While some people would want to go on long backpacking trips and pack as light as possible, others would prefer instead to have more comfort. The best backpacking chair would be able to give you that comfort with somewhere to rest and unwind.
In order to find the best chairs for backpacking, there are a few different aspects to consider such as the practical aspects of its packed away size and the ease of setup, as well as the comfort aspects of the chair such as the stability and frame.
Here we will dig down into those key features to give you confidence in making the right choice. We have also completed backpacking chair reviews on the best products on the market. Once you have finished reading this guide, you’ll know exactly what you need.
How To Choose A Backpacking Chair – Buying Guide
Size When Packed Away
One of the most important features of these products is that they are able to be stored away in your bag easily or attached to your backpack with the minimum of movement. In order for that to happen its packed away size has to be small.
A lot of these backpacking chairs have a similar design whereby they will fold away through a series of poles which allows them to be packed away very compactly. These chairs have a similar design and therefore very similar packed away size.
There are slight variances and there are other options which can easily be folded up and carried and also stools which can be easily attached to your backpack. It’s important to know how much space that you are going to have and how you are going to carry it.
There is a delicate balance at play here because these chairs have to be lightweight and portable but the sole reason that you are buying one is for the comfort. Those don’t generally go hand-in-hand and therefore these chairs have to be as comfortable as possible in the circumstances.
Due to that, all the features have to be taken into account but there is little in a chair being highly portable and light if it is not going to give you a high amount of comfort. Most of these products have deep seats which are going to able to give you a great place to rest.
The fabric of these chairs is usually soft but durable enough to last. Another great feature to have is a breathable mesh throughout the chair in order for you to stay cool. Stools are going to be less comfortable but are much easier to set up.
Ease Of Setup
On the face of it these chairs can look quite complicated to set up as they have a series of poles and connections which all have to be placed together in order to form the stable chair which you want to sit down and find comfort in.
While the chairs do take a little bit of knowledge, they are generally very easy to set up and don’t take too much time at all. Once you have gotten more used to the chair then it will be much easier and you will be able to have it up in a matter of moments.
The other two types of chair that we have seen here are incredibly easy to set up as they will either be simply folded out in the case of the fold down chairs or pulled out in the case of the stool. These are highly convenient and take up almost no set up time.
Maximum Weight Supported
As with most camping products, these chairs have to strike a balance between a number of different features which generally contradict each other such as weight and durability as it’s hard to have a featherweight product which is incredibly strong.
These chairs though so a very good job of being able to support a lot of weight from the user despite the low weight of the product which is generally down to their aluminum frames and their overall construction.
Most of the standard chairs that we see here have a maximum weight which is well over the average weight with most of them being around 350 pounds. It’s always important to check through to make sure that you’re not going to be disappointed.
Stability is a key feature to have in a chair as if it is not going to be stable then it is going to be hard to get comfortable as you are going to be constantly worrying about it breaking or slipping. You want to feel safe and secure in your seat.
This is generally helped by a wide base which is going to prevent any rolling of the chair and allow you to relax in it. Most of these chairs have a wide profile which makes it very easy for them to be stable, especially with a strong frame.
That stability can be helped by having rubber caps over the legs which are going to be able to help it grip in tough circumstances. Camp stools are highly convenient but they are not going to have the same stability as other chairs.
In terms of the fabric of these chairs they are going to be made out of materials which have a high degree of strength but are able to be light too. The likes of Oxford cloth, nylon and polyester are all very good materials in this regard.
In terms of the durability though, this is often measured in the thickness of the material which if a number followed by a ‘D’ e.g. 600D. The D stands for denier and the number is a unit of measurement and all you really need to know is that the higher the number, the thicker the material is.
Even though they are durable materials, having reinforcements in some areas is a great idea and a good thing to look out for. This will generally be seen on the side but more importantly where the poles if the chair press on the fabric.
The frame of these chairs is going to play a crucial role in them being able to be comfortable and useable when you are out backpacking. These frames need to cope with a lot of weight but be able to do so while being light and portable.
Due to this on the common type of backpacking chair there will be a series of interconnecting tubes which will all lock together to create the chair. These are usually made out of aluminum due to the fact that the material is light and durable.
You always want to make sure that the frame is going to be very easy to set up but also strong enough to be able to hold the weight. Steel can be used for other chairs, such as the camp stool, as this is also light and durable.
