No trip to the beach is complete without a great chair to plop down on.
There is more to a beach chair than you might think though, and finding the best beach chair requires looking deep into the variety of features.
From comfortable materials and seating to durability, the list goes on and on.
The great thing about beach chairs is that they can pretty much be used in any kind of outdoor activity, meaning even if you’re not going to the beach all the time, it’s a justifiable purchase.
We’re talking to you tailgaters!
It can seem like a lot trying to sift through the vast number of beach chairs on the market, but luckily we’ve done the research for you!
Let’s look into the best beach chairs on the market and what makes them so great.
We highly recommend the overall, as it is a classic, simple design that is both durable and packed with a variety of convenient features.
It’s a chair that is made to last, as well as provide you with relaxation that only Tommy Bahama could.
The Top 9
Best Beach Chairs
Our #1 Pick - Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler Chair
Tommy Bahama is undeniably the king of beach brands.
The company exudes relaxation and good times, exactly as your chair should. Their Backpack Cooler Chair has just about everything you would want to find in a great beach chair for a very affordable price.
At just under eight pounds, this lightweight chair has 5-position adjustability and is able to lay flat as well. The backpack style makes it incredibly easy to transport to the beach and back, and you also get tons of pockets for extra storage. One of those large storage compartments is even insulated to help keep your fresh brews nice and cold!
On the side of the chair is a contour molded armrest with a hanging cup holder and a smaller compartment for your portable items like your cell phone or wallet. You’ll be able to see this chair from a mile away thanks to the colorful blue and green design, complete with the iconic Tommy Bahama logo. Beyond all that, it’s extremely comfortable thanks to the included adjustable pillow.
Interested in the Tommy Bahama Beach Chair but want to see a more in-depth look? Make sure to check out our Tommy Bahama Beach Chair review.
#2 Rio Ultimate Backpack Beach Cooler Chair
The Rio Ultimate Backpack Chair also comes complete with an insulated cooler compartment, as well as a few other storage compartments than are located on the seat back.
We love the removable headrest that allows you to adjust the height on the back, making it a bit more comfortable for taller users. Just like the Tommy Bahama backpack, it is able to recline to 5-different positions, as well as lay completely flat for those who want to soak up some sun.
The design is a laced up suspension with a soft, cool mesh material that keeps you from sweating far more than polyester would. Thanks to the textilene sling, it contours better to the shape of your body to give your back more support and keep your posture in check.
They take comfort pretty seriously over at Rio Brands. There is also a smaller pocket located on the chair with zippered pockets too, so you can keep your phone and wallet safe. When you’re all done at the beach, simply fold it up and throw it on your back for hands-free transport with the padded shoulder straps.
#3 King Camp Sling Beach Chair
The King Camp Sling Beach Chair is certainly one of the more unique chairs in its design.
The armrests on this bad boy are curved for added portability and are wrapped in a soft foam to help keep your nice and comfortable.
A small cup holder hangs off of the right arm so that you can keep your drink close to you at all times. We love the fact that it is so low, making it perfect for those who want a bit more stability when they put their chair down at the beach.
One of the more unique features of the King Camp Sling Beach Chair is the mesh backing that is both breathable and comfortable to sit on. It’s much better than dealing with a sweaty back on a nylon or polyester chair!
Don’t judge the durability of the King Camp Sling by its size, as the heavy-duty steel frame is made to support up to 300 lbs! When you’re all done using it, you can fold it up in a matter of seconds and toss it into the back of your car or truck.
Best Beach Chair With Canopy
#1 Best Beach Chair With Canopy: Swimways Kelsyus Canopy Chair
If you’re looking to stay nice and protected from the sun, you might want to look into getting the Kelsyus Canopy Chair from Swimways.
It come with a canopy that is detachable, as well as an integrated ottoman that can be folded out with ease. The canopy provides 50+ UPF sun protection, making it perfect for those who don’t venture out to the beach often due to sunburns.
The most unique thing about this chair is that the patented canopy turns into a carrying bag in a matter of seconds, making it easy to carry and transport to and from the sand.
The chair is very wide overall, leaving tons of room for bigger bodies to sit on with comfort. It support up to 250 lbs thanks to the sturdy frame! We love the breathable mesh on the back that helps to prevent that ungodly back sweat.
Lastly, you’ll find an O-ring cup holder on the right hand side for keeping your drink close to you. Overall, it’s an excellent chair for the beach, the campground, or the sideline at any sporting event.
