When you go camping, do you love to sit by an open fire while you enjoy the company of the great outdoors while listening to the call of the wild? Or how about setting up a lightweight backpacking chair at the water’s edge, letting the cool waves lap over your feet? Sounds amazing right!
Unfortunately, most fold up chairs have a reputation for being bulky, awkward and cumbersome. We often wish we didn’t have to pack them in at all. The average outdoor seat can weigh up to 13 lbs, making your overall backpacking load a lot heavier.
On the other hand, if you do buy a thinner, more rickety chair, your back aches after 20 minutes and they seem to just fall apart over time.
Thankfully most backpacking gear design has evolved drastically! Today you can find feather-light hiking chairs that preserve strength, durability and especially comfort, with radically reduced weight. They can weigh as low as 2 lbs!
Sit back and relax and enjoy our list of the ultimate easy-to-carry folding chairs available today.
Helinox Chair One
At the top of our list, we have the Helinox Chair One. We love the simple sleek design and bucket style seat. Measuring 20 x 26 x 21 inches, it packs up to the size of a newspaper, so space is certainly not an issue. Just fold it up, slip it into your bag and you’re ready to go hiking wherever your gps watch takes you.
The Helinox only weighs 1.9 lbs and yet, it can hold a whopping 320lbs in weight!
The workmanship on this chair is impeccable. The polyester fabric is reinforced at each corner and the stitching is perfect. There’s no fraying or unravelling to worry about here. The legs are made from the same aluminium pole technology used in tent poles, providing optimal support for your tired body after a long hike.
To keep it light as a feather, the designers had to omit some of the “luxuries” you might be used to when using a camping chair, for example there are no cup holders, which is a bit inconvenient.
Also, it sits very low to the ground, which makes getting up a little more difficult. (If that doesn’t bother you, You may also like the lower Backpack Beach Chair options.)
Having said that, it’s still the best lightweight folding chair on the market as far as we’re concerned. You just can’t go wrong buying it for your next trip.
The Ultra Lounger by Odyssey Trek
The name says it all. We could quite honestly lounge around in this chair all day. At 2.7lbs it’s ultra-lightweight and can support up to 350lbs of weight!
The main feature is its comfort.
Unlike other fold up camping chairs, the Ultra Lounger has a truly high back rest that allows your body to sink into it. After carrying your hiking gear for long distances, this extended back design moulds to your body and contours around your tired back and shoulders.
Additionally, this lightweight backpacking chair also has a pillow that is sewn into the top of the back rest, which provides extra soft padding for your neck and head.
Note: Falling asleep while chilling back is very likely!
Although it is ultra-lightweight, it is quite long (due to the extended back support) and will have to be carried as an extra piece of equipment, rather than fitting neatly into or on top of your backpack.
The legs are also separate from the frame. This allows for easy cleaning and storage but does take a few extra seconds to set up.
King Camp Moon Leisure Lightweight Backpacking Chair
The Kingcamp Moon Leisure Lightweight chair is a really the most comfortable option on the list.
Your entire body can easily sink into the large cushioned seat padded with heavy duty polyester fabric all round. It folds up so effortlessly.
It’s not the lightest backpacking chair on the list (9lbs), but the awesome comfort really makes up for that.
At 35″x8″x8″ when folded, this chair can also make packing light a little more difficult. It’s recommended for basic hikes and other fun (and easy to get to) open-air activities.
Although lacking cup holders, there is a handy pouch at the back where you can store magazines, a phone, books etc. for a lazy evening at your favourite outdoor spot.
If you’re looking for a really comfortable chair for your next camping trip and don’t mind a little extra weight, this is definitely for you.
On a side note: Be sure to keep the legs dry and clean them when you get home as the metal has a tendency to rust if left exposed to nature’s unpredictable elements for too long.
GCI Outdoor Quik-E-Seat Camping Stool
Fold up stools really don’t get much more portable than this. They even managed to get a cup holder in there too!
This cute little 3lb tripod chair may not be the most stylish, but it offers everything you need for your next adventure and it can hold an impressive 250lbs in weight!
The high quality denier polyester is durable as well as comfortable with an extra wide, padded backrest for added support. The legs are made from powder-coated steel, giving them a hard, tough finish that keeps nasty rust away.
One downside to this camping stool is that it doesn’t have a carrier bag – it does, however, have a shoulder strap for carrying, but it can be slightly awkward – especially if you already have a bulky load.
You could literally take this little guy hiking anywhere. It’s quick and easy to set up and even easier to pack up.
The folding legs just pop into place, making this a very convenient option. It is not recommended for long periods of sitting, but rather a quick rest until you are ready to move along again.
The Lightest Crazy Creek HEX 2.0
Ok, so it might not be an actual chair with legs, but at 1lb the Crazy Creek Original is certainly lightweight! It offers basic seating on the ground, doesn’t take up much space (at all) and takes a whole 2 seconds to set up.
The backrest is sturdy and supportive, and can be adjusted to your chosen angle. The weight of your lower body perfectly counter-balances the weight of your back creating surprisingly strong support.
The backpacking seat material is made from EVA closed cell foam, which is less than half an inch thick, but still quite comfortable and will keep your butt nice and comfy.
Carrying this picnic chair is so extremely easy – fold it in half or roll it up, clip it onto your backpack and you’re ready to go. You can carry several at a time before you even feel the weight.
It is compact and convenient but if you are looking for a really comfortable, camp chair, then this probably isn’t the way to go. However, if you are planning a long hike and are trying to pack as light as possible this is perfect for you.
Some more “Next-Level” Lightweight Camping Chairs
So we all know about the standard, fold-up camping chairs that serve their purpose and serve it well, but we also found some that are seriously next level!
Eagles Nest Hanging Sling
We have yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy hanging out in a hammock when they go camping, but often there just isn’t enough room in your bag to pack one AND a chair…well here’s your opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. It’s a hanging chair!
Hook it up to a tree, lie back and relax in body contouring comfort while your feet stretch out in the additional support sling.
Kelty Low Loveseat – Not Currently Available
Sorry, this product is not currently available
A unique option to saving weight it combining two folding chairs in one.
The Kelty Low Loveseat is perfect for cuddling up on a cool night at your favourite outdoor destination. Or if man’s best friend is your hiking partner, why not let him take off his doggy backpack and rest his tired paws next to you on the seat.
This outdoor folding bench has everything you could ask for. It features a multi-positional reclining back, adjustable arm rests and even an insulated beverage holder.
The double thick polyester provides awesome cushioning. Just add a blanket and enjoy!
Sorry, this product is not currently available
Lightweight Folding Chair Videos
Here’s an older video showing some earlier versions of lightweight backpacking chairs
Here’s another great video
Remember to check out our gear review article on pop-up changing tents too.