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Best Backpacking Chair: How to Pick the One That Suits Your Needs

Evrgrn camping chair
Bradley Page
Written by Bradley Page

When you are backpacking, you are expected to give up a number of amenities and conveniences. However, one could agree that there are certain conveniences that you don’t have to give up while on the trail. Don’t you think that a nice comfy chair can be a godsend if you’re simply chilling in basecamp? A chair might not be in your list of backpacking essentials but you’d be surprised what the best backpacking chair can do for you.

However, shopping for a backpacking chair can be quite daunting especially when there’s so many options out there. This article will provide you some great tips on how to shop for a backpacking/outdoor chair. We have also compiled a list of some of the best products that you can check out. Let’s get to it!

ProductWeight Dimensions Color Price
ALPS Mountaineering King Kong13 pounds5 x 5 x 38 inchesKhakiCheck price on Amazon
Kijaro Dual Lock Folding9.5 pounds26 x 35.50 x 37 inchesBlue, red, green, pink, yellow, turquoiseCheck price on Amazon
Coleman Oversized Quad9 pounds27 x 27 x 7.75 inchesBlue, black, red and grayCheck price on Amazon
Therm a Rest Treo2.3 pounds10 x 9 x 8 inchesBlue, green and grayCheck price on Amazon
GCI Outdoor Recliner7 pounds17 x 25.5 x 31.5 inchesDark blue and dark greenCheck price on Amazon
REI Camp X7.3 pounds31 x 31.25 x 20 inchesGray and red    Check price on REI    
REI Flex Lite Chair1.1 pounds26 x 20 x 20 inchesBlue, red and yellow    Check price on REI    
ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous7.25 pounds24 x 20 x 14 inchesKhaki and rustCheck price on Amazon
Helinox Swivel3.2 pounds27.6 x 19.7 x 20.5 inchesBlack and blue, black and greenCheck price on Amazon

Features To Consider When Shopping

When searching for the best backpacking chair, there are several important characteristics that you should keep in mind. First, it needs to be reasonably comfortable since it doesn’t really make sense to carry a chair that provides the same level of comfort as a rock or the bare ground. Second, you need one that’s lightweight, portable, durable, and stable enough to avoid injuries.

Camping habits

Depending on your camping habits you can choose from a wide range of models. For example:

  • If you are a fan of family style camping, of driving your car to the campsite and admiring the nature’s wonders while still enjoying some comfort, you can buy a larger, well padded chair. In this case, bulk and weight are not very important, as you’re not carrying your stuff on your back. You can afford the luxury of shopping for a truly comfortable camping chair, one that allows sitting back and relaxing after a long day in the mountains or the forest.
  • For beach use, the best chairs are the ones made of mesh since these will keep you well ventilated. Pick a lighter color to avoid overheating.
  • If you are into fishing, there are plenty of models designed specifically for fishermen.

Girl on a camping chair

Weight, durability and portability

However, if you are planning a longer camping trip where you will be carrying all your stuff through the wilderness, the weight of the chair, its durability and its portability are the most important factors to consider. The lightest chairs for backpackers usually weight around three or four pounds, which is totally reasonable.

You could skip the chair all together, as it’s not an absolute necessity, but it does wonders for your comfort and well being, so the few extra pounds you’ll be carrying are totally justifiable.

Bulk

Also, you should pay attention to the bulk of the chair – the smaller the better. Most people carry their camping chairs attached to the backpack or inside the backpack, so make sure you get one that’s easily portable and doesn’t bother you during hikes.

Models

The newest models of camping chairs for backpackers don’t have a metal frame at all, but are basically just a padded, reinforced seating area. You have to lean the back of this type of “chair” against a firm surface, such as a tree or a large rock, and you have a padded area to seat on.

OUTAD tripod chair

However, if you are preparing for a long and rough camping trip, such a chair makes a very useful accessory, offering something soft and warm to sit on and protecting your body from the moist and coldness of the ground. Also, you can lay it down underneath your sleeping bag at night, for extra insulation and comfort.

Ease of Setup

Of course, you need a chair that you can easily setup when needed, and just as easily keep away when it’s time to pack up. Fortunately, many backpacking chairs are fairly easy to set up and pack away.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Below are some of the best chairs for campers, that are suitable for a wide range of activities, from backpacking to fishing trips, lounging on the beach or even as extra chairs in your backyard when you have more guests than chairs.

ALPS Mountaineering King Kong ChairALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair

Price: Approx. $63.98

Weight: 13 pounds

Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 38 inches

Color: Khaki

Specific features: Comes with a shoulder carry bag

Best use: Camping with a car

If you are done with trying out all manner of cheap backpacking chairs, then you should try out this new product. The Alps Mountaineering King Kong Chair features a durable, powder coated steel frame comes with a weight capacity of 800 pounds. The 600D polyester material is of very high quality. The armrests are adjustable, which provides extra comfort for users, and there is a beverage holder on each armrest.

