Sturdy, lightweight, and attractive — we love that it's packed with features for beach-lovers: rear storage pouch, plushy cushion, attached cooler, cup holder, and even a handy towel bar.
Seams occasionally fray. The back frame bar can be felt when the chair is fully reclined. A bit challenging to collapse, but portable once it is folded.
Reasonably priced model. Its comfortable wide seat, sloped armrests, and convenient arm rest cooler are ideal features for a day at the beach.
It's somewhat difficult to unfold and fold, and some users reported it sits lower to the ground than expected/desired.
Its unique rounded grips that keep it from sinking in the sand and its lightweight, highly-portable design make it easy to set up and take down. Stands higher off the ground than traditional beach chairs, which is a bonus for some people.
Some adults have reported that it is small and snug for them. Some reports of breakage by individuals weighing less than the listed 350-lb capacity. No cup holder.
Extremely lightweight and portable design that is ideal for beach lovers on the go. Rolls up easily. Seat is padded and insulated for comfort in the sand. Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Not very spacious, and not the best choice for individuals who don't want to sit at ground-level. The frame can be felt when leaning on the seat back.
A basic beach chair in a classic model with practical features. Its no-pinch arm rests and waterproof materials are built to last. Fabric is durable and has vibrant colors that stand out on the beach. Affordable.
Though the 5-position reclining capability is appealing, the flattest position is not very comfortable. Awkward to carry. No cup holder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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