Best backpacking chairs to buy in 2019 [Review & Buying Guide]

Best backpacking chairs

As we saw in our article on the best camping chairs, portable camping chairs can provide a comfortable resting place to relax and unwind during an outdoor excursion. However, most of the options that we listed in the article are only suitable for camping and excursions like beach trips.

But what about portable chairs for hiking and backpacking? Thankfully, there are some ultralight backpacking chairs available in the market that are reasonably compact and lightweight enough to carry them on hiking and backpacking adventures.

In this article, we will look at some of the best backpacking chairs available in the market. Our primary focus will only be on true ultralight chairs which weigh around 2 pounds and are compact and lightweight enough to carry with your regular backpacking gear.

We will also list some of the major factors to keep in mind before picking the best backpacking chair for your needs and share our top picks. Read On!

You can also check out our article on best camping hammocks for another portable camping gear for comfortable lounging during hiking, backpacking or other outdoor excursions.

Best backpacking chairs list

Some of the best backpacking chairs available in the market for hiking and other outdoor adventures are listed below:
PictureProductSpecifications 

Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight ChairOpen: 20" x 19" x 11"/25.5".
Packed: 14" x 4" x 4".
1.1 lbs.



Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original ChairOpen: 33" x 15.5" x 16.5".
Packed: 15.5" x 4" x 4".
1.37 lbs.
Alite Monarch Butterfly ChairOpen: 21.5" x 17" x 7"/23".
Packed: 12" x 4.5" x 4.5".
1.3 lbs.


REI Co-op Flexlite ChairOpen: 20" x 20" x 11"/26".
Packed: 15" x 4.5" x 4.5".
1.75 lbs.
TravelChair Joey C-Series ChairOpen: 21" x 21" x 16"/28".
Packed: 14" x 4" x 4".
2.0 - 2.2 lbs.


Therm-a-Rest Uno ChairOpen: 27" x 18" x 6"/21".
Packed: 12" x 2" x 2".
1.94 lbs.
Alps Mountaineering Weekender SeatOpen: 33" x 17" x 16".
Packed: 16" x 16" x 2".
1.3 lbs.
Dead Ringer Hammock ChairOpen: 4.5" x 15" x 15".
Packed: 15" x 4.5" x 4.5".
1.7 lbs.
Mountainsmith SlingBack ChairOpen: 40" x 14.75". Seat height adjustable.
Packed: 15" x 5.5" x 0.8".
0.3 lbs.
Trekology Yizi Go Portable Camping ChairOpen: 22" x 12" x 15.4"/28".
Packed: 11" x 4.3" x 6".
2.0 - 2.1 lbs.

** The height of the chair refers to the clearance of the sitting surface from ground+ ”/” + highest point of the back from the ground.

What are backpacking chairs and how are they different from camping chairs?

Backpacking chairs, as the name suggests, are portable chairs designed for hikers and backpackers, who carry their own gear during outdoor excursions and are looking for a compact, portable and lightweight chair to carry along.

Backpacking chairs may not be as comfortable as portable camping chairs or patio furniture, but they still offer better-than-ground sitting surface. The best backpacking chairs weigh not more than 2 lbs. and can pack to a small size, not more than that of an insulated bottle.

These chairs, however, compromise substantially on comfort to keep the weight down – they have none to minimal ground clearance. The frame is lighter, and the sitting surface is not the most cushioned. These chairs also do not have fluff like headrests armrests, and cup holders, etc.

Backpacking chairs come in different categories and designs as summarized below:

  • Folding Chairs: Folding backpacking chairs are essentially what their name says – chairs that fold. These chairs feature a fabric or mesh seating surface mounted on powder-coated steel or aluminum alloy frame with a straight and cross-legged design.
    The fabric seat has a moderate clearance of 10″-12″ in most cases. Most folding backpacking chairs do have a backrest to provide support to the back and the neck and are the most comfortable among backpacking chairs.

    Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Chair and Alite Monarch Butterfly Chair are two examples of folding backpacking chairs.

  • Folding Stools: Folding stools are just like folding chairs, except that the sitting surface, generally does not have a backrest. Most folding stools have a three-legged, tripod design that can be collapsed to a compact size.
    Some folding stools have a recessed sitting surface to provide a better support to your backside, while others have a traditional, straight sitting surface. The traditional design makes the stool more versatile, allowing it to be used to hold items and gear without the risk of items rolling down.

    TravelChair C-Series Slacker Folding Tripod and Grand Trunk Micro Camp Stool are two examples of folding backpacking stools.

