Purchasing a new folding camp chair isn’t as black-and-white as it once was. As with most camping gear on the market today, you have so many options that the decision-making process a lot longer. We want to make this process as painless as possible for you!
When choosing a chair to bring along on your camping adventures, you’ll need to take into account various factors, ranging from the type of ground where you’ll place the chair to the weight of the individual using it. Plus, we have quite a few more things we consider.
Keep reading to learn all the things you need to think about when buying a new folding camp chair. At the end of this post, we’ll share three of our favorite chairs and answer a few frequently asked questions about folding camp chairs.
Folding Camp Chair Buyers’ Considerations
With the large variety of folding camp chairs on the market, choosing the right one that fits your lifestyle and budget requires careful thought. These are some factors we think about when buying a new folding camp chair.
There are quite a few folding camp chair designs, and these are some of the most popular ones.
The classic folding chair is probably the one you remember your grandparents using—it has webbed fabric, hard armrests, and tall backs. A classic folding camping chair’s legs are typically made from metal or aluminum tubing that is curved to provide stability.
Although these chairs aren’t necessarily the most comfortable camping folding chairs you can find, they’re still popular today because of their vintage appeal and ease of use. These chairs are functional and straightforward.
Two-legged folding camping chairs are lighter-weight and more compact. These chairs are popular choices for backpacking, however, they aren’t as sturdy.
Although less common, some camping folding chairs have three legs. These chairs are typically used as camp stools. They are lighter weight than four-legged chairs and less stable.
The majority of modern camping chairs are four-legged. These folding chairs come with four separate legs and are the most stable.
Relaxing in a rocking camping chair after a long day of hiking and outdoor activities has many benefits. It can help reduce stresses on your spine and improve your circulation. A rocking camping chair is also beneficial if you have little ones who like to be rocked to sleep.
Glider chairs are rocking chairs, but they move like a swing. They take up less space and have a smoother rocking motion. These chairs may also perform better on uneven terrain.
Lounge camping folding chairs allow you to put your feet up and adjust where your head rests. These are great for taking an outdoor nap or if you want to put your feet up after a long hike.
The weight of a folding camping chair is an important factor if you’re a backpacker or planning on bringing your chair with you on hikes into the wilderness. Rocking and lounge chairs are heavier than other chairs, so it might not be the best idea to pack these chairs on your backpacking trip.
Chairs designed for backpacking, like the Helinox Chair Zero, weigh only one pound. An average folding camping chair is going to weigh between five and ten pounds.
A chair’s weight is impacted by several factors, including fabric materials, frame type, additional cushioning and padding, and extra features. In general, the heavier the chair is, the more comfortable it will be.
Another factor that can impact your chair’s weight is its capacity. Larger chairs are designed to hold more weight.
Some chairs are designed to accommodate up to 600 pounds, however, many chairs can only hold up to around 250 pounds.
Along with capacity, another number to consider is the seat’s width. Consider how wide the seat needs to be for the person to sit comfortably. This may involve taking some body measurements to make sure a chair is a good fit.
If you’re specifically looking for large, sturdy camping chairs, consider buying one of these giant camping chairs.
Think about the type of terrain you sit on most. You’re probably going to want a different chair for a grassy terrain than a sandy one. If you plan on bringing your chair with you to the beach, you will want a chair that functions well on sand.
Beach folding chairs tend to be lighter weight than chairs designed for use on grass because you will need to carry them farther. Often, chairs designed for the beach are reclinable. They also are not as sturdy, since they’re not expected to remain outside for long periods.
Many folding camp chairs feature feet that will be a challenge to secure on sandy terrain. Beach chairs tend to have legs and feet designed to dig down into the sand for stability. These chairs also tend to be lower to the ground than lawn chairs, so they’re less likely to tip over.
If you camp on the beach, you’re probably going to want to invest in a beach chair. However, if you spend time sitting around the campfire on grassy terrain and relaxing at the beach, it can save you a lot of struggle to invest in a separate chair for each activity.
Chairs that are lower to the ground tend to be more stable, but these chairs can be challenging to get into and out of if you’re tall or have a bad back. Look for chairs with firm construction and locking mechanisms to prevent a tip from sudden impacts.
As mentioned above, the materials can dramatically impact the weight and stability of your camping folding chair. These are common materials used in camping chairs and what you can expect from each.
Nylon is a durable fabric that is resistant to water, so that’s why it’s seen in a lot of outdoor furniture, including folding camp chairs.
Like Nylon, Polyester is durable and able to withstand harsh weather conditions. It’s also UV-resistant and less likely to fade due to prolonged sun exposure. Polyester is also more affordable than nylon.
