The word camping usually conjures up images of a sunny day somewhere out in the wilderness, with nothing but nature to keep company to you or your group. But the activity itself isn’t tied to any season – you can venture out anytime you feel like it. Yet, some seasons spotlight the problems that are sometimes overseen during other seasons. I’m talking about having a seat. There is a certain appeal in dumping the comforts of progress in favor of the good old log, but in winter, that appeal hopelessly loses its luster. As such, I present a review of four (or five, depending on the perspective) camping chairs that will make for a great sitting option on any camping trip, winter or summer.
Table of Contents
Browning Directors XT Plus Camping Chair
If you can’t put yourself in a director’s shoes, you can at least sit in a director’s chair! Or something like it – no chair from the movie set would withstand the rigors of the outdoors. But Browning Directors XT Plus Camping Chair just might. Heavily inspired by the form of the director’s signature attribute, this chair combines the high seating position with the durability of a true camping chair.
I don’t really know what it feels like sitting in a director’s seat, but if that chair can give as much as a clue, it’s not that bad at all. The tall back is wide and sufficiently firm, which is a balm for sometimes-acting-out backs like mine. The seat is also wide, but the armrests limit your choice of seating positions. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily – it will be easier to maintain a healthy posture. Of course, if you want to slouch, nothing will stop you from it. And there is also a comfy flip-down footrest that definitely adds to the chair’s general “elevated” vibe. The armrests are padded, but the padding isn’t anything special by any means.
The looks suggest that the chair should boast superior stability, or at least the frames look pretty promising. Having sat in it, I can confirm that that hunch isn’t misleading, even though I would detract the word “superior” from my initial impression. The Pro-Tec powder-coated frame made from aluminum and steel hybrid holds up quite well, terrains even and not so much. It felt steady even when I tried to rock a bit, BUT. The advertised weight capacity is 325 lbs. I’m 176 and I have a feeling that another 20 lbs. could start to tip the scales. Which is not that much, really, still need 120 to get to the weight limit. Just keep that in mind.
With the weight figure resting at 10lbs 10oz, I would say this is a full-fledged camp chair. If you plan to get to your camping location by car, it’s fine – you won’t need to carry it for that long anyway. However, if you like backpacking and setting up a camp in the middle of the trip because the place is very scenic, this chair would probably stay home. It’s too heavy to carry on your back, but again, a camping chair doesn’t need to be lightweight. If it’s comfort and stability that we prioritize, weight will inevitably increase.
Setting up the Browning Directors XT Plus Camping Chair was a cinch. It opens up with minimal effort – just spread the armrests and push the seat down until it locks. This simplicity is always a welcome feature. I, for one, wouldn’t want to spend minutes setting up a camping chair when everything I want is to finally sit down.
Features and Accessories
This camping chair isn’t necessarily packed with features, but it does have one amenity worth mentioning. A 14.5″ x 10″ flip-down side table with a beverage holder is a very pleasant addition that spares you the need to hold your drinks and other small items. The chair’s fabric is robust 600D polyester, known for its durability, so you can expect the fabric to last.
The chair’s design allows it to fold flat, which comes in handy when loading the trunk. However, it still calls for some concessions. It doesn’t fit in too well in an already packed car, so the best option is to put it at the very bottom. However, that leaves you with a pile of camping gear atop your chair, which means you will only get to it once the whole car is unloaded. You probably won’t be too willing to sit too soon once you leave the vehicle, but should the opposite happen, well, you’ll need to get all things out.
Camping chairs come anywhere between $20 and $300 and that one leans closer to the upper margin. Is it worth it? I don’t have a definite answer. On one hand, it does feel reliable and sturdy, even if a bit restricting. And it’s elevated and the back is pleasantly sturdy. However, I would only go for it if you are a camping enthusiast looking for a chair you know you’ll use frequently. Luckily, it’s currently on sale, which makes the offer much more appealing (at least I see it that way).
In short, the Browning Directors XT Plus Camping Chair is a high-quality outdoor seating solution that comes at a somewhat hefty price. It’s sufficiently stable if you don’t test its weight capacity, quite easy to set up and has a flip-down side table, which is always a nice addition.
|🟢Comfortable tall back and wide seat
|🔴Weight capacity may be limited
|🟢Sturdy and stable frame
|🔴Relatively heavy for backpacking
|🟢Easy to set up
|🔴Higher price compared to other camping chairs
|🟢Includes a flip-down side table with a beverage holder
Hillsound BTR Stool
The stool is technically not a chair, but when the only choice is between a mossy rock and a felled trunk, the semantics lose their relevance. A stool boasts many advantages over what we consider to be traditional camping chairs, some of them are pretty big. Upon first glance, the Hillsound BTR Stool might not look like much, but in this simplicity hides an unparalleled convenience. By the way, BTR stands for “Better Than Rock” which is not that high of a standard really, but at least it’s catchy.
