Who has the perfect camping chairs? Maybe, maybe not. One thing for sure is that there are many different types of camping chairs out there to choose from. We’ve done the homework, lets compare these camping chairs.
Best Camp Chairs
Can there perfect camping chairs? Maybe, maybe not. One thing for sure is that there are many different types of camping chairs out there to choose from that will meet your needs. All thing campers have in common is the desire to sit around the campfire. It is calming, relaxing, and if with family and friends a great way to bond and enjoy one another. It is an important aspect of camping, where memories are made.
If you are reading this, then it is safe to assume that you, like me, have had that experience of sitting in a chair for hours on end that is either uncomfortable or maybe is not the most sturdy being masked by the all the fun surrounding you. Or how about when you arrive at camp and it takes you 5-10 minutes to get the chairs out and unpacked or when the adventure is over and it is time to pack up.
Or better yet, when that rainstorm suddenly emerges and you do not have time to break them down so they get soaked. Oh yeah, most of you have had an experience that involves one of the most important ingredients to your camping experience.
The first step in this equation is to determine what your actual needs are. Is it a certain price point, a specific brand, comfort, lightweight, accessories (i.e. cup holders, phone/book pouch), easy to assemble/disassemble, or all the above. Luckily for us consumers, there are manufacturers who keep pushing the boundaries on redesigning or designing something new and producing this gear that keeps us coming back.
The camping chair for me, is like purses for my wife…different styles for different occasions. You see, I am a multi-use guy. I do not just use my chairs for camping, but for the beach, sporting events, family picnics, sitting in the driveway, etc, etc. And I like some of you, have gone down the road of buying the cheaper folding chairs from Walmart or Academy Sports that are functional, but leaves you desiring for something better.
Fortunately for you, I have gone down the road of testing and buying various chairs that I am going to share with you. And remember, you must decide what you want. What I share with you is simply my opinion based on my needs, which change based on the occasion.
When it comes to my camping adventures, I wanted a chair that was easy to assemble, packed down small, but was comfortable…something I could easily sit in for hours without having lower back or hip pain…yes I am getting up there in age and my body needs a little more TLC.
Living in Biloxi, MS, and now Charleston, SC I wanted my camping chair to be multi-use…something that could also be used at the beach. So I headed to a local outfitters store and started doing some testing. Testing? Oh yeah, I pulled different chairs out, assembled, sat in them, had my kiddos sit in them, pick them up and move them around, and then disassemble and store them back in their carrying case. Not just once, but a few times and on multiple trips. I made the journey to REI in Greenville, SC, and did the same…of course we also went hiking and enjoy the mountains.
Nonetheless, I stumbled upon a company that I was fascinated by, Helinox. One specific chair I kept circling back to was the Helinox Beach Chair…yes that is correct I said beach chair…but I thought I was looking for a multi-use chair that could be used for camping…well this chair met both of those needs for me. Check out the current prices here.
Helinox Quick Facts:
- Price: (Current Price on Amazon)
- Assembled Packed
- Height: 31 in 5.5 in
- Width: 23 in 18.5 in
- Depth: 28.5 in 4.5 in
- Weight: 3lbs, 4oz 3lbs, 4oz
- Capacity: 320lbs
Not only is extremely lightweight, but packs down very small is easy to assemble and disassemble, and has an extended back support that provides so much comfort when you are sitting down for those extended periods of time. Sturdiness…well this bad boy has a capacity of 320lbs.
If there was one critique that I would give it is that it does not have any armrests or cup holders. For me, this is not a major issue as I usually have my beverage in hand or in a Yeti/Hydroflask that I can easily set on the ground next to me.
Also, this chair sits low to the ground, which may detract those who may find it difficult to get in and out of the chair. I personally like how low it sits. With mesh built into the back and side panels, it allows for some airflow and body heat to escape. The base structure follows a tent pole system with internal bungees. Everything about this chair screams quality. To top it all off, it packs into a carry case that is roughly 18.5” long and weighs just a little over 3lbs.
Because of their pack downsize, I keep two of them in the rear cargo compartment of my 4Runner…this way I always have a chair for whatever occasion presents itself…and it is backed by a five-year warranty.
