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Camp chairs make roughing it a lot more comfortable. These weather-resistant, lightweight chairs are designed to be slung over a shoulder, rolled into a pack, or even clipped onto a belt. Ideal for people fishing along the banks of a Carolina estuary, plein air painters looking to give Thomas Cole a run for his money, backpackers section-hiking the Adirondacks, or simple car camping trips with the family, camp chairs come in many designs that favor any number of outdoor uses. While many camp chair designs are available, the chairs most commonly come in folding varieties with cup holders on their arms, as folding stools, or sometimes as folding rockers or loveseats. Some are designed to be lightweight, while heavier options tacitly demand car camping. Read on for a rundown of the best camp chairs for every occasion.

How we chose the best camping chairs

With so many camp chairs available, I looked for a few specific criteria to determine which ones really deserve a place in your pack (or car trunk). To inform my picks, I used my years of experience camping around America with countless camp chairs. As I write this article, I’m actually sitting on my GCI Outdoor Packseat (my pick for the best camp stool), which I often use at the home office when my body needs a break from my desk chair. Each pick was compared to similar camp chairs from other manufacturers to ensure they’re a true best camping chair.

Build quality was of utmost importance in my picks because who wants to buy a camping chair that falls apart after one day at the beach? However, rugged builds are often heavier, and total weight is another important factor. Some of the better complex camp chairs, such as camp rocking chairs that use pistons, are heavy enough to prohibit them from being really useful for packing in. But heavier builds didn’t always result in a cut, as these can still be great car or RV camping accessories. Features like extra drink holders are also nice in a camping chair. Lastly, real weatherproofing and a rugged build are major bonuses because who doesn’t want to sit in the middle of a river in a lawn chair?

The best camping chairs: Reviews & Recommendations

Whether you’re looking for a premium camping chair with a cup holder so you can kick back in the backyard or a compact model you can add to your camping essentials, our roundup provides a range of choices to suit your needs.

Best overall: Helinox Chair One Original Lightweight

Why it made the cut: A lightweight camp chair that’s compact enough to pack on a longer trek and comfy enough that you’ll want to car camp with it, too.


  • Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 320 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 x 21.5 x 25.5 inches


  • Only two pounds
  • Aluminum alloy foundation provides sturdiness
  • Shock-corded poles make it easy and quick to assemble


  • Low enough to the ground that it could be hard getting in and out for some
  • Somewhat pricey

The Helinox Chair One deserves a spot at the head of any camping chair best-of list. This two-pounder is small enough to easily find a place in a camping backpack, yet it is also comfy enough to justify keeping on hand for non-ultralight day use. Using aluminum alloy poles that are shock-corded like a tent’s, the Helinox jumps into shape when you pull it out of the bag, making for an especially easy setup when organizing your campsite after a long day hike. It’s also rated for 320-pound capacity, so it’s sturdy enough to hold most campers (plus their dogs).

With a ten-inch seat height, this chair isn’t very high off the ground. This can prove troubling for folks with bad knees. But the low height is usually justified by the chair’s lite weight. For a higher seat height, Helinox makes an (also superb) Sunset Chair with a significantly higher back and neck/head rest, though it comes in at 3.25 pounds. If you’re not interested in backpacking, then it’s probably the better buy.

Another great chair by Helinox that any serious backpacker must consider is the Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight. At just 1.2 pounds and 13.5 inches packed, it’s an incredibly lightweight backpackers’ chair that you can justify carrying for weeks in the woods.

If you’re looking for a great camping chair, whether for backpacking or beach lounging, don’t commit to the contents of that shopping cart until you give Helinox’s line of camp chairs a look.

Best premium: YETI Trailhead



Why it made the cut: With an exceptionally rugged build and great comfort, the YETI Trailhead is a camp chair meant to last.


  • Weight: 13.3 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 500 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.3 x 43.3 inches


  • Supremely comfortable
  • Very sturdy with high weight certification
  • UV resistant


  • Expensive

Cornering the high end of the camp chair market is the YETI Trailhead. With a locking frame that can support up to 500 pounds in its very comfortable proprietary “flexigrid” fabric, the Trailhead supports aching bodies back from long hikes.

The chair features a UV-resistant design to ensure that it can weather prolonged exposure to the elements. It comes with a drink holder that you can attach to either the left or right armrest rather than incorporating a drink holder into the arm. It’s a chair made for longevity, and at its price point, it guarantees delivery. It’s a solid investment if you’re looking for a stylish and comfortable chair to last for years.

