We Tested 26 Beach Chairs—These Are the Best of 2022

Rio Beach's Big Boy Backpack Chair topped our list

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

TRIPSAVVY-best-beach-chairs

Chloe Jeong / TripSavvy

TripSavvy's Picks

Rio Beach's Big Boy Backpack Chair is our best overall beach chair recommendation, thanks to its lightness, comfort, practicality, and ability to transport it as a backpack. If you're looking for a budget option, we recommend the Coleman Beach Ground Mat, which is basically a mat with a backrest but offers other beneficial features.

Whether you’re lounging on a pristine beach in Hawaii or visiting one of the best black sand beaches in the world, a beach chair is essential to a day on the shore. They keep you off the sand and are perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, and reclining. While some luxury beach resorts provide all you need to relax during a day at the beach, public beaches call for a bring-your-own approach. We rounded up and tested the top options to help you get ready to hit the sand.

Here are the best beach chairs available.

Best Overall: RIO BEACH Big Boy 4-Position 13" High Seat Backpack Beach or Camping Folding Chair

4.8
Rio Folding Beach Chair

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
What We Like
  • Backpack straps are comfortable and distribute the weight well

  • Super comfortable with four different reclining positions, headrest, and armrests

  • Nice touches with a cup holder and rear storage pouch

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly difficult to open the first time

The Rio Beach Chair just looks like the classic beach chair. It also performed very well in our testing. In particular, our testers liked the backpack straps, which were comfortable and evenly distributed the chair's weight. The four different recline positions were a hit, as was the ergonomic headrest pillow. After a long time sitting in the chair, the testers also found it comfortable. They also liked that the chair's material was easy to wipe down and clean.

We dig the cup holder, armrests, rear storage pocket, and the extra-wide frame. We also like that this chair sits about a foot off the ground, making it comfy for the reclining positions but not so low that it's super difficult to get in and out of. "It's on the pricier side for a beach chair, but it seems to be a good investment if you're looking for something that'll last long term," a tester concluded.

Size: 35 x 27 x 34 inches | Seat Height: 11 inches | Capacity: 300 pounds | Weight: 11.3 pounds

Rio Beach Chair

TripSavvy / Nina Ruggiero

Best Budget: Coleman Utopia Breeze Beach Ground Mat

4.2
Coleman Utopia Breeze Beach Mat

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Portability
    4/5
  • Comfort
    3/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
What We Like
  • Very lightweight and easy to carry

  • Straightforward design

  • Good durability

What We Don't Like
  • Mat is thin (not much more than a towel)

  • Skinny width

To be upfront from the get-go, as the name suggests, this is a ground mat. It rests on the ground and isn't much more than a glorified towel. That said, if you're looking for a budget option and don't mind sitting at ground level, this is a good option. First, it's super lightweight and easy to carry. (Although, it doesn't come with backpack straps.) It's also straightforward to use in unpacking, setting it to recline, and packing it back up. It also seems incredibly durable.

Besides the fact it rests only on the ground, the other issue we have with the Coleman Utopia Breeze is its skinny width. But, for its cost, this is a solid option for smaller adults, children, or someone who goes to the beach mainly to play and wants something a bit more burly than a towel for resting.

Size: 16 x 11 x 11 inches | Seat Height: Ground | Capacity: N/A | Weight: 5 pounds

Coleman Utopia Breeze Beach Ground Mat

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

Best Value: Homevative Folding Backpack Beach Chair

4.9
Homevative Folding Backpack Chair

Walmart

Our Ratings
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • Full recline

  • Backpack straps and lightness make for easy transport and maneuverability

  • Cool features like a mesh drink pocket, headrest, and covered pocket

What We Don't Like
  • Nothing yet

This chair was an absolute hit among our testers. "It's one of the best (beach chairs) I've ever used," glowed one tester who grew up near the beach in Florida. "It's very easy to carry with the backpack-like straps, the legs glide in and out, and you can recline all the way back."

Our testers also loved the headrest, mesh drink pocket, and covered pocket for items like a cell phone. Bonus: this chair comes with a plastic gadget holder. "I looped my hat's drawstring onto it when I wasn't using it so it wouldn't blow away," one tester noted. The weight distributes evenly with the two backpack straps, allowing our testers to use their hands to tote other items. "It's a little pricey but well worth the investment for an easily transportable and maneuverable chair with some nice extras," concluded a tester.

