Choose the Right Folding Chairs for Your Type of Adventure
Although the first mention of the phrase ‘camping chair’ might create some incorrect illustration in some people’s minds, such as a bulky folding chair that nobody likes to carry with them, that’s far from the truth. Especially given the fact that today’s market is overflown with different models, each and every one offering something to increase the convenience, it’s only natural that all manufacturers are trying hard to tune into the needs of the customers as much as possible.
This is great news for those of us looking to buy quality and convenient folding chairs, but since not all chairs are created equal, you can’t just go and buy the first type you like. I mean, you could, but then you might have to go back and actually get the ones you need. In order to avoid that, let’s go through some types and prominent brands that are available on the market today.
The Main Division
The two main categories you can find are traditional and portable models. The most notable difference is that traditional chairs tend to be a bit higher from the ground and they tend to weigh more. Portable ones, on the other hand, are lower to the ground and weigh less. If your main priority when shopping for camping chairs is for them to be more spacious and easier to get in and out of, then you should go for the traditional type. However, if you need one that is easy to carry and one that you probably won’t bother adding to whatever else you need to take for a camping trip with your friends, then you’re looking for a portable one.
The traditional models are also largely preferred by taller people or simply people who don’t like to sit on a chair that just a few inches off the ground. Popular traditional chairs with higher seats which are easy for getting in and out of are the Eureka Curvy High-Back, the REI Camp X and the ALPS Mountaineering King Kong, to name a few. In order to set these chairs up, all you need to do is pull their two sides apart. Just remember that since these models weigh more than 10 pounds, you won’t be able to carry one to the woods on foot or walk more than half a mile to the beach.
The portable models, on their hand, can get so light that some even decide to carry one on hikes or a backpacking trip that doesn’t last for hours (the walking part). The favorites among those who like their folding chairs to weigh 2 pounds or less are the Helinox Chair Zero and the Moon Lence Ultralight. If, however, there has to be a chair that would simply defy such strict classification, the closest thing to a model appeasing both sides while belonging to none would be the ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous. This model offers enough space, has the folding process of a traditional chair, but is only 3 inches from the ground, just like the portable ones.
The Main Types of Uses
The best way for you to use the decision making process is to consider for what you are going to use the folding lawn chairs the most. So let’s go through some different options.
If You’re Into Car Camping and Tailgating
Since both of these activities don’t rely on having to walk and carry things with you, choosing chairs of the traditional type won’t be an issue. The most important thing to set up as a priority is the comfort since that’s what you’ll be looking for after a tiring hiking session. A well-ventilated fabric and a good cup holder meant to fit more than one size of a drink are some of the features you ought to have in mind for maximum enjoyment. If you’re on a budget, but don’t want to miss out on too many of the benefits, then the REI Camp X would be a great choice for you. Also, what interesting is that many avid campers nowadays actually avoid getting a camping chair that would give them that slouchy feeling, but rather look for one that has a bit more firmness about it.
If You Prefer the Beach
If the aforementioned type of relaxation doesn’t ring a bell to you because you and your friends would much rather gather by the beach where you can sunbathe, read and simply lounge all day long, you’ll need a specific type of chair. If there’s one word to describe what you need, that would be – mesh! A well-ventilated model is the most important thing to look for since that way you’ll be able to sweat less and feel more comfortable. Also, make sure that the chair is in some brighter color so that it won’t attract too much warmth – some chairs can get too warm to sit on after a while. The chair sinking into the sand is one of the most common problems when on the beach. In order to avoid this, you can choose one with a wide base or maybe wide feet (both options work) or you can try to think of some other alternative (discs or some other useful add on) and prevent the sinking.
For this section, the Eureka Curvy High-Back would have to be mentioned again as it’s very much preferred by people who are keen on this type of lounging. This chair is very cozy when it comes to prolonged sitting as it features a very tall back. This ensures great head support. What’s more, it provides the much sought after ventilated fabric that prevents excessive back and bottom sweating. Another plus is the large side pocket where you can put your drink, phone, sunscreen or some other essentials.
