Backpacking for adventures through wilderness can be fatiguing. Even pro campers and hikers will feel the need to take a break and sit for a while. That’s when a backpacking chair comes to the rescue!
Getting the best backpacking chair out there is essential. Backpacking chairs are deliberately designed to be lightweight, comfortable yet solid enough to support your body weight.
With these chairs at hand, you don’t have to sit on rocky terrains any more. Weather is also another culprit to consider. Often, hikers have to deal with wet, snowy or muddy surfaces. Under these conditions, folding chairs come in handy.
They come in varieties of size and shapes; some are lightweight while others are feature-packed.
Which one’s right for you?
We have reviewed Top 5 best backpacking chairs in this list to ease your confusion.
1. Coleman Oversized Quad Chair- Best Backpack Chair
Our topmost backpacking chair in this series comes from an American company called Coleman. Coleman brand specializes in outdoor recreation equipment, including camping chairs.
As the name suggests, this Quad seating is quite large and provides plenty of space, befitting oversized people.
Everything you’d expect in best backpacking chair is featured in this Coleman Oversized Quad.
From padded seat to pockets and armrest, at such a low price, Quad Chair is quite a steal!
Quad Chair has a backrest which is comfortable and supportive. The spacious 24” seat is fully padded for comfortable lounging of long hours.
If you’ve ever considered buying cheap $10 camp chairs, drop the idea and go for this one! it is certainly worth that extra money.
Sturdy steel frame provides that much-needed ruggedness to the chair, whereas burly fabric is made to last for years. The heavy-Duty steel frame can handle up to 300 pounds of user weight.
Right beside the steel frame, there’s a mesh storage pocket where you can keep your magazines, mobile phones or other belongings.
Another great feature of this portable chair is its armrest. One side of the armrest has a built-in cooler, whereas the other side has a small mesh cup holder.
As per your comfort level, you can adjust the armrest to different heights.
If there’s anything that sets Coleman’s apart from its competition, it is the built-in cooler.
The cooler pouch is designed to store up to 4 cans of cold drinks. That is to keep them cool and within easy reach to enjoy as you relax.
This collapsible chair packs down into a carry bag provided in the package by Coleman.
Convenient carry bag ensures quick storage and easy portability. Not to mention, this one is a breeze to set up and fold down!
The chair still weighs about 7.75 lbs. So, it isn’t lightweight.
When unfolded, the chair measures 24” x 37” x 40.5”. You can sit and get out of the chair easily.
At such a low price, Coleman Quad Chair still manages to outperform most of its competitors. Customers have agreed to the fact that this is perfect for large-size people. The frame feels sturdy and stable, whereas the seat feels comfy, say users.
The only downside reported here is that the armrest connection is of poor quality.
What we liked
What we didn’t like
With 18.1” sitting height and 24” seating area, Coleman Quad Chair feels extremely comfortable to the lounge for hours, especially for oversized folks. It can support up to 300 lbs. of weight, which is quite impressive. Built-in cooler and mesh pockets are outstanding highlights of this one!
2. Kijaro Dual-Lock Chair
Not willing to compromise on the stability of the chair? Then, Kijaro Dual Lock Chair is the one for you!
It is second best in our list, all credits to its comfort level and impeccable rigidity.
From the name itself, you could guess that the chair locks in place, both in open and folded positions to provide better stability. And, that’s what differentiates it from others.
Kijaro’s Backpack chair has padded seat and headrest with slightly reclined back to provide comfort to your tired body. Furthermore, it is reinforced with a sturdy steel frame.
It can take up to 300 lbs. of user weight. And with 9.5 lbs. of its weight, you can pin it under the category of heavy camping chairs.
When unfolded, it measures 26” in length x 35.5” in width and 37” in height.
Kijaro’s portable chair offers superior seating experience, as it uses the durable diamond ripstop polyester material. There will be no sagging of the seat whatsoever!
The backrest features breathable mesh material for better ventilation and slight reclining.
Be it for camping, tailgating or any other outdoor activity; this Dual Lock chair is apt for every situation.
To further ease your affair, Kijaro’s camping chair comes with 2 cup holders, one on each arm.
On the side, there’s a small organizer with mesh and zippered pockets to store your daily essentials.
Likewise, there’s a shoulder strap attached, so that you can haul it from one place to another.
When not in use, pack it down into the provided carry bag and store it away.
This is a heavy-duty backpacking chair folds down to just 6.9” L x 4.7” W and 45.7” H.
