Carrying a chair with you into the backcountry isn’t exactly an ultralight essential, but it is a delightful luxury after a long hard day on the trail. If you’re willing to pack in a bit more weight for a comfortable seat around camp, here are some of the current best backpacking chairs.
Winner of a Backpacker Magazine Editors Choice Award in 2017, this four-legged, award-winning butt rest weighs 17 ounces, supports up to 265 pounds, and packs down to a very portable 14 x 4 x 4 inches. $110. It’s part of a wide range of foldable furniture—including a full selection of cots, tables, and chairs—made by this small, innovative company.
REI has followed Helinox’s lead by developing its Flexlite Chair, a heavier (1 pound, 10 ounces) but somewhat less expensive ($80) take on the Chair Zero. It’s available in a rainbow of colors, packs down to 15 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches and can support up to 250 pounds.
This option features a unique two-legged structure that’s designed for kicking back and rocking backwards to a comfortable balanced position. Though it can take a bit to get used to, the design allows it to be packed down to a puny 12 x 4.5 x 4.5 inch package, smaller than the other options. 1.3 pounds, $70.
The Hex 2.0 is the lightest iteration of the classic Crazy Creek chair design—an ultra-durable, direct-on-the-ground seat that requires no set-up whatsoever. Two clips and adjustable straps allow you to tension it to your preference or you can unclip the straps so it lays flat as a sit pad or as additional insulation underneath your sleeping pad at night. It weighs 22 ounces, rolls up to only 4 inches in diameter for easy packing, and is the most affordable of the chairs listed here ($54). Not the most comfortable, but certainly the simplest, most versatile, and most durable option of the lot.