Finally, whatever option you choose, make sure that you take good care of your chair(s) and store it/them properly when not in use. Now that you are more aware of the features to look out for and the different models that match different types of preferences, choosing the right type for you should be a lot easier.
Choosing the right type of folding camping chairs for your adventure requires a little research with easy to pack and space sufficient design. Right?
Fortunately, the market is full of many options ranging from minimalist to lavish; you may find it confusing to choose the one that best suits your style and need. In this review, we’ve handpicked for you the Best Five Camping Chairs in 2018 that feature portability, lightweight design, foldable, packable and durable for car camping, tailgating, or for use in the beach.
But before we do let’s look at some features that will help you have an easy time when shopping.
Important Features to Consider
Height from the Ground
Chairs with small legs and a shorter back are best for total relaxation but give you a difficult time standing up while seats that feature a “no sag” design are more comfortable giving you sufficient back support and are better when you need to sit and stand quickly.
Weight and Size
A camping chair should be portable enough to take with you anywhere you go. Models that are lightweight and pack in compact sizes are more convenient. Besides, backpacking seats are impressively small and ultra-lightweight.
Frame and Seat Material
Not all camping chairs are the same. The seats feature different materials and construction with metal, wood or plastic materials. The metal models are considered to be the most durable and great for outdoor use.
On the other hand, plastic models are more straightforward to clean and lightweight while the wooden one gives an elegant finish and offer outstanding tensile strength.
Fabric and Structure
Before purchasing a camping chair, consider models with waterproof fabrics as they are easy to clean and dry fast. Also, a seat with a sturdy seem helps you enjoy and relax your outdoor adventure without worrying of falling or tipping off. A stainless steel frame is durable for long-term use.
In addition to this feature, ensure that the fabric used in a particular chair has a breathable fabric that provides ventilation especially in hot summer weather.
Pockets and Cup holders
Look out for a chair with extra features such as pockets and cup holders. Pockets help you to safely keep the gadgets and accessories you might have carried along in your trip. Cup holders are significant as they hold your beverages securely as you enjoy your outdoor adventure.
Many camping chairs are cheap but at the expense of quality and durability. Some foldable chairs cost more than $200, while the more affordable options go for less than $20. Buy a chair that meets your budget needs.
Why we like it: The ALPS Mountaineering chair is a very sturdy, comfortable and stable chair with high back support and headrest making it our Editors’ Choice of the best camping rocking chair that features a single U-shaped bar rocking design.
The King Kong chair from the ALPS brand is a versatile outdoor gear that works well as a rocker on solid surfaces. However, it will not rock on soft and rocky terrains.
The ALPS mountaineering chair features a durable power-coated steel frame with 600D polyester materials, a design that’s built to last. The construction on the structure of this ALPS product features a lock on the side that gives it stability perfectly balancing durability and comfort.
Solid Armrests and Headrest
The King Kong chair offers a very high back section that gives you a perfect headrest making it suitable for taller people with a weight capacity of 300 pounds, good enough for most users. The armrests feature an innovative and premium design with plastic materials for solid support.
- Plenty of back support
- Very stable
- Rocking chair
- Quality build
- Great armrest
- Heavy – not an item to carry around
- Big packed size
Why we like it: The Kijaro Dual Lock Portable Camping and Sports chair with incredibly versatile features and a very affordable price tag of under $50. This chair aims to give you a premium sitting experience suitable for camping, tailgating, and sports watching making it the best camping chair.
The Kijaro Dual Lock is a chair that you should take with you on your next camping trip. The Kijaro Dual Lock features a sturdy polyester construction, extra padding on the sitting area and a headrest with a “no sag” design providing excellent support and comfort for any outdoor event.
Support and Stability
The duo lock technology in this Kijaro line of portable camping chairs offers the capacity to secure parts of the frame in place to support up to 300 pounds for greater stability. Additionally, the joints can easily disengage for easy folding and portability.
The chair comes with a carry strap and bag for mobility. In addition to this feature, Kijaro included an organizer pouch on the side and a ziplock that firmly holds other items and gadgets you may have carried along. This chair is available in a rainbow of colors, making it the best camping chair in comparison to the more expensive options in the market.
