When backpacking, it is essential to pack as light as possible. Fortunately, this does not mean that comfort has to be traded in for practicality. There are plenty of travel chairs on the market that is suitable for backpacking adventures.
Whether you are picnicking at your provincial park or heading further afield, we want to help you find a seat.
We’ve subsequently assessed the best backpacking chairs on the market right now and have ranked them in terms of comfort, stability, and convenience.
Wherever you are headed, these chairs will ensure you can bring comfort without unnecessary weight.
Best Backpacking Chair of 2020
Sportneer Portable Lightweight Folding Camping Chair
This folding chair from Sportneer is ideal for backpacking. It is built from aluminum alloy and nylon material meaning that it is lightweight but can handle up to 350 lbs in weight.
The material adapts to your body shape to enhance comfort, meaning that you can have a comfortable rest after a day of hiking. The material is ultra-breathable and absorbent so that you can stay comfy and cool. Additional features also include non-slip leg grips and a convenient tent pole design.
This means that you can quickly and easily pack up your chair after use and pack it away in the compact bag the product comes with. This attaches to the front of the chair so it won’t get lost.
Sportneer has truly thought of everything and offer a fantastic product at a competitive price.
SOVIGOUR Folding Camping Chair
In a close second is the Sovigour folding camping chair which also weighs a measly 2 lbs and yet can support up to 330 lbs in weight. The chair is ergonomically designed to hug your body providing a supportive rest.
The product is made from oxford cloth which is highly durable, meaning the chair can survive all kinds of camping conditions. The foldable aluminum pole means the product is easy to set up and pack away in the small bag it comes with.
The chair also boasts the added feature of adjustable legs, meaning it can be adapted to suit the height of the user. What we have here is a convenient, reliable product from Sovigour that is suitable for all kinds of backpacking adventures.
Nice C Ultralight Portable Folding Camping Backpacking Chair
The Nice C portable backpacking chair adopts a similar design. It is ultra-lightweight and can support up to 250 lbs of weight.
The mesh and net seat is made from breathable material to keep your back cool on hot summer days. As with the previous two designs, the aluminum frame can be detached and folded up quickly and easily.
The product is high-quality and Nice C promises a 3-month money-back guarantee, although they expect the product to last you a lifetime.
ENKEEO Camping Folding Chair Portable Lightweight Seat
This next product adopts the lightweight folding design but takes a different shape. It offers an extended backrest with an add-on sponge pillow so that your head can be fully supported when you rest.
The chair folds down quickly and conveniently and can be stowed in a backpack or travel bag. The oxford fabric makes for a durable product that can hold up to 330 lbs.
An added bonus of this chair is that it comes with three mesh pockets so that you can store away your items nearby while you rest.
MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Camping Chair with Anti-Sinking Wide FeetM
The Marchway folding camping chair uses ripstop cordura nylon as opposed to oxford fabric. The cloth is denser and more durable, which means it offers more stability but less flexibility.
The frame poles are attached with strong elastic joints so the chair can be folded and stowed in a compact carrying bag. The chair weighs just 2 lbs and folds up to an impressively small size.
What’s more, each chair comes with four removable wide feet clips. This allows you to use the chair in different types of terrain without risk of sinking.
This chair is subsequently a great choice if you are planning a beach trip.
Rock Cloud Portable Camping Chair Ultralight
Portable, sturdy and durable, this quick set-up camping chair is ideal for backpacking across all kinds of terrains. It’s ultra-lightweight and folds down into a convenient drawstring bag.
The mesh panels are breathable meaning that you can rest up and keep cool in the warmer months. It comes with anti-slip feet and folds up in seconds.
It’s a little tricky figuring out how to unfold it the first time, but once you get the hang of it, the simple design saves a lot of time.
ALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat
The ALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat adopts a totally different design. It folds in half like a book bag and unfolds into a legless seat.
The upshot of this design is that you can easily slip it into canoes or boats if you need a little extra back support. It can be conveniently carried around and you have an instant seat wherever you are.
The lack of legs may be a dealbreaker for some, but if you are looking for a chair that acts more as a cushion, the ALPS weekender seat is a good choice.
Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair
The Helinez camping chair is the lightest product on this list. It weighs just 1.2 pounds and packs smaller than a bottle of water.
This means it is incredibly portable and convenient to carry around in your backpack. Setup is fast and the seat is made of durable polyester that resists harsh weather.
Better still, the material is machine washable. In fact, it is so durable that the product comes with a five-year warranty.
Crazy Creek Products Hex 2.0 Original Chair
Like the Alps Weekender set, the Hex 2.0 is a foldable legless backpacking chair.
The lightweight product is made from high-density foam to provide maximum insulation and comfort without taking up too much space. Impressively, this model rolls up to 4” in diameter and it has an added strap to make it convenient to carry.
There’s also a built-in hanging loop so you can clip the chair onto your backpack. As with the Weekender set, the upshot of this product is that it is ideal for things like boating, beaching, and providing additional cushioning.
It is less suited to sitting around the fire so again, the suitability of this product depends on your individual needs.
Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair with 4-Can Coo
The Coleman Quad Chair is a great product, although it is better suited to local camping trips than long-haul backpacking. The steel frame supports up to 325 lbs and the cushioned back provides maximum comfort.
The arm height is adjustable and convenient features like mesh cup holders, side pockets, and a built-in cooler are added. Of course, these additions mean the chair is less lightweight and slightly bulkier.
Nonetheless, it folds up small enough to be clip onto your backpack and is worth considering if you are going to be doing lots of camping.
Best Backpacking Chair Product Guide
When choosing a backpacking chair, the two things you want to weigh up are comfort and practicality. An ultra-lightweight chair that folds up to the size of a mug is great, but if it gives you no support whatsoever, then there isn’t really much point bringing it.
Equally, dragging around a throne of a backpacking chair is going to be no good either.
Generally, you want to be looking at lightweight chairs that typically weigh in at around 2 lbs. Chairs made of oxford fabric with aluminum steel frames tend to hold 300+ lbs of weight.
Most of the chairs on this list fold up to travel size although if you are traveling with hand luggage only, every centimeter counts.
Additional features to consider depends on what kind of backpacking adventure you will be having. If you are planning on hiking in hot temperatures, breathable mesh will be a welcome feature.
Alternatively, if you are going to the muddy countryside, leg grips are a necessity. The last thing you want is for your chair to sink into the ground while you are having an afternoon nap.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best material for a backpacking chair?
The best material for a backpacking chair is debatable, but the most common is oxford fabric. This fabric is durable and flexible so it will adapt to your body shape.
Generally, a backpacking chair made from oxford fabric with an aluminum steel frame is a reliable choice.
What is considered to be “ultra-lightweight?”
Typically, ultra-lightweight camping chairs weigh around the 2 lbs mark. You may be able to get a chair that weighs less than this but it is unlikely that it will be able to carry more than 250 lbs.
Are leg grips a necessity?
It really depends on where you are backpacking. That said, wherever you are, it is likely that you will encounter beachy or muddy terrain. Without leg grips, there is a risk of your chair sinking into the ground. Fortunately, the majority of reliable backpacking chairs come with this feature.
What is the benefit of breathable mesh?
Breathable mesh increases the airflow between you and the material. If you have ever sat in the garden on a hot day only to find your sweaty back has stuck to the chair, you’ll be familiar with this issue.
The breathable mesh also decreases odor, which is convenient when you are backpacking for a long period of time.