Camping chairs are notorious for being uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time. If you have back problems, this discomfort is a much more serious problem. Luckily, there are now plenty of camping chairs made specifically for people with bad backs.
The best camping chairs for people with bad backs strive to reduce pain and discomfort. They include lumbar support to help align your hips and spine. They also come in various sizes, which allows you to choose one that is appropriate for your height and weight. Their designs are meant to encourage good posture, which extends the length of time the chair remains comfortable to sit on. Some come with padding for enhanced comfort.
To help you decide which bad back camping chair is right for your needs, we’ve compiled a list of our top 6 recommendations. We narrowed down this list after testing over 50 different camping chairs. We made our selections based on size, material quality, additional features, and overall comfort.
Best Chair for Bad Back for Plus Sized People – Strongback Elite
|Weight Capacity:||300 lbs|
|Item Weight:||12 lbs|
|Best feature:||Classic camp chair for taller people|
As a tall person looking for proper back support, finding a camping chair appropriate for your height and easy on your back can be challenging. If you’re tired of always feeling like you’re being crammed into a child-sized camping chair, it’s time you get one that was designed specifically for your height.
The Strongback Elite is an excellent option for taller people. It’s meant for anyone over 5’8” and is capable of holding people who weigh up to 300 pounds. The chair’s structure is intended to align your hip and back, providing comfort and support for those who typically experience back pains when sitting in a camping chair.
It’s a very comfortable camping chair, but it does have a new feature we aren’t too thrilled about. The latest model has a mesh seat bottom which depresses down about 5 inches or so when put under weight. This provides enhanced breathability but ultimately makes the chair less comfortable.
Previous Strongback elite models didn’t have his new feature, so if you’re purchasing the updated model because you loved the comfort and support of the old models, be aware that you will be able to feel a distinct difference.
Armrests are an often overlooked feature when it comes to camping chairs, and with this chair, we found them very comfortable. In a way, the comfort of your body as a whole will affect the comfort of your back. So we appreciate how these armrests contribute to a positive, overall body comfort.
Although this chair was meant for larger people, the chair itself is very compact when folded up, making it very easy to store.
If you’re a tall or large person with minor to major back problems, this camping chair was made for you.
Editor’s Choice – KingCamp
|Weight Capacity:||350 lbs|
|Item Weight:||11 lbs|
|Best feature:||Many storage bags and pockets|
The KingCamp is one of the most comfortable chairs on the list and our editor’s choice for the best camping chair for bad backs.
Poor posture is a significant cause of discomfort when it comes to sitting in camping chairs. Sitting for even a short period of time in a bad position can cause pain. The lumbar strap featured in this chair is designed to keep your posture fixed in the right position. By helping you maintain the correct posture, you’ll stay comfortable for longer.
The material used for this chair also contributes significantly to its overall comfort. Instead of using nylon, the standard material for camping chairs, KingCamp has chosen to use a much softer oxford cloth material.
For anyone unable to use the Strongback Elite because of its 300-pound weight limit, the KingCamp can help you out. With a more robust limit of 350 pounds, it provides the support you’re looking for.
We found the storage compartments of this chair very conveniently located. It has a head storage bag and side pockets, both of which provide quick, easy access to whatever you want to keep on hand. It also has a built-in waterproof cooler bag you can use to keep up to 3 cans cold.
The chair’s construction is more durable and long-lasting than any other camping chair on our list. This longevity means you won’t have to replace camping chairs as often, saving you money over time.
We can’t say the same about the construction quality of the carrying bag. Not only is the bag poorly made, but the fit is also too tight. It’s a real pain trying to squeeze it back in, and we’re sure the bag will not last as long as the chair.
This chair effortlessly blends comfort and support without sacrificing durability, making it one of our top choices on this list.
