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best folding chair buying guide

Best folding chair buying guide

A folding chair, also referred to as a travel chair, allows you to enjoy the outdoors without roughing it. Ideally, it will be sturdy, yet light-weight. Because it folds, it is compact enough to carry on your back, or will easily fit on an all-terrain vehicle like a four-wheeler.

Many folds up chairs will come in a drawstring bag or pouch with an adjustable shoulder strap. The weight of the chair is of vital importance if you will be walking or hiking to your destination. Obviously, if it will be transported in a vehicle or a camper, the weight will not be as important.

Be sure the folding chair has a sturdy frame and construction. Light-weight yet sturdy aluminum is a good choice.

You want the chair to be light enough to carry, but sturdy enough to support your weight. Keep in mind the weight of the people who will be sitting on the chairs. The tag on the chair will tell the maximum weight capacity.

You will want the fabric to be light-weight for transporting, yet durable and comfortable for when you sit on it. Mesh, canvas, nylon, and polyester are traditional fabric choices for folding camping chairs. Ideally, it will be soft to the touch, yet waterproof and fireproof for evenings around the campfire.

This also makes it easy to clean. I would stay away from plastic folding chairs, though. They are better off for lounging on the beach and can get rather uncomfortable when sitting around the fire.

Because there are so many different styles and types to choose from, it is helpful to know what it will be used for. They come in different styles and different heights from the ground.

Some sit relatively low to the ground, while others are like a traditional chair height. They also come in kid sizes. A gardening chair, with storage for garden tools, will keep you from kneeling on the ground and injuring your knees or back. A hunting chair, in camouflage, to keep in a tree stand or to sit on in the woods, can have a cover, to provide cover from the elements.

A folding bleacher chair, for sporting events, provides cushioning and keeps you warmer than sitting on metal bleachers. Outdoor folding chairs can be used for fishing, instead of sitting on the hard rock or be put in a canoe or boat.

You can go beyond the basic folding camping chair. Some options are a double chair that seats two like a couch, a travel bench that unfolds to seat up to six people, or even a folding beach chair. There is even a folding/walking cane/chair. With a tripod style, it provides a seat when open, and a walking cane when closed. Folding camping tables are also very nice things to have in addition to a chair.

Folding chairs are so versatile that they can be used anywhere: from camping to the beach, in the backyard, for tailgating with the team logo and name, at outdoor concerts, for additional seating at a picnic, a party or even on your own porch. Some additional features may include: armrests, leg rests, cup holders, coolers, storage pockets, side tables, canopies, umbrellas, and even a rocking chair version.


When you think of camping, a few things immediately come to mind: the beach, fire, and those good old folding camping chairs. You know the ones. They come in a bag, and all you have to do is take them out of the bag, pull it apart and presto! You have a chair. There are many types of outdoor folding chairs available:

Folding Beach Chair

These chairs are perfect for setting up on the beach and lounging in the sun. There are different varieties based on what you like to do on the beach. If you just like sitting in the sun, cloth models are perfect for you.

RIO Beach 4-Position Lace-Up Backpack Folding Beach Chair
RIO Beach 4-Position Lace-Up Backpack Folding Beach Chair

However, if you like swimming, plastic folding chairs are what you need. If you enjoy the best of both worlds, a wooden model is perfect for you. And, get this, you can even buy a folding chair with a UV protecting canopy. It’s called the Kelsyus Recline Backpack Beach Chair with UV Canopy and, I’m not going to lie, when I first saw this thing, I was amazed. It is a bit complicated to set up, but it is the perfect beach chair on the market right now, in my opinion.

Sitting Around the Campfire

If you are looking for a folding chair just to sit around the fire, there are so many options available to you. If you are looking for comfort and are not too worried about price, Coleman produces some really nice high-quality folding chairs. They come equipped with cushions, side pockets, and cup holders on both sides. They are also very sturdy and reliable.

Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair with 4-Can Cooler
Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair with 4-Can Cooler

However, if you have kids, there are a ton of really cheap chairs that you can buy for a single outing or summer. These are the kinds of chairs my family buys. They do not last as long as the higher quality chairs, but they are good enough for a summer of camping.

Lounge Folding Chairs

Le Papillon Adjustable Chaise Lounge Chair Recliner Outdoor Patio Pool Folding Lounge Chair
Le Papillon Adjustable Chaise Lounge Chair Recliner Outdoor Patio Pool Folding Lounge Chair 

Some fold up chairs is designed to be lounge chairs and come with a footrest. These chairs are usually angled back so you are practically lying down. They are very convenient for some nice naps on the beach or even in the campsite or backyard.

Loveseat Folding Chairs

OmniCore loveseat folding chair
OmniCore loveseat folding chair

You don’t see them often, but you can buy chairs that seat two people. They are a little bigger and heavier than other folding chairs, but they are really comfortable and two people can use them at once. We currently have a double chair and it is great. It is remarkably sturdy (I think we have had it for a good 5 or 6 years now) and has a neat little pouch between the seats that are perfect for storing things like sunscreen or munchies. It is a little heavy and it takes up a lot of space, but it is really worth it.

