Part of spending time in the great outdoors is expecting you won’t have all of the comforts of home available. But it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice every comfort. That’s why choosing a best lightweight camping chair for your next outdoor adventure is a worthy investment.
To help you find the best lightweight camping chair for your needs and camping style, here is a list of our recommendations and some advice for making your choice.
Our Top Picks
Helinox Chair Zero
Best Budget Option:
YSSOA Portable Folding Camping Chair
Best Premium Option:
YETI Trailhead Camp Chair
Helinox Chair Zero
Whether you’re a frequent backpacker or an occasional car camper, the Helinox Chair Zero makes a great gear choice as a best lightweight camping chair. It earns our best overall recommendation on the basis of its weight — just over 1 pound — but it offers much more than that as a quality camping chair.
With a frame constructed of an aluminum alloy, the Helinox Chair Zero can support more than 250 pounds. Its seating material, a lightweight rip-resistant polyester, can stand up to both the sun’s rays and harsh weather. Plus, the seating material is removable and machine washable.
The Helinox Chair Zero provides an ample seating area with its 20-inch width, and it is situated nearly nine inches above the ground.
- Great option for backpacking
- Comfortable sitting for long periods of time
- Quick set-up
- May sit too low for some users
- May not be supportive near upper weight limit
- May not be wide enough for some users
Best Budget Option
YSSOA Portable Folding Camping Chair
Constructed of 600-denier Oxford cloth — a measure of fabric density, with 600-denier a very sturdy strength — stretched across a steel frame, the YSSOA Portable Folding Camp Chair would be a great choice as a camping chair, even at a price point well above its real affordability.
At just slightly more than $25 for the largest size, including optional armrests, the YSSOA chair weighs under 4 pounds. Able to support 220 pounds, the YSSOA chair offers a seating area of nearly 16 inches by 21 inches, located comfortably above the ground with ample back support.
- Can be used in venues other than camping
- Little storage room required
- Comfortable and sturdy
- May sit too low for some users
- Forward-slanting orientation may be uncomfortable for some users
- May be too small for some adults
Best Premium Option
YETI Trailhead Camp Chair
Weighing a little more than 13 pounds, the YETI Trailhead Camp Chair may stretch what some would consider a truly portable chair. Nonetheless, it has made our list of best lightweight camping chair options for 2023 on the basis of what it can bring to your next car camping or short hiking adventure.
This selection for a best lightweight camping chair comes with a backpack-style carrying case, so it isn’t too much of a chore to carry for reasonable distances. And what you get in return is a very generous seating area and a 500-pound weight capacity, providing assurance that wherever you use it, you’ll be supremely comfortable.
The YETI Trailhead Camp Chair’s feet and the rest of its frame are specifically designed for stability. Also, it is constructed of a trademarked fabric designed to reduce pressure points, meaning that the chair will remain comfortable even when you’re seated for long periods of time.
- Well-engineered and high quality
- Carrying case eases transport
- Built to last; great value even at high price point
- Seat width may not be adequate for some users
- Can be unwieldy to move
- Dual cup holders should be an option
CLIQ Portable Camping Chair
If you like convenience wherever you can get it as part of your camping experience, the CLIQ Portable Camping Chair is an amazing option as a best lightweight camping chair. Weighing just under 4 pounds, the CLIQ chair packs down to the size of a water bottle.
The CLIQ chair made our list as a best lightweight camping chair because of its manufacturer’s claim that it can be set up in 5 seconds. People who’ve purchased the CLIQ chair say it might take some practice to get to that time, but they don’t dispute the ease with which the chair can be set up.
All that is required to set up the CLIQ chair is undoing the strap that holds it together, pushing a button to release its legs, and pulling out the four sides of the chair until they pop into place. Once it’s set up, the CLIQ has a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds.
- Seat is oriented to reclining position
- Sturdily constructed
- Comfortable for long periods of sitting
- May not be as stable as some users would like
- Carrying bag should be stronger
- Set-up may be challenging for some users
Best Hangable Chair
Grand Trunk ROVR Hanging Chair
If you’re truly committed to traveling light and simply in the outdoors, but still want to be comfortable as you spend time in nrature, the Grand Trunk ROVR Hanging Chair should be your choice as the best lightweight camping chair.
Wrong in at just 18 ounces, not including the 10-foot hanging straps included with the chair, the Grand Trunk ROVR is a step in between a hammock and a more traditional camp chair. Unlike a hammock, however, the Grand Trunk ROVR keeps its occupant in a sitting position.
