When you think of camping chairs, what often comes to mind are flimsy aluminum frame folding chairs from childhood, or similarly unsteady plastic ones trotted out once a year to go watch fireworks on the Fourth of July. But today, there are many sturdier and more comfortable camping chairs on the market that will accommodate people of all shapes and sizes. But how much weight can a camping chair hold?
How much weight camping chairs hold on average
Most quality camping chairs can hold anywhere from 250 pounds to 600 pounds and above, depending on the type of chair you buy. See below for a breakdown of each type of chair and the average weight they can hold:
6 different types of camping chairs and how much weight they hold
1. Heavy duty camping chairs
Average max weight range: 600+ pounds
Material: typically steel and polyester canvas
Heavy Duty camping chairs are generally made from steel frames with a sturdy fabric such as a polyester canvas. While the steel frame might make the chair a bit heavier to carry than a plastic or aluminum frame, it adds stability for larger or heavier individuals to sit safely. But despite the fact that they are designed to hold 400-600 pounds, they are still relatively lightweight and easy to carry around. These simple camp chairs fold for easy storage and maneuverability, and often come with pockets, side trays, or cup holders for ultimate comfort when camping.
For a great example of a simple yet sturdy heavy duty camping chair, we recommend this Coastrail Outdoor chair, which holds up to 600 pounds and has a 28” wide seat. It has pockets and a folding table with a cupholder as well, and weighs just over 16 pounds for easy portability.
2. Lightweight camping chairs
Average max weight range: 400 pounds
Material: typically a steel or aluminum frame with polyester or nylon fabric
If you don’t need the weight capacity of a heavy duty camping chair, but still want something lightweight to carry around, consider a lightweight chair. Most of these are too big to carry in a backpack, but perfectly reasonable for carrying across a campground or a beach (or even to your child’s sports game). A lot of lightweight camping chairs have creature comforts such as padded seats and cup holders as well, great for sitting around a campfire or chilling on a beach. While a standard lightweight model may only accommodate around 250 pounds, some can hold up to 400 pounds of weight, and themselves weigh anywhere from 7 to 20 pounds to carry around.
A good choice for a lightweight camping chair is the Coleman Cooler Quad Portable Camping Quad Chair. Quite lightweight to carry at just over 7 pounds, it can hold 325 pounds of weight and has a relatively roomy 24” wide seat. In addition, it not only has a padded seat, pockets and cup holders, but features a built-in 4-can cooler for your beverages of choice, or anything else you need to store close at hand.
3. Ultralight camping chairs
Average max weight range: 300 pounds
Material: typically aluminum frame with nylon or mesh fabric
If you’re backpacking or traveling where the weight of your camping chair is going to be an issue, then an ultralight chair might be the perfect thing for you. While a camp stool can be the smallest choice to fit in a backpack or other luggage, sometimes it’s nice to have a real chair with a back to sit in while camping. Most ultralight chairs are made from lighter aluminum, which, depending on the quality of the metal, can still be really sturdy. Lighter-weight fabrics are used for ultralight chairs as well, such as thin but sturdy nylon or mesh.
A great example of an ultralight chair that doesn’t compromise stability or comfort in its quest for a more streamlined weight is the Wildhorn Terralite Ultralight Heavy Duty Outdoor Folding Camp Chair. Made of airplane-grade aluminum and a combination of fabric and mesh, it only weighs 2.55 pounds. If you add the Terragrip feet that it comes with for better stability, it still only weighs 3.2 pounds. Amazingly, it can hold up to 300 pounds of weight easily, has a built-in pocket for extra storage, and with its carrying bag, it can pack neatly away in a backpack or clip to your luggage.
4. Rocking camping chairs
Average max weight range: 300 pounds
Material: typically steel frame with polyester canvas and mesh fabrics
For a different level of comfort, you might consider a rocking camping chair. These come in different varieties, from ones that look like metal and fabric versions of your grandmother’s wood rocking chair to higher-tech versions with spring-action cylinders on the legs. Size-wise, they can be a bit more cumbersome than a standard camping chair, but most are very lightweight and easy to carry around. While not as sturdy as the heavy-duty camping chairs in terms of weight limits, most rockers can still accommodate anywhere from 250-300 pounds depending on the model.
The GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker is a good choice for a rocking camping chair. Its sturdy steel frame has a spring action rocking system that provides more safety and stability than a more traditional shape. It supports up to 250 punds, and only weighs just over 12 pounds itself. For an added bonus, it has padded arm rests and a built-in beverage holder.
5. Reclining camping chairs
Average max weight range: 420 pounds
Material: typically steel frame with bungee cords, polyester and mesh fabrics; some have wood or padded armrests
There are a number of different types of reclining camping chairs available, from a regular chair with just a foot rest extension to a full-on adjustable recliner for your whole body. While they’re far too big to fit in a backpack, these camping chairs are the ultimate answer when it comes to comfort. And most can support quite a bit of weight – anywhere from 200-420 pounds. Most models are heavier than some of the smaller size camp chairs at around 20+ pounds, but once you’ve found the perfect spot for a nice nap, you probably won’t want to move it around that much!
While there are a couple of designs that can accommodate taller or heavier folks, the Timber Ridge Zero Gravity Chair is a great choice for someone looking for a quality product. When fully reclined, it is 72” long and can support up to 350 pounds. It comes with a removable padded headrest and can be locked into any reclining position over a range of 170 degrees. This chair folds up neatly for easy storage and portability, and has natural wood armrests and an added cup holder.
6. Camp stools
Average max weight range: 250-300 pounds
Material: typically steel or aluminum frame with polyester canvas fabric or nylon webbing
Camp stools are a great chair choice if you need something small and easily packable and don’t need a back on your chair. Some are rectangular, while other have a tripod construction with three legs that swivel out from a central seat. They are mostly an ultra light option, weighing anywhere from 2 pounds to 5 pounds.
While most camp stools meant for smaller people and can support only 235-300 pounds, there are a few models that are meant to accommodate larger and heavier folks as well. An example of one that can hold 600+ pounds is the Triple Tree Folding Stool. Its extreme strength and versatility make the Triple Tree Folding Stool a great choice for a camp stool, especially if you’re a larger person. Although it only weighs just over 4 pounds, it can hold up to 600 pounds of weight. It folds up easily and has sturdy nylon webbing straps for the seat.
More traditional type camp stools, like the Slacker chair from TravelChair (pictured above), might be best if you need something compact to place in a backpack or store in a tight spot.
No matter what your priorities are for a camping chair, you can certainly find one that meets your specific needs. If you are a bigger or heavier person, there are a myriad of options for you to be comfortable while camping, whether you prefer a regular camping chair, a reclining one, or a camp stool. Most of the options on this list can accommodate larger people but if you want to be on the safe side, you can’t go wrong with the Coastrail Outdoor Chair.