Best Ultralight Camping Chair: Comfy and Lightweight

Are you looking for the best ultralight camping chair for your adventures? Many of you are looking for ways to cut weight and space in your camping gear so you are wondering if it is really possible to get a quality lightweight camp chair. In this guide we share our favorite lightweight folding chairs and give you tips for selecting the best one for you.

Brad and I purchased all of these chairs several years ago to field test. Since then they’ve been tested on camping trips, fishing trips and quite a few beach days. We use these a lot because they are easy to pack and travel with. And you know we love to travel!

As always, I’ve included links to where you can purchase these chairs to make it easier for you. Most of the links are affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission if you make a purchase even though you don’t pay anything extra.

Our Top Choice for an Ultralight Camping Chair

Our top choice is the Trekology Yizi. You can read the full review below. We selected it because we felt the most comfortable in this chair and is a great value. When you sit down it feels steady and secure. Trekology recently updated the chair to give you more seat room which we really loved!

If you are looking for a super Ultralight Camping Chair, then our recommendation is be the Flexlite Camp Chair from REI Coop. It weighs only 1.5 pounds and has a great price.

You’ll find full reviews of a few more of the chairs we liked and actually use quite often below. A lot of chairs we tested didn’t make the cut because they felt unsteady, uncomfortable and of poor quality.

The best ultralight camping chair is one that not only is lightweight and compact but provides comfort and support when you are camping. There’s no sense in hauling around a chair that you don’t want to use, right? In the list below we’ve included our tested top selection of camping chairs. Each fits a slightly different need in camping styles.

How Do I Choose a Camp Chair?

The best way to choose a chair for camping is first to determine how you are going to use the chair or what type of camping you do. Then your body build should be considered, what is going to fit you most comfortably? In the end, comfort is your goal. So here’s why these factors are important to selecting the best Ultralight Camp Chair.

  1. Weight of the chair is probably the most obvious factor in deciding which is the best ultralight camping chair. But don’t be too quick to make it your only factor. You want to be comfortable and sit in a sturdy chair. Here are generally looking at chairs between 2-3 pounds. For a lighter chair take a look at the Helinox Chair Zero below to get down to almost a pound which is lighter for backpacking.
  2. Pack size is just as important. Most of these chairs are about the size of a 2-liter bottle of soda which is approx. 240 cu inches.
  3. Capacity means how much weight the chair can hold. We eliminated any chairs that couldn’t hold at least 225 pounds. You don’t want your chair collapsing under you when you pick up your 30-pound backpack or pick up your child and suddenly exceed the weight it can handle.
  4. Seat Height from the ground to your knees can be important. While a traditional kitchen chair has a seat height of 18 inches, usually, seats in the 13-15 inch range are still comfortable. If you want a full-height but still very lightweight camping chair, check out the G4Free Camp Chair review below as it sits at a full 18 inches – super comfy.
  5. Price is always important. For our overall best camping chair, we focused on chairs that were in the $20 to $50 range.

Types of Camping Chairs that are Ultralight

  • The best lightweight camp chairs are made with an aluminum pole system, similar to how tent poles are put together. The stretch cord is woven into the poles so when you open the package all the poles just pop into place. All you have to do is snug the connections and stretch the cover over. It’s super simple. The aircraft-grade aluminum gives great strength while keeping the weight way down.
  • There are a handful of padded trail seats that are shaped similar to stadium seats plus a selection of sit pads without the back. These sit right on the ground, providing an insulation layer that’s wonderful on cold nights. Some have a backrest that folds out. I also use one in my kayak because of the extra padding and back support.
  • And last we included a camp stool for those of you who just prefer the comfort of a stool. These camping stools are super lightweight. You’ll love them for meal prep, fishing, or just sitting around the campfire.

The Results: Top Choices for Best Camping Chair

We had to put these chairs to the test. After a lifetime of sitting in bulky bag chairs, it was a bit of an adjustment to trust that these lightweight, folding camp chairs could do the job. But wow, Brad and I were amazed at the sturdiness and comfort.  And our youngest daughter joined in for the chair hopping experience to round out the results. Then we took them on real camping trips. Not every chair is showing up in our list because some were just plain garbage.

Here are the chairs we loved and our notes on the testing:

✅ Best Overall Lightweight Camping Chair – Trekology Yizi 2.0

STYLE: Alum Pole System
WEIGHT: 3.0 lb
STORED SIZE: 14.0 x 4.3 x 6.0 in (361 cu in)
SEAT HEIGHT: 16.0 in
COLORS: Black, Blue, Green Red


After several years of camping with the Trekology Yizi, I continue to be surprised by how comfortable it is. We have hauled it on airplanes, in boats, to concerts and it keeps on holding up.