#2 Sport-Brella Reclining Chair
If you’re looking to kick back in ultimate comfort, the Sport-Brella might be right up your alley.
This reclining chair is easy to adjust, giving you three different reclining options so that you can either gaze out at the sunset or take a nice nap.
The sport-brella also comes with a detachable footrest if you want to kick your feet up too. Thanks to the umbrella attachment, you get UPF 50+ protection to keep your skin safe from the harmful sun rays. It even has a 3-way swivel design to help you find the perfect position.
There is tons of storage onboard this chair including an insulated pocket for keeping things cool, a mesh cup holder, and a large storage pocket that can hold up to four different drinks at once.
You’ll never have to venture over to the cooler to grab another beer again! Uniquely, they decided to even add a small bottle opener in the pocket with the zipper on it. The chair is surprisingly lightweight, though can support up to 250 lbs thanks to the steel construction! Overall, it is a chair that covers all the bases of comfort and features.
#3 Quik Shade Adjustable Canopy Chair
The Quik Shade Adjustable Canopy Chair is an excellent canopy chair for those who are on a budget.
This portable chair comes with two mesh cup holders unlike most of the other chairs listed above, and is incredibly comfortable in design. The chair excels in durability thanks to the steel frame that has a weight capacity of 225 lbs.
You can also thank the 600 denier polyester fabric that is completely resistant to water and stains, meaning your chair will look new even after a hundred uses.
The sun shade that comes with the chair is completely adjustable so that you can raise, lower, or move it to each side to get the perfect amount of sun blockage.
On the side, there is a small integrated storage pouch that is just about big enough for a cell phone, wallet, and keys. It comes complete with handy nylon straps that help you to transport it easily.
Best Beach Chairs With Storage
Our #1 Best Beach Chair With Table: Oniva Picnic Chair
The Oniva Picnic Chair has just about everything you could want in an outdoor chair. It’s incredibly lightweight and easy to transport thanks to the folding design.
The durable aluminum frame support up to 300 lbs with ease. On the side, you’ll find an incredibly handy accessories panel that is made to hold all of your personal items including your cell phones, magazines, wallet, or whatever else you can think to stuff in there!
There is also a bottle or beverage pouch that is completely insulated for keeping your drinks cold and a zippered pocket for items that you want to keep a bit more secure.
The most prominent feature of this chair is the convenient side table that folds out. It’s large enough to enjoy a meal on while you kick back and watch the waves.
The seat is made extra-wide to support larger folks and it is complemented by padded armrests for added comfort. When you’re done chillin’, you can use the adjustable shoulder strap and double handles to transport it back to your car or truck!
#2 Coleman Portable Deck Chair
Coleman is the king of camping accessories and they make one heck of a beach chair!
The Coleman Portable Deck Chair comes complete with a sturdy integrated side table with a cup holder that is great for keeping your food and drinks items easily accessible.
The seat is very comfortable overall and comes complete with padded armrests for a bit of added arm support. Coleman didn’t put all their eggs in one basket though, as this chair is also incredibly sturdy. It’s able to support up to 225 lbs!
If you’re looking for a chair that is easy to transport around, the Coleman Portable Deck Chair is great!
The collapsible folding design comes with carrying handles that are comfortable to use and the chair only weight about 7 lbs overall. Even the little ones will be able to help out with this chair!
#3 Timber Ridge Director’s Chair
The Timber Ridge Director’s Chair is one for the big boys with the 300 lb capacity.
This is thanks to the polyester material and the incredibly sturdy aluminum frame. You get up to 21” of width in the seating area, giving you plenty of room to get comfortable. Speaking of comfort, the breathable fabric is great for staying cool when in the hot sun!
We love the padded armrests, as they provide a comfortable space to let your arms relax. The integrated flip-out table is also very sturdy, perfect for holding on to your food, drinks, books, or whatever else!
You can easily fold up the Timber Ridge Director’s Chair in a matter of seconds thanks to the step-on bottom tube design.
At just under 7.5 lbs, just about anyone will be able to transport this sucker. Overall, this chair is incredibly versatile and perfect for those who want to use it for more than just the beach. The company even provides you with a full one-year warranty for any defective parts, meaning you can trust that they’re delivering a quality product!
What To Consider When Buying a Beach Chair
When you’re looking for a beach chair, you might want to get one that has some integrated storage onboard. Storage can mean a lot of things. Some beach chairs have small side pocket that are just large enough to fit your phone and wallet. Some beach chairs have large accessory pockets that can fit magazines, as well as your other accessories. Some of the best beach chairs even have integrated cooler pockets to help keep your drinks and snacks cold while you sit in the hot sun! If you want to keep all your essentials close to you, we would highly recommend looking for a beach chair with ample storage.
