Best Backpacking Chair Review

A trusty chair is your best friend on a long hike or backpacking trip. Even if you’re heading out to the beach or fishing at the lake, you’ll always be grateful to have a chair handy. Take a look below for a full breakdown of our top choices:

ULTIMATE BACKPACKING CHAIRS

A Small Image of Alite Designs Monarch Chair

Alite Designs Monarch Chair

A Small Image of GCI Outdoor Quick-E-Seat Folding Tripod Field Chair

GCI Outdoor Quick-E-Seat

A Small Image of Helinox Chair One Camp Chair

Helinox Chair One Camp Chair

A Small Image Moon Lence Compact Ultralight Backpacking Chair

Moon Lence Backpacking Chair

Rating

5.0 

4.0

4.0

4.0

3.5

Price

$$$

$

$$

$$

$

Product Dimensions

Folded: 12" x 4.5" x 4.5" 

Unfolded: 23" x 21.5" x 17"

Folded: 14.6" x 3.9" x 3.9"

Unfolded: 25.6" x 21.7" x 13.8"

Folded: 27" x 5" x 6" 

Unfolded: 27" x 18.2" x 14"

Folded: 19.7" x 4.5" x 5.5"
Unfolded: 15" x 8" x 5"

Folded: 14" x 5" x 3.5" ​
Unfolded: 22" x 24" x 26"

Product Weight

1.3 pounds

1.8 pounds

6 pounds

121 pounds

2 pounds

Available Colors

Black, Capitola Blue, Jup Orange, Paradise Blue, Spreckels Red, Sutro Green

Black, Blue, Orange, Camo

Midnight, Black

Black, Brown

Cyan, Dark Blue, Light Blue, Lounge Chair Blue, Lounge Chair Red, New Blue, Newred, Orange, Red, Yellow

Materials

Ripstop Nylon, Aluminum

Nylon, 7075 Aviation Aluminum

600 denier polyester, powder-coated steel

Leather

1000D Oxford cloth, aluminum alloy frame

Pros

- Color coded aluminum makes assembly a breeze.

- Holds up to 250 pounds.

- Breathable Nylon sling.

- Stuff sack included.

- Lightweight and easy to move.

- Lightweight and compact.

- Ergonomic seat design.

- Quick setup and collapse.

- Aircraft-grade aluminum support.

- High-quality materials.

- Easy folding and transport.

- Extra-wide 18-inch backrest.

- Beverage holder.

- Elastic shock-cord sections make for easy assembly.

- Carry bag can be attached to frame.

- Webbing ladder and loops for easy attachment.

- Durable cloth and aluminum design.

- Ergonomic seating.

- Waterproof material.

Cons

- A little pricey.

- Could use additional supports.

- Not incredibly stable when sitting down.

- Customers close to the 250-pound weight limit have experienced issues.

- Weighs six pounds.

- Expensive.

- Wobbly on certain surfaces.

- Fabric tends to fray over time.

- Long-term durability isn't great.

Our Verdict

A lightweight and easy to assemble backpacking chair that offers a comfortable and breathable seat at a moment’s notice.

A budget-friendly camping chair that mimics many of the qualities seen in more expensive options.

A sturdy and large tripod style backpacking chair that includes a helpful beverage holder. Weighs more than other options, so not ideal for long-distance travel.

A budget-friendly recliner packed with features we like to see in our chair options. A perfect choice for someone who wants a recliner with massage and heated features.

An affordable chair that’s easy to setup and clean. It doesn’t have great long-term durability, but the price is lower than most.

Selection Criteria for Backpacking Camp Chair

Foldable backpacking chairs come in a lot of shapes and sizes so it can be hard to decide which ones will best suit your needs. When we decided on our top picks for small camping chairs, these were the criteria we used:

  • Portability: The most important aspect of any compact backpacking chair, is the portability. How easily can you set it up, break it down, and carry it around? The factors we looked at here were a mixture of weight and ease of assembly.

    If a chair is heavy and cumbersome to unfold, then it didn’t make our list. Ideally, we wanted simple chairs that were lightweight and easy to move around.
  • Durability: Any furniture that is made for the outdoors must be capable of withstanding the test of time and weather. Durability is a major factor in our decision to add backpacking chairs to this list.

