In all my life, I would never have thought that I would bring a beach chair with me on my beach vacations.
I know it sounds ridiculous, but my beach towel wasn’t cutting it; my dog kept getting me all sandy.
And that’s not even it. I’m a minimalist and hate to shop around for things when on vacation.
So, when I heard that our condo charged $50 a day for two chairs on the beach, I figured out it was high time I picked up some good beach chairs. I’m not paying to rent something I could own.
Of course, I know what you’re thinking. Are 50 bucks worth the inconvenience and hassle of schlepping and totting another piece of luggage?
The truth is some of the best beach chairs are ultra-light, compact, and foldable so that they won’t tip the scales on the weight machine. I barely notice their presence.
For example, I normally use my oldest suitcase when we fly and pack two beach chairs, a collapsible rolling cooler inside, and much more.
These chairs are light, compact, and better multi-functional, so when I’m using them on the beach, I can take them to the park, concert, or even use them in my backyard.
Now, I assume you’re here because you need a beach chair.
You’re in the right place because, in the guide below, I’ll share some of my favorite beach chairs that have made my experience at the beach more pleasant.
Table of Contents
The Best Beach Chairs For The Money
#1 Tommy Bahama Beach Chair - EDITOR'S CHOICE
I wanted an all-around beach chair for our top pick that would serve my family’s needs.
Tommy Beach Chair seems like the right fit.
It’s fairly practical and comes with many unexpected extras such as an insulated mesh cup holder, mesh storage pocket, backpack style straps, and a folding towel bar.
The backpack chair is also thoughtfully-designed and a nice compliment for a beach day.
Out of the box, it looks nice and gorgeous, better than I excepted. The lush blue color is fine, and I get many compliments from other revelers at the beach.
The chair’s dimensions are also great. It comes at 27″D x 25″W x 4″H, and it’s bigger than I anticipated. But the good thing is the size, along with a generous weight capacity of 300 pounds, easily supports the big folks. It serves all the sitting needs of all my family members.
While it’s kinda pricey, the quality matches up the price of admission. The tube, hardware, and fabric are premium.
After a couple of seasons with the chair, I’ve not encountered any fraying, stitching defects, or threads hanging over. The fabric doesn’t deteriorate.
Meanwhile, the rust-proof aluminum frame is also quite sturdy and isn’t easily affected by saltwater, rust, or elements. But I recommend you hose it down when returning from the beach for its longevity.
Using the Tommy Bahama Beach Chair has been a pleasant experience because it adjusts to five positions and comfortably lay flat.
It sits up, reclining to like four different angles, and can fold all the way flat if you want it to lay for sun tanning.
We laid ours flat for our 4-year-old niece to take a nap on the beach.
The different settings translate to constant comfort, and I like that I simply have to pull up on the arms to place the chair in whatever position I like.
The chair is also thoughtfully designed, laying extremely low to the ground. It’s a nice design that allows me to stretch my legs comfortably without feeling tippy.
My only markdown with Tommy’s comfort is the bar that sits across the front section of the seat under the thighs.
It’s a bad design, at least in my opinion, because they rest on the bar when I stretch my legs. Instead, I prefer the older models with a bracing bar below the seat front and no bar under your thing.
But it’s not a huge deal-breaker unless you’ll be lying flat all the time.
I also choose the Tommy Beach Chair because it’s ultra-light and foldable.
Packing the chair after use is a breeze and effortless. It comes with backpack straps like carry-on luggage that free up my hands to carry other items. The backpack straps make it easy to carry the chair on the extra-long walks to and from the beach to our condo.
Besides the straps, Tommy Bahama Chair has plenty of other perks.
For example, it comes with several compartments, so I don’t have to carry a carry bag. The large storage pocket on the side is great for holding everything from my phone, keys, and anything I don’t want to get sandy.
The built-in cup holder is insulated to keep my beverage nice and cold, while the cooler helps my water stay ice cold.
Overall, the Bahama Beach chair is a truly nice option and comes with everything you need for your stay at the beach.
