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The 5 best camping chairs: Take a seat

What is the best camping chair? ZDNet's No. 1 choice is the ALPHA CAMP Oversized Chair. We compared pricing as well as features like weight capacity and whether there was a cooler or cup holder or headrest to determine the top camping chairs available.
allison-murray-2.jpg
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

Going camping is a great pastime, but you need to bring a lot to make the experience comfortable. Your camping checklist should include a tent, a sleeping bag, a lantern, a packed cooler, and a camping chair so you can relax around your campsite.

While many camping chairs are available, not all are comfortable, portable, or easy to carry around. However, we've done the hard work for you and rounded up the best camping chairs that check off all the boxes so that your next camping trip is complete, and you can sit and enjoy friends and family around the fire.

ALPHA CAMP Oversized Camping Folding Chair
Amazon

Features: 450-pound weight capacity | Cooler and cup holder | Padded back

In our opinion, the best camping chair is the ALPHA CAMP Oversized Folding Chair. It is extra durable and sturdy since its weight capacity is up to 450 pounds, and it has extra back padding for added comfort.

There is also a cup holder, a mesh pocket to hold your phone or other items, and a cooler to keep beverages chilled while you hang out by the fire. When you're done sitting, it collapses into an included carrying case and weighs 13.2 pounds.

Pros:

  • High weight capacity
  • Sturdy yet comfortable
  • Cup holder, pocket, cooler, and carrying bag included

Cons:

  • Smaller cup holder
  • It can suck you in and make it hard to get out of 
Coleman Camping Chair
Coleman

Features: 325-pound weight capacity | 4 color options | Cooler and cup holder

A more budget-friendly chair with almost the same features as our top pick is the Coleman Camping Chair. It also has a cooler (that can keep up to four cans cold), a cup holder, and a mesh pocket, but unlike our top pick, this chair also comes in different colors: black, grey, blue, and red.

It has a 325-pound weight limit but only weighs 8.4 pounds when folded up and put into its carrying case. The chair also has adjustable armrests so that you can find a comfortable position for you.

Pros

  • Most inexpensive option
  • Cup holder, pocket, cooler, and carrying bag included
  • Adjustable armrests

Cons

  • Can be challenging to pack back in the carrying bag
  • Could use more back support 

Also: Best camping gear: Tech to help you get away

Kelty Low Loveseat Camping Chair
Kelty

Features: 500-pound weight capacity | Insulated cup holders | 4 color options

If you need something a little larger or just want to cozy up next to your person around a fire, the Kelty Low Loveseat is a great option as it's fit for two. It comes in four color options and provides 42 inches of seating space with insulated beverage holders on each side.

At 15 pounds, its maximum capacity is advertised at 500 pounds. While its seat height is relatively low at 13.5 inches above the ground, a taller version of this chair is available at 19 inches high.

Also, its included roll tote is much easier to pack than a carrying case.

Pros

  • Included roll tote
  • Big enough chair for two
  • 600D Polyester fabric

Cons

  • Can be difficult to get out of
  • Relatively heavy to carry around 
Amazon Basics Outdoor Zero Gravity Chair
Amazon

Features: 300-pound weight capacity | 4 color options | Contoured arm rests

A regular camping chair will provide a place to sit, but not all will recline. The Amazon Basics Outdoor Zero Gravity Chair creates a zero-gravity reclining effect that makes it super comfortable to sit in, along with its adjustable headrest.

Even though you'll feel virtually weightless on this chair, it's super sturdy and weighs 17.8 pounds, with the ability to support up to 300 pounds. The chair also has a breathable fabric that comes in multiple colors.

Pros

  • Recline and relax
  • Adjustable headrest
  • Multiple color options

Cons

  • Not super portable due to its weight
  • Can be challenging to figure out how to lean back in 
REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair
REI

Features: 250-pound weight capacity | 3 color options | Carrying case

Camping is one thing, but backpacking requires many other needs. If you plan on backpacking or hiking to your campsite, the REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair weighs only one pound, making it the lightest option on this list by far.

Even though it's light, it still has a 250-pound weight capacity and is made of a durable water-repellent finish to help shed light rain from the fabric. It comes in three colors and has a carrying case you can easily slip in your backpack when it's time to move to the next site.

Pros

  • Can easily carry around anywhere
  • Water-repellent material

Cons

  • Relatively expensive for what it is
  • Lower to the ground 

What is the best camping chair?

In our opinion, the best camping chair is the ALPHA CAMP Oversized Camping Folding Chair since it's super durable and has extra back padding for added comfort. However, if you're looking for a cheaper option, the Coleman Camping Chair is one of the best-selling camping chairs on Amazon and still has a cooler like the ALPHA CAMP chair.

And, if you want something you can really relax in, the Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chair is the perfect option. But to help you make your decision, we've broken down the important factors to consider for each of our picks. 

Camping Chair

Price

Chair Weight

Weight Capacity

Features

ALPHA CAMP Oversized Chair

$79.99

13.2 pounds

450 pounds

Cooler, cup holder, mesh pocket, carrying case

Coleman Camping Chair

$27.49

8.4 pounds

325 pounds

Cooler, cup holder, mesh pocket, carrying case

Kelty Low Loveseat Chair

$139.95

15 pounds

500 pounds

Two insulated beverage holders and a carrying tote

Amazon Basics Outdoor Zero Gravity Chair

$61.49

17.8 pounds

300 pounds

Adjustable headrest

REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair

$99.95

1 pound

250 pounds

Carrying case

Which camping chair is right for you?

Before purchasing a camping chair, it's important to consider a few factors, such as where you will be using it, how portable you need it to be, what kind of weight capacity it has, and what price you're willing to spend. Any of the options on this list are great picks—it just depends on what you are looking for.

Choose this camping chair... 

If you want... 

ALPHA CAMP Oversized Chair

The best overall option

Coleman Camping Chair

A budget-friendly camping chair that still has great reviews

Kelty Low Loveseat

A camping chair for two

Amazon Basics Outdoor Zero Gravity Chair

A zero-gravity reclining option for ultimate relaxation

REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair

A super lightweight camping chair perfect for backpacking

How did we choose these camping chairs?

We selected these camping chairs based on both our own experiences with the products as well as researching them. In our research, we paid attention to reviews (both good and bad), price points, and different features that might cater to different people's needs. 

What is the most comfortable camping chair?

The most comfortable camping chair on this list is either the ALPHA CAMP Oversized Chair or the Amazon Basics Outdoor Zero Gravity Chair. The ALHPA Camp chair has extra back padding and is large, making it comfortable and easy to sit in, while the zero gravity chair reclines back for the ultimate relaxation.

What is the lightest camping chair?

The lightest camping chair on our list is the REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair, weighing only one pound. It's one of the lightest chairs available on the market today, competing only with the Helinox Chair Zero which weighs 1.1 pounds.

What features should I look for in a camping chair?

First and foremost, camping chairs should be comfortable. Some comfort features to watch for include a headrest, back padding, and adjustable armrests.

It's also important to have some storage, especially to put your cup or phone. Many chairs these days include coolers so you can add ice to chill a beverage while you sit.

Finally, camping chairs should be portable since camping can require hiking to your camping spot. Look for a lighter chair weight to easily carry it around to your destination—a carrying case also makes it easier.

Are there alternative camping chairs to consider?

Here are a few other options to consider:

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