Jun 26, 2023

The 9 Best Camping Chairs Of 2023, Tested And Reviewed

We tested 30 different camping chairs to find the best in comfort, portability, and value.

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Southern Living / Marcus Millan

Whether you’re out in the wilderness on a new adventure, kicking back at the tailgate with friends, or at your kid’s weekly soccer game, a camping chair is an essential product for anyone on the go. Camping chairs are great because they fold up small and are easy to transport—either on your back or in the back of the car or RV. Lots of camping chairs recline and sit low to the ground to provide added comfort, and many come with added features such as cup holders, storage pockets, and carrying bags.

We tested 30 camping chairs and evaluated them on ease of use, portability, durability, comfort, and value. We also consulted National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, professional hiker, author, and professional speaker Jennifer Davis. “The best camping chair will depend on what type of camping you’re doing (that is, how far you’re going to have to lug it to your campsite),” says Davis. “How much you value things like comfort, weight, price, packability, and ease of setup also factor in as well.”

With those expert insights and tested results in mind, here are our favorite camping chairs for every type of outdoor activity.


It comes with some smart features, like a carry wrap, insulated cup holders, and a quilted construction.

It can be difficult to get in and out of since it’s so low.

A great camping chair packs comfort with smart design and added features, which is why we think the Kelty Lowdown is the best overall pick. It sits lower to the ground than average camping chairs, which is more comfortable and allows you to stretch out. It also means you’re closer to the campfire instead of towering over your friends—a win for cold nights and conversation. It even works well for tall people, as we discovered during testing. Once seated, you can stretch your legs out for the ultimate lounging position. The Kelty is also slightly reclined as well, which adds even more comfort and allows you to relax after a long day on the trail. The quilted design is padded, which adds even more comfort, and the armrests are adjustable too, so you can move them up and down to your liking.

The cup holder on the arm is insulated, which helps out on hot and cold days to keep your canned drinks cool and your mugs hot. It’s also adjustable, and can fit anything from a standard can to extra-large water bottles. We also love the included carry wrap, which makes it easier to tow your chair rather than trying to cram it back into a narrow chair bag. Just put the folded chair legs into the wrap’s pocket, then fold the wrap over the chair and close the buckles. You can also use the wrap as a small mat to rest your feet on, or as a way to carry firewood, as it has attached handles.

Price at time of publish: $80

Chair Dimensions: 21 x 20 x 29 inches | Folded Dimensions: 32.5 x 8 x 8 inches | Weight: 7.4 pounds | Weight Capacity: 350 pounds


The dual-locking system makes the chair extra sturdy.

It’s a bit heavy to carry.

For a simple yet well-designed chair for all your camping, concert, and lounging needs, the Kijaro Dual Lock Chair is a great buy. It has a dual-locking feature that locks the legs in for extra safety and stability. Just click the locks in place, and then when you’re done lounging, fold the chair up and allow the locks to open up so the chair can fold up for transport.

Breathable mesh means you won’t get sweaty while sitting, and the no-sag seat is strong and holds up to 300 pounds. The chair includes two mesh cup holders, plus a side zippered mesh pocket for your sunglasses, sunscreen, phone, and more. While the bag is heavier than others we tested, the attached carry strap makes it easy to throw the chair over your shoulder like a bag when you’re on the move. We also like that the armrest is more supportive and firmer than others tested. Plenty of color options are available.

Price at time of publish: $44

Chair Dimensions: 26 x 35.5 x 37 inches | Folded Dimensions: Not listed | Weight: 9.5 pounds | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds


It’s super durable and holds up to 500 pounds.

The only extra feature it has is one cup holder.

The frequent camper, tailgater, concert goer, or ultimate outdoorsman is going to want a chair that can stand the test of time and last through years of wear and tear. In that case, you might have to spend a little bit more money. Enter the Yeti Trailhead Camp Chair, which is made with strong FlexGrid fabric and holds up to 500 pounds. The fabric is also made to withstand UV rays, so it won’t fade, stretch, or disintegrate under the hot sun. It comes with a carry bag that has two straps attached, so you can throw it over your shoulder, or carry it like a backpack if you’re going a long distance or need a little extra support. We found it to be a bit heavy to carry just on your shoulder, so we recommend carrying it like a backpack. Plus, this frees up your hands for other gear and such.