Polycanvas chairs are made from a mix of polyester and canvas. This hybrid material is lightweight and durable. Polycanvas is also a budget-friendly material.
Oxford Cloth is a heavy-duty material found in some camping chairs. This material is also a good insulator, so it’s a good fabric choice for winter campers since it can make your chair feel warmer. The downside is Oxford Cloth chairs can be quite heavy.
Many new camping folding chairs on the market are made from mesh. Mesh is an affordable material that is flexible and strong. It’s also breathable and ideal for summer camping since it makes your chair
Closed-cell Foam Padding
Foam padding does not absorb water, so this makes it a good material to use if you’re frequently participating in outdoor water activities and might sit down in a chair while wet.
Aluminum is one of the most common frames used in folding camping chairs because it is lightweight, durable, and sturdy. It’s also resistant to corrosion and rust caused by the elements.
Steel is heavier than aluminum and able to support heavier loads. It is also more heat resistant than aluminum. However, steel is less resistant to weather than aluminum and is more likely to rust or corrode over time.
Our Top Picks
Coleman Big-N-Tall Quad Chair
Coleman Cooler Portable Camping Chair
Best for Backpacking
Helinox Chair Zero
The Coleman Big-N-Tall Quad Chair is an outstanding choice for just about every type of camper. This folding camp chair is extra large to provide plenty of space for lounging and relaxing at the campsite. Its oversized seat and large leg caps offer extraordinary stability.
It has a seat drain system for collecting standing water, and a CellPort water-resistant sleeve for safely storing your electronics in the rain. You can also bundle this folding camp chair with an ultra-compact folding table.
Customers say this is the easiest camp chair to clean. One even spilled coffee and the chair didn’t retain any of the odor!
- Supports up to 600 pounds
- Easy to fold and unfold
- Comfortable for both short and tall people
- On the heavier side for folding camp chairs
- Multiple customers complained about the advertised cell phone protector being missing upon delivery
If you’re looking to save some money, the Coleman Portable Camping Chair is an excellent choice. You can bundle it with a Coleman cooler to save even more or buy the chair on its own. The chair also comes with a convenient four-can cooler pouch for keeping your drinks cold and within reach.
The chair has a mesh cup holder and a side pocket for storing drinks and personal items. It has a sturdy steel frame and holds up to 325 pounds.
- Fully cushioned seat
- Comes in four colors
- The carrying bag is poor quality, causing portability challenges
Best for Backpacking
Helinox Chair Zero
If you’re a backpacker or hiker, finding a lightweight, durable folding camp chair can be a challenge. Look no further than the Helinox Chair Zero. It weighs only one pound and supports up to 265 pounds thanks to its anodized DAC aluminum poles.
- The compact size makes it easy to transport
- Easy set up
- High-tech materials and design
- Requires a Helinox groundsheet to sit above snow, mud, or sand
- Not for wide people
Folding Camp Chair Frequently Asked Questions
How do you keep a folding camp chair safe from a campfire?
Always place your camp chair at least three to four feet from the campfire. Your chair should be placed on a level area to prevent the chair from being tipped over accidentally.
You should also avoid standing on the chair or using the folding camp chair as a ladder or work platform. Folding camp chairs are not designed for this type of use and can collapse, which is especially dangerous near an open fire.
Do my kids need a special camping chair?
Your kids should absolutely have a folding camp chair that’s just their size. If you’re also shopping for the little ones, check out our favorite kids’ camping chairs.
Wrapping up the Best Folding Camp Chairs
Choosing the right folding camp chair is important because it’s an investment. You might think, “Well, anything is better than sitting on a rock!”
While that might be true to some extent, think about how you’re going to want to feel when you’re sitting around the campfire all night long. You want to be cozy, right?
The Coleman Big-N-Tall Quad Chair is definitely our top pick for those seeking comfort while roasting marshmallows or simply hanging out at their campsite. Although, all of the three chairs above are great choices, depending on your circumstances.If you’re searching for more gear recommendations for your next camping trip, check out our Camping Gear section for reviews, tips, and tricks.
- About the Author
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Nicole Kinkade grew up in campgrounds in the Midwest with her family in their RV and has many fond memories around the campfire. She and her husband took many tent camping trips at the beginning of their relationship, and she looks forward to sharing the outdoors with her young son as he gets older.
She loves discovering new camping techniques and sharing them with the world. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Media Communication, she is a passionate writer who loves sharing her knowledge online.
Nicole can be reached at email@example.com