11 Best Camping Chairs in 2022

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The Helinox Zero Camping Chair has a rocker attachment that makes it comparable to the GCI Rocker.
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With the staggering variety of camping chairs on the market, the search for the perfect outdoor chair to sit by the campfire is getting more difficult every year. Combined with some cheap models you want to avoid, you need to do some homework.

That’s why we here at Divein put in the work testing folding chairs that are portable enough to do the best job.

We found the top 12 camping chairs–considered the best by aggregate reviews–and we tested them to see what makes them so good and to find their drawbacks, if any. We have ultra-light, folding chairs for backpacking as well as models more suitable for camping by car.

Our buyer’s guide below explains folding chairs for camping in detail as well as our methods for selecting the best of the best.

The Top 10 Camping Chairs in 2022

All the Camp Chairs We've tested

Best Overall

cliq-camping-chair-collage
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The Cliq Chair is a unique offering in the conventional world of folding camp chairs. A conceptually crowdfunded collapsible chair, they’ve forged a reputation as sweethearts of the Amazon Marketplace and have since gone on to develop quite the following, garnering attention from outdoor enthusiasts and lifestyle magazines alike.

Despite appearances, the CLIQ chair isn’t a portable backpacking chair in-line with some of the ultralight models we’ve tested. It is, however, the most portable and convenient BBQ, car camping, or fieldside chair of all the models on our best-of list this year. Convenient, comfortable, and collapsible- you really can’t ask for much more than that in a camp chair.

Specs & Features

  • Weight: 3lbs 10.4oz (measured)
  • Capacity: 300lbs
  • Materials: Aircraft-grade aluminum, ripstop ballistic nylon
  • Straightforward setup
  • Tip-proof design

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    As indestructible as camp chairs come
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    Streamlined setup reduced to a single button push
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    A fraction of the size of most folding camp chairs
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    Super sturdy hinge joints for stable sitting experience

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markIt weighs a lot for how small it is
  • check-markIt's pretty pricey for something that isn't a full-sized camp chair
Read full review

Where to buy:

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CLIQ Chair

Most Packable

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Backpacking chairs are a contentious concept in a culture concerned with keeping your packed weight as low as possible. We’ve tested plenty of lightweight backpacking chairs in our quest to find the best of the best and have consistently walked away disappointed in the comfort level of top-end models- except for the Flexlite.

Though largely outshined in terms of weight, REI’s Flexlite chair is still a strong contender in the running for top lightweight backpacking options because of its staunch practicality and comparative comfort level.

The Flexlite is a worthy option for people who like the idea of a backpacking chair but can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on something that has such limited application. Though it’s a little heavier than the Chair Zero or ultralight sit pads, people unconcerned with a couple of extra pounds should look to the Flexlite as an affordable alternative that holds its own in comparison to the competition.

Specs & Features

  • Packed weight: 1lb 13.6oz (measured)
  • Assembled weight: 1lb 12.8oz (measured)
  • Capacity: 250lbs
  • Materials: Aluminum frame, ripstop polyester
  • DWR fabric finish to prevents soaking and stains

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Reasons to buy:

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    Taller than a lot of the competition, so it's easier to get in and out of
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    Wider seat than most other lightweight backpacking chairs
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    A little more accessible to set up than some of the alternatives
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    Our favorite crossover option for backpacking and everyday use
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    REI puts some effort into sustainability sourcing their materials

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markOn the heavy end for something that you'd want to take backpacking
  • check-markNo pockets, cupholders, etc.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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REI Flexlite

Sturdiest Chair

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With REI’s time and tenure in the outdoor industry, they’ve had plenty of time and data to figure out what exactly it is that the average person is going to want in their camp chair. With a fully functional weight-distribution system, two versatile cupholders, and a more substantial side pocket than we’ve seen from any of the competition, the Camp Xtra is everything out could ask for out of a chair, short of a built-in cooler. Though it’s not a loveseat, the Camp Xtra is a massive chair with a 400lb weight limit to back it up.

I’m a huge fan of the Camp Xtra because it feels like it’s built for big people. It’s not often that I can actually use a chair’s armrests without feeling hunched over a little bit. Between the size and the thoughtful features that REI has chosen to incorporate, the Camp Xtra is a veritable polyester throne fit for the king of the campground.

