Camping chairs set up beside a camper

While there aren’t really any specific “types” of camping chairs, over the years, a number of distinct design philosophies have been developed, so we’ll use these in place of more formalized distinctions.

Here are some broad categories that may be of interest to specific groups of campers and outdoorsmen: 

  • Backpack Cooler Chairs
  • Big and Tall Camping Chairs
  • Camping Loveseats
  • Camping Chairs with Canopies
  • Ergonomic Camping Chairs
  • Hanging Chairs
  • Kid-Sized Camping Chairs
  • Swiveling Camping Chairs
  • Ultra-Light Camping Chairs

Backpack Cooler Chairs

This unique type of camping seating combines several functions into one. The best backpack cooler chairs are lightweight and fold into a backpack shape for easy portability. When deployed, they have soft coolers attached to the sides or back.

These coolers are lined with foil for insulation, keeping the items inside cold for hours. Depending on the size of the cooler, you’ll have room for drinks and food. This unique combination of lightweight materials, design, and insulation makes for something you can take anywhere.

Backpack cooler chairs can be used for tailgating, hiking, camping, or even at the beach. The sheer versatility on display here makes this a remarkably unique chair. Let’s find out what types you’ll encounter.

Types of Backpack Cooler Chairs

The concept of a backpack cooler chair remains the same across all the different versions. The size and shape of the cooler or coolers that come with them change moderately.

If you want something high-end, consider our second option. The backpack cooler stool is a great choice if you’re trying to go for something simpler. Let’s take a look at the variations you’ll come across:

Savvy Glamping Mini Portable Folding Chair

Our first type is a simple and functional version of this concept. The cooler is attached to the seat of a small folding chair and occupies the space between the ground and the frame.

The chair has a back and seat canvas but does not include any armrests or extra padding. You can’t beat the prices on these chairs; they are perhaps the least expensive version of a 3-in-1 backpack.

High End Cooler Chair

This is the most versatile type of backpack cooler chair. It only weighs thirteen pounds and folds out to 20 inches in width. When folded, it becomes a backpack with adjustable straps that you can carry without effort.

The cooler is attached to the left arm and uses cell foam insulation. It can hold up to 35 pounds of food or 24 12-ounce cans. The cooler’s exterior also has four smaller pockets for utensils or other items you need.

A fold-out table with a cup holder extends out on the opposite side of the chair. Beneath this is a two-tiered canvas shelf that can comfortably hold more items. Although the chair doesn’t weigh much, it can support up to 350 pounds.

Image of Folding Chair Bacpack

At first glance, you could easily mistake one of these for a normal backpack. This type of folding chair backpack cleverly conceals the chair portion into the back of the design. The backpack is large enough to hold many items, even a laptop if needed.

You can set the backpack on the ground and pull out the chair. A few simple legs prop it up, allowing you to sit at a moment’s notice.

Backpack Cooler Stool

Backpack coolers can also double as a simple stool if they have a rounded top and a reinforced exterior. Many hunters use these backpack coolers because of their rugged design and camo exterior.

The rounded top of the cooler makes for a perfect stool when you need to take a break for a quick drink or eat a snack.

Camping Chair with Cooler

Camping chairs must be sturdy to withstand the elements, so you need something comfortable and strong. The best camping cooler chairs have an aluminum base with mesh seats and backs.

While these chairs may not have many features, they are highly resistant to sunlight, freshwater, and saltwater. With this design, you’re paying for durability.

The cooler is attached to the back of the chair and hangs freely. It’s a simple but effective design ideal for campers and lovers of the outdoors.

Features to Look for in a Backpack Cooler Chair

A backpack cooler chair packs many features, but if you’re looking for a mixture of benefits and value, you’ll need to prioritize what you need in your chair of choice. Consider some of these options:

  • Adjustable Straps: These backpacks tend to be a little larger than others, so look for an option to adjust straps for optimal comfort. Bonus points if you find an option with extra padding.
  • Lightweight Design: You don’t want to strain your back, so check how much weight you’ll be carrying. Anything about 13 pounds will start to hurt after a while.
  • Insulation: Some coolers have aluminum insulation, while others use foam. The amount of time it can stay cold will vary depending on which one is being used.
  • Versatility: Will it work well in the rugged outdoors? How about a simple picnic? Before you make a decision, consider where you’ll be using it.

