Best Camping Chairs Reviewed & Tested for Quality and Value

Portable chairs don’t use the same flimsy designs from when they first came out. Now they are strong and use top grade materials, with many of them having the construction similar to high-end camping equipment. Even with all the advancement in camping chair technology, the prices have been kind to the customers.

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By Shelby Wallace:

We've updated our introduction and made sure our Top 10 is up to date for readers. Keep checking back and we'll be sure you see something new.

Featured Recommendations

ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair
  • ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Wide seats
  • Price: See Here
Coleman 2000003084
  • Coleman 2000003084
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight
  • Price: See Here
Helinox Chair One
  • Helinox Chair One
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Supports 350 Pounds
  • Price: See Here

There are two types of camping chairs; portable and traditional. Traditional camping chairs naturally have better back support. They are overall the more comfortable of the two, with a similar design to an ordinary chair. They are usually a one-piece design that holds a lot of weight when needed. The only con is that they are the larger of the two types. And this is where portable camping chairs win, as their smaller compact design is great for customers that have limited traveling space. They are less of a pain to carry and sit lower to the ground. That means they are a pain for taller people, and another small con is that they are more likely to need a first time assembly.

Coleman and Terralite have changed how customers look at the features of camping chairs. Portable chairs are much more than simple seats with mesh and have turned into items of convenience for campers and beachgoers worldwide. So when you get beyond the colors and construction, these two companies have done a lot for the industry when it comes to introducing new features.

Some chairs have removable fabric; some don’t. If the material is removable, then chances are it can be washed and cleaned. The big thing about cleaning these chairs comes down to keeping sticky stuff off, so it is more spot cleaning you have to do. Attack a soda spill the moment it happens, and it won’t become a problem later on.

10 Best Camping Chairs

 

ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair

ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair
When it comes to lifespan and sturdiness, the ALP Mountaineering King Kong is a beast. It will provide seating for countless camping adventures. The chair is simple to set-up. It is a durable chair that offers excellent, premium campsite lounging.
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This may well be the last camp chair you buy. You can settle down beside a campfire in a National Park or cheer on the sidelines of a sports event and be cozy and comfortable all day long. Larger than average individuals love this chair.
Amenities

Alps Mountaineering has a reputation for making quality backpacking and camping products. Besides storage pockets on the sides, there is a mesh storage pocket on the back of the chair that is perfect for a book, magazines, or a tablet.

Ruggedness

The chair can hold as much as 800 pounds. This chair is among the sturdiest camping chairs available. The unmatched stability is due to the combination of a steel frame and 600D polyester fabric.

This is not a disposable chair available at your local chain store. It carries a lifetime guarantee against manufacturer defects. The frame is powder coated which is significantly better for rust proofing than paint. Somehow without increases in the weight of the chair, the steel frame offers more weight capacity than any other chair.

Cost and Value

It is worth the investment if you want a comfortable camping chair that will last for years. The chair is no more expensive than any of its competitors offering a decent chair. This chair with excellent back support and its fantastic weight capacity is available at a great price.

Pros

Two cup holders

800 pound capacity

Adjustable armrests

Shoulder bag included

Side pocket storage on each side

Durable, strong 600D fabric

Cons

The chair weighs 13 pounds and is more than three feet wide which makes it cumbersome to pack and carry

9. Coleman 2000003084

9. Coleman 2000003084
Even beyond camping, this chair has gained some popularity, mostly among sports buffs that tailgate. It has a great height and some good support, with a lot to offer in its price range.

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Snack Table Makes The Difference

Coleman implemented a drink holder/snack table on the side that makes it great for more than just camping. This can double as a tailgating chair or even a chair for when you go to festivals or fairs.

Features and Specifications

Padded Armrests
Supports up to 225 pounds
1 year limited warranty
Carry handles for transporting

Price/Value

Even with the luxury additions, they are still charging a low price for the entire setup. Buyers will be pleased to know that they can get a lot for very little with this deal.

