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Even those VIP tickets don’t mean much these days when it comes to securing a prime seat at a music festival. Sure, you get a separate entrance, maybe some form of shade, and — yes — better restrooms, but to really avoid getting crushed in the crowds (or get stuck standing for hours), it’s time to consider a collapsible chair.
Also known as folding chairs or camping chairs, these portable chairs let you easily add extra seating, whether you’re at a festival, barbecue, picnic, concert, sporting event or beach. They’re great for a campsite too, giving you a place to sit back and relax, without adding a lot of bulk to your carry.
The best collapsible chairs are wide enough to fit everyone from kids to adults, and we’ve found sturdy folding chairs that can support up to 300+ pounds of weight. The latest camping chairs come with a ton of useful add-ons, like cup holders, magazine holders and even stash pockets for your phone, sunglasses and other essentials. We’ve even found a folding chair with a built-in cooler, to keep drinks chilled for hours.
As the name suggests, these collapsible chairs fold down into portable packages that tuck away easily into a backpack or bag. Though the chairs are full-sized, their frames can be detached into smaller pieces when not in use — think of it like assembling a tent, only way less confusing, and way faster.
When buying a portable camping chair, look for water-resistant materials that can hold up to accidental spills or changing weather conditions. You also want to find chairs with strong, durable frames, that can support a ton of weight while staying firmly planted in the ground. All of our picks are engineered from tough, industrial-strength materials, like steel and aluminum.
A final thing to consider: where you’ll be taking the chair. Many music festivals now limit the type of gear you can bring into the event, so festival-goers will want to look for slimmer, more lightweight chairs that they can fold up and pack into their bags. Heading for a weekend at the cottage or a beach day? Pick wider chairs with deeper seats, so you can really sink in for a day of R&R.
1. Coleman Portable Camping Chair
Coleman is known for their decades of experience in manufacturing tents, coolers and other outdoor accessories. This portable camping quad chair showcases the company’s expertise in making long-lasting gear for your next camping trip, beach day or festival.
Made with a durable steel frame and a water-resistant polyester seat, the chair supports up to 325 pounds of weight. The seat back and the seat itself are lightly cushioned, for increased support and comfort. The arm rests are also fully adjustable in height.
The chair comes with a ton of built-in features, including a cooler under the arm rest, that holds up to four cans of beer or soda. The insulated pouch keeps your drinks chilled and within reach.
The other side features a mesh cup holder, and a storage pocket for magazines, sunscreen, your phone and other essentials that you need close by.
PROS: Built-in cooling pouch. This is the only option on our list with cushioned seats.
CONS: This is a compact chair, but some say the multiple pockets and cooling bag make it slightly bulkier than other models on our list.
2. Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair
The first thing you’ll notice about this YIZO GO folding chair is its unique cradle-style design. With a deeper seat and higher height than most collapsible chairs in the market, this chair promises better back support and more comfort, especially if you’ll be sitting for a long period of time.
Unlike other chairs, which are open at the sides, this chair is made from a single piece of material, which wraps around your body to help keep you stable. Breathable mesh panels at the side keep air flowing, to help keep you cool.
A small side pocket is great for keys, phones, snacks and more.
The company says the chair is engineered with the same industrial-strength aluminum alloy used by aircraft manufacturers. The frame supports weight up to 300 pounds. The durable polyester seat material is double-stitched for strength, and fully machine washable in case of any spills or stains.
PROS: The lightweight chair folds down into an included storage bag that’s no larger than a standard toiletry kit. You can easily tuck the whole package into your backpack or festival tote.
CONS: No arm rest.
3. MOON LENCE Ultralight Portable Folding Chair
Weighing just two pounds and folding neatly into a zip-up package smaller than a shoebox, this MOON LENCE chair is easy to tote around for your next outdoor festival, picnic, concert or hike. It’s a great camping chair too, with a convenient side pocket for a juice box or snacks, and a durable 600D Oxford cloth that wipes down easily.
The heavy-duty aluminum alloy frame supports up to 242 pounds of weight. Anti-slip feet help the chair stay secure on the ground.
The scooped seat design is more ergonomic, while side and back mesh panels allow for ventilation.
Because the legs and frame are on bungees, they assemble easily. The joints all detach into small poles that tuck neatly into the included carrying case.
PROS: Assembles in seconds. More than a dozen colors available.
CONS: The lowest weight capacity on our list, though it still holds 242 pounds.