Also, there are hanging pockets on each arm, allowing you to keep all your essentials nearby. This chair can accommodate up to 800 pounds regardless of whether you require the extra weight capacity or not, you find the comfort and strength that comes with this chair incomparable. Once done, simply fold it up in a carry bag till the next outdoor event.

PROS: 

  • Comfortable
  • Easy to set up as well as unfold
  • Good quality
  • Has places to place your cups, books and other possessions
  • The canvas is padded and rugged

CONS:

  • Bulky
  • The bar across the front and sides of the front squeeze the legs in an uncomfortable way.

Related: If you also want not only to sit comfortably during your camping trip, but also have a nice comfortable table to place your items then you should consider the ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table. Why should you place your items on the ground and knock them off by mistake while you can easily get this wide surfaced table?

Check the price on Amazon

Kijaro Dual Lock Folding ChairKijaro Dual Lock Chair

Price: Approx. $29.65

Weight: 9.5 pounds

Dimensions: 26 x 35.50 x 37 inches

Color: Blue, red, green, pink, yellow, turquoise

Specific features: Patented dual lock technology

Best use: Camping with car

The Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair comes with a patented dual lock technology that locks in the open and closed positions, plus improved posture and seat support for comfort. It easily locks closed to enable you easily move about with it. To open the chair, simply push open the button on the side. The armrests have cup holders each, and the chair has a 300 pounds weight capacity.

The breathable mesh on the seat back provides protection against overheating. The chair has a carry strap, but it also comes with its own carry bag. With the straps you get extra convenience as you move about. This product is available in a wide variety of colors.

Kijaro is a brand that has been in the market for some good time and has gained market confidence thanks to their top notch quality products. Their products go through innovative technology and have unique designs. This folding chair certainly is no exception.

PROS:

  • Sturdy
  • No sag seating
  • Has cup holders on each arm
  • It comes with a carrying strap

CONS:

  • The hanging pouch is somehow smaller and tight
  • Heavier

Related: Camping should be relaxing and exciting in every way. Nothing sets this mood than when you have yourself this amazing Kijaro chair as well as the Sport Bella Versa Brella Umbrella. It protects you from the heat and creates a cool ambiance as you read, eat or just relaxing.

Check the price on Amazon

Coleman Oversized Quad ChairColeman Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler

Price: Approx. $35.95

Weight: 9 pounds

Dimensions: 27 x 27 x 7.75 inches

Color: Blue, black, red and gray

Specific features: Built in armrest cooler

Best use: Camping with car

Talk of bringing the home experience to your outdoor activities and this chair is all you need. This luxurious chair will allow you to enjoy your camping trips with the same level of comfort you usually have in your backyard. The Coleman Oversized Quad Chair is sturdy yet compact, and has a heavy duty steel frame that supports up to 300 pounds, and it folds to fit inside most car trunks.

The chair has a built in cooler on the armrest that holds up to four cans, plus a mesh cup holder on the other armrest. If you want to go hands free, the side pockets will go a long way to help you safely and securely store your books or even snacks. When you are done with the fun part, simply fold your chair and get going. The chair comes with a carry bag for easy transport and storage. Luxury and comfort are what defines this chair.

PROS:

  • Easy to unfold and set up
  • It has a cup holder and a mesh flap that can hold accessories
  • Has a cooler built into the left arm
  • Roomy

CONS:

  • Bulkier
  • Heavier
  • Bigger

Related: Beside the chair, you also need a portable table for camping comfortably. Get this Coleman Outdoor Compact Table that’s family size, sturdy and stable. The outdoor table is easy to pack and store and is certainly worth every penny.

Check the price on Amazon

Therm a Rest Treo ChairTherm-a-Rest Treo Chair

Price: Approx. $69.47

Weight: 2.3 pounds

Dimensions: 10 x 9 x 8 inches

Color: Blue, green and gray

Specific features: Tripod base with non skid feet

Best use: Backpacking

Have you ever experienced a scenario where getting in or out of a chair becomes a hassle? Well, the good news is that you put all that in the past. The unique design of this chair makes getting in and out very easy, while offering plenty of support and a comfortable seating experience. The strong, composite tripod from Therm a Rest Treo Chair comes with a base with non skid feet which works perfectly on sand, rocks, dirt and more, protecting you from falling and getting injured.

