Whether you’re backpacking through the wilderness or spending the day outside at a drive-in campsite, long days on your feet can be hard on the back! That’s why a comfortable and supportive camp chair is an excellent addition to your next adventure!
But there are just so many options out there. Some have extra padding, while others are super-light, and still others are budget-friendly. So how’re you supposed to pick out the best camping chair for bad back? Well, that’s why we’re here!
We’ve picked out the very best options on the market and compiled them all here for your review, along with a comprehensive buying guide.
So, let’s dive in and find your next camp lounger!
Best Camping Chairs for Bad Backs
Amazon Basics Outdoor Zero Gravity Chair
- Price: $$$
- Weight: 21.8 lbs.
- Full Size: 65” x 29.5” x 44.1”
- Materials: Oxford Cotton Fabric and Steel Frame
At 21.8 pounds, the Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chair is clearly not a backpacking option. But for drive-in campsites, you can’t go wrong!
The reclining and incredibly comfortable design is the perfect place to relax after a long day on your feet. What’s more, the stylish and sturdy design makes this chair an excellent lawn addition back home for next to the fire pit or on the patio.
We’re also delighted that there are several color options you can pick from, ensuring you get precisely what you want. Additionally, the Zero Gravity Chair includes aa very handy cup holder. Perfects for a post-adventure beer at camp or a post-gardening beer at home.
The only downside we can see to this chair is the steep price. However, you can rest assured that your investment will go towards supreme comfort in a stylish and versatile sitting option for your next camping trip!
Marchway Lightweight Camping Chair
- Price: $
- Weight: 3.7 lbs.
- Packed Size: 17″ x 6.5″ x 5.5″
- Materials: 1000D Polyester and Aluminum Alloy
If you love backpacking but hate the sore back while sitting around the campfire, the Marchway camping chair may be for you! This chair weighs in at a mere 3.7 pounds. Now, this is still 3.7 more pounds that you’ll be carrying in your pack, but you’ll be rewarded with a very supportive and comfortable chair.
For support, we have a padded foam sleeve at the top of the chair for reclining your head or a reasonably padded built-in foam pillow if you’re sitting a little lower. The rest of the chair is fashioned from 1000D polyester for excellent durability in the great outdoors.
We also get a handy and sturdy carrying case with exterior loops that can be secured to the outside of your pack or tucked away inside. While not exactly minuscule, the chair packs down to 17″ x 6.5″ x 5.5″ for transport.
I understand that it could be a tough choice to include a chair for your next backpacking trip, but I completely recommend the Marchway chair for car camping. Compared to the competition in this department, the chair is incredibly easy to pack away in your car, and a breeze to set up in no time at all.
For pricing, this chair is on the lower end of the spectrum, further adding to its overall appeal.
Timber Ridge Zero Gravity Chair
- Price: $$
- Weight: 24.6 lbs.
- Packed Size: 37.2″ x 30″ x 6.6″
- Materials: Polyester and Padded Foam
Timber Ridge produces another iconic zero-gravity chair that earns a mention as we search for the best camp chair for bad back. Like all zero-gravity chairs, this option features a durable polyester and mesh material that’s supported in the chair frame by an intricately laced elastic cord.
This laced elastic cord effectively suspends you in space and stretches to accommodate your body shape – resulting in an incredibly comfortable seat! What’s more, the chair reclines backward so you can be fully suspended off the ground in this cozy pod.
The removable pillow and padded lumbar support both add to this chair’s overall comfort, and certainly make it an attractive option for folks with sore backs. To complete the ensemble, we have an integrated cup holder and stylish wood armrests to make this an excellent chair for camp or out int the garden at home.
Keep in mind that the Timber Ridge Zero Gravity Chair is quite heavy, and therefore, not suitable for any sort of hiking. But for car camping, this chair is an excellent choice!
KingCamp Heavy Duty Camping Chair
- Price: $$
- Weight: 11.2 lbs.
- Packed Size: 35.4″ x 8.9″ x 8.3″
- Materials: Polyester Fabric and Steel Frame
Right in the middle between ultralight backpacking chairs and heavy-duty zero gravity chairs, we have the KingCamp Camping Chair. The plushy cushioned materials, supportive armrests, and attached cooler bag all work together to make this the best padded camp chair for bad back.
Perhaps the most unique feature included in this chair is the attached cooler bag. Keep your snacks and drinks cold on those hot days at camp, and don’t worry about having to keep walking over the communal cooler!
We’re also delighted with the amount of padding included in the KingCamp Chair. The entire back of the chair is well padded for excellent spine support, making it a very cozy nook to spend an evening in front of the campfire.
The sheer amount of support and padding greatly expand this chair’s use beyond that of just camping. Take it to the ball games, out to the beach, or simply set it up around your fire pit at home.
Take note, however, that the included cooler bag, extra padding, and large rear pocket drive up the price beyond standard collapsable chairs. But we’re still well shy of most zero-gravity chairs, making the KingCamp Chair a very well rounded option!
