Best Backpacking Chair — Your Buddy On The Trail

Chairs are a luxury for the backpacker. It would sure be nice to have a chair on the trail, but who’s willing to carry the extra weight? And let’s face it, most camping chairs aren’t light enough to justify being used for backpacking. 

But, of course, it’s the modern world and there’s always a solution. As is often said, “build it and they will come”.

You could very well get the best backpacking chair at a reasonable price. More importantly, at a reasonable weight. This is all meaningless to the ultra-lighter, but for everyone else, here are the chairs to look at!

Ultralight Backpacking Chairs For Your Next Adventure

Editor’s Choice: Big Agnes Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Chair

Big Agnes Skyline

This isn’t the lightest chair in our selection, but Big Agnes Skyline takes this position because it’s a great mix of comfort and weight. Just shy of 2 lbs, it has convenient back support and generous-enough dimensions to be comfortable. 

Get it on Amazon

A Closer Look At The Top Backpacking Chairs Of 2020: Review

1. Big Agnes Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Chair

Big Agnes Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Chair

Big Agnes Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Chair is our top choice for this category. It comes from a trusted brand, has excellent construction quality, is comfortable, and has an acceptable weight. The chair weighs just under 2 lbs, which makes it convenient enough to be considered for a backpacking trip.

The weight of a chair can’t be the only factor for backpacking viability. The other important consideration is packed dimensions. This one packs down to 3.5″x3.5″x17″ and fits right into the included carry bag. That’s compact enough (if not ideal) to be a backpacking pick.

Big Agnes Skyline has an aluminum frame and max rated weight capacity of 275 lbs. Seating dimensions are 21-inch wide and 17.5-inch deep. The chair seating slopes downwards towards the back, so while the front is 15-inches off the ground, the back can go fairly lower.

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: 1lb 11 oz
  • Packed dimensions: 3.5×3.5×17 inches
  • Max weight allowed: 275 lbs
  • Ground height: 15-inches (front)
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Most comfortable, but more expensive than its competitors

Buy it on Amazon

2. Sunyear Lightweight Compact Folding Camping Backpack Chairs

Sunyear Lightweight Compact Folding Camping Backpack Chairs

If I randomly saw this chair out in the wild, I’d probably be prejudiced against it. This one doesn’t quite have the appearance of a sturdy chair. Thankfully, its design is tried and tested, and very comfortable. The mesh at the back and sides provides ventilation so no more “sweaty back off the chair” problem. 

Sunyear Lightweight Compact Folding Camping Backpack Chair uses 500D nylon for its seating area, so any longevity concerns can be safely forgotten. It uses a reliable, shock-corded aluminum frame for better support. Maximum weight allowed on this chair is 250 lbs.

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Packed dimensions: 4.3×5.1×13.8
  • Max weight allowed: 250 lbs
  • Seating: 500D nylon
  • Frame material: high-quality 7075 aluminum alloy
  • Available in several color options

See buying options and pricing

3. Big Agnes Big Six Chair

Big Agnes Big Six Chair

This one’s something of a tough pick. Considering its weight and dimensions, it straddles the domain of backpacking and camping chairs. The reason it earns this place is that this chair is well ahead of the others in comfort.

Big Agnes Big Six Chair is a good backpacking pick for specific use cases. One is simply that you’re willing to lug around a larger chair just for that extra touch of comfort. The other is if you’re a big guy and other camping chairs feel too low. 

In either of these scenarios, the 3lb trail weight doesn’t seem much of a problem. Big Agnes Big Six Chair has a shock-corded, color-coded aluminum frame that’s a breeze to set up and pack away. 

I can’t say I’m totally on board with the packed dimensions of 21×3.5 inches, but that is to be expected from a larger chair. The seat height here is 20-inches (trails backward) and the maximum allowed weight is 300 lbs.

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: 3 lb 3 oz
  • Packed dimensions 3.5×3.5×21 inches
  • Max weight allowed: 300 lbs
  • Ground height: 20-inches (front)
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Most expensive chair on this list
  • Comfortable and large chair

See pricing and discounts

4. Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair

Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair

Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair is pretty similar in design and looks to most chairs. Well, to be honest, there isn’t much of a variety in designs where backpacking chairs are concerned. 

It comes with a couple of changes that could be considered quality-of-life improvements or random weight additions depending on how useful you find them. The first is the availability of a mesh side pocket, which can work as a cup holder. The other is that the chair’s storage bag can stay at the base of its frame.

You could use this bag to store or organize random items while the chair’s out of the bag. Although that’s very limited usability, so… meh. I do like the name of this chair, which I assume is a play on “easy go”. Yup, this is indeed easy-go considering the chair is fairly lightweight, sturdy, and well, I guess the side pocket is cool too.

