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Best camping chair 2023: The perfect chairs and stools for summer camping, from £5

Kick back and take it easy in the great outdoors with the top camping chairs for kids and adults, camping and festivals

Camping chairs may not be the coolest bits of outdoor kit on the market, but the right camping chairs can be a total game-changer, especially if you spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. With our pick of the best camping chairs, there will be no more squatting down to cook dinner on the stove or sitting on cold picnic blankets outside your tent. What’s more, these chairs are all foldable, portable and easily stowed in the car.

Not only will they improve your average camping weekend, but a set of decent camping chairs should last you for decades of adventures to come. There are all kinds of designs on the market aimed at different users – our buying guide explains what key features to look for.

Read on, and we’ll also recommend the best, tried-and-tested chairs for everyone from lightweight backpackers to family campers.

READ NEXT: The best tents to buy

Best camping chair: At a glance

How to choose the best camping chair for you

What size chair should I pick?

It’s a case of horses for courses when it comes to picking a camping chair, so have a think about where you plan to use your chair before you invest. If you’re going for week-long summer camping trips with a big car boot, large comfortable chairs (which tend to be heavier) will be your best bet for comfort. If you’re heading into the backcountry or regularly moving camp, portable, lightweight chairs or camping stools will be easier to take with you.

Think about the different people in your group, too; there’s an option to suit everyone. We’ve included a double camping chair that couples will love, mini chairs for small campers and an oversized model for anyone who prefers a bit more wiggle room. It’s worth noting that more portable camping chairs tend to be low to the ground – if you’d find that a struggle, make sure you choose a model that’s as high as the chairs you use at home. If you plan to use your chairs to eat around a camping table make sure they sit at the right height for your chosen table, too.

What key features do I need?

Whatever kind of chair you go for, there are some key factors to keep in mind. A good camping chair is lightweight but sturdy, easy to fold down, small enough to stow away and made with tough, rugged and water-resistant materials. Some camping chairs use polyester materials but it’s also worth considering one made of water-resistant material such as Texteline instead. It may not be as soft but it’ll withstand a downpour, and will double up as a sturdy piece of garden furniture.

If you only camp occasionally you could get away with a cheap and cheerful fold-open chair but, if you camp regularly, we’d recommend spending as much as you can afford to get better quality and comfort.

Any extra gadgets and gizmos after that are up to what you need – some chairs have headrests, cup holders and mesh compartments for storage.

We’d also recommend picking chairs with their own carry bags, as these are useful if you’re popping the chairs away in the garage for the winter and for carrying in and out of campsites.

Is there anything else I should look out for?

Where possible, you should always try out a camping chair in person before you buy. Try different models out, have a go at unfolding and folding the one you choose and, of course, sit in it and check it suits you and feels like it takes your weight.

Once you own your perfect camping chair, look after it by giving it a wipe down after each trip and storing it somewhere dry. Happy camping!

How we test camping chairs

In order to properly determine which camping chairs are worthy of our best buys, we’ve kicked back, taken the weight off, reclined, chilled, and even perched in the name of research. But, when it comes to camping chairs, comfort is only one part of the equation – foldability, durability, and transportability are all key factors. As a result, we’ve folded and unfolded, lugged about, and chilled on dozens of chairs, looking for those smart features that will make them stand out from the rest.

Where appropriate, we’ve taken the ultralight, super-compact designs with us on day hikes and self-supported trips (where a proper seat at the end of the day is like heaven). While with the larger, more relaxed camping designs, wherever possible we’ve packed them into the boot of a standard hatchback, to see how much space they take up, and, at times, considered which of the kids we could leave behind to make room for our luxurious seating.

The best camping chairs you can buy in 2023

1. Quechua Camping Tripod: Best value compact camping stool

Price when reviewed: £7.99 | Check price at Decathlon

Looking for a cheap, lightweight and portable stool for your upcoming trip? The Quechua Camping Tripod is hard to beat. It’s incredibly compact, so it’s easy to pack away in the car, and it can support a weight of up to 110kg despite weighing just 1kg itself.

The sturdy steel frame and polyester seat are robust – just don’t expect sofa-level comfort as you’re just 41cm off the ground and have no back support. But, for short trips and active adventurers who want to pack light, it’s impossible to beat on price.

Key specs – Materials: Polyester with steel frame; Dimensions: 60 x 9 x 9cm; Weight: 1kg

Check price at Decathlon

2. Kelty Deluxe Lounge: Best for comfort

Price when reviewed: £72 | Check price at Amazon

Kelty’s Deluxe Lounge is the most expensive camping chair here, but it’s also the best quality. It’s large, well-made and downright luxurious, made with a thick, quilted material and a comfortable reclining back that’s adjustable to three positions. The two cup holders in the arms are even insulated, to keep your cuppa warm. This chair may be on the big side, but it still folds down neatly for transport.

