10 Best Camping Chairs, According to Our Outdoor Experts

Updated: Mar. 29, 2024

Looking for a chair to bring to the beach or concert? Take a seat in one of the best camping chairs, tested by Family Handyman editors.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Learn more.

10 Best Camping Chairs According To Our Outdoor Experts Megan Mowery For Family Handyman Emily Way Family Handyman Mary Henn Family Handyman Anthony O Reilly For Family Handyman YveditCONTRIBUTORS (4)

Roughing it in the woods doesn’t mean you need to go without comfort, especially when it comes time to tell campfire stories or roast some s’mores. Sure, you could sit on a log, but why do that when you could find the best camping chair instead?

Camping chairs are different from those you use on an everyday basis, according to avid camper and Deer Hunting Guide founder John VanDerLaan.

“Superior chairs go beyond the basics, offering weather resistance, user-friendly features and added perks like cup holders,” VanDerLaan says. “A quality camping chair enhances outdoor leisure, making each moment of rest a pleasure.”

Luckily, our outdoor experts have tested more than a dozen of the best camping chairs that offer easy portability, and simple setup, and are comfortable regardless of the terrain. These chairs can be used for camping, tailgating or simply relaxing in your backyard. Pair them with camping survival products for the best and safest time outdoors.

New to camping? Check out our handy hints for camping.

Fhma24 Helinox Chair One Mary Henn Family Handyman 01 Yvedit

Best Overall Camping Chair

Helinox Chair One


  • Packable size
  • Durable materials
  • Attachments available
  • Machine washable


  • Cup holder sold separately

The Helinox Chair One is our top pick for a camping chair because it weighs less than a bottle of wine, so it won’t take up a lot of space in your backpack, yet it can support up to 320 pounds. As Family Handyman shopping editor and outdoors product enthusiast Mary Henn points out in her Helinox Chair review, it’s also very durable.

“I haven’t had any issues with the aluminum frame bending or warping with use, and the seat fabric is made of ripstop polyester that’s made to last,” Mary says. “The Helinox Chair One is made with strong aluminum alloy that provides the maximum strength-to-weight ratio.”

Don’t just take her word for it. We heard from multiple avid campers who had nothing but positive things to say about this chair. “The Helinox Chair One is best for those who prioritize portability without sacrificing comfort,” says Charlie Neville, travel expert and Marketing Director at JayWay Travel. “It reflects how modern engineering can improve our outdoor activities.”

Mary notes the Chair One has multiple attachments like a personal shade, cup holder and rocking runners. Even on its own, it’s one of the best camping chairs. She does, however, say taller people may want to go with the Helinox Chair Two, which has a higher back and only weighs 2.7 pounds (the Chair one is 2.2 pounds when packed).

Fhma24 Gci Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Emily Way 01 Yvedit

Best Budget Camping Chair

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker


  • Affordable
  • Relaxing rocking motion
  • Sturdy steel frame
  • Medium height is comfortable for most
  • Includes a cup holder
  • Mesh backrest for maximum breathability


  • Heavy

At under $75, the GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker is the most affordable camping chair we recommend due to its sturdiness and the fact that it can be used as a rocker. Sure, supermarket chairs cost less but they’re likely to break on you. The GCI rocker, on the other hand, is powder-coated and has a mesh back that allows you to feel the breeze.

Family Handyman writer Emily Way says the only “downside” is that her elderly parents keep stealing it from her. It has a higher seat, which makes it easy for seniors to sit down and stand up, and has a cup holder.

“It’s sturdy, incredibly comfortable and the rocking motion is relaxing when I’m sitting around a bonfire or hanging out with pals at the beach,” Emily says. “It’s nice to gently rock by a fire while enjoying my camp coffee in the mornings. I get so many compliments on it whenever I take it out.”

The maximum weight is 250 pounds, though that’s to be expected with a cheaper camping chair. Although it doesn’t come with a carry bag, the chair has a carrying handle on the back and is easy to fold and unfold.

Another budget-friendly camping chair is the REI Co-op Skyward Chair, which we found to be the best classic camping chair.

Fhma24 Alpskingkong Anthony O'reilly For Family Handyman 01 Yvedit

Best Camping Chair for Heavier People

ALPS Mountaineering King Kong


  • 800-pound weight capacity
  • Two cup holders and storage pouches
  • Under $100
  • Easy to fold and unfold


  • Heavy

To give you an idea of how strong the ALPS Mountaineering King Kong chair is, my girlfriend and I were able to sit on it together with no issue. The seat stayed firm, the chair never once tipped and it remained comfortable despite the additional weight. It has an 800-pound weight limit and comes with two cup holders and three external storage pouches (two on each arm and one in the back).

I’d also recommend this for tall people, as the backrest comes up 22 inches to give extra support. It’s made with water-repellent 600D polyester and can be easily folded and unfolded. At 13 pounds, it’s a little too heavy to bring on an extended hike but it comes with an included carry bag with adjustable backpack straps.