Size: 32 x 19 x 17 inches | Seat Height: 12 inches | Capacity: N/A | Weight: 8 pounds

Homevative Beach Chair

TripSavvy / Ivy Ford

Best Portability: Pacific Breeze Lounger

4.7
Pacific Breeze Lounger

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Comfort
    4.5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
What We Like
  • Super comfy and easy to carry

  • Has a padded bottom so even though you're on the ground, you still get some additional comfort

  • Relatively inexpensive in the two-pack

What We Don't Like
  • It's a mat, so have to be OK on the ground

Beach chairs keep getting better. We’re seeing more styles designed for maximum comfort and portability. The Pacific Breeze Lounger is one of those offering a fresh take on the traditional beach chair. The idea behind the lounger's design is a perfect one. Basically, it’s an attempt to wed the comfort of a chaise lounge with the portability of a backpack. It’s an ambitious design goal, and Pacific Breeze has done well here. The pared-down simplicity of the lounger makes it seem like a beach chair for people who don't like beach chairs. In other words, it’s a massive upgrade over just lying on the sand with your towel. 

We loved the portability of this chair. In particular, we found the backpack-style straps to be an excellent feature. They weren't the most comfortable straps in the world, but they were still a cool feature to carry and free up both hands (and not worry about a shoulder strap sliding off while huffing all your other beach stuff). It was also very lightweight. There was a bit of a learning curve to getting the backpack straps off the chair to unfold it (and then folding it back up). But after the quick learning curve, it was fine.

We are big fans of taking in a juicy beach read while sunbathing, and this lounge is perfect for that. The side straps can be tightened or loosened to adjust the angle of the backrest. You can even recline the lounger to the flat position when it’s time for a post-swim cat nap. The Pacific Breeze Lounger 2 Pack gets our vote for comfort and portability. We like the extra cushiony feel and the backpack straps.

Size: 75 x 21 x 27.5 inches | Seat Height: Ground | Capacity: N/A | Weight: 6 pounds

Pacific Breeze Lounger

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

Best Backpack: Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair

4.8
Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
What We Like
  • Extra width makes it roomier and a bit more comfortable than competitors

  • Attached pillow and bar for hanging a towel

  • Cooler pouch for holding beverages

What We Don't Like
  • Opening and closing the chair is not as intuitive as we'd expect

Tommy Bahama’s Marlin Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair is a customer favorite for comfort—and the backpack features make it easy to stay relaxed wherever you go. The chair’s low-slung design and aluminum frame feel classic, but it has a few features that keep it modern. These include the padded headrest, cup holder, towel holder, and side pocket.

It wouldn’t be the Tommy Bahama brand without being able to create Margaritaville on the go. So, a cooler pouch on the back of the chair helps keep drinks cool. Of course, the lightweight, compact chair folds up easily into a backpack and has included carrying straps.

Out of the box, the first thing we noticed about the Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair was its size. An extra 2.5 inches in width makes it noticeably roomier and more comfortable than other versions of the chair we’ve used before on countless beach trips. The extra-wide seat is just one of the many new features that set this chair apart from similar models. The chair still boasts the standard features we’ve come to love, like an armrest drink holder that keeps beverages within reach and safely above sand level. It also offers an attached pillow and a bar where you can hang your towel.

On the back of the chair are two storage pockets. We found the top pocket was perfect for storing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sarong, but it wasn’t big enough for a towel or beach blanket. Meanwhile, our drinks stayed nice and cold, thanks to the insulated cooler pocket below. We honestly feel like the cooler pocket is the best invention. It’s just big enough to fit a few drinks and snacks. On a recent beach outing, we threw in a small freezer block, and it worked like a charm, keeping everything extra chill for about three hours.

Bottom line: The Tommy Bahama Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair is a seat above the rest. For comfort and convenience, it can’t be beaten. It’s compact and easy to carry and boasts features like a cooler pouch for cold beverages, a cup holder, and more.

