10 best camping chairs 2020: sit down and relax in the great outdoors

Folding chairs are ideal for camping, and some of them are light enough to carry to the beach or park too

The best camping chairs: a person sits next to their tent situated by a picturesque river bank

Sitting down on the chilly, bumpy floor of your tent gets old pretty quick, especially on longer camping holidays, which is why it's smart to save some of your budget to buy one (or a few) of the best camping chairs. These types of portable, folding chairs make a big difference to your comfort on the campsite.

After all, when waiting for your camping buddy to cook some food on your camping stove (using one of the best camping cookware sets), kicking back in a plush chair with a cuppa is far more enjoyable than sitting on damp grass. 

Camping chairs come in a variety of designs too, with some so lightweight you can fold them up and attach them to your backpack. The more comfort you want from one, the heavier they become, so some types are admittedly better suited to car camping (where you can load up your car with as much gear as you have room for).

Camping chairs often share common features such as mesh sides or backs to aid better airflow, or a storage bag with carry handle so that you can sling them over your shoulder when walking.

That’s why the best camping chairs, just like camping mats, are useful in a range of outdoors scenarios, from camping and park days, to giving you something to perch on when fishing. We’ve rounded up the cream of the crop below. But first, let's take a look at our current top choice... 

Best camping chairs: two women read magazines in their green Vango tent

Best camping chair: our expert pick

  • It goes without saying that a portable chair like this needs to be comfortable, lightweight and easy to unfurl and pack away. After all, there’s nothing more embarrassing than hitting a packed campsite and having to wrangle an unruly folding chair in front of scores of snickering onlookers.
  • Our top pick for the best camping chair is therefore the Vango Kensington Camping Chair. It unfolds almost instantly, is stable on uneven ground, has a padded backrest and can be adjusted into seven different seating positions.

Choosing the best camping chair for you

For the most part, these types of folding chairs are lightweight and portable. But some are heavier than the average, and that’s because they’re packing in more padding or other goodies to deliver higher levels of sitting comfort.

So if you’re driving to the campsite and can afford to take heavier gear, you literally have your pick of the best camping chairs listed below as weight won’t matter. If you’re heading to the park or beach for the day and want a portable chair to carry with you on foot, you’re best off sticking to one of the lighter camping chairs featured.

We’ll highlight the weight of each different model (you can find this information in the spec section for each chair), and point out which ones we’d recommend for car camping, for example, or for more portable use.

Maximum seat load is another thing to look out for, as some camping chairs hold more weight than others. The most common materials used on these types of folding chairs are polyester and PVC coated polyester fabric, which are wipe clean. Frames are usually either aluminium or steel. 

So that just leaves nifty little extras such as built-in cup holders and padded headrests, both of which take your relaxation to new levels. Ready to put your feet up? Then let’s take a look at the best camping chairs and discover which is the ideal one for you… 

The best camping chairs to buy now

Best camping chairs 2019: Vango Kensington Camping Chair

1. Vango Kensington Tall

The best camping chair for multiple seating options

Weight: 4.94kg
Max Loading Weight: 120kg/264lbs
Dimensions: 65x58x46cm (WxDxH)
Material: DuoWeave (fabric), aluminium (frame)
Carry bag included: yes
Reasons to buy
+Seven unique seating options+Padded seat and backrest+Lightweight yet strong

If you’re driving to the campsite and want the very best camping chair bar none, this is the one. The Vango Kensington is handsome, with a padded seat and backrest for enhanced comfort. That should be good news for those of you who, upon setting up your tent, plan on doing a lot of sitting down while chilling on your holiday.

The armrests are hard for good reason: they provide you with greater support when you’re getting up, as you can push down against them and launch yourself onto your feet. Excellent if you need a helping hand standing up.

This luxury folding chair is made from a weatherproof and durable aluminium frame, and is covered in Vango’s own DuoWeave fabric. It’s wipe clean and durable, so should withstand many a camping trip. 

The best feature is the multiple seating arrangements. You can manoeuvre the Kensington into seven seating options, from straight backed to super-relaxed, depending on whether you’re eating, reading or snoozing. We’ve tested this chair repeatedly and always pack it for car camping trips.

Best camping chair: Robens Pathfinder Lite in Green

(Image credit: Robens)

2. Robens Pathfinder Lite

A super-lightweight chair for summer beach fun

Weight: 915g
Max Loading Weight: 120kg/264.5lbs
Dimensions: 49x48x68cm (WxDxH)
Material: Polyester mesh (fabric), aluminium (frame)
Carry bag included: yes
Reasons to buy
+Super-lightweight design+Easy to carry+Mesh panels for better airflow

Apart from the Trespass Camping Tripod Stool further into this buyer’s guide, the Robens Pathfinder Lite is the lightest chair in our best camping chairs round-up. And we think it’s one of the most stylish too, in an old-school riviera kind of way. 