Myriads of users have found Kijaro Dual Lock Chair to be stable, comfortable and perfect to carry on camping trips. Taller users have found its 20 inches ground-to-seat height to be very convenient. But few users say that their feet dangle off the ground, because of the taller structure.
Otherwise, regarding quality, Kijaro Dual Lock chair surpasses many of its competitors, say, users.
On the negative side, there have been few complaints of rivets breaking with just a short period of use.
What we liked
What we didn’t like
If locking feature is what you seek in a backpacking chair, look no further. Kijaro locks in open as well as closed position for stability and easy transportation.
It is a winner regarding quality construction, as the seat doesn’t sag at all! Seat and headrest both are padded for your comfort. We think it proves to be an excellent value for money.
3. TravelChair Slacker Chair - Best Lightweight Backpacking Chair
With over 3 decades of expertise, TravelChair continues to provide us with comfortable, high-quality portable outdoor equipment.
TravelChair’s camping gear is easy to set up, features a simple design, yet is of premium quality. Their Slacker chair model is no exception!
The title of one of the cheapest backpacking chair goes to this Slacker Chair by TravelChair.
To keep it extremely light and comfy, the design team has omitted the backrest. So, it is a tripod stool, made for short-term seating breaks.
Light as a feather
Slacker Chair weighs about 2.2 lbs., yet can bear up to 275 lbs. of user weight.
It's a breeze to fold down and transport this chair around, thanks to its small structure and ‘light as a feather’ design.
The seat is equipped with 600D nail-head ripstop polyester fabric, which won’t fade in the sun and is also abrasion, tear, and stretch-resistant.
Whereas, the heavy-duty steel frame is stable and solid enough to support your body weight adeptly. Rust-resistant powder coating on every metal part allows you to use the chair in moist conditions.
Slacker Chair is reinforced with superior-quality of nylon connectors and rivets that stabilize the stool.
Oversized duck-billed nylon feet helps the chair to stay firm in its place, be it on the sand, or any other soft surface.
Hiking and Backpacking
Although this style of the seat might not appeal to everyone, it is undoubtedly one of the best chairs for backpacking and hiking. Why? Because of its ultralight weight!
Its portable and tripod-style design is ideal when you want to sit in an upright position. Thus, you can use this stool while snapping pictures with your camera or watching over a fire.
When open, it measures just 12” x 14” x 20”. It folds down to just 3” x 3” x 24”.
The Slacker Chair folds down to a narrow, streamlined shape. All you need to do is simply strap it onto your backpack, and you’re good to go! No need to pack it down into a carry bag or so.
Not to forget, its 2.2 lbs. of weight will be easy to carry, even for long hours of hiking.
Customers rave about how comfortable the Slacker Chair is, and it's a breeze to carry it around. Several users agree on the fact that it is compact, lightweight, yet very comfortable to sit on. It does not feel cheap, has a solid steel frame and remains stable in its place, say users.
The only thing is that the seating area is smaller than most backpacking chairs out there. So, it isn’t comfortable for large-size people.
What we liked
What we didn’t like
Slacker Chair is our winner when it comes to affordable backpacking chair, especially for photographers. This tripod stool strikes a perfect balance between durability, comfort, and portability.
When rolled up and secured with built-in Velcro strap, it becomes narrow enough to strap onto your backpack. And, you’re all set! It is most suitable for lean people.
4. Helinox Chair One
- Lightweight, compact camping and backpacking chair packs smaller and weighs less than a bottle of wine
- Chair frame is constructed from advanced proprietary aluminum alloy to provide maximum strength at a minimum weight; holds up to 320 pounds
- Removable seat and zippered carrying case are made from durable, UV-resistant, 600-weave rip-stop polyester; material is machine washable
- Setup is fast with a single internal bungee cord that assembles poles; assembled chair measures 21W x 21.5D x 25.5H inches, seat height is 9.5 inches
- Ideal for travel and camping; weighs 2.10 pounds and measures 4 x 4.5 x 14 inches packed in included bag; manufacturer’s five-year warranty
The Helinox Chair One has to be your pick if you’re into ultralight backpacking.
With just 1.9 lbs. of weight, it is the most lightweight gear in this backpacking chair review.
One of the main highlights of this is that it includes back support.
Crafted with anodized DAC aluminum poles, the chair can handle slight drizzle.
