A chair is an essential piece of camping gear, so make sure to get the right one. Ideally, it should be comfortable, durable, lightweight and features functional storage for maximum convenience.
Over the years, we’ve come to recognize some key characteristics that set the best chairs apart. For instance, we look for chairs that don’t sink in around the back area – particularly beneficial if you have back issues or prefer being more upright when sitting in a chair.
McClary emphasizes the fabric used in chair construction as being an important factor when selecting comfort for extended usage. A lightweight nylon or poly-nylon blend is usually best, she notes. Furthermore, when temperatures rise, look for chairs with breathable designs.
When planning a backpacking or multiday hiking trip, weight and packed size often take priority over comfort. That is why having an ergonomic chair that fits inside your backpack should be top of mind.
Due to this, many ultralight chair designs feature thinner fabrics and frames than heavier alternatives, allowing them to shrink down to a fraction of their original size. This makes them much more convenient for trips or camping trips.
However, these types of designs may not always withstand a beating from nature. Some materials may become stained or discolored over time, or they might not be as breathable or supportive as a thicker chair would be.
Luxury camp chairs provide superior durability and offer extra features like rocking or reclining actions, adjustable armrests, a more supportive mesh seat, as well as headrests and side pocket storage compartments. Not only that but they’re made to last too!
The REI Co-op’s Camp X chair is an excellent example: its X-shaped webbing effectively tensions both seat and back panel for even weight distribution. Plus, its sturdy steel frame inspires confidence with two drop-down cup holders at each armrest for convenient storage of drinks or smaller items.
Though pricier than some of our other top choices, this chair is worth every penny for its strength and comfort. The large pole pockets make swinging much easier with their large holes, while the rust-resistant powder-coated steel frame provides great strength too.
Our testers raved about how easy it is to fold up and store in the included roll-up carrying case for transportation or storage. This feature makes it perfect for short day trips or beach days where you don’t want to spend all day propped up.
NEMO’s Moonlight is an excellent option that may be more expensive than some of our other picks, but we found it to be just about perfect for lounging under the stars with a good book. The multiposition reclining system allows you to sit forward or lean back, while non-absorbing monofilament mesh resists bacteria while still being breathable.