  • Compactness: With a short storage packages of only 14″ long, the Yizi packs easily, taking up very little space. Including the storage bag, it comes in at about 3 lbs. So easy to tuck into your trunk, your luggage or even your backpack.
  • Sturdiness: When we tested butts in seats, the Trekology Yizi felt the sturdiest. That has been proven over and over in our campsites. Designed with the same high-strength aluminum alloys used by aircraft manufacturers you’ll find this a very strong chair. We particularly love that it will hold up to a 300-pound person. That means when your child climbs into your lap, you won’t have to worry about collapsing.
  • Easy to Assemble: It takes seconds to pop together. The tent pole-like structure is pre-connected by a strong stretch cord so all the pieces pop right into the correct places once you take it out of the bag. This particular chair has a pull tab on the seat fabric to make it easier to attach the seat to the frame.
  • Comfort:  At 16″ seat height it sits a little higher than any of the other finalists. That little bit of extra lift added to the comfort for knees. Plus the 28″ back is one of the most supportive. The Trekology has 2 nice-sized storage pockets. A place for your phone and one for your water bottle just make my day!

It’s often the little things that make a difference and the deciding factor was the pull tabs that help you open up the pockets on the top where you insert the support poles. Without those little pull tabs, it was challenging to get the seat cover stretched properly for assembly.

Cons of the Yizi Ultralight Folding Chair

  • There is no shoulder strap on this camping chair’s carrying bag, although if you are just popping over to the beach for a break it is easy to grasp the bag without the strap.
  • Brad felt like he was falling back when he sat in the Trekology. In contrast, I think the relaxed angle of the back was part of what I really liked about this chair.

✅ Lightest Camp Chair at a Great Price – REI Co-op Flexlite

STYLE: Alum Pole System
WEIGHT: 1.5 lb
STORED SIZE: 15 x 4.5 x 4.5 in (304 cu in)
SEAT MATERIAL: Ripstop Polyester
COLORS: Black, Blue


If the weight of the chair is the most critical decision point, then the extra lightweight Flexlite Camp Chair from REI is a good choice for you. To be fair, you give up a little bit of sturdiness and comfort when you drop so much weight off the design. However this chair is a winner for a lightweight chair when backpacking or any other time you need to drop a pound from your pack.

  • Compactness: The Flexlite chair for backpacking and camping stores in an easy to pack drawstring bag that takes up very little space in your camping gear.
  • Sturdiness: While this is probably the least sturdy chair in this guide, when used on solid ground you will feel secure once you’ve settled in. It doesn’t work well on shifting ground like you’d find at the beach or in the desert.
  • Easy to Assemble: This is one of the easiest to assemble lightweight chairs we found. Just pop it out of the bag and everything easily locks together.
  • Comfort: The angle of the chair and the deep seat make this a comfortable seat when hiking or camping.

Our other choice for an extra lightweight chair is the Helinox which is reviewed below. You can get this REI chair for about 1/2 the price which makes it a great value for camping.

Cons to the REI Flexlite Chair

  • Not the sturdiest chair when getting in or out of the seat. However once seated it feels very secure.

✅ Best Camp Chair for Sand or Soft Ground – iCLIMB Camping Chair with Anti-Sinking Wide Feet

STYLE: Alum Pole System
WEIGHT: 2.2 lb
STORED SIZE: 13.8 x 5.5 x 5.0 in (375 cu in)
SEAT HEIGHT: 13.8 in
COLORS: Black, Camo, Blue, Red, Yellow


If you want to use your chair in sandy places often, take a look at the Anti-Sinking Feet on the iClimb Ultralight Camping Chair. We have one folding camp chair with these feet and fight for it every time we are at the beach. As you can imagine the others tend to sink. If the beach or if you love desert camping , this is the chair for you.

  • Compactness: Weighing just a touch over 2 pounds and the size of a 2-liter bottle of soda size when packed, this chair is easy to take everywhere. You really can’t go wrong with tucking one of these into your camping gear. The space-saving is amazing.
  • Sturdiness: The anti-sinking feet really do work like a charm on soft surfaces keeping your chair legs from sinking into the ground. When we tested the folding chair with the feet attached it felt super sturdy on any surface so you can’t go wrong with it for a multi-use compact camping chair.
  • Easy to Assemble: The iCLIMB Chairs all utilize foldable aluminum poles with a shock-cord structure that makes them super easy to pop together. Then slip on the seat cover and you are ready to go.
  • Comfort: The wider feet will make you feel more secure when sitting, raising your personal comfort level.

