Whether you are staring down at a campfire or up at the stars, kicking back in a camping chair is one of the pleasures of overland adventure. When building your overlanding gear kit, it’s worth investing in high-quality, comfortable camping chairs. It’s often the simple things that greatly enhance your experience, and chairs definitely fall in this category.
There are a few things to consider when purchasing camping chairs. If you are pressed for cargo space in your vehicle, it’s worth looking for chairs that fold down to a compact size. Also, look for chairs with sturdy construction that are easy to set up and take down — the models we’ve suggested below match this description.
If you have more space, consider larger chairs that offer more support and conveniences such as cup holders and armrests. Some chairs come with footrests, but we find that these can obstruct the flow in camp and don’t personally recommend them.
Below we’ve recommended chairs from three tried-and-true brands that are popular among campers and overlanders. They include Helinox, Travelchair and REI.
TravelChair C-Series Rider Chair
The C-Series Rider Chair from Travelchair is a good option if you are looking for a no-frills camping chair that gets the job done. It’s made of lightweight, single-layer polyester fabric, and weighs in at 9 pounds. The powder-coated steel frame can hold up to 300 pounds. It folds down to 4 x 4 x 32 inches and comes with a carrying bag. There’s a cup holder, which comes in handy. The Rider costs around $40.
Helinox Chair One
The Helinox Chair One is a great option if you lack space in your vehicle or want a chair that you could also take backpacking. It’s also comfortable. The aluminum frame keeps the chair light but still capable of supporting up to 320 pounds. The seat fabric is removable and the chair’s frame poles assemble similarly to aluminum tent poles, with an internal bungee pulling them together. The assembled chair is 21W x 21.5D x 25.5H inches, seat height is 9.5 inches. The chair weighs only 2.10 pounds and measures 4 x 4.5 x 14 when packed in its carrying case. The Chair One costs around $100.
For more info, check out our video review of the Helinox Chair One:
Helinox Sunset Chair
The Helinox Sunset Chair features a similar construction as the smaller Chair One. With its head and neck support, however, it offers more creature comforts than the Chair One. Overall, the chair is a bit larger and might be a better choice for taller people. The frame can support up to 320 pounds. The assembled chair is 23W x 28.5D x 39H inches; seat height is 13 inches. The chair weighs 3.5 pounds and measures 4.5 x 5.5 x 18 when packed in its carrying case. The Sunset Chair runs around $150.
Best Kids Camping Chair
REI Co-op Camp Chair for Kids
The REI Camp Chair for Kids offers a classic design, similar to the Travelchair above, but sized down. It’s lightweight, portable and so durable that your child will likely outgrow it long before it wears out. The frame is steel and can support up to 125 pounds. It features a kid-friendly cup holder. The unfolded dimensions are 24.5 x 26.5 x 16.25 inches, with a seat height of 11 inches. It packs down to 5 x 25 inches and weighs 4 lbs. They cost around $25.