After looking at many folding chairs to find the best camping chair for bad back, here are the ones we believe offer the best lumbar support and comfort.
If you have back problems and love taking outdoor adventures, finding the best camping chair for your back will be a godsend when it’s time to relax.
With the wide variety of camping chair manufacturers on the market, you will need to take time to review the top models by taking into account your comfort, need for lumbar support, and convenience.
To make your shopping experience easier, we’ve compiled a review of 5 of the top camping chairs for a bad back. We’ve also included a detailed buyer’s guide to help you pick the right one for your adventures.
Our Recommendations: Best Camping Chair Bad Backs
- Top Choice: STRONGBACK Elite Folding Camping Chair
- Best recliner chair: PHI VILLA Zero Gravity Chair
- Most compact: Timber Ridge Camping Chair
- Most heavy-duty: KingCamp Camping Chair with side table
- Best rocking chair: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocking Chair
Quick Answers: Best Camping Chairs for Bad Backs
1. STRONGBACK Elite Chair With Lumbar Support
The StrongBack Elite Folding Chair is a good option for anyone looking for better body alignment and the perfect posture. Its design ensures that it provides adequate support so that any spine pain is relieved while relaxing the muscles.
The seat is ergonomically designed which gives you enough space for proper hip and back alignment. The STRONGBACK Elite Chair is seriously comfortable. There are not many camping chairs out there that you can sit in for a while without hurting the back of your legs.
I personally found the seat to be the perfect height for me at 18 inches (46 cm) and strong armrests made it easy to get in and out of the chair. The seat is built to support a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs, thus making it suitable for most people.
It is super lightweight and highly portable. You can bring it for various activities including sporting events, concerts, picnics, camping, etc.
It only weighs 11.9 lbs and has a backpack-style carrying case with double straps which makes it easy to carry around. Overall, we think this is a great chair. And not only for people with back problems but for anyone who wants to be able to enjoy sitting outside to enjoy nature.
- Seat Height: 36.5″
- Weight: 11.9 Lbs.
- Max. Weight 300 Lbs.
- Open Dimensions: 28.5″(W) x 27″(D) x seat width 23″
- Folded Dimensions: 11″(W) x 6″(D) x 44″(H)
- Award-winning patented lumbar support design.
- Fully padded
- Heavy-duty construction.
- Can be carried as a backpack
- Not the best on sand because of the leg design
2. PHI VILLA Padded Zero Gravity Chair
The Phi Villa Padded Zero Gravity Chair is perfect for outdoor or indoor use. It is designed as a recliner chair so you get a stress-free weightless feel. This way, you can relax your back muscles as you enjoy your camping experience.
It features a drink tray that you can fix on either side of the recliner. The padded seat is made of Oxford fabric that is super strong. It includes a removable padded headrest pillow for your head or for lumbar support.
The chair can recline and lock in whichever position you want to enhance circulation level. This is considered to be a unique feature of the Zero Gravity Chair.
Furthermore, this chair is built to hold a weight capacity of up to 300 lbs adequately.
Its packed dimensions of 25.6 inches x 5.5 inches x 37.4 inches make it fairly compact for storage. It’s a bit heavy though at 21 lbs which doesn’t make it a good choice if you go wild camping and you have to carry it around to get to your location.
However, if you have a camper or you have plenty of room to store it, then you will love spending time in this zero gravity chair.
- Dimensions: 70″L x 45″H x 26″W
- Weight: 28 Lbs.
- Max. Weight 350 Lbs.
- Folded Dimensions: 6.25″ x 38″ x 31″
- Bonus: Side tray with 2 cup holders + padded headrest.
- Adjustable sunshade to protect you from direct sunlight.
- The steel frames are powder coated to prevent rusting.
- Padded ergonomic headrest.
- A bit heavy
3. Timber Ridge Camping Chair
With a maximum loading capacity of 400 lbs, we can see why the Timber Ridge Chair is among the best camping chairs for bad backs. It is the perfect sturdy sports chair with a back height of 22 inches and a 22.5 inches width. It weighs 13 lbs so you can carry it around and store it with ease.
The seat features cushy padding made of foam which makes this chair comfortable to sit in for as long as you want.
We liked how the detachable padded armrest and the swivel cup holder on the side that you slide out and put away when you’re not using it.
The Timber Ridge Folding Chair comes with a portable carry bag so you can easily transport and store it after folding. Besides camping, you can use it on any other outdoor activities including fishing, sporting events, barbecues, or just for backyard use.
- Seat Height: 22″
- Seat Width: 22.5″
- Weight: 13 Lbs.
- Max. Weight 300 Lbs.
- Folded Dimensions: 9.4″x 6.5″x 39″
- Super strong and durable with its heavy-duty steel frame.
- Folds quickly and easy to store.
