Which outdoor folding chair is best?
Camping chairs provide seating and storage to make the most of outdoor gatherings. Whether it is at a campsite, on the beach, or at a concert, a great outdoor folding chair is portable and comfortable. If you want something with extra padding and plenty of storage, the Coleman Camping Chair with Built-in Cooler is the best.
What to know before you buy an outdoor folding chair
Folding chairs are between 20 and 30 inches wide. The backrest is typically between 15 and 20 inches tall. Chairs can be 18 to 22 inches deep.
- Smaller folding chairs are more portable but may not have as much back support.
- Larger folding chairs can be heavier and harder to carry, but usually have extra comfort features such as added pockets and padding.
- Extra-small folding chairs can be carried in a backpack or beach bag when folded.
Folding chairs used outdoors should be durable enough to withstand sun, rain, and wind. Most are made with fabric that will not fade or mildew. Ripstop fabric resists tearing and won’t snag on other gear, rocks or branches. Metal frames are great for durability, although solid steel is heavier than tubing or aluminum.
Folding outdoor chairs are popular for activities such as camping and barbecues because they can be set up and taken down within a minute as well as carried to and from different locations.
Most include a storage sack designed for the chair’s size and shape when it is folded. The bag often has a drawstring to secure it and a shoulder strap for easy carrying. Folding camp chairs are between 3 and 9 pounds. You can even carry multiple chairs over one shoulder.
What to look for in a quality outdoor folding chair
Most outdoor folding chairs use polyester or nylon fabric in a sling design. While this is comfortable, added cushion makes an even better experience. Padding can be added to the back, seat, or armrests. Some chairs have removable cushions, although most have padding sewn right into the structure. Look for a chair with a fully cushioned seat and back for the most comfortable spot.
Look for a chair with heavy-duty stitching that will last. Common failure points include seams and where the fabric attaches to the frame. Reinforced stitching in these areas keeps extra strain from causing wear and eventual tears in the fabric. Thick trim sewn over seams can prevent snags and tears, although this should also have reinforced stitching to be most effective.
Most folding chairs have at least one built-in cup holder, usually on the armrest. Some also include additional spots for more drinks, snacks or outdoor supplies.
- Mesh holders work well for cans, bottles and cups. The mesh can tear easily, so be careful when using these pockets.
- Fold-out side tables are ideal for plates, books and speakers. Make sure you set your chair up on a level surface if using a table.
- A built-in cooler is the ultimate amenity. Most require ice or cooling packs to keep drinks and snacks cold.
How much you can expect to spend on an outdoor folding chair
They cost $20-$80. Features such as cup holders and extra cushions cost more, while in-demand colors of the same design can be more expensive.
Outdoor folding chair FAQ
How strong is an outdoor folding chair?
A. Camp chairs are rated by weight. Most can hold between 220 and 320 pounds. Extra-thick fabric with reinforced stitching and steel or aluminum frames makes the strongest chairs.
Can I use an outdoor folding chair at the beach?
A. Yes, folding camp chairs can be wiped down and include rust-resistant metal frames, perfect for use at the beach. Make sure to set up on flat ground and dig the feet into the sand for the sturdiest support. To prevent mildew growth, let your chair dry completely before storing it.
What’s the best outdoor folding chair to buy?
Top outdoor folding chair
Coleman Camping Chair with Built-in Cooler
What you need to know: This integrated cooler can hold up to four cans and its mesh pocket fits books or small snacks.
What you’ll love: The extra cushion on the 24-inch wide seat provides more comfort and space than a basic folding chair. The frame can support up to 325 pounds. When you’re done, it folds up and slides into the included storage bag, which can be carried over your shoulder.
What you should consider: Some colors cost more than others.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top outdoor folding chair for the money
Trademark Innovation Portable Camp Chair
What you need to know: This budget-friendly chair is made with polyester and coated with polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, for durability.
What you’ll love: It has a mesh cup holder on one side and sturdy fabric on the other to rest your arm. It can hold up to 220 pounds and is made with a steel frame. It comes with a carrying bag that slides onto the chair when folded up, includes a securing drawstring and can be carried by a shoulder strap.
What you should consider: There isn’t any extra padding on the seat or back.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: It folds up to the size of a water bottle and only weighs 3.5 pounds.
What you’ll love: You can unfold it within seconds by undoing the securing strap and extending the legs. The sling design is compact but can still support up to 300 pounds. It has rubber feet, aircraft-grade aluminum that won’t rust or scratch, and reinforced stitching in ripstop fabric to stay durable even in extreme conditions.
What you should consider: The back doesn’t have much support.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Katie Begley writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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