Best Compact Camping Chairs

Here you have a selection of best compact camping chairs, ultralight and ultra-packable, and very easy-to-use products from the best-known brands in this industry, suitable for backpackers and for any other outdoor activity.

Note that I include only true chairs with backrests and some even with some minimal armrests. Most of them need a simple assembly but you will see a folding example as well.

On the other hand, chairs that are so nicely packable cannot have long pieces in the frame, and this is why you have chairs without bars on the ground. Instead, they are with feet, and those are rather small. This is not the best feature if you need a chair to use on soft ground, so you have a sort of trade-off, as usual.


My list of best compact camping chairs

So here is my list, the chairs are ordered by the packed volume from bulkier to smaller:

 

The packed sizes are described in the usual way in inches and centimeters, but I give also the packed volume (in liters), this may be useful to visualize what you really have here.

I hope you will love the products I present below, I choose only the best that is on the market, those that I can fully recommend, and present them here in the site. Just a heads up that as an associate of Amazon and other sellers, I may earn some commission from qualifying purchases of products bought via links on this page, at no additional cost for you.


1. Big Agnes Mica Basin Armchair

Big Agnes Mica Basin Armchair.
Big Agnes Mica Basin Armchair.

This Big Agnes Mica Basin Armchair is what its name says, a collapsible backpacking chair with armrests. This is one feature that clearly sets it apart from its closest competitors. It needs a simple assembly but this is the same as in the other chairs here in the list, just a shock-corded frame plus a sling that attaches to it.

It is worth stressing that there are no plastic hub elements. But as you see in the picture it has rather narrow feet with plastic caps so this is not the best feature for soft ground.

Let’s see some numbers. The chair is here because of its great packed size, it measures 18 x 5 x 4 inches (46 x 13 x 10 cm). This means that its volume, when packed, is around 6 liters.

But see also the weight which is 2 lb 15 oz (1.33 kg), I would describe it as a very light chair but not an ultralight. The capacity is 300 lb (136 kg). So this chair is a bit bulkier than most of the chairs here in the list, but it is also large, the dimensions are (H x W x D) 29 x 31 x 19.5 inches (74 x 79 x 50 cm).

What I like:

  • Great size.
  • Armrests.
  • Cup holders.
  • Carry bag.

What I dislike:

  • The price.


2. Travelchair Joey Chair

Travelchair Joey Chair
Travelchair Joey Chair

This chair can be described as very light or even ultralight with its 2.35 lb (1.07 kg) weight. The official capacity is quite good for such a light chair, it is 300 lb (136 kg). But it is here because of its great packed size 14 x 4 x 4 inches (36 x 10 x 10 cm). So this means 3.6 liters of volume when folded.

The overall dimensions are (H x W x D) 28 x 21 x 21 inches (71 x 53 x 53 cm), and the seat is quite high, you have 16 inches (41 cm) from the ground. They claim this is a patented design, not sure what has to be patented, there are many chairs of this type on the market.

The chair is a collapsible type, the structure of its frame follows the usual logic of such chairs, so all the tubes are shock-corded. This makes setup easy and you can do this even at night without any light. Note that the feet are with caps that should prevent sinking in the ground, but it will still sink if the ground is soft.

What I like:

  • Great weight.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Great price.
  • Carry bag.

What I dislike:

  • Plastic hub elements.


3. Helinox Chair Zero

Helinox Chair Zero.
Helinox Chair Zero.

This chair is one of those that can be described as ultralight, in fact, you will hardly find anything lighter. Its weight when assembled is 1 lb 1 oz (0.49 kg). Officially it can support the weight of up to 265 lb (120 kg).

It is here because of its packed size, so it measures 13.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches (35 x 10 x 10 cm) when packed in its nicely designed carry bag. As you realize, the packed volume is 2.74 liters.

Note that this is a collapsible chair, so it needs assembly. But there is not much work to do with this chair. The frame is shock-corded so all the elements are interconnected and they easily fit in each other. So you have the frame ready in seconds, and after that just attach the seat on the ends of the poles.

As you realize from the picture, the chair offers a reasonably good backrest. Its overall dimensions are (H x W x D) 25 x 18.5 x 20 inches (64 x 48 x 52 cm). Note also that they offer an incredible 5-year warranty. This chair is also in my list of best ultralight backpacking chairs.

What I like:

  • Incredibly light.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Nice carry bag.
  • Warranty conditions.

What I dislike:

  • The price.


