Camp chairs are great. They pack into a portable bundle, while deploying into a comfortable chair that lets you rest your legs in the campsite. In recent years, though, we’ve increasingly seen camp chairs equipped to deliver a gentle rocking motion, allowing you to enjoy the relaxing movement of rocking chairs in rough outdoor terrains.
Yes, they tend to be a bit bigger than standard camp chairs, so you lose a little portability opting for one. However, if you enjoy that feeling of being lulled gently while you plop down after a long day of hiking, we imagine it’s a worthy tradeoff.
Here are some of the best rocking camp chairs we’ve seen.
GCI Outdoor Kickback Rocker Chair
GCI Outdoor is one of the few outfits that has really embraced the “camp rocker” category, with a whopping 11 different types of collapsible chairs that integrate their spring-loaded motion system, so you get your pick of tall chairs and low chairs, as well as camp chairs and beach chairs. That motion system is pretty special, by the way, as it allows you to enjoy that rocking movement on both even and uneven surfaces alike.
And while the best of the lot will depend on your particular requirements for a camp chair, our personal pick is the Kickback Rocker, which has a slightly lower seat and a more reclined angle compared to their other models, putting you in a relaxed and leaned back posture reminiscent of old-school rocking chairs. It has a powder-coated steel frame that can supports weights of up to 250 pounds, while a phone pocket on the left arm rest and a bottle holder on the right allows you to keep everything you need within reach while you chill on the seat.
Not a fan of the low and leaned back posture of the Kickback? If you don’t mind the extra size, you’ll probably appreciate GCI’s Roadtrip model, which combines an upright posture and a high backrest with the outfit’s unique spring-loaded shocks for that smooth rocking motion. With a 20-inch seat height and 39-inch back rest height, it lets you sit comfortably upright while allowing you to lean your head back for a really restful sitting posture. It has the same powder-coated steel construction as the Kickback that allows it to support up to 250 pounds, although they also throw in a carry bag to make it easier to get around when hauling its big and burly collapsed frame.
Unlike GCI Outdoor’s rocking camp chairs, Kijaro’s campsite rocker uses large feet with extra vertical room in the back and rolling feet out front to get it moving back-and-forth. As you can imagine, this only allows movement at a limited angle, so the rocking motion is not quite as pronounced as other chairs in this list. Additionally, you’ll need to shift your weight to get the movement going, so it’s not quite as natural as other options here. On the upside, it collapses into a really compact pile, as there’s not much additional mechanism here, apart from the feet, making it ideal for taking to the campsite.
While it doesn’t have a mechanical rocking frame like other chairs in this list, Nemo’s rocking camp chair suspends the seat from the top of the left and right poles similar to a hammock. This allows it to swing back and forth while you’re seated, so you can enjoy that gentle rocking motion, apart from letting you recline very low when you want to look at the stars. Even better, the legs and frame are meant to stay in place at all times, so you can set it down and enjoy the rocking motion on both flat surfaces and uneven ground alike. The cup holder is mounted on the left pole, by the way, so you can lean back and lie down without having your drink tip over.
Sporting a more traditional rocker rails at the bottom, this collapsible chair offers that familiar back-and-forth motion you’ve experienced chilling on indoor rockers, so this should deliver maximum relaxation, albeit at the expense of being limited to flatter surfaces. Combining a 20.5-inch seat height with a 39.4-inch back rest height, it sits you in an upright but slightly reclined posture, while the hard armrest provides stiff support that lets you put all your weight on the chair. It can support weights of up to 300 pounds, so even heavyset individuals can plop down and enjoy rocking back-and-forth, although it only collapses to a size similar to standard folding chairs (26.4 x 39.4 inches), so this is strictly for backyard and car camping use.
Strictly for car camping, this chair only folds straight down the middle instead of collapsing into a compact bundle. That means, it will take up a fair bit of room, so carrying it by hand is going to be a hassle. At the size, though, you can keep a couple of these in the boot of the car for some comfortable rocking once you’re set up at the campsite.
Instead of using spring action like GCI’s rocking chairs, it uses a spring-less motion system that relies on two fixed bars at the bottom to allow the upper frame to move. According to the outfit, it provides a very smooth rocking motion that will lull you into a comfortable time at camp, while protection guards ensure it never rocks too far that you’ll end up off-balanced at any point. It’s rated for individuals up to 225 pounds.