The chair’s crossover frame is made to fold down with ease, making it easily packable for your next adventure. To set the chair up, push down on the armrests to unfold the chair until it locks into place. Do the same with the tensioner on the back to secure the back of the chair, and you’re good to go. To fold it up, click the release buttons under each armrest, pull up on the back lift handle, bring the opposite ends of the chair together, and place it in the bag feet first. The bag itself is roomy and large, and we found it easy to get the chair in and out. Gray and navy color options are available, but unfortunately it only comes with one cup holder.

Price at time of publish: $300

Chair Dimensions: Not listed | Folded Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.3 x 43.3 inches | Weight: 13 pounds | Weight Capacity: 500 pounds


The attached four-can cooler is a game changer.

It’s tough to get the chair back into the carry bag.

Leave it to Coleman to create a camp chair with an attached mini cooler bag on the side. Yes, the Coleman Cooler Quad chair has a four-can cooler built into the armrest, so you can keep the good times rolling without having to get up for a drink as often. The other armrest has a mesh cup holder and a mesh side pocket to store your phone, keys, snacks, or anything you might need at your fingertips. There’s a cushioned seat and back on the chair for added comfort, and the seat itself is 2 feet wide. The steel frame supports up to 325 pounds, and a carry bag is included—although we found it a bit difficult to get the chair back in. We found that the seat didn’t feel super firm, which left us sinking into it a bit. But on the plus side, you’re getting a chair and a cooler for under $50.

Price at time of publish: $45

Chair Dimensions: 38.3 x 13.5 x 18.5 inches | Folded Dimensions: 38.3 x 13.5 x 3.1 inches | Weight: 8.1 pounds | Weight Capacity: 325 pounds


It takes up minimal space.

There aren’t any added features.

If you’re car camping, RVing, or backpacking and counting every pound of gear, the REI Co-op Flexlite Air chair is a no-brainer, as it only weighs 1 pound and takes up minimal space in your car, RV, or backpack. It’s made from tough ripstop nylon that’s water-repellent and an aluminum frame that will hold up to 250 pounds. Four chair legs provide stability, and the nylon build helps resist stains and moisture. There aren’t any instructions on how to put the chair together, but it’s a simple setup: The legs and frame fit together easily, and the seat material slides over the legs. Getting the seat material over the last leg pole met some resistance, but that’s expected, and we want the chair to fit together well.

The chair folds down easily into the small carry bag, and three color options are available. The chair doesn’t really have any added features, but at just 1 pound, it’s a great option for those looking for a lightweight chair that will keep them off the ground and not compromise on precious space. The chair seat cradles your body in a comfortable way, and we felt we could sit in it for a long time and be content. It definitely moves with you and doesn’t feel rigid, which we love for comfort.

Price at time of publish: $100

Chair Dimensions: 25 x 20 x 20 inches | Folded Dimensions: 4.5 x 15 inches | Weight: 1 pound | Weight Capacity: 250 pounds


The chair folds up small for easy storage.

There could be a cup holder or storage pocket.

After a long day of hiking—or even just for big chillin’ at the tailgate—a chair that reclines is essential. We love Nemo’s Moonlite Reclining Camp Chair because it’s simple, lightweight, and easy to transport while still providing comfort. It weighs just under 2 pounds and folds up into a small carry case that’s super easy to store in a backpack, car trunk, or an RV cabinet. The seat is made from mesh that’s designed to conform to your body when you sit, and it provides enough height for taller people to feel comfortable. The mesh is also wider-set mesh, so it would be very breezy and comfortable on a hot day. We also noticed that the chair’s fabric has rubber in the corners for attaching to the chair arms, which allowed the armature to click into place instead of slipping into place, which we really like.

To recline the chair, pull on the side buckles and lean back and the straps will loosen, making the chair recline to your liking. The short chair legs also mean that you can stretch your legs after a long day. “For typical camping trips (car camping, an overnight getaway, or day hike where I’m setting up by a stream for an hour or two), I’d go with something that’ll get my bum off the ground like the Nemo Moonlite,” says professional hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis. “It’s lightweight, breathable (clutch in those hot summer months), and has straps for reclining as much or little as you want.”

Price at time of publish: $160

Chair Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 26 inches | Folded Dimensions: 4 x 14 inches | Weight: 1.9 pounds | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds


The adjustable leg heights provide maximum comfort.

Chair set-up is a bit harder than others on this list.

