There are few things more relaxing than kicking back in a reclining chair after a long day spent outdoors. It’s a great part of the camping experience, especially when you have the best reclining camping chair.
Reclining camping chairs are not a one size fits all piece of gear. Find the right chair for you depends on your body type and personal preferences regarding features and material. There are many options out there, and it’s often difficult to decide this without a little help.
That’s why we tested 30 reclining camping chairs to determine the best of 2021. We made our decision for the top 8 based on durability, price, comfort, and size.
Timber Ridge Zero Gravity – Editor’s Choice
|Weight Capacity:||350 lbs|
The Timber Ridge Zero Gravity chair is a solid all-around option and our editor’s top choice when it comes to reclining camping chairs.
It’s one of the heavier chairs on the list, weighing a total of 24 lbs, but its extra weight makes it a very sturdy chair. The seat width is 21.3 inches, and the height is 29 inches, which provides a very spacious, comfortable feel. It also has a generous 350-pound weight capacity.
At first glance, we like the look of the natural wood armrests. Unfortunately, they didn’t stand the test of time. After 1 to 2 months, they started discoloring and cracking. If used for an even more extended time, and especially in considerable sun exposure, these armrests will only continue to get worse.
As far as comfort goes, this tent has a few nice features that add significant comfort. It has a comfy, cushioned headrest, which allows you to lean back into it and reduces stress on your neck. It also has a conveniently placed footrest, so you won’t have to worry about your feet hanging uncomfortably off the end.
Overall, this is a sturdy reclining chair that is comfortable and suitable for people of most sizes.
Best Rattan Reclining Chair – Goldsun Zero Gravity
|Weight Capacity:||400 lbs|
|Chair Material:||Artificial wicker|
If you’re the type of camper who prefers the feel rattan wicker over other chair materials, we’d suggest the Goldensun Zero Gravity chair.
Rattan is typically a type of woven palm vine. In the case of this reclining chair, they’ve chosen to use an artificial rattan instead of an organic rattan material. If you like the natural feel of rattan, just be aware of this difference.
The rattan is entirely UV resistant. This makes it an excellent option for summer campers who know they’ll be spending extended time in the sun. The material is also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about it saturating when you sit down on it after getting out of the water.
To top off its efficiency as a summer recliner, the rattan wicker has pores that provide great breathability.
Like the Timber Ridge Zero Gravity, it also has a weight capacity of 350 pounds, which should accommodate a range of body types.
We really liked some of the design features of this chair, like the footrest and the comfortable and unique shape of the cupholders.
The only thing we found annoying was the locking and unlocking mechanism. It’s located under the arms of the chair, which makes them a bit complicated to find.
This chair’s ability to resist the sun and water, plus the breathability of the back, make this the perfect summer camping chair.
Best Rocking Reclining Camp Chair – Furniwell Patio
|Weight Capacity:||250 lbs|
There’s something naturally soothing about a rocking chair. So, if you are a big fan of the rock and rhythm these chairs provide, look no further than the Furniwell patio.
The chair weighs 15.4 pounds, which makes it lighter than the Timber Ridge and Goldsun, but still relatively heavy and not made for backpacking like the Nemo Stargazer.
In another comparison between this chair and the Timber Ridge and Goldsun chairs is that it doesn’t have as a high of weight capacity. It holds up to 250 pounds, a 100-pound difference from these other two chairs. That said, as long as you don’t exceed the weight capacity, this is a very durable chair, especially considering the budget-friendly price.
Although you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see this feature on a rocking chair, it’s worth considering the fact that this chair doesn’t come with a footrest. Depending on your height, this could mean some foot dangle. It also will lack a certain comfort when laying back because of this missing feature.
One feature we also found very convenient was the inclusion of an adjustable, cushioned headrest.
Considering many of us love to camp to unwind and relieve some stress of the civilized world, it only makes sense to combine the comforting and relaxing rhythm of a rocking chair with your camping leisure time.
Best Ultralight Reclining Camping Chair – Nemo Stargaze Recliner
|Weight Capacity:||300 lbs|
If you’re a lightweight camper who still wants to enjoy the comforts of a reclining chair without adding much weight, you’ll want to consider the Nemo Stargaze Recliner.
While most of the other chairs on our list weigh in somewhere around 15-25 pounds, this chair weighs in at a shocking lightweight of 7 pounds. Although this may be too heavy for long-distance thru-hikers and other featherweight ounce counters, it’s definitely possible to backpack with this.
