Very rugged build, with screws attaching canvas to chair supports rather than rivets. Users like the quilted canvas back and seat as well as the multiple cup holders and pockets. Folds up compact enough to fit narrow RV storage cabinets.
Seat depth can make chair uncomfortable for some. Reinforced front edge of chair presses into the back of some owners’ legs and causes discomfort. Canvas odor when first opened. A few reports of fabric tearing away from supports after several uses. A bit heavy to carry.
Heavy-duty chair works well for larger users. The built-in cooler gets big thumbs up from owners, as does its storage pocket and ample cup holder. Lasts through multiple outdoor seasons for most. Lightweight and easy to carry.
A few reports of chair fabric ripping away after just a few uses. Caution must be used when pressing the chair arms to get in or out of this quad chair, users find. Some have difficulty repacking in storage bag. Shorter users find this chair uncomfortable.
Petite owners find this chair very comfortable, not sitting too high off the ground. Fairly light and easy to carry. Sturdy for its size, supporting resting firefighters and teenagers without a problem.
Angle of the chair back is too steep for some owners, making them uncomfortable. Many users found the chair too small to sit in. Fabric can detach from attachment points after a few uses. Cup holder is small.
Built-in carrying strap and dual-lock feature (chair locks open, and locks close, too) are a big plus for many owners. Seat doesn’t sag, making it easy to sit down and get up. Back angle is comfortable and seat height and depth are just right for most users.
A bit heavy to carry and slightly taller than other quad chairs. Seat height may be too high for shorter users. Reports of rivets breaking or fabric ripping after just a few uses. Cup holders are very small. Carrying bag wears quickly. Doesn’t hold up to heavy-duty, frequent use.
Comfortable to sit back in, users note, but easy to get into and out of as well. Some call it a good napping chair thanks to its back-supportive design. Dual cup holders and storage pocket are a big plus for users. Responsive customer service and fast warranty replacement, users note.
Some owners had difficulty packing chair back into its carrying bag. Mesh back doesn’t provide as much airflow as some would like. Cup holder seems flimsy, only holds small cups. Not great for sitting up to watch something in, users note. Reports of fabric weakening over time.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
The four-legged quad chair reigns supreme when it comes to sitting by the campfire, watching the kids’ soccer game, or just having spare seats during a summer get-together. Sometimes referred to as camp chairs, these are the seat of choice for hikers, campers, and glampers. And because they’re easy to fold up and are very portable, quad chairs are available in a range of sizes and include various features.
Quad chairs are so ubiquitous at this point that it’s easy to just grab the first chair you see. But if you’re concerned about the quality and comfort of a quad chair and how many seasons it will last, a bit of research is in order. Where you’ll be using the chair is another important consideration. Hauling a full-sized chair with extra padding along on a multiday hike is not at the top of most hikers’ lists, and neither is wrestling a heavy, complicated chair from the back of the SUV and trying to set it up on a cold morning.
Which quad chair is the best suited to your needs? Continue reading our buying guide to learn more about the offerings of these compact, convenient chairs.
If you’re planning to use a quad chair for tailgating or for sitting comfortably at the kids’ weekend games, you may want to look at a lighter weight quad chair that fits easily in the back of your car and can be set up and taken down quickly. But if you’re a glamper (or a camper who appreciates a good rest), you may need a cozy, cushioned seat that you can sit in for hours while socializing by the campfire. Finding the right chair for your needs means finding a balance between comfort and portability.
Quad chairs with thinner material and less-sturdy legs tend to be the least expensive, but they can fray and warp within a single season of normal use. However, buying the most rugged, durable quad chair may not be the best choice either, depending on how you intend to use it — these can be heavy to lug around.
The lightest quad chairs use thin, ripstop nylon for seat material and narrow-diameter aluminum folding legs. They’re great for anyone who doesn’t want to lug a larger, heavier quad chair around.
Moderately sturdy quad chairs feature 600-denier polyester fabric seats and thicker aluminum legs, but they can still be folded up and carried pretty easily.
The sturdiest chairs, built for users over 275 pounds, combine 600-denier or higher fabric with thicker polyester canvas for the seat, which is fitted around a heavy-duty steel frame. They’re the heaviest quad chairs and often do not fold up as compact as other models.
Size matters with quad chairs. While their crossed-leg design is overall very sturdy, some sizes and types lower weight limits.
A kids’ quad chair is usually made with cheaper, lighter materials, and while it seems like a cost-effective alternative to trendy mini-camp chairs for hikers, the legs and fabric may not stand up to users who weigh more than 100 pounds.
Likewise, if you’re big and tall, a standard-size quad chair may be uncomfortable to sit in and may not hold up for more than a season. In this case, it may be better to invest a few more dollars in a sturdy, extra-large chair that can support 300 pounds or more.
The standard quad chair available from just about any retail outlet has four legs with wide rubber caps on the foot of each leg to provide support and stability. It also has a flat seat and a straight back. It will typically have fabric arm rests with one or two mesh cupholders built in. From this basic, stable configuration, many variations have sprung.
Lightweight and compact, the quad camp stool is a good alternative for hikers who want to relax by the fire and don’t like the limitations of a three-legged camp stool.
