Best Camping Chairs for a Bad Back

Going outdoors can be tough enough, but going outdoors with a bad back can make it even more difficult. It can often be a challenge to find a place to relax and take some pressure off of your back when camping, so bringing a camping chair is a good choice for some campers. Fortunately, we have taken a look for some of the best camping chairs for a bad back, and will review them here.

List of the Best Camping Chairs for a Bad Back

To find the best camping chairs for a bad back, we looked at a variety of chairs, each with different designs, features, and price points. Depending on your needs, there is likely a chair that will suit them.

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Lafuma Futura Air Comfort Folding Recliner

Zero-gravity camping chair for ultimate back relief

CORE Equipment Folding Padded Arm Chair

No-nonsense camping chair with padding and hard armrests

MARCHWAY High Back Camping Chair

Lightweight and compact for backpackers and on-the-go campers

PORTAL Folding Camping Chair

Lumbar back support for the budget-conscious camper

Strongback Elite

Award winning lumbar supportive design

Lafuma Futura Air Comfort Folding Recliner

The Lafuma Futura Folding Recliner is the cadillac of camping chairs. It is an ergonomic camping chair that features zero-gravity reclining for ultimate back relief. It even has an integrated footrest that is integral to the chair’s design, rather than an afterthought. Better yet, the chair’s seat, back, and footrest are padded for extra comfort.

The reclining motion of this chair is capable of moving far back to relieve nearly all pressure from your back. It is so comfortable that you might even fall asleep.

The chair’s frame is constructed of steel tubing, and the chair is rated to hold up to 300 lbs. The chair’s padded material is breathable and will dry quickly if it gets wet.

The comfort of this chair doesn’t come with any drawbacks, though. Because of the footrest and zero-gravity frame, this chair weighs 19 lbs and folds to a size of 28” x 38” x 8” when closed. While it is not the most portable chair, it is definitely one of the most comfortable. 

If you are not concerned with price or portability, then this is a great choice because it is one of most comfortable and best quality camping chairs for people with a bad back.

CORE Equipment Folding Padded Hard Arm Chair

The CORE Equipment Padded Arm Chair doesn’t have any explicit features that lend it to being a chair suitable for a person with a bad back. However, it is such a nice chair, that we decided to include it in our list because the comfort of this chair may be suitable for campers with bad backs.

Firstly, this chair is angled back. So if you are sitting in this chair, you will be slightly reclined, and some pressure will be relieved from your lower back.

The chair’s frame is made out of steel tubing, and the chair can hold up to 300 lbs. The chair folds down to 36” long and 9” wide, so it is better suited for car camping rather than taking out on the trail.

This chair is also padded, so you can relax in comfort in this chair for extended amounts of time. The chair’s armrests are solid aluminum, and they have a layer of removable padding. This means that you can put some weight on the armrests when relaxing and remove the padding for cleaning when the time comes.

The Core Equipment Folding Padded Hard Arm Chair also includes some extra features such as a built-in oversized cup holder that is attached to the side of the chair. This means that your drink won’t get in the way of the armrest like some other camping chairs. On the other side of the camping chair is a mesh storage caddy, which is great for holding your gear and gadgets.

MARCHWAY High Back Camping Chair

This chair is a little different than most camping chairs. For one, the frame is shaped much differently than other camping chairs, allowing this chair to fold down much smaller.

The MARCHWAY Camping Chair also has a high back with a headrest, so you can truly sit back and relax after a long day outside.

The chair’s frame is made of a lightweight aluminum alloy. The frame is corrosion resistant and folds down to a mere 17” long and 6 ½” wide.

The chair’s seat and backrest fabric consists of 1000D polyester ripstop.

Even though this chair has a large backrest, it is much lighter than most other camping chairs – it weighs only 3.7 lbs! Because of its light weight, this chair is great for taking backpacking or camping. However, this chair can only support up to 250 lbs. So if you are a larger person, then you will want to get a different chair.

One caveat about this chair is that it must be assembled before use and disassembled before packing up. The frame comes in several pieces that are easy to put together, and the chair’s fabric slides over the frame ends.

PORTAL Folding Camping Chair

The PORTAL Folding Camping Chair is a no-frills camping chair that offers lumbar back support. Even though it is built like a traditional camping chair, this chair also provides back support through its frame-integrated design.

