Best Camping Chairs: Max Relax While Camping

person in camping chair


Whether your camping day is filled with hiking, fishing, swimming, or cooking elaborate Dutch oven meals, make sure to plan your next trip to include the best camping chair for you to kick back around the campfire at the end of each day. Gear like trekking poles and camping chairs help make the hard work of hiking more comfortable. Every good adventure should have a balance between activities that keep us active and fit and a healthy dose of rest and relaxation.

It's easy to think of the classic quad folding camp chairs of our youth as an institution, but innovation in form and function has brought us to a new generation of fireside repose. These modern chairs are such a delight, you'll have them doing double duty as lawn chairs when you get back from your trip.

Once you've packed your new favorite chair and the rest of your camping gear, make sure to check out these camping etiquette rules to keep our camping trips fun and relaxing for future trips and future campers.

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The Best Camping Chairs - Our Top Picks

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What to Look for in a Camping Chair

Size

When choosing a camp chair for your body, dimensions are key! Some, like the Big Kahuna, are known for being roomy. Others, like the Helinox Zero High Back chair, take pride in how compact and portable they are. Not every chair is a perfect fit for everybody, so keep that in mind. The seat height is also an important factor. The low-slung Lounger DL Camp Chair is meant to sit more like a hammock, so you'll be hanging close to the earth in that one. If you're extra tall or have stiff knees, you may want to aim for something that sits a bit higher. We also recommend that you keep the contour of the chair in mind for a more personalized fit.

A classic quad-folding camp chair has some give in the seat, which allows you to sink in a little like you're sitting on a couch. Our list has chairs in a range of sizes and shapes, from the relaxed Nemo Stargazer to the structured Balsam Zero Gravity chair and the GCI Freestyle Rocker, so you can determine which will suit your camping needs.

Fabric

Many of the best camp chairs are made of polyester fabric. Polyester is durable, quick-drying, and used widely in the industry. The denier of the fabric refers to the density of fibers. The higher the denier, the denser and more durable the fabric will be. A lower number will likely be smoother to the touch and lighter weight.

Another fabric choice is nylon or ripstop nylon. Because nylon is a thinner, lighter option than polyester, using a ripstop variety helps improve the durability of the chair. If a small hole or tear occurs in the fabric, the ripstop technology will keep the tear from ripping further.

Several of the chairs we've chosen include a nylon mesh seat backing for greater airflow. Solid nylon and polyester are not particularly breathable fabrics, so we recommend the mesh backing for hotter conditions.

Setup

When it comes to setting up your camp chair, often the easier the better. The basic quad-fold camp chair has hung around for so long largely because of how easy it is to just unfold and sit down. It is equally as simple to fold and stuff back into its long, cylindrical carry case. A fold-flat chair is a great option for an easy setup, as well. They're simple to open and close, but they are often clumsier to carry and transport. A bit of engineering can create a much more luxurious sitting experience but may come at the cost of longer, multi-step setup and take-down processes.

Best Overall - Nemo Stargaze Luxury Recliner

Stargaze Luxury Recliner

SPECS

  • Size: Open - 27" x 36" x 44", closed - 23.5" x 6.5" x 6.5"
  • Seat height: 16"
  • Weight: 7 lbs. 2 oz.
  • Max weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Material: Aircraft-grade aluminum and water-resistant nylon mesh
  • Setup: Multi-step assembly
  • Pockets: Small stash pocket
  • Cupholders: 1 no-spill cupholder
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Special features: Auto-reclining mechanism, adjustable headrest

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The Nemo Stargaze Luxury Recliner is engineered for comfort and stability. Built to swing and recline, you have options in this chair. A built-in pillow and auto-reclining mechanism is quite a luxurious upgrade from craning your neck to watch the night sky from a regular camp chair. Other rocking chairs can be finicky on rocky, sandy, or uneven ground, but not the Stargaze Recliner—it's designed for all surfaces. Its flexible aluminum frame offers a comfortable give as you swing.

PROS

  • Designed for use on rocky, sandy, or uneven ground
  • Intuitive 3-step setup
  • Handy carry case with enough space for phone and keys
  • Flexible frame allows for dynamic swinging motion

CONS

  • Less comfortable for taller users (over 6')
  • Would be better paired with some type of foot rest

BUY: Nemo Stargaze Luxury Recliner

Most Comfortable - Balsam Zero Gravity Chair

Balsam Zero Gravity Chair

SPECS

  • Size: Open - 24.8" x 21.25" x 20.86" x 46.45", closed - 32.08" x 4.92" x 38.97"
  • Weight: 20.9 lbs.
  • Max weight capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Material: Powder-coated steel frame with PVC coating and 600-denier polyester fabric
  • Setup: Fold flat
  • Pockets: No pockets
  • Cupholders: 1 large cupholder
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Special features: Adjustable headrest, breathable material, sturdy steel frame, bungee suspension system, reclining option with ergonomic armrests

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A day spent on the Balsam Zero Gravity chair is like resting on a cloud. The bungee suspension system has just the right amount of give and support. You'll want to keep this chair set up at home all the time rather than breaking it out only at camp. Adjust the headrest to fit and I dare you not to fall asleep.

