When you go on a camping trip, you want to be comfortable, which means you want the best camping chair you can buy. Sitting on the ground, on an uneven or sharp rock or even on a stump where you can get splinters or have to deal with bugs crawling on you can make a trip to the woods a lot less fun.
In fact, the American Camp Association says that fatigue can contribute to illness and injury in summer camps and that applies to camping outdoors as well. Camp chairs can go a long way towards preventing that fatigue.
That’s why you should consider bringing some camping chairs with you. But choosing the right ones requires that you know what to look for and what the most important factors are to weigh. This guide will help you to choose the perfect camping chair, based upon what you value most.
A camping chair is a chair that you specifically use for camping. It is generally portable, folding up to be easily stored in a vehicle, and durable enough to be used outdoors. Often, chairs that aren’t actually manufactured for camping – but instead for other outdoor purposes such as patio furniture – are used for treks to the wilderness; meaning you have a great deal of freedom in choosing a camping chair.
Camping chairs also can be identified by their additional features, such as drink holders or fireproofing that makes them safe to use near a campfire. However, anything that you can easily transport and set up at your campsite can be used as a camping chair.
There are definitely some things that you should look for in a camping chair. These characteristics are important when you are choosing a chair and prioritizing them and weighing them will allow you to make a better decision. Here are the main factors that determine what makes up the best camping chair.
The best folding chairs for camping are ones that fold up completely and are able to fit into a very small space. A conventional folding chair like you might find at a school auditorium or church will generally only fold flat. This means that it will be very large and bulky if you were going to pack it into the back of a vehicle.
Instead, you want to find a folding camp chair that will fit into a very small space. You should be able to tuck your folding chair into your trunk or the backseat of your car without taking up hardly any space at all. In fact, you should be able to easily fit several of them in your trunk and still leave room for plenty of other gear.
Some folding chairs will come with bags that you can fit over the chair when it is collapsed. This comes in very handy because it keeps the chair completely folded and tight and prevents it from expanding and taking up more space.
In addition, these bags can prevent the rough edges of the metal or wooden chair frame from damaging the interior of your car.
Choosing a lightweight camp chair is vital because you don’t want to be carrying heavy chairs to and from your campsite.
Doing this is not such a chore if all you are doing is taking your chair from the garage to the car and then from the car to a campsite just a few feet away, but imagine if you had to park a mile or more away from your campsite and carry your gear to and from.
In addition, you may want to carry your chairs away from your campsite. Some people like to climb to the top of a hill and watch the sunset or other sights. Being able to easily carry your chairs is vital and you don’t have to trade durability and comfort for lightness. There are chairs out there that give you the best of both worlds.
There are two things that you want to look at when it comes to determine whether or not a camp chair is light enough to carry around easily. The first is the total weight of the chair. Aluminum frames weigh a great deal less than wood and fabric can make a difference as well.
The second thing you want to examine is how easily the chair can be carried. Can you hold it easily under your arm? Does the bag come with a carrying handle or strap? These are the questions you need to be asking.
Although you should focus a great deal more on the factors listed above to find the right camping chair, brand is not altogether unimportant. There are some really solid brands out there that you can depend upon for quality construction and durability.
Coleman camping chairs are one of the most popular chairs on the market – and for good reason, as the Coleman Company has been making camping products for decades and have earned a reputation for high quality products. However, they are not the only good brand out there. Some of the other reputable camp chair brands include Kijaro, ONWEGO, Caravan and Magellan.
While it might seem obvious that the best way to test out a camping chair for comfort is to sit on it, this unfortunately doesn’t work. Some chairs that seem comfortable when you initially sit on them will quickly become uncomfortable when sitting for long periods of time. Ideally, you would be able to sit on a camp chair for a few hours before you bought it, but it is difficult to “test drive” products in this fashion.
Instead, there are a couple of things that you can do in order to get the best camping chair ever when it comes to comfort. Although comfort is somewhat subjective, you can usually get a general idea of how comfortable a chair is by reading product reviews and seeing what other people thought of the comfort level.
The second thing that you can do is make sure that you are buying from a retailer that will allow you to return the chair if you don’t like this, with a minimum of hassle. That’s why Amazon has become such a popular place to buy just about everything. They have an excellent return policy and will offer refunds on products with no questions asked.
Lately, there has been new technology that has made camp chairs more comfortable than ever. Some examples of this are the zero gravity camp chairs, which are some of the most comfortable camp chairs ever created.
Durability is something that is difficult to measure when you are initially shopping for outdoor camping chairs. This is because the durability may not be readily apparent by looking at the chair and reading the manufacturer’s description.
This is a little easier when buying in person rather than online, but still not foolproof. However, there are a couple of things that you can do to be sure that you are getting a camp chair that is as durable as possible.