    A combination of durable material and strong support structure was ideal. Things like nylon, aluminum, and steel were all materials we wanted to see.
  • Comfort: Finally, comfort is always something we want to see from a backpacking camp chair. You won’t be sitting in these for long periods of time, but the time you do spend in them should be comfortable and relaxing.

Ultimate Backpacking Chairs - Top Pick

A Small Image of Best Backpacking Chair: Alite Designs Monarch Chair

Alite Designs Monarch Chair

RATING

PRICE

$$$

PROS

Color coded aluminum makes assembly a breeze. Holds up to 250 pounds. Breathable Nylon sling Stuff sack included Lightweight and easy to move.

CONS

A little pricey. Could use additional supports.

More Specifications...

Ultimate Backpacking Chairs - Bang For the Price

A Small Image of Best Backpacking Chair: Sunyear Folding Backpack Chair

Sunyear Folding Backpack Chair

RATING

PRICE

$

PROS

Lightweight and compact. Ergonomic seat design. Quick setup and collapse. Aircraft-grade aluminum support.

CONS

Not incredibly stable when sitting down. Customers close to the 250-pound weight limit have experienced issues.

More Specifications...

Ultimate Backpacking Chairs - Best for Long-distance Travel

A Small Image of Best Backpacking Chair: GCI Outdoor Quick-E-Seat Folding Tripod Field Chair

GCI Outdoor Quick-E-Seat

RATING

PRICE

$$

PROS

High-quality materials. Easy folding and transport Extra-wide 18-inch backrest Beverage holder.

CONS

Weighs six pounds.

More Specifications...

Ultimate Backpacking Chairs - Budget Friendly

A Small Image of Best Backpacking Chair: Helinox Chair One Camp Chair

Helinox Chair One Camp Chair

RATING

PRICE

$$

PROS

Elastic shock-cord sections make for easy assembly. Carry bag can be attached to frame. Webbing ladder and loops for easy attachment.

CONS

Expensive. Wobbly on certain surfaces.

More Specifications...

Ultimate Backpacking Chairs - Affordable

A Small Image of Best Backpacking Chair: Moon Lence Compact Ultralight Backpacking Chair

Moon Lence Backpacking Chair

RATING

PRICE

$

PROS

Durable cloth and aluminum design. Ergonomic seating. Waterproof material.

CONS

Fabric tends to fray over time. Long-term durability isn't great.

More Specifications...

Top 10 Backpacking Chair in More Detail

Our Top Pick: Alite Designs Monarch Chair

Portability and Weight

Durability and Features

Stability

4.8

Summary


The Monarch Backpacking Chair is the ideal solution for a lightweight seat that can join you on all of your outdoor travels. With a wonderful selection of colors, high-quality materials, and a comfortable design, this chair easily tops our list.

The Monarch Backpacking Chair comes in at our top spot for the best backpacking chair. The Alite Designs brand has a unique story that reveals their love of the outdoors. As their website states, “we believe that spending time in the great outdoors is good for the soul.

The brand’s website is a treasure trove of valuable information about camping and backpacking. The company’s mission and goal are to make getting outside easier and more fun than it has ever been.

Alite Designs is composed of a team that loves quality design and the outdoors in equal measure. The company has a strong focus on outdoor gear that is easy to assemble and tough to withstand any condition.

They even go so far as to support environmental groups and organizations focused on conservation. The employees often volunteer with these groups and donate a portion of sales to them as well.

The Monarch butterfly backpacking chair is the culmination of these efforts. This chair is composed of 210D ripstop nylon fabric and 7075 aluminum for a lightweight and durable design. Weighing in at just 1.3 pounds, the sling light backpacking chair is also easy to move around when you’re hiking or traveling.

The aluminum on the chair is color-coded to make assembly a breeze. Speaking of breezes, the nylon fabric is also designed for ideal breathability, and a stuff sack makes it easy to pick up and go whenever you please.


Sunyear Compact Folding Backpack Chair

Portability and Weight

Durability and Features

Stability

4.2

Summary


The Sunyear Compact Folding Backpack Chair is an ideal companion for any camping, fishing, or hiking trip. The low price point makes it a perfect solution for those who want a budget-friendly option, but the chair’s lifespan may not be long-term as a result.

Our next pick is a similar design to the Monarch chair, but this one comes in at a much lower price point. This light camping chair utilizes a nylon material and an aluminum shock-cord pole structure for easy setups and breakdowns.

