After a long day of driving across the country, there’s nothing more relaxing than spending an evening outdoors underneath the twinkling stars. That’s why it’s important to invest in a high-quality camping chair, which you can use while living on the road, out on the mountain, or at the campground.
This is one of our top campervan accessories and you definitely don’t want to hit the road without one.
Uncomfortable, scratchy folding chairs are a thing of the past. Nowadays, there are some pretty cool high-quality camping chairs that provide durable support while also having tons of cool features like built-in tables, insulated coolers, and swinging mechanisms. Some of them can also pack up into below-average sizes so that you can easily store them in your van.
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TOP RECOMMENDED CAMPERVAN CHAIRS
NEMO STARGAZE CAMP CHAIR
Swinging feature to rock yourself into a state of comfort
HELINOX CHAIR ZERO
Can be taken on hikes
YETI TRAILHEAD CAMP CHAIR
Very reputable brand
The Best Camping Chairs
In this article, we’ll share what you should keep an eye out for when browsing for a new camping chair, as well as some of our favorite styles on the market today.
WHAT WE LIKE
THINGS TO CONSIDER
HELINOX CHAIR ZERO
NEMO STARGAZE CAMP CHAIR
YETI TRAILHEAD CAMP CHAIR
COLEMAN BIG-N-TALL QUAD CHAIR
MOUNTAIN SUMMIT GEAR COOLER CHAIR
Helinox Chair Zero
The Helinox Chair Zero is probably the smallest and most compact chair we’ve seen! It weighs just one pound and can pack up down to the size of a small water bottle, so you can easily take it to the fire pit or up the mountain.
But don’t let its small size fool you – the Helinox Chair Zero can still support weight up to 265 pounds, which makes it a small but durable folding chair.
Height-wise, it stands 11-inches off the ground, which is relatively low compared to other table-height camping seats. But if you’re just using it to sit or lounge around outside, then the Helinox is a decent option for most van lifers.
* Packs up small
|* Must purchase separate stabilizers for snow, etc.|
Nemo Stargaze Camp Chair
As one of the coolest chair options on the market, the Nemo Stargaze Camp Chair seat can swing, which makes it extra comfortable and super supportive.
Because the swinging motion comes from the seat (and not the legs), it has to ability to swing on any surface, no matter how rough or bumpy it may be.
It clocks in at just over six pounds, which isn’t too heavy for a chair of this caliber. Plus, it’s designed to support up to 300 pounds of weight.
Besides the nifty swinging feature, the Nemo Stargaze Camp Chair also comes with a built-in no-spill cup holder and a stash pocket. These are small but nice benefits to have, so you don’t have to put your drink or smartphone on the ground while you relax.
Finally, we love that the chair is backed by Nemo’s lifetime workmanship warranty. So if something rips or snaps, then you can replace it free of charge.
|* Unique swinging motion|
* Durable canvas and aircraft-grade aluminum
* Great lifetime warranty
|* Longer than average set-up time|
YETI Trailhead Camp Chair
YETI has a reputation for making high-quality camper products, and their Trailhead Camp Chair is no exception. Unlike other folding camping chairs that are made with flimsy materials, the Trailhead actually looks like a real chair.
The fabric and chair frame are both stable and supportive, which provides much-needed comfort after you’ve been on the road all day long.
It also comes with grippy feet, so the frame always stays in place, no matter how rough the terrain. And it’s built to hold up to 500 pounds in weight while still providing the necessary padding and comfort you want for your back.
The one major downside of the YETI Trailhead Camp Chair is the price. For a folding chair, it’s by far one of the most expensive pieces of camper equipment we’ve seen. Although many people swear by how comfortable it is, the high price can deter more budget-conscious travelers.
|* Strong, durable, and constructed from FlexGrid fabric|
* Grippy feet for extra security
* Reputable brand
|* High price point|
Coleman Big-N-Tall Quad Chair
A lot of camping chairs pride themselves on being small and compact, but not the Coleman Big-N-Tall Quad Chair.
This oversized chair provides the perfect seating area for those who want a little more room and padding (or for those who just like having a lot of extra space to reline!).
The design of this chair has a 24-inch seat, which is considerably wider than many other models on this list. It’s also 19-inches tall, which means it’s the perfect table-height for those outdoor meals.
There are also a few small features that make this chair a great value, like the media pocket, oversized cup holder, and the water-resistant cellphone sleeve with a see-through touch screen. Whether you’re extra-tall or just have more to love in the weight department, we know you’ll feel nothing but comfortable when you kick back in this chair.
|* Durable (supports up to 600 pounds)|
* PVC touchscreen cellphone pocket
* Spacious and roomy
|* Not the most compact|
Mountain Summit Gear Cooler Chair
If you’re planning on spending a fair amount of time in the great outdoors, then we recommend the Mountain Summit Gear Cooler Chair as your sitting area of choice. The coolest and most noticeable feature of the chair is the easy-to-detach insulated cooler, which is guaranteed to keep your drinks nice chill throughout your trip.
We also love the side folding table, which is a big space saver if you don’t have a folding outdoor table. It can hold your beers, smartphone, sandwiches, or whatever else you need to set down.
But if you do have an outdoor table, then this chair is the perfect height. It’s 17.5 inches tall and can support people up to 300 pounds at a time.
|* Cool, detachable insulated cooler|
* Folding table on the armrest
|* Not the highest back support|
Choosing the Best Van Camping Chairs
You might think that picking a camping chair is as straightforward as choosing something off of our list above. And that might be true (because we’ve done the research for you). But let’s dive into the criteria that made us select the best camping chairs for van life.
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There’s really no point in investing in a chair that isn’t comfortable! When you aren’t driving or exploring the outdoors, you’ll likely be sitting in this chair, so it needs to be as comfortable as possible.
Thankfully, folding chairs have come a long way from those uncomfortable and unsupportive models. You can easily find ones that can swivel, ones that have wide seating, or ones made from durable fabric and foam.
Besides comfort, your camping chair should also be able to hold your weight. Generally speaking, most chairs can handle a lot of heavy weight, usually anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds. But if you need a camping chair that can hold more, then you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of style options for people over 500 or 600 pounds as well.
The best camping chairs are also made to withstand a variety of elements. Since they’ll mostly be used outdoors, you’ll want something that is water-resistant, easy-to-clean, and stable enough to sit on different types of surfaces. That’s why you shouldn’t just reach for the cheapest chair in the aisle – take your time and test out a few to see which ones you think can last for years to come.
Height from the Ground
Not all camping chairs are made equal. While some of the best camping chairs can recline or swivel, they can be low to the ground. While that isn’t a problem for most people, others might prefer something that they can use at the dinner table.
When looking for the best type of chair for your travels, take a look at the seat height. Most tables require chairs with a seat standing around 17 or 18 inches.
Helinox Chair Zero
It might be hard to choose the best style of camping chair, but we guarantee that it’s worth the research and effort you put in.
And you can’t go wrong with one of our three Editor’s Picks (the Helinox Chair Zero, the Nemo Stargaze Camp Chair, and the YETI Trailhead Camp Chair) if you need some help making a decision.
But our personal choice? Go the Helinox for durability, weight and size.
Once you’re kicking back by the river with an ice-cold beer in your hand, you’ll be thankful that you have a comfortable place to sit back and relax.