Top 6 Camping Chairs, Plus One Chair to Avoid
Embarking on a year-long journey across the United States in our Rpod-192 was an unforgettable adventure for my husband and me. Over those incredible 18,000 miles, we became masters of packing and unpacking our travel trailer—which included our camping chairs.
When it comes to camping chairs, we quickly learned that there is a delicate balance of space, comfort, and durability. These pieces of outdoor furniture become a part of your daily routine, providing relaxation and a place to unwind after a day of exploration. Yet, on travel days, you don’t want them to become a burden or take up precious space in your RV or tow vehicle. Finding the perfect camping chair becomes an art, seeking that sweet spot between functionality and portability.
Here are six camping chairs that strike the perfect balance between comfort and convenience, enhancing your travel adventures without compromise—and also one chair we’d suggest you skip.
1. Coleman Cooler Portable Camping Chair
I’m going to start with our go-to chair, the Coleman Cooler Portable Camping Chair—a reliable companion for any camping enthusiast. This chair not only provides a comfortable place to rest but also doubles as a convenient cooler. Imagine sipping on a refreshing beverage while enjoying the picturesque surroundings. With its sturdy construction and spacious design, this chair ensures you can relax in style. Oh, and it has a pocket for your phone (or book, or whatever).
Pros: It’s inexpensive ($33 at the time of publishing). The built-in cooler allows you to keep your favorite drinks within arm’s reach, perfect for those hot summer days. The chair’s lightweight yet durable frame makes it easy to transport, and its side pockets provide extra storage for small essentials. Additionally, the comfortable padding and adjustable armrests enhance the overall lounging experience.
Cons: The cooler compartment’s insulation does not keep items cold for extended periods, it’s more for adding an extra beverage or two by the fire, and less for an all-day beach trip. Additionally, the chair’s weight capacity may not be suitable for individuals on the taller or heavier side.
Overall, the Coleman Cooler Portable Camping Chair is an excellent choice for campers seeking convenience, comfort, and versatility (at an afforable price!). And it’s held up pretty well.
2. MacSports Cushion Outdoor Folding Club Chair (heated or unheated)
The MacSports Cushion Outdoor Folding Club Chair is a true delight for those who value both style and relaxation. This chair boasts a cushioned seat and backrest, offering an unparalleled level of comfort. Whether you’re lounging by the campfire or cozying up with a book, this chair guarantees a comforting experience. Let’s explore its features, including a heated version for extra warmth during chilly adventures.
Pros: The cushioned design of this chair sets it apart from traditional camping chairs. It provides exceptional comfort and support, making it an ideal choice for prolonged seating. The folding mechanism ensures easy setup and compact storage. For those seeking extra warmth, the heated version is a game-changer, keeping you cozy during cooler nights.
Cons: The cushioned design adds extra weight to the chair, making it slightly less portable compared to lighter options. Some users have also reported that the heated version may drain battery quickly, so it’s essential to have spare batteries on hand for longer trips.
With its blend of comfort and convenience, the MacSports Cushion Outdoor Folding Club Chair takes camping relaxation to a whole new level. It is a bit bulkier and heavier than other chairs—but it folds up to a managable size and fits in our underbelly without issue. Also, the heating element is AMAZING on a chilly night.
3. Dometic Compact Camp Chair Glacier
Our neighbor friends at one of our longer-term campsite had the Dometic Compact Camp Chair. The chair is no-frilles, and embraces simplicity—but it’s also really comfortable. This chair’s compact and lightweight design makes it an excellent choice for campers who prioritize easy portability without compromising on comfort.
Pros: The Dometic Compact Camp Chair’s minimalist yet functional design ensures effortless setup and hassle-free transportation. The chair is sturdy, offering reliable support for extended periods of use. Its compact size is ideal for campers with limited storage space.
Cons: The simplicity of this chair means it lacks some additional features and amenities that other camping chairs may offer. It doesn’t have cup holders, or adjust, but it’s folds up and is lightweight—and very easy to store while traveling.
If you’re seeking a no-nonsense, easy-to-carry camping chair that gets the job done, the Dometic Compact Camp Chair is an excellent choice. Streamlined, reliable, and compact, it embodies the essence of simplicity and practicality.
4. Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair
First, for transparency, we do not have this chair. It’s a bit pricey and above our budget for a camping chair. However, we have friends who do have two of these and I tend to steal their seat when we’re camping because they are so comfortable.
The Nemo Stargaze Recliner is an absolute game-changer for stargazing enthusiasts — or for those that just want to relax by the fire. This innovative chair allows you to recline and rock gently, offering a front-row seat to the captivating night sky. With its unique design and exceptional comfort, this chair is a must-have for campers seeking a celestial experience.
Pros: The suspended design of the Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair creates a floating sensation, perfect for unwinding and stargazing. The chair’s sturdy build, adjustable headrest, and supportive features provide unparalleled relaxation. It’s also easy to set up and pack away, making it a convenient option for camping adventures.
Cons: While the suspended design is a standout feature, it does require a bit of balance and coordination to get in and out of the chair comfortably, or for eating, drinking, socializing, etc. by the fire. Additionally, the chair’s size and weight may not be ideal for campers looking for a more compact and lightweight option. Honestly, it probably cannot be your primary camping chair.
The Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair offers a unique and immersive stargazing experience—and it’s so very cozy. Indulge in the wonders of the night sky while luxuriating in the comfort of this remarkable chair—it’s a celestial journey you won’t want to miss.
5. CLIQ Camping Chairs
I love our Cliq Camping Chairs. They are easy to carry on a hike, the beach, or just anywhere you may want to sit for a bit. These chairs are perfect for campers who value quick setup and minimal effort. With their unique design and remarkable functionality, CLIQ Camping Chairs are sure to impress.
Pros: The standout feature of CLIQ Camping Chairs is their effortless setup. With a simple pull and lock mechanism, these chairs can be ready to use in seconds. Their compact size and lightweight construction make them ideal for backpacking or any adventure where space is limited. Despite their simplicity, they provide decent comfort and support for relaxing around the campsite.
Cons: CLIQ Camping Chairs prioritize portability and ease of setup over cushioning and extensive features. The seating position may be lower to the ground compared to traditional camping chairs, which might not be suitable for individuals with mobility issues or those who prefer higher seating.
If you’re looking for camping chairs that offer unparalleled ease and speed of setup, and are very portable, CLIQ Camping Chairs are the perfect choice. Also—the chair folds up to the size of a water bottle!
6. Coleman Outpost Breeze Portable Folding Deck Chair with Side Table
The Coleman Outpost Breeze Portable Folding Deck Chair with Side Table is a versatile chair that combines functionality with convenience. This chair is designed for campers who value practicality and appreciate having a convenient surface for their belongings.
Pros: The Coleman Outpost Breeze Chair’s integrated side table is a game-changer, providing a stable surface to place drinks, snacks, or other essentials (which is great when your boondocking with no picnic table). The chair’s sturdy build and comfortable seating make it suitable for extended periods of use. Its folding mechanism and lightweight design allow for easy transport and storage.
Cons: Some users have reported that the side table may not be as sturdy as desired, particularly when used for heavier items or excessive movement. Additionally, the chair’s larger size may not be suitable for campers looking for a more compact option—and it’s the only chair on this list that doesn’t fold up umbrella style—but instead folds flat. These chairs do not fit in our underbelly, so would have to ride in the truck or inside the RV.
If you’re someone who enjoys having a dedicated surface within arm’s reach, the Coleman Outpost Breeze Portable Folding Deck Chair with Side Table is a fantastic choice. Stay organized, keep your essentials close, and enjoy the convenience this chair offers during your camping adventures.
And One Type of Chair I Don’t Recommend…
While camping gravity chairs have gained popularity among outdoor enthusiasts, I have to say something that some may find controversial… gravity chairs are overrated. These chairs, with their reclining positions and adjustable features, may seem appealing but in my experience, they tend to be bulky and heavy and take up so much space during travel. Moreover, their intricate mechanisms can be prone to malfunctions and require regular maintenance. When it comes to camping, we prefer lightweight and compact options that offer simplicity and ease of use. Rather than relying on the hype of gravity chairs, we recommend exploring one of the other camping chair alternatives that prioritize portability and practicality without sacrificing comfort.
And for our gravity chairs, we ended up donating them on the road to a full-timer somewhere in California, because I was just over lugging them around the country.