This chair comes at 2 pounds, which is slightly heavier than our top pick, but not heavy by any means. A deep seat design also offers a larger and more comfortable seating experience than other chairs on the market.

The aluminum used in the chair is Aircraft-grade 7075 aviation aluminum that combines heavy-duty durability with a lightweight design. The feet of the chair have non-slip rubber covers to ensure it doesn’t slip on surfaces either.

This is a budget-friendly option that works well for outdoor events, hiking, or camping. The company also promises 24-hour customer service and a 1-year warranty to go along with their guarantee.


GCI Outdoor Quik-E-Seat

Portability and Weight

Durability and Features

Stability

4.0

Summary


This backpacking chair from GCI Outdoor made our list for being a highly durable, extremely stable chair solution. The primary reason it doesn’t rank higher is the weight. This chair comes in at six pounds, which can be a lot to carry for long distances.

Our next chair comes from GCI Outdoor, which was founded in 1996 by Dan Grace. His approach was centered around a single question: “Why isn’t there a chair for this?” As an engineer, Dan was able to bring his vision to life.

He joined with Jeffrey Polke to grow the brand, and today GCI Outdoor is known for their chairs that can thrive in any outdoor situation. This Tripod camping chair is one of their best products. The high-quality materials combine with an easy folding transport solution.

While it does weigh six pounds, this chair has a weight capacity of 250 pounds and utilizes powder-coated steel, along with 600 denier polyester for a tough design. An extra wide backrest that measures 18” across also makes it comfortable for a range of users.


Helinox Chair One

Portability and Weight

Durability and Features

Stability

4.0

Summary


The Helinox Chair One is a wonderful choice for outdoor seating. With its lightweight and easy assembly, it’s not hard to recommend it to outdoor lovers. Keep in mind that it is more expensive than many of the other options.

Helinox is a brand by DAC that specializes in outdoor equipment. Their focus is on lightweight alloy tubing and high-strength materials for a gear that is both portable and strong. This chair has an innovative design that links the frame together with elastic shock-cord.

As a result, the chair naturally assembles itself by pulling into the proper positions. The frame also has a certain flexibility that allows itself to form to your body shape. The carry bag is also attachable to the frame, so you don’t lose it when the chair is deployed.

A webbing ladder and large loops also give you the ability to attach the folded chair to a backpack or bike. Customers have often reported that the chair also performs well in the long-term.


Moon Lence Compact Backpacking Chair

Portability and Weight

Durability and Features

Stability

3.5

Summary


The Moon Lence Compact Backpacking Chair is a lightweight and portable piece of furniture designed to go everywhere with you. While it’s not quite as durable and long-lasting as other options out there, it has a great price and some stand out features.

Our next chair falls into the budget-friendly category. This small backpacking chair from Moon Lence offers many of the features we would expect from a higher-priced camping chair. A great selection of colors also gives you the chance to choose a chair that matches your personality.

The seat is made from 1000D Oxford cloth that is paired with a high-quality aluminum alloy frame. The chair’s weight comes in at just two pounds for easy portability too. The seat is designed for both ergonomic comfort and breathability.

Cleaning is a breeze with soap and water since the material is washable. For burgeoning campers or hikers, this chair is an affordable and durable option.


Therm-a-Rest Z Seat

Portability and Weight

Durability and Features

Stability

4.3

Summary


The Therm-a-Rest Z Seat is a very simple, but durable backpacking chair that doesn’t offer a lot of bells and whistles, but when you need a place to sit, it will always be there.

The Thermarest backpacking chair is a compact chair that measures at the top of these options for campers. It is made from a puncture-proof closed cell foam and created with an accordion-style design that allows you to store it quickly for travel.

The latest model also includes an integrated bungee loop which will help you keep it rolled up while it’s not in use.

This chair is incredibly light at just 2 ounces as well, making it easy to carry. Hikers and campers absolutely love this chair for a variety of uses. 

Not only does it keep you from getting wet or dirty, but it also provides a comfortable mat when you’re entering or exiting a tent.


Crazy Creek HEX 2.0 LongBack Chair

Portability and Weight

Durability and Comfort

Stability

4.0

Summary


The Crazy Creek HEX 2.0 LongBack Chair is a simple, but very portable backpacking chair that is easy to carry with you where ever you may go. While it could have better stability, it makes up for this with its small size and lightweight.