Key specs – Materials: Polyester seat with a steel frame; Dimensions: 63 x 100 x 63cm; Weight: 4kg

3. Coleman Kickback: Best overall

Price when reviewed: £52 | Check price at Amazon

If you’re looking for a simple, comfortable camping chair that isn’t too heavy or too expensive, the Coleman Kickback is a classic. It has a small pocket in the back of the seat which is handy for stuffing sun cream and sunglasses, but sadly there’s no drinks holder – you’ll need to just keep hold of your beverage. It’s not the lightest out there at 2.5kg, but it packs away into a drawstring bag and isn’t hard to move around. The pictured version is Coleman’s festival special edition, but you can also buy the Kickback in a variety of plain colours if you prefer. Top tip: keep an eye on the price as we’ve seen come sellers ask almost double the quoted price here.

Key specs – Materials: Polyester with aluminium tube frame; Dimensions: 66 x 46 x 66cm; Weight: 2.5kg

4. Kelty Loveseat Low: Best camping chair for couples

Price when reviewed: £120 | Check price at Mountain Warehouse

This cosy Loveseat from Kelty is the ultimate camping chair for comfort-seeking couples. The Loveseat Low’s robust steel frame and sturdy polyester fabric make it feel as solid as the couch at home, and it has a whopping weight capacity of 227kg. You don’t need to be in a couple to enjoy it, either – that spare seat makes the perfect cuddling spot for your canine pal.

It’s on the weighty side, however, which rules it out for hiking and wild camping adventures. But for chilled out camping trips that don’t involve a lot of gear-hauling, the Kelty Loveseat is the ideal two-seater, and well worth the extra cash outlay.

Key specs – Materials: Polyester with steel frame; Dimensions: 94 x 33 x 23cm; Weight: 7.1kg

5. Vango Radiate DLX Chair: Best camping chair for cold nights

Price when reviewed: £155 | Check price at John Lewis

Vango sells a vast range of quality camping chairs in all shapes and sizes but, for our money, this heated design is a must-buy for anyone who feels the cold when camping. It features a graphene heating element in the seat that’s powered by a separate battery bank. You can use any standard USB battery pack (it isn’t included) and once plugged in, you can choose from four heat settings to keep you toasty warm in all weathers.

Aside from the luxury of a warm bum as the temperature drops, the steel-framed chair is exceptionally comfortable, with a deep padded seat, good lumbar support and headrest. Add in the fact that it reclines and the armrests sit at the ideal height, and it’s a combination that almost guarantees an afternoon nap. It can hold up to 140kg, which is significantly more than many similar styles and folds flat for relatively easy car storage.

Key specs – Materials: Synthetic fabric, steel; Dimensions: 65 x 65 x 116cm; Weight: 5.86kg

Check price at John Lewis

6. Outwell Laze Furniture Set: Best camping chair for home luxuries

Price when reviewed: £260 | Check price at Outwell

Who said camping means having to leave behind the home comforts? This fantastic inflatable three-piece suite gives the whole family the perfect place to kick back and relax after a long day exploring.

Made from 100% PVC with a soft fabric cover that feels nothing like a swimming pool toy, each piece is squishy yet supportive. The chair and sofa have a nice high backrest, and even if you can’t put your feet up on the sofa, the ottoman is the perfect height for aching legs.

Each item can be bought separately (the sofa costs £115, the chair £86 and the ottoman £35), but you know that you’ll never get a look-in if you just buy the armchair. You’ll also need a pump, although if you have an inflatable tent the one you use there will be ideal, and it won’t take more than ten minutes to inflate. Thanks to the heavy-duty tarpaulin base, rogue sharp stuff won’t burst your chill.

And being inflatable, they pack down impressively and store in one bag (54 x 38 x 23cm), which is not much bigger than a traditional folding chair.

Key specs – Materials: Polyester; Dimensions: Sofa: 175 x 80 x 70cm, Chair: 100 x 80 x 70cm, Ottoman: 73 x 55 x 37cm; Weight: 10.7kg

7. Helinox Chair Zero High-back: The comfiest lightweight camping chair

Price when reviewed: £160 | Check price at Helinox

Helinox is a brand that wrote the rule book on go-anywhere seating, and the Chair Zero High Back is its lightest high backed chair yet.

