On your caravan holidays, having some folding chairs to make the most of being outdoors is essential. However, we believe that in 2014, sitting in a folding chair at your campsite or out and about shouldn’t have to be a punishment. Which is why we put some to the test. Here we review the Gelert Milldale Executive Chair.

But how did we evaluate the products? The Practical Caravan folding chair group test looked at the comfort and weight of the products on test, and much more, to determine what are the best folding chairs on the market for you to take with you on tour.

Folding camping chairs have a lot of boxes to tick. Size is one crucial factor. When it is folded, ready to be stored, its size matters, because even if your caravan boasts a good amount of storage space and you are taking modestly sized chairs on holiday, four chairs will still steal a lot of space. 

Another issue is portability – in other words, how much effort it will take to carry the chair around. The most innovative models fit in the corner of a rucksack, but at the very least, you want your chair to be easy to lift from your car or caravan to wherever you want to sit.

Then there is weight, another key factor that all has a bearing on how easy it is to move from A to B. And by weight we don’t just mean the weight of the chair itself, but also how much weight it can support – the benchmark is 100kg (or about 15.5 stone). Some chairs are less robust than others, so it pays to check prior to purchase.

Comfort is another consideration – and one that might be subjective. Either way, it’s a complex demand for a mere folding camping chair to satisfy. Is it a chair for outdoor dining or lounging? Does the user want it to be quite high or low? Factor in orthopaedic concerns and you will appreciate the importance of height, by which we mean the difference in height between your posterior and your knees when in the chair. And then, how easy is it to get out the chair? Sturdy handles, a firm seat base and high seating all make this process easier and more elegant.

We took all these points into consideration, as well as ease 
of use, value for money and annoyances such as small feet that sink 
into the ground, when testing our folding chairs – and the Gelert Milldale Executive Chair impressed the Practical Caravan review team.

This chair is available in three colour schemes – blue and grey, black and grey, and red and grey. And Gelert’s brilliant reinvention of the director’s chair nearly won our group product test. Look closely and you’ll see two joints that allow this model to fold to almost half the height of a conventional director’s chair.

This is a compact steel chair with PVC coated polyester. It weighs 4.2kg and its brilliantly positioned handle makes it a doddle to carry, which we loved. The big base is comfy and supportive, especially for sitting up, and its seat height of 40cm makes it easy to rise to your feet. All this and it costs only £35 – no wonder we awarded it five stars.

Another chair to receive a five-star rating from the Practical Caravan accessories review team was the Outwell Spring Hills camping chair which retails at £36.99 – in fact, this folding camping chair was so good that it was the winner in our group product test. We also tested the Gelert Caldera Moon Chair, which scored two out of five, the four-star Coleman Sling Chair, the Easy Camp Director’s Chair that also scored four out of five, the Kampa Tub Chair which will set you back £20 and which scored three out of five, and the three-star Alite Mayfly.