  • Ground Chairs or Taco-style chairs: Ground chairs consist of a cushioned or inflatable sitting surface that rests directly on the ground. Since they do not have a frame, they are generally lighter and more compact for their size. These chairs work best when used over a sleeping pad or tent/tarp footprint.
    Some ground chairs can also fold flat to double up as sleeping pads. Ground chairs can also work well as stadium seats and also for water adventures such as sailing, kayaking, and canoeing.

    Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair and Sea to Summit Air Chair are two examples of ground chairs.

In addition to the major categories discussed above, there are some innovative ultralight sitting chairs, which are essentially a cross-over between folding and ground chairs.

One such type is the slingback chairs which use trekking poles as the support frame. Another popular design is the hammock chairs which use a tree and a short metal pole as the support frame. These hammock chairs are especially popular for hunting and fishing.

Now, let us look at some of the best backpacking chairs available in the market along with the factors to keep in mind before picking the best backpacking chair.

Which are the best backpacking chairs in the market?

Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Chair – Best backpacking chair (folding)Best backpacking chair - Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair, Black

[Buy It on REI]

Material: Durable, 600D ripstop polyester seat cover mounted on a proprietary DAC aluminum alloy frame with ABS plastic connectors and feet caps.
Size and Weight:

  • Open: 20″ x 19″ x 11″/25.5″.
  • Packed: 14″ x 4″ x 4″.
  • 1 lbs.
  • Supports a person weighing up to 265 lbs.

Price: $$$.
Features:

  • Award-winning, featherweight backpacking chair with a ripstop polyester seat cover mounted on a proprietary DAC aluminum alloy frame with four legs, solid ABS plastic joints, and plastic feet caps. Made in Vietnam for the Korea-based company.
  • Innovative design with an advanced DAC aluminum alloy frame that provides the best-in-class weight-to-capacity ratio. Can hold up to 265 lbs. of weight and weighs only 1.1 lbs.
  • Features a UV-resistant, ripstop polyester seat cover with a natural, slightly reclined back with a tapered cut on the sides for a comfortable, well-ventilated sitting posture. The removable seat cover is machine washable and air dry.
  • Easy to set up and take down with a single internal bungee cord that assembles the poles. Packs extremely small – equivalent to the size of a wine bottle.
  • Comes with a high-quality, ripstop polyester carrying case with a drawstring enclosure and a daisy chain. Like the seat cover, the carry bag is machine washable.
  • Available in three elegant color combinations. The manufacturer also offers the slightly heavier but larger Helinox Chair One Original Camping Chair and some other models. Accessories and replacement parts are also available.
  • Backed by a five-year warranty against manufacturing defects and workmanship. Premium-priced but very durable and sturdy.

Detail Review:

The Helinox brand by DAC is an industry leader in lightweight trekking poles and camp furniture and the Helinox Chair Zero is one of their best-selling products. This award-winning (OutDoor Industry Awards 2017 and Backpacker Editors’ Choice Award 2017) ultralight chair is a perfect chair for hiking and backpacking and also our favorite.

The Helinox Chair Zero features a PU-coated, ripstop polyester fabric seat cover mounted on a proprietary DAC’s aluminum alloy frame with solid ABS plastic connector sockets and feet caps. The aluminum alloy tubes are made of the same material as used in the world-famous DAC tent and trekking poles. Like other Helinox chairs, the Helinox Chair Zero is made in Vietnam under the Korea-based company’s strict quality control measures.

The Helinox Chair Zero chair features an innovative design with a deep sitting area and a natural, slightly reclined back for a comfortable sitting position. The chair has four legs which are supported by ABS plastic connectors and plastic feet caps. The seat fabric is breathable, UV-resistant and is tapered on the sides to provide ample air circulation. The seat cover is machine washable and dries quickly.

One of the best features of the Helinox Chair Zero is the ease of set up and disassembly. It has a shock-corded pole structure with an internal bungee cord running through the frame tubes that help in assembly and keeping you from losing the poles.

The sitting surface has dimensions of 20″ x 19″ and a clearance of 11″, which most people would find pretty comfortable, especially if you are under 6’2″. This ultralight chair can support up to 265 lbs. and weighs only 1.1 lbs. – the best-in-class weight-to-capacity ratio among backpacking chairs. For taller persons, Helinox offers a larger and slightly heavier, Helinox Chair One Camping Chair.

The Helinox Chair Zero packs extremely small – equivalent to a 64 fl.oz. insulated water bottle. It comes with a high-quality, ripstop polyester carrying case with a drawstring enclosure. Like the seat cover, the carry bag is machine washable.