As you can plainly see, the BTR stool lacks the comforts a chair could provide, namely back and armrests. These attributes do contribute to comfort, but I feel like it’s not fair to compare the comfort capabilities of camping chairs and stools. What I can say is that its seating area is quite comfortable. The stool comes in two sizes – 14″ and 17″. I tested the taller version and found the wider seat to be quite accommodating, even for extended periods of sitting. Of course, without the back, sitting on it is a posture-maintaining exercise, but if you are not a fan of challenge, slouching is always an option.
The more legs something has, the more firmly it stands on the ground. I’m no engineer, but it sounds like it might be true. The Hillsound BTR Stool has as many as three legs to ensure its stability. The three held me with no complaints or betraying noises. I think I have the locking mechanism, aptly named the “Phantom Lock”, to thank for that. This tech allows leg polls to compress only when the rest of the stool is folded. This means you have a steady perch no matter where you set it up (I set it up in three places with varying flatness levels, one indoor and two outdoors).
The numbers I’m about to present won’t surprise all of you, given how miniature this stool looks, but I hope to raise at least a few eyebrows. The 14” version weighs 13.2oz, whereas the 17” comes at 14.7oz. It’s not just lightweight, it’s mega ultra-lightweight, 10 times lighter than the Browning Directors XT Plus Camping Chair. If you are a backpacking regular, you won’t find a better portable sitting option.
Setting up the Hillsound BTR Stool takes seconds, and I’m talking about three to five seconds here. Its telescopic design really makes things much easier. You only need to unfold the stool and slide out the legs – and the setup is complete. The legs have no hiking pole buttons which easily get screwed by sand and mud and all other joys of outdoor pastime.
Features and Accessories
The tool lacks any additional features. No pockets, no extra support points, no nothing. But that’s what makes it as lightweight as it is, so I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a drawback.
When it comes to portability, the Hillsound BTR Stool is unbeatable. It compacted down to barely bigger than a water bottle, making it easy to tuck into any backpack without taking up much space, not to mention car trunks. This makes it an excellent companion on any adventure, be it camping trips or long hikes.
I won’t try to cajole you into overlooking the fact that you could probably get a full-fledged camping chair that will at least have back support. You can see that yourself. However, I still understand where that price comes from. Packing a product with features is far from the only thing that can raise the product’s cost. An ultra-lightweight foldable stool that also happens to boast good stability isn’t something you can get for a ten-spot. It’s a solid investment for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a durable, lightweight, and compact seating solution that can be brought anywhere without any strain.
The Hillsound BTR Stool left quite an impression on me with how portable it is. It also takes seconds to set up which will make it a versatile addition to any outdoor gear collection. It lacks the comforts of a full-fledged chair but offers benefits other camping chairs don’t.
|🟢Compact and convenient design
|🔴Lacks the comfort features of a chair (back and armrests)
|🟢Quite comfortable seating area
|🔴Not suitable for those who need back support
|🟢Stable with three legs and a “Phantom Lock” mechanism
|🔴Lacks additional features like pockets or extra support points
|🟢Extremely lightweight, ideal for backpacking
|🔴Higher price compared to some camping chairs
|🟢Quick and easy setup
|🟢Highly portable, compacts down to the size of a water bottle
|🟢Durable, designed for outdoor use
Banded Bottomland Tall Swivel Blind Chair
I started the review with a full-scope camping chair, and now we climb slowly towards it again, adding one feature after another. If you ever wanted a chair that would allow you to spin around as if you were a cartoon character or a chair that would give you a 360-degree of the surroundings, the Banded Bottomland Tall Swivel Blind Chair is just what you need. It might need some improvement to get to where it claims to be, but those improvements will still keep the cost within reasonable limits.
Comfort is the most important aspect of any piece of furniture, even more so for camping chairs. Unfortunately, this is the very aspect that needs improvement. The seat is just too rigid – the moment you sit on it all the foam magically turns into stardust. This grants you the opportunity to get to know the swivel action, which is great in and of itself, but not meant to be sat on. I wonder whether a Banded employee sat on it themselves, but that’s beyond the point. The point is that this chair is still rescuable. I tried it with a cushion pad and it felt much better. You probably think, and I agree with you, that a chair that requires additional spending to just be sittable isn’t worthy of your time whatsoever. But other features of this chair make this fight a bit more justifiable.
