Kick Back with these Ultralight Backpacking Chairs

June 26, 2018

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.

Helinox Chair Zero

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.

Helinox Chair Zero

REI Flexlite Chair

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.


REI Flexlite Chair

Alite Monarch Chair

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.

Rocking back in the the Alite Monarch Chair.

Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original

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. 



Search AMC Outdoors and Blogs

Search for:

Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.