best camping chair peers (the Helinox Chair Zero, for example, which it otherwise resembles), but then again it does cost a fraction of the price, and it’s definitely comfy for stopping for a cuppa or stirring your evening meal.

What to look for when buying the best camping chairs

A camping chair has the be the most essential luxury item on anyone's camping checklist. Not only will the best camping chairs improve your average camping weekend, but they should last you for decades of trips, BBQs, garden parties and festivals too. Whether you're camping with kids or embarking on an epic thru hike, or just indulging in a bit of nature watching with your binoculars, you'll be glad of the purchase.

An important purchase consideration is the way each chair designer creates a stable platform. Some of the best camping chairs are simple tripod designs, inspired by tent pole structures, while others are more complicated systems with clips and side braces to keep a heavier user stable. 

Finally, an often-overlooked decision point is seat height. In general, lighter weight models, ideal for backpacking adventures, put you closer to the ground (and for some users, this means getting up can be challenging).

There are all kinds of designs on the market aimed at different users – our buying guide below explains exactly what key features to look for in a well-made chair.

best camping chair

Camping chairs designed for backpacking are often low to the ground (Image credit: Getty)

Weight and size

Have a think about where and how you plan to use your new camping chair before you invest. If you’re going wild camping or usually only camp for a weekend at a time, small, lightweight models such as camping stools and bucket chairs that can fit into or strap onto your backpack, along with your one-person tent or bivvy, are your best bet. 

If your idea of a good camping holiday is full bells and whistles for two weeks, staying in a posh glamping tent or a plush campervan, you can afford to pick larger but heavier recliner chairs that are big on comfort. Don’t forget to consider how you’ll transport your new chairs – once folded, they need to fit easily into your car boot as well as in the storage space you’ll be keeping them in when you aren’t camping. 

Most brands list the weight and pack size of their chairs, so it’s easy to compare. If you want to carry a chair in your backpack for any reasonable distance, we recommend choosing a model weighing around 1kg.

best camping chairs

Everyone can sit in comfort on a family holiday with a set of camping chairs (Image credit: Getty)

Design

Just like in Goldilocks, there’s a best camping chair out there designed to suit your preferences. The style of folding chair you go for – deckchair, director’s chair, recliner, stool or even round moon chair – is up to you. Romantic getaway? There are also 2-person sofa-style seats, which are lovely for getting cosy around a campfire. Even the cheapest chair will usually support up to 90kg of weight, but if you weigh more it’s a good idea to pick a sturdy, well-made model over a cheaper number. 

When it comes to getting the very best camping chair, we do recommend spending as much as you can afford to on a quality design, as they’ll last you longer – some are so well-made and attractive that they work as patio furniture or even as spare indoor chairs, which makes more expensive models worth the investment if you can use them year-round. 

If you plan to use your chairs to eat around a table, make sure they sit at the right height. Many portable camping chairs tend to be low to the ground – if you’d find that a struggle to get in and out of, make sure you choose a model that’s as tall as the chairs you find comfortable at home.

best camping chairs

Make sure your camping chair's height is right for your purposes (Image credit: Getty)

Features

Whatever kind of chair you go for, there are some key factors to keep in mind. The best camping chairs are lightweight but sturdy, easy to fold down to stow away and made with tough materials. We’d recommend picking a chair built with a water-resistant material such as textaline or a rip-stop nylon, both of which are long-lasting. Look for sturdy aluminium legs, which have a good weight to strength ratio, or steel. 

Any extra gadgets and gizmos after that are designed to make your life easier and comfier – some chairs have head rests, arm rests, cup holders and mesh compartments for holding your beverages or storing your camping tech. We would also recommend picking chairs with their own carry bags, as these are useful if you’re popping the chairs away in the garage for the winter and for carrying in and out of campsites or festivals with ease.