TABLE OF CONTENTS (last update – march 2017)
1.1. Top 3 Best Beach Chairs
1.2. Top 3 Best Inflatable Beach Chairs
1.3. Top 3 Best Oversized Beach Chairs
1.4. Top 3 Best Kids Beach Chairs
2. Best Beach Lounge Chair Types
3. Portable Beach Chairs Features
4. Beach Chairs Materials
5. Beach Chair FAQ for Potential Buyers
Beach chairs are ubiquitous on the sand in the summer as well as in warm climates, and choosing the right one for you depends on a number of factors. With a vast array of sizes and styles, knowing what to buy and what is the best beach chair can be a challenge.
Indeed, the market is full of different products, and your enjoyment depends on determining the most comfortable beach chair. In this article, I’ll take a look at the different types, discuss some of the things to look for, review popular models. I’ll help determine which ones make for the ultimate beach chair.
Top Recommended Best Beach Chairs and Loungers
I’ve divided our reviews into four different categories: best beach chairs, top inflatable loungers, popular oversized chairs, and chairs for kids. I discuss what goes into each particular model, what makes it tick, and why it’s worth considering. Comfort level, portability and a host of other factors will be determined.
Each model carries a review from my testing process, and I’ll explain the pros and cons of each. So let’s take a look at the different types of beach chairs and loungers and help you determine which one is ideal for your needs.
Most Popular Beach Chairs Ratings
Today’s modern beach chair doesn’t have to be a complex or expensive proposition, and I’ve removed the guesswork from the equation. Below you will find a list of chairs that’ll ensure you enjoy the very best that your vacation or relaxation time has to offer.
1. Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair Review [5.0/5.0]
The Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair is your classic folding beach chair. Sold as a pair, they’re very lightweight and portable, weighing in at only seven pounds each, and have a weight capacity of up to 300lbs. The aluminum frame is rustproof and durable, and the seat is constructed of a high-quality polyester fabric. A covered pocket is perfect to hold your items, and there is also a drink holder.
For metal-framed beach chairs, they’re surprisingly comfortable, and the included headrests attached by velcro strips only add to the overall comfort level. They’re adjustable to five positions, and can even be laid flat in order to have a snooze. And the included tote bag and backpack straps make bringing them with you a snap.
While they are durable, frequent users may only get a few seasons out of them but the overall comfort level more than makes up for it.
– Lightweight and portable
– Convenient shoulder straps and tote bag
– High-quality fabric
– Pocket for items
– May not last more than a few seasons for frequent users.
Rio Brands’ foldable beach chair is another classicaly-designed chair that will ensure your comfort while lounging on the beach or wherever life takes you. Constructed of a durable aluminum frame supporting a high-quality and strong polyester material, this chair brings comfort and portability to a new level. The wooden armrests ensure that you don’t get that uncomfortable feeling of skin on plastic, and are designed to protect fingers against pinching.
This chair offers five positions, ranging from upright to completely lie-flat, so it’ll handle any lounging needs. It’s highly portable, folding up completely, and includes a padded carrying strap to make transportation as comfortable as possible. It weighs only six pounds, so taking it with you will never be an issue. Plus, it will hold a maximum weight of 250lbs.
It does lack a cup holder and pocket, and as with most chairs, it will only last a few seasons with frequent or heavy use. Still, it’s a superbly designed chair that will have you relaxing in comfort.
– Sturdy and lightweight
– Rated up to 250lbs of weight
– Real wood arms
– 5 positions including lie-flat.
– No cup holder or pocket
– May only last a few seasons with frequent use.
For a good cheap beach chair, Cascade Mountain Tech’s lightweight outdoor chair is a superb and cost-effective option. Designed for ultimate comfort using a breathable yet durable fabric, relaxation is close at hand.
Padded armrests will make sitting in it enjoyable. The entirely collapsible frame supports the fabric by way of durable aluminum rods, and it’s rated for up to 250lbs of weight. Moving it around is a snap, as it folds up into an easy-to-carry size. It will fit easily into any car, and the storage bag with included shoulder strap makes transporting it simple. In addition to the beach, this multi-purpose chair can be taken camping, to picnics, or for any outdoor activity.