Beach chairs with a backpack design are by far some of the easiest to transport thanks to the integrated shoulder straps. You’re likely going to be bringing a ton of other stuff to the beach with you, so being able to carry your chair hands-free can be extremely helpful in allowing you to take less trips back and forth to the car. Even if it doesn’t have a backpack design, we would recommend looking for a chair that has a storage bag or a strap system of some sort.
The lighter the chair, the easier it is going to be. Some chairs on this list are only seven pounds while some other chairs go up to fifteen pounds or more. While it may not seem like a huge deal, once you’re walking a mile from the car to the sand, you will wish you had gone with the lighter chair. Obviously the more you have built on to your beach chair, the heavier it will be, so it is a bit of a tradeoff.
You’ll likely be hanging out on the beach for at least a couple hours at a time. Having a comfortable chair in that instance is extremely import. Comfort is seen differently by many people. For starters, you may want to look for a chair that has a bit of lumbar support. This is especially important if your back is notorious for hurting. Second, you may want to look for a chair with padded armrests.
Many chair come complete with little pillows too, which can be extremely helpful in providing additional support.
The adjustability of a chair is not the most important thing in the world, though for those who want a bit of versatility, it can be nice. Some chairs come with the ability to adjust to multiple positions. Some even go from laying completely flat to sitting up straight in seconds!
The chairs themselves should not be the only adjustable piece though. If they come with canopies or ottomans, those should also be easy to adjust so that you can find the perfect position to block out the sun and kick up your feet. The adjustability on your beach chair should be seamless, so make sure to look at reviews to see how others are finding it.
The durability of a chair has a lot to do with the materials that it is made out of, though more to do with the actual frame of the chair. The most important thing to note is that your chair will be around a lot of water (ocean water to be exact). Regular chairs with metal tarnish and rust easily, so getting a chair with rust-resistant materials like aluminum can save you from having to buy a new one.
You should also make sure that the fabric of your chair is waterproof. This is why many beach chair manufacturers use materials like nylon and polyester.
The accessories can vary from beach chair to beach chair. Here are a few that we recommend looking out for:
Cup Holders: Cup Holders are arguable one of the most important accessories of a good beach chair. A great cup holder should be able to hold up any drink you give it so that you can keep your drink close at all times without having to hold it.
Side Table: Some tables come with integrated side tables that can be extremely handy if you’re having a little beach picnic or BBQ.
Carrying Bags: If your chair is not a backpack design, it should at least come with some sort of carrying bag or strap so that you can carry it with ease.
Umbrella: Some beach chairs come with portable umbrellas or canopies that attach to the shoulder section. These can be very helpful in protecting you from harmful UV rays, as well as from things like wind and rain.
Footrest: If you’re looking to kick your feet up, you’ll want to get yourself a chair with a footrest attachment. Footrests allow you to recline, even if the chair doesn’t.
Capacity is often overlook, though can be extremely important, especially if you have a larger build. Chairs can vary greatly in max capacity due to their designs and materials. Two chairs may look exactly the same, though one could be rated for 225 lbs while the other is rated for 300 lbs. Make sure to read the manufacturer specs to get a good idea of the capacity.
The materials that you chair is made out of will have a major impact on your time spent with it.
Nylon: Nylon is easily one of the most popular types of materials for beach chairs, as it is water-resistant, fade-resistant, and resistant to tears and rips. Nylon is also very lightweight. The biggest issue with it is that it’s not heat-resistant, meaning if it sits in the sun for a long time, it might be a bit hot to sit on.
Mesh: If you want to go for something that is a little bit cooler, especially if you suffer from sweaty back syndrome, we would recommend getting a mesh-back chair. These types of chairs are far more breathable, though not as durable, so it’s really up to you to decide what is more important.
Aluminum: Aluminum is one of the most popular types of frame materials when it comes to beach chairs. Aluminum is incredibly durable and lightweight in nature. The thing is, it is far more susceptible to bending than other stronger materials like wood.
Wood: Wood is one of the most classy types of materials for beach chairs. It also doesn’t absorb heat like aluminum does, meaning you’ll have a chair with a frame and armrests that stay cool. The biggest issue with wood is that it can be heavy, making it harder to transport.
Plastic: Plastic is the most inexpensive of frame types and the most lightweight, making it very easy to transport. The big issue with plastic is that it isn’t very durable, and may warp over time.
