Best Heavy Duty Camping Chairs for Comfort & durability

If you are in a rush and need to know the best heavy-duty camping chair available, I would recommend the KING CAMP Heavy Duty Deluxe Camping Chair for comfort, durability, and support. 

In this article, I will look at some of the best heavy-duty camping chairs available and review them for capacity, durability, comfort, and the accessories they include, and then I’ll give you the reasons for my top choice. 

Best Heavy Duty Camping Chairs reviewed in this article:

Choosing the Right Chair for You

two camping chairs standing beside blue tent in woods

Capacity

You might be in the search for a heavy duty camping chair because you are tired of having chairs break on you, or maybe you are bigger than the average person and need something tailored to your needs. Either way, I suggest you first look at the weight rating of the chair. 

From my own experience, I would recommend that you stay clear of anything rated for less than 300 pounds (136.1 kg). At 300 lbs., you know that the chair has at least a moderately sturdy structure, and then you can begin to look at comfort and features. Chairs rated for heavier capacities are either made of stronger material (which means they could be heavier to carry), or they possess a better design.

Durability

Once you have established the weight rating of a chair, you should then examine their durability by looking for the type of materials used in the chair. When it comes to heavy duty chairs, steel is the most common material used in the best chair frames. 

You should also consider the material used in the seat, back, and armrests. Many manufacturers use 600D polyester, although you might also encounter different grades of nylon or cordura. To put it simply, “600D” refers to the thickness of the polyester material. The D stands for “denier” which expresses the fineness of a material, and without getting too technical, the higher the number, the stronger it typically is. While 600D polyester is not as strong as military grade fabric, it will certainly work for a heavy duty camping chair. Be careful, though, of anything lower than 300D polyester [1].

woman sitting beside a campfire and tent during the day

The stability of a chair depends on its frame. If the distance from the seat to the ground is shorter, the center of gravity will also be lower, thereby making the chair more stable. (On the other hand, a lower seat will make it harder for some people to stand up.) A stable chair should also have a wide base, so look for chairs with wider seats. I would not recommend any chair whose seat is narrower than 20 inches (50.8 cm).

Finally, one of the most important attributes of a durable chair is the armrest. Most people don’t think about the increased load placed on the armrests when you are getting out of a chair, but this is precisely when the chair experiences the most strain. As you push yourself out of the chair with your arms, the armrests are forced down and out, so if the manufacturer has not taken this added tension into account, the chair will probably break. Look for strong material and additional support built into the armrests of the camping chair before buying.

Comfort

Not only is a wider seat more stable, it is usually more comfortable, too. Look for seats 20 inches (50 cm) and wider. 

Chair tilt contributes greatly to the comfort of the chair as well. Many camping chairs are designed like L’s, and when you sit down, it almost feels as if you are bending forward. The best camping chairs contain at least a slight tilt back, while also providing back support. Higher end chairs will have an adjustable tilt as well as a moveable lumbar band, allowing you to tailor the chair posture to your exact needs.

One of the most common complaints I have seen (aside from chairs breaking) is that a chair is not comfortable on the legs. Many camp chairs used to be made with a bar across the front for added strength. Of course, this bar had the tendency to cut off circulation behind the knees. Many chairs still have this problem because the seat is too high off the ground. In general, chair height should not exceed the distance from your heel to the top of your calf, unless it has a built-in footrest. 

Having a headrest will also greatly increase the comfort of a chair. Many chair backs do not rise above the shoulders, so if you like to sit under a shady tree in the warm afternoon, lean back with a beverage in one hand and shut your eyes, I recommend choosing a chair with a headrest. Some headrests come padded, but whether you find that comfortable or not depends on personal preference. 

camp chairs inside tent in the morning

It can be difficult to find armrests that are both sturdy and comfortable. They are commonly nothing more than thin cloth stretched between two points with a mesh cup holder sewn in. However, the width of the arms is fundamental to how your arms are supported while seated. Also, if you lean forward in your chair, you will probably want armrests with padding. 

And for maximal comfort, you can expect to find padding incorporated into the design of a great camping chair. While not essential, padding will add extra support to your limbs, head, and tush. Campers tend to spend long hours around a campfire watching the embers burn out, and if you happen to be a larger person, padding might be a critical aspect of your chair. 

Accessories

Some camping chair accessories might seem unnecessary to you, but once you have determined the capacity, durability, and comfort of your next chair, take a look at what accessories might be available before making your purchase. 

In my personal opinion, a camping chair should include at least one cup holder. Last year, I went camping near Okeechobee, Florida. I made the mistake of not taking a camping chair with me, and so had to buy a cheap one at a nearby grocery store. The chair worked well – but had no cup holder! I had to set my cold beer on the ground. When I picked it up again, it was coated around the bottom with a layer of sticky sand. This on top of the fact that the sand was uneven and made the drink likely to tip over. Make sure it has a cup holder – or two – and check that your tumbler will fit – not just 12 oz. (35 cl) cans. 