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: 2 lb 1 oz
  • Packed dimensions 4.3x6x11 inches
  • Max weight allowed: 300 lbs
  • Frame material: 7075 aluminum alloy
  • Comfortable seating with ventilation
  • Attractive pricing
  • Side pocket on chair can work as cup/bottle holder

See it on Amazon

5. TravelChair Slacker Camping Stool

TravelChair Slacker Camping Stool

This camping stool can come in handy when the only thing you want is to park your bottoms. There’s minimal back support here (it’s a stool, duh) and even the seating cannot be said to be very comfortable. However, it is sturdy and very likely to last a long time.

TravelChair Slacker Camping Stool has a packed weight of 2.2 lbs. The reason it falls in the same weight range as other chairs is because of the frame. This one uses powder-coated steel, which is heavier and sturdier than the aluminum frames most popular with backpacking chairs and stools. 

When packed, it takes on dimensions similar to a camera tripod. The fabric is made from 600D polyester and can take a max weight of 275 lbs.

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: 2.2 lb
  • Packed dimensions 3x3x24 inches
  • Max weight allowed: 275 lbs
  • Frame material: powder-coated steel
  • Styled as a stool, so the back support is minimal
  • The seating area is relatively small

See more on Amazon

6. MOON LENCE Outdoor Ultralight Portable Folding Chair

MOON LENCE Outdoor Ultralight Portable Folding Chair

MOON LENCE Outdoor Ultralight Portable Folding Chair ready to join you on your backpacking journey. The lightweight chair weighs just about 2 pounds and has a maximum allowed weight of 242 lbs.

Its seating is made from comfortable and sturdy 600D Oxford fabric. While the frame for the lightweight chair is made from aluminum. Mesh on the back and sides of the chair keeps it well-ventilated and reduces chances of the user getting sweaty.

Other features include the good old side pocket for storing knick-knacks or for use as a bottle holder. The chair’s carry bag can be placed at the of the frame for better management.

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: about 2 lbs
  • Packed dimensions 4.7×14.2 inches
  • Max weight allowed: 242 lbs
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Available in several colors (the fabric remains mostly black, but the trim color changes)
  • Includes side pockets for storage or use as cup/bottle holders

See it on Amazon

7. Cliq Camping Chair

Cliq Camping Chair

Cliq Camping Chair proudly proclaims that it is the “most funded portable chair in crowdfunding history”. It’s difficult to fully substantiate that claim since there don’t appear to be any crowdfunding historians around. That said, it’s a fact that this chair raised more than $1.5 million on Indiegogo. Must have been something to inspire that crowdfunding run!

Its biggest USP is that the chair can fold down to the size of a bottle in just about five seconds. Looks like they’re using a S’well bottle for size comparison (see image) and it looks pretty promising. Anyways, that’s not the important part – the big news is 5 seconds to fold and set up.

The key element for this is a push-button hub that enables quick setup and packing of the chair. The frame and fabric fold up nicely and you get a small bundle of a chair. Cliq Camping Chair’s seating area fabric is made from ripstop ballistic nylon and has mesh at the back for better ventilation.

Although the easy setup and small packaging is a huge plus, this chair is a bit on the heavier side. 

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: 3.5 lbs
  • Max weight allowed: 300 lbs
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Takes just five seconds to set up and pack away
  • Compact dimensions

See buying options

8. Crazy Creek HEX 2.0 PowerLounger

Crazy Creek HEX 2 PowerLounger

Go go Power Lounger. Sorry… couldn’t resist (and now I have the Power Rangers song stuck in my head). Anyways, this is a ground-dwelling chair (or lounger, if you will) that’s lightweight and versatile. Since there is no metal frame, this lounger can afford to be super lightweight (29.8 oz). 

To add comfort, it’s made of 8mm high-density cored EVA closed-cell foam covered in an outer shell of 210D coated ripstop nylon. In a pinch, you could also use this as a sleeping mat, though not a very comfortable one. 

Crazy Creek HEX 2.0 PowerLounger is pretty convenient as a backpacking chair and could very well meet your requirements in a compact and lightweight package.

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: 32 oz
  • Max weight allowed: 275 lbs
  • No frame – ground chair
  • Padded with 8mm EVA closed-cell foam
  • Outer layer made from 210D ripstop nylon

See it on Amazon

9. Sportneer Camping Backpacking Chair

Sportneer Camping Backpacking Chair

Sportneer Camping Backpacking Chair is quite similar to a few other chairs also included on this list. For example, it could be a spitting image of the Moon Lence backpacking chair. The larger difference between the two is that the Sportneer chair doesn’t have side pockets.

Its carry case can be attached to the aluminum frame, The seating area too has mesh ventilation for greater comfort. 

