Last Updated on 15/02/2024
What is the Best Camping Bench?
In this guide to the best camping bench, we uncover the most comfortable and portable benches in two, three, four, and six-seat options. You will learn about the benefits of having one long bench as opposed to multiple smaller seats and why we think the Panda Eye ALuminum bench is the clear winner.
Benches are a great way to save space around a table and seat multiple people at a time but are they any good for camping? Camping benches are actually growing in popularity as more people are buying campervans and enjoying the peacefulness of camping. They are a great way to introduce social seating inside your tent or outside, and the convenience of being able to pack them away when not in use is great.
There are some disadvantages to having all the seats stuck together, and we talk about these further down the page. Testing and researching these portable benches brought about a clear favorite in our eyes, but they are all decent options and great value in most cases. Decide what type of bench you want before buying and if you need a hand we have an informational guide below the reviews.
7 Best Folding Camping Benches
Panda Eye Outdoor Double Beach Chair Aluminum
- WEIGHT: 5.63 kg / 12.41 lbs
- PACK SIZE: 40.94 ” L x 27.56 ” W
- CAPACITY: 440 lbs
The Panda Eye Outdoor Double Beach Chair Aluminum is, in our opinion, the best camping bench out there by quite a long way.
Unlike most of the other portable outdoor benches which take the design of camping chairs and basically join them together, this folding bench takes the strongest folding chair design and basically makes it longer. The frame structure is durable enough not to need any extra legs or central supports. The weight is evenly spread and absorbed through the fabric’s suspension and then evenly distributed along the horizontal bar feet.
If you check the other portable camping benches in this guide and any outdoor retailer, you will notice that this is the only one that uses the beach chair style instead of the camping chair design. The reason this is so significant is that it is so much stronger than the pop-up bench design with multiple legs. Less moving pieces mean fewer things to break. It also features wooden armrests, which elevate this above the others as the premium option.
Not only is the frame incredibly robust and sturdy on uneven ground, but it is also incredibly lightweight and easy to store in a car full of camping gear. No, it isn’t as easy to carry if you have to hike to your camping spot, but if you are looking for a camping bench, then our guess is this isn’t such a big deal.
Another benefit of the aluminum frame is that it doesn’t rust so you can use it outdoors as much as you like and if it gets left out in the rain, no big deal. The 600D Oxford cloth fabric is also very durable and will not be damaged by a bit of rain.
VERDICT: We absolutely love the Panda Eye folding bench for camping, and we could have just ended this guide right here, but it does have a limit of two people (two and a half at a push), so we had to include some alternatives. If you need a camping bench for two people, then this is the one you should get. If you don’t believe me go into your garage and check to see which old folding chairs have survived more than ten years, and I would bet that this style is in there as good as new.
The design is so simple it is foolproof and very strong for two people to sit on without feeling like you’re on the edge of collapse. When it is folded up it is very slimline and features a very sleek central handle to make carrying it in one hand a piece of cake instead of a balancing act that hurts your fingers. We don’t normally give scores in our guides, but if we did, this would be a 10 out of 10.
OmniCore Designs MoonPhase Home-Away LoveSeat
- WEIGHT: 10 kg / 22 lbs
- PACK SIZE: 8″ x 8″ x 38.5″
- CAPACITY: 300 lbs
The OmniCore Designs MoonPhase Home-Away LoveSeat is an awesome foldable camping bench for three people. It has a slight curve which makes for better social interactions, and is a more communal camping sofa. This curve is also the reason why it is called a loveseat because it is more intimate to be able to face someone you are sitting next to. The design combines three camping chairs Connected with mesh panels to create a camping bench for three people.
The seats are padded and reinforced with stitching for the ultimate comfort and extra warmth on your butt in the winter. The fabric is a hardwearing 600D puncture-resistant PVC polyester that isn’t damaged by being left in the rain or sun all day. If there are only two of you, you don’t have to separate to keep the chair balanced, and overall it is very sturdy.