This type of quad chair doesn’t have a clearly defined seat or back. Instead, the fabric swoops upward from the seat, creating the unique and comfortable scoop shape.
The four legs of a rocker chair are attached to two parallel rockers, adding the comfort of a rocking chair to your camping experience.
Is the ground too sandy or gravelly for a rocker? A suspended chair design where the chair is suspended from the upper part of the frame and the seat is not firmly attached at the sides. It has a similar shape to a scoop chair but sits higher and lets users swing back and forth.
Good for sandy, unstable soil and for people who like sitting back and watching the world from almost ground level, low chairs provide a comfortable way to relax after a long day.
Quad chairs often come with added features that make them even more convenient to use.
Armrests: Not all quad chairs include arm rests. If you plan to play guitar by the fire, you may not need them, but they can provide a bit of extra support.
Cupholder: If a quad chair has armrests, it almost always has one or two mesh cupholders sewn into the end of the armrest to fit a beverage cup or can.
Gear pocket: A mesh pocket may be sewn into the outer edge of an armrest, the seat, or the back of the chair.
Can cooler: This is an insulated accessory pouch that holds two to four beverage cans, keeping them cool so that the user doesn’t have to leave their beverage in the cooler.
Lumbar pad: More expensive quad chairs may have built-in padding to provide added comfort to the lower back.
Storage bag: A weather-resistant storage bag is usually included with a quad chair. It protects the chair from the elements when stored outside and it keeps the legs from catching on other objects when packing and unpacking the car or storage area. Some bags include a shoulder strap so users can carry it more easily when hauling several items down to the beach or campsite.
Ground sheet: Trekology Ground Sheet
A ground sheet provides a sturdy footprint underneath a quad chair that keeps it from sinking into sand or soil and offers added stability. This particular sheet is designed specifically for use with quad chairs and features pockets to keep each foot of the chair firmly on the sheet.
Table: G4Free Folding Camp Table
Trying to balance a plate of grilled food while sitting in a quad chair can be annoying. This camp table provides a convenient resting spot for plates and other gear, has cupholders underneath, and folds up into a compact travel bag when you’re done.
A basic, sturdy quad chair that supports users up to about 200 pounds can be found for between $20 and $35. These often feature rip-resistant polyester fabric, armrests, and sometimes even an accessory pouch. Some chairs on the higher end of this range may include a storage bag.
More features like extra padding or a can cooler may be available in mid-range models, priced between $35 and $50. In addition, these models are usually constructed with more durable materials.
In the higher price range o $50 to $75, you can expect to find sturdy steel frames and thicker polyester fabric seats to support larger users, as well as many more featured accessories.
Store quad chairs in a dry spot out of the sun with plenty of ventilation to prevent mildew buildup.
The fabric of quad chairs can mildew if stored away soaking wet. Let the chair dry out in a warm spot on a sunny day.
Keep quad chairs a few feet back from a campfire. Cinders and direct heat can damage the fabric.
Don’t tip a straight-backed quad chair backward or sideways while sitting in it — the legs may fold up, collapsing the chair.
Clean dirt and spills from a quad chair with a soft sponge, water, and mild dishwashing soap.
Quad chairs have so many configurations that the options are almost endless. Here are a few other chairs that caught our eye.
The KingCamp Oversize Folding Sofa Chair is a glamper’s dream with an oversized build, extra padding, a cooler bag and a “goblet holder.” Its large design can support up to 300 pounds.
The sturdy Timber Ridge Director’s Chair features a foldout side table, great for holding plates or supplies for s’mores. At 11.2 pounds, it’s on the heavier side, but it’s an otherwise ideal design for enjoying a meal beside a campfire.
The BrylaneHome Camp Chair with Canopy is a quad chair with a canopy that protects the user on three sides, making it a great choice for afternoons at the beach.
Q. I have difficulty putting a quad chair back into its storage bag. Is there an easier way to get the folded chair into the bag quickly?
A. After folding the chair, load it into the storage bag feet first. Then you’ll be able to hold the bag with one hand and tuck the excess fabric from the seat back and arms into the bag as the chair slides in.
Q. After a rainy camping trip, we packed away our quad chairs while still wet and forgot about them. Now they’re streaked with mildew. Can we still save them?
A. The polyester used in most quad chairs is pretty durable, but use caution with some solvents. Working in a well-ventilated area, brush away visible mildew or mold. Spray down the entire chair fabric with a solution of 1/3 water and 2/3 white vinegar. Use a soft sponge to rub the solution into the fabric. Rinse well — spraying it with a garden hose can be effective — and let the chair dry completely in a sunny area. If a mildew stain is still visible, you may be able to dab the area with a solution of 2 tablespoons of bleach and 1 quart of water, but check the label for cleaning instructions in case bleach isn’t safe for the fabric.
Q. I don’t like the tiny backpacking quad chairs that my friends use because they’re not comfortable with my taller frame. What alternatives do I have?
A. Quad chairs are a luxury for some backpackers, and a necessity for others. If you must have one, try to find a standard-size chair that weighs less than 5 pounds and strap it to the side of your pack. You may need to go without a few other items to make space for the chair.
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