I use this as my meeting chair on my balcony because I know I’ll be comfortable no matter how long my coworkers talk. The rubber feet allow it to remain stable on any terrain.

Fhma24 Yetitrailhead Anthony O'reilly For Family Handyman 01 Yvedit

Most Luxurious Camping Chair

Yeti Trailhead


  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • 500-pound weight capacity
  • Easy to fold and unfold
  • Carrying bag can be worn as a backpack


  • Very pricey

The Yeti Trailhead is the creme de la creme of camping chairs, and if it wasn’t for the $300 price tag it would’ve been my top choice for this list. This thing is comfort personified, and the mesh seat and backrest mean you can feel the breeze and cool down after a long hike. The FlexGrid fabric can hold up to 500 pounds, it doesn’t tip. Though it weighs 13 pounds, it feels much lighter when in the backpack-strapped carrying case.

The chair is UV-resistant, meaning it won’t fade as quickly as other chairs. On top of that, you get a cup holder and the instructions for folding and unfolding are conveniently placed on the armrests.

Before testing this, I would’ve never agreed to pay $300 for a camping chair. That said, this will be the last chair you’ll ever have to buy whether you use it for camping or popping a squat at your children’s little league games. It goes great with the Yeti loadout Gobox.

Fhma24 Reiwonderland Anthony O'reilly For Family Handyman 01 Yvedit

Best Classic Camping Chair

REI Co-op Wonderland Chair


  • Includes carry strap
  • Swivel cup holder
  • 300-pound weight capacity
  • Water-repellent


  • No bag

The REI Co-op Wonderland Chair is like the classic camping chair you’d find in a supermarket with a few upgrades. For starters, it’s water-repellent and has a 300-pound weight capacity. It’s also much more comfortable—not as comfortable as the other chairs on this list, but much more comfortable than what you’d get at Walmart or Harris Teeter due to the tensioned seat.

Although it folds and unfolds, there’s no carrying bag so the only way to carry it is with the included strap. If you have a green thumb, you’ll be happy to know that the Wonderland chair is made of recycled materials.

Fhma24 Cliq Portable Chair Daria Smith Family Handyman 01 Yvedit

Best Camping Chair for Car Camping

Cliq Chair


  • Portable and compact
  • Lightweight at 3.65 pounds
  • Setup takes less than five seconds
  • Easy to clean
  • 300-pound weight capacity
  • Doesn't tip over


  • No cup holder

Avid camper and Family Handyman senior editor Daria Smith says the Cliq Chair stays in her trunk because it collapses to the size of a water bottle—13.5 inches—and expands with just the click of a button. It weighs less than four pounds yet can hold up to 300 pounds, and multiple customer reviews say it’s good for people of all heights.

“Despite sitting around the campfire for several hours and lots of leaning, I had zero issues with my Cliq chair tipping over,” Daria says in her Cliq Chair review. “Cliq designs its chairs to last a lifetime with comfort top-of-mind. Even on a root-infested dirt surface, I can kick back and relax.”

The seat is made of ripstop ballistic nylon, a durable material that will remain comfortable and intact for many years.

Best Camping Chair for Backpacking

Helinox Chair Zero


  • Small, packable size
  • Weighs only two pounds
  • Five-year warranty
  • Folds up quickly


  • No cup holder

The lightest and most packable of all of Helinox’s chairs, the Helinox Chair Zero easily fits into a weekend bag for backpacking. It takes up less room than a water tumbler, weighs under two pounds and is still capable of holding up to 265 pounds.

Family Handyman senior editor Daria Smith has the Helinox Chair Zero and loves it for its compact size and convenient setup. “Weighing in at a mere 17 ounces and measuring 13.5 inches when packed, Helinox’s Chair Zero is my go-to for backpacking and camping trips,” she notes. “Despite its small size, it holds up to 265 pounds. Setup is a breeze. I like to pair it with Helinox’s Table One.”

Daria’s not the only one who uses it regularly when backpacking. “I often pick the Zero or use a seat pad when I am out on the trails backpacking,” says Adrian Todd of Great Minds Think Hike.

If you’re backpacking for an extended period, you might also want to look into the best portable toilets.

Fhma24 Nemostargazer Anthony O'reilly For Family Handyman 01 Yvedit

Best Reclining Camping Chair

Nemo Stargaze Reclining Camp Chair


  • Reclines
  • Padded headrest
  • Two pockets
  • Easy to fold and unfold
  • 300-pound weight capacity


  • Expensive
  • Heavy

I’m obsessed with the Nemo Stargaze Reclining Camp Chair. It provides a hammock-like experience with a much easier setup, and despite my early concerns, there’s no tipping or wobbling when you lean back. The uprights were designed to accommodate broad shoulders, which I appreciate as someone who has a linebacker-esque physique. It also has a 300-pound weight capacity.

The adjustable padded headrest adds to the overall comfort, as do the included pockets that I’ve been using as a can holder. There’s no listed weight, though from lifting it in the included carrying bag I can tell it’s not something I’d want to walk up a mountain with.