PROS

  • Fully reclines to a "true" zero gravity position
  • Wide and deep seat
  • Ergonomic design supports full-body relaxation

CONS

  • Heavy and bulky to move around
  • Difficult to fold and put away

BUY: Balsam Zero Gravity Chair

Best Rocking Chair - GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker

SPECS

  • Size: Open - 25"W x 24"D x 34.8"H, closed - 4.9"W x 25"D x 34.8"H
  • Seat height: 19.7"
  • Weight:12 lbs.
  • Max weight capacity:250 lbs.
  • Material: Powder-coa ted steel frame and polyester seat with nylon mesh backrest
  • Setup: Fold flat
  • Pockets: None
  • Cupholders: 1 cupholder
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty—must be registered with GCI Product Owners' Database
  • Special features: Patented Spring-Action Rocking Technology™

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The GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker uses patented Spring-Action Rocking Technology™ to ensure a smooth, easy glide on almost any outdoor surface. The padded armrests, cupholder, and soothing rocking action combine for a comfortable respite. A mesh backrest will prevent you from overheating in this chair. When you're ready to go, just fold it flat and grab it by the built-in handle and head to your next campsite.

PROS

  • Mesh seat-back for ventilation
  • Patented Eazy-Fold technology for easy setup and folding away
  • Light-weight with built-in handle for one-handed carrying

CONS

  • Seat is very upright
  • Flimsy cupholder

BUY: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker

Best Lightweight - Helinox Chair Zero High Back

Helinox Chair Zero High Back

SPECS

  • Size: Open - 32.5"H x 19.5"W x 21.5"L, closed - 5"H x 5"W x 16"L
  • Seat height: 8.5"
  • Weight: 1 lb. 8 oz.
  • Max weight capacity: 265 lbs.
  • Material: High-tech aluminum alloy and fiber-reinforced Nylon 66
  • Setup: Multi-step assembly
  • Pockets: None
  • Cupholders: None
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Special features: /strong> Ultralight components and small pack size

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Designed with the backcountry in mind, the Helinox Zero High Back Chair is ultralight comfort. Weighing in at a pound and a half, this chair can be added to a hiking backpack, bikepacking, or kayaking kit without blowing the weight budget. The high-back version offers additional support and comfort over the original Helinox Zero chair while still packing down to the size of a water bottle. We have named it the best lightweight camp chair for its unbeatable comfort per ounce.

PROS

  • Packs light and small for use in the backcountry
  • Extra shoulder and neck support
  • Easy, quick, and intuitive setup and take-down

CONS

  • Very low to the ground
  • Can be wobbly on uneven ground due to small frame

BUY: Helinox Chair Zero High Back

Best Foldable - Eno Lounger DL Camp Chair

Lounger DL Camp Chair

SPECS

  • Size: Open - 37" x 32" x 23", closed - 18" x 6"
  • Seat height: Adjustable options: 10" and 3"
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 10 oz.
  • Max weight capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Material: Aluminum alloy and 210-denier ripstop nylon
  • Setup: Multi-step assembly
  • Pockets: 2 cargo pockets
  • Cupholders: 1
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Special features:Hammock-style seat

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If you ever wished that a chair was a hammock, the Eno Lounger is that chair. Designed by hammock-makers, it brings all the comfort of a low swing and being cradled by fabric to a more upright position that's a bit easier to get in and out of. With a built-in pillow and cupholder, you won't even want to sleep in the tent. The Lounger comes in a variety of bright and pastel color combinations and will be the envy of your campmates.

PROS

  • Super comfortable hammock-style swing seat
  • Built-in pillow headrest
  • Durable, sturdy frame for stability

CONS

  • Difficult to sit upright in
  • Awkward to disassemble and fit back into stuff sack

BUY: Eno Lounger DL Camp Chair

Best Budget - Alps Mountaineering Big C.A.T. Camp Chair

Big Kat Camp Chair

SPECS

  • Size: Open - 31" x 17" x 36", closed - 7" x 7" x 38"
  • Seat height: 17"
  • Weight: 11 lbs.
  • Max weight capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Material: Powder-coated steel frame and 600-denier polyester
  • Setup: Quad-fold
  • Pockets: None
  • Cupholders: 2
  • Warranty: Lifetime limited warranty
  • Special features: Grommet adjustable arm rests

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Coming in at well under $100, the Big C.A.T. Camp Chair takes the basic quad-folding design and gives it an upgrade. The grommeted armrests can be adjusted based on your height and each has a cupholder so you can have your choice of beverages handy. It folds neatly into a carry bag and its durability and weight capacity outmatch many others in the running.

