When it comes to putting together your gear for a backpacking trip, chilling at the beach or camping in the great outdoors, one item that typically falls into the “maybe” category is a chair. “We’ll just find something to sit on,” or, “They’re too heavy and bulky to carry,” are the usual arguments that result in seating options getting left behind. Does this scenario sound familiar?
An easy answer to such a dilemma is to ensure the backpacking chairs at your disposal are fit for the job. For example, investing in a lightweight, easy-to-carry, and built-for-comfort chair means you’ll always have a comfortable place to sit down, no matter where you are. Backpacking chairs tick all these boxes.
How To Pick the Best Backpacking Chair
Choosing the right backpacking chair comes down to a number of important criteria. Are you going to be going on a long trek or are you headed to the local parade? Will you be seated for an extended period, like at a campsite, or just need a seat to keep you off the wet ground when hiking? Are added features like a cupholder, sunshade and carrying case important to you? Weight limits and space limitations are also things to think about.
Thankfully, there’s a backpacking chair for every scenario. Whether you’re going to a festival, the beach, venturing out on a backpacking trip or simply sitting in your garden, we’ve found a backpacking chair to fit your needs.
1. Helinox Chair Zero
The Helinox Chair Zero is an all-around answer to your seating dilemma. The easy-to-put-together construction of the chair means you can set it up or take it down in a matter of seconds, while the compact size makes it super simple to pack and carry on your outdoor adventures. The anodized DAC aluminum poles are also lightweight yet capable of supporting up to 265 pounds. The chair is available in a choice of black or grey, comes with an accompanying stuff sack, and has an optional groundsheet to create a more solid base on surfaces like sand, snow, or mud.
2. Helinox Chair One
The Helinox Chair One is a top pick for backpackers because of its weight and its structure. A modest, comfortable chair, it is lightweight and easy to pack and set up. Although its 2-pound weight might deter some backpackers, it’ll be worth it once you get to the end of your hike and really want to sit down and relax. Sturdy and reliable, the Helinox Chair One is a tough contender for our number one spot with the Helinox Chair Zero.
3. Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair
BEST FOR CAMPING
With its ability to function as a chair, a cover, a rocker, a doormat, or a fan for your fire, the Hex 2.0 is a great chair for beginner outdoorsmen. It’s lightweight, compresses easily to attach to the side of your backpack and can serve multiple functions. It’ll keep the rest of your gear dry and free from sand if you secure it around your pack. It’s not our first choice for backpacking chairs, but it’s a great choice for beginners or people who enjoy hiking in the desert because of its simple design.
4. Helinox Chair One XL
The Helinox Chair One XL is built for over 350 pounds, so if you’ve had trouble finding a chair that’s the right weight for you, look no further. Although carrying it will be an added weight at 3.6 pounds, it’ll be worth it for more room and extra coziness. Similar in build to the Helinox Chair One, the XL is your best chance at a more comfortable chair for the great outdoors.
5. MOON LENCE Backpacking Chair
HIGH WEIGHT LIMIT
Another lightweight chair that offers a high weight limit is the MOON LENCE Backpacking Chair. Giving customers a comfortable seat low to the ground, the MOON LENCE weighs only 2 pounds but can hold up to 400 pounds thanks to its low center of gravity. The breathable seat is comfortable for use in warm weather and features interior pockets for holding small personal items, like keys or a cellphone. The MOON LENCE comes with its own carrying bag and can fit inside a backpack. The MOON LENCE may sink on soft ground, including sand, but it’s great for using on grassy or rocky terrain.
6. Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair
BEST DEEP SEAT
With over 300 five-star reviews from Amazon users, the Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair offers everything you could want in a backpacking chair. The loop design makes it especially easy to assemble and take down, while the built-in side pockets ensure you’ve got a place to store your personal items. It also boasts a deep seat design for extra comfort. Once packed, the complete weight of the chair is only 2.1 pounds, while the assembled seat can hold up to an impressive 300 pounds.
7. Ozark Trail Himont Camp Lite Chair
BEST OVERSIZED OPTION
The Ozark Trail Himont Camp Lite Chair can hold up to 250 pounds and sports an oversized design, padded back and breathable mesh patches to add to the sitter’s comfort in comparison to competing chairs. It features a handy storage pocket, which hangs down from the front, and the chair is constructed from lightweight aluminum shock-corded frame legs, which provide a solid base and connect easily for quick assembly. The chair also includes its own zippered carry bag with a molle system to make carrying and storing your chair especially simple.
8. Nice C Low Folding Chair
BEST FOR THE BEACH
If you’re looking for a chair for chilling out at the beach, look no further than the Nice C Low Folding Chair. The chair’s low profile ensures comfort, while the built-in bottle holder gives you a place to keep your drink chilled to perfection. The design also includes armrests and the industrial-grade materials are capable of holding up to 300 pounds. The mesh backing keeps you cool throughout the day, and the included carrying bag has a shoulder strap for easy transport to and from your favorite spot.
9. Kelsyus Backpack Chair
BEST FOR KEEPING COOL
With a back and underside made entirely from mesh-filled materials, the Kelsyus Backpack Chair combines comfort and design with ease. The comprehensive chair sports an adjustable headrest, armrests, and a single cup holder. Plus, the intelligent design uses the chair’s armrests as carrying straps when the chair is collapsed, meaning you’ll never have to worry about forgetting a carrying case.