Fhma24 Coleman Quad Camp Chair Megan Mowery For Family Handyman 01 Yvedit

Best Camping Chair for Tailgating

Coleman Quad Camp Chair


  • 4-can insulated cooler attached
  • Multiple pockets
  • Adjustable arm heights
  • 325-pound weight capacity
  • Lightweight to carry at about 8 pounds


  • The cooler makes the chair bulkier than other chairs

The main feature that makes the Coleman Quad Camp Chair the best for tailgating is the included four-can cooler that will make you the life of the party. Most chairs come with one or two cup holders that offer no temperature protection, which means you can stay in your seat for longer without having to get up.

There’s also a cup holder, cushioned seat and side pocket that stores books, speakers, cards or anything else you need for your next tailgate. Have an entire party coming? Check out the best camping storage boxes.

Senior shopping editor Megan Mowery notes that “the Coleman Quad offers just about everything you could want in a camping chair.” That said, the seat is made of polyester that’s not as durable as the ripstop nylon found in other camping chairs. On the bright side, it can hold up to 325 pounds and comes with a carrying case.

Chillbo Shwaggins Air Couch

Best Two-Person Camping Chair

Chillbo Shwaggins Air Couch


  • Fits two or more people
  • Packable
  • Super lightweight
  • 440-pound weight capacity


  • No backrest

Pouch couches have gone viral on camping furniture TikTok, especially since you typically inflate them by running around with them like a kite. Because they don’t require a pump, they’re extremely packable and incredibly popular for camping, tailgating and festivals so your friends can have a seat, too.

The Chillbo Shwaggins may have a silly name, but this thing is serious. It comes in a little bag, and Family Handyman writer Emily Way’s niece and nephew argue about who gets to run around with it. It fits up to three people, but she loves laying out on it and keeping it all to herself. It only weighs about three pounds, yet can hold a total of 440 pounds.

Make sure you use the elastic anchor loops to hold your “couch” down when you’re not sitting on it, otherwise it might blow away.

What to Look for When Buying a Camping Chair

Searching for a camping chair involves a lot more than finding a comfortable seat, though that’s obviously one of the most important parts. John VanDerLaan, the founder of Deer Hunting Guide, says you also need to look at durability, simplicity in setup, portability and overall comfort.


A good camping chair will be comfortable for a few uses, while a great camping chair will feel as good on your 1,000th camping trip as it did on your first. Ripstop polyester and ripstop nylon are two of the most durable fabrics. Look for features such as water and UV protection to increase the chair’s durability.

Simplicity in Setup

This means that the camping chair should be easy to fold and unfold. Look for ones that involve minimal steps and have little to no assembly.


When looking at a camping chair’s portability, it’s important to look at two factors: its packed dimensions and unfolded dimensions. Packed dimensions refer to how big/heavy it is when folded or packed in a carrying case (if it comes with one). Backpackers and hikers should look for lighter chairs that won’t take up much space in their camping bags, whereas car campers can go for something a little larger.

Overall Comfort

Besides the seat, check to see that the camping chair has a comfortable backrest (if you’re tall, look for one with a higher backrest) and armrest.

Special Features

Although not a necessity, we tend to prefer camping chairs that come with special features such as cup holders, headrests and storage pockets for things like books and snacks.

Why You Should Trust Us

The Family Handyman team is composed of writers and editors who have spent countless times exploring Mother Nature, so we know a thing or two about camping chairs. This writer has explored Appalachia and Shenandoah, and other writers who contributed to this piece have been camping since they were toddlers.

Additionally, we enlisted the help of several camping experts and full-time travelers, including John VanDerLaan, the founder of Deer Hunting Guide; travel expert Charlie Neville of JayWay Travel; and Adrian Todd of Great Minds Think Hike.

Happy Campers Who Have Sat In More Than a Dozen Camping Chairs

We take our camping gear seriously here at Family Handyman. So much so that when we review camping chairs, we don’t simply take them on one trip and sit for a few minutes. No. We take them on several trips and have people of various body shapes and sizes sit on them to get a complete picture of how they feel, how portable they are, what special features they have and how easy they are to fold and unfold.

This writer and avid outdoorsman tested five camping chairs, and other Family Handyman writers and editors tested out the other five. It should be noted that’s just a small taste of the number of camping chairs we’ve sat in.

Additionally, we consulted people who travel full-time, camping experts and others with extensive experience with camping chairs.

Camping chair group shot


What is the most comfortable camping chair?

In our opinion, the most comfortable camping chair was the Yeti Trailhead because of its superior construction and use of durable materials—but you’ll have to pay top dollar for it.

What is the best material for camping chairs?

The best material for camping chairs is either ripstop nylon or ripstop polyester because they are durable and can stand years of continuous use.

What are the holes in the bottom of camping chairs for?

Fun fact: The holes in the bottom of your camping chair are actually so you can place an umbrella or some other type of shade to cover yourself when at a campsite, beach or tailgate.


Emily Way, associate shopping editor, contributed to this piece.