4. Big Agnes Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Chair

Big Agnes Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Chair
Big Agnes Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Chair

This Big Agnes Skyline UL Chair is from their new series and it should not be mixed with the Stool version which has the same name. Obviously, here you have a real chair with a backrest.

You can describe it both as ultralight and also ultra-packable. So the weight is impressive, it weighs only 1 lb 11 oz (765 g). The official packed size is (L x D) 17 x 3.5 inches (43 x 9 cm). This would give around 2.73 liters of volume when packed.

To continue with numbers, the capacity is 275 lb (125 kg), and its overall dimensions when unfolded are (H x W x D) 26 x 21 x 17.5 inches (66 x 53 x 44 cm). The seat is 15 inches (38 cm) high.

Formally, this is a collapsible chair, but you practically have only two elements here, the shock-corded frame and the seat fabric that you easily attach. Note that there are no plastic hubs, this is what makes it different from some of its competitors. The fabric is an ultralight 70D Robic rip-stop nylon, with a waterproof UTS coating.

What I like:

  • Very easy to use.
  • Ultralight.
  • Nice carry bag.

What I dislike:

  • The price.
  • Narrow feet.


5. Cliq Camping Chair

Cliq Camping Chair.
Cliq Camping Chair.

This is a folding chair, so there is no assembly and the chair is ready in seconds. You have a unique and ingenious patented construction here, I do not remember anything similar available on the market. To realize what I mean see its picture and its packed size which is (L x D) 13 x 3.4 inches (33 x 8.9 cm). The volume when folded is only around 2.05 liters.

The frame is anodized aluminum and the chair folds like an umbrella. You even have a strap and a release button similar to an umbrella. Then you extend its telescopic poles. The seat fabric is a ripstop ballistic nylon.

Here are a few more numbers. The weight of this chair is 3.65 lb (1.66 kg), and its capacity is 300 lb (136 kg). The seat is quite low, you have 12 inches (30 cm) clearance. The chair dimensions when unfolded are (H x W x D) 26 x 24 x 24 inches (66 x 61 x 61 cm).

What I like:

  • Incredibly compact.
  • Unique design.
  • Good size.

What I dislike:

  • Low seat.
  • A bit heavy.

From this video you will realize why I have decided to include it here:


Final thoughts

I have decided to make this list of best compact camping chairs quite short, and this is on purpose. The reasons are as follows. I have limited the options to i) the best-known brands in this industry and, ii) to very reliable chairs that have been around for some time already. The last thing you want to carry in the pack on the trail is a chair that would fail and collapse under you.

So these chairs have been tried and tested by many users before you. On the other hand, I wanted to make a selection of really compact chairs, and to make the choice easier by suggesting just a few with truly impressive packed sizes.

I am a mountaineer and when I pack my stuff, a chair is definitely not first on my list. I take it with me dependent on the environment and on the amount of equipment I am carrying. Body protection is my first priority, and I can manage without a chair most of the time. But it is indeed convenient to have one, this holds in particular if I am in a wet environment or on the snow.

Editor’s choice

In any case, the weight of a chair carried on the trail is as essential as its packed size. This is why I would put forward the following chair as the Editor’s choice, its weight/packed size combination is hard to match.

Ultralight and ultra-compact backpacking chair
Helinox Chair Zero.

Product Name: Helinox Chair Zero

Product Description: This chair has been on the market for a number of years already. There are plenty of reports around so you know what you are buying. Its 5-year warranty is definitely something to bear in mind, and it shows the confidence of the manufacturer about the quality of their product.

Brand: Helinox

SKU: B01MV6K4RO

  • Features - 9.7/10
    9.7/10
  • Design - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Quality & craftsmanship - 9.7/10
    9.7/10
9.5/10

Summary

When you consider weight, capacity, and packed size, it is hard to find a match for this chair. This is why it is my choice.

Sending
User Review
7.7/10 (12 votes)

Note that this is not only about this particular chair.

  • They have also a groundsheet that you attach to the feet so that the chair will not sink.
  • Then they also have a chair anchor to secure the chair to the ground.
  • There is also a seat warmer.
  • Large feet balls are available, and several other accessory elements that will allow for using this chair in any environment.

If you need chairs for camping, those that you would not carry anywhere, please check these best rocking camping chairs and also these extra-wide seat outdoor chairs. For car camping, you will want to check also these best camping chairs with a footrest. You might want to read also my text with best hiking daypacks for men, all the chairs listed here can fit in such small daypacks.

Let me know if you have questions or comments, there is a comment box below. Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

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