10. KingCamp Low Sling Folding Chair
Whether you’re heading to the beach, a concert, or out on a camping trip, the KingCamp Low Sling Folding Chair has your sitting space covered. This low-sitting chair boasts an ergonomic design, which provides comfort while accommodating those up to a weight of 300 pounds. The design includes armrests, anti-skid legs, and a built-in cup holder for keeping your beverage close at hand. In addition, this chair is available in three different colors and boasts five-star reviews from over 80 percent of users.
11. NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair
If you’re looking for a chair that lets you sit back, relax and take in the world around you, then the NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair is the choice for you. It sports a durable, camp-ready construction and includes water-resistant mesh throughout to keep you cool and sweat-free during your sitting time. The chair also features a hammock-like feel as the main seat is suspended in the air, allowing you to rock or lean back as you please.
12. ENO Lounger Hanging Chair
BEST HANGING OPTION
If your outdoor destination includes some strong trees, the ENO Lounger Hanging Chair is about to be your favorite accessory. Attach to a thick branch or another sturdy structure and enjoy a comfortable, swinging seat with an adjustable footrest and removable headrest. The ENO includes convenient features like a drink holder and built-in pockets. The chair can be somewhat confusing to set up, so customers should familiarize themselves with the steps before setting out on their first adventure, but the comfort of the 3.6-pound chair is tough to beat.
13. REI Co-op Trail Stool
From the campground to the fishing hole, the REI Co-op Trail Stool offers a comfortable and lightweight seat that is easy to strap to a pack. Built to last, the seat is made from ripstop polyester and sits on aluminum legs that can hold up to 200 pounds despite weighing only 1.2 pounds. The sturdy stool offers a great seat for short breaks and keeps customers off the wet ground.
14. GCI Outdoor SunShade Backpack Event Chair
The GCI Outdoor SunShade Backpack Event Chair may be too cumbersome to take on an extended hike or your next portaging trip, but for a festival, picnic, beach day, or camping trip, it will have you made in the shade. Literally. The GCI features a UPF 50 SunShade, headrest, and can be reclined in four positions. The seat weighs just under 10 pounds, which makes it one of the heaviest on our list, but it does come with a back pocket to help carry accessories and built-in backpack straps for easy carry.
15. SitX: Ultralight Inflatable Pocket-Sized Camping Chair
The SitX: Ultralight Inflatable Pocket-Sized Camping Chair may not be the most supportive option on our list, but it’s a great pick for those who need a light seat and some back support. Ideal for picnics, festivals, and the beach, the StiX weighs only 0.6 pounds and quickly inflates, giving customers some padding for their back and seat (no more sitting on the cold, wet ground). The collapsible legs can support up to 300 pounds on their own, but the StiX also makes a good insert for lounge chairs that could use added padding. Customers can also leave the seat legs at home and use the inflatable chair as a flat mat for yoga or napping.
16. MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Camping Chair
INCLUDES CARRYING CASE
One of the lightest options on our list is the MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Camping Chair, which weighs just under 2 pounds. A great option for anyone carrying a heavy pack who doesn’t want to be weighed down, the MARCHWAY features a durable ripstop nylon seat and an aircraft-grade corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy frame that can hold up to 250 pounds. The four poles are easy to set up and create a high back for added comfort. The MARCHWAY includes its own carrying case, which fits inside a backpack and includes two loops that can be attached to a pack using a carabiner or rope.
17. CLIQ Camping Chair
FASTEST SET UP
For a chair that can literally be set up in five seconds, it doesn’t get much faster or more convenient than the CLIQ Camping Chair. Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, the CLIQ has a push-button hub design for fast and easy opening and closing. Great for hiking and camping, the tip-proof foldable chair can support up to 300 pounds and weighs only 3.5 pounds. Durably made with ripstop ballistic nylon, the CLIQ is waterproof, tearproof, and offers a carrying bag sold separately for added convenience.
18. Wekapo Inflatable Lounger
BEST CHAIR ALTERNATIVE
If your next adventure includes grassy or sandy terrain, the Wekapo Inflatable Lounger is a great option for lounging mid-hike. The waterproof lounger inflates in seconds by making a swooping motion and filling it with air. Once inflated, the Wekapo will remain firm for up to six hours and can hold up to 500 pounds. A pillow-shaped headrest is great for naps and lounging and the Wekapo includes two mesh side pockets and an elastic bottle holder. When it’s time to pack up and head up, the Wekapo can be stored in its own carrying case and weighs just 2.65 pounds.
19. Melissa & Doug Cutie Pie Butterfly Camp Chair
BEST FOR KIDS
If you’re bringing kids on your next camping, backpacking, beach, or festival adventure, there’s a good chance they’re going to want their own seat. Keep your packing weight down with a chair that is designed for little adventurers. The Melissa & Doug Cutie Pie Butterfly Camp Chair has a convenient cup holder and folds up to fit into a matching carrying bag, which is lightweight enough for kids to carry. The water-resistant chair can hold up to 125 pounds and comes in several fun designs kids will love.