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Published May 23, 2022 10:47 AM

Camping rocking chairs provide an overlooked upgrade to your next camping trip. There are plenty of options that can remove that stale, stationary camping chair from your pack list. Sure, cheap collapsible chairs are typically lightweight and easy to pack, but they tend to break easily and rarely make it through a few camping seasons before you need to replace them. And how many times have you sat in one, only to fall through the bottom because the corner stitching gave out, or spilled a cold (or hot) beverage when the armrest busted and fell off the chair’s frame? For this review, I tested the best camping rocking chairs to see which ones provided the best comfort and packability no matter where your campsite takes you.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Camping Rocking Chair

Weight

If you have to hike any distance that requires a good bit of walking, you’ll want to invest in a lightweight chair that packs easily, especially if you’re looking for a tent, one of the best camping stoves, or other gear that adds to your overall weight. But if you’re just looking for a comfortable rocker to go on the porch of your cabin, weight probably isn’t a consideration. In fact, you’ll probably want a chair on the heftier side that has more cushion and durability.   

Budget

Camping rocking chairs typically range from $50 to $250, so depending on your needs and uses, there are different options in this review that should fit a variety of situations. But if you’re looking for something that can endure the elements and last for years, expect to pay near the upper end of that price range. That being said, there are plenty of budget options that will do the job without breaking the bank. 

Packability

Some camping rocking chairs pack down to incredibly small sizes that you can easily store in your pack, while others merely fold in half so you can store them in a large area like a garage. Of course, most of them fall somewhere in the middle. And by design, most of them aren’t meant for you to pack for long distances on foot. That being said, there are several manufacturers that make camping rockers that you can pack for a short distance into a more remote campsite. 

Height

Depending on what you’re expecting from your camping rocker, chair height makes a difference. If you want something that’s easy to get in and out of, a camping rocking chair with a high back and seat will make this a breeze. However, if you want a small, packable chair, you might have to sacrifice some of that convenience, since chairs that have short backs and sit close to the ground are typically harder to get out of than high-back chairs.

Best Overall: GCI Freestyle Rocker

GCI Outdoor

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Key Features

  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Supports: 250 pounds
  • Overall height: 34.8 inches
  • Seat height: 19.7 inches
  • Mesh backrest
  • Carry handle

Why It Made the Cut

The GCI Freestyle rocker combines the best features of a folding camp chair with the comfort of a rocker.

Pros

  • Solid stationary or rocking chair
  • Quiet
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Not very packable
  • Heavy

Product Description

If you want a solid camping chair, the GCI Freestyle Rocker, which has an aluminum frame, makes an excellent option. The spring-loaded shocks allow for smooth rocking when you want, but it also sits stationary for those times when you’re eating one of the best camping meals around the fire. But this chair isn’t just convenient, it’s also super comfortable. I sat comfortably in this chair for hours (way longer than you probably would on a camping trip) and would have no problem hauling it to the campsite or other outdoor get-togethers.

The spring-loaded shocks allow you to go from stationary to rocking at your convenience.
The spring-loaded shocks allow you to go from stationary to rocking at your convenience. Adam Moore

While the Freestyle Rocker makes a great addition to your campsite or backyard fire pit, it’s a bit heavy for any trip that requires a significant amount of walking to base camp. And the removable Velcro armrests don’t provide much cushion or stay in place. The chair does fold up conveniently, but the Freestyle Rocker’s folded size is too large to consider packing. But for everything within a short walking distance, this chair is my go-to.

Best Heavy Duty: Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman Rocker

Cabela’s

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Key Features

  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Supports: 350 pounds
  • Overall height: 42 inches
  • Seat height: 22 inches
  • Powder-coated steel frame
  • Foam-padded seat and back

Why It Made the Cut

Not only is the Big Outdoorsman the most durable rocker, it’s also wickedly comfortable, especially for those prone to naps.

Pros

  • Super comfortable
  • Reasonable price
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Large footprint
  • Only for close camping quarters

Product Description

Whether you’re a big outdoorsman, or you just want a super comfortable and durable camping rocking chair, this one from Cabela’s checks all the boxes. I sat in this rocker for the duration of a workday and had a hard time resisting the urge to take a nap. Even though this chair weighs 22 pounds, the large frame distributes the weight nicely. And for taller campers, the high backrest should fit just right, especially when you try to take a midday nap.

However, the oversized comfort comes with an oversized footprint. And unless you have a pickup or a ton of cargo space, hauling this chair to the campsite might be a chore. Also, I wouldn’t recommend this chair if you have any amount of distance to cover between the car and the tent. But if you park where you camp or need an awesome rocker for the camp house, the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman will make a fine addition to your setup.