First of all, take a look at the brand that you are considering and do some quick research on them. Don’t spend a lot of time doing this though. Adweek doesn’t list the brand as one of the deal breakers for most online shoppers.
But check out a couple of things like if they have a reputation for making quality products. Although it’s possible for a good manufacturer to make a poor product, this usually isn’t the case. If you are buying from a trusted brand you have an increased chance of getting a solid product.
Second, read customer reviews and specifically look for ones that discuss whether a chair has lasted a long time or if it is already breaking down. Although you can’t always find this information, a lack of it might actually be a positive sign.
Generally, if a product is shoddily made and breaks easily, customers will post negative reviews about it, so finding nothing about a chair’s durability in the reviews is probably a good thing. People consistently post more often when they have a negative experience.
There are a couple of advantages to choosing camping chairs for more than one person. A 2 person camping chair means that you always have a set when you pull out your camp chair, and they don’t take up very much more space when they are collapsed than one chair does.
In addition, couples tend to prefer these two person camp chairs because they function as sort of a “camp loveseat” allowing two people to snuggle together comfortably. Also, you can often find double camp chairs for less than if you were to buy two camp chairs separately and that is a big advantage as well.
They make a variety of these types of camp chairs, fitting even more than two people. You can find camp chairs for four, six and even up to eight people. These are also a great deal less expensive to buy than buying that many camp chairs individually, but that many chairs can be a little more difficult to store because there is less flexibility in how they fit into your car.
Of course, you also have extra features on some foldable camping chairs. There are so many additional features out there that it would be impossible to compile an exhaustive list, but some of the more common ones include the following:
When it comes to choosing the best overall camp chair, you need to decide which of the factors outlined above are most important to you. If you value comfort over everything else, you might be happy with a chair that is a little heavier and more difficult to transport. If you desire features above all else, you can certainly find the ones that you want if you are willing to pay a little more.
Of course, one of the factors that is extremely important but isn’t discussed above is price. Unless your budget for camping gear is unlimited, price is probably important to you as well. All of these things need to be carefully examined when choosing the best camp chair for you.
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Coleman Cooler Quad Chair
Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair
Coleman Portable Deck Chair With Side Table
TravelChair Slacker Folding Chair
Quik Shade Adjustable Canopy Folding Camp Chair
Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair
ONWEGO Ultralight Camping And Outdoor Chair
Coleman ComfortSmart Suspension Chair
This Coleman cooler quad chair is intended for children, but it will support someone’s weight up to 300 pounds. It is a little smaller than an adult chair but not by much and it has a huge number of features that make it super attractive.
For example, it has its own cooler that holds up to four cans of soda and a cup holder for whatever you are currently drinking. A mesh pocket keeps items from getting lost and it has a carrying bag as well. Even more attractive is the under $20 price tag.
This chair has nearly a dozen different colors and features lock technology that keeps it from collapsing when you don’t want it to. This is also a very comfortable chair that keeps your back and neck feeling great. The Kijaro folding chair has breathable mesh for hot days on the back of the seat and it supports up to 300 pounds. It also has lots of pockets and two cup holders.
This is an example of a patio chair that can be used for camping or any other activity where you need a good chair. This chair supports up to 225 pounds and it has its own table as well as padded arm rests and a solid frame; it folds completely flat so you can pack it into your car easily.
This chair is well under $20 and comes in four different colors. It is also extremely small and you can fit lots of them in your car. When it is folded it is about the size of a rolled up newspaper; supports up to 275 pounds as well.
This chair is terrific with a solid steel frame that supports up to 225 pounds and has its own canopy. It is also adjustable, including the canopy, and has fabric and mesh cup holders. It is also water-resistant and stain-resistant and is very portable, weighing only about nine pounds.
This is one of the aforementioned zero gravity camp chairs, which features a double bungee system that offers ultimate comfort. It also locks with the ease of a finger touch and has a very strong frame that supports a person up to 300 pounds. When it is folded it only inches wide and has adjustable lumbar support and a headrest. You can recline to any position and it comes in a full complement of a dozen colors.
If you want a light camp chair this is exactly what you are looking for. It weighs a ridiculous two pounds and comes in a tiny little sack about the size of a woman’s purse. In fact, you could probably fit it inside of most women’s purses.
This is a little low to the ground but it is one of the most comfortable chairs out there with an ergonomic seat design and is very stable, with a four leg design and strap to hold the frame in place. It is easy to set up and made of the highest grade aluminum available for excellent durability.
This chair is made of nylon mesh so it actually cools you when there is a slight breeze. It also has a great cup holder included and a steel frame that is extremely durable and strong, supporting up to 300 pounds.
This chair folds up for easy storage and has a suspension system similar to the zero grav chair featured earlier, which makes it one of the most comfortable chairs out there. It also has a convenient bag with a strap for carrying it to and from your vehicle, allowing to take several at once.