Whether you love sitting out under the stars, by the campfire, soaking up the morning sunshine, or perching in your tent listening to the rain drum on the roof, a camping chair is an essential item of outdoor kit.

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But let's be honest, there are a lot of crud camping chairs out there. The ones that push your shoulders forward, forcing you into an awkward slouch. Or offer a shapeless bucket shape that provides zero support for your lower back. The bulky ones that take up valuable boot space. The ones that threaten to sever a finger as you wrestle to unfold them. And the ones that break, leaving you sprawling in the wet grass.

Fear not. There are some high quality alternatives out there. Durable, comfortable and practical. Here is our pick of the best for camping, festival going, sunset-watching, fishing, garden gatherings and many other contented occasions, all tried and tested by our expert reviewer, Pat Kinsella, and his highly refined posterior.

We’ve got plenty of suggestions for camping lovers with our pick of the best camping mugs, handy gadgets to take on your next adventure and an essential family camping check-list.


Best Camping Chairs for 2023

Helinox Chair 2

A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.

Our verdict: Best on test for camping – a comfy, clever chair you can take anywhere

The Helinox Chair Two Camping chair

Ultra lightweight (1185g) and extremely easy to carry and assemble, Helinox’s Chair 2 has an ingenious design that provides comfort and support, but takes up next-to-no space when broken down. The high supportive back is comfortable. Some people might find it too low, but the stability of the design is decent. PK

Read our full Helinox Chair 2 review


Alpkit Vagabond Highback Chair

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Our verdict: Best on test for value. A practical perch for proper campers

Alpkit Vagabond Highback camping chair

The second generation of the Vagabond camping chair from from Peak District-based brand Alpkit features a comfortable and supportive bucket seat with a higher, more supportive back than its predecessor, and a headrest. Like all Alpkit gear, the design is very well thought through by people who genuinely use the equipment they produce, and this lightweight (1,390g), easily portable seat purposely positions you close to the floor (31cm), for convenience when tending to camp stoves (no need for drink holders – just use the ground). It’s easy to assemble, fold away and carry (packed, it measures 48 x 15cm), and made with 600D Oxford polyester material and 7075 alloy poles, the construction is tough enough to last many years. The mesh sides aid ventilation on hot days, and the splayed feet, complete with mud/sand disc shoes, provide stability on any terrain. PK


Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury chair

A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.

Our verdict: Best on test for relaxing. A luxury, top-dollar outdoor rocking chair for kicking back and looking at the heavens

Nemo Stargaze camping chair

One of the great pleasures of camping is watching the sun set and the stars start to pin prick through the darkening sky. This high-end rocking and reclining chair is perfect for exactly this scenario. Robustly made (as you’d expect for the sky-high price tag) with an aircraft-grade-aluminum skeleton, and very easy to put together, it features a drinks holder on the left side and a stash pocket for a phone or book on the right. You can’t fix the Stargaze into one position, but it is comfortably angled when you’re neutrally balanced in the ‘auto recline’ position. Not one, perhaps, for sitting in while eating anything too complicated or messy, but it really is lovely to gently sway away in, while daydreaming, reading, gazing at the campfire or looking up at the galaxy. It weighs 3.23kg, and packs down to an easily portable size (60 x 17 x 17cm). PK


Dometic Forte 180

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Our verdict: Toughest on test. A super-solid outdoor throne with an inbuilt side table

Dometic Forte 180 camping chair

Camping chairs don’t come any sturdier than the Dometic Forte, which pops open to supply a rock-solid seat and a decent-sized sidetable for balancing your book, beer or coffee on while you relax. Made with powder-coated steel and 1200D polyester, it’s likely to outlast all of us, and can take 180kg of weight, so there’s no danger of collapse. It’s ideal if you have young kids who like to curl up on your lap. The seat is 45cm high, so it’s easy to get in and out of, and it’s fixed in an upright position: excellent for posture and doing practical things such as eating dinner from a table or off your lap, but perhaps less ideal if you’re someone who prefers to lounge and slouch while hanging around camp. Tipping the scales at 8.22kg, it’s not the lightest or smallest chair (and it doesn’t come with a carry bag), but the Forte folds flat so you can lay it down in a car boot to transport. PK


Snow Peak Low Beach Chair

A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.

Our verdict: Best for glampers. High design and a fine finish make this stylish outdoor chair a standout choice for glampers

Stylish brown camping chair for glampers

Made with top-notch materials and meticulously designed in Japan, Snow Peak outdoor furniture isn’t the sort of gear you carelessly lob in the back of your van to drag off on a rough and ready trip to the sticks. More suited to glamping than camping, this is quality stuff, oozing craftsmanship and with a price tag to match. The low beach chair folds open and shut like a piece of origami. It has bamboo armrests and the robust canvas material is perfectly stretched over an aluminium and stainless steel frame, with flattened feet on the back legs and little shoes on the front to avoid it sinking into sand or mud – if you let it near such mucky terrain. Weighing a modest 3.6kg, it can take up to 113kg, and comes with a carry bag – packing down to 16 × 18 × 101cm. The seat is around 32cm from the floor and it has a relatively high back, making it comfortable, but there’s no room in the aesthetic for common extras like drink holders or a headrest. PK


Vango Radiate DLX Chair

A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.

Our verdict: Best on test for fishing. A seat with in-built heat to keep your cheeks flushed no matter what the weather

Vango Radiate DLX camping chair

I hesitate to call this an electric chair, for obvious reasons, but the first thing to mention is that you can plug it into a power bank, and it will keep you warm on chillier evenings or frosty mornings in camp or on the riverbank, thanks to the inbuilt Graphene heating element. You can toggle between four heat settings with a button, but bring your own powerbank (ideally with an output of 5V/2.1A).

