Looking forward to a summer of outdoor adventures? Whether you’re planning on celebrating your new-found freedom by checking out some festivals, nabbing the most sought-after spot at your favourite campsite, or renting a motorhome for a week-long road trip, you’ll need a camping chair that won’t let you down.
You’ll want something that won’t collapse at the first sight of a breeze, or which weighs more than a gold throne. It’s also worth taking a second to think about what level of support you require, especially if you’re prone to back or neck pain.
“Good back and postural support is very important, particularly for people with musculoskeletal problems such as lower back pain,” says Professor Nachiappan Chockalingam, an expert in clinical biomechanics at Staffordshire University. “Supportive seating can make the difference between an enjoyable weekend of camping and several days of persistent pain.”
If maintaining good posture is a priority, look for camping chairs that encourage an upright sitting position. “A slumped position can increase disc pressure and this excessive force is applied directly to the spine,” says Chockalingam. “Make sure that the seat has appropriate cushioning which works with the back support to maintain spinal posture.”
So how did we approach the testing process? We’re not going to lie – this wasn’t the toughest of assignments.
Our mission to find the best camping chairs involved a whole lot of sitting, lounging and reclining, along with hours of folding and unfolding chairs, squeezing them into cramped corners of car boots, footwells and lofts.
The result? Ten brilliant options no happy camper should be without – so pull up a pew and check our guide to the best camping chairs to invest in this summer.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Vango titan 2 oversized chair
If there was such a thing as an armchair made of clouds, we suspect that sitting in it would feel similar to the experience of sinking into Vango’s titan chair. It’s incredibly supportive, with sturdy armrests and a shape that provides the perfect balance between cushioning and rigidity. The thick stuffing, which did a great job of blocking out breezes on a particularly nippy March day, is top quality – there’s not a hint of clumping, and it’s squashy enough to ensure it can still be quickly folded away and stashed into its bag.
We were also seriously impressed by its stability, which is largely down to the extra-large plastic covers on the ends of the legs – these covers minimise wobble, prevent the chair sinking into muddy ground and meant we could happily use it in our freshly seeded garden without leaving unsightly holes.
Buy now £49.50, leisureoutlet.com
Outwell goya XL
This was the best chair in terms of unfolding time – it takes just a couple of seconds to set up the extra-wide goya XL, which comes with its own carry bag. The chair’s durable polyester cover has a subtle spotted design that is a welcome change from the usual solid panels of colour seen on most camping chairs, and the extra-wide armrests were incredibly tactile, thanks to an ultra-smooth finish and curved edges. We were slightly sceptical about the sturdiness (the supports are on the thin side) but the powder-coated steel legs were more than up to the job, and can take a maximum load of 150kg.
Buy now £47.66, Amazon
Life Under Canvas bamboo canvas chair
Yes, this chair looks more suited to sundown at a luxurious Kenyan safari lodge, but it’s also a great way to add a dash of style to your campsite. The durable canvas provides a relaxed, hammock-like level of comfort, and the tough steel joints keep its bamboo legs firmly in place. Even the carry bag looks stylish – the canvas pouch has a leather strap that matches the leather patch stitched onto the chair.
Another stylish touch is the pocket on the rear of the seat – unfolding such a beautiful chair then slotting a six pack into side pockets would seem criminal after all, so we love the fact our drinks – whether it’s beer or Bollinger – can be kept out of sight, but still within easy reach. The accompanying blurb states it’s washable, although we couldn’t work out how to remove the material. That said, a quick spot clean was all it took to magic away a grass stain, and we were reassured to see that the fabric is mildew-proof, too.
Buy now £59.00, Lifeundercanvas.co.uk
Kelty loveseat padded camping chair
If you don’t mind sharing, this could be the camping chair of your dreams. And you’ll still have plenty of personal space, as well as personal double cup-holders on the armrests, handily sectioned to allow two drinks to be stored in each one. The high back and adjustable extra-wide armrests upped the comfort level, and the padding felt much thicker than expected. Given all the extras, ranging from the insulated material used for the drinks holders to the extra reinforcement on the legs, we were amazed by how easily and quickly it could be folded away and slipped into its carry bag, which came with three extra straps to secure it.
