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There’s nothing quite like a relaxing day on the beach, but there’s nothing serene about getting sand, well, everywhere. To keep yourself a little cleaner and a little more comfortable on your day off, you’ll need a quality beach chair. These lightweight outdoor chairs give you a little lift up and offer both back and head support, plus often come with handy extras like cup holders, pockets, and even a place to safely stash your phone or e-reader. Ready for some fun in the sun?
Here, the best beach chairs available online.
Best Overall: RIO Beach 4-Position Lace-Up Backpack Folding Beach Chair
There’s no doubt about it: The best beach chair is one that marries both form and function, and this one by RIO doesn’t disappoint. At just eight pounds, the lightweight and rust-proof aluminum frame is far easier to carry than most other beach chairs that tip the scales somewhere between 15 and 20 pounds. The chair also has a very practical flexible suspension design meant to conform to your body to offer the very best in support. Both of these features alone make the chair a great option for anyone, but particularly older adults who can’t lug a hefty chair, but require more support than your standard chair offers.
There are plenty of additional comfort features here, too. The chair has a four-position recline, as well as an adjustable pillow. What’s more, you’ll find a large storage pouch on the back for all of your essentials, plus a cup holder to keep your beverage of choice handy and free from sand. There’s no need to worry about portability, either. When folded, the chair features padded, adjustable straps to make backpack-style transport a breeze.
Best Budget: Caribbean Joe Folding Beach Chair
One seating position
If budget is a concern—maybe you’re buying a whole host of chairs for a rental house or know you’ll only get occasional use out of your beach chair—the folding chair by Caribbean Joe is a worthy option. There really aren’t many bells and whistles like multiple recline positions, but the chair does have a large storage pocket and a shoulder carrying strap. Plus, the most important element is there: It’s a comfortable chair that’ll keep you up and off of the sand.
It’s nowhere near flimsy, either. The sturdy steel chair has a relatively impressive 225-pound weight capacity and seat that’s roomy enough for a wide range of sizes.
Best Backpack Chair: Tommy Bahama 5-Position Classic Lay Flat Folding Backpack Beach Chair
Large mesh storage pocket
Insulated cup holder
When it comes to beach chairs, you can be sure Tommy Bahama is going to deliver. The brand was among the first to produce backpack-style chairs, and they’ve truly perfected them. How so? When folded as a backpack, this seven-pound chair is not only easy to carry (thank you, padded and adjustable straps!), but it also functions as, well, a backpack. On the exterior, you’ll find two pockets—one mesh one for gear (think a towel, a wet bathing suit, or even your wallet) and one insulated cooler-style bag for your lunch or beverage of choice.
This chair delivers in the area of comfort, too. The place to perch easily adjusts to five different seating positions, including a lay-flat option, plus a contoured headrest.
Best for Back Pain: LL Bean GCI Freeform Zero Gravity Lounger
Plenty of support
No cup holders
Between the unsupportive, hard-to-walk in sand and the metal-framed chairs, the beach isn’t typically a great place for those with back pain. But this zero gravity lounger can help make the experience a little more comfortable. The durable steel frame is outfitted with a super flexible and breathable fabric (the Textilene mesh provides both ventilation and drains any water) that offers plenty of support. It also has two dedicated modes: A freeform mode that allows you to recline into a weightless position and a zero-gravity mode that lets you sit up straight and put your legs and feet up. Additional comfort features to help ease any back pain include a mesh backrest insert and a fully adjustable headrest.
If there’s any downside, it’s that this is a relatively heavy beach chair, weighing just shy of 18 pounds. If this is going to be your chair of choice, plan accordingly and bring a wagon—or scout out a spot on the sand that’s not too far from the dunes.
Best with Canopy: Quik Shade Beach Recliner Shade Chair
Large sun canopy
Backpack-style carry straps
There’s only one thing most of the best beach chairs are missing, and that’s a sun canopy to shield you from those harsh rays. This chair seems to have it all though. For a very competitive price, you’ll get a low-profile beach chair with a durable and fully adjustable steel frame that has multiple recline positions. It also has a high back mesh fabric seat, backrest, and cushioned headrest to provide even more comfort and backpack straps for easy transport. Of course, you’ll also get that coveted canopy—a nice big one, to be exact. This beach chair has a tough 600 by 300D PVC-coated polyester top shade to keep you cool and offer sun protection from multiple angles.
