In this complete buyers guide to the best beach chairs, you’ll learn about the most important features and reviews of the best beach chairs available. We cover zero gravity, light weight, super comfortable, and oversized beach chairs.
Best Beach Chairs for Beach Lovers
With summer quickly approaching, it is time to decide on a new beach chair for this season. Whether or not you were happy with your last chair, it is worth taking a look.
If you’re heading to the beach you have two options: sit on the sand or a beach chair. Not only will you be more comfortable in a chair, you will likely want to stay at the beach longer.
This article will walk you through the 12 features of the best beach chairs. Then, you can make up your own mind as you read reviews of the 14 best chairs on the market!
There are three sections to this guide:
- Top Picks: Our favorite 3 chairs for all situations (jump to section)
- Buyers Guide: 12 features to consider (jump to section)
- Full review: 14 best best beach chairs (jump to section)
This is a pretty big guide. If you’re just looking for our top recommendation, I’ve put together this quick guide.
Here are our top picks for the best beach chairs for varying conditions:
Our Top Pick: Classic Low Sling Back Chair (Best Value)
In my opinion, this is the best beach chair for the value. It is a classic beach chair (low profile) just 4″ above the sand. It’s easy to get your feet in the waves and sand, and still be comfortable.
This chair folds up small and packs easily into the car trunk. It comes with a storage bag with shoulder straps and weighs about 7 lbs. Holds up to 25o lbs.
Our Top Pick: Zero Gravity Beach Chair (Premium Option)
The seat height is 14.5 inches (compared to just 4 inches in the first option). Chair weighs 15 lbs and holds 250 pounds. The chair comes in 10 colors. The zero-gravity feature allows a comfortable recline position without being completely flat.
Our Top Pick: Air Lounger (Most Unique)
To inflate, just open and run against the wind. The tube will quickly inflate and then just seal shut. It will remain inflated for 4-8 hours before needing to be re-inflated.
Because it is essentially a big bag of air, it conforms to your shape and can be used as a chair, sofa, or even a bed.
Beach Chair Buyers Guide (12 Features)
When shopping for a beach chair, one of the most important features is portability. Depending on where you set up shop, the walk to your perfect location could be minutes or miles.
When looking into chairs, two factors come into play with regard to ease of portability.
- Weight: If you don’t want to carry something uncomfortably heavy, there are beach chairs made of lightweight materials.
- Carry: The second factor is how the chair is carried. Typical lawn chairs are bulky, and not easy to get a hold of. Even camp chairs can take up more than one hand. If you want to be able to carry your chair easily, try finding a beach chair with straps attached. This also gives you a hands-free option in case you have a cooler or other beach accessories to carry. Because who goes to the beach with just their chair? Carrying bags are another option, although they can add excess weight. Choosing a portable beach chair could be the difference between a painful trudge and a fun walk in the sand.
2. Beach Chair Weight Capacity
The weight capacity of the best beach chairs varies. How much weight a chair can hold depends on the materials used in construction, as well as the way the product was manufactured.
Usually, chairs range from holding 250 pounds to 350 pounds. However, there are plenty of awesome chairs on the market for big and tall people. These beach chairs usually have a deeper, wider seat and a higher back.
How much of a capacity you need depends on your size, as well as personal circumstances.
Are you bringing a pet to share your chair? Do you expect to have a child in your lap? Will others be using your chair? The answers to these questions can change your weight capacity needs.
3. Back Support
One of the most overlooked factors when choosing your best beach chair is back support. However, if you have a back in need – this might be the most important aspect for you to consider.
It is true, that the typical low to the ground, slouchy beach chair does not offer much support if any at all.
Throughout all of your activities, the most important thing you can do is take care of yourself. You wouldn’t sit all day in a chair without back support in your home, so why should you settle during a day at the beach?
Only you know if your back can take a day of uncomfortable lounging. Although chairs with back support are a bit more expensive, your body will thank you later. The beach was made for fun, not pain!
The next factor to think about when looking at the best beach chairs is the headrest. If you have a bad back, chances are you will want a headrest in addition to the back support.
However, a bad back isn’t the only reason to choose a headrest. Many people feel more comfortable with some type of support behind their heads.
Additionally, some like to be able to take the pressure of their head off their neck. The usual beach chair forces your head back with little support.
That’s why headrests are a must for those with neck problems. Furthermore, headrests are a good idea for those that like to read all day. Straining your neck, even without previous injury, isn’t good for your upper body.
If you have children, there are a lot of cute, creative options on the market. Many manufacturers are making the best beach chairs in unique shapes, colors, and designs.
Typically, these chairs will feature a fun back in the shape of animals. Kids love feeling special, and giving them their own miniature beach chair is a great way to do that!
6. Beach Chair Frames
The best beach chairs are primarily made of 4 different frame materials. These are aluminum, wood, steel, and recycled plastic.