Constructed of 70-denier parachute nylon, the chair unfolds to measure almost 6 feet by almost 5 feet, enough to provide ample support for its occupant. In fact, the Grand Trunk ROVR is rated at 300 pounds for the extra confidence that it will support whoever uses it as a best lightweight camping chair.
- Very comfortable and relaxing chair
- Easy to set up
- Easier to use than a hammock
- May be slightly uncomfortable for taller users
- Straps could benefit from additional loops
Best Lightweight Camping Chair Buyer’s Guide
Now that you’ve reviewed our choices for the best lightweight camping chair of 2023, here is some additional guidance to help you understand what you should be looking for in a chair, including materials and design features.
As you search for the best lightweight camping chair for your trips into nature, you’ll notice that many of them are manufactured with nylon seating materials and aluminum framing. Manufacturers will opt for those materials because they do produce a lightweight chair, but probably not the most durable chair.
That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with those materials, but if you are going to use your chair regularly, you’ll want it to be made of sturdier materials, like the steel framing and cloth that are part of some of our recommended options for best lightweight camping chair.
To the extent that your budget will allow it, always opt for the most durable material you can afford. However, as a compromise, you might be able to get good service out of lesser materials if you keep your chair properly packed in its carrying bag or case when you’re not using it.
When you begin looking for a best lightweight camping chair, you’ll discover a variety of options, from the familiar four-legged chair, to three-legged and even two-legged options. In fact, you’ll even see camping chairs designed as rocking chairs.
As part of your search for the best lightweight camping chair that you can afford, you should actually visit retail stores and sit in as many types of camping chairs as you can to find out which is most comfortable to you.
Additionally in terms of design, you should recognize that chairs designed to seat you low to the ground are great for balancing on uneven terrain. However, low chairs are difficult for sitting down and getting up. So, particularly if you have mobility issues, a chair with a higher seat will be your best option.
Best Lightweight Camping Chair Frequently Asked Questions
Even with the information you’ve already gleaned here, you may still have questions on finding the best lightweight camping chair for your time in the outdoors. Here are the answers to just a few of the questions you may have.
What is the best frame material for a lightweight camping chair?
As you search for the best lightweight camping chair for yourself, you’ll discover that most of them are made with frames of either aluminum or steel. Aluminum, of course, is the lighter of the two options, but it also won’t be as strong as steel.
As already suggested, the best way to determine whether a chair is right for you is to sit in it yourself. With regard to its frame construction, sitting in chairs with both types of framing will give you a sense of which one makes you feel most secure and should be your choice as best lightweight camping chair.
If a lighter-weight aluminum frame suits you, there’s no real need to consider a steel-framed chair, even if it might be stronger.
What is the best seating material for a lightweight camping chair?
While steel and aluminum are likely to be the primary materials for the frame of a camping chair, there are lots of options when it comes to the seating material. An exhaustive list of seating material options includes nylon, polyester, polycanvas, Oxford cloth, mesh — and even aluminum.
Nylon is a great choice for a best lightweight camping chair because it is water-resistant and difficult to tear. Like nylon, polyester is water-resistant, with the added advantage of not being susceptible to damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Polycanvas, a blend of polyester and canvas, offers the advantage of being both durable and lightweight. Oxford cloth, while it has the disadvantage of being heavier than other options, is a good choice of material if you’ll be doing a lot of winter camping, because of its ability to trap heat.
While aluminum is generally seen as a framing material for camping chairs, it can also be used to form the body of the chair and then covered with foam or other soft material for comfort.
And finally, there is mesh material, strands of interwoven metal and/or fiber. A chief advantage of mesh, which is appearing in more camping chairs these days, is that it is breathable and can help keep users cool on hot days.
So, as you make your decision on the best lightweight camping chair for your needs, you should consider how and when you plan to use it, and match your choice of material to those circumstances.
What is a good weight limit for a camping chair for backpacking?
The simple truth is that if you’re a serious backpacker, cruising dozens of miles on a typical outing, you might want to opt against the purchase of a camping chair as part of your effort to trim every ounce of unneeded weight from your backpack.
It’s also true, though, that perfectly good camping chairs designed to take up just a small amount of space in your backpack come in weights ranging from a little over 1 pound to less than 3 pounds. Within that range, it should be easy to find a best lightweight camping chair for backpacking.
Particularly if you can find other areas in which to trim your backpack’s weight, there is no reason that adding a camping chair to your load should become an undue burden.
Wrapping up the Best Lightweight Camping Chair for 2023
A good camping chair is a great way to increase your enjoyment of the outdoors. Our overall pick as the best lightweight camping chair, the Helinox Chair Zero, will be a worthy addition to your camping gear.
For more on camping gear, and for lots of helpful information for enjoying the outdoors, check out Beyond The Tent.