Specs & Features

  • Weight: 10lbs
  • Capacity: 400lbs
  • Materials: Steel frame, polyester seat and webbing
  • X-Web weight distribution technology
  • Two versatile cupholders

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Reasons to buy:

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    Huge seat and high weight capacity
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    Two cup holders that can hold almost any kind of beverage can, cup, or water bottle
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    Great back support for a camp chair
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    Highest quality side-pocket of any other chair we've tested

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markLikely to be too much chair for some people
  • check-markUnwieldy to lug around with you over any kind of distance
Read full review

Where to buy:

rei-coop-camp-xtra-chair-product-photo.jpg

REI Camp Xtra

Most Unique Feature

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GCI Outdoor has built its entire identity around well-executed folding rocker chairs that take things well outside of the box. Their Freestyle Rocker is one of 10 “outdoor rockers” they’ve developed over the years, and we’ve had the chance to take it for a spin–or a rocking, as it were.

Though it’s light on features and padding, the Freestyle Rocker was a dominant contender in our top-of-the-season lineup and worthy of investigation for anyone seeking a unique mid-range model.

Specs & Features

  • Weight: 12lbs 1.2oz (measured)
  • Capacity: 250lbs
  • Materials: Steel frame, nylon mesh seat and back
  • Spring-loaded rocking technology
  • One cup holder

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Reasons to buy:

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    The rocker function works well and is an excellent overall feature
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    Folds flat for easy storage and transport
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    Padded armrests
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    The steel frame is durable and holds up under some serious rocking
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    The upright seat feels great on your back

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThere is a serious disparity in quality between batches and sellers
  • check-markThe padding on the armrests leave much to be desired
  • check-markThe cupholder feels more like an afterthought than a feature
Read full review

Where to buy:

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GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker

Ultralight Backpacking Chair

helinox-zero-collage
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The Helinox Chair Zero is a much-celebrated backpacking chair that has earned a near-legendary reputation for balancing low weight with reasonable comfort. With all of the hype surrounding the Chair Zero, we here at Divein felt obligated to run it through the gauntlet to see if it lives up to the notoriety.

While undoubtedly a crazy light and well-engineered piece of gear, we’ve had to begrudgingly accept that Helinox’s Chair Zero isn’t the miracle chair we had hoped for.

Specs & Features

  • Packed Weight: 1lb 2.2 oz (measured)
  • Assembled Weight: 1lb 1.6oz (Measured)
  • Capacity: 265 lbs
  • Materials: Ripstop polyester, Featherlite aluminum alloy poles

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Reasons to buy:

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    Incredibly low weight
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    Durable ripstop seat is perfect for roughing it
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    Foolproof setup
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    More comfortable than most chairs in this class
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    Tons of accessories and add ons available

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe seat is a little tight for large people
  • check-markIt's a long way down to the chair if you're tall
  • check-markQuite pricey
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Helinox Chair Zero

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Coleman camping chairs are a mainstay on camp grounds, festivals and sporting events. The Coleman name has withstood the test of time, much in the same way that their products weather yearly camping trips season after season. After so many decades of outdoor excellence, they’ve brought their A-game to this affordable and feature-rich piece of folding furniture.

Their Cooler Quad Chair handles the two essentials of a frontside folding chair: comfort and a dependable cup holder, but adds a four can cooler to save you the trek to the icebox. Features aside, the biggest draw by far to this chair is the price, only a fraction of most of the other camping chairs we reviewed.

This chair had us impressed on all ends, and with its wide availability, the Cooler Quad is a stalwart defender of Coleman’s reputation as a king of camping.

As is the case with many mass-manufactured chairs, there tends to be some variance in quality over the years. I haven’t experienced any issues with mine despite pushing the weight limit and the cooler capacity up to the limit, but there is enough evidence floating around to question the integrity of the joints.

Beyond this, it’s a cheap and cheerful camp chair that will give you everything you need and a little more, inarguably a bargain deal anyone shopping around should consider.

