Take them fishing, to a party, your backyard BBQ, sports days, concerts and more. With such a versatile product, it can be valuable to know the difference between brands, fabrics and styles. In this buyers guide let the BCF’ing experts provide you with useful information and handy hints for choosing the right camping chair.
What's the best chair for camping?
The most important question to ask yourself before deciding on a camp chair is “What will be the end use?” For backpackers and hikers, weight and packed size are two of the most important features to consider before your purchase. For those who will spend an extended amount of time in their camping chair, such as campers and those who enjoy a good fishing adventure, comfort is going to be the main factor.
Besides where you’ll be using the chair, deciding the best camping chair heavily depends on any health issues you might have (particularly those with a bad back or sore knees), how tall you are (a low chair may not be comfortable for those with long legs), how often you’ll use the chair and how long you want it to last. It’s also important to consider the weight rating of your chair, particularly if you’ll have a couple kids who might sit on your knees. Some camp chairs also have additional highlights such as cooler bags, cup holders, side tables and a head rest so you may want to think about how important these features are for you to make your experience more comfortable and convenient. All of these questions and more will be answered in the below points to help you decide the best camping chair for your needs and requirements.
#1. Types of Camping Chairs
Camp chairs come in a diverse range of shapes and styles. Often they are broadly classified as loungers and recliners, stools, hammocks and even 2-3 seater lounges. However, this guide is focussed on your classic folding camp chairs, moon chairs, kid’s camping chairs, and the director’s camping chair. Let’s review the difference between each.
Classic Camp Chair
No doubt everyone has owned or at least sat in this style of camp chair once in their life. Hugely sought after for its compact layout and easy assembly, the classic camp chair has been designed with a straight back and flat seat. With a sturdy four leg construction, this camp chair is often lightweight with foldable design making it easy to carry. Shop Classic Camp Chairs
If you are looking for a comfortable yet stylish alternative for your next camping trip, or maybe even somewhere to relax by the pool and enjoy a midday nap, the moon chair is a perfect choice. Specifically designed for comfort, the chair has extensive padding around its semi-moon frame, with a rounded and cushioned seat that supports the user’s head and back. Using a durable powder coated steel frame that will ensure many years of enjoyment. They also have up to a 150kg weight capacity. Shop Moon Chairs
“Happy kids, happy life” providing the littlies with their own special seat is sure to be a hit. Constructed from the same durable materials and folding layout used in the soft arm cooler chair. Available in a variety of pop-culture designs that kids will love! Shop Kid's Chairs
Providing superior comfort and support in a more natural seated position. Director’s chairs are ideal for sitting around the table or eating a meal by the campfire. Equip with side table and built-in drink holder, for kicking back and enjoying a coldie at the end of the day. The flat fold design is quick to pack up and easy to store. With a frame constructed from lightweight yet tough alloy and steel components and a maximum weight capacity up to 200kg. Shop Director's Chairs
Other types of camp chairs include:
Soft Arm & Cooler Chairs
The universal qualities of this style of chair has seen them find a home with many families around the country. Not only are they great for the campground, but also make picnics and sporting events even more enjoyable. Built with a strong, steel powder coated frame and thick padded polyester fabric for extra comfort. Most chairs in this range come fitted with an insulated drink cooler, which is great for keeping refreshments close at hand and a convenient carry bag makes transport simple and easy. Shop Soft Arm & Cooler Chairs
Whether you enjoy lazing by the campsite or want to relax with your feet up as you wet a line. The reclining chair, also known as a camp lounger provides unrivalled comfort, while also doubling as a perfect seating option for sitting around the table, with just a few simple adjustments you can have a completely different chair. Recliners come standard with a strong yet lightweight steel frame, padded polyester fabric, adjustable headrest and a maximum weight rating of up to 140kg. Shop Reclining Chairs
Also known as an event chair, they are the perfect addition to any outdoor activities that may require a low seat positioning. Make your next trip to the beach more comfortable as you stay elevated off the sand and enjoy the support provided by a polyester seat. Small and compact in design allowing you to take it anywhere. With a maximum weight capacity of up to 120kg. Shop Beach Chairs
Camping chairs are such a versatile item that can be used for so much more than just camping. It is important when selecting a chair you take into consideration what its primary purpose will be and how much time you will spend sitting in it? Factors like choosing the right height, shape and material play such a vital role in ensuring you feel comfortable. It’s important you also think about the weight of the chair, as some campsites may have limited access requiring you to carry your equipment. Chairs with aluminium frames are a much lighter alternative and can be easily carried, while steel frames provide durability and sturdiness but compromise with a heavier construction.