Size: 24 x 32 x 28 inches | Seat Height: Not listed | Capacity: 300 pounds | Weight: 8 pounds

Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair

TripSavvy / Karen Chen

Best Splurge: Ostrich Deluxe Padded Sport 3-in-1 Aluminum Beach Chair

4.7
Ostrich Deluxe Beach Chair

Ostrich Chairs

Our Ratings
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
What We Like
  • Lightweight even with all the features

  • Cupholder, side pockets, back pillow, footrest

  • Easy to transport

What We Don't Like
  • Side pocket does not fold into chair when carrying

  • Footrests hit more at the calf for taller users

Our testers were impressed by the lightness of the Ostrich Deluxe Chair despite all its features. It has a footrest, cupholder, side pockets, adjustable back pillow, and wide frame. Yet it still weighs less than 10 pounds and is "surprisingly easy to carry around," our testers noted. "I walked a decent distance to, from, and across the beach and was able to easily carry a water bottle or phone in the other hand," a tester said.

Even though this chair does not have backpack straps like others on the list, our testers were pleased with the single padded strap when appropriately positioned. Our testers reported it was easy to set up and relatively easy to fold back up after use. The five reclining positions were smooth, easy to navigate, and boosted comfort.

Our testers also enjoyed the wide armrests, the cup holder that rotates under the armrest when not in use, the simple and sturdy side pockets for holding items like phones and sunscreen, and the hole for your face when lying in the prone position.

Size: 61 x 28 x 40 inches | Seat Height: 12 inches | Capacity: 275 pounds | Weight: 9.5 pounds

Ostrich Deluxe Beach Chair

TripSavvy / Elizabeth Leonard

Best for Kids: Baby Delight Go With Me Venture Chair

4.2
Baby Delight Go With Me Venture Chair

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    3/5
  • Comfort
    4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
What We Like
  • Works for kids from three months old to 75 pounds

  • Could double as a travel chair

  • Snack tray and shade shield are nice touches

What We Don't Like
  • Shade shield was difficult to fold up

  • Snack tray was also difficult to take on and off

This kids-focused chair is suitable for children from three months old up to 75 pounds. It features a five-point harness system to keep your kiddo secure. And the chair converts into three different settings to grow with your child, so you should be able to use it for years. Bonus: This chair could easily serve as a travel chair or even an at-home chair in addition to taking it to the beach.

Our tester found the chair easy to open and close but had trouble getting the shade shield to fold up and the snack tray on and off. But our tester's son did enjoy the chair and sat in it peacefully for half an hour, thanks to the snack tray. "It's on the pricey side for a kid's chair, but the added snack tray and shade are great perks," our tester noted. "Loved the snack tray, even though it was a bit hard to get on and off. Will use this with my son at the beach or on camping trips for years to come."

Size: 23 x 23 x 24.5 inches | Seat Height: Not listed | Capacity: Three months to 75 pounds | Weight: 6.2 pounds

Baby Delight Go With Me Chair

TripSavvy / Cassie Aulie

Most Supportive: Ostrich On Your Back Beach Chair

4.6
Ostrich On Your Back Beach Chair

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Portability
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Comfort
    4.5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
What We Like
  • Backpack straps helped distribute weight and were padded and easy to adjust

  • Very supportive and comfortable

  • Headrest boosted comfort and is a nice touch

What We Don't Like
  • A bit heavy

  • Struggled a bit to get it to lay flat

Another fully reclining option with a face hole for a prone position is the Ostrich On Your Back Beach Chair. While a bit heavy at just under 11 pounds, our testers liked the backpack straps, which are wide enough to distribute weight comfortably, are well cushioned, and are easy to adjust. And while our testers struggled to get the chair to lay totally flat initially, it was pretty easy to recreate once they got the hang of it.

Our testers loved how roomy and supportive the chair was. "The headrest was the perfect width for my neck and also felt plush whiles still holding my head up properly," a tester noted. A cup holder is a nice addition, but our tester noted their drink tipped over and spilled while lying facedown.

"It was significantly more comfortable than other beach chairs I've used," our tester concluded. "It's wide and tall, the headrest is perfect when you're on your back, and the arm slots are a great touch. The backpack straps were also comfy. However, if you're looking for something that is absolutely perfect for lying on your stomach, this may fall short for you because of the lack of leg support. I considered using a rolled-up towel to lift mine up a bit."