- Some people feel that the stitching is of poor quality
4. KingCamp Camping Chair
The KingCamp Chair is a heavy-duty chair that provides adequate lumbar and back support. This chair is an oversized quad armchair that comes padded for added comfort.
It is a folding deluxe chair designed with a mesh cup holder and an insulated cooler that perfectly fits 3 cans so you can keep your beers or sodas within hand’s reach.
We really liked that there is also a side and back stash pocket where you can store books, magazines, your phone and even a small pillow in the back pocket.
The armrests are placed at the right height for support and comfort while using them. Best of all, the chair supports up to 350 lbs, which means that it’s suitable for most people.
It comes in the right size with dimensions of 23.5 x 23.5 x 41 inches. The seat is made with 600x300D Oxford fabric, it’s waterproof and feels durable.
Overall, we think the KingCamp Chair is a great choice if you like to have your necessities at arms reach. You won’t go wrong with the insulated cooler and the side pocket for your favorite book. You can literally spend hours in that chair!
- Seat Height: 18.5 inches
- Seat Width:20.5 inches
- Weight: 11.9 Lbs.
- Max. Weight 300 Lbs.
- Folded Dimensions: 19.6 × 19.6 × 5.9 inches
- Bonus: Side Table with cup holder + carry handle
- Made with heavy-duty steel tubes for strength.
- Fairly lightweight at 11.3 lbs.
- It folds up easily and fast.
- Some users feel that its head and neck support should have been included
5. GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocking Chair
We love this GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocking Chair because it folds completely flat so take it anywhere you want to rock the day away. Whoever first thought of building a camping rocking chair is an absolute genius!
This is a good quality chair that’s well-made. The steel frame is sturdy and can support a weight capacity of 250 lbs. The upright backrest is firm so do you don’t slouch like you would on in a regular old quad chair. The seat is also very supportive.
The chair features some really comfy padded armrests. It comes with a built-in drink holder so you can sit back and relax while sipping on your beer, water, soda, etc…
It also features a spring-action rocking technology that makes the rocking motion smooth and without any squeaking noise.
In addition to this, the chair features the EAZY-FOLD technology that makes the chair easy to open and close safely. A carrying handle is also included which makes it super easy to carry around.
The seat is just the right height at 19.7 inches with an open size of 24 x 25 x 34.8 inches. When folded, this chair measures 25 x 4.9 x 34.8 inches and is easy to store. We like how it only weighs 12.1 pounds, which makes it a great option for camping or any other outdoor activities. See what other people are saying about the GCI Outdoors Rocking Chair here.
- Seat Height: 19.7 Inches.
- Weight: 12 Lbs.
- Max. Weight 250 Lbs.
- Open Dimensions: 24 x 25 x 34.8 Inches
- Folded Dimensions: 25 x 4.9 x 34.8 Inches.
- The steel is powder-coated for prevention of rust and durability.
- The patented EAZY-FOLD technology makes it super easy to use anywhere.
- Sometimes makes a squeaky sound as you rock.
Our Buying Guide: Chairs For Bad Backs
Camping Chairs Styles
Camping chairs fall into the following 3 main styles.
Quad chairs have 4 legs that come together towards each other making them easy to fold up. Some come with a carry handle or carry bag. The arms are fabric, the back and seat are made from a single piece of material. They usually have an upright position.
Even though you can find quad chairs that are low, most are a “standard” chair height which makes them ideal for use around a table.
These chairs fold in half making them flat and easy to store. Most of them also come with a carry handle. The back and seat have separate pieces of fabric and are in a more upright posture. Just like the quad chairs, they also have a “standard” chair height.
These usually have a seat and back like a quad chair, but reclines to different positions. Typically, they have molded armrests and an adjustable padded headrest. They fold up flat for storage and transportation.
What To look For in The Best Camping Chair for Bad Back Pain
This is a top priority for any camp chair. After all, who doesn’t want to be comfortable while camping? Luckily, many of the camp chairs on the market are quite cozy due to today’s technology and materials.
Still, some camping chairs win over the others in this category because of lumbar support, padding and other comfort features.
There are two heights with camping chairs; low and standard. Normally, the higher the chair seat is, the more comfortable it is, and easier to get in and out of.
Seat Back height
Seatback height is also an important consideration. It’s a great indicator of back and neck support. A higher seatback will normally offer more support and comfort over longer periods of time.
Not many camping chairs boast this feature. Many of the standard camping chairs are quite sunken around the back area which is not ideal if you have back issues.
Most camping chair manufacturers do not consider the need for lumbar support yet the lower spinal area is associated with muscle strain or other muscle problems.
The best camping chair for bad back must provide lumbar support to the lower back and help maintain a good posture. This is the region that needs more support to ease back pain.
