It's time to replace my uncomfortable cheapo camping chairs that are falling apart with something more...legit...preferably with a cup holder. If you too are on the lookout for the ultimate camping chair—somewhere in between basic and $300 YETI—please join me on my quest.
I'm a huge fan of ENO hammocks, so I'm kicking off my search with a brand I know and love. This comfy looking hammock-like chair breaks down to a compact 32x7 inches when packed. I'm 5'10", so I like the high back, which features a cushion for my noggin. It's also cool that you can adjust the height and make it lower for the beach and higher up for tall grass. A lot of the reviews say that it's a pain in the butt to break down and put back in the bag, but that doesn't faze me because I don't plan on packing it around that much. They also complain about the flimsy cup holder, which could be a deal-breaker. I'm also worried that it will be hot, since there's no breathable mesh fabric. This is probably the cutest pick, but I'm actually kind of relieved not to be spending over $100 on a camping chair. The hunt continues!
I asked a camping group I belong to on Facebook to help me with my quest for the ultimate camping chair, and they agreed that this REI Co-op Flexlite Chair with mesh backing is the best. Sadly, that style is out of stock. However, REI does still carry the non-mesh version shown above, which packs down to Pringle can size. At under two pounds, it's lightweight enough to pack to events, the beach, camping, etc. The only bummer about this one besides it not being mesh is that there's no cup holder. Where am I supposed to put my drink? Moving on...
Mountain Summit Gear's Ultra Comfort camp chair does have mesh on the sides for more breathability and it comes with a cup holder! We just might have a winner here folks. Could this be love at first sit?
This one is on clearance, so if it's out of stock, there is another version that does not have a cupholder available here. I like the ergonomic design, the price, and the fact that it packs up easily in its carry bag. However, it does weigh over seven pounds, so I wouldn't pick this one for backpacking or anything.
My camping group also sung the praises of GCI's outdoor rocking chair. At 12 pounds, it's not at all lightweight, but it does seem perfect for rocking by the fire. You know I'm digging that mesh backrest and built-in beverage holder, but it also has padded arm rests! Instead of coming with a case that can be easily lost, the folding chair has a handle attached to it for toting purposes. I also like the fact that it's not that pricey and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
If I were a soccer mom who needed to have sunscreen and bug spray at hand at all times, I would definitely get this "sports chair" by Picnic Time. Not only does this chair come with an insulated bottled beverage pouch, but it also has a freakin' side table that folds out. It's got more pockets than I would know what to do with.
This portable folding chair is a little more expensive than some of the other options on this list, but it does come with a lifetime warranty/money back guarantee, so it's probably worth the extra dough. This one does have padded arm rests and comes in a variety of colors. The shoulder strap promises "no more awkward carries," but it looks kind of awkward to me.
Obviously this zero gravity behemoth isn't meant for transport, but it certainly does look comfortable for lounging by the fire. The pillow headrest looks nice for chillaxin' in the sun, but you know I'd have to buy the cup holder accessory for my beverage! Amazon Basics has the best price on this style of chair, which is available in beige, black, blue, and red fabric.