ONIVA Portable Reclining Camp Chair
- Price: $$
- Weight: 9.0 lbs.
- Packed Size: 37.0″ x 8.5″ x 8.5″
- Materials: Polyester Canvas and Steel Frame
ONIVA has taken the standard foldable camp chair that we know and love and blended in adjustable reclining to launch it into a class of its own. Add to this an insulated cup holder and zippered back pocket, and we have a solid option for your next camping adventure.
Let’s start with the most notable feature, adjustable reclining to find the perfect spot for a sore back. Now, we use the term ‘adjustable’ because this chair isn’t your typical recliner where you can sit down and push back to your favored reclining position.
Instead, the ONIVA Camp Chair features adjustable sliders on the steel frame that lock into different positions, and thus adjust the chair’s recline. Similarly, the armrests utilize adjustable fabric straps to finetune their position. Now, this may sound like a lot finagling to get the chair in the position you want, and I agree to a certain extent.
Your first couple of times using this chair will inevitably involve some trial and error where you’ll adjust, sit down, get up, adjust again, and so on. This may be a drag, to begin with, but I think you’ll enjoy this chair once you dial in your preferences!
Apart from the adjustability, we also have decent padding and back support along with an extra-large zippered back pocket. Together, all these features make the ONIVA chair an excellent addition to your camp setup
GCI Outdoor Backpacking Chair
- Price: $
- Weight: 8.6 lbs.
- Packed Size: 28.1″ x 24.4″ x 3.4″
- Materials: PVC Backed Polyester and Aluminum Frame
Do be fooled by the name. If you try to take the GCI Outdoor Backpacking Chair on a backpacking trip, you’ll be very disappointed! Weighing in at 8.6 pounds, this chair is much too heavy to strap to your backpack. That said, it’s still a great option for other camping adventures!
The 4-position adjustable backrest allows you to find just the right spot to ease any back pain you may feel after a long day of hiking or adventuring. The large and comfy pillow is also adjustable that, when combined with a breezy mesh back, allow you to kick back and relax without a care in the world.
We’re also pleased with the very accessible price, which is on par with very budget-friendly foldable chairs on our list. But, in this case, you get this easily adjustable recliner with wooden armrests.
Take note, however, that the seat height is only 11 inches, which means that this chair is relatively low to the ground. In turn, this low height may present an obstacle to folks with very stiff backs as they try to lower themselves into the seat.
GCI Outdoor Zero Gravity Chair
- Price: $$
- Weight: 17.6 lbs.
- Packed Size: 37.2″ x 27.0″ x 4.9″
- Materials: Textilene Mesh and Steel Frame
GCI makes our list once again with their take on the classic zero gravity chair. While very similar in features and comfort to other zero gravity chairs on our list, this particular entry truly shines for the price.
The GCI Zero Gravity Chair costs just about the same as standard camp folding chairs but brings along its superior comfort and reclining ability. When you take these benefits into account, it’s no wonder that we consider this to be one of the best camp chairs for a bad back.
Like all zero gravity chairs, we have a breathable and durable mesh suspended between the steel frame by an elastic cord. The result is undoubtedly the most comfortable camp chair on the market! However, keep in mind that this is also a very bulky design that is best for camping within easy walking distance to the car.
StrongBack Elite Folding Camping Chair
- Price: $$$
- Weight: 11.9 lbs.
- Packed Size: 44.0″ x 11.0″ x 6.0″
- Materials: 600D Polyester and Steel Frame
Even the most plushly padded chairs can’t automatically fix poor posture, but that’s why we have the Elite Folding Camping Chair from StrongBack. This chair provides an incredible amount of rigid support to make it the best camping chair with lumbar support.
The secret is the curved and padded support perfectly contouring to match the curves of your lower back. In so doing, this chair provides excellent support for folks with back pain and improves sitting posture at the same time.
Additionally, we have nicely padded armrests, which is an unusual feature for this type of chair. The rest of the chair’s design is very similar to standard folding chairs with a built-in cup holder and handy carrying bag.
Overall this is an excellent chair for your next camping trip. However, we’re disappointed in the noticeably higher price for this option when compared to similar alternatives. But the extra investment may well be worth it for campers looking for some serious lumbar support – which this chair offers.
YETI Camp Chair
- Price: $$$$
- Weight: 13.0 lbs.
- Packed Size: 43.0″ x 10.0″ x 8.0″
- Materials: FlexGrid Fabric
To rate the YETI camp chair’s durability on a scale of 1 to 10, we’ll go with ‘indestructible’. This chair is built to match the rugged environment of the outdoors blow for blow, and provides excellent support to achy backs at the same time!
First off, the distinctive FlexGrid fabric works in tandem with the rugged frame to support up to 500 pounds. That’s undoubtedly overkill, but it does make a point of proving just how sturdy this chair is. Additionally, the entire chair is UV-resistant and won’t break down or discolor over time.