Decision Time

If the snack tray was able to pull around to the front then this would have been a top 3 item. Even in its current position, there is still tons of value.
Pros
  • Folds flat so is good for backpacking
  • Padded arm rests are a good luxury addition
  • Snack table is convenient and fun
  • Fully assembled out of the box
Cons
  • Low weight support

Helinox Chair One

Helinox Chair One
You may want to consider the Big Agnes Helinox Chair One for your next backpacking or camping adventure. The unique design of the chair allows folding it into a compact carry bag. The two-pound chair measures 17’” x 45” x 4.5” when folded.
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Easy to Transport

It is amazing something that compact can be unfolded and support 350 pounds. The 1000D oxford cloth and mesh combination make the chair comfortable when sitting in the hot weather for long periods of time.

The chair is ideal for backpacking and camping. The nylon carry bag is perfect for a picnic, fishing, tailgating, or as a beach chair. This is the chair for those looking for a chair that is light to carry but still offers comfort. The chair nearly puts itself together when you shake the legs.

Ventilation

For a compact model, it is among the most comfortable, stable, and durable. It does an outstanding job of providing a balance of comfort and easy to transport. The well-ventilated mesh backing offers superb lower back support.

You are kept cool and dry due to the perspiration evaporation that is fostered by the mesh backing. The aluminum frame is durable and strong. It folds and unfolds quickly. There are wide rubber caps on the leg bottoms that prevent sinking into mud or sand.

Cost and Value

While the chair is on the high end of the price spectrum, those who have purchased the chair say it is worth the price. One of the people who provided a review on Amazon said the chair had been put through the paces over the last year. It was a camping chair during all four seasons.

The chair was taken on hikes to remote spots and motorcycle trips. Its ultra compact size made it easy to pack, stack, and carry.

Pros

Durable and strong frame

Holds up to 350 pounds

Well-ventilated

Easy to pack and carry

Cons

No cup holders

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1. Coleman 2000020267

1. Coleman 2000020267
Of course Coleman comes in at #1 by including a must have cooler accessory with their chair. What may seem like a small addition turns out to be an important feature for any drinker that likes convenience.

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The Best Chair Accessory In History

The built-in armrest cooler makes this an easy top pick and can hold up to 4 cans while allowing the fifth drink in the cup holder. Convenience is the key word here, so imagine having 3-4 of these in a campsite.

Features and Specifications

Storage pocket
Supports up to 300 pounds
Armrest cooler holds four cans
Adjustable armrest

Price/Value

Coleman was able to keep the price low by not using heavy duty materials, with a slight hit to durability. There is still a massive amount of potential in the design, with the built-in cooler turning into some next level innovation.

Decision Time

Building an important accessory into a portable chair is an instant win for many reasons, and the cooler really makes this a special buy. Coleman found its target market and nailed it perfectly, making an incredible chair.
Pros
Cons
  • No heavy duty materials in the construction

7. Stylish Camping

7. Stylish Camping
Buyers can count this chair as a sturdy option with the side table as a plus. Don’t let the aluminum frame fool you since this chair can really handle a lot of weight.

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Great Color Options

Stylish Camping offers this model in Black, Blue, Brown, Burgundy, and Green. Someone’s favorite color is bound to be on that list, so it makes a great gift.

Features and Specifications

Retractable Side table
Accessory pockets are on side of the chair
Supports up to 350 pounds
5 different color choices

Price/Value

This is the first mid-priced chair on the list, and considering the amount of weight it can hold, it is easily worth it. Wide and sturdy, you can depend on this chair for years for all types of activities.

Decision Time

It’s always nice when a chair doesn’t squish your hips and gives you room to move around a bit. Stylish Camping offered that and more with this model, with a great eye for color choices.
Pros
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Durable and supports a lot of weight
  • Roomy accessory pockets opposite cup holder side
  • Wide chair
Cons
  • Tray can’t hold a lot of weight

3. WildHorn Terralite

3. WildHorn Terralite
Specialized portable chairs for beach or heavy outdoor tend to be expensive and use different materials. Terralite squeezed a ton of those specialized features into a very economical format, and it really looks good.

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Made For Camping Or Beach Use

Using their special Terragrip feet, the chair won’t sink in sand or mud. And just in case something happens to the feet, they have also made the feet interchangeable.