The stability of this chair was much better than the comfort. Its metal frame and flared bottom design offer a strong base that holds up well on various surfaces. I was initially suspicious, given not the best first impression, but even after taking advantage of the 360-degree spin, I still didn’t feel any faltering from the chair. And camping chairs with such a feature are not too common, so it deserves an extra point in my view. Not quite making up for the lack of comfort yet, but we are in the right direction.
The weight is stated to be 12 lbs and it’s quite similar to what I’ve experienced. That’s sort of ok for a camping chair, given you don’t plan to carry it around too much. The design also encourages you to just find one place and settle there.
Setting up the Banded Bottomland Tall Swivel Blind Chair is no rocket science. It doesn’t require too much time either. This quick setup allowed me to focus more on the hunt rather than fiddling with my equipment. It might take you a bit to figure out which part should be pulled first, but it’s like one or two tries: once you figure out the order, it’s a matter of seconds.
Features and Accessories
The main standout feature of this chair is its 360-degree swivel capability. It’s not often you can go for a swirl while still sitting. This feature is meant for hunters, but anyone can take advantage of it. In addition to that, the Dura-Max 600D water-resistant exterior also promises to be useful in wet conditions. I didn’t deliberately pour water on it, but if you are the kind of person not to be scared away by the rain, I doubt the prospect of a wet chair would discourage you anyway.
The chair folds easily and can be put away pretty quickly. However, it suffers from the same problem as the Browning Directors XT Plus Camping Chair. Even though it will surely fit in your vehicle when folded, the question is how to pack it. And it’s definitely not for backpacking, just to make things clear.
I will be honest: I wouldn’t buy this chair for the full price, especially considering the fact it needs further investment to be sittable. BUT. It’s currently on sale and a good one. You can get this chair and a seating pad and it will still be within the margins of high-quality camping chairs. I do believe that Banded could have made a better chair for the price, but it is what it is. Or What you can make of it.
Banded Bottomland Tall Swivel Blind Chair is a work in progress, and it’s up to you to either finish it or opt for a completed one. However, if you take on this challenge, you’ll get a chair that is otherwise reliable and has a unique feature few other camping chairs have.
|🟢Unique 360-degree swivel feature
|🔴Seat is too rigid, may need additional cushioning
|🟢Stable due to metal frame and flared bottom design
|🔴Too heavy for backpacking
|🟢Quick and easy setup
|🔴Full price may not offer value for money
|🟢Dura-Max 600D water-resistant exterior
|🟢Currently on sale, making it more affordable
Eureka Tagalong Chairs (Tagalong & Lite)
We’ve finally reached something that looks like your standard camping chair, bearing no fanciness and not deprived of any important features. The EUREKA Tagalong Comfort and Lite chairs are a breath of fresh air, at least they certainly look the part. They’re neither massive collapsible camping chairs you’ll have trouble carrying nor tiny makeshift seats that are hardly comfortable to sit on. No, instead, they are a perfect blend of comfort and portability, a great choice for camping enthusiasts and backpackers alike.
I sat on both camping chairs and found both versions of the Tagalong to be extremely comfortable (especially after having set on a Banded one). The Tagalong Comfort version is expectedly more comfortable: it features a high back that has excellent support, and it’s also a bit taller than the Lite version. The latter, however, is by no means inferior: I think those are just two different versions for different constitutions. The polyester fabric adds a layer of softness whereas the back portion features mesh inserts for breathability. This detail will be much appreciated when the heat comes in.
Both the Tagalong Comfort and Lite have aluminum poles with plastic support pieces and no-sink feet, which means they are more stable in less sturdy terrains. I tried both of these on sand and they remained as stable as they were before. Which is, mind you, not necessarily rock-solid: the chairs do have a bit of motion to them, but that’s entirely because of their lightweight nature. They are stable enough for you not to worry while sitting in them.
At 3.5 lbs, the Tagalong Comfort chair is lightweight, with a weight capacity of 330 lbs. The Lite version, which weighs just 2.4 lbs and can hold up to 220 lbs, is an even better choice if you’re conscious about carrying weight. In short, both are great for backpacking and camping alike.
Setting up either version of the Tagalong chair takes seconds and close to no effort or thought. The poles are all connected by a bungee cord, meaning you won’t lose any parts while setting up or disassembling the chair. You only need to put the poles into the holes they are attached to to make a frame, you can do so automatically without putting much thought into it. The only thing left is to strain the fabric, and for that, you need to find the pockets that slide into the holes. I would say the last stage requires a bit more thought, but that “a bit more” refers to “none” as a starting point, so it’s still quite easy.