This chair is available in three vibrant color combinations and backed by a five-year warranty against manufacturing defects and workmanship.

For its featherweight design, premium quality and comfortable sitting surface, the Helinox Chair Zero is our Editor’s pick for the best backpacking chair. If you are looking for a sturdy, ultralight backpacking chair and do not mind spending a little extra for superior quality, then this Helinox chair is a perfect choice.

Pros
  • Best-selling ultralight backpacking chair with a ripstop polyester seat cover mounted on a proprietary DAC aluminum alloy frame.
  • The seat cover is 610D PU-coated polyester that is extremely durable and resists harsh weather and UV rays. The carry sack is also made of polyester and machine washable.
  • Innovative design with an advanced DAC aluminum alloy frame that provides the best-in-class weight-to-capacity ratio. Supports up to 265 lbs. and weighs only 1.1 lbs.
  • Offers a comfortable, deep sitting surface with a natural, slightly reclined back.
  • Extremely easy to set up and take down with a single internal bungee cord that assembles the poles.
  • Available in three elegant color combinations and backed by a five-year manufacturer warranty.


Cons
  • Because of the design of the feet caps, the chair tends to sink in soft soil or mud.
  • Costlier than most other backpacking chairs, though you get what you pay for.



Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair – Best backpacking chair (ground)Best backpacking chair - Crazy Creek Products Hex 2.0 Original Chair - Lightweight & Packable Camp Chair for Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Boating & Stadium Use

Material: Durable 210D, PU-coated, ripstop nylon fabric seat cover with high-density cored EVA closed-cell foam padding. Carbon-fiber frame stays and nylon adjusting straps.
Size and Weight:

  • Open: 33″ x 15.5″ x 16.5″.
  • Packed: 15.5″ x 4″ x 4″.
  • 37 lbs.
  • Supports a person weighing up to 300 lbs.

Price: $$.
Features:

  • Best-selling, the original taco-style, ground-level backpacking chair made of 210D PU-coated ripstop nylon fabric outer shell, breathable 70D coated ripstop nylon inner surface with poly-foam padding and carbon-fiber frame. Made in China for the Montana, US-based company.
  • Improved second-generation design features an adjustable seating height with nylon webbing straps to allow adjustment. 0.3″ EVA closed-cell foam padding provides a comfortable sitting surface.
  • Also has webbing straps on the bottom for easy attachment to bleachers or canoes to prevent accidental slipping or movement when in use.
  • Compact and rolls down to only 4″ size. Comes with handy attached strap and a built-in hanging loop to clip to the backpack.
  • Available in multiple color combinations. The manufacturer also offers the bigger and heavier, Crazy Creek 2.0 PowerLounger which can also be used as a sleeping pad.
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and workmanship. Premium-priced and costlier than most other ground-level chairs, but you get what you pay for.

Detail Review:

When it comes to portable, ground-level chairs, Crazy Creek has been the most popular brand in the market for years and there is a good reason for that. The Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair their lightest and most packable taco-style chair model and a perfect choice for hiking and backpacking. It is our favorite as well.

The second-generation Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair features a durable construction with 210D PU-coated ripstop nylon fabric outer shell, breathable 70D coated ripstop nylon inner surface with poly-foam padding and carbon-fiber frame stays on the sides. The outer shell is water-resistant and dirt repelling.

The Hex 2.0 chair offers an improved 8mm high-density, closed-cell EVA foam filling that provides maximum insulation and comfort without adding extra weight. Like other Crazy Creek chairs, the Hex 2.0 is made in China under the US-based company’s quality control measures. Just ensure that you check the design version is 2.0 Original before ordering.

The improved design features ingeniously-designed nylon webbing straps that are easily adjustable even while sitting and can accommodate multiple sitting positions. The chair also has webbing straps on the bottom for easy attachment to bleachers or canoes to prevent accidental slipping or movement when in use.

The Hex 2.0 has dimensions of 33″ x 15.5″ x 16.5″ and weighs a mere 1.37 lbs. (21.6 ounces). A combination of carbon-fiber stays, reinforced wing connections, and tight-knit nylon webbing offer a stable sitting surface and the chair can support a weight of up to 250 lbs. If you are looking for a larger chair and do not mind the extra weight, you can look at the Crazy Creek Longback or the Crazy Creek PowerLounger. The PowerLounger can also double up as a sleeping pad.

Another feature that makes the Hex 2.0 superior over other ground-level chairs is its packability. The chair is extremely compact and rolls down to only 4″ diameter, made possible by the folding side stays. The chair comes with a handy attached strap for secure storage in the bag and a built-in hanging loop if you want to attach it to the backpack.

The Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair is available in a couple of color combinations (the earlier, Original 1.0 version is still available in a lot of funky colors). Like other Crazy Creek products, the Hex 2.0 Chair is backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and workmanship – a testament to the superior quality it offers.

For its superior quality and reliable performance, the Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair is our Editor’s pick for the best taco-style backpacking chair in the market. If you are looking for a packable and durable ground-level backpacking chair, then the Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair is an ideal choice.

Pros
  • Best-selling, taco-style backpacking chair with a high-quality 210D PU-coated ripstop nylon fabric outer shell, breathable 70D coated ripstop nylon inner surface with poly-foam padding and carbon-fiber frame.
  • A combination of carbon-fiber stays, reinforced wing connections, and tight-knit nylon webbing offer a stable sitting surface and the chair can support a weight of up to 250 lbs.
  • Second-generation design features an adjustable seating height with nylon webbing straps to allow adjustment on different surfaces. Also has webbing straps on the bottom for easy attachment to bleachers or canoes.
  • Extremely packable and rolls down to 4” diameter thanks to the folding carbon-fiber side stays. Comes with a handy attached strap for secure storage in the bag and a built-in hanging loop to attach it to the backpack.
  • Available in a couple of color combinations and backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.


Cons
  • Not as breathable as the folding backpacking chairs.
  • Costlier than most other taco-style, ground-level chairs.



Alite Designs Monarch Butterfly ChairAlite Designs Monarch Camping Chair, Black

[Buy It on REI]

Material: 210D, PU-coated, ripstop nylon fabric seat cover mounted on a 7000-series aluminum alloy frame. Large anti-slip plastic feet.
Size and Weight:

  • Open: 21.5″ x 17″ x 7″/23″.
  • Packed: 12″ x 4.5″ x 4.5″.
  • 3 lbs.
  • Supports a person weighing up to 275 lbs.

Price: $$ to $$$.
Features:

  • Another popular, butterfly-style backpacking chair with a 210D PU-coated ripstop nylon sitting surface mounted on a 7000-series aluminum frame. Made in the Philippines for the California, US-based company.
  • Patented two-leg design with wide plastic feet provides balance and stability even on uneven surfaces. Comfortable deep sling sitting surface with breathable nylon seat and meshed sides.
  • Extremely compact and lightweight – stows in its 4.5″ x 12″ polyester-nylon stuff sack for easy carrying and storage. Quick and easy to assemble and take down with color coding on the frame for assistance.
  • Available in three color combinations. The manufacturer also offers the higher and heavier, Alite Stonefly chair which can also be used for backpacking.
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and workmanship.

REI Co-op Flexlite Chair
REI Co-op Flexlite Backpacking Chair

Material: PU-coated, meshed ripstop nylon fabric seat cover mounted on an aircraft-grade aluminum frame with plastic connectors and plastic feet caps.

Size and Weight:

  • Open: 20″ x 20″ x 11″/26″.
  • Packed: 15″ x 4.5″ x 4.5″.
  • 75 lbs.
  • Supports a person weighing up to 250 lbs.

Price: $$ to $$$.
Features:

  • Lightweight and extremely breathable folding backpacking chair with a meshed, PU-coated ripstop nylon sitting surface mounted on an aircraft-grade aluminum frame. Made in the Philippines under the US-based REI Co-op’s quality control measures.
  • Features a cooling mesh seat panel that provides ample ventilation during summers. Comfortable deep sling sitting surface and four-leg design provide a decent support to the body while sitting.
  • Comes with an easily accessible mesh side pocket for storing phones, flashlights or other small items. Machine washable and quick drying.
  • Quick and simple assembly and take down. Comes with a stuff sack for easy storage and transportation.
  • Available in four color combinations and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. The manufacturer also offers a lighter but shorter, REI Flexlite Ultralight Chair as well.

TravelChair Joey C-Series ChairTravelChair C-Series Joey Backpacking Chair, Compact, Black

Material: 300D ripstop nylon fabric seat cover mounted on an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame. ABS plastic leg connectors and wide anti-slip rubber feet.
Size and Weight:

  • Open: 21″ x 21″ x 16″/28″.
  • Packed: 14″ x 4″ x 4″.
  • 0 – 2.2 lbs.
  • Supports a person weighing up to 275 lbs.

