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Best Beach Chairs

Updated September 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 20 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 115 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best beach chairs

    Last Updated September 2018

    You've got your shades, your bathing suit, a good book, and you've remembered to pack your sunscreen – now all you need is a beach chair to make your trip to the waterfront complete.

    The question is, how do you identify which beach chair is best from all those on the market? Not all beach chairs are created equally; some will last through years of seaside fun while others might not make it through a season without breaking.

    At BestReviews, we strive to make your purchasing decisions easier. As well as carrying out tests in our labs, we get real-world opinions from existing customers who know how these items perform on a day-to-day basis, and we speak with experts to get their valuable insights.

    If you want to learn all you need to know to find the perfect beach chair, read our full buying guide below. When you're ready to buy, click on our top five picks.

    If you go to the beach regularly, it makes sense to own a beach chair. Even if the beach you attend has chair-rental facilities, the cost of a rental would soon exceed the price of buying your own.

    Types of beach chairs

    High-profile beach chairs

    High-profile beach chairs are standard tall models, a bit like camping chairs.

    • Pros: High-profile beach chairs are raised off the ground, making them easy to get in and out of. They tend to be available in a wide range of colors and patterns.

    • Cons: Most high-profile beach chairs are a little heavier and bulkier than low-profile models.

    • Price: While you can find basic high-profile beach chairs that cost as little as $20 or $30, we don’t usually recommend spending less than $40 to $50 if you want a chair that will last.

    Look for beach chairs that feature some padding in the seat and back – it will make your beach-going experience much more comfortable.

    Low-profile beach chairs

    Low-profile beach chairs either feature very small legs or sit directly on the sand.

    • Pros: If you go to the beach with a group of people who aren't using beach chairs, you won't feel left out of the action on a low-profile chair. Low-profile models are also usually very lightweight and compact when folded.

    • Cons: Some people, especially those with reduced mobility, may find it hard to get in and out of a low-profile beach chair.

    • Price: Most low-profile beach chairs cost somewhere between $30 and $80, though you will find a handful of cheaper and more expensive models.

    Some beach chairs feature a detachable canopy to provide shade and protection from the sun.

    Inflatable beach chairs

    Inflatable beach chairs are filled with air, either using a foot pump or with an innovative design whereby you open one end of the chair and harness (“catch”) the air by swinging it around.

    • Pros: Inflatable beach chairs are lightweight and pack down small when not in use. They tend to be extremely comfortable.

    • Cons: Some inflatable beach chairs can be awkward or time-consuming to inflate. They can also puncture easily.

    • Price: Most inflatable beach chairs are priced somewhere between $15 and $60.

    You can find camping chairs that come with built-in straps. These chairs can be carried like a backpack when walking to and from the beach.

    Beach loungers

    Beach loungers are large beach chairs with footrests and reclining backs that allow you to relax in comfort.

    • Pros: Beach loungers are ideal for anyone who wants to lie down on the beach without getting in the sand. They're great for people who like to tan.

    • Cons: Due to their size, beach loungers aren't as portable as other types of beach chairs. They’re not ideal if you have a long trek to the waterfront.

    • Price: You can find some basic beach loungers around the $20 to $30 mark, but you'll probably need to pay at least $40 to $60 for a long-lasting model. Some high-end options cost well over $100.

    A good reclining beach chair should have multiple recline positions so you can fine-tune your comfort.

    Kids' beach chairs

    Kids' beach chairs are small models designed with the needs of children in mind.

    • Pros: Kids' beach chairs are just the right size for children who might not be comfortable in a full-size adult beach chair. Because they're made smaller for children, they're lighter and more compact than the average beach chair. Plus, they tend to come in a range of fun designs that appeal to kids.

    • Cons: An older child may grow out of her beach chair quickly.

    • Price: Expect to pay between $10 and $30 for a child-size beach chair. Pricier models may come with useful extras, such as canopies.
    EXPERT TIP

    If your chosen beach chair is adjustable, make sure it's easy to adjust without having to get up.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Beach chair materials

    Frame materials

    The most common materials for beach chair frames are aluminum and steel, though you can also find options made of wood and plastic.

    Lightweight and inexpensive, aluminum is probably the most common choice. It isn't the most durable metal, however. Heavy-duty beach chairs often have steel frames.

    Wood is a durable choice and looks attractive, but it isn't a hugely popular option in contemporary beach chairs, possibly because it's fairly heavy and can eventually rot with regular exposure to moisture.

    Plastic isn't an extremely durable material for beach chair frames, though it is lightweight. Inexpensive beach chairs are sometimes made of plastic.

    The most durable seats are made with fabric that has a denier strength of between 420D and 600D.

    Seat materials

    Most beach chair seats are made of nylon, cotton, polyester, or marine-grade canvas. There is no right or wrong choice here as long as the manufacturer uses a thick, quality material that won't wear down with regular use. It's fairly common for cheap beach chairs to break where the material attaches to the frame. For this reason, we do not recommend opting for a budget model.

    EXPERT TIP

    Though plastic and wood aren't popular beach chair materials like aluminum and steel are, they don't get extremely hot in the sun. On hot days, this is a definite bonus.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Beach chair storage solutions

    Imagine you're comfortably relaxing in your beach chair when you suddenly decide to take a sip of your drink or read a chapter from your book. That means you have to get out of your chair, ruining your relaxed vibe. Or does it? If you choose a beach chair with decent storage solutions, everything you need could be right within your reach.

    The most basic storage “extra” is a cup holder; many beach chairs have them in one or both armrests. Even if you're unlikely to have more than one drink at a time, a second cup holder can be used to hold a range of small items, such as sunscreen, shades, or lip balm.

    We also think it's useful to have a hang-down pouch on the side of your beach chair. This is great for storing items such as a book, phone, keys, wallet, snacks, and anything else you might bring to the beach with you.

    Tips

    • Think about how much time you’ll be spending in your beach chair. If you plan to spend all day lounging, you'll want a well-padded chair to keep you comfortable.

    • Decide how portable you need your chosen beach chair to be. Some models are extremely lightweight and very compact when folded, whereas others are fairly bulky. If you only need to walk for a minute or two between your home or your car and the beach, portability is less of an issue than if you have to walk for 20 minutes.

    • Consider how often you'll be using your beach chair. If you live near the beach and visit it regularly, it's worth spending a bit more on a durable model that will stand up to regular use. If you'll only be using your beach chair on vacation for a week or two each year, a more basic model should suffice.

    • Look at a range of colors and designs. You can find beach chairs in a wide range of colors and patterns. Choose one you enjoy, and consider that more unusual patterns will stand out if you forget where you were sitting after a dip in the ocean.
    Some beach chairs have a built-in cooler pouch to keep drinks and food chilled while you relax.

    FAQ

    Q. Do beach chairs have a maximum weight limit?
    A.
    Yes, all beach chairs have a maximum weight limit. This can be anywhere from around 250 to 500 pounds depending on the quality of the seat material and frame. Be sure to check the maximum weight limit before use, as exceeding this limit could be unsafe.

    Q. Where should I store my beach chair when it's not in use?
    A.
    Luckily, beach chairs fold up small, so they're fairly easy to store when not in use. It doesn't really matter where you store your chair as long as the location is dry and doesn't get extremely hot or cold.

    Q. Are there any other extras I can get to go with my beach chair?
    A.
    You can buy a range of accessories for some beach chairs, though you need to check if your chosen chair is compatible first. Common extras include side tables, umbrellas and umbrella mounts, and detachable canopies.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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