The chair’s frame is made of strong steel tubing, similar to that found on many other camping chairs. The chair’s fabric consists of high-density polyester ripstop.

If you will be walking somewhere with the chair, it weighs about 11 lbs and includes a basic carrying case.

The PORTAL Camping Chair also includes a basic cup holder that is integrated into the armrest. The chair’s armrests are the soft floppy type, and they are adjustable. The seat even has some extra padding for those long chill-out sessions.

If you are looking for an affordable camping chair that offers back support, then this is a great choice.

Strongback Elite

There’s no question whether the Strongback Elite is one of the best camping chairs for a bad back. In fact, this chair is designed specifically for people with bad backs. It has a unique frame that provides lumbar support in the lower back, so you can relax in comfort after a long day of hiking.

The Strongback Elite provides other features as well. It includes additional lumbar padding that is built into the chair’s backrest, so your back is even more supported. It also includes solid armrests with padding which are much more comfortable than the floppy armrests found on some camping chairs.

If you want to take the chair somewhere far, it weighs about 12 lbs and comes with a backpack-style carrying case.

This chair sits high and makes a great choice for tall people. If you are on the shorter side, then a good alternative to this chair is the Strongback Guru.

Features to Consider When Purchasing a Camping Chair

There are a few different things you will want to consider when purchasing a camping chair for a bad back. Back support, weight, and portability are a few of the key features that you will want to look at when deciding on a camping chair. But there are some other features that may end up being key factors, depending on your needs.

Campsite with tent and camping chairs

Back Support

First and foremost, you will want to ensure that the camping chair is comfortable and offers support for your back. Most of the aforementioned camping chairs offer some type of back support. There are also some camping chairs that have a larger backrest or a backrest that reclines, taking weight off of your back so you can relax easily.

Weight & Portability

If you have a bad back, then you will most likely want a camping chair that does not weigh too much. Having to unload and carry a heavy camping chair can make minor back issues even worse!

You will also want to ensure that the chair folds down nicely. This means that you will want to look at the dimensions of the chair when it is folded. A camping chair that folds down nicely will make it much easier to handle and transport when you take it outdoors.

Dimensions

There’s no use in buying a camping chair if you can’t fit in it! Make sure that the dimensions of the chair’s seat and backrest are large enough for you to fit in it. If you are a small person, you will also need to make sure that the chair is not too big for you. Sitting in a chair that is too big for you can be even more uncomfortable than sitting in a chair that is too small for you.

Capacity

If you are a big person, be sure to check the weight capacity of the camping chair. Most camping chairs can support up to 300 lbs or more, but there are some camping chairs that can only support up to 250 lbs or even less.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to push the weight limit of the chair. If you are close to the weight limit, you might want to consider getting a chair that is rated to carry more weight.

Materials

Materials can literally make or break your camping chair. That’s because different materials are better suited for different applications.

When purchasing a camping chair, it is always important to consider the environment that you will be using the chair in. For instance, if you will be using the camping chair at the beach, then it might not be wise to go with a steel frame chair since steel rusts. 

The fabric material matters as well. Some fabrics are stronger than others and can take more abuse. It is always a good idea to go with ripstop if it is available.

Campers sitting in camping chairs

Extra Features

Extra features such as cup holders and storage pockets don’t directly affect the purpose of the chair. But having some bonus features can make relaxing in the camping chair even more convenient and comfortable.

Cup holders are pretty much a standard feature in most camping chairs nowadays. Even the most basic camping chairs will usually have a cup holder, often in the armrest. Some of the more advanced camping chairs will have cup holders affixed to the outside of the armrest, so the cup doesn’t get in the way of your arms when sitting down.

A few camping chairs include integrated storage pockets. These are useful for holding small items, such as phones, keys, or books. Having some storage on your camping chair is very nice and should be considered a luxury item. It doesn’t really affect the general usefulness of your chair, so its presence shouldn’t make or break your decision.

Some of the larger camping chairs include integrated footrests that swing out from the bottom. Having a footrest is a very nice feature, because it allows you to kick back and put your feet up to relax. This can really help if you have a bad back.

Trey

Trey

Trey is an avid outdoorsman and curator of Code:Outdoors. He enjoys discovering new places and learning new skills. He is an Eagle Scout and can be found both car camping and on rugged extended adventures.