Even if you’re a backpacker who wants to keep the gear as light as possible, some non-essential items can significantly improve the overall experience. One of these items is a backpacking chair – nobody enjoys sitting on the ground, and a good chair can be a real game-changer.
Unlike camping chairs, the best backpacking chairs are designed for portability – they are lightweight, compact, and incredibly convenient to bring on longer trips. At the same time, most of these are very sturdy and provide a high comfort level.
If you can’t decide which one you should get, our backpacking chair reviews will present the lightest and most comfortable models on the market right now. Additionally, the buying guide will discuss all the important things to consider so you can easily choose a perfect model for your backpacking adventure.
How To Choose a Backpacking Chair – Buying Guide
Folded Size and Portability
One of the most important aspects to consider when buying this type of chair is its size when packed. Truth be told, these dimensions can vary quite a lot between different products so we advise that you check for each individual model. That being said, it’s a big plus if a chair comes with a storage bag for easier carrying.
While the packed size is important for portability, the open size is important for comfort. Even though some ultralight chairs have a very small seat and sit very low to the ground, most of the models we’ve featured have slightly bigger dimensions so even a larger backpacker can use them.
In addition to packed size, the weight is the most important thing to think about as you don’t want to haul a heavy chair with you all day. As you can see, this varies quite a lot – from only 1 pound for ultralight models to over 3 pounds for more luxurious ones. Be very careful when choosing the chair weight, especially if you’ll carry it over long distances.
The frame of backpacking chairs plays a crucial role – it needs to provide strength and stability without adding too much weight. For this reason, aluminum is the most popular choice. Steel is also an option, but the added weight it gives is a big downside for many backpackers.
Much like the frame, the seat also needs to be both durable and lightweight. Polyester and nylon are the most common choices as they provide the best protection. It’s a big plus to get a seat with a higher denier rating because this usually means that it will last longer.
The comfort is closely related to the seat material we’ve just discussed, as well as several other factors. If you want a boost in comfort, look for a chair that comes with increased back height and offers proper upper body support. In addition, a deep seat design and greater seat width can completely change the feeling that a chair gives you.
Despite being lightweight, most of these chairs have an excellent weight capacity so you shouldn’t worry about this too much. An average backpacking chair supports 250 pounds so the majority of adults can use them. Furthermore, some models like the Sportneer chair have over 300 pounds of capacity which is great for large users.
Closely related to weight capacity, the stability of the chair is one of the most important factors for safe use. Generally speaking, a backpacking chair should have four legs and a wide base so it can’t tip to the side. In addition, rubber covers on the feet can also make the chair more stable by preventing slipping.
Ease Of Setup
While these chairs might seem complicated to set up at first glance, this is usually not the case. With some practice, you’ll be able to put the chair up in less than a minute. The best chairs for backpacking come with a foldable frame design and shock-corded poles so you won’t lose any time figuring out which piece goes where.
Q: What Is A Backpacking Seat And How Different It is From A Camping Chair?
The two main differences between backpacking and camp chairs are packed size and weight. Backpacking chairs are a lot more compact and lighter, which makes them a lot more portable. However, they can be a bit less comfortable because of this.
Q: Why Carry A Folding Hiking Chair?
You should fold it because it significantly raises the comfort level while taking a break. Even though it might seem silly to bring a chair when going on a backpacking trip, the best backpacking chairs are so lightweight that you won’t even notice you have them with you.
Q: What Is The Difference Between A Backpacking Chair And Chair Kit?
A chair kit is a chair that needs inflation – it either inflates automatically when unfolded or requires you to blow it up. On the other hand, a backpacking chair is a traditional framed seat that is designed to be lightweight and fold down to a compact size.
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While it does add a bit of weight to your gear, you’ll discover the value of a backpacking chair the first time you take a break on your trip. Hopefully, this guide has given you all the information that you need to choose the best backpacking chair that will provide the comfort you need wherever your road takes you.