While it doesn’t lay flat or offer a storage pouch, this is a chair that is built to last. Cascade Mountain Tech is so confident of this chair’s durability that they offer a one-year warranty on the product.
– Very lightweight and portable
– Durable materials
– Storage bag for easy transportation
– Fully collapsible
– Rated for up to 250lbs of weight.
– No reclining ability
– No storage for items.
Top 3 Best Inflatable Chairs for Beach
An inflatable beach lounge chair has the advantage of added portability, as it’s pumped up with air from a very small size. They come in all shapes and sizes, and the right one can be very comfortable. As well, newer models are self-inflating, so no air pump is required.
Beach lounges don’t get more multi-purpose than the Chillbo Baggins Inflatable Lounge Bag. Not only does it act as a lounge recliner, but it does duty as a pool float, a chair hammock, or as a camping air bed. Use it to recline on land or on the water. Inflation is a snap as only two breaths of air required to fully blow it up. It features rubber anchors that let you tie it down in windy conditions, essential if you don’t want your inflatable lounge chair to run away on you. A large side pocket is available to hold all your belongings, a handy feature indeed.
It’s constructed of durable nylon and is rated to hold up to 400lbs when fully inflated. The product features a carrying bag and shoulder strap, perfect for transportation and to store when not in use. Available in three different colors, the Chillbo Baggins is backed by a 100% refund warranty.
As with the iZeeker, there is a bit of a learning curve for inflation, but overall it’s fairly easy. For sheer comfort alone, the Chillbo Baggins is hard to beat.
– Lightweight and durable
– Very comfortable
– Anchor straps to prevent wind movement
– Can be used as a pool float
– Large storage pocket
– Learning curve for inflation
2. GABOSS Inflatable Lounger Review [4.6/5.0]
Another extremely portable, lightweight and versatile lounge chair is the GABOSS Inflatable Lounger. No air pump is required to inflate, simply walk or run with it for a short time and let the wind do the trick.
Weighing in at only 1.8 pounds, it’s the perfect complement to a day at the beach, a picnic, or any outdoor outing. In addition to being a beach chair, the inflatable lounger can act as a bean bag chair as well as a lounging couch. Made of parachute-grade nylon, the chair is designed to be leak-resistant and durable. It can be used on land or water, and makes a perfect pool float in addition to a lounger. The design incorporates a headrest so that you’ll always be able to rest in comfort. When done, the deflated product can easily be slipped into the included carrying tote and shoulder strap, perfect for transportation and storage.
It’s leak-proof, this model tends to run out of air faster than comparable products. Still, for sheer comfort and versatility, it’s hard to go wrong with the GABOSS.
– Lightweight and portable
– Easy inflation
– Multiple configurations
– Can be used in water
– Built-in headrest.
– No storage pocket
– Loses air quicker than comparable models.
3. iZEEKER Inflatable Air Lounge Chair Review [4.5/5.0]
iZeeker’s Inflatable Air Lounge Chair is about as versatile as they come. Weighing a scant 1.4kg (3lbs), this chair comes with a handy storage and travel bag when not in use. No air pump is required to inflate the iZEEKER – simply open it up, run with it for a few steps, and it will automatically become filled with air. When inflated, it measures over 190cm in length (6.2 feet) and is the perfect accessory for lounging around. Made of durable material, it’s double-layered for extra strength and for leak-avoidance.
It can also do double duty as a camping bed, sleeping bag or strung up as a hammock. It’s so versatile that it can be used for almost any outdoor activity, and then folds up easy for transportation when you’re done. Available in five different colors, you can choose the style that fits your lifestyle. It also comes equipped with side pockets so you can store your valuables.
There’s a little bit of a learning curve regarding inflation, but once you get the hang of it, you should have no problem blowing it up.
– Lightweight and portable
– Made of environmentally friendly materials
– Leak resistant
– Side pocket storage
– Takes a bit of practice to learn how to inflate.
Best Oversized Beach Chairs
For optimal comfort, larger people generally require larger beach chairs. A big man, for instance, would want to take advantage of one of the heavy duty beach chairs available on the market in order to enjoy the lounging experience. In addition to offering greater comfort, oversized beach chairs are rated for extra weight, another factor to take into consideration.
