Camping Chairs

By on November 21, 2013

Packing lists for camping trips are generally broken into several categories. You need sleeping gear, including a tent. Food, water, cooking equipment and clothing are essential. Don’t forget a flashlight, matches and a first-aid kit. Most other items are optional, though many people appreciate having a comfortable camping chair. A considerable amount of time in camp is spent sitting, under a shade tree or next to the campfire. Chairs made for campers are available in a wide range of styles, materials and prices.

Camping chairs are designed in various ways to meet the needs of different people. You may be familiar with the molded metal lawn chairs of old. They were largely replaced by plastic chairs, which are lightweight and may be used in camp. They take up a lot of room in a vehicle, though, and some skill is required to pack other items around a bulky chair. Molded plastic chairs also are notorious for their fragility and tendency to blow away in the wind. The legs of a cheap plastic seat are susceptible to breaking on rocky or uneven ground. A better option is an aluminum, folding chair. Some come with carrying bags, making them easy to slip into the car or truck.

Consider your individual needs. If you are a large person, you want a chair with a big seat that can sustain your weight. Most chairs have a maximum-weight rating. If you have a bad back, get a chair with a seat high off the ground. Determine which type of seat back provides the support you require. Decide whether you want arm rests, foot rests, beverage holders, attached side tables or other features.

There are chairs with four straight legs, which may not be advisable on sand or other soft ground. Your weight is better distributed by a chair with aluminum bars, rather than pointed legs, that rest on the ground. Some chairs have tripod-shaped supports, which make them easy to fold and transport.

A folding camping chair.

A folding camping chair. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chairs designed for outdoor use are generally made of plastic, metal, wood or wicker. The heavier types, intended for patios and lawns, are not easily portable. For camping chairs, you need a lightweight chair, preferably one that folds and is simple to pack. You want a seat that you can conveniently move around camp — from a shady spot under a tree, to the picnic table, to the campfire. This means you are probably looking for a plastic or aluminum chair. Folding chairs with fabric seats and backs, supported by hollow-tube aluminum, are the most common varieties. Cast aluminum frames are more expensive, but also considerably sturdier.

Dozens of types of folding camp chairs are sold online. Prices range from less than $20 to more than $100. The cost depends upon the material, size and quality of construction. Smaller varieties are made for children.

Among the best-selling camping seats at Amazon.com are the Bravo Sports Quik Bronze Series, which recently cost between $12 and $28; the Quik Chair Heavy Duty, with a capacity of one-quarter ton, which was priced at about $30; the Kijaro Dual Lock chair, at about $32; and the Coleman Camping Oversized Quad chair, with styles ranging from $23 to $51. All these chairs feature long, crossed legs; cup holders; and fabric seats, backs and arm rests. Smaller chairs without arm rests include the Coleman Woodsman II, with a price tag between $16 and $21; and the GCI Outdoor Quik-E Seat, with varieties selling for $27 to $71. The Coleman Stadium Seat, an inflatable pad with straps, is also a popular item at Amazon. Keep in mind that these prices, as well chair models, are subject to change.

A number of other types of camp seating are on the market. A chaise lounge, with fabric stretched across an aluminum frame, folds flat and is easy to pack. It can be adjusted to serve as a bed or straight-back chair. Some inflatable sleeping pads have straps that can be used to fashion seats with backs. If back support is not important to you, consider taking a stool instead of a chair. It is the smallest and most portable of seats. Stools generally have folding legs. Their seats may be plastic, wooden or fabric. Another alternative is a hammock, which can be hung with ropes between trees in camp.

Camp kitchen, folding camping chairs, kayaks on lake -...

Camp kitchen, folding camping chairs, kayaks on lake – Alaska in the summer of 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the challenges of camping is deciding what items to pack and which ones to leave at home. More gear entails more work in packing and unpacking. Some people may consider a camping chair an unnecessary luxury. After all, you could always throw a blanket on the ground and sit there. However, a chair provides comfort and back support. For older campers and those with aching backs, chairs make it easier to get up and down. Having a pleasant place to sit can help you relax and enjoy the camping experience.

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