Beyond essential pieces of equipment, there are the few luxuries and gadgets we allow ourselves, such as camping chairs. What is a simple amenity of home life becomes an expendable luxury on a trek or hike, and the task of the humble chair is usually relegated to a log or patch of ground.
In line with outdoor gear brands' ability to make camping equipment ever lighter and compact, some camping chairs have now reached the point where they can quite happily fit inside your big rucksack without ejecting your stove and cutlery return.
Helinox Chair Zero High Back - Best in Test
Quechua Folding Camping Chair MH500 - Best Value
ENO Lounger SL Chair - Best for comfort
Robens Geographic High - Best lightweight camping stool
Outwell Tryfan - Best padded collapsible camping chair
Helinox Ground Chair - Best for wild camping/backpacking
Outwell Lomond - Best folding camping chair
Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair - Best innovation
In this article, you will find a top range of expertly selected lightweight camping chairs. Competition is reasonably fierce these days, and the lightweight-durability balance is something many brands are taking a swing at. Many quite successfully.
The best camping chairs
Best in Test
The Chair Zero from Helinox is the lightest chair made by the masters in lightweight camping
- Good support and comfort
- Low weight
- Small packed size
- Very little padding
If you're not in a position to spend the amount the Helinox Chair Zero asks (and fair enough),
- Great value
- Good seat height
- Aluminium frame
- Quite heavy
Best for comfort
In terms of comfort in a collapsible chair, we haven't tested anything that comes close to the Eno
- Hammock-level comfort
- Reasonably lightweight
- Easy setup and packing down
- Stable and durable
- Relatively bulky
Best lightweight camping stool
Bearing a super light but strong aluminium frame, this stool from Robens is your go-to when you
- Excellent value
- Very sturdy
- Very light
- No back support
Best padded collapsible camping chair
The Outwell Tryfan is a collapsible high-back chair that isn't quite lightweight and compact
- Good padding for a collapsible chair
- Relatively small packed size
- Removable pillow
- Sitting position is a bit upright
Best for wild camping and backpacking
OK, you've guessed it, we like Helinox chairs. The Chair Zero High Back above is a superb choice
- Very lightweight
- Small packed size
- Great on soft ground
- We've fallen out of it more than once!
Best folding camping chair
Certainly not one for gram shavers and lightweight fanatics, the Outwell Lomond is a fully padded
- Folds out very easily
- Padded and comfortable
- Feels indestructible
- Excellent cup holder
- Heavy and bulky
- Works with most self-inflating mats
- Padded comfort
- Very lightweight
- Takes longer to set up than a normal folding chair
What to look for in a camping chair
Packed size: Rucksacks still have a finite amount of space, and what sounds like compact may turn out to be not compact enough for you. Rather than simply checking whether a certain chair will fit in your pack, check to see if it'll fit after your rucksack is packed with all your gear. Though, you may be happy attaching the folded chair to the daisy chains on your pack.
Weight: All the chairs we recommend are around one kilogram or less, so none are going to add too much to the overall weight of your load. However, pack smart and remember about where items should sit in the pack.
Materials: Some lightweight camping chairs still have reasonably durable fabrics and frames. It's important to stick to these because there are plenty of models out there that are lightweight but very flimsy.
Weight limit: Adhering to the advice above about selecting a lightweight camping chair made from high-grade materials, its weight capacity will be within the weight of many. This is usually about 120 kilograms.