Camping chairs are lightweight, comfortable, fold up for ease of carrying, and designed to last in an outdoor environment. Individuals purchase camp chairs for many different reasons. They are commonly found at youth sporting activities, outdoor concerts, the beach, backyard BBQ’s, and, as their name suggests, camping and backpacking. Unlike metal folding chairs, true camping chairs are constructed of nylon or denim seat fabric supported by a collapsible fiberglass, steel, or aluminum frame. There are many varieties available, so choosing the best ones for your specific needs involves some study.
The first consideration should be what the chair will primarily be used for. Do you spend weekends at the lake or campground? Is backpacking important to you? If you mostly use your camp chair around town for family gatherings or your kids’ football or soccer games an everyday outdoor chair is the best choice. They offer all-around comfort and back support and tend to be lighter than true camp chairs. Most have mesh drink holders built into one or both of the chair arms. Everyday chairs tend to be less expensive than the sturdier versions designed for rugged use.
True camp chairs are larger and more luxurious, having taller backs and sitting farther off the ground. This provides more comfort when relaxing for longer periods of time. They also include more features such as drink holders and storage pockets. The overall chair quality improves as the price increases. Premium models are constructed with better fabrics and sturdier frames. Cheaper models have seat fabric that stretches, with seams that tend to fray over time from repeated use.
Backpacking chairs generally don’t fold up like most camp chairs. These chairs are smaller and have aluminum or fiberglass frames to reduce weight. Most of them weigh under 2 pounds. Backpackable chairs are engineered to take up minimal space on a pack frame. They fit in a tubular carry bag and must be reassembled every time they are used. While not necessarily an essential item to include when backpacking, they definitely provide comfort after a long day on the trail.