Way back when I was little, picnic chairs & seating was either those hard to unfold metal chairs (like the one above) or the almost lethal deck chairs!
Seriously – as a child I was banned from putting up deckchairs after my mum sat on one and it collapsed with her in it (she has forgiven me since…). And as for those metal chairs you needed superhuman strength to get them up!
Now, the choice of picnic seating and camping chairs is endless. You can have a high backed portable chair, a love seat folding chair or even a fold up rocking chair! You certainly never have to sacrifice comfort or style nowadays on picnics, camping trips, hikes or beach days.
My best advice for choosing your picnic seating is to think where are you going to use it most. Do you want something solely for the beach or are you going to be taking it hiking with you? Do you want a foldable chair or will a foldaway stool do instead?
Things you should be looking for are the following key things in a folding picnic chair are:
- Ease of use (Type of folding mechanism, is it quick and easy!?)
- How many KG it can hold
- Weight (lighter weight folding tables are still strong)
- Extra features (cup holders, carrying bag etc)
If you want to make an informed choice on your folding picnic chair check out our comprehensive buyers guide and FAQS below.
Personally I have to consider things that will support my spine and pelvis as they were damaged in pregnancy. So I’m a fan of well padded reclining camping chairs for my picnics like the Outsunny Folding Chair 3-Position Reclining Seat with Pillow.
For hikes where I need lightweight and portable but high back and secure so I don’t land in a heap on the floor. I have found the Helinox Sunset Mesh Camping & Picnic Chair from Alpine Trek is the best – and so light Hubby doesn’t know he’s carrying it!
If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best buys for Folding Picnic Chairs in 2020 are I recommend these
- Best Folding Stool See Price
Unihoh Small Folding Camping Stool
- Best Folding Metal Chair See Price
KingCamp Heavy Duty Camping Chair with Lumbar Back Support
- Best Lightweight Chair See Price
Taope Lightweight Folding Camping Chair
- Best Reclining Picnic Chair See Price
Moaly Folding Camp Swing Recliner Chair
- Best Beach Chair See Price
Asteri Low Beach Chair, Foldable with Carry Bag
More Picnic Essentials
Quickly before we go into recommending picnic seating here are quick links to our other picnic essentials on the site. If you have all these you are sure of the perfect picnic!
- Best Electric Cool Boxes
- Top Cool Bag Rucksacks
- Strong Beach & Festival Trolleys
- Luxury Picnic Baskets
- Easiest Folding Picnic Tables
- Waterproof Picnic Blankets
- Best Beach Tents
- Top Picnic Flasks
Can you think of another essential picnic items I need to include? If so drop me a line in the comments.
Best Folding Stools
These are 2020´s best folding stools (with and without storage options) and are chosen for the following features:
- Design – are they easy to unfold? What features do they have?
- Build quality – how sturdy and comfortable are they?
- Durability – are they built to last? Can they stand repeated folding and unfolding?
- Cost – how much value are you getting for money?
Best Folding Metal Chairs
These are 2020´s best folding metal-frame chairs, chosen for the following features:
- Design – do they fold and unfold easily? How comfortable are they?
- Build quality – do they feel secure to sit in? Can they support a reasonable weight?
- Durability – are they built to last, or will they need replaced sooner rather than later?
- Cost – do they represent value for money?
Best Lightweight Chairs
A roundup of the best lightweight chairs, chosen for the following features:
- Design – are they truly lightweight and still comfortable?
- Build quality – are the durable and built to last?
- Portability – how easy are they to transport?
- Cost – are they a good value option?
Best Reclining Picnic Chairs
Picnic in the ultimate comfort with 2020´s best reclining picnic chairs, which are chosen for the following features:
- Design – how good is the recline function? Is it easy to use?
- Build quality – do they feel comfortable and secure to sit/lie in?
- Durability – are they built to last?
- Cost – how much bang are you getting for your buck?!
Best Beach Chairs
Here are some of 2020´s best Beach Chairs and are chosen for the following features:
- Design – are they comfortable and easy to fold/unfold?
- Build quality – how sturdy are they – will they last more than one summer?
- Portability – how easy are they to transport?
- Cost – are they good value for money?
Have you used any of these chairs or seating? Then please leave your review in the comments box below. Is your favourite not on the list? Be sure to let me know in the comments below so I can review it!
Buyers guide to the best Picnic Chairs and Seating!
In my humble opinion the two main design features for a picnic chair or seat must include ease of use and comfort! Following this, looking attractive and having handy features like storage or a carry bag or strap are an added bonus.
Even though it’s just for occasional use you still want your chair to be comfortable, and you don’t want to waste time fiddling about with the frame trying to get it set up.
You want your chair to last for a good few seasons – particularly if you’ve invested a fair amount of money in a set of chairs for the family!
Things to look out for are strong stitching around the seams, and a sturdy frame that’s capable of supporting the weight of an adult. Be careful to check the load capacity especially if you’re above average height or weight.
The mechanism when the seat is set up should be secure so there’s no risk of collapse, and look for treated or coated metal in the frame where relevant to avoid rusting or corrosion.
When considering durability I look at how long a seat or chair will actually last.
Realistically, with the higher priced metal folding chairs and recliners, getting two or three camping/picnic seasons with regular use from them would mean value for money for me.
As with everything you get what you pay for – so if you want to buy something to really last then be prepared to spend well!
The fabric is also a consideration here – I prefer strong, ripstop and water resistant fabrics like fabric or mesh.
The majority of the chairs featured here are between the £30-£50 mark, which I would say is a reasonable amount to spend if you want a product that lasts you a decent amount of time.
Consider what you’re going to be using it for – when you add up the cost per use often the slightly more expensive option can seem a lot more reasonable than you first thought!
Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
Do I really need a picnic chair?
I’d recommend one, particularly if you’re planning on being out for the whole day! It’s fine sitting on a picnic blanket for a short time but it gets uncomfortable after a while.
If you’re like me and have issues with your pelvis and spine, or have any kind of back or joint pain then having a comfortable seat that’s easy to get in and out of can be a lifesaver!
They’re also great for when the ground is a bit damp, muddy or rocky, or for bringing along to festivals and events.
You can get some really cheap versions - why not go for one of these?
A really cheap version isn’t going to be as well made, and there’s the risk that it could rip or collapse after only light use.
This is fine if you’re only planning to use it once – although a bit wasteful. But most people are looking for something that they can get at least a few years of use out of.
You can get a very decent chair for around £30 – £50 – which if you’re using it most weekends in the picnic and camping season will represent very good value for money!
Should I go for lightweight chair or for a heavier duty version?
It depends on what you’ll be using it for – if you’re planning on picnicking near your vehicle or camping, and leaving the chair in one place then a heavy duty model is fine.
However if you’re bringing your chair along on a hike or walk, or at an event where you’ll be moving around a lot (like festival) then a lightweight option with a carry-bag will suit your needs a lot better!
It’s also important to keep your weight and height in ming – both for comfort and so that you’re not going over the KG capacity for a certain chair.
What's the best type of fabric to go for in a picnic chair?
I’d recommend water-resistant mesh or canvas, that’s easy to wipe clean and strong enough to last! You want something that’s rip-proof and securely stitched.
Polyester is also a good option and is commonly used in lightweight chairs – as long as it’s of a good thickness and quality it has a lot of benefits including being very easy to wipe clean!