Price: $ to $$.
Features:

  • Mid-range backpacking chair with a weather and water-resistant nylon seat cover mounted an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame with ABS plastic leg connectors. Made in China.
  • Patented design with deep seating area and shock cord technology to prevent lost parts. Anti-slip rubber feet to ensure a stable seating on an uneven surface.
  • Compact and reasonably lightweight at 2.0-2.2 lbs. for its full seating size. Folds into the included storage bag for easy transportation.
  • The chair fabric is machine washable and quick drying.
  • Available in three color combinations and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty. The manufacturer also offers, larger and heavier TravelChair Joey Portable Chair.

Therm-a-Rest Uno ChairTherm-a-Rest UNO backpacking chair

Material: 300D polyester ripstop fabric seat cover mounted on 6000/7000-series aluminum poles and molded ABS plastic base and plastic feet.
Size and Weight:

  • Open: 27″ x 18″ x 6″/21″.
  • Packed: 12″ x 2″ x 2″.
  • 94 lbs.
  • Supports a person weighing up to 250 lbs.

Price: $$.
Features:

  • Innovative backpacking chair with a 300D polyester ripstop fabric seat cover mounted on 6000/7000-series aluminum poles and molded ABS plastic base and plastic feet. Made in the US of local and imported materials.
  • Features a low-elevation 6″ clearance and low-profile 21″ seat-back height suitable for outdoor events. Deep butterfly design provides a decent sitting surface for one person weighing up to 250 lbs. But not the most comfortable for tall people.
  • Multi-functional and versatile and can be converted into a side table for camping.
  • Compact and packs completely into its own disc-shaped base with integrated closure/carry handle. The seat cover is machine washable.
  • Available in four vibrant color combinations. Backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and workmanship.

Alps Mountaineering Weekender SeatALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat (Steel Blue)

Material: Durable ripstop nylon fabric seat cover with poly-foam filling. Plastic frame and Nylon adjusting straps.
Size and Weight:

  • Open: 33″ x 17″ x 16″.
  • Packed: 16″ x 16″ x 2″.
  • 3 lbs.
  • Supports a person weighing up to 300 lbs.

Price: $.
Features:

  • Budget ground-level, taco-style backpacking chair made of waterproof ripstop nylon fabric shell with poly-foam padding and plastic frame. Made in China.
  • Features an adjustable design with nylon webbing straps to allow adjustment of sitting position. 0.5″ closed-cell foam padding provides a comfortable sitting surface.
  • Also has webbing straps on the bottom for easy attachment to bleachers or canoes to prevent accidental slipping or movement when in use. Large mesh pocket on the back provides some storage space.
  • Comes with webbing handles for fold-and-go carry. But only folds flat and does not roll down.
  • Available in five standard color combinations.
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and workmanship. Competitively priced and offers excellent value-for-money.

Dead Ringer Hammock ChairDead Ringer DR4460 Hammock Chair, One Size, Camo

Material: Military-grade ripstop polyester fabric seat with nylon tree-hugging straps and telescoping powder-coated steel support pole.
Size and Weight:

  • Open: 4.5″ x 15″ x 15″.
  • Packed: 15″ x 4.5″ x 4.5″.
  • 7 lbs.
  • Supports a person weighing up to 350 lbs.

Price: $.
Features:

  • Versatile hammock chair made of military-grade, waterproof ripstop polyester with a telescoping powder-coated steel support pole. Made in China.
  • Features a bucket seat design with nylon tree-hugging straps and an adjustable telescoping pole that can be adjusted from 12″ up to 24″ in length. Provides 360-degree viewing angle.
  • Versatile use for hunting, backpacking, camping, and other outdoor activities. Supports up to 350 lbs. Extremely easy to set up in less than a minute.
  • Easy to clean. Machine washable in gentle cycle and air dry. Quick-drying.
  • Comes with a carry bag with carabiner clip for easy transportation in the backpack or pocket.
  • Available in multiple colors including the popular Camo color. Backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer.

Mountainsmith SlingBack ChairMountainsmith Sling Back Chair, Anvil Grey

Material: Durable 610D HP polyester fabric seat.
Size and Weight:

  • Open: 40″ x 14.75″. Seat height adjustable.
  • Packed: 15″ x 5.5″ x 0.8″.
  • 3 lbs.
  • Supports a person weighing up to 250 lbs.

Price: $.
Features:

  • Minimalist slingback ground-level backpacking chair with a high-quality, tear and weather-resistant 610D HP Cordura fabric construction. Made in China for the US-based company.
  • Relies on telescoping trekking poles (minimum 24″-30″), which fit securely in the back-pockets to create a lounger. Trekking poles are not included.
  • Ultralight at just under 5 ounces and can create a lounger with dimensions of 40″ x 14.75″. However, the surface is unpadded, so cannot be used as a sleeping pad.
  • Packs small and rolls in the included carrying pouch.
  • Easy to clean and machine washable in gentle cycle and air dry.
  • Available in a single dark gray color and backed by a limited lifetime warranty by the manufacturer.