Size: 46 x 9 x 27 inches | Seat Height: 12 inches | Capacity: 275 pounds | Weight: 10.6 pounds

Best Compact: KingCamp Low-Sling Beach Chair

4.6
KingCamp Low Sling Chair

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Comfort
    4/5
  • Durability
    4/5
  • Value
    5/5
What We Like
  • Very easy set up and take down

  • Mesh back insert helps for cooling

  • Some nice additional features like a cupholder

What We Don't Like
  • Could use a recline feature

The KingCamp Low Sling Beach Chair keeps a low profile, but it includes many of the top-of-class features of beach chairs. The chair is designed with durable fabric with a mesh insert to help you—and it—dry quickly after you return from a swim. The chair is available in two back heights: 25 inches and 33 inches. The x-style frame folds up quickly and is easily tucked into the included carrying case. The heavy-duty steel frame supports sitters up to 300 pounds.

Our testers reported that this chair was super easy to tote around, set up, and take down. "The mesh back insert is nice to keep my back from sweating and feel a breeze," one tester said. "I also enjoyed the cupholder, so I didn't get sand all over my thermos." The sidebars are curved to utilize as padded armrests for a more relaxed position. While our testers liked being able to stretch their legs thanks to the lowness of the chair's seat, they did wish it had a recline feature. This is a solid chair for anyone looking to purchase for portability and compactness.

Size: 23 x 23 x 35 inches | Seat Height: Not listed | Capacity: 300 pounds | Weight: 6.6 pounds

KingCamp Low-Sling Beach Chair

TripSavvy / Megan Rogers

Most Durable: Life is Good Beach Chair

4.4
Life is Good Beach Chair

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Portability
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    3/5
What We Like
  • Good chair height

  • Comfy headrest and armrests

  • Nice additional features like cupholder and clip-on storage pouches

What We Don't Like
  • A bit wide when carried as a backpack

This lightweight backpack chair impressed our testers with its durability. "It's a straightforward chair with quality material," one tester succinctly put it. Our testers liked the backpack straps for freeing up hands to carry other gear but noted it was difficult to move between cars in the parking lot because of the wideness of the chair. Of course, that wideness helps the chair's comfort once it's in use.

Our testers also liked the head cushion and that you can extend the chair to rest nearly horizontal for sunbathing and tanning. "I can't imagine this thing wearing down too much," one tester said about the chair's durability. "The framing, hard plastic armrests, and fabric are all quality and sturdy. There aren't any unnecessary hinges or gimmicks that might wear down easily."

This chair is on the pricier side compared to others on the list. But it's a quality chair that should last for many years.

Size: 26 x 29 x 33 inches | Seat Height: Not listed | Capacity: Not listed | Weight: 12 pounds

Life is Good Beach Chair
Cameron Silva.

Other Beach Chairs We Tested

In total, we tested 26 beach chairs. Here are the other chairs we tested but did not list above.

Sport-Brella Beach Chair with Umbrella: Our testers were not impressed with this chair and were concerned by the thinness of the umbrella's materials. It might be worth taking a look if you're looking for an umbrella chair, but you might also look for a different umbrella chair.

Rio Wave Beach Folding Chair: This is your minimalist folding beach chair. And by that, we mean minimalist—this chair doesn't have bells and whistles like cupholders, headrests, storage pouches, or even a carrying strap. Our testers still recommended it for the simplistic beachgoer that doesn't care about the frills.

Mac Sports Foldable Beach Chair and Wagon: This is a solid option for anyone looking to combine a chair and beach wagon. The convertible chair and wagon impressed our testers with how comfortable it was and easy to push and pull across the sand.

Kids Only Beach Baby Umbrella Chair: Our testers thought this baby chair was fine. However, better options were available as they struggled to open and close the chair and questioned its structural integrity.

Picnic Time Oniva Sports Chair: This chair, which comes with a side table, could be a good option if you want to combine a beach chair with a camping or park chair. Our tester liked it better for watching their kid's soccer games than at the beach.

Quik Shade Beach Recliner Shade Chair: A solid option if you're looking for a canopy chair. Our testers liked it quite a bit and enjoyed its comfort and functionality.