If you want to use a backpacking chair you would probably be put off the idea if you knew that it was going to weigh too much. Weight is a serious part of being able to backpack in comfort and therefore if your chair was making your hike uncomfortable then this would make it pointless.
These models will only weigh around two pounds which is going to be able to feel very light on you. This is not going to be a lot of weight to add to your belongings and therefore if you have the space to carry one, it can be very useful.
It’s important to check that the product that you want isn’t over that weight as otherwise you might begin to have problems. If there is anything of significant weight then the discomfort of carrying it is going to outweigh the comfort of sitting in it.
Not only is the packed size going to be important with these chairs but the overall size is going to be important too. It’s important that they are going to be big enough to be able to give you the level of comfort that you are looking for.
This is one negative of the camp stool solution as it gives you a very small surface area in which to sit down. Others may see this as a huge negative while others won’t be too worried and just be happy to have somewhere to rest their legs.
The fold out chairs have plenty of size to them in terms of a seating area but require you to have somewhere to be able to fold it out and sit down. Whichever backpacking chair solution you are looking into, you just want to make sure that you are going to have enough room to be comfortable.
One of the great aspects of these chairs is the amount of versatility that they have. As they are able to be packed away into a very small size, they are able to be taken anywhere that might require you to have a chair.
You probably have an idea in your own mind about what other uses that you would have for such a chair but their design makes them ideal for fishing or any other outdoor activity and they could even be used for your garden.
While these are marketed as backpacking chairs, over their life you will probably find that you end up using them for a wide variety of different things. That’s a part of what makes them such a great product as you are sure to get plenty of use out of them.
Q: What Is A Backpacking Chair And How Different It is From A Camping Chair?
A: If a product I specifically made for backpacking then there are a few boxes that it is going to have to tick in order to make it work. The most important of them is for them to be highly portable in order for them to be easily carried.
Part of this is having a small packable size so that they would be able to be easily stored away in a backpack or attached to one. When backpacking it’s likely that you would have a lot of gear and the chair has to fit in with that and also be light enough to be carried too.
While the best camping chair will have many of the same features, they are not going to have to as packable or light as they don’t have to be. They generally have a few more features due to this and often don’t require the same type of set up.
Q: Why Carry A Backpacking Chair?
A: For some carrying a backpacking chair would be seen as an unimportant piece of extra gear while others will want to be able to enjoy the comfort that they bring. Whether that is having a rest throughout the day or being able to relax in your camp at night.
This is going to come down to your own personal preference and what you see as more important. The whole point of backpacking, hiking or camping is to enjoy yourself. Whatever you do to make that happen is going to be the right way to go about it.
There are some ultralight backpackers who would be happy to sleep and sit on the floor while there are others who want more comfort than that in order to make enjoyable. The best way to backpack is the one that makes you happy.
Q: What Is The Difference Between A Backpacking Chair And Chair Kit?
A: A chair kit is generally a chair which either self-inflates when folded out or will require some manual inflation and takes on a very similar look to the fold down chairs that we have featured in this list where they don’t have any legs.
These can be a useful option but don’t compare very well against the traditional backpacking chairs when it comes to comfort and portability. Backpacking chairs offer you a traditional seat which is generally more comfortable for the same amount of space and weight.
Globo Surf Overview
A backpacking chair can be a brilliant way to have a comfortable sitting space when you out there enjoying the beauty of nature. When backpacking it’s important to plan out exactly what you need and for those that enjoy comfort, the backpacking chair is a must.
Despite being able to fold down to a very small size they are generally very comfortable and able to hold a lot of weight. With the traditional type of backpacking chairs they will have a strong aluminum frame to support your weight and a durable fabric over the top of that.
While there are many different features which go into to making these chairs a quality product, it’s always important to remember that your number one goal is to have a comfortable chair. Naturally you need it to be light and portable but ensuring that comfort is the first step. After that then you will be able to look into the other features and check which ones are going to be the best fit for you.
Hopefully this guide has given you all the information that you need in order to get a highly comfortable backpacking chair which you are easily going to be able to fit in with your other items. After a long hike it can be a great experience to sit back and enjoy nature and the best backpacking chair will allow you to do just that.
More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:
- Backpacking Stove
- Backpacking Food
- Backpacking Sleeping Bag
- Hiking Pants
- Trekking Poles
- Down Jacket
- Backpacking Sleeping Pad
- Lightweight Backpack
- Hiking Sandals
- Hiking GPS
Globo Surf Backpacking Chairs Reviews