The 13 Best Folding Chairs to Bring on Your Next Camping Trip
There are many gifts to be found in the Great Outdoors—once-in-a-lifetime vistas, solace, inspiration, endless adventure—but a comfortable place to sit is generally not one of them. In times of need, a log or stump will suffice, but nothing can cradle you above the pine needle–laden ground quite like a good camping chair.
Once you’ve found the perfect folding chair for you, it will become your closest confidant in comfort. You’ll be tempted to bring your fireside friend to barbecues, music festivals, sporting events, and even your back porch on a particularly perfect summer evening.
There are tons of cheaper options out there that technically meet the requirements to be a folding chair—they have a collapsible frame, a seat, and maybe a back—but they really don’t have much else going for them. Consider that when it comes to camping gear, a chair isn’t as much a necessity as say, a tent. If you’re going to tote one along with you, it better be comfortable enough to be worth the weight—although, we did find some that are less than two lbs.!
At the baseline, these 13 folding chairs are easy-to-use, sturdy, varying degrees of portable, and above all, actually nice to sit in. But what makes them the best? Some other not-so-standard features like reclining, rocking, cooling your beverages, and heating to 145 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 20 seconds.
Best for: Storing All Your Stuff
If you value convenience over comfort, the Picnic Time Portable Folding Sports Chair is a fine choice. It has an attached side table, a dedicated magazine or book pocket, two beverage holders, and other nooks of various sizes for storing your sunglasses, phone, bug spray, and anything else you might otherwise need to abdicate your throne to retrieve.
Best for: A Hiking Break
Even though it only weighs 1.9 lbs., the award-winning BIG AGNES Helinox Chair One is strong enough to support up to 320 lbs. The poles actually pop themselves into place automatically, so all you’ll need to do is slide on the seat cover. Bring it along on a day hike for your hard-earned lunch break.
Best for: Stargazing
Best for: Keeping Drinks Cool
The roomy Coleman Camping Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler has an insulated pouch in the armrest that holds up to four cans and a mesh cup holder for a fifth, a feature that also makes this chair ideal for tailgating.
Best for: Getting Cozy
This tandem camping chair—couch?—is easy to transport thanks to its roll-tote carrying bag that can pull double duty when you’re gathering wood for the campfire. Also, the Kelty® Low-Love Seat Chair’s arm height is adjustable and the quilted material is surprisingly soft.
Best for: Lots of Room
The super sturdy Alps Mountaineering King Kong Chair is a heavy-duty chair. With its 800-lb. capacity, even Bigfoot would probably still have a little wiggle room. Plus, the carrying bag has two straps like a backpack for hands-free transport.
Best for: Mini Campers
The ciao! baby Portable Highchair was designed for babies three months to three years in age. It has a secure lap belt for the monkey-prone little ones. Bonus: the chair’s material and vinyl tray cover are super easy to wash; marshmallow goop, meet your match.
Best for: Backpacking
The ultralight Alite Designs Mantis Chair is quite sturdy for only weighing 1 lb. 13 ozs. And it’s certainly far more comfortable than perching on a log, a rock, or—gasp!—the ground.
Best for: Car Camping
The KingCamp Moon Leisure Camping Chair practically begs you to curl up with a good book in the Great Outdoors. There’s even a pocket for that book attached to the back in case you’re reluctantly recruited to play horseshoes. It’s a bit heavy at 10 lbs., so keep in mind that you won’t want to haul it too far.
Best for: Chilly Autumn Nights
Finally, there’s a solution for the familiar plight of a campfire only warming the front of your body: the Chaheati Heated Chair. This deceivingly normal-looking camp chair heats up in less than 20 seconds, has four heat presets—ranging from Low at 98 degrees to Max at 145 degrees, and can stay warm for up to six hours. It’s cordless and has two drink holders for your hot beverage of choice.
Best for: Rocking on Any Kind of Ground
There are generally two issues presented by portable rocking chairs: they’re cumbersome to carry and the ground needs to be somewhat flat for curved rockers to work. The GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Chair is a brilliant solution to both. It was designed with a spring-action rocking technology that makes for a smooth rock no matter what surface you’re on.
Best for: Hot Summer Days
Both supportive and easy-to-pack, this REI Flex Lite Chair has a deep, comfortable seat. It’s lightweight enough to hike with, has a breathable mesh panel all along the seat, and the low height makes it a favorite for concertgoers, too.
Best for: A Simple Seat
The Ash Wood & Leather Camp Stool is the quintessential no-fuss camping chair. And it’s beautifully made, too. Each chair is handcrafted to last for generations of campers to come with USA-grown ash hardwood and English bridle leather.