The Best Canopy Chair for Outdoor Camping

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It’s great to be outdoors, enjoying the fresh air and scenery. Sleeping under the stars is an experience everyone should try at least once in their life, especially for the health benefits. Being comfortable while camping is important, and you’ll find our list of great canopy chairs very useful.

There’s plenty of choice if you’re looking for the best canopy chair for outdoor camping, but if you’re pressed for time and want to get out there, our top choice is the Swimways Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair.

In this article, we’re going to review the following canopy chairs:

Top 7 Canopy Chairs

We’ve done all the hard work for you, so sit back and take a look at our list of the top seven best canopy camping chairs.

Swimways Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair
Materials:  Powder-coated steel frame, breathable fabricWeight:  11.24 pounds

Are you looking for the best foldable chair with canopy that’s durable, breathable, and offers UV protection? Kelysus provides a product that ticks all these boxes, and more.

Whether you’re camping, watching events, hanging out in the backyard or tailgating, the patented sun canopy provides excellent UV protection.

Manufactured using powder-coated steel, the frame locks into position for both sun and shade. When you’re ready to head home, this camping chair with shade folds down and converts into a carry case. There’s a durable snap-lock buckle and shoulder strap for increased portability.

It can support up to 250 lbs, and the oversized seat doesn’t cut into the back of your legs.

When it comes to features, there’s an integrated large cup holder. An O-ring has been added for improved stability, so you don’t have to worry about spilling your beer when sat around the campfire. In addition, a bug guard and weather shield can be purchased if you need extra protection while enjoying the outdoors.

This product is available in navy or gray, so you’re not going to stand out like a sore thumb.

There have been comments about the quality of the construction, but generally, customers are giving this canopy camping chair a big thumbs up.

PROS

  • Adjustable sun canopy.
  • Provides 50+ UPF protection.
  • Becomes its own carry bag when folded.
  • Breathable, ergonomic, mesh seat.

CONS

  • Some reviews mention problems with poor construction.
Folding Zero Gravity Recliner Lounge Chair
Materials:  Steel, mesh, Textilene fabricWeight:  20.5 lbs

There’s nothing quite like a bit of comfort when you’re enjoying the great outdoors. This zero gravity chair has it in bucketloads. The main factors here are the adjustable canopy to shade you from the blazing sun and an adjustable headrest to help you relax to the max.

If you haven’t heard of zero gravity chairs before, you’ve got to try this one out. The design emulates the weightlessness experienced in space, or so they say. The chair easily glides into the zero gravity position from upright. With your legs in an elevated position, you can experience several wellness benefits.

One aspect of this chair that makes it stand out has to be the accessories tray. If one cup holder is never enough, this one’s got two, a phone holder and a slot for books, magazines, or a tablet.

You can leave this zero gravity canopy chair out in all weathers thanks to the high grade, all-weather Textilene fabric. It’s been designed not to fade or suffer from a buildup of mildew. It also boasts over 80 percent sun protection.

The all-weather fabric and the frame are held together with heavy-duty elastic cords and a double bungee system. These provide comfort and support, and the cords can be replaced, adding to the versatility.

PROS

  • UV-resistant construction.
  • Lockable reclining system.
  • Adjustable canopy shade and headrest.
  • Detachable accessory tray.
  • Double bungee system seats.

CONS

  • A little on the heavy side.
Quik Shade MAX Shade Chair
Materials:  Steel, polyesterWeight:  10 lbs

Not all camping chairs aren’t renowned for being comfortable; however, this canopy chair from Quik Shade breaks the mold. It’s made using a sturdy steel frame and boasts a high-arched back and wide 22.5-inch seat.

There are two fabric and mesh cup holders, which is more than the average chair, and a handy side pocket. You can keep your snacks close to hand, a magazine for reading, or use it as storage for your smartphone or tablet.

The fabric used for the construction of the chair is 300 x 600D polyester fabric that’s water and stain-resistant, making it perfect for use in all weathers.

Maximum sun protection is also a feature of this camping chair with shade. It boasts an adjustable MAX shade canopy. This can be lowered, raised or tilted so that you’re always in the shade.

It comes complete with a carry bag, making it easy and convenient for your camping trips, or to take along to any sporting events.

PROS

  • Fully adjustable canopy.
  • High-arched back and wide seat.
  • Water and stain-resistant fabric.
  • 2 cupholders.
  • Sturdy steel frame.

