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The 7 Best Swinging Camp Chairs

These rocking and swinging camping chairs will be the envy of the campground.

best swinging camp chairs
Staff, Courtesy of Coastrail

After a full day in nature, few things are more comfortable than coming back to your campsite, changing into warm clothing, and relaxing in your camp chair.

Of course, it’s the overall experience that’s comfortable. The camp chairs themselves, well, that’s where there’s usually room for improvement. But swinging camp chairs that allow you to rock or recline in them can be the answer, making them one of our favorite pieces of camping gear. Rather than forcing you to sit in one spot for hours, swinging chairs allow you to shift your weight in multiple ways, which can help ease strain on your back, rear, and knees. They can be a bit more expensive than traditional camp chairs, but they're also more versatile. If you spend a lot of time on the sidelines, tailgating, car camping, or hanging at the beach, you’ll likely appreciate the extra comfort afforded by chairs with a little more movement. These are our favorite swinging camp chairs, starting at under $70.

The Expert: Suzie Dundas is an avid snowboarder, climber, mountain biker and paddler who lives in the mountains near Lake Tahoe, California, and always has a camp chair in the back of her car for post-activity hang-outs in the sunshine. When she doesn’t have to carry it too far, she usually opts for a rocker chair as they’re generally more comfortable for extended periods of time. As a product reviewer, she’s evaluated and recommended camp gear for publications like TripSavvy, Outsider, Backpackers and more.

Consider This Before Buying Your Swinging Camp Chair

If you’re buying a new camp chair and want swinging or rocking functionality, you should expect to spend a bit more. Adding the ability to rock requires a few extra parts, and since metal is usually the most expensive part of the chair, it drives the cost up. More metal also equals a bigger packed size, so if you’re planning on walking a few miles with your chair, you may be better off opting for a more traditional fixed camp chair.

Rockers are usually a bit more affordable but don’t work as well if you’re trying to lay back and stargaze. If most of your camping is under pavilions or you feel confident in being able to find sturdy trees near your campsite, look for a hammock-style fabric chair, which will weigh less and likely be more comfortable. But remember that there’s often no way to use them without something to mount them on overhead.

Many of the lower cost swinging camp chair options in the $60 to $80 range are very similar—often the only difference is the logo of the brand. Paying a little more, if you can, will get you more useful options, like cupholders and padded arm rests, and sturdier construction that can withstand heavy outdoor use.

How We Evaluated

When selecting these swinging camp chairs, we relied on our own experience testing and using camp chairs. In addition, we researched top options from box stores, online retailers, and outdoor brands. We didn’t include any swinging camp chairs with low ratings, nor did we include any chairs with frequently recurring negative reviews around quality issues like broken pieces or ripped fabrics. We evaluated every chain on its price, value, features, and customer ratings.

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Best Overall Swinging Camp Chair
Nemo Stargazer
Nemo Equipment

Key Specs:

  • Weight: 7 lb.
  • Weight Limit: 300 lb.
  • Seat Height: 12.6”

There are very few features you won’t find on the Nemo Stargazer. Expensive but highly rated swinging chairs like the Stargazer are equipped with adjustable headrests and padded armrests, cup holders, and legs that let you swing on any surface (unlike a rocking chair). Aside from the fantastic reclining range that truly earns its “stargazer” name, it also weighs in at an ultralight 7 pounds. While it’s still too heavy to backpack with, you won’t be hurting too much if you carry it a mile or so to your local hidden beach or sunset hangout spot.

  • Low weight
  • Reclines very far back
  • Padded headrests and armrests
  • Carrying case

  • Expensive
  • Low seat height
Best Hanging Swinging Camp Chair
Segmart Hanging Chair

Key Specs:

  • Weight: 6 lb.
  • Weight Limit: 350 lb.
  • Seat Height: Variable

If you reliably camp or hang out in areas with well-placed tree branches or covered awnings, you may be able to skip the freestanding options and instead opt for a more comfortable hanging swing chair. This heavily padded chair comes with two pillows and hangs with a hook you can set up in under a minute. It also comes with a storage bag and holds a fairly impressive 350 pounds.

