Top Pick for
Overall camping chair
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Our editorial team selected the best camping chairs in Australia based on several factors. This includes the average customer rating at established ecommerce sites like Amazon and eBay (as of March 2021), the opinions of other professional review sites and our own personal experience and tests.
You don't need to worry about the hot sun, the mozzies, the dirt caked between your toes or the ash in your hair. You don't even need to worry about the kids pulling out half the tent pegs or your neighbour turning on a generator – not if you have a great camping chair.
With the best camping chairs, all those worries and the stresses of the real world back in the big smoke dissipate. It's just you and the serenity. How's the serenity?
But alas, there's plenty to think about when buying your best camping chair. Fortunately, we've done the hard work for you, so you can get about relaxing sooner rather than later. Let's take a look at the best camping chairs in Australia to see if we can find the perfect match for your needs.
We were tempted to put a recliner in our best overall camping chair, but the Oztent King Goanna manages to retain some premium comfort features while retaining the portability – albeit heaviness – offered by a quad-folding chair.
The thick, cushioned polyester skin wraps around a robust steel frame and it's all supported by a five-year warranty. With a 200kg-weight capacity and a wide girth, there's nobody this chair can't take. Some nice comfort features include adjustable lumbar support, a padded headrest and armrests without drink holders. There is an insulated drink holder that's housed down on seat level as well as other additional storage pockets, too.
Plus, you can store the bag in the headrest, which not only ensures you don't lose it but also provides additional padding – what a great idea.
It's at the higher-end of mid-range in terms of price and that may turn some people away. But you do find quality when you pay for it, and you'll find quality in the Oztent King Goanna camping chair. Also keep an eye out for the "hotspot" version of the seat, which has pockets you can place thermal warmers in to heat up the seat!
What's "budget" for a camping chair? Yes, you can pick up something basic from Bunnings for less than $20, but we're being a little bit more refined than that. We see budget being anything under $50 and just scraping into that category is the Coleman Deluxe Cooler Arm Chair.
Sturdy, comfortable and strong with a 120kg-gut payload, this is a chair that has surprised many consumers with its quality given the price. It gets extra points for having a cooler bag in one of the arms that can hold up to four cans – or your fishing bait - to go with the cup holder and side-pocket in the other.
It's nice and light, too. Plus, it has weight distributors built into the legs to prevent sinking.
Be wary of buying cheap reclining chairs. One of the key attributes of this category is its ability to stay reclined at the spot you request of it and cheaper chairs tend to move under the weight of larger humans. That's in large part why we've opted for the OZtrail Sun Lounge Deluxe Chair. It survives this most important of tests with a capacity rating of 150kg. With a thick polyester skin and durable, powder-coated steel legs, it's tough, too.
Feature-wise, the adjustable headrest and footrest, as well as the plastic wood-finish armrests, ensure an extremely comfortable experience. And you can recline it right back till it's almost flat for those lazy late arvo kips. The side table is built-in, too, providing space for a book, cheese platter and a drink in the holder.
It is heavy at 9kg, as these recliners tend to be, but not quite as awkward when packed down as you might have feared.
The joy of the moon camping chair, often lumped into the same category with the similar Scoop camping chairs, is their luxuriousness. You can immerse yourself in them. They're opulent. Whether you are big or small, this is a chair where you can cuddle up or even sit cross-legged under a blanket or sleeping bag. The cost of such luxury is bulkiness and the absence of features common to other categories, like cup holders and side tables.
Sadly, the best moon chairs haven't yet arrived in Australia, but there's still joy to be found in the Explore Planet Earth Titan Moon. It's very comfortable and extremely sturdy, with its steel frame and thick material capable of handling 200kg of body mass. That's quite a few kids!
The easy folding legs and included carry bag help with transporting the Explore Planet Earth Titan Moon, despite the added size these kinds of chairs necessitate. It's worth noting that it's the bulk, not so much the weight, that makes Moon Chairs a bit harder to transport. At 5.3kg, it's actually relatively light.
If you're looking for a firmer, back-friendly camping chair, you may want to consider the Director's range. They're not quite as luxurious as some of the other camping chairs in terms of pure comfort, but they offer a sturdy, stiffer seat that is much easier to get in and out of – especially if you have a bad back or knees.
The Oztent Gecko Camping Chair with Side Table is a strong chair, able to hold 150kg. The thick material and steel frame see to that. It's a bit bulky when folded flat, but isn't too bad on weight at 5.5kg. The padded armrests can be removed for easy cleaning, and lumbar support further helps users with bad backs.
What really helps this chair stand out from others, such as the Coleman Directors Chair, is the moveable side table. You can swing it around in front of you, which is very handy when eating.
