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Camping chairs are a comfortable way to wind down after a long day on the trail, but there's a way you can wind down even more — and that's with a camping rocking chair. Yep, camping chairs with rocking capabilities are actually a thing, and the right ones work on grassy, sandy, and rocky terrain for smooth, soothing relaxation anywhere and everywhere. These are multi-use portable chairs you'll find yourself using for a variety of outdoor activities: take them to the lake, outdoor concerts, while tailgating, or anywhere you're bringing a baby or toddler who will eventually need a nap.
Camping rocking chairs also have the same specs you're used to from traditional camping chairs: they're made of quick-drying mesh materials, have sturdy steel bases, and feature things like cup holders and pockets for storage. Also, like regular camping chairs, these also have portability in mind and can be folded up and taken with you anywhere, especially since most clock in at under 13 pounds. If you're planning on camping under the stars this summer or fall and are looking to create the most relaxing environment possible, try out one of these chairs. They'll create that same relaxing ambience you might get on a rocking chair out on the front porch. Check out our favorites below:
Best Camping Rocking Chairs
1. Our Top Pick Overall
GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker - Amazon, $69.99
One of the most affordable options on the list, this simple-to-use (read: no assembly required!) freestyle rocking chair from GCI utilizes its patented spring-action and shock absorbers to create a smooth, even rocking motion on any type of terrain. At just over 12 pounds and with a convenient carrying handle, this foldable chair was made with ease of portability in mind. Additionally, we love the comfort-centric details like padded armrests, a breezy mesh back, and an easy-to-access beverage holder. It holds up to 250 pounds and is made with sturdy, powder-coated steel.
2. The Best Splurge
NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair - REI, $249.95
This may be a splurge, but if relaxing under the stars is one of your favorite things about camping, we think it's well worth the price. This rocking chair has sturdy feet and functions as an air-rocker, meaning the seat is suspended above the ground and you'll experience a full range of motion on sandy or rocky surfaces. Best of all, it's also a reclining chair, and is fitted with auto-reclining hardware for ease of use. It's made with aircraft-grade aluminum — making it durable and easy-to-fold — and only weighs 6 pounds but holds weight up to 300 pounds. It has water-resistant mesh that prevents odor and mildew, padded armrests, a cup holder, and a pocket to store tablets, keys, phones, or a book. It also comes with a padded carrying case that has a storage pocket as well.
3. The Best Camping Rocking Chair for Taller People
TIMBER RIDGE Foldable Padded Rocking Chair - Amazon, $139.99
A lot of rocking chairs have shorter seats or backrests, but lots of reviewers say this Timber Ridge chair is perfect for people six-feet and over, thanks to the longer seats and the higher backrests. It also has a higher weight limit than other camping rocking chairs — this one accommodates up to 300 pounds. We also love how comfortable this is: the fully padded backrest on this high-back rocking chair offers great lumbar support, perfect for anyone who gets uncomfortable sitting for too long. This rocking camp chair offers even more accessibility with hard armrests that make getting in and out of the chair easier for people who are sore from hiking or have mobility issues. It also features a side pocket to store essentials.
4. The Best Low-Seated Option for Shorter People
GCI Outdoor FirePit Rocker - Amazon, $75.00
This GCI Outdoor FirePit Rocker is another affordable option that comes in at under $100 — but is still made with durable steel, padded armrests, a cup holder, and a mesh back. What's unique about this chair is that it sits low to the ground — making it a great option for fire pits or sitting around the campfire with s'mores, as well the perfect option for shorter people and even children. Lots of reviewers also love these for outdoor concerts, too. The wider seat that doesn't sag is also another reason why this chair has such rave reviews.
5. A Rocking Chair That Keeps You Protected From The Sun
GCI Outdoor Pod Rocker - Amazon, $90.00
This camping rocking chair is similar to the other GCI chairs on this list (we're big fans of the chairs from this brand) — so count on the powder-coated steel and mesh backing — but it also features a sun shade canopy with UPF 50 for superior sun protection by the lake or the beach. It's also great to use if it's drizzling a little, as it offers some protection from the elements as well, and has a cup holder and a side pocket for essentials. This one is especially great for moms or dads who are trying to soothe newborns into a sound sleep.
This article was originally published in June 2021. It has been updated in 2022 by Alida Nugent.