Tripod stools are a great light weight option for having a portable sitting option for almost any situation. They can even strap on to a backpack for hiking or camping. Generally you can pick up one of these items for under $30 so they are also affordable options for any setup. But what are the best tripod stools?
What’s The Point Of A Tripod Stool?
Tripod stools are great for fishing on a pier or on a shoreline. Cast out my line, take a seat and enjoy waiting for the fish to bite. Hiking and camping is also a another great example for using a tripod stool.
Outdoor concerts or Shakespeare in the park are also good times to use one. I saw a whole family using some these while waiting in line at a popular local amusement park last summer. I can’t remember if it was the line for the Gunslinger ride or the line for the fried Twinkies.
Even a tourist out sightseeing might be well served by being able to take a short sit down break from time to time.
The travel chairs are nice, but the best tripods stools are very portable. If it’s easy to carry around, I’m more likely to find a use for it out in the field.
How I Found The Best Tripod Stools
I decided to test several different tripod stools. Here’s what I looked for:
- Portability. If it’s easy to transport, I’m more likely to consider carrying it around in the first place.
- Ease of set up. The best ones just fold out without thinking. And then they collapse again, ready to go to the next place.
- Comfort. What good is it having a seat I don’t really want to use?
- Durable. Even when not spending a lot of money, I want my stuff to last. Good materials with the right design make for a long lasting stool.
Top 5 Best Tripod Stools For Hunting, Camping, Fishing & More
TravelChair Slacker Chair Folding Tripod Camp Stool
TravelChair Slacker Chair Folding Tripod Camp Stool made my list of best tripod stools for several reasons. First, the price was great! Around the cost of two fast food combo meals. Wait a minute, I don’t do fast food, so how do I know that? Yeah… I don’t eat fast food… (wink).
Unlike many fast food meals, the materials that go into the make-up of this stool are good quality and should be durable enough for most users. The legs are powder coated steel with fittings are a hard but somewhat pliable nylon, and the fabric is rip stop polyester.
The design is what impressed me. It really takes a good designer to come up with something that everyone else later says, “Oh, of course.” Like the possibly apocryphal story of Sir Isaac Newton inventing the cat flap (doggy door). According to legend, he came with that idea that is now seen as a no brainer solution. Well, someone had to come up with it!
This stool isn’t likely to spawn unproven legends, but its design requires virtually no thought or effort to set up or tear down. Just unfold it. Then, pick it up and fold it. Velcro straps keep it in the folded position and a handy webbed strap is included for carrying.
As small as it folds up, I just put it in my day pack or tripod case. For just walking around, the strap would certainly be useful.
The height of most tripod stools is pretty low, this one is no exception. I felt closer to a crouching position than to sitting in chair. Still, it was comfortable and I preferred it to actually crouching or squatting or setting the backside of my chinos on the bare ground.
Overall this was a great product because of its affordable price point and high quality finish. A must have for any outdoor enthusiast!
ALPS Mountaineering Tri-Leg Stool
Much of what I just said could also apply also to the ALPS Mountaineering Tri-Leg Stool. While it is slightly more expensive than most models, I did find it on sale on Amzon.
Made of powder coated steel and rip stop polyester, this stool should hold up well to a variety of uses. The folded out height is around 16 inches and it folds up to just under two feet. These stools often fold up to a greater length because of their design.
The center pivot point allows the legs to spread out top and bottom, so the overall height when set up is shorter than folded length. The stools overall footprint is wide enough to provide ample seating area and a stable platform.
Folded up, though longer, they have the profile of a rolled up Sunday newspaper. Has anyone actually seen a Sunday newspaper lately? I think I heard they are still a thing. Overall this is a great tripod stool for camping and fishing. You won’t be disappointed!
ALPS OutdoorZ Tri-Leg Stool Realtree Xtra
A variant of the above stool is the ALPS OutdoorZ Tri-Leg Stool, Realtree Xtra. This stool is virtually the same as the other ALPS stool but it’s camouflaged. The legs are flat black and the fabric is in the Real tree pattern that many hunters and outdoors-men and women are familiar with.
Hunters will find this useful inside or outside a blind, or just as a stool all by itself. Since, like all the other stools, you’re in a lower than seated, but higher than crouching position, I could foresee some issues with trying to get up quickly after sitting for a while in colder weather.
Nature photographers will also be drawn to this camo pattern, since we want to blend in to be able to capture the best images of nature and wildlife. A good pick for hunters and wild life photographers.
TravelChair 2.0 Ultimate Slacker Folding Tripod Chair
The TravelChair 2.0 Ultimate Slacker Chair Folding Tripod Camp Stool with Backrest isn’t technically a stool, it’s a chair. It’s smaller than many outdoor chairs because it’s a tripod design. Three legs instead of four.
This makes for a larger item, whether folded up or spread for use. Advantages are a slightly higher sitting position and an added backrest. Disadvantages are the weight, carrying size, and price is all pretty much doubled.
Unlike the four legged versions of camping chairs, I still was more or less in a semi crouched position using this chair, but the addition of a backrest was the main reason for choosing this chair.
I couldn’t really lean back a lot, but that small added support might make the difference for some people being able to remain comfortable for longer periods of time.
If a little more comfort is worth more than the smallest and lightest transportation profile, than a chair like this is a good compromise between stools and a full size camping chair.
GCI Outdoor Packseat Portable Stool
Finally, the GCI Outdoor Packseat Portable Stool was the tallest stool I tested for this review of best tripod stools. It measures about 5 inches taller than the other stools I tried out.
Interestingly, while that put in a position closer to seated than crouched or squatting, I felt that the extra height decreased my stability overall.
Any movement I made that was more than plain old fidgeting felt like I was about to lean over or fall out. I didn’t feel uncomfortable in that, simply had to be a little more aware of what I was doing.
If you are taller than average, or have long legs, I could see a case for this stool being your first choice. It also had good quality materials that should prove to be durable for all but the most demanding of users.
I thought this stool would also work well for the sightseeing tourist. Since it’s taller, getting up and down multiple times might be a little easier for a full day touring. Since it really isn’t much bigger than a large umbrella, a tourist should be able to carry it just about anywhere.
Whether hunting, camping, photographing, fishing, or just wanting a portable seat, any of these stools I tested could be the best tripod stool for you. You can also check out my full guide here on the best tripods for all uses.
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