The higher the back on your chair, the more comfortable that it is going to be overall, as higher back chairs support your neck better. This is especially important for those who have back issues. Keeping your neck in check when you’re sitting for long periods is crucial.
While it may not seem like an “essential” thing to worry about, the color of a beach chair might have a bigger impact than you would think. A darker beach chair, for example, will absorb a lot more heat than a beach chair that is lighter. On the other hand, a lighter beach chair might be more susceptible to stains. A beach chair with bright patterns can be very helpful if you lose your spot at a crowded beach. It’s much easier to see a bright blue and yellow chair from far away compared to one that’s a dark green.
Types of Beach Chairs
There are many different types of beach chairs. Knowing the differences between them can help you in making sure that you are purchasing the right one for your needs. Here are some of the most popular types of beach chairs on the market:
Classic Sand Chair: These types of chairs are made to sit closer to the sand and are very low-profile. They are easily the most compact and stable of the bunch thanks to their smaller builds. They are also much easier to fold up and transport. You’ve likely seen these at just about every beach, as they’re easily the most convenient. With that said, some people dislike the low-profile, especially older folks, as they can find it harder to get up and down. This also goes for taller people with longer legs.
Chaise Lounge: We didn’t mention any chaise lounges on our list, as they are in a beach chair realm of their own. If you’re looking for extreme comfort, however, chaise lounges are at the top of the list. They’re much heavier and harder to transport than your classic sand chair, though the fact that you can lay them in wide variety of positions makes them very enticing to sunbathers. They typically come with extra padding for added comfort, as well as contoured designs to fit nicely to the shape of your body.
Highboy Beach Chairs: Many companies have begun making highboy beach chairs that give users a bit of extra back support. If you are taller or larger, a highboy beach chair can be an absolute lifesaver. The added back support typically doesn’t add much weight either, meaning they should be just as easy to transport as a classic sand chair. The extra height on the back, however, can take up a bit more room in the trunk.
Backpack Chairs: One of the newest and most popular kinds of beach chairs on the market is the backpack chair. A backpack chair allows you to carry it with shoulder straps, much like you would with a backpack. Sometimes you need an extra hand when you’re carrying all of your other gear down to the sand. Having a lightweight chair that you can just toss on your back is incredibly convenient.
Zero Gravity: Zero Gravity beach chairs are the newest type. They are designed to take a bit of pressure off your back and conform to your body, giving you the ultimate in comfort. They are a bit harder to transport due to the larger design, though they can adjust to just about any position. It’s a hard trade-off. They are also usually much more expensive than the other chairs listed above, so not the best for someone who’s on a budget.
Will the Chair That I Choose Be Sturdy Enough?
The sturdiness of a chair is not totally related to the actual carrying capacity, but rather the ways the legs are shaped. You want a sturdy chair when you’re on an uneven surface like sand, otherwise you’ll likely go overboard the minute you decide to lean back. The lower to the ground, the more stable the chair is going to be. If you want a chair that is higher up, we would recommend getting one where the legs are connected. This will allow the chair to sink evenly into the sand.
What are the Benefits of Beach Chairs?
There are about a hundred benefits for having a good beach chair. Compared to just laying on a towel or having the and, you have a seat that is both flexible and sturdy or you to sit on. They can also be used just about anywhere that you go! Most beach chairs can also be used at your favorite sporting event, at the campground, or at home in the backyard for a BBQ.
Beach chairs excel more than traditional plastic outdoor chairs in that they are durable, comfortable, and easy to transport thanks to their folding designs. Many allow you to not only kick back and soak in the sun, but also have keep your belongings safe, hold your drink, protect you from the sun, etc. Depending on the type of beach chair you get, you can truly enhance your beach experience by a landslide.
What Kind of Beach Chair Is Best for Kids?
If you’re looking for a beach chair for your child, we would highly recommend getting one that is durable. For starters, the material should be something like nylon that is stain-resistant. Secondly, we would recommend getting one that has a cup holder to keep your child’s drink near them. Lastly, we would recommend getting one with a canopy attachment to keep their skin safe from the sun. Other than that, just about any kind of beach chair will do!
Final Thoughts - Which Should You Get?
If you’re looking to get some serious relaxation going on your vacation this summer, a beach chair should be at the top of your shopping list.
There are so many different designs to pick from, but while the choices can be exciting, they can also be incredibly daunting.
Hopefully you remember all of the things we discussed today so that you can find the best beach chair that is right for you!
Our Final Recommendation >> Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler Chair