The quality of your new camp chair will be heavily determined by the construction materials, and the material you want will depend on what you’ll be using the chair for. With most camp chair frames built with aluminium to ensure a high weight capacity and durability, the seat fabric is what you need to look closely at. You’ll need to consider material strength and whether it has waterproof abilities depending on what you’ll be using the chair for.
At BCF, our range of camping chairs are designed with polyester fabric because of its fast drying abilities and abrasion resistance. Polyester also has a small shrink threshold to maintain its wrinkle-free shape no matter how often it is wet or washed. Additionally, polyester is 100% recyclable which is a great environmental factor as the material does not decompose when thrown into landfill. As polyester is easier to dye, you will find many different fade-resistant coloured camp chairs amongst the collection at BCF.
When purchasing a new camp chair, you will need to consider the maximum weight capacity to ensure it is strong enough for anyone who may sit in it yet light enough to be carried as far as you need to go.
For an added piece of luxury and style, many camping chairs feature bonus accessories to ensure the ultimate experience each time you kick back to relax. Cup holders, footrests, cooler bags, headrests and lumbar pads can all enhance comfort. Across the BCF camp chairs range you can find these additional features:
- Somewhere to pop your drink and small personal items thanks to an insulated cooler bag, drink holder and storage pocket.
- An integrated side table with cup holder making it easy for you to kick back and enjoy your camp dinner by the fire.
- A magazine pocket for relaxing afternoons in the shade.
- Padded high back and adjustable headrest – perfect for those with back problems or just an afternoon nap.
Of course, none of these features will compromise the transportability of the chair as they all feature compact folding designs and a convenient carry bag.
It’s important to understand how each part of the camp chair works to ensure that, as a whole, it’s built for the purposes you’ll be using it for. Below is a breakdown of the parts of a camp chair with some advice on what to look for.
- The frame of the chair determines the structure and strength. A stronger chair will be studier and last longer.
- Frames are usually made from aluminium or steel. Aluminium is lighter, great for those who might be carrying it a long distance. Steel is stronger and more ideal for those who will spend lots of time in their camp chair. Powder coated steel will last longer than regular steel.
- Cross-bracing frames create extra strength and durability.
- Some frames may have the ability to recline.
- The thickness of the fabric that covers the frame is measured in denier (D). The lower the denier, the lighter but less durable the fabric is. Higher denier fabrics last longer.
- Nylon is thin and light but too much sun exposure may cause the fabric to deteriorate over time.
- Polyester is thicker and more suitable to handling sun exposure.
- Some fabrics are more waterproof than others but all camp chairs should be made with fast-drying material.
- Rip-stop fabrics will help prevent rips and tears from consistent use and bush trekking.
- Mesh ventilation will increase air flow to keep you cool just as lighter colours will not attract as much sun and therefore won’t get as hot.
- Chairs with padding are more comfortable though may take longer to dry.
- Padding can provide lumbar support for those with a bad back.
- Most chairs will come with a carry bag for easy transportation.
- Ensure your chair is dry before packing it away, as it may grow mouldy. Alternatively, unpack the chair as soon as possible and let both chair and bag dry thoroughly before storing away again.
- Carry bags can be filled with sand to create a beach pillow.
- Head rests and leg rests may be added for extra comfort and support. Head rests can be removable and adjustable while leg rests are usually able to be removed completely.
- Some arm rests may feature a cup holder or cooler bag to keep your beverages insulated and within reach (particularly important for fishing trips!)
- Side tables are a great addition for any camping trips as you can really dig into your meals with cutlery when you have a solid base beneath your plate. However, they may make the chair bulky and heavier.