The weight capacity is 300 pounds, which isn’t bad, but for over $200, we usually expect a higher capacity.
This chair has the smallest seat height and width out of all the chairs on our list. This might make it a bit uncomfortable for people with bigger body types.
No matter what size you are, the armrests are pretty uncomfortable. The material they’re made out of provides little support, which puts a strain on your arms over time.
One other feature you’ll want to consider is that the chair is loosely suspended from the frame, causing a light, cradle-like swing. Some may like this, and others may not.
When it comes down to it, this chair is made specifically for people with smaller builds who value ultralight gear over comfort and are willing to invest $200 for the weight reduction.
Best Weight Capacity on a Reclining Camp Chair – Alpha Camp
|Weight Capacity:||450 lbs|
The Alpha Camp has the higher weight capacity out of all the chairs on our list. It’s also one of the sturdiest.
It has an impressive weight capacity of 450 pounds. This is mostly thanks to the fact it includes special plastic attachments which wrap around the steel frame and significantly increase its durability and weight limit.
This extra strength and capacity don’t come at the expense of weight either. Weighing 13.2 pounds, it’s one of the lighter-weight chairs on our list. Although it’s a portable and compact chair, it’s still too heavy to be considered a good chair for backpacking.
If you have a bad back, you’ll love this chair. It features a lumbar support system, which curves with the natural arch of your back to relieve pressure off your lower back. This makes it more comfortable to sit in for an extended time.
It also comes with some convenient features such as side pockets for storage space, drink holders, a cooler bag, and drink holders to store and enjoy cold beverages.
If you want to make sure your chair will hold your weight and don’t want to sacrifice comfort or convenience for this degree of durability, we know you’ll be happy with this heavy-duty chair.
Best Reclining Camp Chair for Big Guys – Coastrail Oversized
|Weight Capacity:||400 lbs|
The Coastrail Oversized is the perfect chair if you’re looking for a combination of advanced weight capacity and large dimensions.
It is the widest seat on this list in more ways than one. Its seat width is 26 inches, and the overall width is 33.5 inches. This will provide plenty of room for even the biggest guys. It also holds up to 400 pounds, which is respectable for a chair under $200.
Coastrail has included a padded pillow for head support, making it a very nice chair to lean back on. We also like the additional comfort added by the footrest bar.
In terms of convenience, they’ve included a side pocket that provides efficient storage, as well as side tables to provide easy access to the items you always want at arms reach.
Unfortunately, this chair has natural wood armrests that look expensive but don’t last very long. Within a month or two, you’ll start to see discoloring and cracking, similar to the Timber Ridge.
Something we discovered during testing that we found pretty annoying was that this chair doesn’t have any locking mechanism for the legs. The problem with this is, when you sit up from a reclined position, it can cause the chair to fold up unintentionally.
If you’re tired of being crammed into a chair that was obviously not made for a guy your size, the Coastrail Oversized is the reclining camp chair for you.
Best Choice Products – Budget Pick
|Weight Capacity:||250 lbs|
It’s hard to beat the value provided by this offer from Best Choice. For about $100, you get two chairs.
However, the low price does mean some disadvantages. It has a low advertised weight capacity of 250 pounds. But in reality, it might not even hold that much, especially after you’ve been using it for a while.
The seat dimensions are pretty modest and definitely won’t be a comfortable fit for bigger people.
One thing that we found comfortable about this chair was that it comes with a breathable mesh material. It’s actually an excellent material that will help keep you cool and reduce the sweat from your back.
Also, a cool little aesthetic bonus of the chair is that it comes in multiple color options. This might not be the biggest deal to a lot of campers, but if you enjoy a degree of personalization to your gear, it’s a nice perk.
Although this is by far the cheapest option on our list, it is also the least sturdy and long-lasting option. But, if you’re working on a low budget and are willing to sacrifice on quality and comfort, this 2 for one offer from Best Choice could be the best option for your needs.
Best of the Rest – Outdoor Living Suntime
|Weight Capacity:||250 lbs|
The Outdoor Living Suntime is another of the budget-friendly options on the list.
This chair is all-around more comfortable than the Best Choice. We like the support provided by cushioned headrest and the very breathable mesh material that runs down the chair’s length.
The inclusion of useful features like side pockets and cup holders is also a plus for keeping accessories close at hand.
Although it’s not as light as the Nemo Stargazer, at 12.6 pounds, it’s still a relatively lightweight and transportable chair. Not suitable for backpacking, but it won’t be much of a pain to travel with.