At 690g, this chair is improbably light yet supremely comfortable. You are close to the floor, so it’s not as easy to get out of as a standard height camping chair, but the weight savings are unrivalled and your shoulders are supported which means you can fully stretch out and relax.

Combining aluminium alloy with a tough and lightweight polyester ripstop it packs down small enough to squeeze into most outer pockets in backpacks. It’s also a great option for lazy festival goers who want to sit down but don’t want to be the person who blocks half a field’s view.

The Chair Zero Highback is so light in fact, that you can buy a chair anchor (tent peg with a rope attached) to stop it blowing away, and while it is expensive, it does come with a five-year warranty for added peace of mind.

We’d also highly recommend the original 490g Helinox Chair Zero but the extra neck and shoulder support just makes the Highback more comfortable.

Key specs – Materials: Polyester rip-stop; Dimensions: 40 x 12cm (packed); Weight: 690g

Check price at Helinox

8. Moon Chair: Best alternative camping chair

Price when reviewed: £86 | Check price at Ticket to the MoonDesigned by camping hammock specialists Ticket to the Moon, the Moon Chair is a sensationally comfortable, packable swing seat that fixes at a single anchor point. If there’s a tree branch, hook or beam handy you’ll have the most comfortable seat in the house, and it’s rated up to a generous maximum weight of 170kg. The only downside? It’s 1 metre long even when packed away, so one for car touring instead of backpacking.

Made using 100% certified OEKO-TEX parachute fabric, the Moon chair is breathable, which is great for hotter climates, and also dries very quickly if it does get caught in the rain.

In truth, our favourite feature is the hanging footrest: this allows you to sink into it and truly relax. If they could also sell a hanging drinks holder, we’d be in camping chair heaven.

Handmade in Bali using Fair Trade principles, the profits are shared between employees and their own foundation which supports the Sumbanese Kodi tribe in East Indonesia. As well as offering health, education and development aid, they’ve also helped the local community to build new infrastructure including access to clean water and malaria prevention.

Key specs – Materials: OEKO-TEX parachute fabric, aluminium; Dimensions: 100cm x 15cm (packed); Weight: 1.7kg

Check price at Ticket to the Moon

9. Robens Pathfinder Lite: Best value lightweight camping chair

Price when reviewed: £72 | Check price at Cotswold Outdoors

The best ultralight camping chair is the Helinox Chair Zero, but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, the Pathfinder Lite Chair from Robens is a fantastic alternative at half the price.

It clocks in at just under one kilogram in weight and has a similar size and shape to the Chair Zero. It sits 32cm off the ground, has a maximum weight load of 120kg and packs down to a portable 32 x 12 x 9cm package. It’s nice and comfortable, too, with a bucket seat shape that you can’t help but sink into.

We love the fact the carry bag can be attached to the chair and double as a stash pocket, and Robens also sells a bottle holder (£3.99) and big bumper feet (£4.99) that attach to the base for when the ground is soft.

Key specs – Materials: 420D Polyester; Dimensions: 32 x 12 x 9cm (packed); Weight: 915g

10. Outwell Ramsgate: Best recliner

Price when reviewed: £83 | Check price at Camping World

It doesn’t fold up especially small, but this classic recliner is so comfortable you might want to think about leaving the kids at home to make room for it in the car. Think of it as an upgraded sunlounger.

The Ramsgate chair, also available in a nice earthy red, opens easily and lets you recline, fully supported, thanks to the full-length footrest. It has a maximum load rating of 120kg, but the steel frame feels reassuringly sturdy and, despite the low price point, all the components are impressively well made. To top off the comfort, there’s an adjustable (and removable) pillow included.

It’s a chair better suited to caravan and campervan owners, where there’s plenty of room for storage, but we don’t think you’ll find anything more comfortable for the price.

Key specs – Materials: Steel and polyester; Dimensions: 65 x 79 x 81/110cm; Weight: 7.4kg

11. Coleman Deck Chair with Table: Best camping chair for dining (and drinking)

Price when reviewed: £75 | Check price at Amazon

This director’s chair from Coleman is made from lightweight aluminium and super tough 600D polyester. It folds quite flat for easy packing in the car and has carry straps if you do need to lug it for miles to find your preferred festival pitch.

While it doesn’t have a high back for reclining, it has a deep seat and supporting backrest that makes it great for pulling up to a table for dinner, or sitting around the fire and chatting in.

But obviously, the real bonus here is the fact it comes with a surprisingly sturdy fold-down side table and drinks holder, which is ideal for another drink and a bowl full of snacks.

Key specs – Materials: Aluminium and 600D polyester; Dimensions: 62 x 55 x 78cm; Weight: 3.46kg

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