There’s only one main downside to this chair, but it’s a doozy. You could buy perhaps 5 or 6 regular foldable camp chairs for the price of a single YETI camp chair. Now then, this chair will continue to stand strong and supportive long after those cheaper options have cracked and broken, but it’s still a tear-jerking investment. Therefore, carefully consider your budget and priorities for your new camp chair, and then decide if the YETI is right for you.
Portal Oversized Camping Chair With High Back
- Price: $
- Weight: 11.8 lbs.
- Packed Size: 38.0″ x 5.0″ x 5.0″
- Materials: High-Density Polyester and Steel Frame
Last on our list is the Oversized Camping Chair from Portal. Its claim to fame? An extra high back to provide complete support for a restful reprieve from back pain.
Along with the high back, we also have a handy side-mounted stash pocket that’s the perfect place to store your phone, car keys, or the bag of marshmallows. The attached carry strap also makes it very easy to move this chair from your car to camp while keeping your hands free for other gear bits.
While it’s a little disappointing that this camp chair doesn’t include much padding, we’re still very pleased with its overall performance. What’s more, the price is amongst the lowest on our list, further adding to this chair’s attractiveness!
What to Look for in a Camping Chair
Below we’ve thrown together a short buyers guide, which should help highlight some of the key aspects to consider when purchasing a camping chair.
Perhaps the most important consideration while looking for the best camping chair for bad back is lumbar support. Recall that the lumbar region of your spine refers to your lower back, and is often the source of post-hiking aches and pains.
Therefore, a chair that provides ample support for this region is critical to alleviating your back pain and having a relaxing sit down at camp. But it’s no easy matter to support his region as our lower backs have a slight inward curve.
Many chairs have specially designed lumbar support, a feature that I highly recommend keeping an eye open for during your search. Additionally, stretchy mesh chair backings can often mold to the contours of your back, and provide ample lumbar support in the process. Zero-gravity chairs are an excellent example of this – but I also recommend bolstering their lumbar support with a pillow.
Along the same lines of getting your bag of chips caught in the vending machine is sitting down in a chair to find that its backrest is too short. Therefore, the best camping chair for a sore back will include a full-length backrest – and preferably some head support or cushioning.
In terms of numbers, a back height of at least 18 inches is preferable to ensure lumbar support. To get support up to your shoulders and head, look for 26+ inch back height. Keep in mind that zero-gravity chairs are always designed with full-length backrests and will include cushioning for your head.
Weight & Portability
Naturally, the easier it is to pick up and move your chair, the better. But tread carefully! Ultra-light materials often lack durability, whereas beefy chairs with steel frames are sure to stand up to anything but are harder to move around.
So consider your priorities. If a camp chair means a chair you can walk with for a mile or two to your perfect campsite, then you should look for lightweight options. Conversely, if you’re camping in car-accessible sites and prefer a rugged chair that will last season after season, you should perhaps favor heavier and more robust designs.
We all want our camp chairs to be comfortable, right? But how does that take shape? Well, there are several features out there that can impact comfort and are therefore worth noting.
Keep in mind that not all chairs will include all the comfort features below, but it’s essential to pick out the ones that are most important to you. Once you know which features you need to look for, your camp chair search will be much easier! To help you on your way, here are the top comfort features to consider:
- Padding (Seat, Back, and Armrests)
- Head Cushion/Pillow
- Reclining Ability
- Lumbar Support (Discussed Above)
Apart from the standard comfort features, many chair manufacturers include several additional features for our convenience. These most often include cup holders, stash pockets, carry bags, and UV protection.
As with many chair features, not all of these options are required by any means. However, it’s beneficial to pick out what you can’t live without and make sure your chair decision includes it.
For my part, I find stash pockets on chairs to be incredibly helpful. You can store emergency bug spray, sunblock, or fire starting gear in your chair without giving them another thought until you need them!
Camping chair prices can fluctuate wildly based on all the features that we’ve discussed up to this point. Generally speaking, base models with minimal features are very accessible, whereas zero-gravity chairs and premium-level features can drive the price well into the hundreds.
Therefore, I highly recommend that your first step in selecting a new camp chair is to determine your budget. What price range can you afford, and what do you consider to be a reasonable amount to spend on a chair? Once you’ve made that determination, you’ll find that you can eliminate several options based on price alone, and zero in on the chairs that are most likely to be the best fit for you.
Sore backs can certainly put a damper on your favorite outdoor activities, so finding the best camping chair for bad back is your best avenue to alleviating that pain and enjoying the adventure! To that end, we’ve discussed everything from standard fold-up options to robust zero-gravity chairs, all of which have their own strengths in supporting a sore back.
So pick out the features – such as lumbar support and padding – that are most important to you, establish your budget, and dive into our list to pick out your next camp chair. Now next time you go out for a camping trip, you’ll have the perfectly supportive chair just waiting for you!
Have fun and stay safe, eh?
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