Why buy a beach chair?
Sitting on the sand or a towel can be fun when you’re at the beach. However, some days, the sand is too hot to sit directly on. You could also get sand in your shorts or swimsuit, have a bad back, or enjoy burying your feet in the sand but nothing else. A good beach chair solves all of these issues. They allow you to sit out on the beach and enjoy the warm sunshine without getting sand all over yourself, and they give your body more support. Many are padded or cushioned for extra comfort and can come with additional features like a footrest, storage pouch, cupholders, or even a canopy or umbrella to protect you from the sun. Unlike regular chairs or lawn chairs, beach chairs are designed to accommodate the shifty and uneven sand.
What should you look for in a beach chair?
- Adjustable Construction: Find the right level of comfort on a chair with multiple reclining positions. This way, you can make the necessary changes and adjustments for optimal relaxation in different scenarios. Some days you’ll want to fully recline or lie down on your beach chair and soak up the sun, while others, you’ll want to sit up and read. It’s also handy to have an adjustable chair if it’s one you’ll share with other people whose heights differ from yours.
- Portability: Beach chairs should feature a lightweight and foldable design, allowing you to take them while traveling. Special ergonomic features help make them much easier to carry around while searching for an open spot. Some chairs even come with a carrying case or a built-in strap so you can sling them over your shoulder and easily carry them around as needed. Some models collapse down and can be carried like an actual backpack.
- Sturdiness: Be sure that the beach chair has a high-enough weight capacity to support you properly. A strong frame material is the best way to ensure that your beach chair is steady, sturdy, and long-lasting. Aluminum frames are often considered the best since they have all the strength and durability of metal yet are much more lightweight than steel and most other metals—just make sure they’ve been treated to prevent rusting. Wood is a good choice for frame sturdiness, too, as long as it’s water-resistant or waterproof, while plastic frames are much less sturdy, but they’re cheaper.
How tall should your beach chair be?
When it comes to determining the best height for a beach chair, you’ll want to look at the height of its seat rather than the overall height of the chair itself (though overall height is still worth considering in terms of portability and storage). Some beach chairs are very low to the ground or even rest directly on the sand, while others have the seat height of a regular dining room chair. The average beach chair has a seat height between 9 and 12 inches. If you like to stretch out and bury your feet in the sand on the beach, a beach chair with a seat height of 8 inches or lower will be your style. If you have mobility issues or are extremely tall, look for an extra-high seat of 13 inches. They’re much easier to get in and out of and are more forgiving for taller people.
Pros: Loungers have long been a favorite among beach enthusiasts, and this model offers great comfort and versatility. One of the standout features of this particular beach lounger is its adjustability. You can easily change the recline angle to find the perfect position between sitting fully upright or fully extending it to lie down. The sturdy build, thick padding, and small pillow guarantee long-lasting durability, so you can enjoy countless hours of pure relaxation. It’s long enough to provide a good fit for individuals of various heights and has a weight capacity of 250 pounds. The unique built-in face and arm holes allow you to comfortably lie face down while napping, enjoying your favorite book, or simply soaking in the sun. It’s easy to carry and folds up neatly for transportation. The breathable fabric ensures a cool and comfortable lounging experience without leaving any annoying lines on your skin like traditional plastic loungers. Plus it comes in vibrant colors like pink or aqua, adding a touch of style to your beach setup.
Cons: The fabric is a bit prone to ripping, especially if exposed to pool water or sand frequently. The head hole is larger than necessary for most users, so it’s not as supportive as it could be. Additionally, the color may fade over time, and the folding and unfolding mechanism with teeth can pose a risk of injury when adjusting the lounger’s height.
Bottom Line: If you want the option of laying down or sitting up on the beach, rather than having to choose one or the other, this lounger-style beach chair should be right up your alley. You can either sit upright in it to read or eat, fully extend it to nap or suntan, or switch between the two as desired.
Coleman Utopia Breeze Beach Chair
This durable, foldable, low-lying beach chair is also great for hiking and camping.
Pros: This is a quintessential beach chair in many ways and a great option for someone who wants something close to the ground but that won’t sit directly on the sand. The chair’s strong steel frame can sustain up to 250 pounds. Despite the metal frame, this beach chair is lightweight, weighing just over 5 pounds, so it won’t be a huge hassle to carry and transport, especially since it folds up nicely and comes with its own carrying bag. The back has a pocket for storing things like towels or sunscreen, as well as a little cupholder for drinks that can also fit smaller items like keys or folded sunglasses.