Trekology Yizi Go Portable Camping ChairTrekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair - Compact Ultralight Folding Backpacking Chairs, Small Collapsible Foldable Packable Lightweight Backpack Chair in a Bag for Outdoor, Camp, Picnic, Hiking

Material: Durable 600D polyester fabric seat cover with meshed sides mounted on an aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum frame with shock-corded, four-leg design and plastic feet caps.
Size and Weight:

  • Open: 22″ x 12″ x 15.4″/28″
  • Packed: 11″ x 4.3″ x 6″.
  • 0 – 2.1 lbs.
  • Supports a person weighing up to 300 lbs.

Price: $.
Features:

  • Value-for-money backpacking chair with a 600D polyester seat fabric with double reinforced V-stitching, mounted on an aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum alloy frame. Made in China.
  • Improved 2019 design provides 1 cm. extra height and 15% less weight with superior deep sitting area, lower back support and side mesh panels for better air circulation. However, unlike the original, does not have an adjustable height level.
  • Features a single-piece shock-corded frame and enhanced seat cover loop design that allows easy assembly and set up. The seat cover is machine washable.
  • Compact and portable and comes with a polyester zipper carry bag that attaches to the seat’s frame with the included straps. A side storage pocket is also included.
  • Available in four color combinations and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
  • Competitively priced. A 20% bigger and higher, 2.6 lbs. Trekelogy Yizi Go Plus Chair is also available from the same manufacturer.

Additional options for backpacking chairs

Sea to Summit Air Chair fits Large Mats

In addition to the true backpacking chairs that we listed, there are some other portable options that can also be used for outdoor adventures such as hiking, backpacking, and beach-trips.

If you are looking for some alternate ultralight chairs, then one option is to pick an ultralight inflatable chair and use it with your sleeping pad. Some of the best-selling ultralight air chairs are listed below:

  • Sea to Summit Air Chair: Ultralight air chair made of 70D, 2000mm waterproof ultra-sil nylon fabric. Lightweight design through minimalist panels, straps, and buckles works well with all sleeping pads and mattresses. Available in two sizes weighing only 8 – 10 oz.
  • Exped Air Chair Kit: Another popular air chair made of proprietary PU-coated tent floor fabric with  DAC SL 9mm. aluminum alloy pole segments used for stiffeners. Available in four sizes with weight ranging from 18 oz. to 23 oz. Cheap and affordable.

Another option is to opt for a portable tripod chair or stool. While these backpacking stools are not as comfortable as backpacking chairs, they are very compact, versatile and lightweight. Some of the best backpacking stools available in the market are listed below:

  • Alps Mountaineering Tri-Leg Stool: Best-selling tripod stool and chair with a 600D polyester fabric sitting surface mounted on a powder-coated steel frame. At 2 lbs. not the lightest option, but the most comfortable, with dimensions of 14″ x 14″ x 16″ and capacity of 250 lbs. Available in two colors and backed by a lifetime warranty.
  • TravelChair C-Series Slacker Folding Tripod: Folding tripod chair with a high-quality ripstop polyester fabric cover mounted on a powder-coated steel frame. Has a capacity of 235 lbs. and weighs only 1.8 lbs. with dimensions of 12″ x 13″ x 17.5″. Comes with an integrated shoulder strap for easy transportation.
  • Grand Trunk Micro Camp Stool: Popular, chair-height backpacking stool that features a solid ripstop polyester sitting surface mounted on an aluminum frame. Weighs only 10 ounces and has dimensions of 12″ x 13″ x 14.5″. Can hold up to 250 lbs. Available in two colors and backed by a lifetime warranty.

Buying Advice – How to pick the best backpacking chair?

With the market inundated with so-many “ultralight” backpacking chairs with different designs and models and a wide variation in prices, picking the best backpacking chair for your needs can be a challenging task. After all, you would like to pick a backpacking chair that provides a nice balance between size, weight, and comfort and does not leave you sore and stiff in the wild.

Once you have decided on the broad budget that you have, you need to look at a few important factors before picking the best backpacking chair for your outdoor adventures. These major considerations are summarized below:

  • Construction material of the chair
  • Design features
  • Overall size and weight of the chair
  • Packing size and portability
  • Additional factors and considerations

Construction material of the chair

The construction materials of the camping chair – specifically the fabric of the seat cover and the material of the frame, connectors, and feet caps, are an important factor as they govern the durability and reliability of the chair. Why else do you think there is so much variation in the price of these backpacking chairs?

