› Folding camping chairs

Folding camping chairs: how to choose the right one?

There are lots of folding camping chairs on the market. Choose one you really love for your trip around Australia, because you’ll spend a LOT of time in it! After all, your one camp chair has to be it all…your lounge chair, your dining chair, your desk chair…all in one.

We chose our folding chairs based on:

  • How comfy and versatile they were.
  • How much space they took up when collapsed.
  • How heavy they were.
Having a picnic in the Flinders' Ranges, SA...what a back-drop!

Comfort and Versatility

Comfort was our number 1 priority, which is why we chose folding camp chairs. Collapsible camping chairs tend to be more compact, but I couldn’t find one that was comfy enough for me. Folding chairs usually have a flat seat, which means no sagging. Over time my old ‘bucket’ camping chair gave me back pain and achy legs – and you don’t want that while you’re trying to relax!

Recliners?

Recliners make great lounge chairs but can take up lots of space. We chose chairs that reclined, but didn’t have leg rests. When I wanted to recline with my feet up, I just grabbed a stool or put my feet on the table. I couldn’t sit completely upright on recliners with leg rests (I do have short legs though) …so they didn’t cut it as a good dining chair.

Extra features?

My chair had a built-in drink holder. Even though I did use it, sometimes it was a pain as it got caught on things. Same goes with those built-in side tables. I would choose a camping chair based on how comfy it is, not on the accessories. If the camping chair you choose comes with extras… great. If not, you’ll never miss them.

Space

Another big consideration is space. Folding camping chairs tend to take up slightly more space than collapsible ones. But some fold a lot flatter than others, and so try them out in the camping shop before you buy. Chairs with leg rests are usually much bulkier and heavier, even when completely folded down.

Weight - imagine this...

You are in a large camping area, and happy hour is on the other side of the camp…are you going to be happy carrying your chair over there? Don’t forget, you’re probably carrying your drink in the other hand, and maybe some nibblies.

My folding chair was not perfect in the weight department. But, I compromised because it was extra comfy…and Kumar usually carried it for me! Then I carried our drinks and food.

Which folding camping chairs did we choose?

I chose the Coleman 5 Position Padded Chair. It is very popular, you’ll see its distinctive green and gold stripes everywhere. I love it. It is still as comfy as the day I got it and it has held up well against a lot of battering!

Kumar chose the slightly cheaper OZtrail Resort 5 Position Chair. Similar to mine minus the drink holder, it is much lighter and folds flatter. It is also still in great nick after our trip.

I didn’t see his until after I already bought mine – but given the choice again I would probably buy his. Kumar’s chair is still very comfy, and it wins on space and weight!

Kids’ camping chairs

Depending on how old your kids are, you could buy them an adult chair too. We tried this with our little kids, but they struggled when climbing up and balancing food. We also tried the cheap kids’ ones, but they never lasted long. Probably because they get knocked about a lot more!

In the end, for $20 each, we went with the OZtrail Deluxe Junior Arm Chairs, which have stood the test of time…and climbing!

The right choice for you?

The best way to choose the right camping chair for you is to try them all out. Go to a few camping shops and sit down in them, try to recline, touch your feet to the floor, lean back, sit forward.

Then when you’ve narrowed it down…try to fold them down, carry them around, open them back up again, sit back down again. You’ll know when you have a winner. I think folding camping chairs are the best, but I’ll leave the final decision up to you!

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