Heating controls on the Vango Radiate DLX camping Chair

Besides this interesting feature, the chair is easy to erect and extremely comfortable, with a sumptuously padded, high backrest and an integrated but adjustable pillow. Seven sitting position settings are possible, from fully upright to nearly horizontal. It’s large, but folds flat (112 x 12 x 65cm packed down) for transportation in a car boot or van. Robustly made, it weighs 5.86kg and takes up to 140kg. With a generously proportioned and reasonably high seat (45cm), this will suit people of all sizes and levels of fitness. PK


Decathlon Quecha Comfortable Reclining chair

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Our verdict: An affordable, laidback deckchair with an in-built pillow

Decathlon Quechua NH500 camping chair

Offering multiple settings, this decent-value deckchair-style camping seat from Decathlon brand Quecha works well in all sorts of scenarios, from sitting upright while playing card games or eating, right through to reclining near-horizontally to snooze or catch some rays.

Decathlon Quechua camping chair in reclined position

There are various stages in between, and it’s easy to move between them by lifting the arms and putting gentle pressure on the backrest, which is made with mesh to aid airflow and avoid sweaty backs. An integrated pillow adds to the comfort levels, but there’s no drink holder or storage pouches. Weighing 4.65kg, it’s reasonably strong (max load 110kg) without being overly heavy. It folds flat, in typical deckchair fashion (measuring 86 x 58 x 10cm when collapsed), so it’s easy to carry in the boot of a car, but less maneuverable over any distance on foot, especially as there’s no carry case. The seat height is 44cm, making it easy to get in and out of. PK


Outwell Campana

A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.

Our verdict: A reliable, roundbacked, comfortable camping chair

Black camping chair

With a medium-height (39cm) and extra-broad seat, and a very well-padded, curved backrest, which embraces you as you sit down and cuts out chilly breezes after dark, this chair will hit the sweet spot with people who prioritise pragmatic design. The back is quite low, and there are no fancy extras such as pillows or drink holders, but it opens up and locks into place quickly, is lovely to sit in, and the rear leg is angled wide to provide excellent stability even on inclines and lumpy terrain. Made to last with powder-coated steel, the Campana weighs a reasonable 4.5kg, folds flat (69 x 52 x 9cm) – so you can chuck it in the car boot easily enough – and comes with a nice carry case with good handles. PK


Kelty Loveseat Low

A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.

Our verdict: A portable pew for two

Double folding sofa/chair for camping

For couples who like to snuggle up nice and close when sitting around the fire or looking up at the stars, this double camping chair is ideal. Like a foldable sofa, it pops into place nice and easy, and the steel frame supplies amble support for two people (it can hold over 181kg). Each person gets an adjustable armrest with an insulated pouch for placing drinks in and keeping them cold. This is the low version of the Loveseat, but the seat (height 34cm) is easy enough to get out of, and it’s a good bit more stable and less cumbersome to transport than its longer legged cousin. It weights 7.12kg and, packed away (in an included carry sack that double as a little rug), it measures 60 x 112 x 80cm, so fits in most cars easily. PK


Moon Chair, from Ticket to the Moon

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Our verdict: A hammock chair for carefree campsite swingers

Burgundy coloured hammock-style chair for camping

The next best thing to snoozing in hammock is kicking back in a floating chair, dangling from a branch or beam, swinging in the breeze. The hammock chair from Indonesia-based brand TTTM is pretty easy to set up (once you’ve found an obliging tree or something else to lob the rope over), and it’s ridiculously comfortable to lie back in, especially if you also rig up the accompanying floating footrest (included). Made with high-quality hypoallergenic parachute-silk, and enhanced with aluminum spreader bars, the chair weighs just 1700g but can support 120kg in static weight (depending, of course, on the strength of the branch you have strung it from). It packs down into a bag measuring 98 x 15cm, and is very easy to transport to the beach or campsite. The Moon Chair is a available in a spectrum of great colours, and the brand support local tribes in East Indonesia through the TTTM Foundation. PK


Mountain Warehouse Bucket Camping Chair

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Our verdict: A bargain bottom-supporting campsite throne

Blue folding chair for camping

For a seemingly quotidian item, camping chairs can get pretty flippin’ pricey (as we can see here), but there are still very good alfresco seats out there that do the job perfectly without breaking the bank, and this bucket chair is one of them. It’s comfortable, supportive and stable; it’s lightweight, folds down nice and small (packing down to just 66 x 14 x 14cm) and comes with a carry bag; and it’s tough enough to survive multiple adventures. It is a little on the small side for some people, the maximum load is slightly less than others (110kg) and there’s no drink holder, but if you just want a no nonsense, comfy camping chair, this is a good option. PK


Helinox Beach Chair

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Our verdict: Expensive, but light, packable, comfortable – and won't sink in to the sand

Blue collapsible chair for camping and beach

Weighing just 1.6kg and collapsing down to a very portable size, this is the perfect seat for soaking up rays on the beach or campsite. The broad feet and splayed legs prevent it sinking into sand and keep it steady. It’s easy to assemble, too. PK

Read our full Helinox beach chair review


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Reviews by Pat Kinsella (PK)

Authors

Black and white image of Pat Kinsella
Pat KinsellaOutdoor writer and gear reviewer

Author of numerous books about the outdoors, including: 100 Great Pub Walks (National Trust)

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