Features and Specifications

Available in Olive, Blue, Dark Blue, Neon Green and Red
Weighs only 2 pounds
Built-in Velcro straps
Aircraft grade 7075 aluminum with support for up to 350 pounds

Price/Value

Just barely staying below the high price point, this Terralite model will do the trick for a lot of users. The price fits what you are getting, and there is no better chair on the market that specializes in both heavy beach and outdoor use.

Decision Time

Buyers that need a chair with high performance in sand and mud won’t find a better option than this model. Terralite made a great chair with some nifty feet that can handle a lot of weight.
Pros
  • Mesh storage bag is high quality
  • Terragrip feet make all the difference in the world when camping
  • Rustproof materials
  • Seat cover is removable and can be machine washed
Cons
  • Seats can be a bit tight for larger sizes

10. Moon Lence SP6016US02

10. Moon Lence SP6016US02
There is nothing like a good portable chair to sit on when you’re in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing too revolutionary about this Moon Lence chair, yet it does exactly what it is supposed to do for the customer.

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No Hassle Setup

Just like a tent, having a camping chair that can be set up in seconds is a must. And it must be done without sacrificing portability, or durability. Moon Lence did a good job of making this as painless as possible.

Features and Specifications

1000D Oxford cloth
Holds up to 242 pounds
Aluminum alloy frame
Available in Dark blue, Light Blue, Red and Orange

Price/Value

You’re not going to spend a lot of money for this since it is in the low price range. For a portable chair that can be carried with your other materials, the value is good.

Decision Time

You won’t have any complaints when sitting in this chair, or with setting it up. Both result in a painless experience for the customer that just wants something simple.
Pros
  • Painless setup and teardown
  • Comfortable cloth for long periods of sitting
  • Both mesh and holders can be folded
  • Small enough to fit in a backpack
Cons
  • Not as durable as some of the others on the list

5. KingCamp Moon Saucer

5. KingCamp Moon Saucer
Good padding and balanced weight make for a great chair, and that’s why KingCamp made the #5 spot. They focused on making their chair comfortable, portable and ultimately user-friendly.

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Good Padded Zone

The now popular design that KingCamp used is suitable for all sizes and provides great padding. It also gets rid of issues with uncomfortable arms rests in portable chairs.

Features and Specifications

Large pocket on the back of the chair
Steel frame construction
Supports up to 260 pounds
Includes storage bag with shoulder strap

Price/Value

Buyers can expect to spend a bit more than normal, up to the mid-tier in pricing. The moon design is well worth it and offers a great way to relax anywhere you can set the chair down.

Decision Time

Capable of handling a good amount of weight and with a focus on comfort, KingCamp offers a competitive alternative to the normal portable chair. This lightweight option will come in handy several times a year no matter where you take it.
Pros
  • Comfortable polyester fabric
  • Only weighs 10 pounds when packed
  • Sturdy, balanced and strong
  • Provides more room than normal portable chairs
Cons
  • No cup holders

8. Quik Shade 160070

8. Quik Shade 160070
Quik Shade made some changes to their design to give customers what they have been asking for. This is one of the more universally customer friendly designs available on the list.

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Protected From The Sun

Of course what makes this an easy sell is that it comes with a canopy to keep the sun off of you. Because of the darker color used with Navy, it does a good job of blocking out UV rays.

Features and Specifications

Max shade canopy
2 Cup holders
Supports up to 225 pounds
300x600D polyester fabric

Price/Value

A good portion of the value goes towards getting a chair with a canopy. Since this is one of the lowest priced options on the list, that alone should make most buyers happy.

Decision Time

Yes, the canopy really does make the difference! Buyers that live in an area where the sun is problematic will find this a buy that will save their skin.
Pros
  • Cup holders are spacious and deep
  • Canopy blocks out the strongest rays
  • Polyester fabric is firm but comfortable against the skin
  • Stain resistant fabric
Cons
  • Uncomfortable armrest

4. Kijaro 54026-Parent

4. Kijaro 54026-Parent
Kijaro is high up on the list for many reasons, with their locking technology being a difference maker in the industry. You can count on their chair on any trip you plan since they only use high-end materials.