While you can get away with any good camping chair while fishing, there are a few options out there that cater specifically to the needs of the angler. Wanderer's Big Catch Fishing Camp Chair does itself a favour by not compromising strength and comfort for the sake of features. You get both!
One of the adjustable armrests features a cooler bag that is great for storing bait, while the other has an insulated cup holder. There are multiple storage pockets for lights or tackle and a fantastic rod holder that sits where the legs cross between your legs. There's even a ruler on the back so you can measure your catch. All these features do make for a heavy, unwieldy chair, but the five-year warranty provides great confidence.
Wanderer is BCFs in-house brand, and at the time of writing, the company seemed to be waiting for new stock to arrive. However, you can add the chair to your watchlist on eBay.
There are a number of good reasons to consider a low-profile camping chair. These are chairs that sit close to the ground. If you're on the beach or soft ground, they tend to stay sturdy and don't tip over. If you've got to walk a long distance, they're lighter and more portable. Plus, they can be used as an event or festival chair, where you're not allowed to sit on bigger chairs that can block the view of other patrons.
The Cascade Mountain Tech Compact low-profile camping chair ticks all these boxes. It's positioned just 22cm of the ground, with broad feet that give it even greater stability on rough surfaces. It's less than 3kg and comes with a carry bag featuring a shoulder strap for easy portability. With a 113kg load limit, it should be strong enough for most Australians, too.
You don't get any trimmings, like cup holders or pockets, but that shouldn't be a big surprise. There are four colour options to choose from at least!
It goes without saying that the best camping chair for hiking needs to be light and have a small footprint. The Helinox Chair Zero is a clear favourite in this regard. It only tips the scales at 500g, despite supporting humans up to 120kg in weight. It's deeper and more comfortable than it looks in the images, too, allowing you to rest those weary feet after wandering the dusty trails all day. It's even backed by a five-year warranty.
It's a low seat, however, and older bodies may not appreciate the demands it puts on tired muscles to get you in and out. It also provides a compromised space for limbs. It's worth noting its tiny legs will push into soft surfaces, too. A tray peripheral or the ball feet accessory can be purchased to counter this issue, or you can place any other flat object you may have under the legs.
Whether you're away on a romantic getaway or have multiple offspring to seat, the OZtrail Galaxy Sofa Chair is a fantastic option. With a 240kg-weight capacity, it comfortably holds two adults, let alone kids. The 600D fabric and powder-coated steel frame are up to speck with the best chairs out there, and while it folds up bigger than a single-seater chair, it's still not massive. In fact, the OZtrail Galaxy Sofa 2-seater only weighs 6.1kg.
The model has recently undergone a facelift, so you may see some conflicting images in store advertisements. The latest model removes the mesh pocket from the central front of the chair and places it on the back instead. However, each side still gets both a cup holder and a wine holder.
Perhaps the biggest letdown is the woeful one-year warranty, but outside of that, it's very comfortable and a great way for the family to snuggle up together around the fire.
If you're off 4WDing through Australia's rugged terrain, then you want a chair that's compact enough to easily pack into the boot without bouncing around, while still retaining the end-of-day comfort that will make your mates jealous. The Dune 4WD Deluxe Nomad XL chair does just that.
It's a hybrid experience that offers you eight recline positions (albeit with no footrest), while still folding up flat like a traditional chair. It has a fold-up table on one side and a larger cooler bag on the other. These can also be removed for easier storage, too. The addition of a cooler can also save you on needing to store a larger esky.
The seat can hold up to 120kg and it's made from polyester with Neoprene padding for extra comfort. It is a bit heavy at 8.5kg, but you do get that mix of luxury and portability – perfect for those stopovers during your next 4WD adventure.
|Oztent King Goanna Chair||6.1kg||200kg||600D Polyester||5 Years||$129.95|
|Coleman Deluxe Cooler Arm Chair||3.5kg||113kg||600D Polyester||1 Year||$59.99|
|OZtrail Sun Lounge Deluxe Chair||9kg||150kg||600D Polyester||1 Year||$189.95|
|Explore Planet Earth Titan Moon||5.3kg||200kg||600D Polyester||3 Years||$119.95|
|Oztent Gecko Camping Chair with Side Table||5.5kg||150kg||600D Polyester||5 Years||$159.95|
|Wanderer Big Catch Fishing Camp Chair||6.28kg||150kg||600D Polyester||1 Year||$109.99|
|Cascade Mountain Tech Compact chair||2.8kg||113kg||500D Nylon||1 Year||$139.00|
|Helinox Chair Zero||0.51kg||120kg||Polyester ripstop||5 Years||$169.95|
|Oztrail Galaxy Sofa Chair||6.1kg||240kg||600D Polyester||5 Years||$124.99|
|Dune 4WD Deluxe Nomad XL||8.5kg||120kg||600D Polyester||2 Years||$199.99|
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Being an outdoor nation, there's no shortage of options when it comes to choosing the best camping chair. You need to start at the most likely use-case for the chair itself: when will you need it and how will you use it?