Specifically, the construction quality governs the following major things:

  • The durability of the backpacking chair to last more than a few hiking trips.
  • The firmness of the seat and sag-free, comfortable sitting surface even after frequent usage.
  • Stable and durable frame that sturdy, even during weight-shifts and twisting.
  • The weight distribution of the frame to stay stable even on uneven ground and prevent wear and tear to the ground/tent floor by using sturdy plastic feet caps.
  • The ability of the seat cover and frame to survive inclement weather.

All the options that we have listed feature a seat cover made of high-quality 200 deniers or higher synthetic nylon or polyester fabric that is stretch-free, durable and comfortable, and noise-free too. The nylon or polyester fabric is also PU-coated to provide superior mold, mildew, and weather protection.

The frame of folding backpacking chairs and hammock chairs are generally made of hollow powder-coated steel or 6000/7000 series anodized aluminum alloy tubes, with additional welding at stress points. Aluminum frames are lighter and more weatherproof than powder-coated steel frames, but such chairs are generally costlier.

The frame of Taco-style ground backpacking chairs is made of lightweight plastic or carbon fiber to keep the back upright. Make sure you pick only a chair which has these support stays, otherwise the chair would not be comfortable. These chairs should also have adjustable nylon webbing straps to adjust the seat angle.

The legs have plastic or rubberized floor protectors on the feet to provide additional stability and prevent wear and tear to the tent footprint. The frame and legs are coated with rust-resistant paint, making them more durable and weather-proof.

In terms of construction quality, our top picks – the Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Chair and Alite Monarch Butterfly Chair among standard chairs and Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair among the ground chairs offer the best build quality, without being too costly.

Check the overall building material of the seat cover, frame and legs before picking the best backpacking chair for your next outdoor trip. If you are in doubt, pick one of our recommended products – you will find them pretty durable and sturdy.

Design features

The design features of the chair are also something to examine carefully before picking the best backpacking chair for your needs.

One of the biggest complaints with portable backpacking chairs is that they compromise a lot on comfort to keep the size and weight down, so it is important to pick a chair which offers a nice balance between the two.

Specifically, you need to look at the following design features:

  • Design of the chair frame: The design of the frame is something that governs the size of the sitting surface maximum weight the camping chair can support.

Most standard folding backpacking chairs have V-shaped or quad-style cross legs with plastic/rubber feet or caps to provide a stable sitting surface even on uneven ground. Frames with plastic joints help in better distribution of the weight. The only exception is the Alite Monarch Butterfly Chair which has a patented two-leg design.

Similarly, for taco-style backpacking chairs, it is important to pick an option which has “carbon fiber or plastic stays” that can keep the back straight while sitting. Similarly, for slingback chairs and hammock backpacking chairs, it is important to have solid pole(s) to provide a stable sitting surface.

  • Ground-to-seat clearance: The ground-to-seat clearance is also an important design feature to check out.

A low-clearance seat might work well for concerts and sports events or around the campfire, but for tall adults, such seats can be uncomfortable for long-term use. So depending upon your primary requirements, you need to pick a chair with appropriate ground clearances.

Taco-style chairs do not have any ground clearance, but even for them, having adjustable webbing straps and allow you to adjust the sitting angle. All the options that we have listed for such types of chairs do have these adjustable straps.

Sling back and hammock chairs rely on telescoping poles or support pipes to provide an adjustable height, so the ground-to-seat clearance should not be a major issue for such chairs.

  • Design and size of the sitting area: The design of the sitting area governs the overall support and comfort provided by the chair. Depending upon the requirements you can pick a seat with appropriate deep, butterfly-style seat size – we recommend a 20” or wider seating surface. You can also choose between a quilted or padded seat cover or one with mesh for additional air circulation.
  • Design and height of the seat back: The design of the seat-back also governs the support and comfort provided to your neck and back while sitting. We have tried to list only chairs which have a full-sized back, either straight or reclining.
  • Additional design features: Additional design features to consider are the type of seat (adjustable and/or padded), stabilizing plastic or rubber feet and availability of one or more storage pouches.

Check the major design features of the backpacking chair before picking the right one for your needs. You can generally get a lot of insights regarding this from the product details, reviews, and Q&A section for the product.

