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Camping chairs are that bit of kit you don’t really think you need – until you buy one, and realise quite how comfortable and handy they are.
What should I look for in a camping chair?
Ready to buy a camping chair? Make sure you pick the right size and design for you. If you’re going for week-long summer camping trips with a big car boot, large comfortable chairs will be your best bet.
If you’re heading on a weekend wild camping adventure, portable, lightweight camping stools will be easier to take with you.
You’ll also find double sofa-style chairs for two, mini chairs for kids and even super-squishy reclining chairs available for anyone after a bit of luxury. If you do want to carry a chair for any reasonable distance, we recommend choosing a model weighing around 1kg.
High-backed or low-backed chairs?
Headed to a music festival, movie in the park, or a beach trip? Opt for a low-backed chair - they’re easier to transport and they won’t block anyone sat behind you.
Higher-backed chairs are easier to get in and out of (if you have mobility issues or bad knees) and generally more comfortable to sit in for longer.
What weight capacity/durability to look for?
The weight capacity of your chair doesn’t just pertain to what will comfortably carry you. If you’re after a chair that will last through multiple seasons, it will need to have a higher weight capacity to withstand wear and tear.
The trade-off, as you’d expect, is that a sturdier chair is heavier and bulkier (meaning they won’t suit backpacking jaunts) but if you’re walking short distances or have a car to transport things in, they’ll do you proud.
Whatever model you pick, check that your new camping chair is sturdy, foldable and easy to store when not in use.
We’d recommend choosing a chair made with water-resistant material such as rip-stop nylon, and we suggest looking for solid aluminium or steel legs.
If you want to use your new chairs with a camping table, make sure you check what height you need first.
Many portable camping chairs tend to be low to the ground – if you’d find that a struggle to get in and out of, shop for a model that’s as tall as the chairs you find comfortable at home.
Weight capacity: 226kg
This is, we concede, not a cheap chair. Nor is it light. But it is easily - by quite the margin - most comfortable, highest quality camping chair we’ve had the pleasure of testing.
With breathable, airy material, it doesn’t overheat in summer. The seat itself is yielding, soft and springy, yet supportive (we have chronic back pain, and it didn’t exacerbate it at all).
Easy to fold, well-padded, and in a backpack form - despite it’s weight, it’s easy to carry. Oh, and a cupholder.
If you’ve got the cash and want to ensure you don’t strain your back or neck while outdoors, this is worth the investment.
Weight capacity: 120kg
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 camping overnighters as well as for day trips and festivals.
Kampa’s Tub isn’t super lightweight at 3.9kg, but it’s easy to carry and to unfold for an instant comfy seat wherever you are.
The padding is great, and stands out for comfort when compared to some of the other pocket-friendly chairs we’ve tested out.
Five cheerful colourways are available, and a mini version is on sale for little campers if you fancy matching.
Weight capacity: 226kg
Cosy up with your favourite camper on the Kelty Low Loveseat, designed for two people to share.
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 issues.
The Low Loveseat folds up in seconds and fits easily into its sturdy carry case, but as the name hints, is low to the ground, so not ideal if you have reduced mobility.
- with 2 insulated, adjustable holders for your bevvies of choice
Camping stools won’t win any prizes for comfort, but they are by far the most portable and lightest way to take a chair with you on fast-paced adventures such as wild camping or bike packing, or on trips where you need to pack your gear into a remote place, such as fishing.
This simple stool folds out into a sturdy rectangular seat and takes weight very well.
Unlike other stools we tested, we found the material used for the seat to be tough, wipe-clean and quick to dry, making this our top choice if you’re in the market for a stool rather than a chair.
Weight capacity: 140kg
Big and beautiful is the name of the game with this oversized chair, which is a good choice for anyone on the heavier side who finds traditional camping chairs restrictive or flimsy.
The sturdy steel frame of the Vango Hampton can comfortably hold up to 140Kg, is easy to get in and out of, can be reclined and is the right height for most camping dining tables, too.
We like the arms, which are slim but comfortable to rest on, the comfortable padded back panels and the good-quality carry bag. Lumbar support is great for people with ailing backs.
A great choice for campervans, or for anyone who camps for weeks at a time.
Weight capacity: 120kg
Ever heard of 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 Trespass’s Oversized Moon.
A durable steel frame takes up to 120kg and a thick, padded circular cushion is lovely for lounging around in.
Ideal for longer family camping holidays where you want a comfy seat waiting for you each evening.
This is a versatile pick, too – the good-looking Moon is also brilliant set up for chilling out in the garden all summer long.
Weight capacity: 113kg
Coleman’s comfy director-style chair comes complete with a handy side table, which means you don’t need to bring a separate folding camp table with you for your snacks and drinks.
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 modest weight and size makes the Deck Chair ideal for popping into motorhome storage space or 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 easily on your back.
Weight capacity: 120kg
After a portable mini chair for lightweight adventures? Look no further than the Helinox Zero.
This clever design weighs just 490g and packs down small enough to fit in a water bottle pocket or into a small rucksack.
It may be super compact, but the Zero still feels very strong and solid – it’s made with ripstop polyester and aluminium poles, and can support up to 120kg.
The chair is also surprisingly comfortable even though it’s so low to the ground, and hugs your back nicely.
Pricy, but we’d argue it’s worth the splurge if you’re often exploring off the beaten track.
Weight capacity: 136kg
Something of a cult concern amongst those who like comfy camping, the Nemo Stargaze Recliner is an expensive option, but one that warrants it’s price tag: the design is uniquely excellent, it’s comfort level exceptional.
With a high back that cradles your head and neck, it’s brilliant at keeping you cossetted - and it is the only option on the list with a rocking motion, which is just lovely when under the night sky.
It also automatically adjusts when you sit up or recline, making it easy to find a comfort sweet spot.
A quick-drying, sturdy, compact chair - not too heavy for it’s specs - this is ideal for adding a touch of glamour to your camping.
A simple structure meets a jazzy design in Mountain Warehouse’s folding chair, which is good fun for festivals, taking to the beach or just if you want to stand out at your next campsite.
Available in five different prints, this chair has a fuss-free folding design and weighs a portable 2.3kg, with an included carry bag so you can stick it on your shoulder when you’re on the go.
It might be on the flimsy side for big or tall campers, but for under £20 this is a bit of a bargain if you want a simple but versatile camping chair.