Specs & Features

  • Weight: 8lbs 2oz (measured)
  • Capacity: 325lbs
  • Materials: Steel frame, cushioned polyester back and seat
  • Built-in four can cooler
  • Mesh cup holder

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Reasons to buy:

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    The built-in cooler takes relaxation to its logical conclusion
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    Another mention of the deserved for being effective
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    Mesh side pocket is spacious enough for a tablet, phone, book, and more
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    Excellent value for the included features
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    Covers bigger and taller people very well

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markArm rests could be a bit longer
  • check-markThe back material isn't the most breathable
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Coleman Cooler Quad

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Coleman has a reputation to maintain in the outdoor community, and their Aluminum Deck Chair is a classic amongst classics. Beyond nostalgia, it’s also a pretty solid option for those looking for the sweet spot between durability and affordability with the added bonus of a side table.

The wide seat and collapsible side table conjure up images of dawn in the woods, right after you crawl out of the tents and get a little morning fire going. The table’s cup holder even includes a little cutout for the handle of your coffee cup, which alone is enough to garner some serious consideration in my book.

The most consistent complaint about chairs similar to this is a weak side table. While I wouldn’t recommend anyone sitting on it, I was pleasantly surprised at how much weight the table could handle. I thought the chair itself was nice and firm, favoring an upright sitting position rather than a more reclined or relaxed posture. The armrests leave something to be desired, but other than that, I think I could happily crawl out of my tent and into the Aluminum Deck Chair on any given morning.

Specs & Features

  • Weight: 7lbs 2.1oz (measured)
  • Capacity: 225lbs
  • Materials: Aluminum frame, sponge rubber, and polyurethane padding, nylon fabric
  • Folding side table
  • Coffee cup holder

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.2

Reasons to buy:

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    Sturdily built and easy to get in and out of
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    Super wide seat
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    The folding table is great for food and drinks
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    Relatively lightweight compared to other full-sized folding chairs

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe rounded legs make tipping backward easier than with other folding chairs
  • check-markThe padding around the armrests is lackluster
  • check-markThe table takes a little bit of effort to lock out
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Coleman Aluminum Deck Chair

Affordable Backpacking Chair

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Marchway is a bit of a dark horse when it comes to the competition amongst camping chairs for backpacking. It’s a perfectly viable option for backpackers who don’t mind an extra pound or two and find themselves wincing at the price of other options like the Chair Zero.

Despite weight considerations, I expect that their Ultralight Folding Chair will turn quite a few heads when it comes to value. I’ve even found Marchway’s design to be a little more comfortable and feel more stable than the featherweight competition.

Amongst backpacking options, the Marchway Ultralight Folding Chair isn’t a standout in weight or ruggedness, but it does lead the charge in price. Anyone looking for an cheap camping chair beyond a basic “sit pad” should strongly consider this as an option, so long as they are willing to deal with an extra pound. It’s also no slouch in comfort.

I’d recommend the Marchway Ultralight model as a crossover option for people looking for something affordable they can take from their backyard to their local National Park.

Specs & Features

  • Packed weight: 2lbs 0.3oz (measured)
  • Assembled weight: 1lb 13.9oz (measured)
  • Capacity: 250lbs
  • Materials: Aircraft-grade aluminum, ripstop nylon, anti-slip nylon
  • Meshed back for breathability

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.1

Reasons to buy:

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    Way more affordable than other chairs in this category
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    A bit more comfortable and stable than lighter alternatives
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    Relatively easy assembly

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markTwice as heavy as leading backpacking competitors
  • check-markThe mesh back isn't as durable as a total ripstop design
  • check-markThe assembly is easy, but not as easy as some of the competition
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Marchway Ultralight Folding

Low Cost Alternative

amazonbasics-camp-chair-product-photo.jpg
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The AmazonBasics Camp Chair is essentially a scaled-down copy of the Coleman Cooler Quad we looked at earlier in this list. The difference is the convenience and customer service quality assurance that has made Amazon the reigning titan of eCommerce. Their Basic Camp Chair comes fully kitted out with a 4-can cooler, mesh cup holder, and partially meshed back for ventilation. It’s also available in a padded and XL-padded variation that looks even more like the Coleman model.