Best Budget: Ozark Trail Outdoor Tension Camp 2 in 1 Rocking Chair

Ozark Trail

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Key Features

  • Weight: 17.5 pounds
  • Supports: 400 pounds
  • Overall height: 41 inches
  • Steel frame
  • Multiple cup/storage holders

Why It Made the Cut

The Ozark Trail Tension 2 in 1 has removable rocking arms that allow you to use it like a normal or rocking chair at a budget-friendly price.

Pros

  • Stationary or rocker
  • Budget friendly
  • Easily stores

Cons

  • Runs on the heavy side
  • Not the most durable

Product Description

The best camping rocking chairs usually come with a steep price, but for less than $50, the Outdoor Tension 2 in 1 is a steal. Especially if you want the best of both worlds. And thanks to the removable rocking arms that snap onto the chair’s legs, you can remove them when you prefer a solid, stationary sit. This chair also collapses, like most camping chairs, which makes it easy to pack or store for traveling.

This chair does run on the heavier side, at 17.5 pounds, which is 5 pounds heavier than the Freestyle Rocker. Which makes it a little less likely that you’ll carry it anywhere that requires a fair amount of walking. While I haven’t had the time to test this chair’s longevity, I have used several Ozark Trail chairs in the past where the stitching in the seat and arm rests tore not long after I purchased them. But if you’re on a budget for your next camping rocker, the Outdoor Tension 2 in 1 will get the job done.

Best Sunshade: GCI Sunshade Rocker

GCI Outdoor

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Key Features

  • Adjustable shade with UPF 50+ fabric
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Supports: 250 pounds
  • Overall height: 38.8 inches (without shade)
  • Seat height: 19.7 inches
  • Carry bag

Why It Made the Cut

The Sunshade Rocker provides excellent coverage in a lightweight, packable camping rocking chair.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Packable
  • Sunshade folds back for storage

Cons

  • Some might prefer a taller seat
The Sunshade Rocker provides plenty of shade and packs down nicely when it's time to go.
The Sunshade Rocker provides plenty of shade and packs down nicely when it’s time to go. Adam Moore

Product Description 

If the forecast calls for sunny days, or your campsite could use a few more trees, you’ll want the Sunshade Rocker to make your trip that much more enjoyable. This rocker was one of the more comfortable chairs in my test and one of the easiest to pack, even with the collapsible sunshade. It also comes with a carry bag, and folding the chair up takes minimal time or effort. And the Sunshade Rocker isn’t so heavy that I wouldn’t take it to camp even if I had a long walk. Because this chair packs easily, it’s a great, versatile option that you can use at camp, your kids’ little league games, or backyard barbecues.

While the sunshade provides great cover for your head, it doesn’t do much for your torso and even less for your legs. But it’s still better than no shade at all. And these are minor drawbacks when you consider everything else that the chair does so well.

Best Portable: Helinox Chair One and Rocking Feet

Helinox

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Key Features

  • Weight: 2 pounds, 2 ounces (packed)
  • Supports: 320 pounds
  • Overall height: 25.5 inches
  • Seat height: 10 inches
  • Carry bag

Why It Made the Cut

The Helinox Chair One is by far the lightest camping chair in this review and could even find its way into your pack for a camping trip that requires a short hike or paddle.

Pros

  • Super light
  • Extremely packable
  • 5-year warranty
  • Durable
  • Cool color, pattern options

Cons

Product Description

If you want a little luxury on your next remote camping trip, the Helinox Chair One can provide the added touch you’re looking for. At just over two pounds, even with the carry bag, this chair is insanely light and durable. It also has a weight capacity of 320 pounds, which is better than all the chairs in this review except the Ozark Trail. But unlike other chairs I tested, the Chair One comes with a five-year warranty, which you’ll want because this chair is also the most expensive on this list. Especially when you throw in the rocking feet, which you have to purchase separately. 

And while you can buy multiple of the other options for the total price of this chair, none of them come close to packing down like the Chair One. Even though this chair has a minimalist design, it’s also comfortable enough to use for shorter camping trips or even other outdoor functions, especially if you don’t want to lug around a huge folding chair. So while the initial price might seem steep, its versatility and Helinox’s 5-year warranty make it an appealing option.

Best Folding: Woods Kaslo Folding Rocking Chair

Woods

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Key Features

  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Supports: 300 pounds
  • Height: 39 inches
  • Seat height: 18.5 inches
  • Powder-coated steel frame
  • Carry bag
  • Beverage holder

Why It Made the Cut

The Woods Kaslo is a big, comfortable rocker, yet its folding capabilities make it easy to transport even when you have to cover some distance to get to camp. 