#2 Wavy Marlin Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair -- Best Folding Beach Chair
I live at the beach, and I’ve always wanted the Wavy Marlin Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair.
It’s a wonderful creation from Tommy Bahama and by far one of the best beach chairs you can get.
Wavy Beach Chair checks on all the boxes and scores highly on all the crucial areas such as comfort, performance, ease of use, and portability.
Out of the box, the chair looks exactly as pictured. The coloring is vivid, pineapple print is fun, and is generally nice to look at.
The design is also nifty, and it’s amazing that the brand has taken so long to come up with something like this.
For example, the aluminum construction is lightweight and seems like it’s gonna last for a long time.
I’ve been using mine for several seasons, and it doesn’t show signs of wear, breaking, or rusting. Plus, it doesn’t squeak when I move and adjust the beach chair.
On the other hand, the denier polyester fabric is sewn to perfection and doesn’t stretch and sink as other beach chairs tend to do.
The fabric stays intact, and the sections on the backpack shoulder straps don’t look like they’ll unravel after a few uses.
The Wavy Marlin Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair has a generous dimension and is generally bigger and wider than most chairs I’ve tried.
It doesn’t hurt my back even when I sit on it for long sessions. Plus, it has a generous weight capacity, so a great option for the generally big guys.
Performance-wise, Wavy Marlin Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair has everything you would wish for in a beach chair.
It features a design that allows the chair to lay back like a lounger. In addition to the lay-flat design, it can also adjust to four more other seating positions.
Personally, I love laying it flat with the legs downward and my back facing upwards. It’s the perfect skin tanning position.
But as with other Tommy beach chair versions, you’ll eventually feel the discomfort of the front frame bar.
I also got this lounger because it’s foldable and lightweight.
It’s so light that I can carry an umbrella, sun canopy, a small cooler, and a chair without struggling.
Plus, it folds smaller than most folding chairs, making it easier to pack and store.
But the greatest benefit, at least in my opinion, is how portable the beach chair is.
It comes with a back-strap, so it’s easy to carry the chair with one hand or wear it like the traditional backpack, leaving my hands free.
There’re also plenty of other accessories on this backpack chair.
A nice adjustable pillow makes the headrest more pleasant and comfortable.
The numerous compartments and pockets are a bonus, and I love that I can load everything I need and still leave my beach bag at home.
It has a pocket for my water bottle, another for my phone and keys, and several other pockets for snacks, shorts, and sunglasses.
On top of that, there’s an insulated beverage pouch/built-in cup holder and cooler for my beverages and water.
Simply put, everything I need fits in the pouches of this chair.
The only markdown with this purchase can be challenging to open, but it gets easy once you figure it out.
#3 Rio Beach Classic Lay Flat Folding Beach Chair – Most Comfortable Beach Chair
This is my 2nd Rio Beach purchase. I’ve one on my patio deck and the other one in my car for beach days.
The Rio Beach Chair has proven to be quite a sweet little chair for enjoying the lovely summer days and nights.
It’s a nice purchase and has so far impressed me with what it offers.
First, it has a nice appearance, is very beachy, stylish, and comfortable.
The design is also quite thoughtful, low to the ground, so I find it easy to stretch my legs out and recline. But if you’ve mobility issues or can’t get up from a low position, consider investing in a regular height chair.
Rio Beach Chair also scores highly in the durability/quality department. So far, it hasn’t broken even after repeated abuse and punishments.
The frame is designed from durable aluminum and seems like a decent choice of material. I suspect the durable canvas-like material will withstand many more beach trips without a problem.
I’m also quite satisfied with the size of this beach chair.
The seat sits deeper, and I found it quite comfortable to rest on the chair for long without the seat fabric sagging.
It fully supports my weight and even comes with a headrest to support my back. I’m 5’8″, and the back is tall enough to come up mid-way up on my head for fantastic lower back support.
Rio also wins with its customized seating design.
It has an adjusting system to transform the seat from a regular seat to a lounger. The 5-positions include a lay-flat position for sunbathing.
All the positions for the recline feel secure, and it can recline back.