- Aluminum: The majority of beach chairs are made of lightweight aluminum. This is a great frame material to seek out if you are going to go on a hike to get to your beach destination. Additionally, those who want to easily carry one or more chairs will be able to do so. Even kids can carry their own chairs! However, aluminum can get banged up, so be careful if you want a long-lasting product.
- Wood: If you head to the East Coast, you will see a lot of wooden framed beach chairs. Why? Since wood does not conduct heat well, you don’t have to worry about getting burnt on the frame. Look for wood that has been stained with protective oil or varnish. These will practically last forever due to the natural weather resistance of wood. Furthermore, wood makes any chair design look classy and romantic.
- Steel: Steel beach chairs are known as the crème de la crème of best beach chairs. They are incredibly strong and durable. In fact, many steel-framed chairs are zero gravity chairs. However, without proper care, they can rust. Even despite the initial powder coating. If you like to leave your beach chair sitting outside or stuffed in your trunk, steel may not be the best frame material for you.
- Recycled Plastic: Recycled plastic beach chairs are relatively new to the scene. Although this type of best beach chair sounds cheaply made, it is not. In fact, this type of frame material is the most durable of the bunch. The strength of this recycled plastic will have you wondering why more furniture isn’t made of this material. If you are big on eco-friendly purchases, this is the frame for you! Every time you purchase something made of recycled items you are doing the environment a favor.
Don’t forget to bring your sunhat! Here are the best hats for sun protection.
7. Beach Chair Seat Type
There are 3 different aspects of the chair’s seat you want to consider: height, material, and color.
- Height: How far above the sand do you want to sit? Many people find chairs 9 to 12 inches perfect. However, low seats that are 8 inches and lower make it easier to get your feet wet! Literally! Additionally, chairs with a shorter height typically have little back support. On the other hand, taller seats, those above 1 foot, make getting up simpler.
- Material: The materials these days are much better at keeping you comfortable in the heat of the day. The best beach chairs include quick-drying materials such as mesh and polyester for durability. Newer models also feature stain, mildew, and odor protection.
- Color: They just don’t make beach chairs like they used to. Boring is out, and fun is in! Say goodbye to your old, preconceived notions about how beach chairs are supposed to look. You can find a chair for the beach in almost any color combination!
8. Types of Beach Chairs:
There are many types of beach chairs out there. Here is a rundown of the 4 most popular.
- Loungers: If you want to get comfortable on the beach, the best beach chairs for you are going to be loungers. Taking a nap has never been as comfortable as in a traditional lounger. In fact, many include built-in headrests. Is sunbathing more your thing? You will want a chaise lounge. This kind of beach chair usually has a face cut out for comfortable tanning on your stomach. If you are someone that can’t make up his or her mind, try a multi-position beach chair. You can even buy these loungers as inflatable.
- Backpack Chairs: Is it a chair? Is it a backpack? Keep everyone guessing with an innovative backpack chair! This is the best chair if you need both hands to carry other necessities to the beach. Now you can bring your chair, cooler, and child all at the same time!
- Classic Beach Chair: The term classic refers to the height of the chair. A classic beach chair sits no more than 1 foot off the ground, and they are usually much lower. However, their main purpose is to keep your bum off the sand while allowing your legs to feel the warmth! This chair could be good for those that want to tan the whole front of their legs without the annoying knee cutoff. However, if you have back issues be aware that classic beach chairs don’t offer much support. The whole point is to allow you to sit back into the chair. Additionally, the elderly can find this type of chair difficult to get up from. As a compromise, you can find catamaran-style beach chairs that feature a roped back for more support.
- Travel Bench: For bigger groups of people, look no further than a travel bench! These are completely portable benches that unfold to sit a larger number of people. How many people it seats depends on the model.
9. Cup Holders
If you like to drink out of containers with open tops, you will want to find a beach chair with cup holders. If you don’t, you will probably end up with sand in your drink despite your best efforts.
Classic beach chairs typically do not feature cup holders, as their design does not really support them. However, almost every other kind of chair has an option for holding your delicious, cold beverage. Some are even insulated to protect against the warmth of the day.
Keeping your face safe from the sun’s harmful rays should be high on your priority list! Many people attempt to do so by using a beach umbrella.
However, this shade option is cumbersome to carry due to its heavyweight and awkward shape. Instead, you can simply purchase a beach chair that includes a built-in beach canopy. These chairs are lightweight, comfortable, and will keep you safe from the sun.
These days, you can buy almost any of the best beach chairs with this type of protection.
Do you like to bring reading material with you to the beach? If so, look for beach chairs with side pockets.
Even if you don’t like to read, the pockets come in handy for holding sunscreen, cell phones, and other small necessities.
12. Padded Arm Rests
If you plan on spending the majority of your summer at the beach, you should think about purchasing one of the best beach chairs with padded armrests.