For the ultimate in relaxation, this chair from Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) is a win. It comes with an attached, cushioned head pillow and armrests and a hammock-style seat that feels like a comfy cocoon. It also has a high back for added support, and adjustable leg heights so you can choose if you want the chair to sit at 3 inches or 10 inches off the ground. The chair is made from durable ripstop nylon and comes with a carry bag that has a strap for easy transporting. We found that the high back, padded headrest, and armrests were very comfortable, but the sides of the chair and the headrest might be a bit too high up for shorter people.

A cup holder on the side holds your favorite drink, and two cargo pockets store your phone, snacks, and even a small tablet. Four color options are available.

Price at time of publish: $140

Chair Dimensions: 32 x 23 x 37 inches | Folded Dimensions: 24.5 x 7 x 7 inches | Weight: 4.6 pounds | Weight Capacity: 250 pounds


The adjustable armrests and cup holders are great for relaxation.

The chair is heavy to carry.

Of course, we had to go with the Kelty Low Loveseat for our two-person choice, as their one-seat version was our favorite overall. It feels super comfortable and roomy, and can also work well for you and a pet. It has a quilted back design for a bit of added comfort, and the fabric is made from heavy-duty polyester that’s designed to last through lots of wear and tear. The seat has a low base (13.5 inches off the ground), giving you the opportunity to kick out your legs and recline after a long day.

The steel frame supports up to 400 pounds, and insulated cup holders on the side are adjustable to fit a standard water bottle to an extra-large canteen. Adjustable armrests add to your comfort, and the entire seat folds up neatly inside the padded storage bag that doubles as a tote for carrying wood and other camping gear. Just fold the seat down, store it inside the storage bag, roll it up, cinch it down, and throw it over your shoulder with the carry strap. While it is relatively lightweight for its size, the chair has a solid build and doesn’t feel like it would easily knock over. Multiple color schemes are available.

Price at time of publish: $140

Chair Dimensions: 44 x 23.5 x 31.5 inches | Folded Dimensions: 34.5 x 11 x 11 inches | Weight: 15.4 pounds | Weight Capacity: 400 pounds


The lightweight design allows you to bring the chair anywhere with ease.

There isn’t a cup holder.

Ultralight backpackers (and anyone looking for a compact camp chair that’s super lightweight) will love this chair from Big Agnes. It weighs just over 1 pound and packs down into its included carry case super small. The chair material is made from strong ripstop nylon that adds even more strength and holds up to 275 pounds. The material has a waterproof coating that holds up against weather, and multiple color options are available.

And while this chair might have a simple design without the bells and whistles that other camp chairs have, it does pack a punch in its build, as the frame is made from strong aircraft aluminum and pre-bent poles, which allow for a wider and deeper seat that’s cozy and comfy. The frame is shock corded and color coded for easy setup and no tools are required. For a chair that’s so lightweight and compact, we found it to be super comfortable, which made it a win for us. It’s also easy to set up, though it was a bit challenging pulling the fabric over the armature during assembly.

Price at time of publish: $150

Chair Dimensions: 21 x 17.5 x 26 inches | Folded Dimensions: 17 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches | Weight: 1.75 pounds | Weight Capacity: 275 pounds

We like the Kelty Lowdown Camping Chair because of all of its features and strong build. The carry wrap is great for carrying other gear when you’re not using it for the chair, and the adjustable cup holder is great for standard bottles and large water jugs. We also like that it sits low to the ground and has a quilted back for added comfort. The Kijaro Dual-Lock Portable Camping Chair is a great budget-friendly buy and a great starter camping chair for those new to camping or those not wanting to spend a lot on a chair for tailgates. We especially like the dual-locking feature and the side storage pocket.

We tested 30 camping chairs on ease of use, comfort, portability, durability, and value. To start, we looked at how easy it was to set up each chair, including how easy each one was to fold and unfold. We also looked at how easy it was to adjust the angle of the seat, and how easy it was to put the chair back into its carry bag.

For comfort, we sat in each chair for an extended period of time, and noted any adjustability features. We evaluated whether the seat was too high or low to the ground, plus if there were parts of the chair sticking out in awkward ways. Added features like cup holders, side tables, or canopies were taken into consideration as well, as these things can add to comfort level.

For portability, we noted the weight of each chair and how easy they were to carry solo. We also looked at whether there were handles or other features that made carrying easier. Next, we examined the materials to see if they were heavy-duty, noting if they were rip-, stain-, or weather-resistant. We also checked to see if the chairs were wobbly or sturdy and if they seemed to be built to last. Finally, we looked at the price tag for each chair and judged whether they were a good value for the price.

