If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best backpacking chair is, then we recommend the Helinox Chair Zero as the best one.
We get it; you want a chair that is lightweight, easy to travel with, and comfortable to sit in.
It seems like every chair you find only meets one or two of these requirements, but our goal is to meet all of them.
The best backpacking chair is one that barely impacts your carrying weight but doesn’t kill your back when you sit down.
In this article, we’re going to review five of the best backpacking chairs we could find:
- Helinox Chair Zero
- Alite Monarch Chair
- Helinox Chair One
- Crazy Creek Hex 2.0
- Natures Hangout Ultralight Camping Chair
How To Choose A Backpacking Chair
Backpackers have unique needs, and that’s why companies make incredibly light chairs with no legs. You won’t find someone at a little league game squished into a 12-ounce chair on the ground.
Anyway, there are a few things to consider when choosing the perfect backpacking chair.
The first thing you will find yourself sacrificing is a bit of comfort for a bit of weight. That doesn’t mean that the chair has to hurt when you sit in it.
Make sure the chair has a good amount of back height as still offers some support to that area. The next most important thing to look at is overall seat height; this is an issue with a lot of lightweight backpacking chairs.
If you are over six feet tall and your knees are up above your ears, then you may want to go for a larger chair like the Helinox One.
Weight capacity is also something to pay attention to because as you approach the chairs capacity, it’s most likely going to reduce the amount of comfort you feel. While there is no exact measurement as to how far away from the capacity you should stay, you do not want to exceed it if possible.
Weight and Portability
You’re a backpacker, and this is the most critical factor to consider. The typical backpacking chair is very light weighing under two pounds and comes with an easy to use the carrying case.
With that said, if your chair offers a wide variety of options and comfort that you like but it weighs a little more – and you are comfortable with that. Go for it anyway.
We tested the Natures Hangout chair which is the most comfortable one we tried, and it’s over two pounds. If you are a more significant person and can handle carrying the extra weight, you might prefer that chair.
You never know where life will take you and you do not want to waste any more time then you should on assembly.
The amount of time it takes to assemble a chair is a critical factor to look at, and luckily all of the chairs we tested can be assembled with minimal effort.
Since backpacking chairs are so light, they come with very few parts and as a result require next to no assembly.
You would think since you are getting such a small and straightforward chair that you would have to sacrifice durability but, in the chairs we tested, that is not true at all.
I would say that these chairs are just as durable as some of the larger chairs and they are not made with cheaper materials just because they are smaller.
If you are a backpacker, you understand the importance of having a place to sit down after a long day, so you want a chair that will meet your demands when you need it to.
Weather And UV Resistance
With long-term camping comes elements you cannot control, and you need a chair to stay strong with you through everything.
Since these chairs are so light, they do not hold up as well in extreme winds, so you would be required to take them down and bring them inside rather than leaving them and waiting for the storm to pass.
As for rain, snow, and everything else. Take the materials into consideration. A rust-resistant aluminum alloy frame will help ensure you do not have any excessive corrosion.
We haven’t ever seen any difference in UV fading resistance between chairs in all of the tests we’ve done but know that darker colors are more prone to fading then lighter colors.
We thought it would be much harder to find a chair that meets all those requirements, but it was simple. This is the chair.
The Helinox Zero is the lightest and most portable chair on the market weighing in at 1.1 pounds. Something truly incredible about this one is that even though it is so light and compact it still has a weight capacity of 265 pounds which unfortunately we could not accurately test but we’ll give it to them.This four-legged chair comes with an easy to use carrying bag and is quite comfortable.
There are only a few possible downsides to this chair. One is that it’s only five inches off the ground but what could you expect from a chair that weighs less than a bottle of water?
Also, you may find yourself stacking rocks around the legs to prevent the chair from blowing away, but we’ll look at that as a fair trade-off.
- Incredibly lightweight
- As portable as it gets
- Easy to travel with
- Comfortable material
- Carrying bag works well
- Durable and sturdy
- Low to the ground
We know that two-legged chairs don’t exactly scream comfort, but they do scream lightweight. This is the next lightest chair we could find weighing in at only 1.3 pounds, and it does pack a substantial amount of comfort and durability into an incredibly small chair.This one is ripstop nylon that not only looks durable but it feels durable as well. You do not feel nervous taking this one out and plopping down in it after a long hike.
The seat sits seven inches off the ground, so it is a little bit higher than the previous, and once you are sitting in here for a while you get used to rocking back and forth using your legs, and you don’t even notice it anymore.
- Easy to travel with
- Fits nicely in the carrying bag
- Durable ripstop nylon
- Not too low to the ground
- Only two feet requires you to support yourself
This helinox camp chair might weigh in at two pounds so it’s a bit heavier than you would want to take on a backpacking trip but with that comes the highest comfort and durability out of all the chairs we offer here.
With everything else strapped to your back, you won’t even notice another half a pound right?The Helinox One comes with four legs for increased stability, a dependable weight capacity, and a high quality carrying case.
The only primary downsides to this chair are the four legs are pretty rigid so that you will have a hard time not sinking into any soft ground and the chair still only sits 13.5 inches off the ground, so it is pretty low if you have a hard time getting in and out.
- Easy to strap up and go
- Most comfortable and durable
- Reputable brand name
- High stability
- Nice carrying case
- Low to the ground
- Not good for soft ground
We found a chair lighter than the Helinox Zero, and this is it. The Crazy Creek chair weights only 21 ounces and offers a ton of versatility as to where you sit and how you do it.
The chair does not have any legs, so that offers its disadvantages, but this is intended for use on rocks and logs that you usually would have to sit on bare. Now you can lay this down over those surfaces and sit comfortably.In addition to being lightweight, the chair folds up so small that you barely even know its there. Instead of coming with a carrying case you roll the chair up, and it has a strap to go around it and keep it together.
This chair has a weight capacity of 250 pounds and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
- Extremely Lightweight
- Folds up into almost nothing
- Great for sitting on logs and rock chairs
- Made with durable carbon fiber
- Great for beginners and occasional campers
- The chair does not have legs
- Could have more padding to prevent you from feeling what’s beneath you
Maybe having a chair that is exceptionally lightweight is not as important to you and you don’t mind carrying around an extra pound if you are getting serious comfort.
If that’s the case, then the Natures Hangout chair is the right choice for you. At 2.65 pounds it’s a bit heavier than an “average” ultralight backpacking chair, but in exchange for a bit of weight, you get a lot in return.You get a tall back design with a headrest; the chair has a slight recline on it, and its high enough off the ground to make it easy for anyone to get in and out of.
The chair also has an aluminum alloy frame and holds up to 300 pounds in its nylon seat made with oxford cloth. If you want to combine lightweight with advanced comfort, then this is the chair.
- The most comfortable backpacking chair
- Higher back and headrest
- Supports 300 pounds
- Durable frame and fabric
- Money back guarantee
- Easy to assemble
- A bit too heavy
Choosing a chair has never been so important but when you are backpacking every little pound matters. You want to consider that when deciding what kind of camping chair, you should get.
But, how far do you want to go with that?
Do you want to sacrifice comfort for weight entirely or would you like to meet somewhere in the middle?
If you want the best of both worlds, you have to go with the Helinox Chair Zero. For being as light as it is, it brings comfort and durability together.
Just remember to tie it down at night, so it doesn’t blow away!