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Camp Chairs Worth Sitting In

Longtime Editor-at-large Alan Kesselheim reviews five great camp chairs to get your butt off the ground and into a comfy seat.

If your river runnin’ days go back as long as mine do, you'll remember the incredible breakthrough of backrests in camp. Those first folding chairs you could sit on the ground and lean back in… revolutionary. I remember, before those foam chairs with backrests, picking campsites for the presence of a downed tree or a smooth, sloping rock to lean against. Backrests were huge.

Now we've all aged a bit. Getting up off the ground isn't as easy as it once was. And we've been on a few raft trips with full-on lawn furniture, so we know what we're missing. Still, we're picky. We want chairs that are compact, fairly light, easy to pack, but that get us off the ground enough that we can stand up without all the groaning and 'downward dog' yoga moves.

Am I right? I know I am.

So here's what I've found in chairs that elevate enough for me to get to my feet without a huge struggle, and that fit the bill when it comes to packing the load and portaging without risk of hernia.

Click the links below to read about each chair:

Helinox Chair Zero

The Helinox “Chair Zero” packs small but feels sturdy, and still holds up to 200lbs.


Thermarest Quadra

The Quadra is comfy and supports up to 300 lbs, while still being easy to pack.


GCI "Packseat"

Simple, small, and convenient, the Packseat is a perfect rest-stop between camp chores.


Thermarest Uno Chair

A sturdy and comfortable camp chair that is cleverly packable.


GCI SitBacker Canoe Seat

A sturdy canoe seat for a relaxing paddle.


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