Campfire Thrones

The 7 Best Camp Chairs of 2017


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Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with our picks for 2017. You can still find previous year’s picks on page two.

There are many styles of camping. Some people go off the grid in Patagonia. Others park their van and camp wherever they can find a parking spot with a view. But no matter what, at the end of a long day of backpacking, fishing, hunting or even just swimming in the lake nearby, every camper likes to take a load off, and the cold, hard ground won’t cut it. There’s a camp chair for everyone; collapsible seating ranges from heavy, relatively luxurious chairs you’ll need a car to tote around to ultralight chairs that can slot snugly into a backpack. These are our favorites for kicking back outdoors.

Additional contributions by Tanner Bowden, Tucker Bowe and AJ Powell.

Helinox Chair Zero

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Best Lightweight Technical Option: Released last year, the Helinox Chair Zero is the lightest four-legged camp chair on the market. It weighs in at just over a pound and offers a seating height of 11 inches. The Chair Zero is also extremely easy to set up: its frame is made from one tent-style, shock-corded pole and the seat itself is one piece of ripstop polyester.

Weight: 1 pound 1.6 ounces
Materials: ripstop polyester, anodized DAC aluminum
Seat Height: 11 inches
Packed Dimensions: 3.9 x 3.9 x 13.8 inches
Weight Capacity: 256 pounds

Crazy Creek Hex 2.0

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Best Durable and Lightweight Option: Crazy Creek’s foam and fabric chairs have been providing back support for campers in every environment for over 30 years. The Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 is dead simple, and that’s a good thing. It consists of one piece of fabric folded at a 90-degree angle and held together by two nylon straps. It’s light and affordable, and best of all, because there are no aluminum poles to bend, it’s incredibly durable. You can fold it, roll it and jam it into whatever you’re using to pack your gear.

Weight: 1 pound 5 ounces
Materials: Ripstop nylon, carbon fiber stays
Packed Dimensions: 4 x 16.5 inches
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury

Most Comfortable: Here it is, the Cadillac of camping chairs: the Stargaze Recliner Luxury. NEMO built its entire Stargaze line with comfort in mind — each one is a free-swinging seat suspended between a set of lightweight aluminum poles. The Luxury takes comfort to the max though, with a supportive headrest that’ll let you gaze into the depths of the Milky Way for hours without developing a crick in your neck. All that comfort comes at a price — the Stargaze Luxury is probably too heavy for longer treks and will take up plenty of space in your backpack, but it’s great for car and boat camping where you don’t have to worry about weight. It’s like a portable La-Z-Boy; don’t be surprised if you find yourself waking up in it in the morning.

Weight: 6 pounds 5 ounces
Materials: Water-resistant nylon mesh, aluminum
Packed Dimensions: 7 x 24 inches
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Burton Chair One

Best Blend of Performance and Style: In recent years, Burton, the brand most known for bringing snowboarding into the mainstream, has been making a push into the camping category. It’s done that in the only way it knows how — with style and ease. The Vermont-based company collaborated with Big Agnes and Helinox to create this dressed-up Chair One. It’s equipped with all the lightweight function as the original Chair One but the polyester seat is printed with Burton’s funky patterns, which help hide some of that tech with a welcome layer of fun.

Weight: 1.9 pounds
Materials: 600D plain weave polyester, aluminum
Seat Height: 13.5 inches
Packed Dimensions: 14 x 4 x 5 inches
Weight Capacity: 320 pounds

Therm-a-Rest Trekker Lounge Chair

Best Ultralight Option: Most self-affirmed ultralight backpackers wouldn’t even consider bringing along something so luxurious and unnecessary as a chair, but Therma-Rest’s Trekker Chair isn’t really a chair at all. It’s more of a sling that turns the sleeping pad that’s already in your pack into a chair. The Trekker Chair is made with 100 percent polyester ripstop fabric that protects your pad from abrasions while keeping it folded up on itself in an L shape that’s perfect for sitting at the end of a long day. It packs down small and only weighs 10 ounces — surely even a pure minimalist could find room in an outside pocket to tote this chair along on the trail.

Weight: 10 ounces
Materials: polyester
Seat Height: 4 inches
Packed Dimensions: 4 x 20 inches

Alite 4-Legged Mantis

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Best for #CampLife: Alite’s Four-Legged Mantis is another camp chair that places as much emphasis on style as it does technical features. Like Helinox’s chairs, the Mantis is constructed with a four-legged aluminum frame that gets your butt off the cold ground and provides back support up to just below the shoulders. Additionally, the San Francisco-based company offers a lifetime guarantee on its camp chairs; if you ever have an issue with one, simply send it back and the brand will repair or replace it.

Weight: 1.9 pounds
Materials: 210D ripstop nylon fabric, aluminum
Seat Height: 8 inches
Packed Dimensions: 17 x 5 x 5 inches
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

GCI Outdoor Big Comfort Stadium Chair

Best for Campground Camping: Picnic tables are great for giving your legs a rest but spend too much time seated on a wooden bench and your back will be screaming. GCI’s created a solution with the Stadium Chair — it’s constructed specifically to perch on picnic table benches and stadium bleachers so that you can give your back a break while you’re hanging at basecamp or watching the game. The chair secures to the seat with a rotating L clamp and folds up on itself for transportation much like a typical beach chair.

Weight: 4.2 pounds
Materials: nylon mesh, polyester fabric, aluminum
Seat Height: 4 inches
Packed Dimensions: 8 x 22.8 x 7.1 inches
Weight Capacity: 330 pounds

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