The AmazonBasics camp chair is a feature-rich and solidly constructed option for anyone who needs a cheap chair in a rush. I found this foldable chair to feel a little small on me, but the average person probably won’t feel as constricted.

Between the cooler, the cupholder, the side pocket, and the back mesh- it’s hard to find much to criticize about this chair. If you’re sold but it happens to be out of stock, the above-listed Coleman Cooler Quad Chair has many of the same features and a similar design for roughly the same price.

Specs & Features

  • Weight: 5lbs 15.4oz (measured)
  • Capacity: 225lbs
  • Materials: Steel frame, nylon back and mesh
  • Integrated 4 can cooler
  • Mesh cup holder

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Solid camp chair at the price and convenience of Amazon
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    Gives you the option to opt for a wider seat or more padding
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    Steel frame adds durability that we like
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    Reasonably light for a full-size camp chair

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe smaller seat makes it a little less comfortable than alternatives
  • check-markFabric at the end of the seat tends to dig into the back of your legs
  • check-markSubject to limited availability when it gets sunny
Read full review

Where to buy:

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AmazonBasics Camp Chair

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Alps Mountaineering has a bit of a cult following amongst camping chair connoisseurs. Their King Kong model is renowned for its strength and comfort alike. We’ve chosen to take a closer look at their Escape chair, a folding lounge chair.

While not as resilient as other full-sized folding models we’ve tested out, the Escape Chair is a luxury lounger with a removable footrest to max out your relaxation potential. With a high back and wide seat, the Escape is perfect for getting some time off of your feet and enjoying the sun.

The Alps Mountaineering Escape is an affordable luxury option that will best serve people who seriously like to kick back while camping, though it suffers from limited carry capacity. With an upper limit of 225lbs, I nearly max it out depending on how much I’ve been running. As such, the big and tall crowd might want to consider their King Kong model, one of the most robust chairs on the market.

Specs & Features

  • Packed Weight:10lb 3oz (measured)
  • Assembled Weight: 9lb 13oz (measured)
  • Capacity: 225lbs
  • Material: Steel frame, 600D polyester fabric
  • Removable footrest

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

3.9

Reasons to buy:

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    Quality comfort for long hours of lounging
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    High back doubles as a headrest
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    Reasonably affordable quality build
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    Removable footrest adds a little versatility
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    One of the most robust folding lounge chairs

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-mark10lbs is a considerable amount of weight to lug around
  • check-markMinimal carry capacity for a full-sized camp chair
  • check-markCan be challenging to get in and out of with the footrest
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Alps Mountaineering Escape

coleman-utopia-breeze-beach-chair
fullscreen
1/5
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There’s a reason why Coleman’s Utopia Breeze is an Amazon Bestseller for both camping and on the beach. The 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on almost 4,000 ratings, proves that most customers were pleased with the purchase. Even though there are a few drawbacks, there’s a good chance that the benefits will outweigh the disadvantages for you.

You might be tempted to give this beach chair a try if having a cup holder attached to it is a priority for you. For sitting by the fire with a cold one, the Utopia is also a decent candidate as long as the campsite doesn’t require too much trekking.

It folds up into a carrying bag and has a steel frame. That makes it an option for the beach as well as other outdoor activities.

Specs & Features

  • Material: Powder-coated steel, synthetic
  • Item Dimensions: L 26 x W 26 x H 26 inches
  • Package Dimensions: L x W x H ‎30.75 x 7.5 x 5.9 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 kg/5.3 lbs.
  • Capacity: 250 lbs.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Lightweight: Weighs 5.3 lbs.
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    Broad and strong and stabile
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    Hours of comfort: Relaxed backrest with full seat support
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    Roomy: The 21” seat offers lots of space to lounge
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    Convenient storage: Seatback towel pocket and cup holder

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe cup holder isn’t sewn on and can fall off
  • check-markToo low for some: the elderly will find it challenging to get in and out of the chair
  • check-markDoesn’t recline
  • check-markIt is limited in features and doesn’t provide you with additional storage pouches or an umbrella to protect you from sunburn.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Coleman Utopia Breeze

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We’ve seen camping chairs with all kinds of features, but the Quik Chair Max Shade is a design seldom seen. Obviously, we’re talking about the built-in, fully adjustable shade awning that will keep you safe and shaded even on the most sweltering of summer days.