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Dual Lock Technology

The push button lock keeps the chair closed and open so there are no issues with stability. It’s a very painless experience that doesn’t cause issues with the overall use of the chair and improves it.

Features and Specifications

Breathable mesh back seat
Supports up to 300 pounds
Patented dual lock technology
2 cup holders and organizer

Price/Value

Buying this chair for the dual lock technology by itself makes it worth the value. It is low-mid priced and has a lot of color options to choose from.

Decision Time

A good chair that is stable with lots of room will always be highly recommended. Kijaro has made this model a must-have and solidified their name in the industry.
Pros
  • Lots of room to add things to the chair
  • Locking technology makes this the most stable on the list
  • Comes in 11 different colors
  • Comes with a carrying bag
Cons
  • One of the heavier chairs on the list

There were a lot of great choices for customers that want a camping chair. We had a very simple scale we followed for determining the best camping chair, and in the end, it paid off. We ranked chairs on important features, and of course the minor features that would otherwise go unnoticed. Our rankings showed some compelling brands slipping, while tried and true brands like Coleman remained at the top. With all of the choices on the list, there is bound to be a camping chair that a customer will find fits their most personal needs, on any available trip.

Style

Styling and color choices were the first criteria that we looked evaluated. All of the products on the list were set in their ways when it came to styles, so optional colors was important for getting points with this criteria. Only a few camping chairs on the list allowed the customer to choose a different color over the default. It is a minor convenience but one that’s appreciated if a buyer has a favorite color. Even the brands that offered good customization options were limited in their colors available. In the end, only a few models on the list received significant points that made a difference. With color out of the way, the most important criterion was decided next – durability.

Durability

Camping chairs are primarily used outside. They travel a lot, going to different places, hitting a lot of bumps along the way. All of that traveling can lead to wear and tear on a product that is meant to last at least a year. Chairs that showed they had longevity with higher quality materials were pushed to the top of the list. This criterion had the most significant effect on how the list was ordered, especially when it came to the Coleman model.

Extra Features

The extra features criteria were all about finding which camping chairs went out of their way to try something new. Features like adjustable height, dual cup holders, and a reinforced carrying bag were considered above and beyond what a regular camping chair would provide. We noted which models offered these extras, and how well they worked with the design. In many cases, they worked as good in real life as they did on paper, and this is where the winners were found. With proper execution, these were the standouts on the list, long before we got to the rest of the criteria.

Weather Resistance

Although weather resistance is tied to durability, we felt the need to separate this criterion. A lot of the durable products on the list lacked weather resistance, and likewise, there were plenty of weather-resistant products that had below average durability. This criterion was meant to balance out some of the lists from when we reordered them for durability, and it rated their effectiveness in withstanding the conditions. Rather than penalize products for not having weather resistance, we merely gave points to the models that included it. Some minor changes were made to the top ten because of this, although no changes from the top three.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is not something you would think about when getting a camping chair. How comfortable a chair is to use turned out to be an interesting addition to our criteria, one that we almost left out. It has to do with the types of camping chairs available, and how some of them require assembly. Although the assembly is not difficult, it is still an extra step that a lot of consumers would like to avoid, if possible. Without going crazy with the ease of use criteria, we balanced the list out so that any camping chair that required assembly was bumped down a spot.

Price

Price is something that only affected one or two of the items on the list. Most of the camping chairs were close in price, with some of them being a few dollars apart in price. This is a great industry for a consumer that wants to buy multiple camping chairs, and the competition is fierce. Any camping chair that deviated away from the average price of the products on the list took a considerable drop. Our reasoning for this drop was related to the number of chairs with similar features for a lower price. Other than some specific branding/marketing, there wasn’t anything majorly different about the high priced chairs.

Warranty

The last thing we looked at was the warranty or its coverage. Even camping chairs with high durability are prone to breakage. All of the company’s on the list had exceptional warranties, so we had to extend this criterion to include the speed of claims. Products that were already reviewed as having high marks for their warranty claims moved up on the list, finalizing the top ten spots. As a particular note, the Coleman in the #1 place is an exceptional value for the current price.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Bigger Always Better?
A: Customers might opt to get a wide chair so they don’t have to worry about getting a chair too small. But you don’t want to sink into the chair or get lost in it, there needs to be room to move, but not too much. Once again, know your body type.

