The Best Camping Chairs of 2022: Tested

Play hard, relax harder.

Lily Krass | Updated September 28, 2022

12 reviews with an average rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars
Sitting in chairs at camp

A great camp chair can make the outdoors feel kind of like your living room — just with a lot more trees. Outdoor camping chairs are not created equal, and with so many options available, finding the right one may get confusing. Some prioritize beverage holding and back support; some simply protect your bottom from the dirt. Some back up beautifully for hauling all your gear on your back, while others are better to stash in your trunk for lugging out during tailgates.

Our team of 15 testers set out to evaluate the best camp chairs sold at the co-op. They considered a range of factors including comfort, stability and features like cup holders; they tried each chair during car-camping trips, overnight backpacking adventures, backyard naps, and everything in between. So whether you’re planning a long trek through the woods or an easy night around a campfire, chances are good we’ve found just the throne you’re looking for. All that’s left to do now is kick back.

 

Test Results

For quick recommendations, check out the results of our round-robin here, or scroll down for in-depth reviews.

 

Other Top Performers

 

Test Results: Simply put, the NEMO Stargaze Recliner is the champion of car-camping chairs, boasting superior comfort, stability and smart features that made it an REI Editors' Choice Award Winner. The suspended hammock-style seat promotes lounging and overly activate common pressure points, making it the perfect perch for spotting constellations. Auto-reclining hardware allows you to lean back and recline to almost horizontal, and the supportive headrest lets you gaze up at the stars for hours on end without getting a crick in your neck. "There's nothing better than kicking back in this chair around the campfire after a big day on the trail," said one Idaho-based tester after a camping trip in the Sawtooths. "Once you plop down you're here to stay."

Unlike rocking chairs, which can feel unstable in dirt or sand, the Stargaze features a low center of gravity and four legs that can be adjusted to a variety of uneven surfaces, allowing you to gently swing (or not) without worrying about tipping over. One PNW-based tester set it up on a rocky shore along the Snoqualmie River and felt perfectly stable. Details like an internal stash pocket, easy-access cupholder and breathable mesh fabric are the cherries on top of a feature-packed chair.

For all that, the NEMO Stargaze is surprisingly packable. Just over 6 pounds, it slides cleanly into a padded carrying case: Not our top choice for hauling to a backcountry site but easy to nestle into a jam-packed vehicle without having to sacrifice other creature comforts. Buy here.

A person sits in the NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair

 

Bottom Line: A throne-like car-camping chair that packs down small, the NEMO Stargaze will be the envy of any and all nearby campers, day or night.

 

Testing stats:

  • Sitting hours: 41
  • Testing states: Idaho, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
  • Best testing story: One tester became so attached to the Stargaze that she fell asleep in it during a night spotting stars in the Moab Desert and woke up without complaint.

 

Test Results: The ultraclassic Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair won't provide the same luxury as a full-size camp chair, but it weighs next to nothing and provides a comfort insurance policy for wherever you end up. It rolls up snugly to just 4 inches in diameter, with an attached roll-up strap that cinches the chair down and a built-in hanging loop to clip it to any part of your backpack. “There’s just no reason not to bring it,” one tester concluded after a three-day hike in the Utah desert. “Skimp on other camp luxuries, but not this one.”

Deploying the Hex 2.0 is easy: Unroll and unfold it, then plop down before pulling or loosening the side straps until the chair cradles you. (Your feet and butt are the points of contact with the ground.) Constructed with 8mm EVA closed-cell foam — the material used to insulate sleeping pads — the Hex 2.0 packs a warm punch despite its svelte design. It will keep you cozy while you nestle around a fall campfire, or can provide an extra layer of comfort and insulation to a car-camping chair. When overnight lows dropped into the 30s, one tester in Moab found the Hex 2.0 to be a warm addition to a standard folding camp chair that could keep her butt warm while she played charades well into the night.

A high-denier-coated and water-resistant ripstop nylon fabric encases the Hex 2.0, combining elements to create a seemingly indestructible design that testers reported getting roughed up on rocks and dirt without any signs of wear. The Hex 2.0 will never be as comfortable as a seat with legs, but if you’re the sort of fast-and-light backpacker who pooh-poohs hard-to-carry luxuries, this may be the one to convert you to a life (slightly) off the ground. Buy here

 

Bottom Line: The portability of the Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair makes it an invaluable asset for comfort seekers on longer backpacking trips.