Each side has a cup holder pouch to keep a drink or your phone, which you can also keep out on the mesh panels like a little table. There is also a hidden bottle opener so that you never have to search for one or even remember to pack one in the first place. Unfolding the bench and putting it away is very simple, and it conveniently packs away into a backpack-style carry bag so you can keep your hands free.
VERDICT: The OmniCore Designs MoonPhase Home-Away LoveSeat is a good choice for groups of three or couples with a child (or fur baby who doesn’t like being left out). The compact folding bench is easy to carry on your back and is better suited to hiking with than the more lightweight but less compact Panda Eye camp bench above.
Lifetime 80305 Portable Folding Bench
- WEIGHT: 7 kg / 15.4 lbs
- LENGTH: 6 feet / 72 inches
- PACK SIZE: 36.8″ x 11.5″ x 3.5″ (94 x 24 x 9 cm)
- CAPACITY: 454 lbs
The Lifetime 80305 Portable Folding Bench is the best option for seating four to six kids comfortably or three to four adults if you are careful. Please bear in mind that it is only recommended for two adults, but so long as you don’t bounce up and down on it you can get away with perching four people on. When you aren’t using this bench for camping is great for watching local sports games, tailgating, or just as extra seating when you have lots of guests around your house.
The metal frame is very solid, and like the Panda Eye bench above, we prefer these types of legs and feet to the camping chair style as seen above with the OmniCore Designs bench. The plastic is hard-wearing and reinforced from beneath, providing fully waterproof seating for around the campfire or at the camping dinner table. The three pillar-style legs have thin enforcement brackets, which keep them spread out and from falling in on themselves.
To fold the bench away, you simply push the brackets in on themselves and close the legs, followed by closing the two halves together and securing them with the clip. You then have a nice single handle to make transporting the bench nice and easy with one hand.
VERDICT: The Lifetime 80305 collapsible bench seat reminds us of the benches we had at school or as a child on thanksgiving at the kid’s table- but not in a bad way. It is simple and foolproof as well as solid and durable – much less likely to break than the fabric and steel designs. It’s not the comfiest or most compact, but it does the job and can seat multiple people.
Sunnyfeel Double Folding Camping Chair
- WEIGHT: 8.19 kg / 18 lbs
- PACK SIZE: 11″ x 7″ x 40″
- CAPACITY: 136 kg / 300 lbs per chair
The Sunnyfeel Double Folding Camping Chair is basically the two-person version of the OmniCore MoonPhase 3-person LoveSeat and so it has many of the same features just without the middle seat and obviously much lighter and more compact. We would still describe this as a foldable camping loveseat as the chairs are kind of angled towards each other a little bit.
The panel between the two chairs has mesh, whereas the chairs themselves have double-layer padding for a plush and soft finish. We see this as less of a bench than the plastic fold-out or the Panda Eye beach bench and more of a double camping chair which is what this really is.
The chairs are joined both by the fabric and mesh panels as well as by the legs and with an additional section of frame at the back. This helps the bench keep its shape as well as ensures that it folds up in the correct way so that nothing gets bent. Once packed away, this double camping seat is super portable and easy to carry on your back or with one hand.
VERDICT: If you are looking for a cheap and cheerful folding outdoor bench for you and your partner, then those Sunnyfeel double seat is good value and will serve its purpose so long as you look after it. We aren’t as confident in the longevity of all the plastic components, but for what it is, you are getting good value. The slight curve makes it perfect for couples to share a seat around the campfire or at the table.
GoTEAM! 3 Seat Portable Folding Bench Couch
- WEIGHT: 10 kg / 22 lbs
- PACK SIZE: 37″ x 8″ x 16″
- CAPACITY: 136 kg / 300 lbs per chair
The GoTEAM! 3 Seat Portable Folding Bench Couch is perfect for sitting at a table of six if you have one of these on each side. Unlike the OmniCore Monphase bench, this is not a loveseat and is straight (no curve), which is better for sitting at a table as it means everyone can get in close.
The simpler straight design also means fewer moving parts, as there is no need for the joining brackets on the loveseat. So why is it ranked lower down our guide?