CONS

  • Poor stitching along the seams.
Alpha Camp Chair with Shade Canopy
Materials:  Steel, polyesterWeight:  14 lbs

There’s a lot about this folding camping chair made by Alpha Camp that makes it stand out from the crowd. To begin with, its anti-rust hammer tone powder coating steel frame provides a stable construction.

It’s also able to support up to 350 lbs due to the extra supporting tubes on the bottom. A leg tube diameter of 0.9 inches guarantees quality and user safety.

Users of this type of chair often complain that there’s only one cup holder, but this model passes the test with flying colors. Not only are there two holders, one is large enough to hold a 32-ounce drink.

In terms of sun protection, the polyester sun canopy in the up position promises 50+ UPF sun protection. This means you’ll be able to stay cooler in the shade and out of the sun’s harmful rays.

This popular camping chair with canopy is available in four striking colors:

It packs away into a carry bag, so you can carry it over the shoulder or place it in the trunk of your car. A word of caution on this, though. Some customers have complained that the chair isn’t too easy to get back into the bag.

PROS

  • 50+ UPF sun protection.
  • Overall weight capacity of 350 lbs.
  • Anti-rust coating.
  • 2 cup holders.
  • Padded armrest.
  • Oversize frame.

CONS

  • Problems getting chair back into the carry bag.
GCI Outdoor Waterside Sunshade Folding Chair
Materials:  Aluminum, steel, nylon mesh, polyesterWeight:  9.9 lbs

Made from lightweight aluminum and steel, this folding camping chair with sunshade from GCI is a good middle-of-the-road product. It’s only got one cup holder, however, which for some, is a big downside.

You can rotate the SPF sunshade from front to back, and it collapses flat if you feel like enjoying the sun’s rays for a while.

It’s relatively easy to fold flat for storage and ease of carrying, but some customers have had problems should the folding mechanism get dirty. Despite this, the included carry bag has an extra-large mouth to make packing and unpacking much quicker.

Comfort is provided by an extra-wide seat and a broad backrest. These combine well with the hard armrests, making getting out of this camping chair extremely simple.

PROS

  • Rotating sun shade.
  • Lightweight aluminum and steel frame.
  • Wide seat and backrest.
  • Solid armrests for extra support.
  • Wide-mouthed carry bag with backpack straps.

CONS

  • Folding issues when the mechanism gets dirty.
Bravo Sports Four Seasons Shade Chair
Materials:  aluminum, polyester fabricWeight:  5.2 pounds

Bravo Sports brings a lightweight shaded camping chair to the market that’s easy to open and fold away. For those times when you don’t want to fuss around trying to put your chair together, or need to sit down quickly, this is a great solution.

The design of this outdoor camping chair ensures shading from multiple angles thanks to the canopy covering the sides slightly.

There is, however, a downside to this design. Some users have reported issues with it when the wind whips up. To counter this, you can adjust the canopy height by pulling on the back poles.

The chair is available in both red and blue, and because of its construction, it’s lightweight at just over 5 pounds.

Ease of transport is an important factor to look for, and this popular chair comes with its own carry bag and shoulder strap.

PROS

  • Blocks sun from multiple angles.
  • Easy to use and store.
  • Ergonomic design.
  • Cupholder.
  • Carry bag.

CONS

  • Canopy is unreliable in winds.
Sport Brella 3-Position Recliner Chair
Materials:  Steel, polyesterWeight:  13.5 lbs

Rather than manufacturing just another foldable chair with canopy, the company has added an umbrella. It’s a cool addition and makes this chair look a little funkier than the average camping chair. It has a three-way swivel for perfect positioning and a metallic undercoating for improved sun protection.

You can position the recliner so you can lay back or nap, offering excellent comfort levels. To add to this, a detachable footrest is included.

Everything can be close to hand when you’re relaxing in your camping spot. Refreshments, snacks, something to read and your devices are always close at hand thanks to the cup holder, storage pocket and built-in insulated pocket. There’s even a built-in bottle opener.

Weighing in at just under 14 pounds, this lightweight recliner chair is easy to carry around. Also, the steel construction folds up easily into the carry bag.

PROS

  • Sit up, lay back, or nap positions.
  • Detachable footrest.
  • Full-coverage umbrella.
  • Insulated pocket, cup holder, and storage pocket.
  • Strong, yet lightweight.

CONS

  • Poor build quality.

What to Consider When Buying a Canopy Chair

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Ideally, the chair has to be functional, well-constructed, have lots of extra features and be comfortable. Being able to fold flat and carry easily are also important, especially if you’re camping far off the beaten track.