Comfort also takes a front seat on the Rio Beach Classic chair, and it feels pleasant to use that I usually opt for even in the presence of open loungers at the beach.
The key benefit of this purchase is the bar’s position at the top of the chair. While they still have a bar behind the top of the seat, your head never touches it. Instead, you touch on the soft cushioning,
Another benefit is that the Rio Chair doesn’t have the solid metal bar under the front of the seat. So, it doesn’t dig into my things while still allowing me to stretch out without a saggy fabric.
I also chose this chair because it’s ultra-light and foldable.
It can compact into a small size, which takes up little storage in my Prius.
And the good thing with the folding and unfolding mechanism is that it’s a breeze.
Unlike some of the gimmicks with other portable beach chairs, this model’s simple tab/press button does work. It doesn’t have complicated maneuvers or anything, and I even did it without reading through the manual.
This best beach chair comes with an adjustable shoulder strap along with the easy design. So, I can haul it and still have my hands free for other beach accessories.
But my wish was that it came with a backpack-style carry strap; the shoulder strap is uncomfortable.
Finally, I love how this chair serves me with plenty of accessories.
I really like the cooler, which is nice for keeping my beverages out of the sun.
A drink/cup holder is a great add-on, and my bottles fit in perfectly. There’s also storage on the back to hold valuable items such as keys, phones, and wallets.
Simply put, it holds everything for my beach day and works as a second beach bag. I would recommend it.
#4 Ostrich 3 N 1 Beach Chair -- Revolutionary Design
I’ve been using the Ostrich Beach Chair for several months now, and all I can say is WOW!
It’s one of my favorite chairs and comes with a revolutionary design.
The Ostrich Chair is a savior on the beach, and I got it because I wanted a chair specifically for laying face down at the beach as I hate laying on the sand.
I also wanted a chair that would allow me to tan both front and back evenly, but I always found it uncomfortable to lay on my stomach and have to move my head sideways.
The Ostrich Beach Chair solves all of that in a snap.
It comes with a patented open/close face cavity design to lay my head down. My face is nicely through the hole underneath the pillow.
It’s a great concept that lets me soak my back under the sun without getting my face all sandy.
And that’s not all, the chair has arm slots, so I can read a book or even scroll my phone while still tanning my body.
The whole experience is also pleasant, thanks to the forgiving material on the chest and stomach area. Its comfortable material doesn’t scratch my skin, and generally feels nice to lay on.
However, the concept can be challenging to get on and off. But once you get used to the lounger and understand where the tipping points are, you’ll appreciate the design.
Along with the face-down position, this quality beach chair has three other nice positions, the comfy recliner and bed option.
You can lay it all the way flat for a lounger style or set it as a regular chair. You’re not stuck to a single position.
The versatility of this compact chair extends to the footrests. It has three adjustable footrest positions for more comfort. I feel like the Ostrich lounger was built for me.
This easy folding chair is also ultra-light and folds down for easy transport and storage.
It doesn’t have a backpack-style strap, but instead, it comes with a shoulder strap. It’s still easy to haul the backpack using the shoulder strap, as it keeps my hands free from carrying other essentials.
Unfortunately, the shoulder strap isn’t padded, nor are the footrests. But you can find that on the Deluxe model.
Finally, the Ostrich lounge chair comes with some nice additions to make your life at the beach pleasant.
My favorite accessory is the cup holder that folds out from under the padded armrest. It’s a nice option for holding my beverages.
Overall, the Ostrich quality Beach Chair is a nice purchase, and I’m so far impressed with its revolutionary concept for back body tanning.
It’s a great option if you’re willing to stomach the price.
#5 Coleman Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler -- Most Versatile Chair
My friend owns this chair, and after sitting in them at camp, I knew I had to get them.
They are exactly what I needed; sturdy, large, and easy to use.
I got it primarily because of its multi-functionality. It’s technically a camping chair but the most versatile chair I’ve come across.
When I’m not using them at the camp, it serves me well at the beach, games, concerts, picnics, and so much more.