Buy now £92.02, outdoorgb.com
Seletti blow folding chair
Add a splash of pop art-themed colour to your campsite of choice by unfolding one of Seletti’s quirky blow folding chairs, which are adorned with various images, including a fried egg, a peace sign, popcorn and a hot dog. We expected minimal comfort from the PVC seat and backrest, but we were wrong – the padded areas have just the right amount of give, and the support provided by the legs (which rely not on individual contact points but solid bars resting against the ground) means zero wobble.
Buy now £62.00, Amara.com
Easy Camp comfy lounger
Camping is all about making the most of often cramped conditions, which is why sun loungers are rarely spotted on sites. This is precisely why we’re rather excited about Easy Camp’s comfy lounger, a ridiculously comfortable model that inflates using an airbed pump – an item you’ll almost certainly have to hand during camping excursions. The ergonomic design is both supportive and comfortable, and the flocked material is a serious upgrade on the tacky, sticky plastic surfaces you’ll find on other items of inflatable furniture.
Buy now £32.99, Easycamp.com
Helinox incline festival chair, tie die
You’ll be the coolest camper in sight if you opt for the incline, which pays a neon-drenched nod to the swinging Sixties. This jazzy chair, in its colour-coordinated bag, is great for all manner of outdoor adventures – it’s incredibly easy to assemble, and the bucket seat-style design offers a supreme level of comfort, while extra-sturdy legs and a low profile crank up the stability. We also loved how the sliding supports on the front legs allowed us to adjust the height of the seat. Unlike many camping chairs, the Incline has solid sides, which block out any unwanted breezes and allow for better heat retention. The aluminium alloy frame – made of hollow struts which slot together in a similar way to tent poles – is ridiculously light.
Buy now £109.95, Helinox.eu
Coleman sling chair
The extra-high back on Coleman’s sling chair provided great support for the neck and back – something aided by the presence of two additional aluminium struts designed to give this part of the chair extra rigidity (all too often seatbacks of camping chairs are simply kept upright using internal side supports and nothing else). It felt incredibly stable – even when perched on a particularly damp patch of grass – and the combination of curved armrests and deep seat gave it a wonderful, armchair-like feel. There was another surprise in store when it came to folding it away – despite the additional scaffolding, extra padding on the headrest and generously-sized seat section, the sling chair folded effortlessly away into its carry bag.
Buy now £39.99, Leisureoutlet.com
Helinox chair two multi block
When folded up, this colourful chair squashes into a case which is only slightly larger than a bum bag, making it much more versatile than your average camping chair. It stashed easily into our hiking backpack, which meant that when we reached our favourite picnic spot we could take in the view from an actual seat, rather than a patch of muddy grass. It offers brilliant back and neck support, and the mesh panels under the arms allow air to circulate while still allowing for a certain amount of heat retention on colder days. There’s a brilliant choice of colourways, too: black, blue, pink or a gorgeous multi-coloured design that appears to be inspired by Piet Mondrian’s masterpieces.
Buy now £119.95, Helinox.eu
We Love Cushions five puffins Robert Gillmor outdoor stool
If you’re not bothered about back support, you’ll love this camping stool that unfolds in a nano-second and will instantly provide an injection of colour as well as a supremely comfortable seat. This beautiful model is also a rather environmentally friendly affair, having been crafted from durable hardwood certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. However, the best bit is undoubtedly the printed design on the fabric – there are dozens to choose from and our favourite is the cluster of puffins painted by Robert Gillmor, a famous wildlife artist. Don’t worry about the durability of the images either – the designs on the hand-sewn fabric panels are printed onto hard-wearing canvas polyester sail cloth.
Buy now £79.99, Welovecushions.co.uk
The verdict: Camping chairs
If you’re searching for a chair that is both ridiculously comfortable and designed with ergonomics in mind, the Vango titan 2 oversized chair might be the one, thanks to its ability to swaddle you with an armchair-like level of support. The Outwell goya XL, meanwhile, is a rock-solid, stylish camping essential that stashes away with surprising ease, and the Coleman sling chair gets a gold star for its generous proportions, including an extra-high back and deep seat.
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