But my journey into camping chairs did not end there. No, you see there was this chair so unique, that just based on its uniqueness I had to have it. The Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair (found on Nemo’s website here)! Yes, another Nemo product that I quickly added to my gear lineup.
NEMO Stargaze Camp Chair Quick Facts:
- Link to Check it out at Nemo, Here
- Weight: 7lbs, 2oz
- Packed Weight: 7lbs
- Packed Size: 23.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 in
- Dimensions: 27 x 36 x 44 in
- Capacity: 300lbs
Talk about redefining the camping chairs experience…NEMO Stargaze Camp Chair has hit several marks for me. Oh, where to begin…let’s start with the fact that the base is built like a tank, uses a similar tent system with bungees like the Helinox chair, and easy assembles.
Then comes the mesh back chair that attaches at two points to the base and well you are all set up and ready to enjoy. As the name implies, just lay back and enjoy gazing at the stars. You can swing back and forth, you can sit up, you can take a nap, and when you want to eat just simply sit straight up. Long live the NEMO Stargaze recliner.
This chair is the epitome of comfort and relaxation. It is equipped with an adjustable headrest, cupholder (will discuss this in a moment), and a stash pocket to put your phone or a book. The one downside of this chair though is the cupholder. It is small and from my experience usually houses my car keys.
The top feature is the self-reclining feature. My wife, kids, and I have all fallen asleep in this chair and when it comes time to set up our lounging space, the kids claim them fast! After a long day of hiking, they grab their tablet device, hop in, watch a movie or play a game, and relax from the ease of the soft swinging motion. And when the sky turns dark, they lay back and enjoy the stars…dreamy right!
As mentioned above, this chair has a capacity of 300lbs, a pack weight of 7lbs, and is backed by a lifetime warranty…and will be one that will remain with us as long as possible.
By now you are probably wondering why so many chairs. Well, I did not stop there. Instead, one day we were walking in downtown Charleston, SC after a visit at the farmers market and decided to go check out some products in the Yeti store that had just opened. As we enter, my wife sees it…the Hondo Base Camp Chair. She walks over, immediately sits down, and a smile emerges.
Of course, this was another chair set up right next to her so like any good husband following their wife around a store, I sat down…and a smile emerged on my face.
Yeti is known for its quality, and yes their price tag. I own several Yeti products (coolers, ramblers, loadout bucket, etc) and all have been made well and stood up to the rigors we have put them through. So why would a chair called Hondo be any different? Before I knew it, we were standing in the checkout line and to the beach we went to. This chair is a tank!
Yeti Hondo Quick Facts:
- Weight: 16.5lbs
- Unfolded: 30.125 x 35 x 26.5 in
- Folded: 7.125 x 32.25 x 26.5 in
- Capacity: up to 500lbs
Double barrel frame and solid cast joints and a 500lb capacity! The fabric backing and seat are 100% breathable (important on those hot summer days), and the front of the chair has an angled approach so no digging or cutting into the bottom of your legs when sitting. Yeti Hondo has an included cup holder stays upright even when in the carrying position, and is designed to accommodate the majority of ramblers, mugs, etc. They made this chair to last a lifetime.
The downsides…this chair is heavy, and if space is premium, does not pack down very small. Sure they will fit into the back of your car or SUV, but they are going to take up some space. This has been my wife’s favorite chair though. And on some occasions, mine as well…the price tag is hefty though (link to check it out can be found here).
These chairs have heightened mine and my family’s experience on so many different occasions. From my daughter’s swim meets, to my son’s soccer games, to camping, to the beach, to friends’ homes, to our home, you name it these are with us…not to mention they often become a conversation piece. And while these chairs are not cheap on the wallet, they are all built to last.
I value quality over quantity. And while there are some companies who make similar products, it was these three that caught my attention the most. No regrets here. I know that whatever we decide to do or wherever we decide to go, we will be comfortable sitting around as a family.
CJ is a Colorado resident, active duty military, and an avid outdoorsman. From hiking, camping, and mountain biking, to river rafting and Overlanding, CJ and his family are constantly adventuring.