Our round up of the best camping chairs for backpacking, van life, car camping and more…

In this article, you’ll find a round up of the latest camping chairs. We’ve selected a range of options with the majority being chosen for their low weight, packability and the potential to be carried in a backpack. We’ve also added one or two that will be suitable for base camp use – so for van and car camping, festivals and things like picnics and beach trips. Prices range all the way from $25 to $160 (£28 to £150)

Testing conditions

James tested these camp chairs during the Autumn and Winter of 2023/24, in a variety of locations in the Scottish Highlands. Locations included pine forests in the Cairngorms and summit camps on Munros in the Northwest Highlands. Some were used on multi-day hikes, others were used whilst car-camping. James is 180cm tall with long legs and a 32 inch waist.

Best camping chairs for 2024

Big Agnes Skyline UL

Big Agnes Skyline UL

James Roddie’s Best in Test

Overall this is a really excellent camp chair. It offers superb comfort and stability at a very low weight, and the materials are robust enough that it should withstand heavy usage.
  • Very lightweight
  • Comfy
  • Small pack size
  • Fiddly assemble poles
Quick specs
Price: £129.99
Weight: 760g (795g with carry bag)
Carrying capacity: 125kg.
Seat height: 38cm
Sizes: One size.         
URL: bigagnes.com

The Skyline UL camping chair is a lightweight and comfortable option, weighing 795g (including the carry bag). Its 38cm seat height and 66cm standing height provide ample back support for most users. The chair’s slightly curved poles ensure stability in all directions, allowing for easy leaning and cooking on the ground. The hub-less pole design and color coded pole pockets make assembly quick. The 70D Robic nylon seat has a waterproof UTS coating, enhancing tear strength and softness.

The chair’s small pack size (40x10x7cm) makes it easy to fit in side mesh pockets of some backpacks. An insulated cover can be purchased separately for cold weather use, but it increases the weight by 210g and costs £44.99. Overall, the Skyline UL is an excellent camp chair that combines comfort, stability, and robust materials, making it a top choice for those seeking a lightweight, portable option.

Read James’ full Big Agnes Skyline UL Chair Review

Nemo Moonlight Elite

Nemo Moonlight Elite

James Roddie Recommends

If you are willing to spend the money, then this is a superb chair with some innovative features.
  • Ultralight
  • Reclining back design
  • Expensive
Quick specs
Price: £179.99
Weight: 620g (with carry case)
Carrying capacity: 113kg
Seat height: 30cm
Pros: Ultralight, reclining back design.
Cons: Expensive.
Sizes: One size.         
URL: nemoequipment.eu

The Nemo Moonlight Elite is a lightweight camping chair that weighs 620g and comes in a compact package. It features a weight spreading platform and a reclining back system using Dyneema chords for comfortable adjustment. The chair’s 30cm seat height is low, but the reclining system allows for easy adjustment. However, leaning downwards on the chords can cause the chair to collapse. Ball and socket connectors connect the poles to the seat, making assembly fast and self-explanatory.

The Nemo Moonlight Elite is made of high-quality materials and can withstand heavy usage. Despite its high price of £179.99, it is a great option for those willing to spend the money on a chair with innovative features. Despite its high price, the Nemo Moonlight Elite is a great choice for those looking for a lightweight, comfortable, and durable camping chair.

Read James’ full Nemo Moonlight Elite Review

Bach Kiwi

Bach Kiwi

James Roddie Recommends

Overall this is an impressive camp chair which will appeal to users who are looking for some additional comfort without paying too much of a weight penalty.
  • Weight seat and high back
  • High quality materials
  • Slightly unstable
Quick specs
Price: £135
Weight: 990g (1030g with carry case)
Carrying capacity: 145kg.
Seat height: 40cm
Sizes: One size.         
URL: bach-equipment.com

The Bach Kiwi camping chair is designed for taller or heavier users who want a lightweight, comfortable chair with a wide seat and high back. It has a maximum load capacity of 145kg and a seat height of 40cm, making it suitable for comfortable sitting angles. The chair’s stability is good, but it may not be suitable for leaning forward while cooking. The materials used are high-quality, with a 600D Cordura polyester seat and 840D powermesh panels for ventilation in hot conditions.

Assembly is quick and easy, with snap-together poles and pull tabs for easy seat securement. The chair weighs 1030g (including the carry sack), making it a lightweight option for those seeking additional comfort without sacrificing weight. Overall, the Bach Kiwi is an impressive camp chair that offers additional comfort without sacrificing weight.