Far from a one-trick pony, the Max Shade also includes two mesh cup holders and a reinforced side pocket for your phone, books, frisbee, etc. If you feel like getting some rays, you can fully retract the awning, so it hangs freely out of the way, off of the chair’s back.

The Max Shade is a really cool idea, but in practice, it can come off as more of a novelty piece than anything you’d get too much use out of. I was concerned mainly by the weight limit; there are plenty of chairs that can hold much more weight than the Max Shade.

Criticisms aside, I think that those seeking a folding chair for the beach or festivals will start to see significant returns on their investment. If you’re primarily concerned with sun exposure, the Max Shade is a solid solution.

Specs & Features

  • Weight: 8lbs 13.9oz
  • Capacity: 225lbs
  • Materials: Steel frame, polyester fabric
  • Retractable and adjustable awning
  • Two cup holders

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

3.7

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    The awning is serviceable and does a great job of protecting you from UV rays
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    Has all of the additional features that you'd want in a camp chair
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    Pretty light considering how much material goes into the chair
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    Surprisingly easy to transport

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe shade can feel pretty heavy compared to a nice umbrella
  • check-markThe chair isn't as comfortable as some of the wider models that we've tried
Read full review

Where to buy:

quik-shade-max-folding-chair-product-image.jpg

Quik Shade Max

Great Compact Chair

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fullscreen
1/3
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Cascade Mountain Tech’s Low Profile Camp Chair is a foldable seat that won’t break the bank. Its name speaks for itself — the chair is technical enough to accommodate you in rougher conditions, all while being portable and easy to assemble and disassemble.

The 4k+ Amazon reviews prove that CMT’s chair is worth looking deeper into for the beach and other outdoor scenarios. Although it’s mainly designed for people with a more petite frame, the buyers almost unanimously agree that it’s one of the sturdiest foldable chairs on the market.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-carry camp chair that would also be beach- and festival-friendly, this chair is for you. While it does have some drawbacks that might be a non-negotiable for some, it’s a great all-around chair that does what it says it will without any compromises.

Curious to learn more about the Low Profile Camp Chair? Scroll down and see the specs and features, reasons to buy and not to buy, and our take on the chair.

Specs & Features

  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Dimensions: 20"D x 20"W x 21"H
  • Weight: 6 lbs 9 oz / 2.9 kg
  • Assembled size: 20 x 20 x 21 in / 50.8 x 50.8 x 53.34 cm
  • Packed size: 26 x 6 x 6 in / 11.8 x 2.7 x 2.7 cm

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Mesh back cuts down on sweaty back
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    Doesn’t fill up space around the campfire
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    Easy to transport with shoulder straps
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    Storage bag good for organizing
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    Can seat up to 250 lbs

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markLacks an important feature: it can’t recline
  • check-markToo low: some might find the chair to be positioned too close to the ground
Read full review

Where to buy:

Cascade Mountain Tech Compact Product Image

Cascade Mountain Tech

Related Reviews

Guide to Choosing the Best Camping Chair

Chances are you’ve sat in a camp chair or two in your day. They’re a near-essential component of any camping trip, sporting event, or bonfire. Some people even venture to bring specialized lightweight models on backpacking trips. Regardless of your intent, not all camp chairs are made the same. Below we’ll detail some of the finer points of camp chair construction, differences between models, and features you should look for to help you find the perfect place to take it easy in the great outdoors.

Backpacking Chairs vs. Camping Chairs

As is true with most outdoor equipment, the best place to start your search is deciding how you’ll be using your chair. Full-size camp chairs emphasize comfort and stability (ex. ALPS Mountaineering King Kong). Often they’ll have additional features like built-in coolers and footrests to take your leisure to the next level. Your folding chair’s size and weight aren’t as crucial if the furthest you’ll carry it is from your truck to the fire pit.

Backpacking chairs, by nature of their design, are smaller, lighter, and much less comfortable than their full-size counterparts. Carry weight and packed size are the most critical aspects to consider; you don’t want your chair to make hiking uncomfortable. There’s a ton of variety between styles of backpacking chairs. Some are fully-backed collapsible models that fold up like tents (ex. REI Flexlite), while the lightest models are little more than folding pads that create a barrier between you and the ground (ex. Thermarest Z Seat).

