What Is a Shooting Chair?
A shooting chair is any seating used for hunting. Hunting in a blind can sometimes (often) be cold, miserable, exhausting and uncomfortable. Having some chair on hand is an easy, convenient way to improve your comfort during the long hours you spend in the blind, waiting for your shot.
Different Types of Shooting Chairs
While there is a staggering amount of variation between different models, you can break the different types of shooting chairs into four broad categories. These are:
While this last category isn’t a chair per se, we've included it here for the sake of completeness because you’ll find no shortages of cushions available, and they’re an extremely cost-effective solution.
Within these different categories, the features each type of seating has varies widely. For example, most chairs have swivel seats, allowing the shooter to turn in the blind to change position. The other types typically don’t.
Benches almost always come with armrests, while chairs are about evenly split on this front, and obviously, stools and cushions don’t have them. Benches and chairs sometimes come with “shooting sticks” which help to stabilize your rifle, improving shot accuracy. Even if your selected chair doesn’t have one, you can usually buy them separately and mount them to the chair of your choosing.
Regardless of type, there are two things that all shooting chairs have in common:
The first is that they’re all scentless. That’s hugely important because animals tend to have keen noses, and if they catch the scent of you or any of your gear, they’ll bolt, and you’ll never get the shot you’re looking for.
The other critical feature in common is that they’re all portable. They collapse easily, are generally fairly lightweight, and are designed to be carried in with your gear and set up quickly.
While none of them are as comfortable as your living room easy chair, some companies do take pains to provide extra cushioning to make them as comfortable as possible, while keeping portability very much in mind.
Popular Shooting Chairs and Benches
As we mentioned earlier, there’s a staggering amount of variation in the shooting chair market. Here are a few examples of the kinds of chairs that are popular today:
Mac Sports Folding Seat
Fieldline Dove Stool
Millennium G100 Blind Chair
Benchmaster Shooting & Hunting Chair
Ameristep Tent Chair
Redneck Portable Hunting Chair
Guide Gear Swivel Hunting Chair
ALPS OutdoorZ Turkey Hunting Chair
Millennium M300 Tree Seat
Northeast HEAT-A-SEAT Cushion
Hunt Comfort FatBoy Ultra Hunting Seat
Origin and History of Shooting Chairs
Humans have been hunting in blinds for thousands of years, and from the very beginning, hunters have sought to find ways to make themselves more comfortable, so hunting chairs have been around for almost as long as hunting itself. It was only natural then, that as our modern, consumer-oriented economy developed, hunting chairs began appearing for sale.
Over time, styles and features change with consumer preferences, but the bottom line remains very much the same. Shooting chairs have been with us for a long time.
Some Current Brands of Shooting Chairs
There are a number of manufacturers offering a wide range of shooting benches, chairs and cushions for sale. So many, in fact, that narrowing your search and finding the “right” chair for you can be a daunting task.
Here are some of the top manufacturers in the industry today, and an example of the kind of products they offer.
Note that these represent the merest tip of the iceberg. All of these manufacturers offer a variety of shooting chairs, and it pays to check them all out to find the one that best fits your needs!