Read James’ full Bach Kiwi Review

Vango Embrace

James Roddie’s verdict

Overall this is a cosy and spacious chair, which will appeal to car-campers looking for maximum comfort. At £90 it is also more affordable than many ultralight options.
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Spacious
  • Very heavy
  • Basic materials
Quick specs
Price: £90
Weight: 5000g
Carrying capacity: 120kg
Seat height: 48cm
Sizes: One size.
URL: vango.co.uk

The Vango Embrace camping chair, weighing 5000g and 95cm long when folded, is designed for car-camping or other situations where comfort and spaciousness are paramount. Its generous seat height of 48cm and width of 60cm allow for comfortable sitting, even cross-legged. The chair is heavily cushioned for a soft yet supportive feel, making it warm and comfortable for cold conditions. The chair’s weight and wide leg-frame ensure stability, making it safer to leave outside on breezy days.

Unfolding is quick and easy, but folding it into a carry bag requires substantial force. The chair’s durability is not high quality, with heavy wear on the metal around the leg-frame joints after a few uses. Some users may expect a cup holder in a chair of this type. Despite these concerns, the Vango Embrace is a cosy and spacious chair that appeals to car-campers looking for maximum comfort at £90.

Read James’ full Vango Embrace Review

The best materials for camping chairs

When it comes to selecting a camping chair, the choice of materials is crucial for both the frame and the fabric to ensure a balance between lightweight design and durability. For a lightweight yet strong camping chair frame, materials such as aluminum alloys or high-strength steel alloys are excellent options. Aluminum alloys offer exceptional strength-to-weight ratios, making them ideal for backpackers and hikers who prioritize minimal weight without compromising on sturdiness. High-strength steel alloys, on the other hand, provide robustness and durability, making them suitable for camping chairs that can withstand heavier use and rougher terrains.

In terms of camping chair fabric, nylon and polyester are among the top choices for their lightweight properties and resistance to wear and tear. Nylon is known for its excellent strength, durability, and quick-drying capabilities, making it a popular choice for camping chairs. Polyester offers similar qualities, including resistance to UV rays and water, making it a great option for outdoor use. 

Conversely, cheap and flimsy camping chairs often utilize low-quality materials such as thin steel frames or plastic components. These materials may lack the necessary strength and durability required for long-lasting use. Additionally, the fabrics used in cheaper chairs tend to be less durable and prone to tearing or fading when exposed to harsh conditions. 

A good, comfortable camping chair can significantly improve an outdoor experience. We’ve all experienced situations where the ground was a little slick, we tried to stay upright as long as we could or used our rain jacket as a seat pad, but eventually had to head back to our tent a little sooner than we’d have liked, squandering the opportunity to fully appreciate the end of the day.

Handily, you can now find plenty of great camping chairs that are light enough to carry, and not just slung over your shoulder on a short walk from your car to the campsite or festival pitch, but over reasonable distances inside your backpack. 

The benefits of camping chairs include comfort and back support, elevation off wet ground, of course, and also some have the added convenience of providing you with somewhere to place your drink, binoculars or book. The best ones will be light, packable, durable, strong, comfortable, easy to assemble and pack away and easy to get in and out of too. You also might want to consider things like their reclining angle, how much support there is – and where – and also aspects like sustainability, longevity and price. It’s worth bearing in mind that a lot of camping chairs come with extra add-ons that are purchased separately; things like feet adaptors, arm slings, cup holders and head rests. 

Features to look for in camping chairs

Seat height

The height of the seat off the ground heavily influences the overall comfort of a camp chair. If a seat is low to the ground then your knees will end up well above the level of your hips. This can make sitting for long periods less comfortable than in chairs with a higher seat. Low seats are also more difficult and strenuous to sit down in and get up from. Ultralight camp chairs tend to have very low seat heights in order to keep the overall weight down.


The higher the backrest, the more supported your back will be. Most camp chairs have a backrest which sits beneath the level of your shoulder blades. Campers who are particularly tall or want as much back support as possible should look for chairs with high backrests. Some chairs will have reclining/adjustable backrests which allow you to change the backrest angle.


Heavier chairs intended for car-camping will usually have bolted metal leg frames. Lighter chairs usually use collapsible aluminium legs, which snap together using a hub and shock-chord system. Bolted frames are sometimes made from lower quality metals, and can be more prone to wear-and-tear than the aluminium or steel alloys used in high quality lightweight chair legs. Ultralight chairs tend to have very short legs in order to keep the weight down, leading to a low seat height.

Seat material

High quality polyester or nylon are most commonly used in the best camp chairs. Ideally the material used in the seat will be lightweight, durable, strong and quick-drying. The higher the denier (D) rating of the material, the more resistant it will be to tearing. Coatings may be applied to the fabric (e.g a UTS coating) that help enhance the tear strength. Some brands will use a proportion of recycled materials in the seat fabric.

You may also like:

Best family tents reviewed

Best one-person tents reviewed

Best pop-up tents