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Backpacking can be one of the most rewarding experiences someone can have. There is nothing like hiking through nature’s peak in the Appalachian Mountains or trekking through the lush White River National Forest in Colorado. The best part of it is finding the perfect spot to sit down and just take it all in. This is where backpacking chairs come in.

Sitting on a hard rock or wet dirt isn’t any fun, though, and it’s not like you can bring your recliner from home on a backpacking adventure. So, we have done the research to find what the 5 best backpacking chairs are that are comfortable, lightweight, and perfect for enjoying the view.

What makes good backpacking chairs?

Price: This can be a pretty big factor for some people. Some high-end backpack chairs cost up to $300.00, which is fine if you get decent durability and find yourself going on adventures frequently. Some backpacking chairs, though, offer the same comfort and strength as the name brand companies at a much cheaper price. So, it’s important to know what your options are.

Durability: How strong are the base beams? Are they made of solid material that won’t rust? These might not seem like important things to consider for a backpacking chair, but these factors determine how much use you are going to get out of the chair before needing a new one. 

Weight and Portability: When you are backpacking through a mountain or trail, you do not want any more weight on you than necessary. Making sure that your backpacking chair is light-weight and can be brought down to a portable size saves you from unwanted stress, and your back will thank you for it.

Design: We all have our preferences on what we think is the best design for things are. Some people want a sleek and minimal design while others want extra chair space and extra storage. The design could also be how low to the ground a backpacking chair is and if its height can be adjusted. Smalls things like that that make up preferences, so it’s important to decide what it is you are looking for.

Types of Backpacking Chairs

Stools: Stools are usually two or three-legged chairs that are very lightweight and typically very cheap, but because of the way they are made they have issues with how comfortable they are. If you plan on taking a quick hike with minimal breaks, grabbing a stool might be best for you.

Ground Chairs: These types of chairs are usually made from foam or inflatable. They can let you sit directly on the ground or just a little bit above it. They can also double up as a sleeping pad and are more compact than other types of chairs.

Seat Pads: No hassle, and no struggles with a seat pad. They simply provide a layer between you and the ground. Seat pads also do not offer back support.

Foldable Chairs: Chairs that can lift you off the ground and provide the comfort of a regular chair. They can also fold to be more compact. Most of these chairs usually come with a storage case to hold the pieces together.

Now that we know what types of backpacking chairs there are and how to know how good they are, let’s see what the 5 best backpacking chairs of 2020 are!

Dimensions (Open): 14″ W x 14″ L x 16″ H (Inches)

Dimensions (Folded): 3″ W x 3″ D x 23″ H (Inches)

Weight: 2 lbs.

Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.

Colors: Blue or rust

ALPS Mountaineering Tri-Leg Stool is light-weight, extremely portable, and offers quick and easy comfort. Made from a powder-coated steel frame and 600D Polyester fabric, this chair is ensured to last you for a while.

This chair also has individually jointed ends that will keep you stable even on the most unstable surfaces. The only downside to this chair is it does not provide back support and the lack of color choices. This backpacking chair would be great for someone who is looking for a cheap and durable chair to take with them wherever they go.

pros
  • Lightweight (2 LBS)
  • Stability
  • High quality material ensure longevity
cons
  • No back support

Dimensions (Open): 20.5” W x 19” D x 25.5” H (Inches)

Dimensions (Folded): 4” W x 4” D x 14” H (Inches)

Weight: 1.1 LBS

Weight capacity: 260 LBS

Colors: Black, Grey, Sand

This backpacking chair comes in at number four! Made from advanced proprietary aluminum alloy, this chair allows it to be as light as a feather and still hold over 200 times its weight. The fabric of the chair is made of machine washable polyester that can hold back damage in harsh weather and ultraviolet rays, which means this chair will last.

The only downfall to this chair is the high-end price, but with how much you will get from this chair, the money paid will be worth it. This chair would be perfect for someone who just wants a basic, lightweight, backpacking chair with no extra bells and whistles.

pros
  • Machine washable

  • Harsh weather resistant polyester

  • Lightest chair in the list (1.1 LBS)

cons
  • High price point

Dimensions (Open): 22” W x 20” D x 27” H (Inches)

Dimensions (Folded): 11” W x 4.3” D x 6” H (Inches)

Weight: 2 LBS

Weight Capacity: 300 LBS

Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Red

This chair is made from high-strength aluminum alloys and 600D polyester fabric ensures that this chair will last through almost everything. The mesh inserts in this backpacking chair allow air to move through and cool you off. That way it isn’t just your legs that take a break.

It’s storage bag also clips onto the chair’s joints underneath, so you can also have storage for important items you may bring, like your mom’s homemade granola! This stellar chair also has the ability to adjust the height at three different levels, but for some, the height of 25-27 inches might be too low to the ground. This backpacking chair would be ideal for anyone who is seeking a little bit of storage while taking a break from the trails.

pros
  • Mesh inserts

  • Storage bag becomes storage underneath your chair!

cons
  • Hangs a bit low to the ground

Dimensions (Open): 22.8” W x 40.9” H (inches)

Dimensions (Fold): 16” W x 6” D x 5” H (inches)

Weight: 2.8 LBS

Weight capacity: 220 LBS

Colors: Red, Orange, Blue, Dark Blue

Made from 900D oxford cloth with high-strength 7075 aluminum alloy frame, this backpacking chair sports a high back with a headrest to relax and enjoy whatever nature you find yourself in. It also has a side pocket that could be used for drinks and the storage bag can be connected to the joint’s underneath for even more storage.

It also has mesh inserts along the bottom to ensure you stay cool no matter the temperature. All that said, it does have a lower weight capacity than other chairs and it’s the heaviest chair on this list, coming in at almost three pounds. The weight it has, though, is worth the comfort most camping chairs miss out on. Overall, this chair is great for people who want to have just a little more back support and a bit more comfort in their backpacking chair.

pros
  • High back and headrest.

  • Side pocket for easy access storage

cons
  • Low weight capacity

Dimensions (Open): 22” W x 24” D x 26” H (inches)

Dimensions (Fold): 14” W x 5” D x 3.5” H (inches)

Weight: 2 LBS

Weight Capacity: 242 LBS

Colors: Black, Dark blue, light blue, white and red, black and red.

This backpacking chair is made from aluminum alloys for the base, 420D oxford cloth and waterproof nylon mesh for the chair fabric. This chair also features anti-skip feet that ensure stability no matter where you take it!

The mesh lines the back and bottom of the chair to keep you cool while you’re enjoying the view, and a pocket on the side allows you to have quick access to your phone, drink, or anything else you might need. This chair’s storage bag can also turn into extra storage underneath the chair. This chair is perfect for someone who wants a little bit of everything a backpacking chair has to offer.

pros
  • All-around mesh

  • Extra storage

  • Anti-skip feet

cons
  • None

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing a backpacking chair: comfort, durability, price. Everyone’s priorities are different about what they want. It’s important to consider what you will be using the chair for and how frequently.  Bringing along a portable chair may also prove to be one of many great tips for first time travellers.

It is also important to remember that backpacking chairs don’t always have to be used for backpacking. They can be used in any outdoor activity like concerts, soccer games, festivals, picnics. Even just wanting to go outside and enjoy the nice weather is a good reason to get a backpacking chair!

So, take your time to make sure you find the right chair that will help you enjoy the view, no matter what the view is.

Rocco Bambace