Crazy Creek is a brand that was started by an outdoorsman named Rob Hart. He came up with the idea after realizing that he never had anywhere to sit while on long hikes. When he first came up with the design, he got help from fellow hikers, friends, and family.

The original chair design was sold out of the back of his car, but it quickly began to sell very well. He started Crazy Creek in 1987 to chase this dream of better outdoor gear. The tagline for the company is “Creating comfortable products for the outdoors.”

While Rob himself was killed in a tragic skiing accident, the company is still going strong with leadership that has continued to pursue his goals. This brings us to the HEX 2.0 backpacking chair.

This redesigned version offers a larger size and backrest for support and comfort. The EVA closed cell foam is a high-density choice that provides insulation without extra weight. A strap keeps the packable chair for backpacking rolled up when you’re not using it.

A limited lifetime warranty also ensures that this chair will be with you on many trips to come.


Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler Chair

Portability and Weight

Durability and Features

Stability

4.0

Summary


The Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler Chair is a stylish and fun seat to take with you on your beach trips. While it is a little heavier than other chairs, it has some excellent features and great durability for all of your outdoor needs.

Beach enthusiasts should look no further than the Tommy Bahama backpacking chair. This stylish floral design comes in numerous colors for every style of beach-goer. This brand is a huge player in the beach gear scene, with apparel and furniture for every type of beach lover.

Tommy Bahama has been around since 1992 as a strong and reliable outdoor lifestyle brand. Their goal is to make life “one long weekend.”

This Backpacking chair from Tommy Bahama can be adjusted into five positions, including one where you can lay flat on the beach under a hot sun. Two storage compartments, an adjustable pillow, and insulated beverage holders offer everything you need for the perfect beach chair.


EcoTek Outdoors Inflatable Backpacking Chair

Portability and Weight

Durability and Features

Stability

4.3

Summary


EcoTek Outdoors Hybern8 is a versatile and useful inflatable backpacking chair. It can be used as a standard seat, placed in a hammock, or inserted into a sleeping bag for additional comfort. It’s a little thin, but the overall durability is very high.

EcoTek’s story is familiar to outdoor enthusiasts. It was founded by friends who loved exploring and wanted to share their ideas for a gear that helps you see more of what Mother Nature has to offer. The hexagon pattern of their inflatable camping chair is a patent-pending design that gives you a balanced surface off the ground.

The material used for the exterior is 700 woven polyester that is resistant to leaks and tears in equal measure. The entire chair weighs just over 1 pound, so it easily passes our requirements for portability.

The rapid inflation valve also ensures that you can fully inflate the chair within 10-15 breaths. When it comes time to deflate, the air comes out quickly. No pump is needed for this chair! EcoTek also partners with the National Forest Foundation and funds the planting of a tree with every purchase.


Kijaro Dual Lock Portable Camping Chair

Portability and Features

Durability

Stability

4.2

Summary


This Kijaro Dual Lock Portable Camping Chair offers a comfortable and sturdy seat that you can deploy at a moment’s notice and carry with you when you’re traveling. With locks for stability and a weight capacity of 300 pounds, there’s plenty to love about this budget-friendly chair.

Kijaro is a supplier of outdoor furniture that focuses on bold colors and unique designs. Their camping chair solution offers a no-sag seat and diamond ripstop polyester material. The back of the chair is lined with breathable mesh as well.

The chair features 2 cup holders, as well as zip and mesh pockets. A carrying bag lets you carry it with you whenever you’re moving. With a weight capacity of 300 pounds, it’s also an extremely durable option.

When you’re unfolding the chair, you can set the locks for additional stability. They can be disengaged with the push of a button, making it easy to open and close the chair. It’s truly a great chair for all outdoor activities.


Best Backpacking Chair Review - Final Verdict

The best backpacking chair is one that meets and exceeds your needs through durability and quality design. While we highly recommend the Alite Designs Monarch Chair, each of the chairs on this list bring their unique qualities to the table.

One thing is certain: you shouldn’t head out for your next camping trip without a comfortable place to sit.

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REFERENCES & RESOURCES

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Even the best backpackers and hikers need to sit down during their long trips. Join us for a look at the best backpacking chair! @AliteDesigns @Helinox_ @Thermarest @crazycreek1987 @ecotekoutdoors @TommyBahama @kijaro

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