The heavy duty 6000 series aluminum frame with ultra strong nylon/Dyneema sling supports up to 250 pounds. The chair has been made with 300D polyester material which makes it strong enough to accommodate all kinds of persons. The seat height is 13inches, yet another factor that enables getting in and out easy. This ultra light chair is ideal for backpacking and long hikes. The chair packs entirely in its own tripod base, which makes it extremely easy to carry.

PROS:

  • Light weight
  • The whole chair folds down into the three legs
  • Portable

CONS:

  • Not great for heavier people
  • Small size

Related: Keep warm with this Pod Pocket Blanket during your camping trip and enjoy a night star gazing without getting cold. With you sitting on this great camping chair and having yourself all covered up with the pod pocket blanket, you will be slowly swayed to a world of sweet dreams.

Check the price on Amazon

GCI Outdoor Recliner ChairGCI Outdoor Wilderness Recliner

Price: Approx. $73.04

Weight: 7 pounds

Dimensions: 17 x 25.5 x 31.5 inches

Color: Dark blue and dark green

Specific features: Recliner function, cup holder

Best use: Camping with car

Although it has an average weight for camping chairs, the GCI Outdoors Recliner Chair is probably as comfortable as your favorite armchair at home. The level of comfort is due to its recliner function that allows you to pick your favorite position.

Also, the frame and the seat are made of high quality materials that provide great support and stability on all kinds of surfaces (sand, dirt, or rocks). The cushioned lumbar support is perfect for relaxing after a tough day of hiking.

The chair supports up to 300 pounds, has a cup holder attached to one of the armrests and has to straps that allow you to carry it on your back. Although it’s not the type of chair you can pack for a long backpacking trip, it’s ideal if you plan to drive to your camp base: comfortable, stable and sturdy, it will make relaxing while camping a lot more attainable.

PROS:

  • Easy to carry
  • Easy to adjust
  • Durable
  • Can be carried on one shoulder

CONS:

  • Not comfortable in the backpack mode
  • Sits low to the ground

Related: Imagine you are on the beach or out camping and you are seated in this comfortable chair but the heat is so excruciating you just have no idea what to do. Well that is where the Sport Brella Versa Brella Umbrella comes into play. It keeps you cool in such like moments.

Check the price on Amazon

REI Camp X ChairREI Camp X Chair

Price: Approx. $49.99

Weight: 7.3 pounds

Dimensions: 31 x 31.25 x 20 inches

Color: Gray and red

Specific features: Drop down pocket on armrest

Best use: Camping with car

The Rei Camp X Chair comes with an exclusive X Web technology that evenly distributes the body weight to provide you an enjoyable, comfortable seating experience. The mesh and polyester seating surface are durable to use and exposure to weather and sunlight. In event your seat gets dirty, worry not as you can easily wash it. The chair dries up really fast.

The frame is made of durable, heavy duty steel tubing, while the powder coating keeps the chair looking nice for years. A drop down pocket on the left armrest allows you to keep your phone or other personal items safely and within reach, while the other armrest has a cup holder.

This is a light weight chair with low profile for maximum comfort and luxury. The chair has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and packs up into the included stuff sack for easy storage and transportation. You find this and your search for backpacking seats will be over.

PROS:

  • Easy to unfold
  • Portable
  • Quality aluminum construction

CONS:

  • Not great for heavier people
  • Small size

Related: This REI Camp Tarp will keep you nice and cool during your camping trip. Lightweight and versatile, it provides maximum coverage and is very easy to install.

 Check the price on REI

REI Flex Lite ChairREI Flex Lite Chair

Price: Approx. $79

Weight: 1.1 pounds

Dimensions: 26 x 20 x 20 inches

Color: Blue, red and yellow

Specific features: Mesh side pocket

Best use: Backpacking

If you are looking to pack small and light then you should look no further. The REI Flex Lite Chair is here to answer to all your needs. The lightweight, but heavy duty aluminum frame is easy to set up and holds up to 300 pounds. The four leg design provides stability on all surfaces, while the mesh and polyester seat panel are breathable, keeps you from overheating. In the event it gets wet or washed, it drains and dries very fast.

Most fabrics usually fade away their color with the passing of time as they get exposed to sunlight. With this chair the story is not so. The mesh and the polyester fabric keep their original color very well and are durable to regular use and exposure to elements. This chair also has a mesh side pocket ideal for keeping your phone, a flashlight, a magazine or a book. It folds easily to store and carry in the included carry bag.

PROS:

  • Heavy duty construction
  • Convenient
  • Easy to carry
  • Locally made

CONS:

  • Lightweight
  • Not great for heavier people
  • Small size

Related: With camping comes lots eating and lots of other fun moments. Enjoy your meals on the Moon Lence Ultralight Roll Up Table. Coming in an array of colors, you will love the sturdy legs and its wide surface. It comes with a carrying bag for easy transportation.