It makes use of polyester fabric for the seat canvas and supports up to 320 lbs. of maximum user weight. Strong polyester fabric is reinforced at all corners and features impeccable stitching for better durability.
Bucket style seat of Helinox Chair One is sure to appeal many backpackers.
Quick set up
What makes it awesome? Unique self-locating shock-corded pole structure allows it to open up into chair position quickly. Opening and folding it takes no time.
Both sides of the seating area and backrest have mesh fabric, to improve ventilation during hot weather.
Helinox Chair One folds down like a newspaper, so you can either strap it onto your backpack or store it away into the provided bag.
As it measures 20” x 20” x 25”, it can accommodate lean, medium as well as large body types.
Designers of Helinox Chair One have chosen lightweight design over luxury features. Which is why, this chair does not have any cup holders, storage pouches or armrests whatsoever. These design aspects add extra weight to the chair. Helinox Chair One is simplified that way.
Because of its lightweight structure, users have found it ideal for ultralight backpacking. Even taller users have found it to be stable and comfortable.
On the negative side, some users think that it sits too low to the ground for their liking. Whereas, few others find it to be too expensive.
What we liked
What we didn’t like
Everything about this Helinox Chair One screams quality. High-strength nylon fabric, lightweight aluminum frame to strong stitching, it's all about durability.
Also, this aluminum folding chair can be easily packed in no time. All in all, the design of the chair is ultralight, breathable and simple, with no extra pouches or armrests. Overall, it's a great buy for all those who want high-end backpacking chair.
5. AmazonBasics Camping Chair
Looking for a feature-rich backpacking chair? Then, this Camping chair by AmazonBasics won’t disappoint you.
Just like Coleman Quad Chair, this one in the list also features drink-savvy design. That’s something to look for.
Built-in cooler on the side can store up to 4 cans of beverages, each measuring 12-ounces. This is so you can keep them handy and enjoy them during your hangouts.
On the opposite side, there’s a cup holder to hold open beverage while you relax.
Side mesh pocket is where you get to store your magazines or other items. Armrests on this chair add to its comfort level and enhance your seating experience altogether.
The heavy-duty steel frame is what strengthens this one. Such that, it can handle up to 225 lbs. of user weight.
A seating area and the headrest are slightly padded for your comfort. Whereas, backrest features nylon mesh fabric to promote breathability.
Thanks to its collapsible design, you can effortlessly fold down the chair and pack it into carrying case provided by AmazonBasics. This carrying case has a shoulder strap for easy hauling.
AmazonBasics backs their Camping Chair with one year of warranty period.
When opened, it measures 34” x 20” x 36”.
With 6.1 pounds of weight, you cannot call it lightweight. But since it folds down, you can store it in your car’s trunk and transport it wherever you’d like.
AmazonBasics Camping Chair comes in 3 variants viz. Mesh, padded and padded XL. So, there’s something for all types of users.
Customers seem to be impressed with its cool features like a built-in cooler, cup holder, storage pocket and armrests. Many have also found it to be sturdy and true to its position.
However, few users claim that it does not fit easily into a backpack. So, it’s ideal for car camping.
What we liked
What we didn’t like
Overall, AmazonBasics Camping Chair is recommended for the one who prefers a thoughtful set of features over lightweight design. This chair can’t be termed as lightweight as it weighs 6.1 pounds.
Otherwise, for such a low price, it is comfortable, sturdy and includes cool drink-savvy features!
Features to consider before buying a Backpacking Chair
Focus on following key features that will help you select your perfect backpacking chair.
For hiking and other such activities where you have to carry your gear on your back, the lightweight design remains your priority.
Imagine taking a heavy camping chair and ending up with sore back due to long hours of carrying?
Select a chair that is fairly light, yet has a durable structure. Your best backpacking chair must be able to handle at least 250 lbs. of user weight.
The material of the frame and seat canvas decides the durability factor of a camping chair.
Most of the camping chairs are made out of a steel frame, which is solid and stable. Whereas, few lightweight ones feature aluminum structure.
Aluminum frame is lightweight, rust-resistant and demands less maintenance. They are rigid enough to handle a fair amount of weight. Adding to that, the aluminum material has color stability against UV rays, and they don’t chip too easily.
The fabric used for headrest and seat is also important to consider. Fabric used for the backpacking chair must be easy to clean and dry. It should also be tear-resistant, water-resistant, shrink-resistant and able to bear UV rays.
Most desirable fabrics for the seat are 600D polyester, 450D polyester, and 210D ripstop nylon.
