There are quite a few things that you may need to pack for a camping trip. Some obvious things come to mind, like a tent, enough food and water to ensure that you and your group are sustained, and a few other goods. Some camping supplies can be rather useful, to the point that you may end up using them even when you are not camping.
One of these more versatile pieces of equipment is the humble camping chair. While its name would suggest that it is best suited for use while you are camping, there are few applications in which a camping chair is not useful. Today, we will be going over many of the details you may wish to know about camping chairs.
We will be looking at things like the different uses in which you can employ a camping chair (hint: there are many), the various styles of camping chairs, and their pros and cons, and a whole lot more.
As always, if you are interested in one particular section, there is no reason to look through the whole article as most sections are relatively self-contained. Feel free to skip directly to the part of this article which contains what you need or what you want to know.
Before we get started with the details, it helps to make sure that all of our readers are on the same page. To ensure this, we will be looking at exactly what constitutes a camping chair and the aspects which serve to distinguish it from an ordinary chair. As you may have gathered from the name, camping chairs are primarily meant for camping.
To be effective while camping, a chair needs to have certain characteristics which will ensure that it is useful when utilized outdoors. There are several features which immediately come to mind when camping equipment is brought up, and some of them will be discussed in further detail later on in the article.
One of the aspects which are mainly important when it comes to any kind of outdoor furniture is a sufficient degree of weatherproofing. This includes treatment and construction materials which ensure that water will not damage your camping chair, but there are other aspects included in the category of weatherproofing.
For example, a chair which is sufficiently weatherproof will not be susceptible to damaging rays from the sun which may wash out the colors or even degrade the quality of the material. A camping chair should also not absorb a large amount of dust and dirt, as this can result in a lot of additional cleaning.
You will also want your camping chair to be durable enough to withstand the elements it will be exposed to out in the untamed wilderness. While this includes weatherproofing to a degree, it also concerns the resilience of the materials out which the camping chair is constructed.
It is for this reason that many modern camping chairs are made out of ripstop nylon and other sufficiently durable materials. Nylon also has the advantage of not being very absorbent when it comes to water. We will discuss the materials used in camping chairs in further detail later on in this guide.
From the backyard to the ballpark to the campsite, every camping chair has it's own place you would like to carry it with you.
One of the more popular forms of camping is car camping. This has become more and more popular over the years thanks to the excellent degree of convenience that it provides when compared to other types of camping. Car camping allows you to avoid the long trek to a campsite carrying all of your equipment, which is the main plus.
But we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. Car camping is simply a form of camping in which you can drive your car directly to your campsite and park right next to where you will be camped out. This gives you several advantages, less carrying, access to your car in the event of a heavy rainstorm, and quite a few more.
Camping chairs are ideally suited for use while car camping simply because they make a tent unnecessary unless you are planning on staying the night. They can also be easily folded up and stored in the back of a car, so you don’t have to bring each chair to the camp site one by one.
Camping chairs are not only useful for camping, but they can also be used at the beach, as makeshift beach chairs. Most camping chairs will be rather resistant to infiltration by dirt and sand, so they are ideally suited for use on beaches which are both sandy and rocky.
The waterproof nature of camping chairs is another reason why they are rather useful when employed as beach chairs. Since it is very likely that people will be sitting down on them as they get out of the water, the chairs will manage to remain intact.
One thing to watch out for is saltwater beaches, as most camping chairs are not equipped to handle the corrosive nature of saltwater.
Another great use for camping chairs is when you take trips out to the countryside with friends and family. Just because you aren't camping out, it doesn't mean that your camping chair won't be practical when you make use of it outdoors. In fact, since you won't have to bring a tent, you will have more room for extra camping chairs for other members of your group.
As most trips out to the countryside will take place outdoors, the weatherproof nature of most camping chairs will be a definite plus. Another aspect which ensures that camping chairs will excel when used in the countryside is their ease of portability.
This feature makes it so that you don’t need a trailer to carry a suitable number of camping chairs.
A traditional camping chair is the most common type of camping chair that you will find, and probably the kind that you imagine when you first think of camping chairs. They typically feature two armrests and a seat back, with four legs which usually feature cross-braces for support.
