Best Folding Rocking Chair: Buyer’s Guide 2020

Would you think of folding rocking chairs as a household essential? Maybe yes or maybe not; but the truth is that they are a must-have.

They are often an overlooked item that turns out to be so useful and appreciated when you finally get one of them. Comfortable, practical and portable, they’ll stick with you anywhere you go.

You can simply enjoy them in your backyard or bring them with you anywhere, on any trip. Pro-tip: drop at least two in the boot of your car. Like this, you’ll be able to improvise an impromptu seating area wherever you are.

If you are a nature lover and enjoy being outdoors in the wild, you probably know that nature does not necessarily offer the most comfortable spots to sit and relax; that’s why you need to be prepared a minimum. 

A folding, easy to carry chair, is nice. A folding rocking chair -still easy to take around- is the best. That’s the highest level of comfort you could get for a transportable piece of seating. You could use it while your meat is cooking on your favourite grill, at the beach to watch a sunset, around a bonfire in the forest, or in the mountains, watching nature do its magic while sipping a good warm cup of coffee. If you want to use it simply at home, in your garden or your backyard while some meat is getting flavoured in your electric smoker, it’s doable too. These chairs are really versatile

Deciding to get a folding rocking chair is the easy part. Then, you need to decide which chair is the right one for you and pick it amongst quite a broad selection. That’s why we are here; to help you with this process. We put together for you the best folding rocking chairs reviews and a helpful, complete buyer’s guide.

The below list is in no particular order, but rather the best in each category

1. Best Overall : GCI Outdoor RoadTrip Rocker Outdoor Rocking Chair

Best overall GCI Outdoor Roadtrip Rocker chair

If you’re not looking for anything special, but rather the best value for money folding rocking chair on the market; look no further, you can safely choose CGI outdoor roadtrip rocker.

It is solid as its frame is made out of powder-coated steel and the armrests are molded. It’s very comfortable and breathable thanks to the two-piece seat and backrest (attached though) and mesh backrest. A smooth rocking action is guaranteed by the spring-Action Rocking Technology™ and its Patented spring-loaded shocks. 

Nice to have: it comes with a beverage holder and a carry bag. Also, you won’t have to worry on how to assemble it as it comes already assembled and ready for some heavy duty, as it can support up to 250lb.

Specifications:

-Extras: drink holder, carry bag

-Weight: 13.2 lb/ 6kg

-Dimensions: 25.8/ 39/29.4 in

-Supports: 250 lb/ 113kg

2. The Big One: PORTAL Oversized Quad Folding Padded Camping Chair

PORTAL Oversized Quad Folding Padded Camping Chair High Back Hard Armrest Storage Pockets Carry Bag Included, Support 300 lbs, Red

Needing a friend to rely on? Here you go. This folding rocking chair from Portal outdoor can support up to 300lbs (or about 135kg). It’s a sign of the great solidity of its body frame that is made out of steel and the material to sit on is high-density polyester.

The headrest is thick foam padded and the armrests are hard hard but surrounded by fabric. You also have a handy detachable storage bag with two pockets (for a drink and a snack?). It comes assembled and with a carry back. The rocking motion is safe and smooth thanks to a safety latch.

Specifications:

-Extras: detachable storage badge with two pockets; carry bag

-Weight: 16.5 lbs

-Dimensions: 22.5 “W x 18 “D x 42 “H

-Supports: 300 lb / 135 kg

3. The Most Popular: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Portable Folding Rocking Chair

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Portable Folding Rocking Chair

This chair is really what could be considered an american sweetheart; a people’s favourite. The GCI Freestyle rocker is a portable folding rocking chair for all your adventures. It offers you an amazing relaxing moment thanks to its smooth rocking motion. 

It is built with sturdy powder coated steel. The arms are hard but padded for better comfort and it comes with a comfortable beverage holder. The seat is done in a durable nylon mesh for continual airflow. It’s easy to wrap and fold thanks to a handle that is present on the side of the chair. Just lift it and the chair folds flat. It also has a carry handle that allows you to carry it comfortably wherever you go. The frame can support up to 250 lbs.