Although this design is better for sitting at a table and saves a bit of weight on fabric and materials, the loveseat style is far more enjoyable to sit on and talk with your camping buddies or family. You get the same cup holders in the armrests for your water bottle, and there is padding on the seats and back with an especially pronounced headrest which is far too low down for anyone but a child. Still, it isn’t a bad portable bench for camping and will seat three people easily.
VERDICT: GoTEAM! 3 Seat Portable Folding Bench Couch is not our first choice, but it isn’t a bad choice by any means. If you want a compact bench that folds away and seats three people at a camping table, then you should definitely consider this or the foldable plastic bench with three legs above.
Giantex Aluminum Platform Non-Slip Folding Work Bench
- WEIGHT: 8.19 kg / 18 lbs
- PACK SIZE: 40″ x 12″ x 3″
- CAPACITY: 330 lbs
The Giantex Aluminum Platform Non-Slip Folding Work Bench is not actually designed for camping or even sitting on at all but it is one of the more solid options we have come across for a small folding bench.
This has the added benefit of being strong enough to stand on, which can come in handy more often than you might think. At just 3 feet long, it is only really big enough for two people to sit comfortably or three if you squeeze on or perch.
As this is designed for the trade industry, it is built to last and is very solid as well as stable, much more so than any plastic folding bench. There are locks on the legs that will never accidentally come undone on their own, so you can be sure that it will never collapse. We wouldn’t be surprised if this held more than double the maximum load weight due to the strong aluminum body and frame. Rust is also not an issue for this, so you can leave it outside overnight, even if it rains.
VERDICT: We really like the idea of platform workbenches for sitting on while camping because you can also use them to get things out of the roof box or if tieing a hammock tarp high up in a tree. Given this doesn’t make the comfiest camping bench but it is solid and won’t let you down. Not exactly portable for wilderness camping, but if you have a car or van close by, this is one you will get your money’s worth for.
Trademark Innovations Team Bench
- WEIGHT: 13.6 kg / 30 lbs
- PACK SIZE: 18″ x 100″ x 18″
- CAPACITY: 200 lbs per chair
The Trademark Innovations Team Bench is an incredible six seats long and by far the longest portable outdoor bench out there. Designed for sports teams to sit on at games, this massive 6-seater camp bench is perfect for large groups but fairly heavy and bulky. It packs away into a fairly large but still manageable carry bag for easy portability, but you wouldn’t want to carry it very far from the car.
You can get this bench without the backrest as just a plain bench which definitely saves some bulk and weight, but you lose the comfort of leaning back. Each backrest has a square mesh to let the breeze hit your back on a hot day. It does take more than one person to fully stretch out, but if you are setting up a six-seater bench, then you should hopefully be able to find a volunteer helper.
VERDICT: For large groups and families that want a long camping bench for camping and sports games, then those Trademark Innovations 6 seater team bench is as big as you will find. One-piece advice for a collapsable this big is to be careful not to all at either end as this can twist and severely damage the metal. Because it is so long, you should avoid leaving your foldable bench outdoors overnight in the wind as it would likely be nowhere to be seen in the morning.
Why Choose a Camping Bench Vs Camping Chairs?
There are many reasons why someone may prefer a bench over individual seats, so we will look at the benefits and disadvantages of fold-out benches when compared with a single camping chair.
Benches Offer Better Stability
While chairs are easier to balance on very uneven ground, camping benches have better stability and balance overall. This is because the weight of two people makes it harder to tip over and also because your weight is spread out over a larger area. That being said, if you were to sit down too hastily and lean back too far, you could easily tip yourself and your seat neighbor upside down.
Benches Seat More People
Benches are better suited for groups and families with more than one person, whereas chairs work well for single people or to balance out odd numbers. Because they seat two or more people, benches often end up being very social places to sit, especially if gathered around a big campfire. If you don’t have a backrest on your bench, you also have the benefit of facing both ways depending on the seating arrangement.
Benches Have a Smaller Footprint
Folding bench chairs that seat three or four people take up far less space than four single camp chairs lined up next to each other, no matter how close you get them. This is especially important around a small camping table where there is barely enough space for everyone’s plates, let alone rogue elbows and shuffling chairs.
