After a long day in the wilderness, I like to sit back and relax next to the warmth of the campfire.
But, since I tend to pack light, I’m stuck seated on an uncomfortable log that’s probably infested with creepy crawlers.
And, if I lay down in my tent, I’ll just fall asleep before the sun sets.
My best option to chill by the glowing fire? A camping chair!
The ever-increasing technology of the outdoors industry has made these chairs comfortable, tough, and affordable.
So, take a seat as we find the best camping chairs of 2021!
What is the Best Chair for Camping?
Helinox Chair Zero
Weighing an unbelievable 1.1 lbs., the Helinox Chair Zero is a staple in the ultralight backpacking community. It has a packed size of 14” x 4” x 4”, so it will easily fit into your backpack.
Unfortunately, since Helinox was trying to create a simple, lightweight product, comfortability goes to the wayside as the Chair Zero is not meant for longtime use.
At only 20.5” wide and 11” off the ground, you may not be able to squeeze into this seat if you are on the greater side of six foot.
Unlike the comfortability, the durability of the Chair Zero does not fall flat, despite being super lightweight.
The ripstop polyester fabric is long-lasting and the aluminum frame construction will hold tough throughout the years.
So, don’t forget to hit the trail with the ultralight, ultraportable, and ultra-amazing Helinox Chair Zero.
Helinox Swivel Chair
Helinox Swivel Chair not only provides portability (being just under 3 lbs), but it’s simple and quick to set up… even in those moments you just NEED to take a break.
The base of the chair is made of a single shockcorded pole structure, with the chair itself having breathable mesh fabric on both sides.
Although you won’t be able to lounge in this chair, it is comfortable and a great option for long hikes and backpacking.
An added bonus to this chair is the swivel feature. Be on the look out not to lean back too far, as the chair can be a little unstable.
The Helinox Swivel chair is a bit snug, so if you are broad shouldered, this may not be the perfect chair for you!
Nemo Stargaze Recliner
Gaze into the night sky in comfort (and style) in the Nemo Stargazer Recliner.
No matter the surface, you’ll be able to swing back in the chair, supported by strong, aircraft-grade aluminum poles.
Don’t worry about neck strains trying to get the best view of the constellations as the Stargaze recliner comes properly equipped with a supportive headrest.
REI Co-op Camp X
Composed mostly of polyester and nylon mesh, this chair provides your body with ventilation, without sacrificing overall durability since the “X Web technology” allows for up to 300 lbs of support.
The thick-walled steel tubing also offers plenty of structural integrity.
The 10.5” seat height may make taller people feel like they are in the upright fetal position as their knees will be jammed into their neck.
In conjunction with low seat height, the lower back support is not very… supportive and it’s hard to sit upright.
All in all, if I were to leave you with one reason that the REI Co-op Camp X rises above the competition, it would be it’s versatility.
Weighing just over seven pounds, you’ll be able to tuck it away in your car to bring to the campsite or pack it next to the cooler for the sports field.
Also, it comes with a unique built-in cup holder that fits everything from beer cans to coffee mugs, and a cinch pocket to store the your phone and keys.
That way, you can rest easy and still be within arms reach of everything you need.
Coleman Oversized Quad Chair
The oversized Quad Chair is not the fanciest of models, but at a price tag of under $50 and with Coleman’s reputation for durable outdoor equipment, you can take a load off your feet and your bank account.
The cushioned polyester seat allows for maximal comfort, but you may experience a slouching feeling in your lower back, as is common with most folding chairs.
This downfall holds even truer for taller people with broad backs, as the poles supports may dig into your shoulder blades.
Also, weighing 8.3 lbs., you’ll have to stick close to the car with the Quad chair.
There is a built-in 4-can cooler, mesh cup holder, side storage pocket (big enough for an iPad) adjustable arm rests, and a one-year warranty.
If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced, easily portable, extremely versatile camping chair, check out the Coleman Oversized Quad chair.
The Strongback Elite
If pure support is what you are after, then you may want to consider the Strongback Elite as your next camping chair.