Specifications:

Extras: drink holder

Weight: 11.8 lb/ 5.4 kg

Dimensions: 24 x 25 x 34.8 Inches

Supports: 250 lb/ 113kg

4. The Gadget One: GCI Outdoor Waterside Pod Rocker Collapsible Rocking Chair with SunShade

GCI Outdoor Waterside Pod Rocker Collapsible Rocking Chair with SunShade

This model of folding rocking chair from GCI really stands out. Its pod shape and sunshade really gives it a unique look and special vibe. It’s a great outdoors activity chair for the ones that are chasing the sun-or not!. 

The main extra feature of this chair is its sunshade that keeps you in the shadow and nicely protected from the rays of sun; however, if there’s no need for it, you can simply fold it fully back. It will still be an amazing rocking chair with spring-action rocking technology. This technology allows you to rock smoothly and comfortably when lying back, but still be stable when you lean forward; which is a pretty good combo. Its unique shape, a pod, could remind you of a cradle. 

It’s absolutely comfortable and you’ll experience some deep relaxation. And you won’t have much trouble with sweating thanks to the breathable mesh panels. The powder-coated steel frame can support up to 250lbs. Conveniently, on the side, you’ll find two pockets. A round one, for a drink; and a more flat pocket, for a phone for instance. The chair is as easy to unfold as it is to fold and in a few seconds it’s ready to be stored in its protective largemouth carry bag.

Specifications:

Extras: foldable UPF 50 SunShade; beverage holder, phone pocket

Weight: 13.9 lb/ 6.3 kg

Dimensions: 40.6 x 30 x 50.8 inches

Supports: 250lb /113 kg

5. The budget: Flamaker Patio Rocking Zero Gravity Chair

Flamaker Patio Rocking Chair Zero Gravity Chair Outdoor Folding Recliner Foldable Lounge Chair Outdoor Pool Chair for Patio, Poolside and Camping (Grey)

Here is a very affordable, pretty simple but good folding rocking chair. This model from Flamaker is simple yet efficient. It’s mainly advertised to be used by the poolside or on a patio, but could occasionally be used while camping. 

This rocking chair is sturdy and durable as its frame is made out of powder-coated steel and the seat itself is made out of high quality textilene, secured to the frame by solid bungee rope. The headrest is padded, soft and very comfortable. You will also appreciate its extra long backrest. For better customisation, you can place it higher or lower and adjust it to your need and size. It folds easily and it will take not that much space in your storage room. It can support up to 260 lbs

Specifications:

Extras: adjustable head pillow

Dimensions: 20.1inch(L)X 19.1inch (W) X 37.6inch (H)

Supports: 260lb /118 kg

6. The Lounger: KEOA Rocking Chair Folding Sun Lounger

KEOA Rocking Chair Folding Sun Lounger Adjustable Garden Chair Deck Chair Armchair Garden Furniture Home for Patio Pool Garden Beaches

We have decided to add this one to the list to give you some more perspective on what is being offered in the domain of rocking folding chairs as this Keoa model is clearly distinct from the others. It’s a lounger. Clearly, it’s a model that is more meant for relaxation by the poolside or the garden. Might even be suitable for a little nap. 

It’s long and comfortable; you can adjust the angle from 90 ° to 160 °. You can switch easily the function of this lounger to rocking chair simply by unlocking the four fixed feet. The fabric is double layered for better strength and to support up to 150 kg. For being a lounger, it definitely folds into a very small size. 

Specifications:

Extras: headrest pillow; padded armrest

Weight: about 11kg

Dimensions: 86 cm x 50 cm x 110cm (approx)

Supports: 150 kg approx

7. The Hammock: Rio Gear Outdoor Foldable Hammock Lounger

Rio Gear Outdoor Foldable Hammock Lounger

In order to give you the best selection of rocking folding chairs and offer you a real outlook on what’s available on the market, we could not leave out hammock rocking chairs. They are really pleasant and cosy. Using this type of chair might remind of being on a swing, but in a more comfortable way. 