Folding chairs are a staple in the camping world, and if you don’t have one, you are really missing out. They are small, light, easy to store, and comfortable. What more could you ask for in a camping chair?


Folding chairs have become a staple in the camping lifestyle. They are easy to store, easy to set up and are comfortable to boot! There are many types of folding chairs out there and among these include folding beach chairs.

Going to the beach is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide and having a beach folding chair is a perfect way to easily enjoy the sun and water the beach offers. However, there are many different types of chairs out there, so how do you choose the folding beach chair that is right for you? Well, I hope to help you with that little dilemma if you would stick around and consider what I have to say.

The first thing you want to look at when shopping for a fold-up beach chair is the materials being used to make it. Most people tend to buy a cloth or canvas chair because they are considered to be the most comfortable.

Cloth naturally forms around your body, so it provides a great seat if you are going to be staying at the beach for a while. If you aren’t a fan of swimming and just like to enjoy the sun or people watch, then, by all means, go with a chair made with cloth or canvas. However, if you are a swimmer, you might want to consider going with a different material. When these chairs get wet, they tend to stay wet for hours.

Unless you don’t mind your chair staying dripping wet, you might want to look into a plastic chair instead. A plastic chair can easily be dried off if it gets wet and, while not as comfortable as cloth chairs, they are still good enough to sit in for an extended period (if you are a swimmer, you won’t spend too much time in a chair anyways).

One major disadvantage with these kinds of chairs, though, is that they tend to get very hot. This is because plastic does not allow for normal air circulation, so all the heat is absorbed directly into the material. This can be alleviated somewhat by purchasing a very light-colored chair, but even these can get hot sometimes. A good solution is setting up an umbrella so the sun is not directly shining on the chair.

If you like swimming but also like spending time just lounging, then you should look into a wooden chair. They aren’t the most comfortable chair, but simply putting cushions on it solves this problem. Wood is very moisture resistant and it doesn’t get extremely hot, so it is the best of both worlds.

They are also very resilient so they will last a lot longer than other chairs. However, a wooden folding chair is generally more expensive than the others, but not so expensive that it will break your bank account. Sometimes it is worth paying that little extra to get a really good chair.

On a side-note, I would stay away from chairs with aluminum legs. The moisture of the beach tends to rust the joints and hinges which cause them to weaken and break when you sit down. Nothing is more embarrassing than sitting on a chair only to have it break underneath you.


Plastic folding chairs are a very good choice for the beach or camping enthusiast. They are comfortable, portable, and cheap. What more could you ask for in a camping chair? Not convinced? Well, hear me out.


If you are a beach lover, then, of course, you are going to need to buy the perfect folding beach chair. You could go with the good old cloth folding chairs, but they aren’t the best if you also enjoy swimming.

When cloth chairs get wet, they stay wet forever. It’s not fun to be sitting around the campfire at night in a wet chair. No, you don’t want that. So, if you enjoy swimming at the beach, the perfect chairs for you are plastic folding beach chairs. A simple swipe with a towel is enough to dry them off and they are comfortable to boot!

Heat Resistant

One major criticism against plastic chairs is that they got really hot in the sun. This is very true of the older chairs. I remember one time at the beach back in the day when all we had were folding plastic chairs.

We all went to the beach one day and it was unusually hot. My sister went out swimming for quite a bit and foolishly left her chair out in the sun. Well, when she came back, the chair was so hot, that it actually gave her a burn when she sat down in it. Ouch.

Luckily, most outdoor plastic folding chairs today are treated with a UV resistant finish. So now you have a chair that is both waterproof and heat resistant. That’s pretty sweet. No more resorting to uncomfortable wooden chairs if you enjoy swimming but don’t want to get burned the minute you sit down.


You can find some really cheap plastic folding chairs at stores like Wal-Mart or any other store like it. These chairs are good enough for a couple of summers, but they tend to break easier. That’s just fine, however. These chairs are so cheap that it is no problem at all just to buy a replacement when your breaks.

However, if you go to quality sporting goods or camping store, you can find a really nice plastic folding chair for your camping trip. The price will be higher than in the big retail stores, but I think you would be surprised that the prices are really not much higher, and you get a much, much better product.

I bought a plastic folding chair from a local sporting goods store called Wholesale Sports about 7 years ago and I still use it on every camping trip I go on. The colors are a bit faded, but other than that, it is still in perfect condition. It may be worth it to go for the more expensive and higher quality chairs if you are a frequent camper.

Plastic folding chairs are the perfect camping chair. They are waterproof, heat resistant, and dirt cheap. You would be crazy not to own one of these if you enjoy camping.

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