Best Choice for Smaller People – Strongback Guru
|Weight Capacity:||300 lbs|
|Item Weight:||10 lbs|
|Best feature:||Great option for smaller people|
While the KingCamp and Strongback Elite are made for taller, larger people, the Strongback Guru is specifically designed for people with a smaller, lighter build who have issues with their back. Specifically, this chair is made for people under the height of 5’8”.
This a supportive chair that has built-in lumbar support. It’ll help keep your spine in line, which will, in turn, provide relief and relaxation for your back muscles.
It also encourages your body to have good overall posture. Better posture means you’ll stay comfortable for much longer while sitting, and you’ll be supporting the overall health of your back.
People with a smaller build will find that not only does the size of this chair fit them well, it also has an incredibly cozy feel to it.
This camping chair is also more compact and lightweight than the Strongback Elite, making it easier to carry around and store. To add to this chair’s portability, Strongback has included a backpack-style carry bag so it can be carried while maintaining full use of your hands.
That said, though, any taller person considering this chair because it’s the more lightweight and portable option should know that this chair was not designed with their comfort in mind. The seat height can be very low for a taller person, which would make it a very uncomfortable chair to sit in for even a short period of time.
As we’ve come to expect from Strongback, this is another high-quality and durable chair. The fabric used is a heavy-duty polyester that is meant to resist wear and tear. It’s also made with a steel frame that increases its reliability.
For people with a smaller build and height, you can stop your search for a supportive chair that’s good for your back and trust in the Strongback Guru’s specialty design.
Best Heavy-Duty Chair for Bad Back – Alpha Camp Chair
|Weight Capacity:||450 lbs|
|Dimensions:||25x 39x39 in|
|Item Weight:||13.2 lbs|
|Best feature:||Sturdiness, high weight limit|
Boasting a 450-pound weight capacity, the Alpha Camp Chair is easily the most heavy-duty chair on our list.
Its durability and extra weight capacity do add some excess weight, however. This chair weighs a total of 13.2 pounds, which for a camping chair, is pretty heavy. So, it might not be ideal for backpack camping, but if you’re just taking it in and out of your vehicle, weight probably won’t be a significant concern.
The chair features side pockets for convenient storage of a book, phone, or any other personal device. And so you can stay hydrated without ever having to leave the comfort of your chair, there are a built-in cooler bag and drink holder, similar to the one found on the KingCamp chair.
Also, like the KingCamp chair, the material used on this Alpha Camp chair is a soft oxford fabric. Whether you prefer this material over the more traditional nylon camp chair material is a matter of personal preference. However, those who enjoy the plush feel of oxford fabric will enjoy an added degree of comfort.
During testing, we found an issue with the front crossbars. When the chair is set up on soft ground, the crossbars dig deep into the surface and don’t work very well. This resulted in some noticeable discomfort while sitting on the chair.
Considering this chair is designed with heavier-weight people in mind, it’s no surprise that Alpha Camp has chosen to use a sturdy, steel frame design. It provides a degree of reliability and longevity that other alloy metal chairs cannot.
However, what did surprise us is how inexpensive this chair is compared to other sturdy steel camping chairs.
The additional weight capacity and rugged durability of the Alpha Camp Chair make an excellent option for heavier-weight people with back problems who don’t want to sacrifice comfort for reliability.
Best Lightweight Chair for Bad Back – Fundango Chair
|Weight Capacity:||300 lbs|
|Item Weight:||8.8 lbs|
Looking for a camping chair that’s lightweight but still provides generous back support and weight capacity? You’ll want to consider this bad back chair from Fundango.
It has a 300-pound weight capacity, the same as the Strongback series camping chairs. And that same support comes at a reduced chair weight of only 9.7 pounds. Combined with the fact that this chair can be broken down and stored in a heavy-duty carrying case, it not only makes it the lightest weight camping chair on the list, it makes the most portable as well.
Like the other chairs on this list, it features a lumbar strap to ensure your posture remains in the right position for comfort while sitting for long periods of time. It’s worth mentioning that the lumbar support is adjustable and comes with an alignment strap, allowing you to customize where your back is supported easily.