Price

There’s a tremendous amount of disparity between the cost of camp chairs. You can pay anywhere from $30 for a basic chair, all the way up to $300+ if you opt for a top-of-the-line model. Truth be told, you don’t need to pay top dollar for a quality product. There are plenty of options around the $50 mark that will get the job done provided you take good care of them, and they see only semi-frequent use.

With higher-end models, you start to pay for durability and features- these chairs are an investment for people who prefer the firepit to the couch and come with amenities to ensure you can enjoy your time outside to the fullest.

Stability and resilience scale pretty consistently with the price when it comes to backpacking chairs. If you consider them an essential part of your backcountry kit, it’s worth investing some money for the added comfort and durability. If all you need is something to keep you off the ground, there’s still plenty of options to pursue that don’t cost a bundle.

Comfort

It goes without saying that a chair won’t do you much good if it’s uncomfortable. Comfort is more likely to be a concern with front side chairs due to convenience and heavier use. You can emphasize extra features and luxurious materials because you don’t have to worry about carrying your chair very far (ex. ALPS Mountaineering Escape). Broadly speaking, the taller the back and the wider the seat of your chair, the more comfortable it is.

That’s not to say you should resolve yourself to discomfort in the backcountry. Although high-end backpacking chairs will never be as comfortable or as easy to get in and out of as a full-sized alternative, crossover models can work double-time, reasonably comfortable no matter where you take them (ex. CLIQ Camping Chair).

Setup and Packed Size

Most camp chairs are pretty intuitive to set up, with nothing more to it than pulling apart the collapsed back section in a universally familiar motion. Some have locks or other mechanisms to keep your chair from opening or closing unexpectedly during use or transit. More complicated chairs have accessories like tables, awnings, or footstools that take a little bit more time to get in order (ex. Quik Shade Canopy Chair).

Outside of your classic design that collapses to fit into a carrying case, some chairs fold flat. The GCI Rocker and Coleman models with side tables are prime examples. These are a little more difficult to carry and take up way more space in your car truck bed, but it’s the only way to pack these valuable features into a solid frame. Helinox has actually found an elegant way to convert their Zero Camping Chair into a rocker.

The Helinox Zero Camping Chair has a rocker attachment that makes it comparable to the GCI Rocker.
The Helinox Zero Camping Chair has a rocker attachment that makes it comparable to the GCI Rocker.

Smaller, lightweight chairs tend to have a more elaborate setup because they’re designed to collapse down to as small a volume as possible (ex. Helinox Chair Zero). Most are made up of tent-like poles and a single piece of fabric. The poles break down, and the fabric seat is rolled around them so the whole thing can fit neatly in a case or bag. They’re just like tents; with some patience and some practice, you should be able to get your chair up and get off your feet in no time. Simpler chairs require almost no setup beyond finding a nice piece of ground to plop down on (ex. REI Trail Chair).

Weight and Durability

Weight is a much more critical consideration for backpacking chairs than camp chairs. As a rule, frontside equipment is built durably and with comfort in mind. Who cares if your chair and tent weigh a ton if the furthest you have to carry it is from the back of your car to the campsite? It’s reasonable to assume that the more a chair weighs, the more durable it will be long-term. A good clue into this is to take a look at the chair’s carry capacity. The heavier load that the chair can accommodate, the more sturdily it is built, and therefore the more long-term wear and tear it is capable of absorbing (ex. ALPS Mountaineering Camp Chair).

Not to put too fine of a point on it, the weight cost of bringing a chair on extended backpacking trips is a tough sell for anyone. The light and fast crowd particularly will have a hard time justifying the additional bulk, and it doesn’t make much sense to bring a full chair if you’re more into tagging peaks. For weekend treks, forest trails, and slackpacking, a chair is a much more reasonable luxury item. Even though you still want to watch weight, you would be well-served by any chair below the 3lb mark (ex. Helinox Swivel Chair).

