Hanging out around a campfire at night, gazing at the sky, and talking about whatever with your buddies is one of the most excellent parts of camping. But attempting to balance on a tree stump or log for three hours is one of the most challenging and unpleasant aspects. As a result, ultralight camp chairs are becoming more widely available: sitting solutions that are light and compact enough to transport to campsites without adding much weight.
If you’re hiking or strolling to your campground, an ultralight camping chair that weighs less than two pounds and fits inside or straps onto your backpacking pack would be ideal. If you only need an ultralight chair for daytime activities like sports games, you can get away with one in the 3- to 4-pound range and not worry about size, weight, or an expensive price tag.
What to Look for When Buying a Lightweight Camping Chair
Compact Size and Shape
You might be shocked to learn that the design of your lightweight camping chair is more significant than its packed size. Most ultra-compact camping chair fold into a thin tube form (similar to a rolled-up tent) that you can strap on the side of your camping bag or slide into a beach tote. Check the packed form of your chair to make sure it won’t be too heavy to transport or take up too much room in your bag or backpack—square-shaped things may take up more space in your suitcase or backpack than you think.
Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash
A cloth bucket seat, often with mesh portions, is standard on most lightweight camping chairs with a fold-out frame. These are fantastic for preventing butt sweat in the summer, but they might be cold in the winter. In a pinch, you may put a puffy jacket around the bottom of the chair to insulate it.
If you want to stay warm while sitting on a chair, go for one with a foam seat or non-mesh materials. It’s also worth noting that lightweight camping chairs have far lower weight restrictions than traditional camping chairs.
Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash
If you are backpacking your camp chair to the campsite, weight should come first in your list of considerations, followed by comfort. Even a cheap chair with average comfort will be more comfortable than sitting on the ground. A chair weighing less than three pounds would suffice for a one-night excursion with a reasonably challenging climb in. You’ll want to keep it under two pounds on a multi-day expedition or a more strenuous walk.
A carrying case is included with most lightweight camping chairs, but not all. Some have straps, while others don’t have any at all. It’s unnecessary to have a case, but it will assist keep your chair clean and prevent it from ripping and other forms of damage. A carrying case may be a cushion if you’re camping and keep the legs and clips from getting caught on other objects.
Helinox Chair Zero
Helinox makes it easy to justify bringing a chair into the woods or even the backcountry with the ultralight and compact Chair Zero. The Helinox is surprisingly strong, weighing only 1 pound and featuring aluminum construction with well-praised DAC poles. Furthermore, the Chair Zero’s shock-cord construction allows it to pack down to a small size that is easy to transport and fits inside or outside a backpack. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better camp chair in portability and weight.
We only suggest this chair to campers who prioritize reducing weight—a heavier model cannot match overall comfort and stability.
Coleman Camping Chair
Due to its low price and outstanding comfort/durability, this foldable camping chair is quite popular among campers. A built-in cooler, a cushioned seat, a mesh cup holder, and a pocket for various food and devices are all included. The built-in cooler in this chair will keep your drinks chilled while you relax at the campsite. It’s lightweight and simple to close. When it’s time to leave, the chair folds down in one fluid motion, making it simple to transport and store.
If you don’t want to have to put up yet another item when you get to your campsite, the Cliq Camp Chair is a great option. Setup is simple: Simply remove the strap and press the button. If you’re slow, the design will take about five seconds. It also folds into one of the tiniest containers on the market, making it convenient to transport in a backpack or large purse.
Therm-a-Rest Trekker Lounge Chair
If you’re a traveller who sleeps in a sleeping bag, you might want to forego the chair and bring the ingenious Therm-a-Rest Trekker Lounge package. It converts a regular sleeping bag pad into a lounge chair with an upright back using straps, slender poles, and a few fasteners. While you’ll need to be extra cautious not to set up your sleeping pad on rocks or sharp sticks, the Trekker’s ripstop fabric covers the majority of the bottom of your sleeping pad to provide extra protection while hanging out on rougher terrain.
Camping is an adventure that may be made even better with the correct camping equipment. One item you’ll want to give a lot of thought to is your camping chair, so we’ve compiled a list of factors to consider when purchasing your next one and our best picks. Have fun camping!