 

Testing stats:

  • Sitting hours: 36
  • Testing states: Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
  • Best testing story: On a three-day backpacking trip in Moab, a fellow hiker was so envious of the obvious comfort and convenience of the Hex 2.0 Original Chair that he offered to pay the tester to let him use it for the rest of the trip. The tester declined.

 

Test Results: “Sitting in this low-seater [reminds me of] eating a PB&J on the beach as a 10-year-old,” one tester wrote about this classic bifolding chair. But unlike the plasticky lawn chairs of one's youth, the REI Co-op Outward Low is a vision fit for Instagram, with updated materials couched in a retro style.

At the campground, the Outward Low scored high marks for comfort, thanks to the biggest dimensions of any other single-occupancy chair in our round-robin test (it’s about 2 feet wide and 10 inches off the ground). “I thought I wouldn’t like how low it is, but the design lets you extend your legs more comfortably than in taller chairs,” one tester said after sitting for four hours around a campfire in Idaho.

The Outward Low has a super-sturdy ripstop nylon seat that provides plenty of support during long sessions with your feet up. On a chilly evening in the Tetons, one tester also noticed that the seat’s double layer of fabric feels significantly warmer than traditional single-paneled camp chairs. Other features that prove the Outward Low’s credentials include backpack straps that allow for hands-free carrying and wooden armrests for ergonomic comfort (no cup holders, though). With its bifold design, the lawn chair flattens easily for storage. Buy here.

 

Bottom Line: The REI Co-op Outward Low Lawn Chair has a classic feel and aesthetic, but it’s super comfortable and surprisingly portable for outdoor lounging.

 

Testing stats:

  • Sitting hours: 19
  • Testing states: Idaho, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
  • Best testing story: During a short hike along Washington's Middle Fork Snoqualmie River to picnic and watch the sunset, one tester discovered he could carry beverages, a blanket and a few snacks in the fold of the chair while carrying it hooked together on his back.

 

Test Results: Some like to share, and some don’t. Those in the former category will immediately fall for the Mountain Summit Gear Loveseat. The double chair—an REI Editors' Choice Award Winner—unfolds into a palatial hangout for two people (a few testers noted that two plus a medium-size dog still felt spacious). “It’s my portable couch for being lazy after long days in the woods or on the trail,” says one Jackson, Wyoming-based tester. “It’s bulky and tough to lug around, but redeemed by the fact that we only need to bring one for the whole crew.”

Any double folding chair is inherently hefty—this one packs up to the size of a large floor vacuum—so don’t expect to take it much farther than a car campground or the backyard. But that 15-pound steel frame, combined with its six legs, helped the Loveseat score the highest marks for stability in our test. True story: During an afternoon windstorm in Idaho, every chair at camp was upturned (and some blown away) except for the Loveseat.

The Loveseat’s sturdy, 600-denier polyester fabric stood up to our round-robin test, plus more than a month of outdoor wear and tear living in one tester’s backyard (no sun damage either). After sitting near an especially ashy campfire in Idaho, one tester lauded the grime resistance of the fabric, which looked good as new after a quick brush. Clunky? Sure. But the Loveseat stands up to the test. Buy here.

 

Bottom Line: Settle into the Mountain Summit Gear Loveseat with pals, kids and furry friends.

 

Testing stats:

  • Sitting hours: 32
  • Testing states: Idaho, Washington, Wyoming
  • Best testing story: One tester logged an epic, four-hour nap in the Loveseat—the longest continuous testing session in our round-robin.

 

Other Top Performers

Test Results: For backpackers who want a chair—not a sit pad, not a stool, not a Crazy Creek—there may be no better option than the Helinox Chair Zero. This four-legged seat tips the scales at a scant pound and packs down smaller than some water bottles. (One tester carries it inside her bear canister when on the move.) Helinox teamed with tentpole-maker DAC to design the ultralight system that can be put together in 10 seconds. Because it's so light and sleek, it’s not the most stable or versatile chair, but when compared to sitting on the ground, it’s pure backcountry luxury. Buy here.

 

Test Results: The Lafuma R Clip Reclining Chair was built for those who take lounging seriously. “This chair will be the envy of all fellow campers in your party and anyone who drives by,” said one Wyoming tester after a four-hour post-hike kickback in the R Clip. The chair adjusts to multiple angles from upright all the way down to “zero gravity,” (a weightless position where your feet are parallel with your head); tabs on either side of the armrests lock your preferred reclining angle into place with the flick of your thumb. The full-length canvas fabric supports your whole body (up to 310 pounds including your feet), boasting superior relaxation. The trade-off for all that comfort is, of course, packability: This oversize lounger folds together into an almost 15-pound package about the size of a sofa cushion. It has no backpack straps or any way to improve hauling, so save this comfort king for camping and picnicking no more than 20 feet from the car. Buy here.