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: 2 lbs
  • Max weight allowed: 350 lbs
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Seating material: 60D nylon

See it on Amazon

10. Big Agnes Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Stool

Big Agnes Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Stool

Here’s another horse from the stable of Big Agnes. The Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Stool is built as a simple, convenient place where you can park your behind for some rest. It’s lightweight, sturdy, and easy to pack and carry.

Big Agnes Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Stool weighs just 1lb 1oz and includes a nylon fabric sitting atop an aluminum frame. The maximum weight it can support is 250 lbs. The only undesirable point about this stool is the seat height at 15-inches. 

A taller seat would be desirable, if only to give us more options on these folding camping chairs. Plus, there are situations where a higher seat works better than seats with low-height. The package dimensions are 12×3.5 inch, 

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: 1 lb 3 oz
  • Max weight allowed: 250 lbs
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • No back support (since this is a stool)

See it on Amazon

11. Boundary Life Backpack Chair

Boundary Life Backpack Chair

Meet the new chair, same as the old chair. In features and appearance, this chair is quite similar to similar options available and highlighted on this list. For example, this chair is quite similar to the Moon Lence backpacking chair. 

There is a smidgen of difference between these chairs, but for practical purposes, users may never come around to noticing that. A polyester seating fabric tops the aluminum frame for convenient seating. The overall packed weight here is 2.5 pounds and has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds.

Pockets located at the side of the chair can be used for storage and/or as bottle holders. These are 9-inch deep, so they can easily handle bottles or gadgets like mobile phones. It is possible to attach the carry bag at the bottom of the chair.

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Max weight allowed: 300 lbs
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Fabric: polyester with mesh for ventilation
  • Attractive pricing
  • Side pockets for storage options

See buying options

12. Pacific Pass Easy Carried Tripod Chair

Pacific Pass Easy Carried Tripod Chair

Pacific Pass Easy Carried Tripod Chair promises to be more comfortable than it looks. The chair is a tripod, and so is its seating. The triangular seating area has three support points. Two of these fall to the back of the chair and the remaining one goes right at the front. 

This arrangement can be a cause of discomfort to some people. Another point worth noting is that the tripod legs may have challenges with stability. Especially so on the uneven grounds that hikers frequent.

One thing it has going in its favor is the larger seat height. At 15.7-inches, This can be more comfortable than similar options. Pacific Pass Easy Carried Tripod Chair is easy to set up and pack away. It takes just a few seconds to do either, adding to the convenience.

Chair Highlights

  • Packed weight: 3.3 lb
  • Packed dimensions 25×5.5 inches
  • Max weight allowed: w00 lbs
  • Ground height: 15.7-inches)
  • Great value for money

Buy it on Amazon

Getting A Hiking Chair – Things You Should Know

Is It A Good Idea To Pick The Smallest Camping Chair?

When going on a backpacking trip, it makes sense to choose a chair that isn’t heavy and won’t take much space. Logically, that would be the smallest camping chair available. Practically, there’s more to the story. 

If you have need enough to lug around a camping chair, you should put your comfort first. Space and weight remain reasonable, but it becomes more important for the chair to be comfortable. 

Moral of the story is, don’t go for the smallest, cheapest, or lightest chair. Look for what works for you. Many chairs look the same, but they can have subtle differences in seat height, seating area, etc. And these can make quite a difference.

Expect Having To Set Up And Pack Away Your Chair

These ultralight backpacking chairs show great promise, but they also have to make great adjustments. The small dimensions and low weight are achieved through being able to dismantle the chair. Usually, the frame is made to collapse in a way that makes its components come together.

Users have to carefully fold the frame and fabric and pack it away in the included carry bag. When it’s time to set up the chair, you’ll have to set up the frame and fabric again.

The process isn’t terribly difficult, but it is bound to take some time and thus should figure in your decision.

The Price Tag

The price tag on folding camp chairs can vary quite drastically. There is a good mix of products that offer great value and those that offer quality. Expensive chairs often tend to be lighter. But cost and weight can be subject to the law of diminishing returns. Sometimes, it’s just not worth it to pay more to lose a few ounces of weight.

Helinox backpacking chairs and offerings from Big Agnes are popular picks. They’re slightly on the expensive side, but manage quality impressively well. 

Is The Seat Height Suitable For You?

Hiking chairs often stay close to the ground and many slope backwards. They aren’t that great at supporting the back either. So anyone with back issues or those who have trouble getting up from low-slung chairs should steer clear of backpacking chairs. It might be a good idea to just stick with conventional backpacking. 

A Chair For Your Hiking Trip

Backpackers keep count of every little thing they have to carry. A chair is usually not on the list. But there can always be situations where you believe carrying a chair with your hike could be useful. Our picks of the best backpacking chair should make it easier to make that choice.

Our top pick for this category is the Skyline Ultralight Backpacking Chair. But it takes more than that to fit your specific requirements. So give the options a closer look.