Although it’s a little pricey and folds into an awkward shape, the patented, lumbar-supporting design will allow you to relax in comfort.
Kelty Low Loveseat
Cuddle up next to the campfire with your partner in the Kelty Discovery Low-Love Seat.
Unlike many other camping chairs, Kelty has put the comfort of its patrons ahead of portability.
So, even though the Low Loveseat weighs over 15 lbs., it comes with a quilted, 600-denier thick polyester fabric, which provides top-of-the-line insulation.
Although the seat height is only 13.5”, you’ll still be able to relax as the seatback is slightly reclined for comfort and support.
Obviously, with most two-person options, portability is an issue, but the Discovery folds down to 34.5” x 11” x 11”, so you should have plenty of room to stow it away in your trunk.
Snuggle up to your partner and re-discover your love for the outdoors (and each other) in the Kelty Low Loveseat.
Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair
You can finally kick up your feet and experience astronaut-like weightlessness in the Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair.
The double bungee design allows for a smooth, relaxing recline at the campsite or just out your back door.
The Infinity Zero is composed of a powder-coated steel frame and durable, outdoor-grade textaline, which is meant to withstand the harsh outdoor elements.
Yet if you keep it out in the backyard too long, the color will fade over time.
In case you do end up purchasing this recliner, be sure to assemble it before you head out into the wilderness as Caravan Sports provides a comprehensive 60-day warranty.
All in all, the Infinity Zero Gravity Chair is top of the class in relaxation and affordability when it comes to camping recliners.
REI Co-op Trail Chair
Whether you just need a little extra back support on the sports bleachers or want to add more cushion to that hard camping bench, you should check out the REI Co-op Trail Chair.
This nylon oxford and fiberglass seat is built to last and at only 1.6 lbs., you can take it with you almost anywhere.
Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair
From the tailgate to the campfire, the Kijaro Dual Lock folding chair is a great budget choice to rest your weary legs.
The breathable mesh backing will keep you cool on the hottest of days, but you may not get the best overall support as the design may leave you prone to slouching.
The material is durable ripstop polyester and breathable mesh on the seat back, providing a comfy rest for even the largest of campers.
The chair is built with a dual locking mechanism, fixing it open or shut depending on what you need.
Great budget chair for quick sits, lacks the luxury of longer rests.
Things To Consider…
You should consider each product’s ability to meet your outdoor needs; more specifically, the comfort, portability, durability, and affordability.
What kind support are you looking for in a camping chair?
Do you want to chillax by the warm campfire for hours or do you just need a 15-minute break after a long day of hiking?
Since every camper is different, you’ll want to figure out your own specific comfort levels before considering purchasing a camping chair.
You may only plan on bringing a chair car camping or perhaps a short walk from your vehicle.
Yet, some long-distance hikers like to have a place to rest on the edge of the trail, so weight can be a big issue.
Another factor that is incorporated into a camping chairs portability is its ease of setup.
While most products nowadays are “stow-and-go,” you’ll want to read other user reviews to ensure that there aren’t any hitches along the way.
Maybe you need your outdoor throne for other purposes than mere camping.
Perhaps you are going to bring it to your kid’s sports game? Maybe to the next music festival?
Heck, you might just want a place to store your beer when you’re hanging out in the backyard!
Keep in mind all the places you might need to use your chair.
Of course you don’t want to shell out half a paycheck on a camping chair, but you also don’t want to be a cheapskate and skimp for a bottom-of-the-barrel bigbox chair that will have your back aching for days.
Use the overall price as a last resort when purchasing your camping chair.
Be wary that just because something costs more, doesn’t always mean it’s better quality.
Wrapping It Up…
Whether you want to recline by the campfire, rest your blistered feet on the trail, or simply relax in the backyard… finding a camping chair that fits all your specs is a difficult task.
Remember to look into each product’s comfortability, portability, usability, and affordability to determine which outdoor chair is right for you.
Hopefully, one of these best camping chairs of 2021 caught your eye and next time you head to the campsite, you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy nature’s show.