Q: Should I Purchase A High-End Chair?
A: There are portable chairs that sell for hundreds of dollars, yet have very little difference in construction compared to these chairs. All of the camping chairs on this list that meet the industries quality standards aren’t cheaply made.

Q: Can I Use My Own Custom Carrying Bag?
A: Yes, and it won’t damage the chair. Some of the chairs on the list even have Velcro straps so you can forgo using a bag altogether and strap it to your backpack.

Q: Will These Hold Up Over The Years?
A: Portable chairs can handle a surprising amount of weight, some even in excess of 500 pounds. As long as you don’t exceed the recommended weight then they will last for years with minor care.

Q: Are Camping Chairs Sturdy?

A: It depends entirely on the surface they are put on, and how well the weight is being distributed throughout the entire chair. Weight distribution for the person in the chair and the objects it is holding will be the key here. Quality chairs will have really good materials that can handle weight in the hundreds of pounds. Some even have stretchable materials that can handle almost a ton of weight, which would never be needed for one person but is a number used to show off the strength of the product. With most chairs ‘weights’ on the end of their feet, they will pass the sturdiness test by default.

Q: Do They All Come With Cup Holders?
A: No. Some of the chairs available are specialized chairs with comfort features. They omitted cup holders to concentrate on the other areas of their chair. For some customers, this is a deal breaker since they rely on that feature to hold their drink. This is a permanent decision since there are no good add-on cup holders that can be universally added to any camp chair. If it becomes an issue for a potential buyer, then they can simply move on to the next product. Thankfully there are plenty of brands that provide whatever feature is needed by a customer.

Q: How Much Weight Can They Hold?
A: Weight limits vary and can be as little as 300 lbs. but can also max out at 800 lbs. The latter is an extreme example of what some manufacturers have available and may be in reference to camping chairs that seat two people. Pushing the limit of the chair beyond its recommended weight is not a good idea, and can end up buckling the chair completely. Beyond the damage to the chair, it can also hurt you on impact, so a good rule of thumb is to always choose a chair that is can hold your weight +100 extra lbs. So whatever camping chair you choose with these stats will last longer since they aren’t being pushed towards their maximum weight.

Q: Are They Useful On Uneven Ground?
A: This covers part of the sturdiness questions that people have about camping chairs. They should always be used on level ground when possible, but in the rare instance that you have to put it on uneven surfaces, some chairs fare better than others. A good way to figure out just how well it works is to put it on the said surface and see if it rocks. Chairs that rock even when you sit in them won’t do well on that surface. Camping chairs that level themselves out after you sit in them on an uneven surface are safe to use, but be wary that not a lot of manufacturers will list it as a feature.

Q: Is Assembly Required?
A: Some of the camping chairs will come out of the box ready to go, and others will require light assembly. Even the ones that require assembly won’t be a pain to put together and is nothing like the Ikea level. They will usually have a visual instruction set that is easy to follow, requiring only minutes to put together. It is a minor hassle to put them together and should be done within a few minutes. More and more companies are moving away from this practice, so unless the chair is packed for size, most of them will come put together and ready to go out of the box.

Q: How Durable Are Camping Chairs?
A: Camping chairs are made for outside wear and tear, so they have a lot of damage resistance to the elements. Consumers can put them to the test and the top tier ones will pass with flying colors. The fabric that makes up most of the chair is more likely to survive than the actual base it sits on. So it is indeed high-quality stretchable material that is used by most brands, with a strong base to hold it all together. If you don’t constantly test the weight limit or put it on uneven surfaces, then it will last a really long time.

Q: Can It Withstand Bad Weather?
A: This is a hit or miss category even with weather resistance being added as a feature. Brands are proud to mention when their chairs have resistance against the elements, but it should be noted that it is limited. Even if the fabric used for camping chairs is top tier, the constant pulling of the fabric weakens it over time, and as that part of the chair gives, so does the weather resistance. They are prone to wearing out faster than normal when pushed to their limit, so buyers shouldn’t depend on that feature even if it is front and center for a product.