Best with Cup Holder: YETI Hondo Base Camp Chair
Versatile cup holder
500-pound weight capacity
Though technically a camping chair, you can rely on YETI to make a perch suitable for all kinds of outdoor adventures, including the beach. Like all things YETI makes, this chair is extra durable, making it the perfect choice for someone who thinks your typical beach chair is just a little too flimsy. Of course, YETI also excels at creating fantastic beverage accessories, like mugs and coolers, so you can count on this tough-as-nails chair to have an equally reliable cup holder. It isn’t your typical flimsy pocket; it’s a hard-sided cup holder that stays upright even when the chair is folded. The two-tiered cup is just the right size for whatever beverage you prefer, be it cans, longnecks, or even YETI brand vessels like Ramblers, the Colster, wine tumblers, and more.
Best for Kids: Baby Delight Go with Me Chair
Removable snack trap
When it comes to children’s beach chairs, you really can’t beat this option. Though it may not have the visual appeal of the classic beach chair, it’s so much more functional—plus, it’s suitable for a wide range of other outdoor adventures, from camping to sporting events.
Though the chair is a bit of investment compared to the aforementioned classic models, it’s worth it. The chair will grow with your child until they’re ready for an adult beach chair since it’s suitable for babies as young as three months and kids weighing up to 75 pounds. While your little one is still young, the five-point removable harness keeps them nice and secure. Then, as your child grows, the seat morphs to reveal two leg holes perfect for letting baby stand with support. Once your child is a bit bigger, convert the chair back into a regular seat—sans harness.
Additional included features include a removable snack tray for bites and meals on the go, a sun canopy for extra protection, and a carry bag to make transport a breeze.
Best Lounger: Ostrich 3 N 1 Beach Chair/Lounger
If you really want to maximize your beach day as a day of relaxation and TLC, you may want to opt for this chair, as it can easily be converted into a seat that more closely resembles a pool lounger.
The chair, which sits a comfortable 12 inches off the ground (not too high and not too low), features five adjustable chair positions and three adjustable footrest positions—including one that combines to let you lay flat. For sunbathers, the unique patented design will be what ultimately wins you over: The headrest opens to a face cavity, and the side slits of the chair function as arm slots, so you can comfortably lay flat even when on your stomach.
The best overall beach chair is the RIO Beach 4-Position Lace-Up Backpack Folding Beach Chair (view at Amazon), which is a lightweight and reliable chair. With this chair in your shed, you’ll get the best of both form and function—a flexible suspension design for support, multiple recline positions, a cup holder and a storage pocket, and convenient backpack-style carry straps. For a more affordable choice, the Caribbean Joe Folding Beach Chair (view at Walmart) is a sturdy option with a roomy seat and shoulder carrying strap so you can easily carry it to and from your destination.
What to Look for in a Beach Chair
Prices range pretty drastically. In most cases, the cheapest chairs are relatively flimsy and lack extras. That said, there’s really no need to spend at the high end to get a quality beach chair. There are plenty of truly outstanding options right around the $50 mark.
Today, many beach chairs come with some sort of strap to make carrying easier (no more stuffing a bulky chair under your arm along with all of your other beach supplies!). That said, not all are created equal. The most basic straps are canvas shoulder straps that hang down under the seat of the chair when in use. The more comfortable straps, though, are backpack-style straps that are padded and can be easily adjusted for proper fit.
You may want to consider whether or not the beach chair you’re selecting has helpful added features that improve functionality. This includes things like multi-position recline, cup holders, sun canopies, storage pockets, and even insulated coolers.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Brigitt Earley, a freelance writer who has spent the last 10-plus years researching the best home goods for various digital publications, including The Spruce and Good Housekeeping. From beach chairs and outdoor tables to throw pillows and space heaters, she’s covered it all. You won’t catch Brigitt at the beach without a Tommy Bahama beach chair.