These types of camping chairs are larger than the other subtypes, so they are certainly less portable. This means that you will often need a car or other vehicle to bring them with you. The main advantage to traditional camping chairs is that they are cheap, readily available, and usually more comfortable than smaller models.
The camping chair style which is situated between the largest and smallest models is the portable camping chair. These chairs are meant to be easier to carry around than traditional camping chairs, so they necessarily make some sacrifices. They usually don't have armrests, but they still come included with legs.
Portable camping chairs will usually be in a bowl shape, so they don’t often feature a full-sized backrest like traditional chairs. While portable camping chairs are less comfortable than regular models, you can bring a lot more of them with you on a trip due to their smaller size and their superior collapsibility.
This is the smallest type of camping chair around. A backpacking chair is designed for backpackers, who need something lightweight which will still provide a spot to sit on. These chairs feature a somewhat unique design when compared to the other two styles of camping chairs.
Backpacking chairs usually don’t have legs, but they can have a collapsible frame which ensures that they are durable enough not to break under the weight of the user. They can also feature backrests. Backpacking chairs can typically collapse into a small enough package to be stored away in a backpack.
In addition to the main classifications, there are some subcategories of camping chairs which further specify their intended applications and design philosophies. We will be going over four main subcategories, but there are quite a few more which are a little more niche regarding design.
As you may have guessed, lightweight camping chairs are designed to weigh as little as possible. These chairs will be the easiest to bring with you to the camping site as you can often carry more than two of them at a time without having to worry about straining yourself or getting tired.
Lightweight camping chairs are designed so that any excess weight is shaved off. This means that they often don’t include quality of life features like cup holders and other amenities which may be seen as superfluous. They can also be made of strong, yet light materials which can be more pricey than your typical camping chair components.
Heavy duty camping chairs tend to be opposed to lightweight models regarding design philosophy. Where weight is trimmed away at every opportunity in lightweight camping chairs, heavy-duty models don't account for weight. They are designed for extreme durability which will keep your chair working in all conditions.
While this may seem a little counterintuitive to the design philosophy of standard camping chairs, heavy duty camping chairs are meant to be portable to a certain extent. They simply trade away a measure of that portability so they can employ hardier materials in their construction.
As you may have guessed by the name, folding camping chairs are meant to fold up. They are designed in such a way so that they will take up less space while being stored or transported. Folding camping chairs are ideal for picnics and other outdoor parties, or simply for large families.
If you have limited trunk space and you would like to bring enough camping chairs with you for everybody, there are few better options than folding camping chairs. The folding mechanism may make them a little less durable than other camping chair models, so it helps to check their weight capacity before making a purchase.
Reclining camping chairs typically do one thing different from the rest of the camping chair models you will come across: they recline. This makes them some of the most comfortable camping chairs around. If you need a camping chair which allows you to lounge out and relax, there is no better choice than a reclining camping chair.
Whether you want a chair to experience the ultimate comfort level or you want something that will give you the best bang for your buck, we've found main features you should look for when buying camping chair.
One of the main features when buying a camping chair is it's type. Let's see what you can choose for.
Minimal camping chairs are designed with the fewest amenities possible. They can be designed this way for a variety of reasons, whether they are meant to take up as little room as possible, or if the minimal design was chosen as a cost-cutting measure.
Regardless of the reasons behind the decision, minimal camping chairs are some of the most affordable models you will come across, and they also tend to be much more light than others. Opt for minimal camping chairs if you don’t care for extra features on your chair.
Camping chairs which are built in the regular style tend to be affordable as well, but they often include a few features to make them more enjoyable to sit on. These features can include extra cushioning, cup holders, and a few other basic additions for the end user.
This is, by far, the most common variety of camping chair that you will come across, though they will often not excel in any single category. Regular camping chairs are meant to provide a baseline experience for beginner and veteran campers alike. Opt for these if you don’t need anything special.
The final type of camping chair that we will be looking at is the luxurious camping chair. These models tend to be the most expensive ones, but they also come included with the most features. A luxurious camping chair can make you feel like you’re sitting at home, even in the wilderness.
