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Best Overall: Tommy Bahama Hula Marlin Beach Chair at Amazon
"Beloved by reviewers for the fact that it’s both lightweight and extremely sturdy."
Best Budget: Coleman Utopia Breeze Beach Sling Chair at Walmart
"The seat is made of heavy-duty fabric, so this chair will last for many visits to the beach."
Best with Canopy: Quik Shade Adjustable Canopy Chair at Amazon
"Its canopy can be raised, lowered, or tilted to block the sun from any angle."
Best for Bad Backs: STRONGBACK Camping Chair with Lumbar Support at Amazon
"Features integrated lumbar support in the form of a contoured back shape that helps good posture."
Best Oversized: Coleman Big-N-Tall Quad Chair at Amazon
"Buyers of all sizes appreciate the additional space and 600-pound weight capacity."
Best for Kids: L.L. Bean Kids' Base Camp Chair at L.L. Bean
"Has a steel frame and triple-reinforced corners, so the chair won't tip over."
Best for Babies: Hiccapop Omniboost Travel Booster Seat at Amazon
"Features duck feet and a three-point safety harness to ensure stability in the sand."
Most Versatile: Fretree Inflatable Lounger at Amazon
"Lie back for a horizontal tanning session or use it as a beach couch with your friends and family."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Tommy Bahama Hula Marlin Beach Chair
The Tommy Bahama Hula Marlin Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair is beloved by reviewers for the fact that it’s both lightweight and extremely sturdy. With a rust-proof aluminum frame and 600D polyester fabric, it’s built to last and has a 300-pound weight capacity. It also looks great, with a variety of tropical colors and patterns to choose from, including solid orange and blue, as well as pineapple, windsurfer, and palm frond prints. Rest your head on the built-in adjustable pillow and decide which of the five reclining positions best suits your relaxation requirements.
This product is also packed with handy extras. On the back of the chair, you’ll find two large storage compartments, one of which is fully insulated to keep your drinks cool. The molded armrest includes a hanging cup holder and smartphone holder; while the folding towel bar on the back lets your towel dry while you take time out from swimming in the sea. At the end of the day, the chair folds away into an easy-to-carry backpack complete with padded shoulder straps and a rubber carry handle.
Best Budget: Coleman Utopia Breeze Beach Sling Chair
The Coleman Utopia Breeze Sling Chair is an affordable beach chair that doesn't skimp on features, making it a great option for beachgoers on a budget. It comes with a cup holder and a rear pocket to store a towel, book, or snacks in. This high-quality chair has a powder-coated steel frame and can hold up to 250 pounds. The 21-inch seat is low to the ground so you can have your feet in the sand or water while reclining. It's also easy to carry thanks to a lightweight, foldable design that only weighs 5.3 pounds and comes with a carrying bag. Reviewers noted that the carry bag and seat are made of heavy-duty fabric and loved that this chair lasted for many visits to the beach.
Best with Canopy: Quik Shade Adjustable Canopy Chair
Available in blue or green, the Quik Shade Adjustable Canopy Chair is the perfect choice for those with sensitive skin. It’s also ideal for reducing glare, so you can read your smartphone screen, and helps in the fight against skin damage and aging. The patented canopy can be raised, lowered, or tilted to either side to block the sun from any angle. When you want to catch a few rays, it can also be folded down and out of the way behind the chair.
Other handy features include two cup holders and a hanging mesh storage pouch for your must-have accessories. The durable powder-coated steel frame is capable of supporting up to 225 pounds, while the 600D polyester fabric is both water- and stain-resistant. When you’re finished at the beach, simply fold the chair away and sling it over your shoulder using the nylon carry strap.
Best for Bad Backs: STRONGBACK Camping Chair with Lumbar Support
The STRONGBACK Elite Folding Camping Chair receives glowing reviews from users with recurring back problems, as well as those recovering from back surgery. Its award-winning, patented design features integrated lumbar support in the form of a contoured back shape that encourages good posture, making it possible to sit for hours without becoming uncomfortable. The ergonomic seat also helps to properly align your hips and back, thereby easing tension.
