Which outdoor stool is best?

Whether hiking through a forest or relaxing on your patio, sometimes you need a quick option for seating. An outdoor stool is a good solution. These foldable instant seats let you take a load off when other chairs are unavailable.

If you need more than one outdoor stool, the Triple Tree Camping Stool two-pack is a fantastic choice that is stable, comfortable and durable.

What to know before you buy an outdoor stool

Weight limit

You’ll need to make sure that the outdoor stool you select can hold all of the people who use it. At a minimum, the stool should support 200 pounds, but some can support 450 pounds or more. If you like to snuggle around a campfire with a child in your lap, consider buying a stool that holds more weight.

Construction

The construction of your camping stool is a crucial piece of the puzzle regarding durability and performance.

  • The frame: Although aluminum is a lightweight choice that works well for backpackers or those who prefer long hikes, they don’t hold as much weight and are prone to dents and dings. If you plan to use the stool in more rugged places, consider powder-coated stainless steel for rust prevention and sturdy construction.
  • The seat: The seats may be made from weatherproof canvas or oxford fabric. Oxford fabric blends cotton and polyester for stain resistance in a lightweight and tough fabric.

Not sure which type of construction will work best for you? Consider a telescoping stool made completely from plastic. These won’t rust or mold, but they are heavier and are best for car camping or as extra seating on a patio.

Easy to carry

Although some use an outdoor stool for a quick seat in their garden or around the pool, some hikers like to bring some comfort with them on the trail. If you prefer your seating on the go, make sure it is lightweight and comes with a bag or carrying strap.

What to look for in a quality outdoor stool

Stability on uneven ground

Not all outdoor stools are created equal. Some work better on uneven terrain, while others wobble at the slightest change in elevation.

  • Tripod: As the name suggests, tripod outdoor stools have three legs. These are generally the smallest in terms of both seat size and height, but they fold easily and are the most stable choice.
  • Four legs: Four legs may seem sturdy, but they can rock if the ground is too uneven. They also weigh more.
  • Scissor style: A scissor-style stool has two u-shaped legs that are opened and closed, just as their name suggests. These are not particularly sturdy and best for use on paved surfaces.
  • Telescoping: Less common and the least sturdy of all, telescoping stools feature pieces that interlock to raise and lower the height of the seat. They are adjustable and work for kids and adults alike.

Ample seating

When choosing the best outdoor stool, take the time to measure your favorite chair. This will give you a good idea of what type of surface area you need to sit comfortably.

Carrying bag or strap

Most outdoor stools have at least a strap you can sling over your shoulder. Others come with a dedicated bag that protects them from the weather, too.

Additional features

Some stools allow you to charge your devices with a built-in USB charger. Others have pockets for storage and pads on the feet to keep them stable. Consider features that are must-haves and nice-to-haves in a portable outdoor seat.

How much you can expect to spend on an outdoor stool

Expect to spend $15-$60 on an outdoor stool. This broad range covers the quality of construction and whether or not the stools come in a pair.

Outdoor stool FAQ

What are some of the uses of an outdoor stool?

A. The most common use of an outdoor stool is to provide additional seating around the campfire or on a patio, but there are other uses, too.

Use them:

  • In a shower (indoor or outdoor)
  • In the garden
  • For story time in the park
  • As seating at a water or activity table
  • On a boat when fishing
  • For seating at events (e.g., concerts)
  • When getting up or down from the ground is not possible

How do you care for an outdoor stool?

A. Make sure your outdoor stool is dry and free from debris when you store it, especially at the end of the camping season or long hike. Most can be simply hosed off and allowed to air-dry.

If you notice stubborn dirt or stains, follow the manufacturer’s directions for care. They may be different depending on the type of fabric on your seat.

What’s the best outdoor stool to buy?

Top outdoor stool

Triple Tree Camping Stool

Triple Tree Camping Stool

What you need to know: This two-pack gives you additional seating for yourself and your hiking partner.

What you’ll love: The wide feet on this four-legged stool create a sturdy base that supports up to 400 pounds. The seat is made from oxford fabric, and the stool comes with a one-year warranty.

What you should consider: Because they do not lock into place, the legs may shift slightly when you stand, so use caution.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top outdoor stool for the money

ALPS Mountaineering Tri-Leg Stool

ALPS Mountaineering Tri-Leg Stool

What you need to know: It is lightweight and perfect for camping.

What you’ll love: The three legs provide exceptional support and stability even on uneven terrain. The frame is powder-coated steel topped with a rip-proof seat made of 600D fabric. It comes in 11 colors and you can easily store in its own bag.

What you should consider: The seat is small.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Deer's Life Square Telescopic Retractable Stools

Deer’s Life Square Telescopic Retractable Stools

What you need to know: The telescoping fish scale design works for sitters of all heights.

What you’ll love: It is rated for a whopping 485 pounds. Open it up to a standard height of nearly 18 inches and then store the 2.5-inch compacted disk in its own bag.

What you should consider: It is heavy, and the flat design makes it less stable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.