 Check the price on REI

ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous ChairALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous Chair

Price: Approx. $30.17

Weight: 7.25 pounds

Dimensions: 24 x 20 x 14 inches

Color: Khaki and rust

Specific features: Stability on all surfaces

Best use: Camping with car

The design of the coated steel frame provides plenty of stability on all types of surfaces, while the 600D Polyester and mesh seat fabric offers back support and a comfortable seating experience. It comes with a special Tech Mesh material at the center of the seat. This fabric enables you to remain cool and comfortable because it freely allows air to flow through. The ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous Chair also allows your body to ventilate properly and avoid overheating.

The low profile design keeps you close to the ground, making the chair perfect for a wide range of activities, from lounging next to a fire camp to sitting at an outdoor concert. Despite its compact design and light weight, the chair has the ability to hold up to 300 pounds. Available in khaki and rust, the chair folds easily and comes with its own carry bag which measures 8 by 28 inches.

PROS:

  • Moderately compact
  • Sturdy cushion foam around the frame of the arms
  • Comfortable

CONS:

  • Bulkier in size
  • Low profile
  • Heavier

Related: Improve your camping experience with the multifunctional, lightweight and easy to set up ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table with four built in beverage holders.

Check the price on Amazon

Helinox Swivel ChairHelinox Swivel Chair

Price: Approx. $112.46

Weight: 3.2 pounds

Dimensions: 27.6 x 19.7 x 20.5 inches

Color: Black and blue, black and green

Specific features: Unique frame design for stability

Best use: Backpacking

The Helinox Swivel Chair is very light (although sturdy and comfortable) and ideal for backpacking trips. The exclusive single shock corded pole structure design of the frame makes it pretty stable and easy to set up. Unlike many ordinary backpacking chairs, this one swivels and thus allowing you to enjoy your outdoor events from all angles.

The seating area of the chair has breathable mesh on both sides. This enables air to freely flow and thus allowing you to avoid becoming overheated. It has been made with 600D polyester fabric which is known to be very strong and also durable. The good news is that in the event it gets dirty, you can easily hand wash it. It also dries up pretty fast.

The American made backpacking chair is 6 inches high and 7 inches wide. Its wide frame makes it comfortable even for big people. It comes with its own storage and carry bag.

PROS:

  • Hand washable
  • Sets up quick
  • Great for squat support
  • Packs up small

CONS:

  • Not ideal for heavier people
  • Pricy as compared to others

Related: Beside this comfortable chair, you can also get the Helinox Table One Hard Top for a truly enjoyable camping experience. With its folding design, you can easily set this table up in an instant.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

When shopping for camping chairs, first of all think about how you are going to use it. If you are camping with a car, you can purchase heavier, bulkier chairs that are comfortable and allow for relaxation.

However, if you are planning a backpacking trip, your main concerns should be the chair’s weight and portability. In such a situation, we recommend chairs that weight 3 to 4 pounds, fold rapidly and come with an easy to use carry bag.

Sitting on a backpacking chair

Which do you think are the most important characteristics of a very good camping chair? Are you more interested in comfort, or in a product that’s compact and easy to carry? Please let us know if you find our list of products useful for you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bradley Page
Bradley Page

With several decades of experience as a backpacker and outdoor adventurer, Bradley is an open encyclopedia when it comes to gear, clothes, and other items that matter on the trail. He tested hundreds of shoes, pants, jackets, and backpacks in his long career and is always up to date with the new appearances in the niche. His experience makes him one of the authority figures in backpacking and he can help anyone to get prepared for a great adventure!

  • Alysson Adams

    My husband’s a pretty big guy (210 lbs.) but we found that the Alps Mountaineering King Kong Chair has been plenty sturdy enough for him, so far at least. It has an 800 pound weight limit and so we’re hoping that means this is going to be a longer lasting chair than others we’ve used in the past. We’ve definitely busted our fair share lol

  • Bradley Page

    Hi! I’ve seen that you’ve discovered the Alps Mountaineering King Kong Chair – and believe me, it’s a good choice. I’ve bought one for my Dad two months ago. He has a large frame and he’s a real stocky guy. So far, the chair and my Dad are doing fine! I know your husband has finally found his chair.

  • Alicia Djuric

    We use another Alps chair, the Mountaineering Rendezvous. It has really good ventilation and, even though it is a little bit of a lighter chair, it has been pretty durable for us so far. The carry bag for the Rendezvous also has some heft to it and is very durable, too. Big fan of this brand!

  • Bradley Page

    This is such an excellent chair and I’ve been using this for many years. I do agree with you, this is a durable chair and I love this brand, too.

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