This one specifically, has an extra padded headrest and a deep seat for increased comfort. It’s pretty lightweight and easy to carry around. It is also pretty easy to assemble and to fold. As it is a hammock style chair, the range of motion is quite large. Quite nice chair for a patio, if you have children or if you appreciate hammocks

Specifications:

Extras: extra padded headrest

Weight: 11 lbs

Dimensions: 6.68 x 6.28 x 35.81 inches

Supports: 300 lbs

Buying guide: what to look for when getting a folding rocking chair

Now that we have seen a selection of what’s being offered at the moment as folding rocking chairs; it’s time to discuss how to pick the best one for your needs. The one that will become your favourite object. Here below you’ll find a specially designed folding rocking chairs buyer’s guide to help you in this task. We selected specific criterias that you’ll need to pay close attention to when selecting a chair. They are in no particular order as their importance may vary from a person to another, but they are all to be considered for the best buying experience and to make sure you get the most out of your chair

Your needs

 We said that this list was in no particular order, however, “your needs” will probably be the most prevailing criterion when choosing a rocking folding chair. It will depend on different factors such as where you live, your lifestyle, your activities, where and when you are planning to use the chair etc… It is important to determine this as it will help you determine the level of investment you could make and get the chair that is best suited to your needs.

Are you looking for a chair for the occasional grill in your backyard? Maybe a simple model will do. Are you looking to get the chairs in the forest, in the mountains or camping often? You’ll need a sturdy and reliable chair. If you live or travel in a very sunny area, then a chair with a sunshed can be of great use.

Your budget

On this one, you’re quite lucky. Yes, the sky’s the limit in terms of the price of a folding rocking chair; but most of the good models are really wallet friendly and will cost you less than 100USD. Up to you to see and allocate your budget wisely, of course it will also depend on how many chairs you’re looking to get.

If you are planning to equip your backyard with several chairs, you might be choosing a good value for money option; in the case you’re looking for one or two chairs (for romantic escapes to go and watch the sunset from a spectacular view point for exemple), then you might want to splurge a bit more and get yourself a top-notch folding rocking chair

Quality

This factor will be really important and in accordance with your needs and budget. It might be only a chair that is used for leisure, but saving on quality might mean that the chair won’t stand the proof of time and you’ll need to replace it soon enough. This is not good either for the wallet or the satisfaction. 

You should be looking at a solid frame, made out of steel preferably and some soft, yet resistant fabric seat. If the seating part is attached to the frame via a rope, it has to be strong too. If you are planning to rock your brand new rocking chair in your backyard or on your patio, you will get away with some entry-level models, but if you’re planning to take it to some extreme camping journeys, you will want it to be sturdy and ready to make it through all of your adventures.

Design

This section will include design and ergonomy. The chair has to be physically appealing to you but also comfortable. Of course you’ll find some standard looking rocking chairs, but you’ll also have the option to go for some different models such as a pod or a lounger. 

  • The classic chair: pretty simply standard chair. This design is always effective and works charms. It’s the safest bet if you are unsure on which chair design to get. When picking this type of design, you can look more closely at a few details, such as the pad on top of the armrest, if there’s a cushion as a headrest and the height of the seat itself compared to the floor if you are tall. 
  • The pod: the most “cocooning” design perhaps. Quite comfortable and enveloping. They tend to be wider than the average chair design but also closer to the floor (as you dip down when you sit). The armrests are usually stitched to the rest of the pod for better comfort. 
  • The lounger: the favourite one for the backyard, patio and if you like to sunbathe. Probably the most versatile design you could get. If you are planning to spend hours in the sun on this one we would suggest that you take a closer look at the material of the fabric and to pick one that is breathable and will not make you sweat.
  • The hammock: this hybrid model will satisfy both small and big kids. Playful and comfortable. You will want to make sure sure of the dimensions, weight capacity and good quality of the straps that hold the sitting part to the frame if you are on the taller/larger side

Weight capacity

This one is pretty straight forward, if you want to ensure that you’ll be able use your chair comfortably and that it will last you, you need to make sure it has the adequate weight capacity for your needs.