The chair itself is great quality, with a heavy-duty coated steel frame and tear-resistant polyester fabric. The padded armrests include a built-in cup holder, while the fold-away design slides into a backpack-style carry case with double straps for comfortable transportation. Choose from four smart color combos, including navy/gray, lime/gray, black/gray and camo. The chair is rated for up to 300 pounds.
Best Oversized: Coleman Big-N-Tall Quad Chair
With a sturdy steel frame and extra large feet, the Coleman Big-N-Tall Quad Chair has a weight capacity of 600 pounds. It’s the perfect solution for bigger beachgoers who find regular chairs too flimsy; although buyers of all sizes appreciate the additional space provided by the oversized seat. The chair is also amazingly comfortable, thanks to a fully cushioned seat and back.
Keep your beer in the insulated cup holder and your cell phone in the armrest’s water-resistant media sleeve. The latter also features a touch-compatible clear PVC window, so you can operate your phone without taking it out. A clever Seat Drain system allows standing water to empty from the seat if it rains or if you decide to rinse the chair after a day at the beach.
Best for Kids: L.L. Bean Kids' Base Camp Chair
Kids will love to relax into this camp chair from L.L. Bean after they've spent so much time running around. The seat is specialized to fit their small bodies, and it only weighs 4 pounds so kids will be able to transport it to and from the car themselves. The backrest is made of mesh to allow for ventilation and dries quickly. It also comes with a cup holder and folds away into its matching storage bag. Plus, the steel frame and triple-reinforced corners ensure this chair will last for a long time and won't tip over when your kiddo is sitting.
Best for Babies: Hiccapop Omniboost Travel Booster Seat
If you'd like for your little one to have their own chair at the beach, then Omniboost Travel Booster Seat from Hiccapop is a great option. This booster seat is suitable for children between 6 months and 3 years old and can hold up to 250 pounds. It has a wide frame, removable duck feet, and a three-point safety harness to ensure stability in the sand. The Omniboost also comes with a removable BPA-free tray and liner so any messes can be easily cleaned up when you get home. It folds compactly and comes with a carrying case. For an added bonus, reviewers commented that the company was quick to responding to questions and was very helpful overall.
Most Versatile: Fretree Inflatable Lounger
Those looking for something out of the ordinary will love the Fretree Inflatable Lounger. Made from ripstop nylon fabric, it’s not your average beach chair, but it’s eminently comfortable and can be used for several different purposes. Lie back for a horizontal tanning session or use it as a beach couch for quality moments with your family or friends. The lounger also floats, allowing you to move the party from the beach to the water.
The lounger inflates with a few swoops through the air, no pump required. It supports up to 400 pounds and features elastic anchor loops for staking it down in high winds. On the side, you’ll find large pockets for storing your books, snacks or drinks. Despite its large size, the lounger is amazingly portable. It weighs just three pounds and packs away into a 14 x 9 x 4-inch carry bag with its own shoulder strap. Choose from three stylish colors.
How We Tested
We bought two top-rated beach chairs that our reviewer tested for more than 20 hours over the course of two weeks. We asked our tester to consider the most important features when using these beach chairs, from their design to their extra features. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Beach Chair
Portability Lugging around old-school beach chairs is no joke: They’re heavy and often pretty awkward to carry, with a conspicuous lack of straps or handles. Nowadays, beach chairs are designed with portability in mind. Some come with nylon should carry straps and others fold handily up into a backpack that keeps your hands free for coolers and toys.
Price Cost-per-use is a great guide when it comes to evaluating how much you should spend on a beach chair. If heading out to the sand is your norm during the summer, spring for one that might be a bit more expensive but could have features that make up for it. If this purchase is more for a one-off vacation, our budget pick is great for ensuring you still have money to spend on other fun parts of your vacation.
Extras Depending on which chair you ultimately go for, it might just boast an extra feature or two that sets it apart from the crowd. The Tommy Bahama Cooler Chair, for example, has an insulated compartment to keep drinks cool, as well as a towel bar for after that dip in the ocean. Be sure to pay attention to these handy—and ultra-convenient—features.