  • Inexpensive
  • Highly padded
  • Easy setup

  • Requires overhead hanging surface
  • No pockets or cup holders
Best Budget Swinging Camp Chair
Rio Foldable Hammock Chair

Key Specs:

  • Weight: 13 lb.
  • Weight Limit: 300 lb. 
  • Seat Height: Not listed, but reviewers say it’s high

Swinging camp chairs are usually more expensive than more basic folding chairs, so while the Rio Foldable Hammock Chair’s price may seem steep for a standard chair, it’s fairly reasonable for one with the swinging feature. For about $70, buyers get a swinging camp chair with a padded headrest, a simple carrying case, and an oversized seat that can fit users well over six feet tall.

  • Large size
  • Low price
  • Light padding

  • No foot rest
  • Small armrests
Best Swinging Chair for the Beach
CGI Outdoor Waterslide Portable Folding Chair
GCI Outdoor

Key Specs:

  • Weight: 10 lb.
  • Weight Limit: 250 lb.
  • Seat Height: 14.8”

If you’re headed to the beach but don’t want to lay on a flat towel all day, consider the CGI Waterside Beach Rocker. Rather than having four feet that would sink into sand, it has two horizontal bars to distribute the chair’s weight across sand for a more solid platform. The mesh back makes it easy to shake off sand when it’s time to go, and the convenient attached cup holder should keep most of the sand out of your beach beverage of choice.

  • Won’t sink into sand
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Mesh back

  • Low seat
  • No carrying case (built-in handle)
Best Convertible Swinging Chair
Coast Trail Outdoor Folding Rocking Chair with Detachable Rockers
Coastrail Outdoor

Key Specs:

  • Weight: 16 lb.
  • Weight Limit: 350 lb.
  • Seat Height: 15.5”

The smartly designed Coast Trail Folding Rocking Chair is two chairs in one: it can serve as your standard collapsible camp chair, but pop on the dual leg attachments, and you’ve suddenly got an outdoor rocking chair. The rockers work best on even surfaces (so not sand or loose dirt). The chair also has a foldable cup holder, big storage pockets, and a lightly padded seat and headrest.

  • Convertible rocker legs
  • Multiple storage pockets

  • Low seat height
  • Minimal rocking range
Best Hammock-Style Swinging Chair
Ozark Trail Folding Hammock Chair
Ozark Trail

Key Specs:

  • Weight: 11.5 lb.
  • Weight Limit: 300 lb.
  • Seat Height: 12”

Camp chairs, swinging or otherwise, aren’t usually known for being too comfortable, but the Ozark Trail delivers. The large chair holds 300 pounds so it’s sturdy enough for adults, but children and shorter buyers will find it large enough to really curl up in, almost like a real hammock. And since it weighs just 11.5 pounds and folds to the size of a large umbrella, it’s easy to sling on your shoulder when you already have your hands full with camping gear or snacks during halftime at your weekend soccer game. The hammock-style design, however, lacks features like head support or a footrest and has a low seat height.

  • Very light
  • Inexpensive
  • Carrying case
  • Great for kids

  • No headrest, armrests, or cupholders
Best Unique Swinging Camp Chair
Hammaka Hammock Trailer Hitch

Key Specs:

  • Weight: 50 lb.
  • Weight Limit: 300 lb.
  • Seat Height: Variable (based on hitch height)

Can’t find a traditional swinging camp chair you like? If your truck or SUV has a hitch, consider the hitch-mount chair or hammock mount from Hammaka. It fits on standard 2-inch receivers and can hold up to 300 pounds; your choice if you’d prefer to hold one hammock or two swinging chairs. The frame weighs 50 pounds, so it takes some effort to install and remove. But aside from the weight, it only takes a minute or two to attach or remove, so you can throw it in your trunk and put it on your car when you arrive at your campsite.

  • Mounts to car hitch
  • Can be used for two chairs or one hammock
  • Great for uneven surfaces

  • Heavy
  • Chair/hammock must be purchased separately
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