Which reclining camping chairs are best?
Camping chairs are usually foldable or collapsible by design, but not all models recline. Reclining camping chairs are ideal for long-term use as part of a semipermanent outdoor setup. Some chairs incorporate headrests, armrests and footrests, but the best options are lightweight, portable and easy to use. If you are looking for a reclining camping chair that is strong yet lightweight, with a good array of features, the Ever Advanced Zero Gravity is a good option.
What to know before you buy a reclining camping chair
Choice of features
Reclining models are larger than regular camping chairs, and often incorporate more features, including swing-up footrests, integrated trays or cupholders, and bigger pockets, headrests and armrests. If portability is your main concern, expect to compromise on additional features, as these can add considerably to a chair’s footprint when collapsed.
A chair’s manufacturing materials account in large part for the quality of the product. Look for ripstop nylon fabrics and thick aluminum poles in ultra-portable models, and if steel is used, it should be a stainless variety, or at least be well-coated in durable paint. Check the fabric’s stitching is of good quality and reinforced at stress points. If the chair is padded, closed-cell foam is better as it has water-repellent qualities and will not absorb dampness.
Manufacturers of reclining camping chairs must find a compromise between weight and strength as both factors are essential to a successful product. Most are tested to support weights of between 200 and 300 pounds and some are built specifically to support greater weights. However, these are often much heavier than their more portable counterparts and not intended for carrying over long distances.
What to look for in a quality reclining camping chair
A good reclining camping chair should last many years of regular use if it is properly looked after. Check for sturdy joints and fasteners and make sure all seams are properly stitched. UV-resistant material is favorable as your chair is likely to be kept outdoors for long periods, and all fabric and padding should be water-resistant or quick-drying. While steel-framed models are cheaper, opt for stainless or aluminum if you want to avoid staining and corrosion.
While a reclining camping chair is rarely as comfortable as your favorite armchair at home, some can come close. Some designs, such as “zero gravity chairs” use elastic cords to suspend their canvas, for a floating sensation that is particularly comfortable over long periods. Others use fine material or mesh to provide a lighter contact with the body and excellent ventilation properties, while some higher-end models even offer lumbar support.
Two factors affect a chair’s portability and these are its size when collapsed and its weight. If you are using a vehicle to transport your chair to its point of use, weight isn’t such an issue, whereas space might be an important factor. If you are using your chair on a hiking trip or at a remote event and need to carry it on your person, size and weight are paramount.
How much you can expect to spend on a reclining camping chair
If you only plan on using your reclining camping chair sparingly, you can pick up a cheap model for as little as $30. Good quality, durable options range between $50 and $100, whereas high-end recliners can set you back as much as $200 or more.
Reclining camping chair FAQ
How do I store my reclining camping chair?
A. Keep your chair stowed in its included case whenever it is not in use, and store it in a dry place where it is unlikely to attract mildew. Always ensure the chair and its bag are dry before you put it away.
Which is better — a reclining chair or an upright chair?
A. Both types have their advantages. If you plan to sit around a table or use your chair inside a tent or RV, an upright chair saves on space and is better positioned. If you plan to lounge outdoors or use your chair for napping, opt for a recliner.
What are the best reclining camping chairs to buy?
Top reclining camping chair
What you need to know: This is a fine example of a “zero-gravity chair” that suspends the cushion on shock cords, giving users a floating sensation.
What you’ll love: This sturdy chair holds weights of up to 350 pounds and reclines up to 170 degrees. Its large headrest, fully-sized footrest, armrests and spacious tray with cup holder further add to its practicality and comfort.
What you should consider: At 20 pounds, it is one of the heavier models with large dimensions when folded.
Top reclining camping chair for the money
What you need to know: This affordable chair features hammock-like construction that supports the whole body and converts to an upright chair with ease.
What you’ll love: This clever design swings the body backward and the legs upwards in one smooth motion, much like a conventional reclining armchair. It has a footrest, armrests, a built-in mesh cup holder and a spacious side pocket.
What you should consider: The chair lacks a built-in or detachable headrest and is not the most compact model when collapsed.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This comfortable rocking chair converts from an upright position to a comfortable recliner in seconds.
What you’ll love: This design from Zenbuff is highly versatile and light. Its breathable mesh cloth is supported by a sturdy aluminum alloy construction and it incorporates a Velcro headrest and cup holder. The collapsible frame has a tough shock cord to keep its poles in place.
What you should consider: This model has no built-in footrest, so it doesn’t support the legs in a fully reclining position.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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