It has some tremendous organizational features such as mesh pockets and armrests with cupholder that make it easy to keep everything you need to enjoy yourself within arm’s reach.
Although this chair’s frame is made with steel, the plastic joints that hold the frame together are cheap and poorly made. Chair joints are among the most vulnerable parts of any camp chair and the most likely to break.
Choosing to use cheap, unreliable material for such a critical part of the chair doesn’t inspire much confidence in its longevity. Ultimately, we wouldn’t expect these joints to survive much abuse.
For many campers, the ability to reduce weight wherever possible is a core priority. Heavy-duty camping chairs built for larger people with back problems are notoriously heavy. That’s why it’s great to see that Fundango has created a lightweight option for those who value portability as well as support.
Best of the Rest – Coastrail Outdoor
|Weight Capacity:||400 lbs|
|Dimensions:||33.6 x 16.5 x 23 in|
|Item Weight:||12 lbs|
|Best feature:||Soft cushioned seat|
We came across this camping chair during testing and wanted to include it on our list because it has some pretty unique features.
It has a different design than the other chairs we’ve already mentioned. It has a triangular steel frame that has a 400-pound weight capacity and provides excellent balance.
The lumbar back is a familiar feature that ensures your posture remains in the right position. However, what makes it stand out is that it’s the only chair that uses cushioning. It has a 1.6-inch seat cushion and padded headrest, which softens the feel and increases the comfort of this chair.
Coastrail has also included a small smartphone pocket and a pretty hand foldable cup holder with an adjustable drawstring on one side.
Unlike the other chairs on this list, it doesn’t have large, wide armrests. We felt a noticeable difference in comfort level because of this.
Something else you should be aware of is that, similar to the Alpha camp. The legs dig deep into soft ground, which will cause additional discomfort. This could become a big problem, especially for anyone planning to use this chair on the sand.
Although this chair is not suited for soft ground, it performed surprisingly well when set up uneven ground. This is mostly thanks to the dynamic footpads, which automatically adjust to the contours of the ground. This feature doesn’t work miracles, so we don’t want you to expect it will level off the chair on radically uneven surfaces. But, for slight to moderately rocky and uneven ground, it makes a noticeable difference.
For anyone who enjoys a soft, comfy camping chair with an ergonomic design, you won’t be disappointed with the Coastrail Outdoor.
If you want to reduce your back pain while camping, don’t wait any longer to buy a camping chair that’s made for people with bad backs. Using a chair that reduces back pain while sitting not only makes your leisure hours more enjoyable, it also provides your back some much-needed rest and support so you can take full advantage of the outdoor activities you love.
It’s hard to go wrong with the KingCamp camping chair for the best overall support and comfort. They’ve chosen to use high-quality materials, making it a durable chair that will last you a while. Also, extra features like multiple storage compartments and a cooler bag add even more value to this chair.
Most importantly, it’s comfortable and designed to reduce your back pain so you can better enjoy your camping experience.
Now that you’ve decided to take a step towards relieving your back pains with a camping chair made for people with a bad back, you’ll want to consider a few factors.
If you take the time to think about your situation, as well as the design and features of each bad back chair you consider, you’ll be able to find the best chair for your needs.
Take a look at our buyer’s guide to help make your purchasing decision easier.
Height and weight
The first thing you’ll want to consider is your own height and weight in relation to the design and capacity of the chair you’re looking at.
Some chairs are designed specifically for shorter people, others for taller people. Others are more of a universal fit when it comes to height.
A chair that has been explicitly designed for people your size may be more comfortable than a one size fits all chair. At the very least, you need to make sure you don’t purchase a chair meant for tall people if you’re short, or vice versa. If the chair is designed for people under or over a specific height, it should be explicitly mentioned in the description.
When it comes to weight, the manufacturer will state the weight capacity is of the chair. If you are close to exceeding a particular chair model’s weight capacity, you might want to consider looking for a heavier duty model. Either way, you should always be aware of what the weight limit is. Otherwise, you risk breaking it.
