Camping chairs may not be the coolest bits of outdoor kit on the market, but the right camping chairs can be a total game-changer, especially if you spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. With our pick of the best camping chairs, there’ll be no more squatting down to cook dinner on the stove or sitting on cold picnic blankets outside your tent. What’s more, these chairs are all foldable, portable and easily stowed in the car.
Not only will they improve your average camping weekend, but a set of decent camping chairs should last you for decades of adventures to come. There are all kinds of designs on the market aimed at different users – our buying guide explains what key features to look for.
Read on, and we’ll also recommend the best, tried-and-tested chairs for everyone from lightweight backpackers to family campers.
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How to choose the best camping chair for you
What size chair should I pick?
It’s a case of horses for courses when it comes to picking a camping chair, so have a think about where you plan to use your chair before you invest. If you’re going for week-long summer camping trips with a big car boot, large comfortable chairs (which tend to be heavier) will be your best bet for comfort. If you’re heading into the backcountry or regularly moving camp, portable, lightweight chairs or camping stools will be easier to take with you.
Think about the different people in your group, too; there’s an option to suit everyone. We’ve included a double camping chair that couples will love, mini chairs for small campers and an oversized model for anyone who prefers a bit more wiggle room. It’s worth noting that more portable camping chairs tend to be low to the ground – if you’d find that a struggle, then make sure you choose a model that’s as high as the chairs you use at home. If you plan to use your chairs to eat around a camping table make sure they sit at the right height for your chosen table, too.
What key features do I need?
Whatever kind of chair you go for there are some key factors to keep in mind. A good camping chair is lightweight but sturdy, easy to fold down, small enough to stow away and made with tough, rugged and water-resistant materials. Some camping chairs use polyester materials but it’s also worth considering one made of water-resistant material such as Texteline instead. It may not be as soft but it’ll withstand a downpour, and will double up as a sturdy piece of garden furniture.
If you only camp occasionally you could get away with a cheap and cheerful fold-open chair but, if you camp regularly, we’d recommend spending as much as you can afford to get better quality and comfort.
Any extra gadgets and gizmos after that are up to what you need – some chairs have headrests, cup holders and mesh compartments for storage.
We’d also recommend picking chairs with their own carry bags, as these are useful if you’re popping the chairs away in the garage for the winter and for carrying in and out of campsites.
Is there anything else I should look out for?
Where possible, you should always try out a camping chair in person before you buy. Try different models out, have a go at unfolding and folding the one you choose and, of course, sit in it and check it suits you and feels like it takes your weight.
Once you own your perfect camping chair, look after it by giving it a wipe down after each trip and storing it somewhere dry. Happy camping!
The best camping chairs to buy
1: Quechua Camping Tripod – The best value compact camping stool
Price: £4.99 | Buy now from Decathlon
Looking for a cheap, lightweight and portable stool for your upcoming trip? The Quechua Camping Tripod is hard to beat. It’s incredibly compact, so it’s easy to pack away in the car, and it can support a weight of up to 110kg despite weighing just 1kg itself.
The sturdy steel frame and polyester seat are robust – just don’t expect sofa-level comfort as you’re just 41cm off the ground and have no back support. But, for short trips and active adventurers who want to pack light, it’s impossible to beat on price.
Key specs – Materials: Polyester with steel frame; Dimensions: 60 x 9 x 9cm; Weight: 1kg
Buy now from Decathlon
2. Kelty Deluxe Lounge camping chair: A supremely comfortable camping chair
Price: £65 | Buy now from Amazon
Kelty’s Deluxe Lounge is the most expensive camping chair here, but it’s also the best quality. It’s large, well-made and downright luxurious, made with a thick, quilted material and a comfortable reclining back that’s adjustable to three positions. The two cup holders in the arms are even insulated, to keep your cuppa warm. This chair may be on the big side, but it still folds down neatly for transport. If you want an even bigger option, then don’t forget the two-man love seat version reviewed further up the page, which has acres of space if you’re sharing.
Key specs – Materials: Polyester seat with a steel frame; Dimensions: 63 x 100 x 63 cm; Weight: 4kg
£64.95 Buy now
3. Coleman Kickback: A great camping chair for everyday use (and festivals, too)
Price: £28 | Buy now from Amazon