Cons: The steel frame isn’t waterproof, so it will rust over time if it gets wet. Also, note that the back, while supportive, can’t be adjusted to a different reclining angle.
Bottom Line: This lightweight beach chair offers a low-lying profile, allowing you to enjoy the sand between your toes. You’ll receive hours upon hours of comfort thanks to a soft and delicate backrest that provides you with optimal support.
Sport-Brella Beach Chair with Adjustable Umbrella
This beach chair comes with a collapsible umbrella to block out the sun and a footrest for maximum relaxation.
Pros: This beach chair is as relaxing and comfy as it appears at first glance. The included umbrella features a unique UPF 50 protection lining as an extra shield against the sun, can be positioned on either the left or right side of the chair and swivels. In addition to providing you with ample coverage and protection, the umbrella is removable when you don’t need to use it. The included footrest is also detachable and adjustable. The chair itself reclines back to three different positions. Unlike most beach chairs, you can make your adjustments at the push of a button rather than needing to adjust them manually. It also features four pouches for storage and drinks, one insulated and another with a zipper and built-in bottle opener. In addition to all these great features, the steel frame has a weight capacity of 250 pounds and a wider seat than most standard beach and lawn chairs. A carrying bag also comes included with your purchase.
Cons: While the beach chair offers a wide array of useful features, it’s not the most durable model on the market. Especially since the steel frame isn’t waterproof, it’s at risk of rusting.
Bottom Line: This foldable beach chair comes with a unique umbrella that shields you from the sun on days when it’s scorching hot outside. Paired with the adjustable back and footrest, this beach chair will provide optimal comfort in more ways than one.
Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair
A lightweight, backpack-style beach chair that's extra easy to carry and is incredibly compact yet sturdy.
Pros: This is a backpack-style beach chair, a model that folds into a backpack for convenient carrying, with padded straps to protect your shoulders. You can adjust the back to five different seating positions, allowing you to optimize your comfort, and it features an adjustable, removable little pillow for added cushiness. Since the frame is made from lightweight yet durable aluminum that’s been treated to prevent rusting, it’s nice and sturdy, capable of supporting up to 250 pounds of weight at a time without being too heavy to carry. There’s a little pouch hanging from one armrest for keys and your phone on the side, as well as a built-in towel rack so you don’t have to keep your beach towel stuffed into your bag or lay it directly on the sand if you don’t want.
Cons: You’ll have to pay extra for its convenience, as this beach chair is a bit pricier than many other models. The pillow is a bit on the small side and may not be comfy for everyone. Getting the hang of folding this beach chair may be tricky at first, too; it’s slightly more complicated than the usual folding chairs.
Bottom Line: You’ll be hard-pressed to find a beach chair that offers more versatility and convenience than this one. The high weight capacity, strong frame, and higher seat also make it ideal for people on the bigger and taller side, especially if they have bad knees.
GoSports AirWedge Inflatable Beach Chairs
These unique beach chairs allow you to inflate them to your liking and deflate down for extremely easy packing.
Pros: These unique beach chairs differ considerably from traditional models due to their inflatable backs. This feature allows you to inflate the chairs to your desired comfort level and makes them easier to transport—you can deflate and roll them up for easy transportation and storage, then inflate them once you arrive at the beach. This also makes them highly lightweight; even when inflated, they only weigh a single pound. You may think that inflating and deflating them all the time would be a more time-consuming process, but the included valve works extremely fast. Your chairs should be fully inflated within a minute or so. The entire chair is treated to be UV-resistant, and you get two for one extremely low price.
Cons: These aren’t ideal if you don’t want to lay directly on the ground or have mobility issues, and the inflatable backs can’t adjust or recline the way most beach chairs can. Their inflatable aspect also puts them at fairly high risk for popping or ripping.
Bottom Line: This is another excellent option for anyone who wants to lie directly on the beach or fully recline and sit on their beach chairs; these unique inflatable models are about the most lightweight beach chairs you’ll find. They’re also a great budget-friendly option.
Beach chairs are beneficial investments for regular beach-goers. Even if you don’t visit the beach super often, a beach chair may still be worth your while to buy. Despite their name, they aren’t limited to beaches—you can use them poolside, at the lake, and even as makeshift lawn or camping chairs.