This is one of the most important factors to consider when buying, as you’ll be sitting in the chair for long periods of time. Consider if a low to the ground chair is right for you, or if you want something higher up. If you want something that reclines, make sure you’re buying a chair that has that ability, too. It’s also important to look for a chair that fits your build. “If you’re 6 '4”, the most compact chair on the market is probably not for you,” says Kyle Ogilvie, Kelty’s marketing manager. “Similarly, if you’re petite, a chair that sits high off the ground might not work for you.”

If you’re camping or hiking at a state park, backpacking, or traveling often with the chair, you’re going to want it to be lightweight and portable. Make sure it’s easy to get the chair in and out of its included carry bag, or if there isn’t a carry bag, an attached strap should be included so you can throw it over your shoulder after folding it up.

The REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair is a great portable choice because it’s super lightweight, stores in a small carry bag, and only weighs 1 pound, meaning it won’t weigh you down while you’re on the move. We also love the Big Agnes Skyline UL Ultralight Backpacking Chair for a portable option because of its lightweight build and included carry bag, which make it a great choice for ultralight backpackers and anyone looking for an easy, light option.

If you’re RV traveling, car camping, or limited to a backpack, size is crucial. Look for a chair that folds up as small as possible so you can easily stow it in your trunk, backseat, backpack, or tucked away in an RV. The last thing you want is a bulky chair that weighs you down.

On the flip side, a double-seated chair such as the Kelty Low Loveseat Camping Chair is worth checking out if you’re traveling with a large group of people or want to maximize seating space at the tailgate. Plus, it still folds up into a storage bag, meaning you can transport it easily. “We love a two-seater camping chair for cuddling up with loved ones,” says Ogilvie, “but if you like your own personal space, a single is a great option.”

Look for added elements like cup holders, storage pockets, reclining capabilities, and carry cases when shopping for camping chairs. All of these things can add to your comfort level and add value to the chair. Ogilvie notes that a carrying case is key, especially one with padded straps. “Carrying chairs (even lightweight chairs) without a carrying case can be awkward. Add another armful of camping supplies or tailgate snacks and you’ll be wishing for an easier carry.”

The Kijaro Dual Lock Camping Chair is great for its included cup holders and storage pocket, as is the Coleman Cooler Quad Chair. The Nemo Moonlite Reclining Camp Chair is a great buy for its reclining capability, and the ENO Lounger DL Camping Chair also comes with two cargo pockets and a cup holder.

Helinox Chair Zero: This is another good compact option that’s super lightweight and packs up small. However, the Nemo Moonlite and Big Agnes Skyline can both hold more weight.

Trademark Innovations Loveseat Style Double Camp Chair: This is a great bargain buy for a two-seater that’s strong and sturdy, but the Kelty Low Loveseat has better features and added comfort.

Higher and lower camping chairs both have their advantages and disadvantages. You’ll want to choose a chair based on what works best for you and what activities you’ll be doing. Lower chairs are often more comfortable for lounging and great for events like concerts, outdoor movies, and beach days because they don’t block the view for those behind you. Taller chairs often give you more support though, and are better for eating meals and playing card games around a table. Taller chairs are also easier to get in and out of, whereas lower chairs are more difficult to get in and out of, but more comfortable to sit in.

This depends on how often you’re going to be using the camping chair and for what activities. Overall though, we think that it is a good idea to invest in a good camping chair. The last thing you want is for the seat of your chair to rip while you’re watching the big game at the tailgate, or for a chair leg to break while you’re backpacking. Investing in a great chair means that you’ll more than likely have it for years to come. It also means you’ll have a reliable camping chair that you can use for multiple functions like camping, tailgating, concerts, fishing, and even waiting in long lines.

You can use a camping chair anywhere that you’d need a portable chair. You can use it as a beach chair, at your kids’ soccer games, at a concert or movie in the park, on the shore or a dock while fishing, at a tailgate while you cheer on your team, or even as an extra chair at the Thanksgiving table.

Amanda Ogle is a freelance writer and editor with seven years of experience covering food and drink, travel, and general lifestyle topics. For this list, we tested 30 camping chairs, considering factors such as comfort, value, portability, and durability. For expert insight, Amanda consulted with professional hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, speaker, and author of The Pursuit of Endurance: Harnessing the Record-Breaking Power of Strength and Resilience, as well as Kyle Ogilvie, Kelty’s marketing manager.

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