1. Coleman Oversized Quad Chair With Cooler Review [4.9/5.0]
Perfect for those needing a greater amount of support, the Coleman Oversized Quad Chair definitely fits the bill. Durably put together with a steel frame capable of supporting up to 300lbs, the Quad Chair is built to support your weight.
The unique built-in drink holder will hold up to four cans, with a fifth mesh holder waiting to hold that in-hand can, it’s perfect for relaxing in comfort. The armrests are adjustable to conform to your height, and can be set at a variety of positions. It also features a storage pocket to hold personal items. This chair weighs an easy-to-carry 7.8lbs, and when not in use it folds up for easy storage. An included tote bag with shoulder strap makes transportation easy, although a drawback is the strap can be slippery at times. The chair comes with a limited, one-year warranty, so it will last at least several seasons.
Comfortably designed and solidly constructed, the Coleman Oversized Quad Chair will be your go-to relaxation lounger for seasons to come.
– Solid, durable constructed
– Designed to support up to 300lbs
– Four-drink holder with space for a fifth
– Easy to transport
– Storage pocket.
– Shoulder slap can be slippery.
2. Rio Gear Big Guy Backpack Chair Review [4.8/5.0]
An extra-wide folding lounger, the Rio Gear Big Guy Backpack Chair is an excellent solution for those looking for extra-sized comfort. Sturdily built on an aluminum frame, the padding makes for comfortable reclining while supporting the extra weight.
Designed to hold up to 300lbs, the chair is simple and easy to use. Four positions are available to glean the maximum amount of comfort, as it can be set to multiple heights. Featuring a drink holder as well as a pocket to store items, the user will love the simplicity of the product. It also incorporates a cushioned pillow and armrests, allowing for an unparalleled level of relaxation.
It can be a little low to the ground for some users, however, this is generally overcome by the overall comfortable nature of the chair. It folds up with ease, and is easily transportable thanks to the lightweight aluminum frame, and it will fit into most cars and trucks. So for extra comfort when an oversized chair is needed, the Rio Gear Big Guy Backpack Chair is a worthy investment.
– Holds up to 300lbs
– Sturdy aluminum frame
– Contoured cushion pillow and armrests
– Adjustable up to four positions.
– Low to the ground.
When normal oversized chairs won’t cut it, the Heavy-Duty Portable Chair takes things to the next level. Designed to hold up to 500lbs of weight capacity, the chair brings comfort and portability into the sphere of the big guys. And for a chair weighing only 10lbs, this is no small feat.
It features a drink holder as well as a side pocket to hold personal items and is constructed of sturdy fabric on a durable aluminum frame. Portability is a snap, as it folds up for easy carrying thanks to the included tote bag with shoulder strap. As well, the oversized feet provide extra stability, so it will never feel unsecure. In addition, the feet are set so that they won’t sink into the sand, a handy feature to be sure.
The chair does have a tendency to be set lower than others. It shouldn’t be a major issue for most. Overall, it’s an excellent oversized beach chair that boasts comfort and security.
– Heavy-duty construction
– Holds up to 500lbs
– Includes drink holder and pocket
– Easy transportation.
– Chair has a tendency to sit low to the ground.
Top Safest Best Kids Beach Chairs
Kids like to have fun in the sun too, and there are a wide array of kid’s chairs available on the market. Designed to accommodate smaller bodies, these chairs will ensure your young ones enjoy the best of the beach weather. Whether you’re looking for a kid’s- or a baby beach chair, these selections will cater to your needs.
Children three and up will enjoy the Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Bella Butterfly Chair. Designed for youngsters, constructed with a durable aluminum frame and features sturdy, easy to clean polyester fabric.
The bright colors and friendly design will appeal to kids playfulness and won’t fade after repeated exposure to sunlight. Simple to use, it folds easily when not in use and comes equipped with a storage bag with shoulder strap for easy transportation. Featuring a cup holder to handle your child’s beverage, the chair weighs a meager 2.8lbs.