The pop on anti-sink feet are amazing. In the right conditions, you won’t find a better choice for your folding camping chair.

Cons of the iClimb Ultralight Camping Chair

  • This chair is a bit pricier than the options.
  • Even though it lists as 275 pounds, our opinion is it would be better for lighter weight hikers and campers as it didn’t seem to be as tough as some of the other chairs.

✅ Best Ultralight Backpacking Chair (for serious hikers) – Helinox Chair Zero

Alum Pole System
1.1 lb
13.8 x 3.9 x 3.9 in (210 cu in)
11.5 in
25 in
Ripstop Polyester
265 lbs
Black, Gray, Sand


ONLY 1.1 Pounds!

It’s hard to believe a chair this lightweight could be so good and absolutely perfect for backpacking. However, the Helinox Chair Zero has won numerous awards and the manufacturer stands behind their extremely lightweight backpacking chair with a 5-year warranty. It’s our top choice if you plan to carry your camping chair on your back all day.

  • Compact Storage: You are not going to find any other ultralight backpacking chairs this small and light that you still trust under your bum. It packs down to the size of a 1/2 liter soda and weighs only 1 pound.
  • Sturdiness: Most of the size and weight reduction comes from the shorter legs (not reduced quality), which means you sit closer to the ground. Many find sitting closer to the ground to feel even sturdier than the taller chairs we mention above.
  • Easy to Assemble: Yes, in just seconds the corded aircraft-grade aluminum legs just pop right together. The seat cover of this lightest chair stretches over the legs with a little bit of tugging.
  • Comfort: Just as they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, comfort is in the bum of the hiker. After a long day on the trail, you’ll think this is the most comfortable chair you have ever sat in. However for testing purposes, if you compare traditional camping as we did you will likely find other chairs slightly more comfortable due to the extra height.

This is a high-quality, well-tested backpacking chair that will be a delight to unfold at the end of a long hike. It’s incredibly lightweight and comfy.

Cons of the Helinox Chair Zero

  • With higher performance expectations comes a significantly higher price.
  • While the top choice for backpacking, if you are car or RV camping and can afford a little more weight you might prefer the taller seats found in the other compact camp chairs.

✅ Best Adjustable Chair for Concerts and Star Gazing – Sportneer Lightweight Camp Chair

STYLE: Alum Pole System
3.1 lb
13.5 x 4.5 x 6.1 in (370 cu in)
Adjusts 14.6 to 15.4 to 16.5 in
Adjusts 26 to 28 in
330 lbs
Orange and Black


This chair is so worth buying because of the adjustable legs.

I’m totally embarrassed that I didn’t understand why camp chairs would have adjustable legs. Know I Know! You know when you are at a concert with seats on the hill and you keep sliding out of your chair? Just adjust the back legs lower and magically you are level and snug. Even better when stargazing while camping in a dark night campground have you ever hurt your neck leaning back to see the stars? Just lower the back legs and you are at the perfect angle. Don’t you just love it!

  • Compact Storage: Although this is one of the heavier chairs we are recommending for camping, the extra weight is due to the mechanisms in the legs that allow you to adjust leg height. It is not a bulkier chair.
  • Sturdiness: Not the updated triangle design to the base. That makes this chair sturdy. This is a well-made chair that will serve up to a 330-pound person.
  • Easy to Assemble: The stretch corded supports will easily pop together just as in the other aluminum pole system chairs. We found the press buttons to adjust the leg height easy to use but could see that someone with arthritis might find them challenging.
  • Comfort: The ability to adjust to different levels makes this chair super comfortable. You’ll also love the high 28″ back that provides extra support. this chair has 2 large pockets, perfect for storing beverages or gear off the ground.

Cons of the Lightweight Sportneer Chair

  • The adjusters on the legs seemed to make this a bit bulkier to carry, even though the package size is similar to the Trekology.

✅ Best High Back Camp Chair – G4Free Portable Camp Chair

STYLE: Alum Pole System
WEIGHT: 2.8 lb
STORED SIZE: 16.0 x 6.0 x 5.0 in (480 cu in)
SEAT HEIGHT:  18.5 in
BACK HEIGHT: 40.9 in
COLORS: Blue, Red, Blue Leaf Pattern, Orange


If you are looking for true comfort, then you probably want a high-back lightweight camp chair. The G4Free Camp Chairs sit a lot higher with a 40 inch back, 18.5 in seat and have a lot more back support. The drawback is you add almost a pound for the extra comfort. Still at 3 pounds if you aren’t carrying these chairs backcountry in your backpack these would fit the bill for pretty much any other use where size matters.