One of the big downsides, however, is its weight capacity. It only holds 200 pounds, making it the chair with the lowest weight capacity on our list.
When it comes to durability, we wouldn’t expect to get more than a season, maybe two, out of it. The construction and material just aren’t as sturdy and high quality as most of the other chairs we’ve tested.
If budget is a primary concern for you, and you weren’t a big fan of the Best Choice chair, the slightly more comfortable and convenient Outdoor Living Suntime chair is a good choice that won’t break the bank.
Your camping trips are a time to unwind and reduce stress from the hassles of everyday life. There’s no better way to relax on your next trip than with a reclining camping chair. We understand that your time is precious and that you don’t want to waste trip after trip trying to find the reclining chair that’s right for you.
We would highly recommend the Goldensun Zero Gravity recliner, especially if you plan to use it during the summer. It has a durable frame, excellent UV protection, and pore in the rattan weave for enhanced breathability. It really provides an outstanding balance of performance and value.
If you’re still unsure about which reclining camping chair is the best for your needs, check out our buyer’s guide for some tips to help make your decision easier.
The last thing you want is to buy a reclining chair that’s uncomfortable or ends up breaking on you. In order to decide which reclining chair is right for you, take a look at some of these factors and consider how they apply to your unique situation.
This is one of the most critical factors to look for when making a decision about reclining camping chairs. If you purchase a chair that isn’t meant to hold your weight, you could easily end up breaking it.
It’s also worth considering that if you’re under, but close, to the weight capacity, you might want to look for a slightly higher chair model. Although the manufacturer might claim it can hold people up to 300 pounds, if you weigh 295, you’re cutting it very close to the limit. It might hold you to start, but after a while of use, it might break down on you.
When in doubt, go with the higher weight capacity.
Just because a reclining chair has a higher weight capacity doesn’t necessarily mean it’s made for a size that will be comfortable for you. No one likes to be crammed into a chair that’s a few sizes too small, so it’s crucial you take a look at the chair height and the seat width. These two dimensions will give you a good idea of what size person the chair will fit comfortably.
Even smaller people may want a little more space, so you may want to consider not just whether or not the chair will fit you, but will it provide you the roominess you find most comfortable.
The strength of a chair comes down to the materials the manufacturer uses to construct it.
A steel frame chair is the most durable, but it will add some extra weight.
Wood armrests may be aesthetically appealing, but they are more likely to deteriorate over time than other synthetic materials.
There are a whole bunch of different materials that can be used for the chair material, and they all have varying degrees of durability. Chair material that are made UV resistant, such as artificial rattan weave chairs, will withstand extended sun exposure and are more likely to last longer than softer material like oxford cloth.
This is a very subjective factor but one you’ll definitely want to spend some time thinking about.
You’ll need to decide what material feels most comfortable in the weather you’ll be in. For instance, you may find oxford cloth to be very comfortable, but if you’re sweating on the beach in the middle of the summer, you might wish you had the breathable comfort of mesh.
Then you’ve got the decision of whether you want a pillowed or contoured headrest and if you want a footrest or not. None of these features are inherently better or more comfortable than the others, so you’ll have to decide what you personally find most comfortable.
The weight and size of the chair may be an important factor depending on how you plan to use your chair.
If you plan on moving around a lot with your chair, you may want to look for a lighter chair that won’t be as heavy of a burden. Keep in mind, though, that opting for the more lightweight, more portable chair may come at the sacrifice of some other benefits, such as durability and comfort.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best time to buy a new camp chair is a few weeks or more before you plan to bring it on a trip with you. You’ll want some time to break it in and get a feel for whether it is the right size and style of comfort you’re looking for before committing to bringing it on the trip with you.
The highest quality recliners for the outdoors are made with durable material that will hold up even when exposed to the elements. The ability to last even after frequent and extended sun exposure, so high-quality recliners should have UV protection. Many high-quality recliners use steel to construct the frame because it is strong and durable. Water-resistance is also an essential characteristic of high-quality recliners meant for outdoor use.
The most comfortable camping chairs are the ones that are the right size for your body type and have the features that you find most pleasing. More important than anything, you need a chair that isn’t too small in order to be comfortable. You’ll need to decide whether a pillowed or contoured headrest is more comfortable and what type of chair fabric you prefer.
The lightest reclining camp chair is one that has been designed with ultralight campers in mind. It is typically smaller than other reclining camp chairs and uses lightweight materials to construct the frame and chair fabric.