PROS

  • Easy setup and take-down
  • Durable with a 500-pound weight limit
  • Adjustable armrests

CONS

  • No additional comfort features
  • Narrow seat

BUY: Alps Mountaineering Big C.A.T. Camp Chair

Most Supportive - Eureka! Side Table Director's Chair

Side Table Directors Chair

SPECS

  • Size: Open - 20" x 24" x 36.5", closed - 20" x 18.5" x 6"
  • Seat height: 18.5"
  • Weight: 11.8 lbs.
  • Max weight capacity 300 lbs.
  • Material: Powder-coated steel frame and 600D polyester fabric
  • Setup: Fold flat
  • Pockets: None
  • Cupholders: 1
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Special features: Side table

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With its rigid seat, the Eureka! Side Table Director's Chair keeps you ready for the action at your campsite. You won't sink into extra fabric or nod off in the middle of marshmallow roasting. From the Director's Chair, you can manage the goings-on with a drink and all your s'mores fixings close at hand on your attached side table with a cupholder.

PROS

  • Rigid, upright seat for maximum support
  • Handy side table and cupholder to keep everything nearby
  • Folds flat for storage
  • Mesh seat back for cooling airflow

CONS

  • Can be uncomfortable to sit for long periods
  • A bit more challenging to set up and take down

BUY: Eureka! Side Table Director's Chair

Best for Kids - Stoic Youth Camp Chair

Youth Camp Chair

SPECS

  • Size: Open - 14.9" x 11.8" x 9.8" x 29.9" , closed - 27" x 7" x 6"
  • Seat height: 10"-12"
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 2.8 oz.
  • Max weight capacity: 150 lbs.
  • Material: Alloy steel and polyester
  • Setup: Quad-fold
  • Pockets: None
  • Cupholders: 1
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Special features: Safety lock to prevent unwanted collapse

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The Stoic Youth Camp Chair is the obvious choice for all the kiddos around the campfire. The simple quad-folding design makes setup and take-down simple for most children to manage solo and the safety lock prevents smaller children from accidentally folding the chair on themselves or pinching small fingers. With a cupholder for their drink and a seat designed just for them—they can be part of the party!

PROS

  • Built for children—provides a safer, more comfortable seat for small bodies
  • Light enough that your child can carry it themselves
  • Safety lock prevents chair from collapsing on an unattended child

CONS

  • No additional comfort features
  • No pockets or table for kid's items

BUY: Stoic Youth Camp Chair

Best Two-Person - Stoic Spruce Duo Love Seat

Spruce Duo Loveseat

SPECS

  • Size: Open - 42.1" x 18.5" x 32.7", closed - 33.5" x 11.5" x 14"
  • Seat height: Low
  • Weight:10 lbs. 12.5 oz.
  • Max weight capacity: 250 lbs. per seat (500 lbs. total)
  • Material: Powder-coated steel frame and 600D shadow embossed, 840D velocity dobby
  • Setup: Quad-fold
  • Pockets: Mesh under-seat pockets for phones or other small items
  • Cupholders: 2
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Special features: Double-seat

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The Stoic Spruce Duo Love Seat is built for two. With a similar design to the typical quad-folding camp chair, it's easy to set up and put away, leaving more time to enjoy together. The handy mesh under-seat pocket fits phones perfectly and allows for distraction-free time. Snuggle up by the fireside with a blanket and s'mores. Each seat has a cupholder so you won't need to go anywhere.

PROS

  • Easy setup and take-down
  • Great price point—more affordable than many single chairs
  • Sturdy and comfortable

CONS

  • Bulky for packing—one large item rather than two single chairs
  • Separation of seats does not allow for sitting close in the middle of the chair

BUY: Stoic Spruce Duo Love Seat

FAQs About Camping Chairs


How can I make my camping chair more comfortable?

Add a cozy blanket and pillow to your favorite camp chair to turn sitting fireside into a full-on lounge session. If you find that the front of the seat digs into the back of your legs, this could be a sign that the chair is not a great fit for the length of your legs, but a folded towel draped over the edge can be a great stop-gap for a more comfortable weekend.

How do you tell if a camping chair fits you?

No chair can be a one-size-fits-all solution, so you may find that you are too tall or too short for a particular chair. When testing out a chair for fit, pay attention to where your knees are when you sit down and how the front of the seat contacts your legs. If there is a lot of pressure on the backs of the thighs or knees, that chair may not be a good fit. Also, consider how close the chair sits to the ground and where your feet need to be for comfort. Is this a position you would want to sit in for a long time?

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