Features and Accessories
Both camping chairs come with a handy compartment for storing small items, phones, books, pieces of gear – you name it. Each chair also comes with a carrying bag that can be mounted on the poles of an unfolded chair, which makes it much harder to lose in the camping fuss. These two versions feature no armrests, which is sad, but not critical.
Both the Tagalong chairs excel in terms of storage and transportability. They fold down into a compact assembly that fits easily into their carrying bag (pretty compact itself). Their light weight also means they won’t add much to your load while hiking: both can be mounted to the side of the backpack.
These camping chairs are the cheapest on this list, which shouldn’t be too surprising since they are on clearance. But. If we talk about the price-to-worth ratio, I would call them the best options. There are no considerable drawbacks to complain about, the lack of armrests being the only one. But again, there is a Eureka model that features them – we just don’t have it in stock.
The Eureka Tagalong Comfort and Lite versions are the golden mean of camping chairs. They are comfortable, lightweight, and easy to set up. While they may lack armrests and feel a bit flimsy, these camping chairs offer a great balance between comfort and portability. If you don’t want to make an investment but nonetheless get a quality camping chair, you can’t go wrong with choosing either.
|🟢Comfortable(with high back support in the Comfort version)
|🟢Breathable due to mesh inserts on the back portion
|🔴A bit of motion due to the lightweight design
|🟢Lightweight and portable
|🟢Easy setup with all parts connected by a bungee cord
|🟢Handy compartment for storing small items, and a carrying bag that can be mounted on the poles of an unfolded chair
|🟢Fold down easily
How to Choose a Camping Chair
When choosing a camping chair, several factors should be taken into consideration:
Stability vs. Packability
There’s often a trade-off between stability and packability. More stable chairs tend to be heavier and less packable, while lightweight chairs might not offer the same level of stability. Consider your needs and prioritize accordingly: if you don’t have to carry to chair yourself for a prolonged period, prioritizing stability is always a safe option.
The taller the back and the wider the seat of your chair, the more comfortable it is. Some crossover models can work double-time, providing reasonable comfort whether you’re backpacking or car camping. Consider if head- and armrests are important to you, and remember that chairs low to the ground tend to be less comfortable than those that stand higher.
Some chairs can be set up by simply pulling apart the collapsed back section, while others have a more elaborate setup. Smaller, lightweight chairs tend to require more assembly because they’re designed to collapse down to as small a volume as possible. Only you know how much time you are ready to dedicate to assembling, so choose accordingly.
Weight and Packability
For backpacking chairs, weight is a crucial factor. The lighter the chair, the easier it is to carry on long treks. However, keep in mind that lighter materials may not be as durable. A chair below the 3lb mark would serve well for weekend treks and forest trails. For camping chairs, weight is less critical, but packability remains important. Chairs that can collapse down to a small volume are easier to pack and transport.
Stability and resilience often scale with price. While more expensive chairs may offer better longevity and comfort, there are also affordable options that don’t compromise too much on quality.
The heavier load that the chair can accommodate, the more sturdily it is built, and therefore the more long-term wear and tear it can endure. However, remember that backpacking chairs are made of lightweight materials, so they may be less durable than camping chairs.
Check out our other articles on camping gear:
- Kershaw Knives: The Perfect Balance of Style, Quality, and Innovation
- Exploring the Top-Rated Camping Axes of 2023
- The Essential Factors to Consider When Shopping for the Perfect Camping Tent
- The Benefits of Investing In A Quality Camping Cooler
When choosing a camping chair, consider its stability, packability, comfort, ease of setup, weight, durability and price.
Yes, camping chairs can be used in any season, including winter. However, certain materials may perform better in specific weather conditions and you might want to look for chairs with no-sink features.
The Browning Directors XT Plus Camping Chair has an advertised weight capacity of 325 lbs.
Yes, the Browning Directors XT Plus Camping Chair comes with a 14.5″ x 10″ flip-down side table with a beverage holder, and there is also a handy footrest.
The 14″ version of the Hillsound BTR Stool weighs 13.2 oz, and the 17″ version weighs 14.7 oz, making them extremely lightweight and ideal for backpacking.
The Eureka Tagalong Comfort chair has a weight capacity of 330 lbs, while the Lite version can hold up to 220 lbs.
Yes, both the Eureka Tagalong Comfort and Lite chairs are lightweight and packable, making them suitable for backpacking. The Comfort version weighs 3.5 lbs, and the Lite version weighs 2.4 lbs.