The Coleman chair is also nice and sturdy. I’ve had them for a while now, and I love how they hold up well to the rough uses and punishments.
I also like how wide this easy folding chair comes. They’re generously sized and a far cry from most regular chairs.
As a big guy, the Coleman camping chair is easy to get out of and quite comfortable to use, even for extended sessions.
Plus, the back is raised a little higher and feels more supportive. It has eliminated the constant backaches that come with other beach chairs.
I’m impressed with the weight of the Coleman, especially for such a monster chair.
It weighs not any heavier than a regular lawn chair, so it should be easy to move around.
My only issue with this folding chair is that it can sometimes get difficult to put it back into their carrying bag. But that’s a small price to pay for the comfort and extras.
Some of the extras on the Coleman Quad include a built-in 4-can cooler that allows me to grab a drink without getting up.
Others include a mesh fabric cup holder for holding my beverages (up to four drinks) and side pockets or holding some of my valuables such as sunglasses, snacks, keys, and wallet.
Overall, the Coleman Quad Camping chair is an incredible option and perfectly suitable for a range of uses.
Best Beach Chairs Buying Guide
Purchasing a beach chair isn’t an everyday affair, so it’s understandable if you find it challenging to pick the right one for your needs.
The good news is I’ve prepared a comprehensive buying guide to help with the selection.
I’ll share everything you need to know about the best beach chairs in the guide below.
Types of Beach Chairs
There’re numerous portable beach chairs, but we shall only focus on the top 5 popular types.
1) Backpack chairs
Most beach chairs are foldable, but the backpack options take portability to another level.
These are ultra-light, and as their name suggests, they fold into a backpack carry style.
2) Chairs with Canopy
I’m already guessing you’ve an idea of these chairs from the name.
Yes, these are chairs with an adjustable umbrella or sun canopy for shade.
Some versions have the canopy integrated, while others have it independent.
3) Foldable chairs
The foldable chairs are by far the most popular beach chairs.
They’re foldable and compact into a portable design.
4) Reclining chairs
The reclining chairs sit close to the ground and will let you lay down to unwind.
Their greatest benefit is their multi-functionality, letting you lay down for a tan or sit up to catch the beautiful view.
5) Padded Chairs
While this isn’t exactly a category for beach chairs, we included it because most beach chairs lack cushioning.
You can still invest in third-party cushions, but having one with cushions already is convenient.
Other types of chairs include:
- Classic beach chair
- Lounge chair
- Zero gravity chair
- Kid’s chair
What Materials are Used for Beach Chairs?
Beach chair construction is as diverse as the number of beach chairs.
But for simplicity, we shall only focus on the three common types of beach chair materials.
The rust-proof aluminum frame is ultra-light and a great option for those looking for portability. Unfortunately, it’s not the sturdiest and may dent.
Wooden frames are mainly used for the classic beach chair.
They’re a bit heavier than the aluminum beach chairs, but they’re less likely to get affected by elements, especially the sun rays.
Steel is the ultimate material for a beach chair in terms of strength and longevity.
The only drawback with a powder-coated steel frame is the weight and rust. Steel seats are not easy to carry.
Factors to Consider when Selecting the Best Beach Chair
Here’re some of the critical factors to consider when selecting the best beach chair.
The longevity of your beach chair is crucial as it determines how long your chair will last.
In most cases, the choice of material determines the sturdiness and longevity of a beach chair.
Generally, the metal-based chairs will stand elements better than wood or plastic options.
Steel and aluminum should be your best if you need a beach chair that can last.
Along with the frame, consider the fabric.
The ideal fabric should be thick, and most importantly, stand up to the elements. Remember, beach chairs are exposed to many elements, so the ideal fabric should resist exposure to sand, sand, UV rays, and water.
Load Capacity/ Weight Capacity
The load capacity refers to how much weight a beach chair can hold.
It’s crucial to consider the capacity, otherwise, you might compromise the seat’s integrity.
For example, you can’t use a kid’s beach chair for an adult.
