The point of any camping trip is to experience nature, which most campers want to do as comfortably as possible. And sitting back in a padded camping chair is without a doubt the best way to be comfortable in the outdoors.
Sure, a padded camping chair will add weight to your gear, but the added comfort will be worth any inconvenience. Read on for help in choosing a padded camping chair.
We’ll also explore some of the reasons why a padded camping chair is worth the extra weight. Also, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about padded camping chairs.
Our Top Picks
ALPHA CAMP Oversized Camping Chair
Best Premium Option
MacSports Heated Cushion Camping Chair
Best Budget Option
OUTDOOR LIVING SUNTIME Oversize Padded Chair
The ALPHA CAMP Oversized Camping Chair, offering great comfort at a reasonable price, is an obvious choice as the best overall padded camping chair.
With a capacity of 350 pounds, the ALPHA CAMP chair is durable as well as comfortable. Even with a steel frame, the chair weighs just under 14 pounds for easy transport.
The half-moon shape of the ALPHA CAMP chair provides extra comfort for your back. Plus, a pocket on the side can serve as a cupholder or storage space.
- Size and durability provide very comfortable seatin
- Easy to sit down and get up
- Plenty of hip room
- Set-up may be difficult for some users
- Material collar may quickly fade
- May be too low to the ground for some users
Best Premium Option
For camping with extra comfort in cooler weather, the MacSports Heated Cushion Camping Chair is an excellent padded camping chair. As our recommendation as the best premium option among padded camping chairs, the MacSports chair comes with heating elements in the seat and back.
The heating elements, which can produce temperatures between 100 and 130 degrees, are powered by a standard USB battery (not included with the chair). But that’s not the only reason the MacSports chair is a great chair. It’s also rugged, with a steel frame that can support nearly 400 pounds.
Additionally, the MacSports chair is very accommodating. Nearly three feet wide, more than three feet tall, and more than two feet deep, it’s comfortable even for larger adults. Its shape provides relaxed lounging, and its weight (less than 14 pounds) makes it easy to carry from car to campsite.
- Heats up quickly
- Comfortably seats two youngsters
- Well worth the small space needed for transport
- May not provide as much heat as some users expect
- Not as portable as some users may like
- May be difficult to return to storage bag
Best Budget Option
Part of relaxing in a comfortable chair is being able to stretch out and move into a variety of positions. The OUTDOOR LIVING SUNTIME Oversize Padded Chair delivers on that point, and does so at a reasonable price.
In addition to offering plenty of space, the SUNTIME chair seat is made of a breathable moisture-wicking material. A steel frame keeps the SUNTIME chair stable, and supports up to 250 pounds.
Constructed in a roomy saucer design, the SUNTIME chair is also light. Weighing just 12 pounds, it’s easy to load with your gear, and to carry from car to campsite.
- Great head and neck support
- Comfortable for a variety of sitting positions
- Excellent choice for people with wider hips
- Plastic components may not hold up well under use
- May not stand up to frequent assembly and disassembly
- Seat may be too deep for comfort for some users
Best Two-Person Chair
Part of the reason for any camping trip is to get closer to people you love. The TIMBER RIDGE 2-Person Folding Loveseat is perfect for togetherness. It’s lower than other camping chairs, but is designed that way by the manufacturer to increase connection to nature.
The chair measures nearly 3.5 feet wide to comfortably accommodate two adults. Its back rises to nearly three feet for excellent support. And, the TIMBER RIDGE chair is designed to carry 500 pounds.
Even given its size, the TIMBER RIDGE chair won’t take too much space or weight among your camping gear. It folds to less than three feet long, and weighs under 11 pounds.
- Width adds stability
- Easy to set up and take down
- Low seat height makes it an excellent option for pets to relax
- Seat may be too low to suit some users
- May be too small for some adults
- May be better suited to youngsters than adults
Best Reclining Chair
For ultimate comfort, particularly if you suffer from back problems or similar issues, the TIMBER RIDGE Zero Gravity oversized recliner allows full enjoyment of the outdoors.
The TIMBER RIDGE chair features fully padded seating and a sliding padded pillow for head or lumbar support. It can be adjusted in any position from 0 degrees to 170 degrees, and locked into place for safety.
In addition, the chair’s bungee-style suspension system adds to its comfort for outdoor lounging. Its oxford fabric construction and heavy-duty aluminum frame ensure its durability.
