You naturally want a chair that’s comfortable, but a good one should also be relatively lightweight, reasonably easy to carry and set up, and durable enough to withstand exposure to the rigors of the outdoors (including exposure to elements like rain and mud).
Best overall: Alps Mountaineering King Kong Camp Chair
If you’re after what might be the sturdiest fold-up camp chair out there, the aptly named King Kong from Alps Mountaineering might be the one. The King Kong is generously sized and very comfortable, and its coated steel frame and 600-denier polyester construction is head and shoulders above most cheaper camp chairs that bend, rust, or otherwise start to break down after a while. It also has cup holders and storage pockets on both armrests giving you ample space for drinks, phones, and other stuff, and with a capacity of 800 pounds, it’s plenty strong enough for just about anybody.
Best budget: Coleman Quad Camp Chair
Coleman is a staple in the camping world, so it’s no huge surprise to see it holding a spot on our roundup. This brand is particularly well-known for offering no-frills, budget-friendly equipment, and its Quad camp chair should be your go-to if you’re looking to buy a seat (or a few) without breaking the bank. Its design is pretty standard for a folding camp chair, but the Coleman Quad does have a handy little four-can cooler built into one of the armrests, which is a nice extra touch.
Best rocker: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker
When it comes to chairs, it doesn’t get much more relaxing than a rocker – and with the Freestyle from GCI, you can enjoy the comfort of a rocking chair right at the campsite. The Freestyle has a unique piston-based rocking mechanism that’s deceptively simple, and the powder-coated steel frame can support adults weighing up to 250 pounds. There are a few drawbacks with a rocking camp chair like this: It’s a bit heavy, it doesn’t fold down into as small of a package as standard camp chairs (although it does fold flat), and the rocking mechanism will need some oil from time to time. If you want to get rocking around the campfire, though, the GCI Freestyle is the camp chair for you.
Best for backpacking: TravelChair Slacker Chair
Backpackers have unique requirements for their camping kit, generally cleaving to equipment that favors portability and lightweight. Nobody wants to hoof it while being weighed down with tons of gear (especially something like a folding chair, which is arguably a luxury rather than a necessity), but the TravelChair Slacker is a backpacker-friendly sitting solution for hikers who still want a seat by the fire at the end of the day. The TravelChair Slacker is a simple three-legged folding stool that, despite weighing just over 2 pounds, is surprisingly durable thanks to its reinforced construction. When folded, it’s about the size of a large rolled-up newspaper, so it can easily be lashed to your pack.
Best recliner: Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include a recliner-style camp chair, and the Infinity Zero from Caravan Sports is just the ticket for serious loungers. This gravity chair rotates backward on its steel frame (which can support up to 300 pounds) to let you lie back and stretch your legs a bit, and it even comes with an attached pillow. This reclining design would also be a fine choice for sunning yourself by the pool or at the beach, and it looks good enough to even be a semi-permanent fixture on your home porch or patio. When not in use, it folds totally flat for transport, although at 18 pounds, it’s probably not going to be a part of your backpacking kit.
Best two-seater: Kelty Low Loveseat Camp Chair
If you plan to cozy up next to the fire with a special someone or want a bench-style camp chair that the kids can all pile onto together, Kelty has you covered with its Low Loveseat. This extra-wide camp chair has enough room for two adults (or one adult and a dog or two) or a few children, along with sturdy steel-framed construction with support for up to 500 pounds and an insulated drink holder in each of the two armrests. The only major drawbacks here are that the Kelty Loveseat isn’t as portable as a regular camp chair (naturally, given its width).