Big & Tall Camping Chairs

Big & Tall Camping Chairs

If you’re a bigger, taller person, you’ve probably already encountered the problem of” regular-sized” furniture being a struggle to fit into.

Just as most other types of furniture have models built with plus-sized people in mind, the same is true of camping chairs. These tend to be more solidly built (and correspondingly heavier) than their standard-sized counterparts, so you sacrifice something concerning portability.

On the other hand, having a chair that fits you like a glove on your next camping trip is worth the extra weight.

Camping Loveseats

Camping Loveseats

Of the different types of camping chairs on the market, the one thing most have in common is that they’re designed for a single occupant. That’s what makes camping loveseats unique.

If you’re fond of camping with your significant other, a camping loveseat is a superb addition to your kit. It will make your next camping expedition immensely more intimate.

Note that if the largest of the “Big and Tall” chairs mentioned above still isn’t quite big enough for you, then this is a good possible alternative.

Camping Chairs with Canopies

Camping Chairs with Canopies

Taking a page from Beach Chair design, we see some camping chairs have built-in canopies. That’s useful not just for keeping the sun’s rays off of you but can also make your camping expedition a whole lot more comfortable if you get caught in the rain (which, let’s face it, is bound to happen at some point).

These chairs tend to be a bit more expensive than their non-canopied counterparts, but only moderately.

Ergonomic Camping Chairs

Ergonomic Camping Chairs

These chairs tend to be significantly more expensive than most other camping chairs, but they’re well worth the added cost, especially if you suffer from chronic back pain.

Camping can be brutal on your back, and most camping chairs offer little in the way of ergonomic support. Finding a chair that offers lumbar support and Zero-G seating then seems almost magical. They do exist, though, and are the ultimate expressions of camping comfort. 

Hanging Chairs

Hanging Chairs

Not many companies make these, but you will find a few available. They’re a lot like hammocks but in the shape of a chair.

They are designed to be hung from a sturdy tree branch and provide a surprisingly comfortable swinging seating experience. Be warned, however, that they’re not as convenient to pack in as standard camping chairs, and you may not be able to find a suitable place to hang your chair.

If you do, you’ll find these among the most comfortable camping chairs available.

Kid-Sized Camping Chairs

Kid-Sized Camping Chairs

Nearly all the different types of camping chairs you can buy come in “kid-friendly” sizes. These are functionally identical to their full-sized counterparts, just designed for younger folks with smaller bodies. These are must-haves if you like taking your kids with you when you go camping.

Swiveling Camping Chairs

Swiveling Camping Chairs

Thomas Jefferson is widely credited with inventing the swivel chair, which has become a staple to office workers worldwide since then. It’s not hard to understand why. A swivel chair lets a lot more “stuff” within easy reach.

That same feature is valuable in a camp setting, so some camping chairs now have a swivel feature. If you design the layout of your camp with this feature in mind, you’ll be able to reach almost everything you need with a simple twist of your chair. Even better, adding this feature doesn’t (at least in most cases) add significantly to the total cost.

Ultra-Light Camping Chairs

Ultra-Light Camping Chairs

While all camping chairs are designed to be portable, some variants (loveseats and ergonomic designs in particular) sacrifice at least something concerning portability to increase comfort. Ultra-light camping chairs move in the opposite direction.

These types of camping chairs don’t win high marks for comfort, but they make up for that with sheer convenience and ease of transport. You can even find tripod-style chairs that closely resemble barstools, although again, these aren’t chairs you’ll want to spend all afternoon lounging in.

Still, if you’re looking for something you can pack into and out of a remote area that will keep you from sitting on the ground, a fallen tree, or a large rock, these will get the job done.

So, What Is the Best Type of Camping Chair?

Ultimately, there’s no one “right” answer to that question. It comes down to what your specific needs are as an individual and how you plan on using the chair. The better question is, what’s the best type of camping chair for you?