It’s only been a few years since the “first-ever swinging and reclining camp chair” hit the market, but the image associated with its introduction was classic: A guy holding a beer bottle wearing a couple of days’ worth of beard. Yup! Camping just got sexy, and Nemo, the manufacturer of this innovative chair, immediately earned a reputation for cleverness.
The Stargaze recliner offered suspended engineering, so the chair emulated a hammock, minus the lying down part! For the company founder, whose patented ideas included Super Lock™ stainless steel hardware and aircraft-grade aluminum poles, this mesh camping chair launched a revolution — one that you want to discover as you shop for a reclining camping chair that best fits your needs.
NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair – Our Pick!
Having already introduced you to the pioneer, take a second look at the latest iteration of this chair, but don’t get your hopes up too high. These chairs sell out freaky fast. If you find one, grab it so you can relax feeling secure, even when the earth under your feet isn’t exactly even.
Notice absence of lower back pain thanks to the geometry involved with this chair design. A lowered center of gravity and supportive headrest eliminate neck pain, too. The newest Nemo is crafted of the same high-quality, aircraft-grade aluminum is the first, yet it packs down and expands so fast, you’ll be staring at the night sky shortly after arriving at your campsite.
Even an auto-recline feature allows you to lean back and shift your body weight to adjust it to the exact angle you desire. Can’t live without this chair? You’re going to have to find a retailer with back-ordered inventory because these cool chairs get snapped up as soon as they are crafted at the Nemo factory. It’s worth the wait. You can thank us once you get your hands on one.
The price tag on this seafoam green, shade-domed outdoor recliner chair will set you back a modest amount compared to the Nemo above (around 1/3rd of the cost to be specific). If the idea of a shade strikes you as essential because not only do you camp but you tailgate and show up for the kids’ summer soccer games, you benefit by avoiding UV rays (the fabric’s UPF is 50+), a plus if you burn easily.
This chair unfolds and folds fast thanks to the proprietary steel/aluminum Tension Bar Stability System™ that locks once in position. The 3-position backrest allows you to adjust it to read, tend the fire or do nothing at all, and the polyurethane/polyester mesh fabric is lightweight, allowing air to flow freely as you sip a brew stowed in the chair’s conveniently-located beverage holder.
Get a “large-mouth” (GCI’s description) storage bag with backpack straps that help you get the chair to and from your destination, and when it’s not serving as a chair host, the bag morphs into a pillow for naps. The color could be off-putting, but the price isn’t, and since you get a limited lifetime warranty from GCI, as long as you don’t weigh over 250 pounds, this 10-pound chair could easily satisfy all of your requirements.
A far design cry from the products mentioned above, these two zero gravity lounge chair recliners are ostensibly made for poolside and yard lounging. Still, campers love them, too — especially when sitting upright is the last thing you want to do. This pair of steel chaise lounges come in so many color options. You may not mind paying the $60 difference to get select colors.
A smart elastic cord system allows you to adjust the chair to your body’s weight, and each chair supports 250 pounds. Like other well-made chairs in this review, the framework features a lockable system, so it won’t budge once you choose the degree of recline you seek. The padded headrest adds an element of comfort.
Regardless of the color you choose, every chair comes with a detachable tray designed to host two cups and essentials like your device, so you needn’t budge from your chair if you hear your ringtone. While not a reclining camping chair in the traditional sense, you will recline comfortably when the chair is fully extended, and besides, who says you have to be regular when you go camping?
If the pair above zero gravity lounge chairs are too small for your body, how about one oversized recliner chair capable of handling 350 pounds? This dark green chair looks rugged and weighs a substantial 27.5 pounds, so even strong winds won’t send it sailing over to the next campground. The price is around half of what you would fork out for the Nemo.
This Portal branded chair shares many features described in the Best Choice zero gravity chairs described above. The adjustment system is identical – it locks in place up to 170-degrees – but if size matters, this chair gives portly campers so much length and wiggle room, even if you’re 6-feet, 2-inches tall, your feet won’t hang off the bottom, and you won’t feel like you’re sitting in a vise.
Extras include padded seats, adjustable padded pillow for head and lumbar support. The side table is roomy enough to hold lots of your stuff, and as a final note, this chair comes with wood armrests, so if you prefer natural materials over plastic, this could influence your choice. That stated wood exposed to sun or water too often could lead to wood deterioration, so keep that in mind.