Best for big and tall people: Coleman Big-N-Tall Quad Chair with Cup Holder & Side Pocket



Why it made the cut: This budget-friendly chair supports up to 600 pounds and comes with a cup holder and water-resistant cell phone sleeve.


  • Weight: 10.6 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 600 pounds
  • Dimensions: ‎39 x 6.75 x 7.95 inches


  • Wide seat supports up to 600 pounds 
  • Sturdy
  • Comes with water-resistant cellphone holder
  • Affordable


  • No head or back support
  • Heavier than some other chairs

Finding comfortable seating can be challenging when you have a large frame, but Coleman can help with its Big-n-Tall Quad Chair. This camp chair’s seat is 18 inches off the ground, making it easy to get in and out of. The seat is wider than most at 7.5 inches and supports up to 600 pounds. It also comes with the features you expect in a camp chair, including a cup holder and carrying case. And if you get caught in a storm, its water-resistant cellphone sleeve and seat drain system will protect your phone (and your bottom) from moisture.

Best compact: CLIQ Portable Camping Chair



Why it made the cut: This nylon camp chair folds down to the size of a bottle yet can support up to 300 pounds.


  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds 
  • Dimensions: ‎22 x 22 x 26 inches


  • Can easily tuck into bag or luggage
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to set up


  • May be hard for some to get out of
  • No cup holder or arms

Looking for a chair that you can take from camping to a concert (or vice versa)? CLIQ’s Portable Camping Chair folds down to the size of a water bottle, making it easy to stick in a backpack or carry around in (and from/to) the car. And it sets up in a snap … make that a click. At 3.5 pounds, this aircraft-grade aluminum, ripstop ballistic nylon chair is lightweight, yet once you set it up, it can support up to 300 pounds. That said, its convenience does mean you sacrifice a few common features in camp chairs, such as a cup holder (for that, along with a headrest, you’ll need to opt to pay more for the CLIQ high-back lounge chair and sacrifice portability for transportability).

Best stool: GCI Outdoor Packseat

GCI Outdoors


Why it made the cut: This tri-leg pack stool slips into a carry bag for easy portability.


  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Seat height: 20 inches
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Dimensions: 3.9 x 4.3 x 15.7 inches


  • Lightweight
  • Folds for great portability
  • Comfortable


  • Could be sturdier

The GCI Outdoor Packseat stands out as a comfortable, highly portable stool to take into the outdoors; and it’s still ready for active tasks, like fishing, birdwatching, or sketching. With three shock-corded legs that break down for easy portability in its shoulder-slung pack, the 1.4-pound packseat is a highly mobile stool. It’s got a tri-cornered seat that’s quite comfortable to perch on. The legs are reinforced with a lower tear-resistant fabric connector that keeps the stool sturdy and capable of supporting its 250-pound weight capacity.

I actually sub my pack seat out for my desk chair on long writing days when I need to change up my posture. It’s great to keep in the car trunk for an easy carry-in stool for park visits or to bring along for watercolor sessions in the park. While I haven’t taken my Packseat backpacking, it’s light enough that I could justify it for a one- or two-night trip. It doesn’t feel like it will last forever, but it’s going strong after almost a year of use with no signs of deterioration.

Best rocking: GCI KickBack Rocker Chair

GCI Outdoors


Why it made the cut: With its well-designed piston system, the KickBack is incredibly comfy.


  • Weight: 10.6 pounds
  • Seat height: 17 inches
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Dimensions:


  • Extremely comfortable
  • Great rocking sensation


  • Too heavy for packing in

The GCI KickBack Rocker Chair takes a novel approach to seating. Designed with pistons instead of curved rails, the KickBack’s rear legs are firmly planted, while still allowing you to comfortably rock. It’s an innovative design for a rocking chair, but one that’s especially well suited to the uneven terrain you’ll find in many campgrounds.

When you fold it up, the KickBack is easy to sling over your shoulder; however, its 10-plus pound weight makes it impractical for packing in. But this chair isn’t meant for backpackers. Paired with an RV and a mobile grill, you’ll bring the experience of the back deck along for the ride.

At a rented beach house one summer, I had a great experience rocking back and forth in the KickBack and staring up at the stars at night. It’s a relaxing chair that allows you to bring the comforts of a home with you, wherever your car or camper takes you.

Best budget: Coleman Camping Chair With Built-in 4 Can Cooler



Why it made the cut: This value camping chair is both rugged and well-equipped.