We’ve taken this chair everywhere so far this summer, from the campsite to park to the beach and the riverbank, and it hasn’t let us down. The Pathfinder Lite is ideal for hot weather camping, or chilling at the beach or park during a heat wave, because it has full mesh panels. They encourage greater airflow, so you stay cooler when sitting and don’t succumb to a yucky build-up of sweat.

In terms of comfort, you can really sink into the soft fabric back yet still feel supported. This Robens camping chair is easy to get out of too. You may think that’s an odd thing to say, but if you’ve ever sat in a deep camping chair you’ll know that getting out of those things is no easy task if you want to do so with an ounce of grace.

Unfolding and folding the Pathfinder Lite is simple and fast too, and it comes with a carry bag that attaches to the base of the chair. Handy, as that means there’s no chance of the bag blowing away on the breeze.

Best camping chairs 2019: Outwell Campo XL Camping Chair

3. Outwell Campo XL Camping Chair

The ideal folding chair for those who want extra seat space

Weight: 5.2kg
Max Loading Weight: 150kg/330lbs
Dimensions: 67x67x97cm (WxDxH)
Material: Polyester (fabric), powder coated steel (frame)
Carry bag included: yes
Reasons to buy
+Wider seat space+Higher max load+Foam padded arms

There’s so much to love about Outwell’s spacious camping chair, especially the wider seat area, which is coupled with the highest maximum load of any portable folding chair in this buyer’s guide.

The Campo XL is a looker in the flesh, thanks to its deep claret colour. In fact, it turned quite a few heads when we broke it out during a recent trip – it really stands out in a sea of black, blue and green chairs. It opens almost instantly, just like the Vango, and offers up plush and supportive foam padded armrests.

A carry bag is included, for ferrying the chair between your car and tent, and the Campo XL comes with a detachable fabric cup holder. As it’s fabric, it’s big enough to house a bottle, cup or glass, so you’ll always have a drink to hand.

The Outwell Campo XL is a great option for those of you who want a wider than average camp chair that’s reassuringly sturdy and durable on grass (and paving).

Best camping chairs 2019: Trekology YIZI Go Adjustable Camping Chair

4. Trekology YIZI Go Adjustable Chair

The best camping chair for enhanced breathability

Weight: 1.1kg
Max Loading Weight: 135kg/297lbs
Dimensions: 49x48x68cm (WxDxH)
Material: 600D nylon (fabric), aero grade 7075 aluminium alloy (frame)
Carry bag included: yes
Reasons to buy
+Mesh panels keep you cool+Adjustable height+Small pack size

Mesh clothing has long been a revelation for fitness fans, and here it graces the humble camping chair. The Trekology YIZI Go has multiple mesh panels to encourage greater airflow around your body as you sit. It’s perfect for hot weather camping, or for those glorious heatwave days at the beach or park. 

There’s more to enjoy, including the deep bucket seat. Fair warning, though, if you’ve had a few ales you might have an interesting time trying to wrestle yourself out of this one. Or maybe that’s just us… 

A rather clever feature is the adjustable height, so you can tailor it to the person sitting in the chair. That means kids are catered for with this versatile folding chair too. It sits well on sand as well as grass and paving, and packs down into a weather-resistant carry bag when not in use. Also comes in red, green and blue.

Best camping chairs 2019: Quechua Comfortable Reclining Camping Chair

5. Quechua Comfortable Reclining Camping Chair

Enjoy greater head and neck support with a detachable headrest

Weight: 4.85kg
Max Loading Weight: 110kg/242lbs
Material: polyamide (fabric), steel, PP, aluminium (frame)
Carry bag included: no
Reasons to buy
+Detachable headrest+Adjustable seating position+Mesh back for better airflow

This one goes to show that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a perfectly good reclining chair for outdoor use. Considering its lower price, the  Quechua offers some thoughtful features…  

Like the Vango Kensington, it has adjustable seating positions, from upright to practically outstretched, but keep in mind that the higher-priced Vango offers more individual positions. This camping chair also has a ventilated back panel for boosted airflow. It’s a good feature for anyone who naturally runs hot, or if you’re sitting outdoors in warm weather.

We like the padded head and neck rest, removable via velcro straps for a more streamlined feel. If you have a smaller budget but want a hard wearing chair for sitting and dining while camping, you won’t go wrong with this one. Add a plump seat pad or outdoor cushion to boost your seated comfort levels during longer trips.

Best camping chairs 2019: Easy Camp Baia

6. Easy Camp Baia

A budget camping chair that’s also good for the park or beach

Weight: 1.8kg
Max Loading Weight: 110kg/242lbs
Dimensions: 47x47x74cm (WxDxH)
Material: Polyester with PVC coating (fabric), steel (frame)
Carry bag included: yes
Reasons to buy
+Light to carry+Easy unfolding/closing

Easy Camp is a budget camping brand but that doesn’t mean budget performance. The Baia Chair obviously cuts away a lot of the more premium features you find on the likes of the Vango Kensington or the Outwell Campo XL, but it offers a perfectly decent seat for occasional camping.

