The Best Hiking Chairs for Backpacking – And How To Choose

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Article Categories: Gear
Article Tags: Camping | Hiking

This article is meant to show you some of the best lightweight hiking chairs, and how you can choose one for your needs.

As you are surely aware of, there are pretty much endless options, but it is important to get a product that is going to hold up to heavy usage, doesn’t way down your pack, and also doesn’t completely break the bank.

Recently, lightweight and strong materials coupled with great design have allowed manufacturers to put together some really high quality chairs that are comfortable, functional, and affordable.

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Best Chairs | Types Of Backpacking Chairs | How To Choose | Notable Mentions

 

The Best Hiking Chairs

Below we list the top chairs on the market in a table format. Scroll down further to learn about each specific chair in more detail. We also have honorable mentions at the end of this article.

Picture Name Weight Capacity Price
Helinox Chair One Backpacking Chair Helinox Chair One 1.9 lbs 320 lbs $75
Elite Refuge Outdoors Backpacking Chair Elite Refuge Outdoors Backpacking Chair 2lbs 8.1 oz 265 lbs $49.99
Wildhorn Terralite Hiking Chair Wildhorn Terralite 2.1 lbs 350 lbs $55
Helinox Ground Chair Helinox Ground Chair 1.4 lbs 265 lbs $93
Alite Monarch Lightweight Hiking Chair Alite Monarch 1.2 lbs 250 lbs $70

 

Types Of Backpacking Chairs

There are several types of “chairs” when it comes to backpacking.

Foam pads are the lightest weight and cheapest options. They simply supply a little cushion for sitting directly on the ground, but no back support.

Blow up sitting pads, that offer the same functionality, but pack small and lightweight since they blow up. These can also come in larger options that have a backrest.

Foldable Chairs – This is the classic looking backpacking chair. They are heavier, larger for the pack, but are definitely the most comfortable option.

If you want simplicity and cheapness, just use a foam pad, a small blow up sitting pad, or your own sleeping pad. In this article, we mainly discuss the foldable options, because it is hard to choose a bad option of blow up or foam pads since they are so simple and cheap. Foldable chairs need to be sturdy, lightweight, and be made with better quality to work well.

 

What to Look For When Purchasing a Lightweight Backpacking/Hiking Chair

 

Weight

It is important to consider weight when choosing a hiking or backpacking chair. If you plan to haul this piece of equipment for miles, you’re going to want it to be under 2 pounds. This is why we have listed chairs under or right at that 2 pound mark.

If you don’t need to be traveling far, or don’t care as much about weight, there are quite a few heavier options that offer slightly more comfort than these chairs.

 

Capacity

In most cases, the capacity won’t matter much, but if you’re a big person that needs stability, then make sure you are getting a chair capable of handling more significantly more than your bodyweight.

 

Price

Price is of course always a primary concern. Most of the chair options range in the $50-100 range, and to be honest, the quality doesn’t vary that much within that range.

 

Design

Some people have bad backs, or simply need more back support. Take a look at each of these designs, and determine what type of sitting angle will be optimal for your needs. Relaxing may be a bit different than sitting up and cooking.

 

Packability

If you have ever been backpacking, you know how difficult it can be to fit everything in your pack. Making sure your hiking chair can fit is crucial. Be sure to take a look at the pack size of each of these chairs.

 

Fabric Material

The material should be waterproof, flame retardant, anti-UV, anti-static, washable, oil/dust resistant, and tear resistant. Hiking chairs are going to take a beating. They will be exposed to the elements, and if you don’t focus on high quality materials, like 600D polyester, 450D ripstop polyester, or 210D ripstop nylon, you may be getting something that won’t last long. Be sure to check the reviews out, and look up the materials that the chair is using.

 

Helinox Chair One

Helinox Chair One Backpacking ChairThe Helinox Chair One offers comfort, a weight under 2 lbs, a large weight limit, relatively small pack size, and it looks good too. This is probably one of those items that you couldn’t go wrong with purchasing.

It happens to be on the slightly more expensive side, but really doesn’t break the bank.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Packed Size: 14 x 4 x 5 inches
  • Capacity: 320 lb
  • Weight: 1.9 lb

FEATURES

  • Can be used on all types of terrain
  • One of the Most Comfortable Options
  • Top notch build quality
  • Easy to assembly

This option should be durable, and stand up to heavy usage.

View On Amazon | View On Helinox

 


 

Elite Refuge Backpacking Chair

Elite Refuge Outdoors Backpacking ChairThis is the least expensive chair on our list, which makes it a fantastic buy for the budget backpackers. The price does not decrease the quality, durability, comfort, or solid design of this chair. In addition to the chair, the set comes with an incredibly awesome backpacking table. You can keep it in the car if going super lightweight, but the table is really just an awesome feature that we love.

The packed size and weight is only slightly larger and heavier than some of the other chair options, making it not the most ultra lightweight option, but that’s okay with the chair quality. Some awesome design features include the bottom pad to prevent the legs from sinking into mud, and great pockets. Overall, this is one of the best budget chairs on the market.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Packed Size: 21″D x 20.5″W x 26″H
  • Capacity: 265 lb
  • Weight: 2lbs 8.1 oz

FEATURES

  • Comes with great pockets
  • Comes with foldable backpacking table
  • Bottom leg covers work extremely well for preventing sinking into dirt.

View On Amazon

 


 

Wildhorn Terralite

Wildhorn Terralite Hiking ChairThe Wildhorn Terralite is much like the Helinox Chair One. If offers very similar construction and comfort for slightly less of a cost.

It doesn’t pack quite as small which can make it difficult to fit on hiking trips.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Packed Size: 17” x 4.7” x 4.7”
  • Capacity: 350 lb
  • Weight: 2.1 lb

FEATURES

  • Can be used on all types of terrain
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to assembly

View On Amazon


 

Alite Monarch

Alite Monarch Lightweight Hiking ChairThis is the lightest weight option making it great for longer backpacking trips. This is also the smallest pack sized on our list making it a great option for ultralight hikers.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Packed Size:13″x45″x45″
  • Capacity: 250 lb
  • Weight: 1.2 lb

FEATURES

  • Small Pack Size
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to assembly

View On Amazon

 


 

Helinox Ground Chair

Helinox Ground ChairThis second option from Helinox is a top notch backpacking option due to weight and packability.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Packed Size: 12.2” x 5.9” x 5.9”/ 31 x 15 x 15cm
  • Capacity: 265 lb
  • Weight: 1.4 lb

FEATURES

  • Can be used on all types of terrain
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to assembly

View On Amazon | View On Helinox

 

Other Chairs Worth The Mention

REI Flexlite Air – View On REI

Helinox Chair Zero – View On Amazon | View On REI | View On Helinox

REI Flash Sitpad –  View On REI

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about