Better yet, find a camping chair with insulated cup holders. Some camping chairs even come with attached coolers, which basically means you can stay in your chair for hours at a time without having to get up.

You may also want to have storage compartments sewn to the armrests or the back of the chair. These can be useful for small items like car keys or a phone, but they could also be used for magazines, books, laptops, sketch pads, and many other things.

You might even want to consider a chair with a side table. An attached table may add to the overall weight of the chair for carrying but can certainly enhance the convenience of the chair. The advantage of having an attached side table is that you will have one less thing to carry and set up, and you will have a place to set things rather than on your lap. 

tent and chairs surrounded by trees

Finally, I recommend that your chair comes with a good carry bag. Whether coming or going, you will probably have to carry it some distance, and without a bag, chairs can be cumbersome and difficult to handle. Some bags come with handles for single-hand carry, while others include either one shoulder strap for carrying it like a sling, or two shoulder straps to use like a back pack. The carry bag will also protect your chair while in storage and during transportation. 

Reviews of 5 Heavy Duty Camping Chairs

ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair

This chair appears to be one of the most durable chairs out there, according to many people who have purchased it. It is made with a steel frame that is screwed together rather than riveted, and uses 600D polyester that is sewn together in a quilt-like pattern for extra comfort. While some users have reported that the fabric does not breathe well, the armrests were cleverly designed to include adjustable nylon straps to keep them from sliding down.

The chair back sits straight up, which can be uncomfortable for some but preferred by others. Many customers loved the multiple storage pockets on the armrests and back, although some stated that the cupholders were two small for their tumblers, but perfect for beer cans and water bottles. Although there have been some complaints that the seat sags in the back and causes some discomfort in the legs at the front of the seat, many people have also liked that the height of the chair makes standing up easier. 

It comes with a handy carry bag with straps like a backpack, making it super easy to transport from the car to the camp, while leaving your hands free to carry other things. It’s built to last and rated at 800 pounds capacity, and the large majority of those who have tried it have been extremely satisfied. 

Pros

  • sturdy and well-made
  • several storage pockets
  • adjustable armrests, with nylon straps to keep them from sliding down
  • seat is high and makes standing easy
  • Tough, comfortable material

Cons

  • heavier than other chairs
  • Cup holders too small for large tumblers
  • material is not breathable, gets hot
  • seat tends to sag in the back, creating pressure on the legs above the knee

COLEMAN Portable Camping Quad Chair

The majority of people who have used this chair have found it to be a great buy. On the lower end of the price range for heavy duty chairs, users say the construction holds up well under their weight, with the exception that occasionally the armrests bend or break if you place too much weight on them. However, the chair is rated for 300 lbs., which is right up there with some of the best heavy duty camping chairs.

Many customers have commented on how much they like the accessories that come with the chair. On one armrest, the manufacturer incorporated a four-can cooler. People who use the cooler say it really only holds about three cans with ice, or two water bottles, but others have used the cooler as a garbage receptical, or to keep phones, keys, and sunglasses out of the sand or sun. On the other armrest, they’ve included a mesh cup holder. Below that there is a mesh storage pocket for books, tablets, magazines, or anything else you might bring with you. 

This chair comes with a carry bag, although some users have expressed that the cooler and storage pocket make the chair more difficult to fit back into the bag, unless you fold it just right. The armrests have a tendency to slide down after a while, but they are adjustable, and the chair is listed as having a fully padded seat and back. While many reviewers did say they found the chair very comfortable, few commented that the padding made any difference, but instead noted that there was little support for the head. 

With all things considered, given its low price, accessories, and durability, this chair has been an extremely popular buy for campers, hunters, car show observers, parade watchers, barbeque fanatics, and all other manner of folks. As an added bonus, it comes with a one-year limited warranty in case you are aren’t satisfied. 

pros

  • convenient armrest cooler
  • Fully cushioned seat and back
  • Mesh cup holder
  • Storage pocket to keep magazines and personal items
  • Adjustable armrest heights
  • Durable construction (steel)
  • Carry bag
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • great price compared to competition

cons

  • arm rests tend to slide down after prolonged use
  • cooler & storage pocket can make chair difficult to put in bag
  • metal arm rest support has been known to bend or break
  • no support for head

TIMBER RIDGE Ergonomic Camping Chair

People have found this chair to be both sturdy and comfortable. Unlike much of the competition, the seat does not sag, according to many customers who have tried it. The high back offers additional support, but does not sit straight up, and some users have noted that the padding in the seat and armrests adds extra comfort. It is made with a steel frame, and while many customers have commented on the toughness of the chair, some have also pointed out that it can be difficult to fold. 