  • Compact Storage: Compared to the other Aluminum Pole System lightweight chairs, this one takes up almost twice the space in your pack. For car camping and RVs, it might be worth the extra space to have the taller chair.
  • Sturdiness: The main compartment of the Osprey Skimmer is bucket style with a large wide mouth. The zipper opens almost 2/3rds of the way so you can easily load and access the contents. This ease of use is a big plus for the Skimmer.
  • Easy to Assemble: Surprisingly, the extra support pole lengths don’t impact the ease of assembly at all. This chair clicks together just as easily as the rest of the chairs in this list.
  • Comfort: If we could give this chair 6 hearts for comfort, we would. If you struggle with knee issues when sitting low, or back pain without the extra support in the height of the chair back then this lightweight chair will be a lifesaver. The head area is padded with a pillow for additional support. And you’ll appreciate the generous side pocket.

The extra height makes this sit as comfortable as any traditional camp chair at 1/2 of the weight.

✅ Best Sit Pad – Therm-a-Rest Lite Seat Ultralight Inflatable Seat Cushion

STYLE: Sit Pad
WEIGHT: 4 oz
STORED SIZE: 6.5 x 2.5 in
SEAT HEIGHT:  sits on the ground
COLORS: Blue, Green, Orange

OUR REVIEW OF Therm-a-Rest Lite Seat Ultralight Inflatable Seat Cushion

For the best backpacking chairs, a sit pad is likely just what you need. They take up very little space while giving you a cushy place to sit at the end of the day.

  • Compact Storage: The Therm-a-Rest sit pad rolls up to about the size of a “tall-boy” beverage can. That makes this lightweight backpacking chair super easy to slip down into your backpack.
  • Sturdiness: It opens to 1.5 inches providing a firm insulation layer. This sit pad is incredibly durable and will last you for years to come.
  • Easy to Use: The sit pad is self-inflating, just open the valve and it will start filling. To roll back up, put a little pressure on the pad as you roll to let the air escape. So simple!

It’s so tempting when backpacking to skip taking something to sit on. But then on a cold night when you are sitting on the cold ground, you are going to wish you had an insulation layer under your bottom. Your tired bones will thank you too!

Cons of the Therm-a-Rest Seat Cushion

Even though this is made of a heavy duty material, it can be punctured by a very sharp tool or rock rendering it unusable.

Best Backpacking Camp Stool – TravelChair Slacker

STYLE: Camp Stool
WEIGHT: 1.9 lb
STORED SIZE: 24 x 2.75 x 2.75 in (181 cu in)
SEAT MATERIAL: Ripstop Polyester
COLORS: Black, Blue, Red, Green


We really like this camp stool for backpacking. The Travel-Chair Slacker Camp Stool will attach to the back of your pack just like hiking poles which keeps it out of the way when not needed. It would also be pretty easy to stack several of these in your trunk or RV for last-minute camping guests.

  • Compact Storage: The 3 legs of the stool just fold together and wrap the hook and loop strap around them to secure. The package is longer than any of the other chairs we recommend, but it is super slim so the total space it takes up is significantly less than any other ultralight camping chair.
  • Sturdiness: Designed to support up to 275 pounds, this chair is meant to last. Travel Chair is a US-owned company that has been designing chairs to last since 1984 and it shows in the workmanship of this stool.
  • Easy to Use: There is no assembly, just release the strap and you have a stool in a flash.
  • Comfort: Sitting at 20 inches high, it’s really a comfortable stool. The fabric is stretch and abrasion-resistant to give you the most support.

We love the ease of backpack attachment the most, and with that, you save quite a bit of weight. You’ll also find this stool very reasonable priced

Cons of the Travel-Chair Slacker Stool

If you are looking for a chair to chill in, then a stool is probably not your style. However, for a super ultralight way to rest your feet, this camping stool is pretty sweet.

Best Uses for Ultralight Camp Chairs

It’s really important to understand how you will be using your ultralight camping chair before you make a final decision. Here are all the ways we were considering in our decision process:

  • General Car Camping where space is often limited. That probably applies to a lot of you in camper vans and small RVs too.
  • Fly and Car Camp. We do this a lot! All our camping gear must fit in one 40 pound checked duffel bag so weight and size are really critical. Historically we have purchased cheap chairs upon arrival and then gifted them to fellow campers on our last day. But now we just bring our own ultralight camping chairs in our packed bag.
  • Canoe Trips. Weight is really important for those portages. We skipped taking chairs on our boundary water trip because of this, but wow it would have been a much pleasanter trip with a few chairs around the campfire.
  • Back Country Camping. I’d definitely consider a little extra weight in my pack for a trip where we planned to relax at lakes (you can read that as fishing) and camp as much as we hiked. If you are doing extended or long-distance backpacking we found the best and lightest chair to be the Helinox Chair Zero.
  • And as I’m writing this Brad just came back from his annual guys fishing trip and instantly honed in on the test chairs. He wants to take our new chairs with him next year to keep on the boat for their shore lunches. (I’m a little afraid I will never see these chairs again!)