Despite the low weight, it’s built to last, and will allow your child to be seated securely and safely. The legs and feet are designed for increased traction for added stability, yet won’t damage sensitive flooring. The padded arms are easily adjustable to match your growing child’s needs. It doesn’t feature a pocket for valuables. You likely won’t miss it as the chair does it’s job admirably and makes for an excellent toddler beach chair.
– Lightweight and durable
– Feet designed for extra traction
– Includes cup holder
– Easy to fold and transport
– Polyester fabric is easy to wash
– Friendly and fun color scheme.
– No pocket.
2. Kelsyus Kid’s Canopy Chair Review [4.7/5.0]
For an outstanding beach chair with canopy, the Kelsyus Kid’s Canopy Chair is an excellent buy. In addition to the strong aluminum frame and durable, comfortable polyester material, the chair features a canopy to provide shade from the sun. The chair material is completely washable, so spills and messes are a snap to clean up.
Weighing only 5lbs, it is light enough for anyone to move, including children. It folds down when not in use and remains firmly fastened in the closed position thanks to included clips. As well, the included carrying case features padded shoulder straps (two) that make transportation simple and easy. It includes a built-in cup holder, and the canopy features a mesh pocket to store items in. It’ll hold children weighing up to 75lbs, so it will grow with your child, and it’s intended for kids three and older. The armrests are padded for extra comfort, ensuring your child will be safely and comfortably ensconced.
The canopy is not adjustable, however, although it should not be a problem for most kids. (If you need really good pop up, check my reviews of the best beach canopies.) Still, it’s an excellent chair, offering the equivalent of 50 SPF protection.
– Lightweight; weighs only 5lbs
– Easy to carry
– Clips keep chair firmly closed
– Easy to transport thanks to carrying case
– Cup holder and pocket.
– Canopy height is not adjustable.
3. Redmon For Kids Folding Camp Chair Review [4.5/5.0]
For the perfect small beach chair, the Redmon Folding Camp Chair delivers the perfect mix of size and comfort. Designed to hold children weighing up to 160lbs, it’ll accommodate kids two and older. Despite weighing only 3.6lbs, it features a heavy-duty frame constructed of steel with a scratch-resistant coating. A cup holder is included in the easy to clean polyester material, although no pocket is on offer.
It’s easy to set up and use, and when done it folds down quickly into the included storage/carrying bag with carrying strap. Safety will never be an issue, as a lock will keep the chair open when in use, and it’s easy to disengage when it’s time to fold up. The chair is sturdily constructed, and will keep pace with your child’s needs. It’s built to last and should stay in excellent working order for years. It’s low enough to the ground so that children can easily get on and off without a problem. The chair is available in three colors: blue, red and pink.
– Lightweight and durable
– Locking mechanism to keep chair securely open
– Cup holder
– Scratch-resistant coating
– Easy to clean
– Included carrying bag for easy transportation.
– No pocket.
Best Beach Lounge Chair Types
There’s a lot of features to consider when choosing the best portable beach chair. Indeed, the chair that you select will likely be determined by your needs, as a variety of chairs on the market are available to suit differing requirements. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the popular types available and help you decide which type is right for you.
First on the list is the classic sand chair. Designed to be sturdy, compact and easy to operate on sand, these stable chairs are perfect for the beach. These are ideal when portability and ease of use are paramount, as they are very easy to transport to and from the beach. Select this model when you want a comfortable but no-nonsense beach chair.
The chaise lounge chair, on the other hand, is a lounger that is more designed for comfort over anything else. They tend to be heavier and trickier to move around and give the added benefit of being much more comfortable to use. Relaxation is the key with these lounge chairs, so look for a model with comfortable padding and contouring.
Backpack chairs, as the name implies, are those which fold easily and can be carried via shoulder straps much like a backpack. They are ideal for when portability is a key factor, as they are very easy to transport to and from the beach. Backpack chairs are usually very comfortable and durable, yet lightweight.
When looking for a suitable chair for a child, toddler beach chairs are usually a great investment. Small, light, and constructed to be low to the ground for easy access/egress, a baby beach chair is just the ticket to allow a child to relax comfortably. They are durably constructed and usually incorporate latches to ensure that the chair doesn’t accidentally close.