At first glance, this Oniva brand Camp Chair resembles the Nemo cited above, and like the Nemo, this chair sells out fast, which is why finding one could take time. This portable reclining camp chair offers sitters a padded seat, and the backrest adjusts to three seating positions. The fabric used to craft this chair is a sturdy polyester canvas.
A drink holder is situated on one arm, and both armrests are adjustable, so getting a custom fit requires just a few tweaks. The chair’s built-in zippered pocket holds personal belongings, and construction is solid. The frame is made of folding steel for years of use, and as long as you don’t weigh more than 300 pounds, this chair should satisfy all of your criteria.
At just 9 pounds and featuring a carry bag with straps, this chair won’t add much weight to your camping gear, and if you buy one, the “Picnic Time Family of Brands BUILT TO LAST Lifetime Guarantee” is included. We checked the manufacturer’s website to see where we could locate inventory, and even they are sold out! It looks like affordability and design have won the hearts and wallets of a massive swath of campers.
Clever engineering, a modest price tag, and high ratings from consumers who love the idea of a camping chair with a footrest and a choice of neutral colors – make this camping chair a product worth a second look. The powder-coated steel frame is engineered for strength and stability, and the intricate cross-pattern of tubes adds to confidence campers feel when they pop this 10-pound chair open and settle in for stargazing or reading.
A matching carry bag with shoulder strap is included with this camp chair, so it’s easy to carry and stow it in your car truck. But despite so many merits, this particular chair won’t recline, and it is only built to support the derrieres of people weighing under 225 pounds.
But if that footrest – which is removable if you don’t care to elevate your feet — strikes a chord because it reminds you of your favorite seat at home, you are impressed by the 600D polyester fabric that covers the chair. You find the beverage holder to be quite adequate, don’t take a pass on this affordable chair, if only because you want to be the only guy at the campsite able to elevate your feet in the wild.
Having just read about this chair’s first cousin, the brand name is familiar, but this chair looks and performs in different ways, and it costs nearly twice the amount you would pay for the Escape Camp Chair. In return for the extra expense, you get a solid chair made for folks weighing up to 250 pounds.
Extremely popular among campers for its lightweight aluminum frame, the high back is a favorite of campers who don’t like the feel or lack of support found in low back chairs. This chair’s aluminum frame is powder-coated to extend its longevity, and the padded pillow is installed within the chair’s fabric so it can’t get lost.
When product designers say that this chair is the ultimate recliner, they’re not exaggerating. Choose from 7 adjustable settings controlled on the armrest, so finding the right spot won’t take up much of your valuable camping time. And when you must leave, it takes no time to fold it down and stow it in your trunk for your next outing.
Add this Earth Ultimate chair to our list of camping chairs that are so popular, and available stock can be hard to find. But if you like the looks of this product and the new type of adjustable front legs that are designed to extend up to 4-inches on uneven ground, your search for this chair may be worth your while. If you find one, you’ll spend around half of the amount you would pay for the Nemo at the top of this review.
Crafted of an amalgam of nylon polyester, plastic, and aluminum, this chair is built to hold a camper weighing up to 325 pounds, and if you’re a two-fisted beverage consumer, the side cup holder has room for two bottles or cans of your favorite drink. A zippered pouch for small belongings is located behind the beverage holders.
Though the weight of this chair – a hefty 16 pounds — could be a deal-breaker for campers who want their gear ultralight – this chair could be a lifesaver for folks who don’t camp much because they tend to return from adventures with stiff necks and achy backs. This chair is made to make sure sitters maintain a healthy posture, likely the reason it is so popular. Good luck finding inventory.
How close to the ground are you willing to sit to get the kind of reclining action you crave during a camping trip? If “really close” is your response, the strangely-named Ostrich On Your Back Chair may strike a chord. Fabricated of stainless steel, this 9-pound chair isn’t so much made for campgrounds as it is for beaches.
Add this chair to your camping gear inventory if you expect to spend time lying face down, so your face pops through the chair hole while you tan your back or take a nap. Each feature on this proprietary chair design is patented, including that open/close face cavity and arm slots with the built-in head pillow. Transporting this chair is easy because backpack straps let your shoulders do the work.