Canopies

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The purpose of the canopy is to protect you from the sun. Being able to move it as the sun moves across the sky will save you from moving your chair and losing the view. The GCI Waterside Sun Shade is a good example of this — you can fully rotate the canopy from front to back.

As well as being movable, the shade also has to offer as much SPF protection as possible. Most of the chairs in our list promise 50+ SPF, however, the Sport-Brella promises 99.5% protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Something else to consider is whether the canopy is removable — there may be days when you’d prefer to spend some time enjoying the benefits of the sun.

Ease of Transport and Setup

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If you’re looking for a chair to take camping, ease of transport is essential. You might not be driving your car to the final destination, so having to lug a heavy chair can make your trip more tiring and stressful.

Ideally, you need a chair that’s going to be light to carry but is as robust as possible. The two extremes in our list are the Bravo Sports option, weighing a little over 5 pounds, and the Zero Gravity recliner at over 20 pounds.

Being able to set the chair up quickly has to be an essential feature. There’s nothing more frustrating than a chair that requires an instruction manual or one that’s made up of several components.

With this in mind, The Bravo Sports chair is our winner. You can put it up in seconds, which is just what you want when you’re desperate to put your feet up.

Features

When it comes to buying a camping chair, having a sunshade is an important feature, but there are lots more you can choose from. Cup holders, pockets, footrests, and pillows are by far the most significant, especially if you’re looking for convenience and comfort.

Cup Holders

Most camping chairs have at least one cup holder, but be on the lookout for two. There are even chairs that take convenience one step further with a removable accessory tray. Part of relaxing is having everything you need close to hand. Once you’ve sat down, you don’t want to have to keep getting up.

The Zero Gravity recliner is a good example as it has somewhere you can store two drinks, magazines, smartphone, tablet, and other small items.

Let’s not forget the Sport Brella with its insulated pocket, cup holder, and a zipped pocket that can hold up to four cans of your favorite beverage. There’s also a bottle opener included.

Pockets

Look for a chair with as many pockets as possible. It’s good to be able to store all your essentials, beer, magazine, tablet, and snacks included. The Quik Shade, for example, has a handy pocket and a cup holder. It’s large enough to hold several beers or your electronic gadgets.

Footrest

Camping chairs aren’t known for being the most comfortable to sit in, but that’s not the case for the chairs on our list. A footrest is one feature that can add to the comfort, and there are two chairs in our list that have one. Being able to put your feet up adds to the relaxing experience.

The Sport-Brella has one that’s removable, while the Zero Gravity chair’s footrest is a permanent feature. You can lay the chair right back and feel like you’re floating on air.  

Fabric

The most common fabrics used for canopy chairs are polyester and nylon. Both are lightweight, wick moisture away and dry quickly. Mesh is another popular material for manufacturers, for the same reasons.

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When looking for a camping chair, it’s advisable to check the stitching along any pressure points. If the quality of the stitching isn’t so good, you might fall through the seat of the chair after using it a couple of times. This has been a reported issue with one chair in our list, the Sport-Brella.

Checking the stitching on the armrests is also worth doing because this type of chair tends to fail around the cup holders.

Frame

A camping chair should be, first and foremost, lightweight. Nevertheless, you don’t want to have to compromise on durability, either. Most people are going to be prepared to sacrifice a certain amount of comfort for a chair that’s easy to lug around.

Frame construction tends to be steel or aluminum, sometimes a combination of both. Steel is strong, while aluminum is much lighter.

As a general rule of thumb, a chair that weighs in at less than 15 pounds should be fine for transportation. Anything heavier, and you’d better plan for a location that’s close to where you can park.

The material used in the frame’s construction also affects the weight capacity. Most of the chairs we’ve featured can withstand a weight of up to 250 pounds. The Quik Shade can hold 225 pounds, but the winner is the Alpha Camp Chair with a weight capacity of up to 350 pounds.

ALSO READ: Top Camping Chair For Heavy Persons

Final Thoughts

The best canopy chair for outdoor camping is one that offers comfort, maximum UPF protection, easy of use, and stability. It also has to be light to carry, but not flimsy.

The Swimways Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair comes in at number one because it has all these features. The canopy is removable and doubles up as a carry bag, and it has an oversized seat for added comfort.

Our second choice is the Folding Zero Gravity Recliner Lounge Chair. The thing that lets this chair down is its weight. Coming in at 20.5 pounds, it’s not a chair to be carried long distances. Apart from that, this canopy chair has all the important attributes and more.

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