Hi-boy beach chairs feature long backs for extra support. Perfect for tall or large individuals, they will ensure that most of the body length is adequately supported for comfort. They are usually lightweight and easy to transport, despite the extra length. Foldable for easy storage, hi-boy beach chairs are the ideal solution for tall people to relax comfortably on the beach.
Zero gravity beach chairs, on the other hand, are designed to support the entire length of the body. Slightly longer than most chairs, and as a result slightly heavier, they are nonetheless constructed of lightweight yet durable materials that can usually support weights of up to 300lbs. They are total-body loungers that simulate “zero gravity” by taking the full weight off of your feet.
Portable Best Beach Chair Features
Although beach chairs come in all shapes and sizes, there are certain features that can set models apart. These include:
– Cup holders. Better chairs will come equipped with cup holders to let you relax in style. After all, there’s no better way to stay hydrated on the beach than by having a drink easily accessible.
– Padded chairs. Some chairs will be more spartan than others, so look for a chair that has comfortable enough padding.
– Canopy chairs. Some chairs come equipped with canopies to help keep the sun off of your head. As well, canopies will usually have pockets for storage and the canopy itself will do double-duty as a tote bag.
– Folding beach chairs. Ideally, the chair should be able to fold up for easy storage and transportation.
– Footrest. For extra comfort, some beach chairs feature footrests. These not only increase the overall relaxation level but provide needed support to the feet.
– Headrest. Similar to footrests, a headrest can not only increase comfort but can help to support the head.
– Multiple recline positions. Many folding beach chairs have the ability to be set into different positions, so you can choose the level of recline that suits your comfort level .
Best Beach Chair Materials
Beach chairs are manufactured from a variety of materials, including:
– Aluminum. By far the most commonly-used material for beach chair construction, aluminum frames are both lightweight and durable. Despite being robust by nature, aluminum is also susceptible to damage if not handled properly.
– Wood. Wooden beach chairs evoke a classical beauty, as for generations chairs have been made out of wood. It has the advantage of not absorbing solar heat the way aluminum does, although the drawback is that they are usually much heavier.
– Plastic. Beach chairs constructed of plastic are very lightweight and extremely portable. However, that lightness comes at a cost of durability, as plastic beach chairs are not as strong as their wooden or aluminum cousins.
– Checkered gingham. When looking at the materials used over the frame, checkered gingham is a very classic style. It’s frequently woven over an aluminum frame to provide heavy-duty support. Having said that, the material is not as comfortable against bare skin as others.
– Nylon. Inflatable chairs are usually constructed out of heavy-duty nylon, and most are designed to resist rips and tears. Nylon also makes for a very lightweight material. The main downside of nylon is that it can easily be heated by the sun’s rays.
Beach Chair FAQ
Question: What kind of chair should I choose?
Answer: It depends on your needs. Regular beach chairs are the easiest and quickest to set up. However, if you want more comfort, a heavier lounge chair might be for you.
Question: How much weight will a beach chair support?
Answer: The weight limit will vary but most chairs are designed to support weights of up to 300lbs.
Question: What material is the most comfortable?
Answer: In most cases, polyester is the fabric of choice. It’s heavy-duty yet can be contoured to the body. As well, it won’t absorb as much heat as other materials. This is also true for the best beach tents.
Question: Do all beach chairs come with drink holders?
Answer: No. While the vast majority do, and some can even offer up to four, not all models feature drink holders.
Question: What’s the most portable type of chair?
Answer: Inflatable chairs are easy to carry around and store. They usually don’t require a pump; simply walk around with it and it will automatically inflate.
Question: What’s a good chair type for kids?
Answer: While there are many kid’s models available on the market, those with canopies help also keep the sun off. In any case, look for a chair with safety features such as security clips and stable feet.
Question: Which type of chair is better for large people?
Answer: There are a variety of chairs that cater to oversized individuals, including some that hold up to 500lbs of weight. Consider your size needs and try to select a chair that fits your features.
Ultimately, the best beach chairs are the ones that you find the most comfortable, as well as the one that most fits with your lifestyle. With a wide array of shapes and sizes to choose from, from modern folding chairs to lounge, oversize and kid’s beach chairs, there is more than enough selection to make an informed choice.