Key Features of Ultralight Camping Chairs

So considering all the ways we plan to use these chairs, here are the features we looked for when selecting our ultralight chair.

Lightweight Camping Chairs:

Ok, that should go without saying. But as I dug into the world of camping chairs I found that lightweight had different meanings for different people.  The goal is to go as light as possible while still meeting all your other needs. So I’ve divided our choices into categories for you below.

All these chairs use 7075 Aviation Aluminum Alloy, which is one of the strongest lightweight metals available. Combining that with the use of lightweight fabrics and modern technology has delivered some amazing lightweight camping chairs.

Camp Chair Storage Dimensions:

Interestingly, ultralight chairs of the same weight can vary a lot in how much space they take up. The difference is in the design, how tight the pieces fold together. The space difference is probably not enough that it would matter for car or van camping, but definitely enough if you are going to squeeze it into your backpack.

Sturdiness and Weight Capacity of the Camp Chair:

I’m sure you are just concerned as I was that when you give up so much weight are you swapping out for a really flimsy chair? Surprisingly not! The use of modern lightweight metals and creative construction design has delivered some incredibly sturdy ultralight camp chairs. That said… not every lightweight chair feels sturdy.

And it’s pretty hard to relax if you are worried about your chair tipping over or collapsing so we’d like lightweight chairs that also feel secure. If you are the only one who will sit in your camp chair then setting the top weight capacity just above your weight makes sense because you’ll save a few ounces.

But if you think you’ll have camp visitors who might plop into your special chair a minimum capacity of 225 pounds will be safer for the life of your camp chair (not to mention your friend’s behind).

The Comfort of Your Chair when Camping:

The only reason you are bringing a chair is to enjoy the comfort compared to sitting on a rock or log. So maybe comfort should be number one on this requirements list! For that reason, we did not consider any camp chairs that are really stools. We are also looking for chairs that are easy to get out of. Getting “stuck” in your chair when you have your hands full is not a pretty sight.

That means we also split out really low sitting chairs in the 8-12 inch seat height into their own category. Lower chairs are great for concerts and beaches as well as some folks just like to sit low.

Considering that the average dining chair is 18 inches high, we looked at taller camping chairs for everyday camping use. The highest chairs are about 15 inches, so we used the range of 13-15 inch seat height for overall comfort.

Drink holder:

I assume no explanation is required about the “need” for this feature. LOL. Sadly, I found very few quality chairs with a true cup holder. However many have a really nice gear pocket that could double as a water bottle holder or a place to tuck a cell phone. You just won’t want to drop an open beverage can into the pocket.

Ease of Assembly in Camp:

Most of the ultralight camping chairs use a shock cord assembly system. No Tools Required! That means all the frame pieces have a stretchy cord running through them so when you unpack you can pretty much just shake them into shape. A little adjusting to make sure all the pieces are locked together and you have a chair.

Portability is Critical in a Great Ultralight Camp Chair:

You’ll want a sturdy, but lightweight camping chair bag. Remember all those pieces shock-corded together? Well, you don’t want them getting tangled up. A shoulder strap on the bag would be nice to have but right now I can’t imagine a scenario when we won’t have them tucked into a backpack or in the car so for me it’s negotiable.

You’ll have to think about how you will use your camp chairs to decide if it’s important to you.

Fast Drying Chairs are Wonderful:

We just got back from a week of car camping where it rained every day. And every morning I said naughty words as I dealt with a wet bottom because our traditional bag chairs just didn’t dry out very fast. Enough said!

You’re sure to find the perfect ultralight camping chair for the activities that keep you busy from this list. Personally, I was delighted by the selection of camping chairs that are so lightweight.

Looking for other great camping gear? Here’s some of our most popular gear reviews:

How about a lightweight camping side table to go with that new chair? We just reviewed the top camp tables and are pretty excited about the choices. Take a look!


  • Ladona Stork

    The Authors: Hey, we are Ladona and Brad, avid campers and hikers. We are crazy about getting outdoors at every possible moment and have decades of experience exploring nature. Our current goal is to visit all 63 US National Parks and just completed #42. WooHoo! Our mission is to help you plan your own adventures and create memories beyond your imagination!