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Best Overall: Tommy Bahama Hula Marlin Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair at Tommy Bahama, "With a rust-proof aluminum frame and 600D polyester fabric, it’s built to last and has a 300-pound weight capacity."
Best Lounger: Pacific Breeze Lounger at Amazon, "Fully padded, with an adjustable steel-framed backrest that allows you to sit up in comfort or recline all the way back for optimum tanning or napping purposes."
Best Budget: Aloha Rio Sand Chair at Amazon, "Despite the chair’s low price-tag, it’s also surprisingly good quality, boasting a powder-coated steel frame and 300D polyester fabric."
Most Versatile: Chillbo Baggins 2.0 Inflatable Lounger at Amazon, "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."
Best with Canopy: Quik Shade Canopy Chair at Amazon, "The patented canopy can be raised, lowered or tilted to either side to block the sun from any angle."
Best for Bad Backs: STRONGBACK Elite Folding at Amazon, "Its award-winning, patented design features integrated lumbar support in the form of a contoured back shape."
Best Oversized: Coleman Big-N-Tall Quad at Amazon, "Perfect solution for bigger beachgoers who find regular chairs too flimsy; although buyers of all sizes appreciate the additional space."
Best for Kids: Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch at Amazon, "Octopus design appeals to little beachgoers, while the durable fabric and sturdy metal frame ensure longevity."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Tommy Bahama Hula Marlin Deluxe Backpack 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 Lounger: Pacific Breeze Lounger Two-Pack
If lying flat is a priority, consider branching out from traditional beach chair styles and investing in the Pacific Breeze Lounger Two-Pack instead. Both loungers are fully padded, with an adjustable steel-framed backrest that allows you to sit up in comfort or recline all the way back for optimum tanning or napping purposes. On the back of each lounger, you’ll find a large zippered pocket for storing your personal items (helping to keep them sand-free). As an added bonus, integrated backpack straps make carrying the chairs to and from the beach a breeze. This product comes in summery bright blue with a lime green border.
Best Budget: Aloha Rio Sand Chair
The Aloha Rio Sand Chair is a no-frills option ideal for those on a budget (or those that need to buy in bulk for multiple family members!). However, despite the chair’s low price-tag, it’s also surprisingly good quality, boasting a powder-coated steel frame and 300D polyester fabric.
The chair is easy to carry, thanks to a lightweight, foldable design which allows it to lay flat. The downside is this product’s maximum weight capacity of just 190 pounds. Reviewers confirm that the chair breaks easily under greater strain, making it unsuitable for heavier customers. It's available in seven different colors including blue, red, and multi-colored stripes.
Most Versatile: Chillbo Baggins 2.0 Inflatable Lounger
Those looking for something out of the ordinary will love the Chillbo Baggins 2.0 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 13” x 7” x 3.5” carry bag with its own shoulder strap. Choose from 12 pop culture-inspired colors and patterns.
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 Elite Folding 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: Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Folding Beach Chair for Kids
Although we can’t guarantee it’ll get them to sit still, kids will love the Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Folding Beach Chair. Its brightly colored octopus design appeals to little beachgoers, while the durable fabric and sturdy metal frame ensure longevity (and safety, an essential ingredient for seaside fun). The chair also features a handy cup holder and folds away into its own matching storage bag. Padded feet protect your floors, so that your child can recreate their time at the beach in the comfort of your home. The manufacturer recommends the chair for children aged five to five years old.
Products We Tested
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.
Test Results: Tommy Bahama Hula Marlin Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair (Best Overall)
What We Like
Easy to carry and use
Two pouches, including an insulated cooler
What We Don't Like
Storage pockets aren’t roomy enough for towels or a beach blanket
Higher price point than other beach chairs
“The chair is easy to carry, very comfortable to sit in, and has a lot of convenient features like a cooler pouch and drink holder,” our tester said of this Tommy Bahama beach chair. In terms of negatives, our reviewer wished the storage pockets were a little bigger and also thought that “the flat recline position isn't comfortable since there is no leg rest.” Still, our tester recommended it as a durable, compact option and even called it “the best beach chair around.”
Test Results: Pacific Breeze Lounger Two-Pack (Best Lounger)
What We Like
Easy to carry
Great for sunbathing
What We Don't Like
Moderate learning curve for mastering folding
Our tester loved that this chair “offers the comfort of a chaise lounge that you can carry like a backpack.” The negatives? Our reviewer wished for larger storage pockets and also said that folding it up takes some practice. Overall, though, it won her over with comfort and portability. “This lounger is easy to carry on your back, packs down well to load in the car, and is very comfortable to lounge on at the beach or when camping,” our tester revealed. “The padding is nice and thick and the covering is durable.”