Cheap fabrics used on the seat will sag with time, the mesh will develop holes, and its seams will begin to fray.
Look for the ones that offer high-quality construction of frame, rivets, and seat. But, this might increase the price point!
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Carrying Case and Portability
Most of the products in this backpacking chair review come with its carrying case. Considering that, they are easy to carry and store. Carry case makes it more manageable to haul your camping chair around.
Folded up dimensions of a backpacking chair hold great significance. The chair needs to fold down compact enough to fit into your bag.
“Backpacking” word itself suggests that the chair must be streamlined and lightweight enough to go into your backpack.
Type of Design
From traditional ones to tripod-style stools, you will see a variety of designs in the market when it comes to backpacking chair.
As per your sitting requirements, choose the one that suits you best.
If the comfort of armrests is what you’re looking for, high-end chairs will give you that.
Not just that, you’ll also see them offering cup holders and storage pockets for added convenience.
For ultralight backpacking, many chairs will compromise on these features.
Design of Feet
If you’re planning to use your backpacking chair on the sand, make sure you look for oversized feet that won’t sink into the surface. Nylon feet work best in this case.
As for rocky and hard surfaces, look for feet that are more solid and stable in design.
There’s nothing more blissful than a comfortable chair when you’re tired in the wilderness during hiking or camping.
After all, what’s the point in opting for a chair that’s uncomfortable and wobbly?
Best backpacking chair is the one that has a slight amount of padding in the seating area, headrest, and backrest. That will make it more comfortable and supportive for campers. Some amount of reclining is also relaxing for your back.
Some parts of the chair must include mesh fabric to promote ventilation and wick away moisture. This is especially desirable during summers. Mesh fabric also helps to get rid of rainwater. Thereupon, your camping chair will dry much faster.
More: Leatherman Wave Review
It is simply the distance between the ground and bottom of the seat. Taller people must consider the ground-to-seat height of the chair.
If the chair sits too low to the ground, taller users will have a hard time getting out of it. Let alone feel uncomfortable after sitting for an extended period.
On the contrary, taller chairs offer a more natural seating position to most people. Seat heights of 15” to 18” feel most comfortable, whereas the ones from 9” to 13” sit low to the ground.
Make sure you check the dimensions before taking your final decision.
Ease of set up
Design of the frame and padding of the seat decide how easy it is to set up or disassemble any backpacking chair.
Few models like Helinox Chair One have shock-cord pole structure for quick setup.
Opt for a model that is quick to set up and collapses within seconds.
Q. Is backpacking chair essential?
A backache is something you shouldn’t think too little of. That’s why you need a backpacking chair.
Soothing muscle fatigue and having proper back support are the two most important things after you’ve had a long day of hiking and backpacking.
Aligning your body against rocks or trees for support is only going to aggravate your backache.
Best backpacking chairs will give you proper back support, aid your sore muscles and make you feel comfortable. Moreover, your posture will enhance to a great extent.
Q. What is the difference between a backpacking chair and camping chair?
As the name suggests, backpacking chair is supposed to fold down and fit into a backpack with much ease.
Backpacking chair is generally designed to be light in weight, compact and fold down rather small. This is so you can carry it on your back for long hours during hiking.
Camping chair can be transported by storing them away into your car’s trunk. They don’t necessarily have to fit into a backpack. Which is why, camping chairs are rather bulky, heavyweight and come with an extra set of features for your convenience.
Q. How heavy should a backpacking chair be?
Backpacking chair that weighs anywhere from 1 to 3 pounds can be termed as lightweight. Such chairs are bearable to carry on your back for long hours.
Anything above 5 pounds can prove to be a bit hectic to carry.
The bottom line is, a backpacking chair shouldn’t weigh more than 10 pounds, or else it loses its purpose of being lightweight and portable.
Depending on your backpacking needs, choose what suits you best.
It is clear by now that best backpacking chair is the one that’s lightweight, portable and is capable of handling your weight, without wobbling.
Whether you’re planning to use it for long-term or just one time, there’s a backpacking chair for your every need. They will provide you with comfort, proper back support, and natural posture.
As can be seen, Coleman Quad Chair ticks all the points expected in any best backpacking chair. It has 24” of the wide seating area and holds up to 300 lbs. of maximum user weight.
Major highlights of this chair are its built-in cooler, armrests, storage pocket, cup holder and tall sitting height!
All in all, it’s super comfortable and feels solidly built.