  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 325 pounds
  • Dimensions: 38.3 x 13.5 x 3.1 inches


  • Cooler can fit up to four cans with a drink holder on the opposing arm
  • 24-inch-wide full-sized chair can support larger people
  • Easy to fit in trunk
  • Very affordable


  • Not practical for carrying on hikes
  • Not the most durable out there

The Coleman Camping Chair is a classic found in campsites around America. That’s because the Coleman just can’t be beat at its price point. With a four-can cooler on one arm and a classic mesh drink holder on the other, the Coleman is locked and loaded to accommodate your beverage needs. It doesn’t fold down to a tiny packable size ready for multi-day backpacking excursions, but for car camping, sports events, or the beach, it’s chair enough for almost anybody with a car trunk.

Folded up in its bag, the Coleman measures 38 inches long and weighs 10 pounds; it slings over the shoulder for easy transport. It’s not the most rugged camp chair out there, but its alloy supports, and polyester seating material are quite weatherproof. The low asking price also ensures that you won’t need to worry too much about affording a replacement if it breaks after a few years. All in all, the Coleman is a solid budget camp chair available for a very reasonable asking price.

Things to consider before buying a camping chair

To find the best camping chair for your needs, you should take into consideration these factors:

Type of camping

Perhaps the most important factor to consider when strategizing what sort of camp chair you need is what type of camping you go for. If you’re collecting the gear you’ll need for multi-day backpacking treks into the mountains, looking for as light a chair as possible is better. Ultra-light chairs are available that weigh about a pound or less. Folks looking for chairs to bring with them on RV trips may not need to focus on weight as much; they can afford to bring heavier chairs that emphasize comfort or look for special features like rocking pistons.

Comfort and height

For older hikers and those with joint issues, a chair that doesn’t put too much stress on your body can be an absolute salvation on the trail. Hikers with bad knees will likely want to look for chairs with a higher seat height, as they will be easier to get in and out of. Chairs with ergonomic details like a headrest or neck support can be very helpful, as well as chairs made of malleable fabric that avoids pressure points.


Camp chairs come at many price points. Not everyone needs to spend $300 on a camp chair. Often, good camp chairs can be bought for well under $50. Sometimes higher-priced chairs guarantee more dependability and comfort. Paying more upfront can give you a chair that you’ll be able to use for years, saving you money in the long run.


Q: How much does a camping chair cost?

The cost of a camping chair depends on the features it provides. Our high-end pick, the YETI Trailhead, cost $300 at time of publication. If you’re not looking to spend that much, our budget-friendly pick, the Coleman Camping Chair With Built-in 4 Can Cooler, costs $35.

Q: Do I need a camp chair?

While many campers make do with logs or boulders, a camp chair can be an excellent creature comfort to retreat to after a long day on the trail. They can relieve pain in aching joints, and give you a place to sit off the wet ground. All in all, camp chairs make your camp feel more like home.

Q: Is YETI Trailhead worth the price?

 The YETI Trailhead is a supremely comfortable camp chair designed for long-term use and longevity. The hefty price tag comes with a promise that you’ll be using your YETI for years of outdoor relaxation.

Q: Is an ultralight camp chair worth it?

Ultralight camp chairs are great additions to a backpacker’s gear list. Many hardcore trekkers must prioritize lightweight gear that will take up as little room as possible in their hiking pack. Some ultralight chairs weigh as little as one pound and fold to very small dimensions. The Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight, at 1.2 pounds, is an excellent option for backpackers who want to pack some comfort.

Q: What’s the most comfortable camp chair?

The YETI Trailhead is an extremely comfortable camp chair, but with its piston rockers, the GCI KickBack Rocker Chair is the most comfortable camp chair I’ve ever sat in. The Helinox Sunset Chair is another high-backed camp chair that delivers excellent comfort while being light enough to pack in.

Final thoughts on the best camp chairs

Camp chairs are like a portable patio that can join you in the wilds of the world. The best camp chairs are easy to set up anywhere and are ready for whatever conditions you find yourself in. Some camp chairs prioritize lightweight builds, while others lay on features and comfort. The best camp chair for most users is the Helinox Chair One, which delivers excellent comfort with a very light frame that’s easy to pack on day trips. For those who want to prioritize creature comforts, the GCI KickBack Rocker Chair is a great mobile rocking chair. At the same time, the pricey YETI Trailhead is a supremely comfortable and sturdy static chair. Hardcore trekkers, on the other hand, may want to consider the Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight.

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