Type of support
Camping chairs that have been designed specifically for people with bad backs have built-in, often adjustable, supports within particular parts of the chair. These supports are meant to relieve stress to specific parts of your back.
If you experience pain in your lower back, you’ll want to make sure the chair has adequate lumbar support. If you have pain in other regions of your back, check to see if the chair has incorporated support or design elements meant to alleviate stress and pain in those specific areas of your back.
Material and cushioning
A core motivation for purchasing a chair meant for people with bad backs is alleviating pain and making the chair more comfortable sitting in for more extended periods of time. The material the chair fabric is made of, and the amount of cushioning it has will significantly affect the chair’s overall comfort.
The two most common camping chair fabrics are oxford cloth and nylon. Oxford cloth is slightly more plush and soft than nylon is. Nylon, on the other hand, is a durable fabric that is typically more water and stain-resistant. Some people find one more comfortable than the other or prefer to choose durability over comfort for this component. There’s no right answer to which one is better for you, and it’s advised that, if possible, you try out both before deciding on one or the other.
You’ll also want to consider the cushioning or lack of cushioning the bad back chair has. Some camping chairs come with padding that can be up to a few inches thick. Others don’t include any additional cushioning at all.
You may find cushioning to be a very comfortable and desirable feature or prefer the feel of a non-cushioned camping chair. Again, this is a matter of personal preference, and if you can, you should give both a shot before you make a purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lumbar support is important because it promotes good posture and reduces stress on the back, leading to pain. A chair with lumbar support fills in the space between the natural inward curve of your lower back and the chair. On chairs without lumbar support, this part of the lower back is supported only by the muscles, tendons, and spine located in the area without any help from the chair. Chairs with lumbar support have a bar within that lower back section of the chair that bends with the natural inward curve of your lower back, maintaining contact and reducing the weight burden placed on this section of your back. This increases the chair’s comfort and reduces pain and tension, especially when sitting for extended periods of time. It encourages good posture, prevents back problems from getting worse, and can help reverse existing back issues.
To choose a chair for back pain, you need to seek out chairs appropriate to your height and weight that provide support in the areas of your back that experience the most pain and in the price range you can afford. The support systems built into chairs are designed to line up with specific regions of your back. The issue is, some people are taller or shorter than others, meaning the support of a particular chair may not line up with the intended region of your back if it isn’t the correct size for you. Also, every chair has a max weight capacity. You need to make sure that you fall within the chair’s capacity. Otherwise, the chair might break. Chairs have support built-in to address pain in specific areas of your back. This could be lumbar support for your lower back or contoured support for your middle and upper back. You’ll want to make sure that the chair, at the very least, provides direct support to the region of your back experiencing the most pain. Chairs made for back pain vary significantly in price, so it's important to choose a chair that addresses your size and support needs and fits your budget.
The best type of chair for a bad back is one that provides the most efficient support and comforts your entire body. At the very least, the chair should have lumbar support to reduce stress on your lower back. Ideally, the chair will also provide support for the rest of your back by curving with the natural shape of your spine. Some chairs may even extend support up to your neck and head, as well as throughout your lower body. These secondary areas of support can reduce stress and discomfort in these areas and have an indirect positive effect on your back’s comfort. Some chairs can provide these various types of support in a fixed design. Some have sections that can be adjusted by hand. The highest-end chairs are adjustable in multiple sections electronically.
Sitting can be bad for lower back pain, especially if you sit with an incorrect posture. Whenever you’re sitting on a chair, it creates backpressure and dramatically compresses the spinal discs in your lower back. When the discs have been compressed for too long, it causes pain in the lower back. If you have preexisting lower back pains from an injury or overuse, sitting will often make lower back pain worse. Suppose you don’t have any preexisting conditions causing lower back pain but are now required to sit for long periods of time frequently. In that case, lower back pain can develop and worsen unless you take proactive measures to reduce stress on your lower back.