People like that the feet are rectangular and larger than similar chairs, which helps to prevent the chair from sinking into the ground. Many also like the removable cup holder, but report that it is located in a strange spot: attached to the seat rather than the armrest. Some customers have also found the cupholder to be too small for large tumblers, and if your drink is too tall, you may have trouble retrieving it from beneath the armrest. Even so, the cupholder is insulated and the right size for your typical soda, beer, or small water bottle. 

This chair weighs more than much of the competition, but several users have said the added weight is worth the strong construction. The chair comes with a carry bag, in addition to a one-year manufacturer’s warranty in case you encounter any defects. 

Pros

  • high back
  • seat does not sag
  • insulated, detachable cup holder
  • padded armrests
  • rectangular feet to prevent sinking into sand
  • strong construction
  • carry bag included
  • 1 year manufacturer’s warranty

Cons

  • heavy to carry (13 pounds)
  • cup holder attached to seat, not to armrest
  • cup holder not designed for large cups or bottles
  • can be difficult to fold

COLEMAN Big and Tall Camping Chair

Rated at 600 lbs., this camping chair is built for one purpose in mind: provide a large, sturdy chair for a heavy duty user. Although it lacks many of the accessories that many of the other chairs reviewed here, people who have purchased it generally say that the wide seat is comfortable and provides plenty of room. The chair is rated for 600 pounds, and many customers have said that it feels rugged and stable, although there have been some complaints that the chair is uncomfortable in the front where your knees would be. 

The seat is high off the ground, making it easier to stand up. It comes with an insulated cup holder, and the manufacturer even incorporated a small drain hole in the seat to prevent standing water. It comes with a carry bag as well, although some users have commented that they don’t like the large words on the carry bag advertising “BIG-N-TALL.” 

Compared to other heavy duty camping chairs, this one comes in at the lower end of the price range. Whether they are tall or big, or they just want a roomy chair, many people have said they were happy with this chair and would buy it again. 

Pros

  • rated for 600 pounds
  • wide seat (24 inches)
  • sturdy frame
  • high seat
  • small water-resistant phone pocket on armrest
  • insulated cup holder
  • carry bag
  • small drain hole in seat for standing water
  • lower price

Cons

  • BIG-N-TALL labeled on the carry bag
  • front of seat causes discomfort on the legs in some cases

KING CAMP Heavy Duty Deluxe

It can be difficult to find a heavy duty chair that is both rugged and comfortable, but those customers who have tried this chair report that it is just that. Constructed with steel tubes and 600 by 300D fabric, most users have found it to be very durable and true to its rating of 350 lbs. And while it is not as heavy as some other steel-framed chairs, many users have found the carry bag to be difficult to use, specifically when packing the chair. 

Still, this chair offers many accessories that make it “deluxe.” The high back of the chair contains an extra, zippered storage pouch, and another one has been sewn onto the side of the chair for a book, magazine, or tablet. On one armrest, they’ve added a small cooler bag that is advertised to fit three soda cans. However, many users have said that the cooler bag really only fits one or two cans, including ice. And on the other armrest, there’s a cup holder. 

One of the main advantages of this chair is the strap across the back that can be tightened for lumbar support. Many people have said that this feature greatly increases the comfort of the chair. Additionally, the armrests are sturdy and provide plenty of support when standing up, and the height of the back provides support for your head. Overall, this chair seems to be a great fit for many different types of users and has received good reviews all around with few negative comments. 

Pros

  • very sturdy
  • great lumbar support
  • seat is roomy
  • storage pockets on side and back
  • insulated bag for cold drinks
  • strong arm rests (good for standing up)

Cons

  • hard to return chair to carry bag
  • cooler bags holds two 12 oz. cans with ice at most

My Top Pick

Of the five products I reviewed, I concluded that the best heavy duty camping chair in terms of weight capacity, materials and design, comfort, support, and accessories was the KING CAMP Heavy Duty Deluxe Camping Chair. For me, the deciding factors were the adjustable lumbar support strap and the strength of the arm rests when standing up. Overall, most users found this chair to be comfortable and reliable, with convenient additions and a comparably light weight.

When it comes to heavy duty camping chairs, the choices are often so similar that it can be hard to choose, and it’s hard to tell whether the capacity ratings will coincide with reality. If you go with the less expensive option, you might end up buying a reliable chair that lasts years. However, you could spend a little more and get some convenient accessories as well. At the end of the day, what matters is when and where you intend to use the chair. 

Sources:

  1. “What’s the difference between 600D polyester, 500D Nylon, Cordura?” Ruibag: The News of Bag and Material. 2019. https://www.ruibagfactory.com/600d-polyester/
  2. “denier.” def. 2. Dictionary.com. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/denier
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