If you want to have a sitting solution when you've got very limited space or weight concerns, then you've got to go ultra-portable. In this regard little fold-up stools, low-profile event seats or compact foldout chairs are going to be the most practical in this instance. Even if they're not the most luxurious. These camping chairs are often small and light, and able to pack up with a very small footprint so they can be easily strapped to the side of a backpack.
The vast majority of us will use our camping chair while… you guessed it… camping, be that in a tent, a trailer, campervan or motorhome. And as a result, the majority of chairs in the market serve this audience. They're often affordable, rugged and utilitarian.
At the cheaper end of the scale you can expect just the bare minimum of features, such as a drink holder, but little else. However, as the price increases, so do the features. Lumbar support, anti-sink feet, pockets, insulated cup holders, side tables, headrests and coolers are the most likely features you will come across.
These kinds of chairs often come in two main forms: quad-chairs and director's chairs. While the former can also come in high back and low back variations, as well as being great for camping, they are a good backup for other, non-camping endeavours: at work when out in the field, or at home when big gatherings supersede home furniture stocks, for example.
While similar to your standard camping chair, there is a sub-category purpose built for those who have the fishing bug. Caught hook, line and sinker. Makers of these chairs are aware that they will often be used away from campsites and often on sand. They provide wider feet as a result and offer features such bait pockets, side-tables and even rod holders.
Another sub-category spinoff from your standard camping chair is Family. Here you'll find kid-sized seats and highchairs, often coloured or even branded in a "cool" way that appeals to kids. There's also Scoop and Moon chairs that mother and child can curl up in. You'll also find multi-person camping chairs that can hold a few humans at once and even suspending camping chairs that can act like hammocks.
There's a growing range of luxury camping chair options for those with some money to spend. These include recliners, which are able to hold your weight at various angles set by the user. There are also chairs made with premium materials, particularly in the headrest and back support; strong carry bags and all the trimmings. You can even get yourself a rocking camping chair if you so desire.
The bones of the camping chair, its frame, plays a significant role in defining its weight, durability, capacity and shape. Aluminium frames are lighter than steel frames, but they're not as strong. Steel is much stronger, but heavier. Powder-coated steel is more weatherproof than standard steel. Frames that cross-brace are generally stronger too.
Potentially this is the most important component in your camping chair as it plays a large role in defining comfort. Nylon is cheaper and lighter than polyester, plus it's quicker to dry after rain or condensation. However, it has a lower weight capacity, can tear easier and is more impacted by weather, especially sunlight.
Thickness is measured in denier (D), with a lower number indicating a thinner material. Thinner is lighter, but thicker is stronger. Some chairs may opt to add more padding on top of the base fabric for added comfort. You may also want to consider a chair with a mix of materials, such as Neoprene padding or mesh to allow for airflow.
And remember, dark colours may be less offensive, but they absorb heat.
What can your camping chair hold so you don't have to? Drink holders are the base requirement for many consumers, but some now come with insulation to keep your beverage cool. Pockets that can store phones, sunscreen, keys and insect repellent are very handy. Little side bags can do the same but are potentially big enough to hold a book or a magazine as well. Fishermen will be particularly enamoured by cooler bags built into the fabric that can store bait.
A super handy addition to any camping chair is a side table. These can be used to hold food and other items for easy access. Side tables can be a cheaper and lighter plastic or a sturdier material. Be wary of the material they are made of as cheaper surfaces will bubble and blemish under heat and rain. Also remember that side tables do make packing (and thus storing) your chair more of a challenge and add to its overall weight.
There are two types of comfort features you'll find in a camping chair. The first is the rests: headrest, footrest and armrest. The bigger backed chairs offer somewhere for you to rest your head. Chairs with plastic or otherwise solid armrests give you a strong place to support your limbs. While footrests, especially those that can be adjusted, seal the deal when it comes to "kicking back", especially on recliner chairs.
The second is padding. Premium chairs will also offer padding in these areas, as well as additional, even adjustable, lumbar support. Just note that padding usually takes longer to dry.
We've been unable to determine an answer to this. Years of experience in the field hasn't yielded a consistent and sustainable methodology for keeping "those bloody kids" off our camping chair. The only sure-fire strategy is to simply not get up. Alternatively, get a matching chair for them.
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