Keep in mind that backpacking chairs are made of lightweight materials, so it’s important to take care while using them. As an absolute, they’re less durable than camping chairs except for a Thermarest or other simple and lightweight alternatives, in which case they are nigh indestructible.

Pockets, features, etc.

Backpacking chairs are pretty light on features by nature, but regardless of intended use, having a couple of pockets to store your phone or other gear is a good policy. When it comes to more relaxed styles of camping pockets, cupholders, built-in coolers, tables, footstools, awnings, and all manner of luxuries are available. You want a design that’s amenable to you staying put for a bit- a cupholder and a cooler can be just as important to comfort depending on the person (ex. Coleman Cooler Portable Camp Chair).

When you start to pile on features, that’s where the price starts to shoot up. Budget-conscious people can probably rationalize forgoing the retractable awning in favor of a ball cap and pair of sunglasses. The most important factors for your chair are comfort and dependability, and you can get all of that for a fraction of the price of a fully-equipped lounger (ex. AmazonBasics Portable Camp Chair).

Specialty Designs

With so much diversity and innovation in the world of camp chairs, there are certainly some unique models worth investigating. Rocking chairs, loveseats, recliners, and more have burst into the market. Generally speaking, these specialty chairs will be limited to the front country, where the additional weight won’t drag you down. You’d expect them to be much more expensive than something with a more straightforward design, but you can find them for competitive prices, despite the nuances of their construction (ex. NEMO Stargaze Recliner).

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What are the best camp chairs?

With an overwhelming selection of chairs bursting into the market, sifting through to find the top contenders takes a keen eye and a considerable amount of work. Whether you’re looking for something lightweight to carry to sporting events or a fully-featured model for long hours of lounging, here are our favorites currently on the market.

Best camp chairs:

  • Coleman Outpost Breeze
  • GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker
  • REI Camp X
  • Alps Mountaineering King Kong
  • AmazonBasics Camp Chair
What is the most comfortable camp chair?

For those of us who value relaxation and the occasional nap in the sun, a dependable camp chair is a must for any trip to the woods or the beach. We’ve done the work and sorted through the plethora of chairs on the market in search of only the finest and most comfortable options for you to relax in.

Most comfortable camp chairs:

  • Alps Mountaineering Escape
  • GCI Outdoor Kickback Rocker
  • Mountain Summit Gear Loveseat
  • Yeti Trailhead Camp Chair
  • Coleman Outpost Elite
How to remove mildew from a camp chair?

Nothing’s worse than pulling your chair out of storage for a quick jaunt to the woods, only to find it coated with mold. Before you panic and buy a new chair, it’s worth trying to give it a scrub down. Keep in mind that preventative measures are always better, and you should do your best to dry your chair out before stowing it. Here are a few quick steps you can take to get a little more life out of your outdoor goods.

How to clean mold from a camp chair:

  • Let the chair dry in the sun for 5-6 hours, start off easy by letting nature do the hard work for you
  • Use a soft soap and warm water to scrub any residue off of the fabric, rinse and let dry
  • If there are any particularly stubborn spots, use vinegar or diluted alcohol to clean them up
  • Make sure your chair is dried thoroughly before storing it to prevent more mold from showing up
Are backpacking chairs worth it?

Depending on who you talk to, a chair is either an essential piece of your backcountry kit or a frivolous waste of pack space. A lightweight backpacking chair is a great way to keep yourself more comfortable while you’re cooking, eating, or relaxing around a fire at camp. It’s also helpful to keep yourself off the ground during dewy mornings or after a light rain. Ultralight backpackers and people more interested in tagging peaks might find them an unnecessary luxury.

What is the lightest backpacking chair?

If you decide to bite the bullet and take a chair with you on your next backcountry adventure, you’re probably most concerned with how much more weight you’re going to have to haul with you. We’ve collected our favorites of the lightest and most comfortable chairs currently available. For more on camp chairs and how to choose yours, take a look at our overview page.

Best lightweight backpacking chairs:

  • Helinox Chair Zero
  • REI Flexlite Chair
  • CLIQ Chair
  • Coleman Aluminum Deck Chair
  • REI Flexlite Camping Chair

Now, we want to hear from you!

What’s your favorite Camping Chair and why?

Let us know in the comment section below!

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