They tend to be far more comfortable than most other camping chair types thanks to the inclusion of extra cushions and padding. Unlike regular camping chairs, the included padding is usually made out of high-quality material, like memory foam.
The weight of your camping chair can have a few effects on other specifications. For example, as we discussed earlier, a heavier camping chair will typically be more durable than one which is lightweight. There are a few downsides to heavier camping chairs to take into account, however.
A heavy camping chair will be harder to carry from your vehicle to the camping site, so it may take a few more trips back and forth to make sure that all of your chairs are set up. Heavier camping chairs will also be harder to unfold when you start camping or to collapse when you are done.
Another aspect of accounting for is the size of your camping chair. Size will have a huge effect on just how portable your camping chair is. Big camping chairs will obviously take up more room, both when in storage and when you bring them along. Larger models will typically have to be transported by car.
Small camping chairs are much more convenient to carry, and you may not even need a vehicle to bring them along with you, but they have a few cons as well. They tend to be less comfortable, since there is quite simply less room for you to sit down, and they come with fewer extras.
The materials used in the construction of your camping chair will tend to have a rather significant effect on several other characteristics. When it comes to the seat fabric, the most common materials tend to be polyester or other synthetic fabrics. A very popular and durable choice is rip-stop nylon.
The frame can also be made out of a variety of materials. If you want a more retro-style camping chair, you can opt for a frame which is made of treated wood. The more common materials, however, tend to be stainless steel, for its rust resistance and aluminum, for its corrosion resistance and light weight.
Something which is very important to a camping chair is the degree of portability which it features. Camping chairs would be immensely harder to transport if they did not fold, so it is important to find a camping chair which folds up easily and stays in a small enough shape when folded up.
A camping chair which folds up into a small package is ideal for those who want something that they can bring with them without the aid of a car. It also greatly increases the ease of storing away your camping chairs when they are not in use, allowing you to put them in a closet, instead of all the way down in the basement.
Cup holders are a useful inclusion for camping chairs since they allow you to keep your hands free while you are using them. Some models feature cup holders which can be used to store a wide variety of objects, not only cups. This also prevents you from having to leave your drink down in the dirt.
Camping chairs which come included with pockets add a similar level of convenience as those that come included with cup holders. Pockets are a little more versatile, as they will allow you to store more than just beverages in your camping chair. It is a useful feature since you will rarely find tables while out camping.
Cushions will make your camping experience so much more comfortable than if you were to sit on an uncushioned chair. Camping chairs which do not come included with built-in cushions can tend to get rather uncomfortable after a while, so it is important to invest in models with adequate padding.
Footrests on camping chairs allow you to recline and relax without having to worry about finding something to prop up your feet on. Since it is rare to find conveniently positioned objects out in the wild that you can use to rest your feet, this may be a useful inclusion for someone who wants to use their chair for rest.
We've compiled a list of top camping chairs manufacturers.
Big Agnes is one of the more beloved manufacturers of not only camping chairs but camping supplies in general. They strive to provide their customers with the best customer service possible. Their products are designed to provide the most comfort, and the same can be said for their camping chairs.
Lafuma is a company which comes from France that features two main divisions. Their first is involved in making outdoor wear and other resilient clothing for use in the wild. The second is the one which is relevant to us, manufacturing outdoor furniture, including stools and camping chairs.
As you may have guessed from the name, Beach Mall specializes in making camping chairs which are ideally suited for use on the beach. This means that their chairs are more resistant to water than your typical camping chairs and they are designed to keep sand out of their workings and fabric.
The last company we will be looking at is Tailgaterz. Similar to Beach Mall, their name gives you a hint as to how their chairs are intended to be used. These chairs are ideally suited for use while tailgating, so they will often feature an abundance of cupholders, and they will be a little more comfortable than other camping chairs.
When it comes to maintenance, you will want to ensure that your chair's mechanical components are always properly lubricated. Cleaning your camping chair is as simple as following the instructions which come included with the model since all camping chairs are made of different materials.
Now that we have given you enough information to make an informed camping chair purchase feel free to move onto our buying guide, in which we will review some of the best models around. If you have any questions, go ahead and leave them down in the comments so that we can get back to you.