Because it’s one of the lightest models in this buyer’s guide, it’s also ideal for taking to the park or beach, where you just want a no-fuss seat to perch on during your picnic. You could also attach a strap to the chair and sling it over your shoulder for easier carrying. 

There’s no assembly required and no fiddly legs to contend with. There aren’t any arm rests either, so that might be a deal breaker for you, but it is incredibly cheap and simple to use.

Best camping chairs 2019: Eurohike Deluxe Moon Chair

7. Eurohike Deluxe Moon Chair

The best camping chair for cosy reading sessions outdoors

Weight: 4.2kg
Max Loading Weight: 100kg/220lbs
Material: Polyester (fabric), aluminium (frame)
Carry bag included: yes
Reasons to buy
+Low reclining back+Easy to fold

This Eurohike chair has a padded, moon seat shape designed with a gently reclining back. It all adds up to a cosy sitting experience, just perfect for balmy summer evenings when you’re chilling outside your tent, reading by the light of a camping lantern.

The fabric is wipe clean, so it should withstand everyday spills and drips, and comes in either red or grey. We wouldn’t recommend this one for eating at a camping table, as the profile is too low and reclined, but it’s a nice option for lounging around. 

The legs are designed for better stability on uneven terrain, but packing it away does take a few practice runs to perfect. Depending on which site you buy from, the Deluxe Moon Chair is often available for a great price – we’ve regularly seen deals where you can buy two for £40.

Best camping chairs 2019: Vango Inflatable Lounger

8. Vango Inflatable Lounger

An inflatable camping chair for lounging around

Weight: 1.94kg
Max Loading Weight: 120kg/264lbs
Dimensions: 94x125x108cm (WxLxH)
Material: flocked PVC (fabric)
Carry bag included: no
Reasons to buy
+Rapid inflation/deflation+Comfortable lounging

It may look similar to a gaming chair, but Vango’s nutmeg coloured inflatable is a comfortable lounger for inside or outside your tent. It has a very low profile, so not the one for you if you need support to stand up.

Inflation and deflation is quick, but there’s no air pump included so you’ll need to buy a battery operated pump separately. Keep the pump handy too, as all inflatable chairs need regular top-ups of air to stay in prime supportive condition. The flocked fabric is a clever addition, as it prevents the sun from heating up the chair and making it too hot to sit upon. 

Ultimately, the Inflatable Lounger is fun to have around for the kids if you have the budget for a quirky alternative. But if you want a chair that can be pulled up at a camping table for meal times, look further up this list.

Best camping chairs 2019: Trespass Folding Tripod Camping Chair

9. Trespass Folding Tripod Camping Chair

You could also use this as a folding stool for fishing

Weight: 730g
Max Loading Weight: 80kg/176lbs
Dimensions: 41x31cm
Material: steel (frame)
Carry bag included: yes
Reasons to buy
+Small pack size+Versatile use

Light and easy to carry if you’re walking to a wild camping spot, or to the beach or park. This classic folding chair-meets-stool can also be used at festivals, where you want something quick to whip out to give your legs a break during all that standing around between bands. 

Similarly, you might want to consider it for use on a multi-day hiking trip, as it folds down small (not much bigger than an umbrella) and feels featherlight in a backpack. So it might be the cheapest camping chair in this buyer’s guide, but it’s also one of the most versatile.

Best camping chairs 2019: Eurohike Junior Tiger Chair

10. Eurohike Junior Tiger Chair

The best camping chair for kids

Weight: 1.2kg
Max Loading Weight: 56kg/123lbs
Dimensions: 32x34x36cm
Material: polyester (fabric), aluminium (frame)
Carry bag included: yes
Reasons to buy
+Wipe clean+Fun design for kids

Need a portable seat for younger kids or a toddler? Try this bright and cheery tiger chair from Eurohike. Also available in a frog, puppy or giraffe design, this outdoors chair for kids packs down into a small carry case, making it easy for your little one to carry to and from the campsite, beach or park (if you can get them too).

Eurohike’s kids offering is wipe clean, so should withstand sticky hands. That high back design should also boost your child’s comfort while they’re sitting. The armrests aren’t the most supportive, but, let’s be honest, will your child be sitting in this chair for long stretches anyway? Probably not, so armrests might not big too big of a deal.

The final word

Our current top pick for the best camping chair is the Vango Kensington. We love the padded seat and back, which makes it a supremely comfy folding chair for longer camping holidays. The multiple seating and reclining positions are brilliant, too. 

If you want a budget friendly option that has less frills but is still a solid chair for campsite relaxation and dining, take a look at the Quechua Comfortable Reclining Camping Chair, which comes in at way under half the price of the Vango.

About the author…
Claire Davies is Senior Content Editor at T3 and regularly tests camping gear, and walking and hiking tech for the Outdoors channel.