As the weather warms and covid restrictions lift, campgrounds across the nation are filling up every weekend with groups keen to stretch in the wide open spaces and breathe in the fresh air.
Whether it’s an activity-filled trip or a couple of days catching up with your best mates in the warming glow of a fire, this summer is on track to see more Britons than ever embrace the relaxing charms of camping.
When out in the great outdoors, it pays to bring efficient kit that will safeguard your comfort. Tents are naturally a given (if you can, attempt to put it up before your leave to check for faults or tears), but you’ll also need a decent sleeping bag, inflatable mattress or camp bed.
Unless you plan on standing around all day, you’ll also need a good chair to lounge in over the day. While you can spread out on the floor, it’s not ideal for long periods and especially at night when you could make yourself a trip hazard.
A good camping chair should offer proper back support first and foremost, but for us, armrests too have become non-negotiable. Integrated cushioning is a nice extra and you can now also get designs with pockets and a canopy on top to protect you come rain or shine.
Most of our listed options come with a carry bag for easy portability, so you can take a seat anywhere you like.
See our favourites below.
Umi. by Amazon Portable Camping Chair
Folding down into a bag that can be carried with just one finger, Amazon’s ultra-lightweight chair is one of the most impressively compact we’ve seen. There is some construction involved; you’ll need to fix the high strength aluminium alloy frame into place (it slots together much like tent poles) before attaching the fabric seat part. It takes seconds.
The deep seat can hold up to 256lbs and is perfect for outdoor trips as well as activities like fishing. Mesh panels keep things feeling breathable and there are three handy pockets for keeping essentials close to hand. With all these benefits, we’re willing to overlook the absence of arm rests, although they would be welcome.
Amazon Basics Camping Chair with Cooler
Amazon’s own-brand basics range is full of essential no-frills products for a fraction of the price of established brands. Amongst the collection is this camping chair, which does come with one helpful extra - a built-in cooler suspended from one armrest (hooray!) with space for four cans of beer.
Available in two sizes - normal and XL - the chair comes with a cupholder and an extra pocket for magazines and snacks. The frame folds shut and doesn’t require deconstructing, just pop it into the carry bag and sling it over your shoulder to find the next sunspot.
HI-GEAR Haddon Director’s Chair
Own the starring role in your next camping adventure with a director’s style chair from Hi-Gear. The best thing about this design, apart from its sturdiness, is the fold-down table on the right hand side, complete with cup-holder. No more awkwardly reaching for your drink, or searching for the flattest piece of grass to balance it on. Sitting on hollow stainless steel, it’s completely collapsible which makes storing it in the winter months a breeze. Right now, it’s on a buy two for £45 offer.
Trespass Oversized Moon Chair
Your future self will thank you for buying this cloud-like chair. It offers cocoon comfort like nothing else. Apart from the lovely padding, the dense fabric also acts as windshield. The steel frame is sturdy but light and there’s a 12 month guarantee for extra peace of mind. Carry bag included.
Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair
One of our favourite things about countryside camping is the sheer number of stars you can see once away from the city’s light pollution. We can tilt our heads upwards in awe for hours, but save yourself the neck ache with a chair designed for stargazing amongst other things.
Nemo’s luxury recliner chair has a lower centre of gravity which makes it more resistant to gusts of wind and has an auto-recline mechanism that will allow you to lay back, even on rough or rocky terrain. Made from aircraft grade aluminium, it can swing too so you can lean back and watch shooting stars as they whizz past.
Then there are all the extra features - a no-spill cup holder, pocket for camping essentials and an adjustable headrest - that all help you sit pretty. When it’s time to go home, it packs nicely into a padded carry case in three quick steps. For keen campers, it’s a wise investment.
Eurohike Lazi Lounger
No armrests, no drinks holder - why is this on our list? Well, as far as lounging goes, this Eurohike design beats any rigid chair and best of all, it weighs practically nothing. If you’re only away for a couple of days and want to save space for more important things - cough beer cough - this is a great option. The little exertion required to inflate (you’ll need to run to catch enough wind inside) will be instantly rewarded when you plump down on this colourful seat.
Trespass Double Seat Folding Chair
Offering unbelievably good value, this folding loveseat has enough space for two happy campers to sit, or if you don’t fancy sharing, room for one to sprawl across. It collapses down and fits into a carry bag for easy portability.
UMI. by Amazon - Folding Camp Chair
Take a load off in this reclinable folding chair with a foot rest, offering total relaxation. The high seat design includes a cup holder in the right armrest and a slim pocket to the side for easy access to essentials. It comes in black and a red colourway too, but we think the green will be much more in keeping with your surroundings. Folds quickly and easily into a carry bag.
Twin Umbrella Camping Chairs
You can never tell what’s going to happen with the British weather, even when forecasts are promising sunny days ahead. Save yourselves running for cover from a passing shower with this genius option: two seats with a cool box in between covered with an adjustable and removable canopy.
Decathlon Folding Camping Chair Reclinable Comfort Quechua
With a headrest, armrests and solid frame, this beige folding chair is a chic piece of kit to take to your next camping getaway. It can recline too, allowing you to sit back to digest your BBQ meal or just look up at the stars.
Whether you’re driving to your pitch or taking public transport, space and weight are two major considerations on any camping trip. For the compact size and ultra light weight, Umi’s Portable Camping Chair is our frontrunner on our list of best camping chairs.