Be sure to look out for the weight capacity the camping chair can . As you will see in our reviews, some chairs can support up to 250 lbs while others hold up to 360 lbs. Your choice will depend on the weight of the user.
However, it is more convenient to buy a camping chair that supports the highest maximum weight capacity.
Chair Weight and Folded Dimensions
Most chairs designed for camping or other portable uses will fold up in some way for easy carrying. Some offer bags that can be slung over the shoulder, while others only have handles limiting your ability to bring other objects.
Some chairs fold up quite small, while others remain pretty bulky, which can make them hard to carry from place to place.
The weight of the chair is also an important consideration when you have back problems because you don’t want to hurt yourself carrying it if it’s too heavy or too bulky. Basically, the smaller it is, the lighter it is, the better it is.
Additional Factors to Keep in Mind
Weatherproof and Durability
One of the things that should come to mind when buying a camping chair for back pain is not only the comfort but also its “weatherproof” nature. This, however, depends on the construction material featured.
Some of the camping chairs reviewed in this article are made of polyester or Oxford Fabric, which are weatherproof. This means that you can use them for extended periods and not have to worry about heat or water damage.
Furthermore, some camping chairs feature sturdy steel frames that are powder-coated to prevent rusting, thus making them more durable.
Cleaning and Care
You should also look out for how washable the camping chair is. Considering that you will be using it outdoors, it needs to be easy to clean to remove the sticky dirt and mud. The fabric should also be readily washable with a brush and water without affecting its durability.
As a precaution, allow the camping chair to dry off completely each time you wash it before packing it in the included carrying case.
While the camping chairs reviewed below can be used for various outdoor activities, you should ensure that all the dust and sand is removed. This is because in the event that it clogs the hollow frames or joints, then folding and unfolding the chair might become a challenge.
When choosing a camping chair for back pain, you should consider if it will be delivered disassembled or pre-assembled. The chairs that need to be assembled by the user will normally come in a bag with instructions. If this is not okay with you, then you might want to choose a camping chair that comes already assembled.
Features to Consider When buying a camping chair for a Bad Back
A padded seat is the best choice for relieving back pain because it allows your muscles to relax. If the padding is hard, then you might have to deal with butt pain on top of your back pain! As a result, it is ideal to find a camping chair with soft padding for adequate back support and overall comfort.
Although most camping chairs will come with a padded armrest for comfort, some lack a headrest. It is important to pick a chair that has a headrest because it is necessary if you want to enjoy a luxurious feel.
The best camping chair also features some side pockets, thus providing ample storage space for items such as magazines.
This is an accessory often included in the package to enhance its ease of storage and portability.
Cup holder and an insulated cooler
A cup holder always comes in handy when it’s time to relax while sipping your favorite drink. Another bonus if you want to minimize back and forth trips to the cooler, is an integrated insulated cooler so you can store your drinks right next to you.
A camping chair designed with efficient rocking technology will help your back muscles relax better.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are camping chairs bad for your back?
Most camping chairs are made of fabric to make them easy to fold but often don’t provide proper lumbar support causing your back to slouch while sitting in them. The back support on these chairs are in most cases too saggy to adequately support your lower back.
Standard quad chairs also tend to put a lot of pressure on the back of your legs which can cause unpleasant cramping. Thankfully, there are now some great camping chairs with proper lumbar support like the STRONGBACK Elite Chair or the Timber Ridge Chair. These are firm chairs that are comfortable for the lower back and your legs, and are perfect for outdoor activities.
2. What should I look for in lumbar support?
Comfort and flexibility are important features to consider when buying camping chairs with lumbar support. Ideally, look for a chair that features a firm upright backrest so that you don’t slouch like you would on a regular quad chair. The seat should also be supportive.
You may also want to look for accessories such as a cushion that you can place behind your head or your back to allow you to change your posture and remain comfortable while seated.
Factors to consider include:
- Seat height. The camping chair seat should be high enough so that you can sit up straight comfortably with your feet flat on the ground and your thighs horizontal with your legs.
- Seat width and depth. The seat should be wide enough and deep enough so that you can sit straight in it with the proper hip placement and back alignment.
3. Is a hard chair better for your back?
Yes, hard chairs are better for your posture because you don’t tend to slouch as much as when you sit on a soft camping quad chair. A firm chair with lumbar support like the STRONGBACK Elite is better for your back because it keeps you comfortable for longer periods than other standard camping chairs.
While all the products reviewed above are worth considering, we found the StrongBack Elite Folding Camping Chair to be the best camping chair for bad back. This is because its ergonomic lumbar support provides the best possible posture.
It’s ideal for people with back pain and the elderly because of its seat height and super strong armrests which make it easy to get in and out of. It is the lightest of the all chairs we’ve reviewed here. You can carry it as a backpack with the dual straps making it perfect for camping.