GCI Outdoors Waterside SunShade Backpack Beach Chair: Our testers thought this chair was too clunky, bulky, and difficult to use. It was durable, they reported, but not at all comfortable.

Wekapo Inflatable Lounger: This is an excellent option if you're looking for an inflatable lounger. It packs to a small size, weighs just 2 pounds, and can hold up to 650 pounds. It takes inflating, but our testers liked it a lot once inflated.

Sunflow Chair: It took our testers three times through the instructional video to figure out how to set up this chair. Once it was set up, they reported it being comfortable. Just know that there could be a learning curve.

Kijaro Coast Folding Beach Sling Chair: This is another excellent lower-cost chair. Our testers enjoyed it quite a bit, especially its comfort and the double cupholders.

Nice C Low Beach Camping Chair: Testers liked everything about this chair, except that the plastic stopper on the drawstring of the carrying case broke on the first use.

Coleman Utopia Breeze Camping Chair: Two things held this chair back: its weight and lack of comfort. Our testers liked the durability and functionality but were not fond of the heft.

Lightspeed Outdoors Reclining Beach Chair: This is an excellent option that our testers liked quite a bit. They just enjoyed a few other tested options better. But this is a very solid beach chair option with a cool pattern.

Strongback Low Gravity: If you're looking for a chair to double for fishing and camping, this could be a good pick. Our testers saw it more primed for those activities than beach lounging.

Product Selection

To select products for testing, we conducted internet research and drew upon the knowledge of our testing team, editors, and writers. For the internet research, we looked at what products other prominent publications have featured and customer reviews on major retail sites like Amazon and Walmart. We looked for products that had thousands of stellar reviews.

When narrowing the list of products to test, we emphasized having a variety of beach chairs at different price points that would serve different types of people and have different styles.

How We Tested

Once the products were selected, we sent beach chairs to Dotdash Meredith editors, writers, and testing team members that live near beaches. Each chair was tested and rated on a five-point scale for the following attributes: portability, ease of use, comfort, durability, and value.

Testers spend weeks taking the chairs to their local beaches. For portability, we asked testers to carry the beach chairs to and from the beach and walk them around. We then requested testers to sit in the chair for at least half an hour at the beach, sit aggressively, and move around quite a bit in the chairs to test durability.

What to Look for in a Beach Chair

Portability

Most beach chairs can be folded easily, but some are more portable due to lightweight materials or added features, such as backpack straps. Movability is a critical factor if you’re planning to carry these chairs with you to the shore.

Capacity

Beach chairs have recommended seating capacity—for example, one person—and weight recommendations. Be sure to find a chair that best suits your needs.

Height

How high off the sand would you like to sit? Beach chairs 9 to 12 inches above the sand will be easier to get in and out of. They may also provide better views. Chairs that are 8 inches or lower will make it easier to stretch out and sunbathe.

Material

Beach chair frames are often made of aluminum, wood, steel, or recycled plastic. Each of these materials is reasonably lightweight and weather- and rust-resistant. For the chair seat and back, look for water- and mildew-resistant materials and fade-proof fabrics such as polyester.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Should a beach chair come with sun protection?

    This is a matter of personal preference. Beach chairs are available with sun canopies. However, you can also opt for a chair without sun protection and purchase a beach umbrella or beach tent instead.

  • How do I clean mold from a beach chair?

    Your beach chair should have mold- and mildew-resistant material. However, these are inevitable if you regularly use your beach chair. You can easily clean the chair using white vinegar or a water solution and white vinegar. Allow the solution to sit for a while before washing or wiping it off.

  • How do I clean rust from a beach chair?

    Metal chairs that are continuously exposed to salty sea air are likely to rust. Vinegar is a go-to cleaner here, too. You can also use lime juice to remove light rust on the chair. If the rust is more severe, you may need to apply a new layer of rust-resistant paint to prevent further degradation and protect the chair in the future.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Nathan Allen is TripSavvy's Outdoor Gear Editor. He is based near the coast in southern California's Ventura County and frequents the beach often for paddleboarding, surfing, birdwatching, beach volleyball, and relaxing. Nathan helped test products for this roundup and is currently digging the Pacific Breeze Lounger.

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