Pros 

  • Extra padded seat
  • Packs easily for its size
  • Lightweight for size

Cons

  • Some might prefer smaller options

Product Description

The size and folding capabilities of the Woods Kaslo rocker will appeal to campers who want a larger, more comfortable chair to take to the campsite, especially if you have to cover some ground to get there. And the extra padded seat and back provide plenty of cushion. Rather than folding in half like other products in its category, the Woods Kaslo folds like typical camping chairs and packs down incredibly well for its size. And the powder-coated frame means this chair can endure the often unexpected camping elements. 

Best Pockets: Creative Outdoors Collapsible Director Rocking Chair

Creative Outdoors

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Key Features

  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Supports: 250 pounds
  • Overall height: 36 inches
  • Steel alloy frame
  • Carry straps
  • Detachable zip-top cooler

Why It Made the Cut

If you want a camping rocking chair with plenty of storage, this one from Creative Outdoors can hold your hot or cold beverages and more. 

Pros

  • Tons of storage
  • Easy to carry
  • Breathable back

Cons

  • One of the pricier chairs
  • Doesn’t pack small
  • If you don’t like orange, you won’t like this chair

Product Description

Unlike the other products on this list that have minimal pockets or storage, the Director Rocking Chair from Creative Outdoors has plenty of room to store your beverages, magazine, mosquito repellents, and more. And the detachable soft cooler adds a nice touch, which allows you to keep rocking without making an extra trip to the cooler when your drink runs out.

While the Director Rocking chair doesn’t pack down as small as others on this list, it does have backpack straps that make it easy to carry for short trips to the campsite, lake, or beach.    

Best Oversized: Coastrail Outdoor Camping Rocking Chair

Coastrail

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Key Features

  • Weight: 13.6 pounds
  • Supports: 300 pounds
  • Overall height: 38.2 inches
  • Seat height: 25.4 inches
  • Polyester seat
  • Steel tube frame
  • Padded headrest
  • Carry bag

Why It Made the Cut

This camping rocker from Coastrail won’t make the backcountry trip, but its plentiful padding will make for great naps on car camping trips.

Pros

  • Super comfortable
  • Hugs you
  • Mesh storage pockets

Cons

  • Probably not the best for warmer temps

Product Description

If comfort and relaxation are your main priority for camping, this oversized, padded rocker from Coastrail should fit the bill to a tee. While most of the other chairs in this review lack sufficient padding around the armrests, this chair has overbuilt cushioning that’s super comfortable, especially if you want a chair with napping capabilities. And the built-in pillow headrest means you don’t have to wad up a shirt or jacket to make do.

If you’re in the market for an oversized camping rocking chair, you’re probably not too worried about its packability. And even though it folds down into a carry bag, I wouldn’t recommend logging a ton of miles  with this one in tow. But if you’re car camping, this oversized rocker makes the perfect addition to your setup.  

FAQs

Q: What is the lightest folding camping rocking chair?

Even though you have to purchase the rocking feet separately, the Helinox Chair One is the lightest folding camping chair in this review. At just over two pounds, it’s 10 pounds lighter than the next chair. The rocking feet will add a little weight to the Chair One, but not enough to make a drastic difference, unless you’re counting ounces.

Q: Which type of camping rocking chair is best for long sitting?

Out of all the chairs I tested, the Cabela’s Big Outdoorsman proved best for long sits. The padded cushion and back made it super comfortable while I spent a workday in it, and it made it hard to resist a nap after lunch. While the other chairs were plenty comfortable for shorter amounts of time, they didn’t provide as much comfort as the Big Outdoorsman. 

Q: What is the weight limit on a camping rocking chair?

Weight limits on camping rocking chairs vary, but they typically hold 200 pounds or more. While manufacturers list different weight limits, some of them might not be as accurate as their descriptions, especially if you’re opting for a cheaper chair.

The best camping rockers, even with added features like a sunshade, pack down more efficiently than typical folding chairs.
The best camping rockers, even with added features like a sunshade, pack down more efficiently than typical folding chairs. Adam Moore

Methodology

For this review, I spent almost a full workday sitting in the chairs I tested, and took note of how comfortable each chair seemed. I then considered the weight of each one and how well they packed or stored for traveling or hiking purposes. Because camping rockers aren’t designed for backcountry excursions (these chairs are really meant for car camping), I placed less of an overall emphasis on packability, and more emphasis on comfort and a chair’s overall footprint. 

Final Thoughts

While they might not be as critical to your gear list as your hiking pants, tent, or pack, the best camping rockers can add a nice touch to your campsite. And once you and your friends huddle around the campfire, you can kick back and keep rocking.