The good news is that beach chairs have a diverse range of weight loads, so you can always find a chair to suit your weight needs regardless of your weight.
If you’re going to pick several beach chairs for the family, consider those with the maximum weight capacity of the heaviest guy in your group.
The perfect beach chair for a beach trip should have a folding capability.
It should be compact to a minimal design for easy packing and storage.
Foldability is especially important if you’ve to fly or have other beach gear you need to tag along with.
Comfort is a priority for a beach chair since you’re heading out to relax and enjoy yourself at the beach.
Most comfortable beach chairs are padded and come with some form of cushioning.
But if your beach chair isn’t padded, you might consider laying a towel. It offers some relief, but not so much.
Instead, I would recommend investing in some nice pillows.
You also need to consider the additional accessories that might help your stay at the beach.
An umbrella, or a sun awning, for example, might be quite helpful for sun protection, especially on sunny beach vacation days.
Beach chairs come in different sizes.
If you’re a bigger guy, I’d recommend choosing a bigger and taller chair. The smaller users are best suited with the smaller chairs.
Adjustability is important for a beach chair as it allows for a customized sitting position. It lets you feel like the chair was built for you.
The ideal adjustable chair should lock securely and be a hassle to adjust.
Also, consider the level of adjustability and how many positions you can set it to.
Consider beach chairs with extras such as cup holders, coolers, and pouches.
These extras make your life more pleasant at the beach.
Best Beach Chairs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Can I carry zero-gravity chairs for the beach?
A: Yes, you can carry zero-gravity chairs, but not all of them.
While the chairs are extremely sturdy, reliable, and weather-resistant, they’re also bulky.
Their heftiness reduces their utility as beach chairs and makes them quite a hassle to bring with them to the beach.
Q: What’s the easiest way of cleaning rust from my beach chair?
A: Constant exposure to saltwater means beach chairs are likely to rust.
The good news is it’s easy to eliminate the rust.
Vinegar can be a great option. Lime water is also helpful in preventing rust.
But the most effective way is to prevent rust before it happens. Be sure to invest in rust-resistant paint.
Q: What’s the easiest way of cleaning mold from a beach chair?
A: While most beach chairs have mold-and-mildew paints sprayed on the aluminum frame, it’s sometimes inevitable.
If your beach chair has signs of mold and mildew invasion, consider a solution of white vinegar and water to clean.
Let the solution stay for quite a while before wiping the frame clean.
Q: Why are most beach chairs so low?
A: Beach chairs sit low to the ground to promote greater stability and comfort.
Sitting on the top of loose sand might feel uneven and tippy.
But when the chair is at level ground, your center of gravity gets lower, so it’s harder to topple.
Q: Can I use camping chairs at the beach?
A: Yes, but not all of them.
Like a beach chair, a camping chair is ultra-light, compact, and easy to carry.
However, some camping chairs take portability to a whole new level and might feel too minimal, like stools, for your comfort and relaxation at the beach.
Q: What are the ideal chairs for the beach?
A: The best beach chairs can be summed up as lightweight, comfortable, foldable, and durable.
They should be easy and convenient to pack. Plus, the chairs should bear the brunt of beach travel, including resisting elements.
Q: Is there a difference between a beach chair and a lawn chair?
A: The height is the biggest differentiator between the beach chairs and the lawns chairs, or rather with most chairs.
Beach chairs sit low to the ground, while other chairs sit higher.
You take a less-natural position and more of a reclined posture on the beach chair.
Q: How much do beach chairs cost?
A: The price of beach chairs varies depending on several factors, including choils of material, number of accessories, size, construction quality, and so much more.
But generally, most budget models will range anywhere from $20 to $50, while the premium and high-end options can go upwards of $100.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best beach chairs is the Tommy Folding Beach Chair.
It’s the ultimate beach chair, checking on all the important boxes.
I love it because of its functionality, ease of use, and sturdiness.
It can take a beating while still offering the much-needed comfort for relaxing at the beach.
Plus, it comes with some important accessories such as cup holders and a cooler to keep my beverages cool for a few hours.
I would recommend it.