So if you have a decent size tent and want to fit as many people as you can under the canopy for breakfast, dinner, or evening drinks, then a bench is the better option.
Chairs Are More Portable
Chairs are far more portable than benches because the responsibility of carrying them relies on the individual instead of one person bearing all the weight. The rule is, if you want to sit on a chair, then bring your own – which is fair enough really. This does take away from the generous nature of campers, but it is the logical thing to do for people who don’t love their friends enough to carry an entire bench on your back for them.
Chairs Normally Have a Back
Not all benches have a backrest, but chairs do (otherwise, they would be called a stool). If you wander back to camp and see a bench with no backrest and a comfy padded double camping chair, then I know which one I am choosing. Sitting on a bench without a back is ok for an hour or two maximum, but after that, I think most people would start to ache and end up standing or sitting against the base of a tree.
Chairs Are Easier to Fit Inside a Tent
If there are just two or three of you and you want something for you all to sit on inside a tent, it is unlikely that you have a massive porch area big enough for a 6-foot-long bench. You can, of course, get small foldable benches like the industrial platform painters use, but for the most part, you will need a large tent to fit a bench in.
What to Look for in a Foldable Bench for Camping
When deciding which camp bench seat to buy, there are some things you should consider when browsing around. Here are some of the important features you should have in mind:
The weight of a camping bench is only a significant factor if you plan to carry your bench on foot to your camping spot. If you are camping close to the car or are using your bench with a campervan, then the weight isn’t a big deal. If you do want a lightweight camping bench, then just be aware that you may be sacrificing strength in some cases.
In the case of our number one best folding bench, the lightweight frame is designed in such a way that it is stronger than most heavier benches.
The main idea behind camping benches is that they are portable so that you can carry them wherever you need to and quickly set up a seat for multiple people. Portability is dictated by the size of the folded or collapsed bench as well as the weight, but something you may not think about is how easy it is to carry.
Does it include a storage bag? Can you carry it on your back or with one hand? These are the questions you should be asking yourself when looking for the best portable bench.
Two sets of specifications you can look for in an outdoor folding bench are the packed size and the open size, which can both be important metrics depending on your situation. The pack dimensions make a difference to how and where you can store your bench as well as how and where you can actually carry it. The size of the bench, when fully set up, is important to estimate how many people would be able to fit on it.
The capacity refers to the maximum recommended weight that the bench can bear, so you should have a rough idea of how much you with if you feel you may be getting close to the limits. The capacity limit can be a gauge of how strong the bench is in that the stronger it is built, the more weight it can hold. In reality, this doesn’t always work out as companies often underestimate the max weight capacity to be on the safe side.
The comfort of a bench is less important than the comfort of a chair because with a bench, you are sharing your discomfort, and things like size, weight, and portability are more important. Still, some camping benches are comfier than others, and some features you can look for are padding on the seat and backrest as well as extras like armrests and cup holders, which all make your seating more comfortable.
Unfortunately, no bench will even come close to your sofa at home, so don’t prioritize this too highly.
Ease of Use
Just like a pop-up tent, it would be nice if all camping benches could be set up in an instant without any complicated instructions or faffing around, but this isn’t the case. Some long benches for camping involve folding out multiple legs and locking them in a position which can sometimes be tricky on your own.
The easiest way to set up a camping bench is to flip it upside down so you can see all the clips and don’t have the pressure of all the legs collapsing before you lock them in place.
Durability is very important with any outdoor gear, but especially with a seat for more than one person because the cumulative weight soon adds up. Luckily, The way that folding outdoor benches is designed means that the weight is evenly spread so that there are no stress points and the feet don’t sink into soft ground.
Alloy and steel are both strong materials for the legs, but as they are often hollow tubing, you should be cautious not to dent them too badly as they can lead to unrepairable damage if it caves in on themselves.
We hope you found this guide to the Best Camping Benches useful and now know what to look for even if you didn’t find it here. Thanks for stopping by and reading to the end.