The folding rocking chairs are solid, but because they usually are made out of two distinct parts (seat and frame) and that the frame is more complex to allow the rocking motion, they are, by default, more fragile than regular one-piece chairs. This being said, the vast majority of the chair supports easily up to 250 lbs

Rocking mechanism

When you think of a rocking chair, usually behind this motion you imagine the traditional rockers or rocker rails, which are the curved parts along the bottom of the chair that allow it to rock back and forth. This is indeed one the few mechanisms that you will find also in outdoor rocking chairs, but there are few others, and they are worth to be looked at.

  • Classic rocker rails: curved part along the bottom of the chair. This is the most common rocking mechanism used in the simpler chairs. Very effective and nice to create a rocking motion. Like the Flamaker patio rocking chair
  • Flat back and front: this type of motion will be found on the chairs like the Freestyle rocker from GCI, you’ll see that the rocking motion will be done in a smooth and very relaxing way. It will allow you to avoid having this big “waves” when using the rocking chair
  • Lean backwards: like in GCI roadtrip rocker. This is probably one of the best rocking motions you could go for as it offers great flexibility. On one hand, you benefit from a very gentle, smooth rocking action when leaning backwards thanks to the strength of your legs, but also, when you lean forward (or just stay still), the chair becomes absolutely solid and stable. This is done thanks to the two separate legs that it has at the front. Amazing technology brought by GCI on this front.
  • The hammock: this is pretty self explanatory. It is relevant only to hammock like rocking chairs. You will be sitting on the hammock part of the chair and it will almost feel like being on swing, but more comfortable.

Extras

The cherry on the cake. If you are being picky, that’s where you can look up to some details such as a drink holder, extra side pocket or pockets to hold a phone or snack. It might also be a side pouch. Bigger extras could be a sunshed for example or a separated headrest/pillow. A nice extra, that is always very appreciated is the carry-bag: nothing better than a tailored bag to store away your chair and carry it around. The bag is also protecting the chair while not in use; it is as important as covers for your outdoors furniture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a rocking chair good for you ?

The benefits of rocking chairs lay around mostly relaxation and wellness. It will help you unwinding, relax and get calm 

Are outdoor rocking chairs comfortable?

Yes. According to the quality and ergonomy of the chair you choose, it will be comfortable. It might not be as soft and fluffy as an indoor rocking chair could be, but they are designed to endure the extreme climate conditions outdoors, hence, no soft fabric could be used. But some of them will be extra padded and very comfortable

Are folding rocking chairs durable?

They will last a good while if you pick a solid, sturdy, good quality chair and if you take care of it properly

How to take care of a folding rocking chair?

The ideal would be to keep them away from the rain/sun when not in use and when possible (like in a shed). Check the material of the frame; if it’s powder coated chances are that it is going to be rust resistant, if that’s not the case, you might want to apply some anti rust spray. As for the fabric, if it gets stained because of food or drink, you’d need some simple cloth, water and soap to wash it away. 

What is the best folding rocking chair?

As there is not an absolute best model, because everyone is different, we would suggest you to check our buyer’s guide here above. You’ll find there all the criteria to check in order to find the best chair for you

Conclusion

Through all this article, we tried covering all the aspects of choosing a folding rocking chairs. There are many great manufacturers and many great chairs on the market at the moment, and as we repeated many times, the best chair will be the one that is the best suited for you.

If we needed to pick a winner though, we would go for the CGI Roadtrip rocker. It’s a great chair that has it all: it’s solid, it’s comfortable, has a smooth and nice rocking motion and can be stable when needed.