 

Shop All Camp Chairs 

 

Buying Advice

When looking for a camping chair, consider your use for it first, then its design.

 

Use

Are you going to take this chair backpacking? If you are, weight and packed size matter. If you’re going to use your chair car camping, picnicking, festivaling and backyarding, then weight and packed size aren’t as important as comfort and stability.

In our lineup, the Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair and Helinox Chair Zero are the only chairs specifically designed light and small enough to sneak into an overnight pack. The NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury ChairREI Co-op Outward Low Lawn Chair, Mountain Summit Gear Loveseat and Lafuma R Clip Reclining Chair are exclusively for frontcountry pursuits.

 

Design

Next, consider the design of the chair. If space is an issue, either in storage or in the back of your vehicle, you’ll want a chair that packs up into a smaller case like the NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair. If space isn’t an issue, then consider double chairs like the Mountain Summit Gear Loveseat or recliners like the Lafuma R Clip Reclining Chair.

For backpacking, foldable frameless chairs like the Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair don’t provide the comfort or support of a legged chair like the Helinox Chair Zero, but they’re more versatile.

 
To learn more, read How To Choose a Camp Chair.

 

Comparing Our Favorite Camp Chairs

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Chair

Size & Weight

Features

Price on REI.com

NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair

Ideal for car camping

  • Folded dimensions: 7 x 24 inches
  • Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Weight: 6 lbs. 5 oz.
  • Suspended air-rocking and reclining design
  • Sturdy aluminum suspension frame
  • Padded armrests and headrest
  • Stash pocket and cup holder
  • Water- and odor-resistant nylon mesh

$249.95

Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair

Ideal for backpacking; can be used car camping.

  • Folded dimensions: 4 x 33 inches
  • Capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4.8 oz.
  • Lightweight and packable design
  • Side connector straps for fine-tuning position
  • Thick, closed-cell foam padding covered in water-resistant ripstop polyester fabric

$64.95

REI Co-op Outward Low Lawn Chair

Ideal for car camping.

  • Folded dimensions: 27 x 23 x 3.5 inches
  • Capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Weight: 6 lbs. 9 oz.
  • Bifold design for simple setup
  • Backpack straps for easier transportation
  • Heavy-duty 300-denier ripstop nylon fabric
  • Closure system that allows you to carry additional sundries inside the chair when transporting
$89.95

Mountain Summit Gear Loveseat

Ideal for car camping.

  • Folded dimensions: 37 x 9 x 6 inches
  • Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Weight: 15 lbs.
  • Built for two
  • Steel frame has six points of contact with the ground for stability
  • Folding design allows for easy setup
  • Two cupholders
  • Ultradurable 600-denier nylon fabric
$99.95

Helinox Chair Zero

Ideal for backpacking and car camping.

  • Folded dimensions: 13.8 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches
  • Capacity: 265 lbs.
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Extra height (8.5 inches) off the ground
  • Single-shock-corded architecture
  • Ripstop polyester seat
$129.95

Lafuma R Clip Reclining Chair

Ideal for car camping.

  • Folded dimensions: 38.2 x 26.8 x 6.3 inches
  • Capacity: 310 lbs.
  • Weight: 14 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Different reclining positions
  • Canvas fastened by clips to better distribute body weight & provide support
  • Padded headrest
  • Odor- and fading-resistant Batyline® fabric
$158.99
 

Methodology

For the last two years, we've enlisted a team of 15 member-testers to stop moving and start chair testing. They logged a heroic amount of reclining to evaluate the best camp chairs sold at REI.

Our testers camped in the Tetons, picnicked along Washington’s Snoqualmie River, roasted s’mores in Idaho’s Big Holes, hauled their gear through Wyoming’s Gros Ventre Mountains and chilled in their yards. After a season of hard sitting, each tester scored every chair on comfort, stability, portability, ease of use and durability. We averaged their scores to come up with this list of our favorite chairs. The NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair, Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair, REI Co-op Outward Low Lawn Chair and Mountain Summit Gear Loveseat scored high in all categories, relative to their intended uses (car camping versus backpacking). The Helinox Chair Zero, and Lafuma R Clip Reclining Chair scored high in most categories.