Placed in the traditional sitting configuration, choose from 5 adjustable positions, and the chair will accommodate you if you weigh up to 325 pounds. Yes, there is a cup holder, but the big question is whether you want to spend lots of bucks on a reclining chair that sits just 9-inches off the ground where every creepy critter on the campground or forest floor resides.
You probably won’t find your next campground filled with these tricked-out recliner chairs, each of which looks like it belongs beside a hotel pool. Beloved by thousands of owners for both its style and affordable price (less than half that of the Nemo), this chair may only give you three reclining positions, but you get so much more.
In addition to being manufactured of hardened alloy steel, this chair comes with a detachable footrest and modified umbrella, so reclining with your feet up while being protected from the sun could up this chair’s appeal. The umbrella attaches to either side of the chair with quick-release clips. Once open, get UPF 50+ protection and the ability to swivel in three directions as the sun moves across the horizon.
An insulated drink pouch keeps up to 4 beverages fresh, and a bottle opener comes with it in case you leave yours at home. Ready to accommodate campers weighing up to 250 pounds, this chair comes with a carry bag, so if you don’t mind the fact that your camping chair looks like it belongs on an ocean shoreline rather than a clearing in the woods, this Sport-Brella resides in your recreational gear inventory.
How to choose the best reclining camping chairs
If you shop the retail chain Dick’s Sporting Goods (or visit their website), you know that the company is about more than selling stuff. Knowledgeable employees also want to help you pick gear that will neither max out your plastic nor disappoint, so when we stumbled upon their guide to choosing portable and reclining camping chairs, we were impressed and had to share the info.
How important is the weight of the chair you choose?
How many hours do you spend in the gym and on your bike? We ask because even a few pounds’ difference in camping chair weight can make a trek to a campground unbearable, especially in the afternoon sun. According to experts, opting for a chair that is easy to transport can make or break your entire camping experience.
Kudos to the folks at GlampingorCamping.com for publishing this chart of camping chair weights on their website so you can match chairs you are considering with these:
- Standard Camping Chairs: 7 pounds
- Ergonomic Camping Chairs: 12 pounds
- Cooler Camping Chairs: 5.14 pounds
- Reclining Chairs: 23 pounds
- Canopy Camping Chairs: 10.12 pounds
- Oversized Camping Chairs (Big and Tall): 15.5 pounds
- Ultralight Camping Chairs: 1.9 pounds.
What about style?
Not every shopper cares about style because longevity, comfort, durability, and reclining angles usually precede. But, there’s a reason camping chair manufacturers introduce new features like trays, carry pockets, beverage holders, detachable footrests, and umbrellas to new designs. Upgrades can grab your attention and point out style features you may never have thought about.
For example, novel systems like quad-fold styling are getting attention because it’s easier to get these chairs into carrying bags. Built-in pillows mean you have one less item to pack. Storage trays and pockets are becoming essentials.
If possible, add zero gravity technology to your must-have style list if you have a history of straining your back and neck when you sit in traditional camping chairs. Zero gravity chairs are designed to distribute your weight, so your back and neck don’t take a hit, even if you sit for hours.
Storage: Yeah or nay?
We have yet to run into a camper who says “no” to extra storage — just as long as added weight doesn’t turn him or her into a beast of burden. Given today’s reliance on devices, navigational tools, and electronics, the ability to keep these items safe and close at hand is imperative.
The best storage pockets on today’s market are waterproof pockets and come with zippers because let’s face it; things get tossed around on camping trips. Every protection you offer your device, watch, and the other items you can’t live without is likely to make your outing a more relaxing experience.
Yes, there’s a camping chair for every budget. To prove it, we paged through endless Internet sites to assess retail pricing related to the range of camping chair products on today’s market.
Our conclusion? You can spend under $50 for a perfectly good chair that will serve you well for years. If you require innovation and unique features, budget around $100 for your chair purchase, or set a budget limit in the neighborhood of $200, which is probably where you will find chairs made by Nemo.
But for those who consider themselves aspirational, checking out camping chairs that cost more is a fun way to dream. What can you own down the road once you win a lottery? Check these chairs out. Which one do you lust after?