This will give your arms extra cushioning while you text, read, or simply relax. However, make sure the extra comfort is breathable!
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The 14 Best Beach Chairs (Review)
Here’s our guide to the best beach chairs for beach lovers. Let’s get started!
1. Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chairs (2 Pack)
In addition, there are two chairs so you can share one with your beach buddy! The straps are padded for ultimate user comfort. Who knows how long you are going to be carrying your chair?
In addition, these Tommy Bahamas are lightweight for the journey, only weighing in at around 7 pounds per chair. The frame is aluminum, making it rust-proof as well as durable. Aside from being extremely portable, these chairs have 5 different reclining positions.
For the extras, these Tommy Bahamas include a cup/cell phone holder, an insulated beverage pouch, and a folding towel bar!
2. Oak Wood Beach Chair / Lounger with Drink Holder Option
But if you can drive to the beach – or happen to have one in your backyard, then you’ll want to check out this chair.
It comes with an optional footrest and drink holder. And it comes in 13 different color options. The chair reclines in 4 positions but doesn’t lay flat.
The fabric comes with 3-year warranty and the wood frame is made of Canadian oak.
This is also the best rated (and most expensive chair) in our list.
3. WildHorn Outfitters Terralite Beach Chair
The WildHorn Outfitters Terralite Portable Beach Chair is the lightest chair on this list. Weighing in at only 2 pounds, this chair can be carried by almost anyone in the group! Even children! The reason this product is so lightweight is the aircraft grade 7075 aluminum.
Although it doesn’t weigh much, it can hold up to 350 pounds! Instead of including backpack straps, you can easily attach your chair to any bag via the built-in Velcro straps!
Now your beach chair doesn’t have to smell. The seat cover is machine washable, and the material is a breathable mesh. WildHorn Outfitters even includes a mesh storage bag. This bag is easy to fit your chair back into, and doubles as a storage pouch when Velcroed underneath your seat! Additionally, your Terralite Beach Chair will not sink into the sand with the patented Terragrip feet. For more stable surfaces, WildHorn Outfitters includes 4 standard feet you can easily exchange.
4. Moon Lence Folding Beach Chair
Yet, it can hold up to 242 pounds. The mesh of the seat makes this product breathable in the heat of the sun.
The Moon Lence Folding Beach Chair even includes foldable cup holders attached to the chair. It also comes with a nylon carry bag with webbing straps. Even the metal poles are foldable for an easy setup and take down experience.
This chair does not recline, but it leans you back in an ergonomic position. If you are concerned with knee tan but want to sit upright, this chair works great! Finally, the top seat cover can be machine washed and dried if it gets dirty.
5. KingCamp Folding Quad Beach Chair
For top-of-the-line beach chair luxury, look no further than the KingCamp Folding Quad Beach Chair. This chair is made of heavy-duty oxford fabric, and the seat is larger than average for your maximum comfort!
In terms of quality, the chair is held together with high strength steel tubes and will hold up to 350 pounds. Additionally, the Folding Quad has built-in lumbar support for those with back problems.
You will enjoy the many extras offered in the Quad Beach Chair. The armrest was specially designed to the most ergonomic height, and is extremely padded. There is also a mesh cup holder for drinks, cell phones, or other small items.
With all of these amenities, the KingCamp Folding Quad only weighs 11.3 pounds, and can be folded up compactly for easy carrying!
6. Lougnee Inflatable Lounge Chair
Made of high quality polyester and nylon, it is durable as well as soft. The sealing on the Inflatable Lounge Chair is made of elastic PC strip. It will not leak easily! This is infinitely better than other inflatable lounge chairs that only use PPT strip.
You don’t need to use your own manpower to blow it up. You also don’t need a pump. Simply open the bag and run fast for about 20 feet!
Your Lougnee will inflate automatically! That makes it extremely lightweight to carry to the best spot in the sand. If you are unsure whether or not you like inflatable beach chairs, the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty.
7. Sunnydaze Oversized Zero Gravity Lounge Chair
The Sunnydaze is 28 inches wide, 69 inches long, 34 inches deep, and 42 inches tall. It is constructed using powder-coated steel tubes as well as all-weather, fade-resistant fabric.
This chair even reclines smoothly! There are knobs located under the armrests to lock or change your position comfortably! Furthermore, the Sunnydaze allows you to stretch out without lying completely flat.
This sling-seated chair has quite a few amenities as well! There is a plastic cup holder and a removable headrest pillow. It comes fully assembled.
8. KingCamp Oversized Sofa Chair
The Oversized Sofa chair is made of durable oxford fabric, and features a padded back and seat. This breathable material allows you to get comfortable without getting sweaty. Furthermore, the natural design of the Oversized Sofa Chair allows you to lean back in a reclining position comfortably.