Q: How Do You Clean A Camping Chair?
A: Chairs that have removable fabric are the easiest to wash, and can usually go in the washing machine with regular clothes. Brands will give specific instructions on how to clean the chair once the fabric is removed, with detailed steps on drying it afterward. Camping chairs without removable fabric can use the spot check method, which is less thorough but also keeps everything intact. Products with a lot of mesh as their fabric will use completely different steps for cleaning (even if it is light) so always follow the directions to keep from damaging the materials.

Q: What Are The Best Brands?
A: Quik Shade, Coleman and Terralite are highly regarded as the best in the industry. They always deliver the best products possible, with inclusive new features that improve durability, spacing, and resistance against the elements. There are other brands that offer similar quality camping chairs, but they lack the consistency of these three brands. When choosing a product from any of the big three, customers are guaranteed to get a camping chair that will last for years. Brands like Coleman specialize in outdoor products, so their catalog will have a lot of compatible outdoor accessories to pair with their chairs.

Q: Are There Any Must Have Features?

A: Customers will have their own list of features that mean a lot to the purchase, but a list of the most recommended features with camping chairs are a cup holder, storage, weather resistance, high weight limit and removable fabric. Any combination of these features is a big deal for customers, and having more than a few of these in one product is a great way to entice potential customers into a purchase. But even from the top tier brands, there will be one or two of the recommended features missing from the product. When you find a camping chair that meets or exceeds your requirements, then there should be no hesitation to make it your primary buy.

Q: How Are Camping Chairs Used?
A: Camping chairs aren’t just used around the campfire to sit. They are used in the backyard, front yard, front porch, at large entertainment events, during fishing, hunting, sporting events and even at rallies. Wherever customers need a portable chair, camping chairs can be used to give much-needed comfort. The most famous place to use a camping chair is at Mardi Gras in Louisiana, a yearly celebration where multiple brands are used during the parade season. With all of the places camping chairs can be used, getting a product that can last multiple trips without breaking is important. Whether inside or outside, a camping chair should be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Q: Which Events Prohibit The Use Of Camping Chairs?
A: Not all events and places are camping chair friendly, so take notice of places that strictly prohibit the use of the chairs. Some places only prohibit portions of the chair, like the PGA Tour. Their heightened security measures put a strict hold on camping bag chairs, so make sure that your chair isn’t a problem to carry without its bag. A good idea would be to have a separate chair just for events like these with rules in place that aren’t camping chair friendly. That way you won’t have to deal with being without a chair or its accessory for the entirety of the event.

Q: Can Kids Use Adult Camping Chairs?
A: Yes, but it would be a good idea to get camping chairs made for kids. The comfort level of a chair isn’t just about the materials and has a lot to do with how it contours the body of the person sitting in it. Because of this, camping chairs that are made for kids will provide a better overall experience when they’re sitting in it. In some adult made chairs, their legs won’t even hit the ground! Kids camping chairs follow the same rules as their adult counterparts and can have cup holders, tough resistant materials and can even be themed.

Q: Is The Height Adjustable On All Models?
A: Camping chairs that have adjustable height are great purchases for any customers. They are also the most comfortable, with the height adjustment also working as a comfort tool. This isn’t a must-have feature since the extra moving part could lower durability, but it is nice to have for taller customers that can’t find a comfortable chair. It’s also great for camping chairs that are shared with multiple people in a group. The mechanism used to change the height of the chair is no more difficult than extended an umbrella, but not every brand has this option available for purchase.

How To Make The Best Decision

The big thing with these types of portable chairs is getting the sizing right. There are wide chairs and normal sized chairs. Knowing which one is more comfortable for your body type makes all the difference in the world, so be aware of your own physical needs. If you purchase a chair that is uncomfortable, then it completely defeats the purpose of the buy.

Sources

  1. Hunker: How to Clean Canvas Chairs
  2. Outdoor Gear Lab: How to Choose the Perfect Camping Chair
  3. Dick’s Pro Tips: How to Choose Folding and Portable Chairs
  4. Camping Chairman: How to Clean Mold/Mildew From Camping Chairs
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