- Durable sitting material
- Offers ample stability even for high weight capacity
- Excellent quality for the money
- Some quality control issues
- Not the lightest option for folding outdoor chair
Why we like it: Helonox Chair Zero is a lightweight, four-legged, outdoor folding chairs thanks to an aluminum frame construction giving it a compact size for easy portability though with a high price tag that fails to meet comfort and stability for tall people.
While extremely light weight for backpacking, Helinox Chair Zero is not as comfortable as some of the portable folding rivals like the Kijaro Duo Lock. The chair features a shallow wobbly design though there’s a ground sheet surface that gives the chair stability on the soft ground.
Besides, Chair Zero would be a poor choice in hot weather as it lacks breathability. Though it’s well-made and features a beautiful design, the material in the chair is thin and slippery.
Support and stability
With only eight inches off the ground, this Helinox product is too low that would give the user a hard time to get in and out. It’s also challenging to stay in as you feel like you’re always sliding forward.
Though the groundsheet is meant to distribute weight on various ground surfaces, the seat features tiny legs that give you constant fear of tipping over – Helinox missed the mark.
While backpacking, size, and packability are essential factors to consider. The Chair Zero is one of the outdoors folding chairs that pack very small at a mere 17 ounces outshining competitors like the ALPS Mountaineering with a neat light stuff bag which make it the best lightweight camping chair.
- Beautiful design
- Ultra-lightweight camping chair
- Portable design
- Packs small
- Lacks extra features like pockets and straps
- Price tag
- Not comfortable
- Not stable
Why we like it: If you’re looking for a firm, portable folding camp chairs that come with a duo lock system that securely locks in place when in use and when closed, then the Kijaro Duo Lock Folding chair will be your best bet for a comfortable campfire chair.
Kijaro Duo Lock features high-quality ripstop fabrics, a breathable mesh and a headrest with a “no sag” sitting design providing you with maximum seat and back support so that you can enjoy your surroundings.
Support and Stability
If you’re tailgating or heading to watch a baseball game with kids, you can hold your kid without worrying if the chair will support you. Apart from portability, this product notably features sturdy structures made from a power-coat steel frame that supports up to 300 pounds and durable for long-lasting use.
Aside from giving you comfort and ample support, Kijaro included a two cup holder design in this chair for easy access to your favorite beverages.
In addition to this feature, the Kijaro Duo lock is lightweight with 9.5 pounds with a height of 37 inches when open something that tall folks will appreciate.
- Lightweight design
- Great for those seeking portable, foldable chairs
- No sag design for superior back support
- A little pricey
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Why we like it: This Helinox award-winning folding camp chair features a simple model for easy and quick set up. The combination of lightweight and compact attributes makes Chair One super-comfy making it a great backpacking chair.
Helinox utilized tent technology on Chair One giving it a slightly reclined design excellent for back support great for hanging around a campfire. However, the chair is not high enough, and you cannot fall asleep in it since it doesn’t have headrest support.
Additionally, Chair One sets up quickly with the segmented aluminum frame connecting with bungee cords. The seat features nylon and mesh fabrics for breathability, especially in hot weather.
Support and Stability
Taking a load off has never been easier. Chair one sets up quickly and quickly featuring a robust design thanks to self-locating shock cords and low to the ground making it stable with a weight capacity of up to 320 pounds.
Also, the frame on Chair One pivots on solid ground, giving it a little unsettling experience at first but it’s the rugged design and robust feel that gives you security for almost every type of terrain.
The seat packs very small – to the size of a loaf of bread! It’s the compact size feature that gives you the confidence to backpack this chair for any adventure.
- Packs down small
- Available in various colors
- The tiny legs sink in soft ground
If you’re planning to go for an adventure, you may want to consider a camping chair that is easy to carry along and one that will give you relaxing moments. The seat should take you very little time to set up, sit in and stand up with a comfortable design.
As you purchase a camping chair, go for one that meets your needs.