Made of steel tubes, the frame features a bracket structure design. To further strengthen this KingCamp, there are extra straps on the bottom to prevent tearing.
The result is that the Oversized Sofa Chair weighs under 14 pounds, and can hold up to 300 pounds! KingCamp even includes a carry bag with strap to make portability easy. These chairs are good for anyone in the family, including children.
9. G4Free Beach Folding Chair
Made of 600D oxford fabric, you can be sure your beach chair is durable. In addition, the material is waterproof and breathable.
The frame is made of strong, yet lightweight, rustproof aluminum alloy. These poles are easy and intuitive to fold away with a shock-cord pole design. G4Free also includes a small bag that this beach chair will easily store into.
The bag can also be hung from the chair, and be used to hold anything from a bottle of soda to your mid-morning snack.
10. WEKAPO Inflatable Lounger
All you have to do is whisk it through the air! To get it to the perfect size, simply close the opening before the end of each movement and keep it closed until you whisk it again.
This chair is guaranteed to stay fully inflated for a minimum of 5-6 hours. Made of rip stop polyester and sealed with German Bayer PC, this lounger can hold up to 650 pounds. In addition, the WEKAPO Inflatable Lounger comes with a carry bag, a stake, and a bottle opener.
The carry bag allows you to easily move the 2.65- pound chair. The stake comes in handy so you can feel comfortable leaving your lounger for a dunk in the ocean. In terms of extras, the WEKAPO has a built-in pillow shaped headrest for neck support.
11. KingCamp Moon Saucer Chair
In addition, the Moon Saucer Chair is one of the best beach chairs for maximum comfort. In fact, this KingCamp is nicely padded all around. The fabric is moisture wicking, breathable, and 600D oxford cloth for the warmer days on the coast.
The frame is made of steel, and can hold up to 300 pounds. Since this chair is made of steel, it is not to be left out in the elements after using. Although not considered lightweight, this extremely comfortable chair weighs only 10 pounds!
For even easier carrying, KingCamp includes a bag with a shoulder strap. As far as extras, the Moon Saucer Chair has a few. The first is a built-in cup holder. Second is a large pocket on the back for any beach reading such as the hottest new novel of the season.
12. Sunnydaze Zero Gravity Lounge Chair
Although a size down, it is still comfortable at 26 inches wide, 69 inches long, 34 inches deep, and 42 inches tall. This lounger weighs 15 pounds, and holds occupants up to 250 pounds.
This Sunnydaze is constructed of powder-coated steel tubes, so you don’t have to worry about bringing it back inside every day.
Furthermore, the sling and seatback material are made of the weather and fade-resistant material Textilene. If you aren’t looking to put together your own zero gravity chair, Sunnydaze has you covered with a fully assembled delivery!
As far as accessories, this lounger has a removable headrest pillow as well as a cup holder. Just like the oversized version, this Sunnydaze has a lockable recline function under the chair arms.
This is a great offer for those not sure if they want one of the best beach chairs that are zero gravity.
13. Trekology Fold Up Beach Chair
This lightweight Fold Up Beach Chair collapses down to the size of a loaf of bread. Think about all of the places you can easily store or carry a something that size!
Weighing in at only 2.6 pounds, this product can hold up to 350 pounds due to the construction materials. The frame is made from aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum, and is rustproof and weatherproof.
The seat of the chair is made from soft, durable mesh to keep you comfortable while lasting a long time. The Trekology sits around 3 inches lower than your couch, which makes it a classic beach chair.
However, it also allows you to sit up relatively straight with a comfortable slight recline. As an extra, a carrying case with a strap for portability is included. In terms of warranty, you have 30 days to decide whether or not you love your Trekology.
14. KingCamp Low Sling Beach Chair
This product is extremely compact and packs up in seconds! In fact, its measurements make it perfect to use at outdoor festivals, sporting events, and camping. KingCamp’s chair sits 4 inches above the sand, making it a classic beach chair!
In addition, the Low Sling Beach Chair has a steel and aluminum frame. The combination makes this chair strong, durable, and able to hold up to 300 pounds.
This KingCamp does not recline all the way, but it is made of breathable mesh for a more pleasant, less sweaty beach day. Included is a storage bag with shoulder straps to make it easy to carry to your favorite spot in the sand. In terms of extras, this chair has incredibly comfortable padded arms and a beverage holder.
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What is the Best Beach Chair for You?
If you are looking for the best beach chairs for you, this article has you covered!
Hopefully, you have a better idea of the features you are looking for in this type of product, as well as an idea of what chair you want to purchase! Keep in mind, that many of the factors listed are a matter of personal preference.
- About the Author
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Dena Haines is a co-founder and blogger on GudGear – and is working to make it the best resource for outside gear.
She also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at Click Like This. Dena is a partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company she started with her husband, Bryan.