Man isn’t meant to stay indoors — our weekly “Trekking” column can attest to that. It’s a column dedicated to the adventurer inside of all of us, the one pining to ditch the office humdrum for a quick surf session or seven-week jaunt in the Grand Tetons. One day we may highlight an ultra-light stove and the next a set of handmade canoe paddles. Life doesn’t just happen inside the workplace, so get outside and live it.
There are few things in life that rival the satisfaction one finds when perched on the perfect rock or log after a long day on the trail. Even if nature often provides us with the ultimate La-Z-Boy, however, there’s much to be said about a quality camping chair. The right candidate should provide you with the utmost comfort at the end of the day, while simultaneously shining when it comes to durability, portability, and overall ease of use.
Everyone likes something different, though. Some prefer a metal-and-cloth contraption that’s more luxurious than lackluster, while others like to skimp on the extravagance in favor of an ultralight option they can tote on a multi-day excursion in the backcountry. Whatever your fancy might be, one of the nine best camping chairs below should fit the bill.
REI is a known mainstay when it comes to outdoor gear and apparel — and the company’s Stowaway chair is one of its best. Heavy-duty steel tubes lining the sides add durability to the low-profile lounger, while foam padded armrests and a breathable mesh backing add comfort without soaking up water.
The Hanging Lounger rethinks the common camping chair. The lofted design — which touts a basic cup holder, cushy headrest, and an adjustable footrest — comes together via a couple aluminum pipes and branch, allowing you to quickly get lifted in a bed of 210D Ripstop N nylon that also fits in a stuff sack.
The ALPS Mountaineering King Kong is more inline with a traditional camping chair, yet, it supports up to 800 pounds and comes outfitted with a padded back and seat. The sturdy, powder-coated steel frame and 600D polyester fabric just mean it can resist the elements as well as it can the extra bit of weight.
Therm-a-Rest Treo ($66)
The patent-pending Treo chair is a pride and joy of Cascade Designs, or at least it should be. The chair’s intuitive design allows the entire aluminum frame and nylon canvas to pack into the composite tripod base, providing you with a compact package and welcome 13 inches of height when assembled.
Strongback Elite ($100)
The ergonomic Strongback Elite isn’t known for its compact framework, but it is known for its phenomenal comfort. The integrated lumbar support eases tension on the lower-back muscles and your overall skeletal structure, and with the built-in cup holder, you can ensure your drink is never far away.
Alite Mayfly ($100)
The three-legged, convertible seat that is the Alite Mayfly is basically lightweight lounger. The low-profile frame means you need to fully squat to get in, but once you do, the breathable nylon sling ensures you’ll never want to get out. The simple, color-coded aluminum frame just makes assembly a breeze.
Coleman’s Oversize Quad Chair capitalizes on both a household name and the universal need for a cold beverage. The armrest features a built-in soft cooler designed to hold up to four cans, while the rugged steel frame, padded seat, and accompanying pocket provide comfort and storage for stowing loose items.
Helinox Chair One ($100)
The Chair One is the epitome of what a camping chair should be. It’s as lightweight as it is sturdy, and features a synthetic mesh that dries quickly. The hub-and-pole design also makes the 1.9-pound chair quick to assemble, while the rubberized feet ensure you don’t go tumbling toff the rocks.
Evrgrn Campfire Rocker ($59)
Given the Campfire Rocker represents REI’s attempt at a more urban aesthetic, the chair is concerned more with comfort and looks than weight. Still, the portable rocker features 10-inch seat and a durable, fabric sling that comes that lined with a small stash pocket, one that’s perfect for housing deck of cards.