Overall size and weight of the chair

The size and weight of the chair is also an important consideration to keep in mind as you need to pick a backpacking chair that offers a reasonable size-to-comfort ratio.

The size of a camping chair is expressed in terms of its length, width and height and/or clearance from the ground. Of these, the clearance and width are most important, especially if you are extra-tall or extra-healthy!

Among camping chair for one person, all the options that we listed support adults up to 6-6.5 feet tall and weighing from 225 pounds up to 350 pounds.

The clearance of the camping chair from the ground is also something to check if you have specific preferences or are looking for a higher ground clearance. Most backpacking chairs do not offer a camping chair like clearance. Of the options we listed, the TravelChair Joey C-Series Chair and Trekology Yizi Go Portable Camping Chair offer the maximum clearance (15+ inches) but are about half a pound heavier than other backpacking chairs.

The weight of the chair is also important. After all, you would not want to unnecessarily haul a heavy load and at the same time pick an option that is sturdy enough to not bungle under your load while sitting.

All the options that we listed have a manageable weight ranging from 0.3 lbs. for the minimalist Mountainsmith SlingBack Chair up to 2.2 lbs. for the TravelChair Joey C-Series Chair.

Among all the options we listed, our top pick – the Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Chair offers the best balance between size, weight, and comfort.

Check the overall size, clearance from the ground and weight of the chair before picking the best backpacking chair for your outdoor adventure.

Packing size and portability

Closely related to the overall size and weight of the chair is its packing size and portability. Considering that you would be carrying your own weight, it is important to pick a backpacking chair that packs to a size which can fit in the backpack and comes with a carry bag for easy storage and transportation.

The best backpacking chairs are ones which collapse to less one-third their full-size and pack small to be carried in an included carrying case. We have indicated the folded size of all the options that we have listed to give you an idea of the packing size you would need to account for.

Along with the packing size, it is important to pick a model that is easy to take down and fold without the need for any special tools or techniques. All the options that we have listed, especially our top picks are extremely easy to disassemble and reassemble – generally within 2-3 minutes.

Our top picks – the Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Chair and REI Co-op Flexlite Chair among standard folding chairs and Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair among taco-style backpacking chairs offer the best packed-to-opened size ratio and hence our favorites.

Check out the overall size (both open and packed), and portability of the camping chair before pulling the plug on a specific model.

Additional factors and miscellaneous considerations

In addition to the major factors discussed above, there are some other miscellaneous considerations that can make a particular backpacking chair a preferable choice over other options.

One such consideration is the availability of accessories such as storage pouches, side pockets and carry bags. While most backpacking chairs are free from frills to keep the weight down, having a mechanism to store and carry the chair is a must.

All the options that we listed come with a high-quality carrying pouch or have one some integrated arrangement for carrying them easily in or outside your backpack. Make sure you look at the packing arrangement before picking the best option for your needs.

The availability of replacement parts such as stabilizing feet or caps, chair footprints and seat cushion is also something worth checking out.

While it does not affect the utility of the backpacking chair, the color combinations in which a chair is available is another factor worth considering. Most of the options that we listed are available in multiple vibrant color combinations, giving you some options to choose from.

Finally, one of the most important additional consideration is the warranty and after-sales support offered on the chair by the manufacturer. The general rule of thumb is that longer the warranty period, the more reliable and durable the chair would be. Most of the options that we listed are backed by one or more year manufacturing warranties, so you can use these chairs for a long time without worrying about their durability and reliability.

Backpacking chairs such as Alite Monarch Butterfly Chair and Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Chair score big in this category as they are backed by excellent lifetime warranties against manufacturing defects. Just make sure that you always purchase the backpacking chair from an authorized reseller and get the product registered if it is required.

You can look at all these features to determine if they make a specific backpacking chair a better choice over others.

Final thoughts on the best backpacking chairs

If you are an outdoorsy person who loves to spend more than a couple of days hiking and backpacking in the wilderness, then you would love a chair that can provide a better-than-ground sitting surface to unwind and enjoy the nature.

A comfortable camping chair would be perfect, but if you are carrying your own gear, you need something lighter and more compact. Backpacking chairs are the best option for such outdoor adventures.

In this article, we looked at some of the best backpacking chairs available in the market for hiking, trekking, and other outdoor adventures. Our primary focus was on ultralight backpacking chairs that are durable, portable and weigh around 2 lbs.

We also looked at some of the major considerations to keep in mind before picking the best backpacking chair for your needs and shared our top picks.

We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best backpacking chair for your next hiking or backpacking trip. Do let us know your feedback by commenting below. Until next time, happy backpacking!

Image credits:Amazon.com

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