- Side-mounted tray is a convenient feature
- Sturdy construction
- Very stable, doesn’t slide or tip
- Reclining mechanism may take some practice
- Difficult to dry after getting wet
- May be a bit cumbersome for some users
Why a Padded Camping Chair Is Worth the Extra Weight
In most instances, you likely won’t be carrying your padded camping chair too far. So, even a chair weighing 20 pounds or more won’t be too great a burden. Still, when you buy a padded camping chair, you’ll want to know that any trade-off in weight over a lighter camping chair will be worth it.
Read on for a quick look at some reasons that a padded camping chair is, in fact, worth the extra weight.
It almost goes unsaid that comfort is a primary reason for choosing a padded camping chair. But there is one note of caution here. Whatever padded camping chair you buy, be sure it’s padded where you need padding.
You may, for instance, want a chair with padded armrests, a feature not available on every padded camping chair.
Help With Back Problems
As people get older, it may become a challenge to enjoy the outdoors due to physical limitations. One common issue is lower back pain. Happily, there are a number of padded camping chairs designed to support the lower back, relieving tension and promoting healthy posture.
One of the great things about spending time outdoors is the chance to enjoy the splendor of the night sky. A padded camping chair is an obvious choice for comfortably gazing into the heavens.
But padding isn’t the only advantage provided to avid stargazers by a padded camping chair. Many also are designed for sitting back comfortably, so you don’t strain your neck while gazing skyward.
Padded Camping Chair Buyer’s Guide
You’ve already seen our recommendations for the best padded camping chairs. Now, it’s time for some general guidance in choosing the best padded camping chair for yourself.
A primary consideration in buying a padded camping chair is being sure it will handle the weight of its occupants. Most, if not all, manufacturers of padded camping chairs will publish a weight limit for their products.
It’s a good idea, though, to purchase a padded camping chair with a weight limit above the weight expected routinely in the chair. A padded camping chair subjected repeatedly to its weight limit may not last as long as a heavier-rated chair.
Particularly if you plan to spend lots of time in a padded camping chair, you’ll want to be sure it has a high back. High-backed padded camping chairs will provide more support to the body than other models.
Also, some high-backed padded camping chairs will come equipped with a pillow or other head support for added comfort.
Some manufacturers of padded camping chairs will set the seat height somewhat lower than may be comfortable for many people. A padded camping chair with a low seat will be more stable, but may be difficult for some people to sit in and stand up from.
As a general rule, a seat height of 16 to 18 inches should be comfortable for most people.
Padded Camping Chair Frequently Asked Questions
Even with the help of our recommendations among padded camping chair options, and our buyer’s guide assistance, you may need additional information. Read on for answers to a few frequently asked questions on padded camping chairs.
How much weight will padding add to a padded camping chair?
As you certainly know, a padded camping chair will be heavier than a regular camping chair. You might, however, be surprised to learn that some padded camping chairs can be as much as 10 pounds heavier than a non-padded chair.
That extra weight might not be a deal-breaker. But you should definitely pay attention to the weight of any padded camping chair you’re considering. By doing so, you’ll know how difficult it might be for you to carry and set up your chair..
What are some tips for cleaning a padded camping chair?
Your padded camping chair is likely made of a durable synthetic or synthetic-natural blend that will not easily stain or otherwise get dirty. But if — or more likely, when — your padded camping chair does get stained or dirty, it should be fairly easy to clean.
To remove dirt and stains from your padded camping chair, mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle. Spray the liquid on your target area until it stays wet. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, and wipe it away.
Provided the weather is good, leave the chair outside for at least 24 hours. You may still notice a vinegar smell as you store your padded camping chair, but that odor should dissipate.
How should a padded camping chair be stored between uses?
If you’re like most camping enthusiasts, you’re used to carefully storing your gear. With a padded camping chair, just as with other gear, you’ll first want to be sure that you’ve chosen a dry place for storage.
Most padded camping chairs come with a storage bag, but you should take extra steps. Among the options to consider is storing your chair in a sealable plastic storage tub. As another option, consider storing your padded camping chair in an appliance box or large moving box.
Wrapping up Why a Padded Camping Chair Is Worth the Extra Weight
Now that you’ve learned about padded camping chairs, and why they’re worth the extra weight compared to regular camping chairs, you’re ready to choose your own. As a reminder, our recommendation for the best overall padded camping chair is the ALPHA CAMP oversized Camping Chair.
- About the Author
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Jim Thompson grew up tent camping with his family, and was introduced to backpacking with the Boy Scouts. He attended a military college, where he was introduced to rappelling, an outdoor activity which he has not pursued.
Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia, and spent 35 years as a newspaper writer and editor before become a writer for Apple Pie Media.
Jim can be reached at email@example.com