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Unless you enjoy bringing the beach home in your swimsuit, a quality beach chair is essential for making the most of your seaside excursions. We researched and tested the top beach chairs available online, evaluating portability, comfort, and added features.
Our best overall pick, the RIO Beach 4-Position Lace-Up Backpack Folding Beach Chair, has backpack straps for hands-free portability, a durable aluminum frame with four recline positions, and can hold up to 240 pounds.
Here are the best beach chairs.
Best Overall: RIO Beach 4-Position Lace-Up Backpack Folding Beach Chair
What do buyers say? 92% of 800+ Amazon reviewers rated it 4 stars or above.
The best beach chair is one that marries both form and function, which is why the RIO Beach 4-Position Backpack Lace Up Folding Beach Chair is our top pick. At just 8 pounds, the lightweight and rustproof aluminum frame is far easier to carry than other beach chair designs. This chair also has a flexible suspension design designed to conform to your body, offering the most comfortable support while lounging. Both of these features make this chair a great option, particularly for older adults who can’t carry a hefty chair and require more support in a beach chair. Padded, adjustable straps make this chair easy to carry between destinations.
This chair also has a four-position recline and an adjustable pillow, so you can find the recline and pillow height ideal for your height. A large storage pouch on the back allows you to carry all your essentials; plus, a cup holder keeps your beverage of choice close by and free from sand. While this pick is expensive, its multi-faceted design makes it worth the splurge, especially since it can last for several beach seasons.
Best Budget: Caribbean Joe Folding Beach Chair
One seating position
Maybe you’re buying a whole host of chairs for a rental house, or know you only get occasional use out of your beach chair. If so, the folding chair by Caribbean Joe is a worthy option. There aren’t many bells and whistles such as 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 keeps 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 a seat roomy enough for a wide range of sizes.
Best Splurge: Tommy Bahama Hi-Boy 17" Seat Height 4-Position Folding Backpack Beach Chair
Insulated cup holder
May be awkward to carry
Tommy Bahama was among the first to produce backpack-style chairs, and they’ve continued to improve them. When folded as a backpack, this 9-pound chair not only is easy to carry but also functions as a backpack. This chair has two pockets on its back: one for gear (think a towel, a wet bathing suit, or even your wallet), and one insulated pocket for snacks or beverages.
This chair delivers on comfort too. It adjusts to four different seating positions, including a lay-flat option. The suspension, lace-up design also contours to your body for even more comfort while laying out by the water. A cell phone pocket and insulated cup holder are attached to one arm for easy access. Although the backpack straps make this chair portable, shorter users may find the chair’s taller frame difficult to carry.
Best with Cup Holder: Rio High Boy Beach Chair
Sturdy cup holder
Attached cooler pack
Extra tall frame
Awkward carrying strap
When it comes to keeping your beverages from getting sandy, a chair with a sturdy cup holder is a must, which is why the Rio Brands High Boy Beach Chair is our pick for this category. The chair integrates the cup holder into the armrest, making it accessible and sturdy. The other armrest contains a slot to prop up a cell phone.
The frame is designed with tall users in mind, so you needn't worry about stooping low to sit in the chair. An insulated cooler pouch on an arm allows you to store snacks and beverages. One downside: Although this chair is designed with comfort in mind for taller users, it lacks a comfortable headrest. Another: the High Boy has a shoulder strap for carrying, but the chair’s frame size might make for an awkward carrying experience, especially for shorter users. Despite these minor design details, this chair’s overall functionality and durability make it a great choice.
Best for Kids: Baby Delight Go with Me Chair
Removable snack trap
When it comes to children’s beach chairs, you 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 with classic models, it’s worth it. The chair grows with your child until they’re ready for an adult beach chair, since it’s suitable for babies as young as 3 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 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
To maximize your beach day as a day of relaxation and TLC by the beach or a pool, consider this chair, which easily converts 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 sitting positions and three adjustable footrest positions—including one that combines to let you lie flat. This is a chair with a unique patented design built for sunbathers: The headrest opens to a face cavity, and the side slits of the chair function as arm slots, so you can comfortably lie flat, even when on your stomach.
Best Portable: Mac Sports Beach Day Foldable Lounge Chair with Integrated Wagon Pull
Easy to fold
Easy to maneuver
4-position adjustable back
If you’re toting toys and other accessories to the beach, check out the MacSports Beach Day Foldable Lounge Chair with Integrated Wagon Pull. This easy-to-fold lounger turned wagon is a great way to carry all your beach essentials and a chair at once. The wheel's wide tread makes it easy to pull across sand or gravel, while the powder-coated aluminum frame ensures that this convertible chair lasts through multiple seasons.
When converted to a wagon, it can hold up to 100 pounds in the removable mesh basket, and the lounger has a 225-pound capacity. The wagon handle is adjustable and telescopic, so you can compress it when the lounger is in use. When you’re done for the season, easily compress and lock it for storage. Because of its wheels and additional hardware, this chair weighs 21 pounds, making it heavier than other beach chairs. Its rolling capabilities should counteract the additional weight of the entire unit, making it a great portable beach chair option.
Best for Back Pain: LL Bean GCI Freeform Zero Gravity Lounger
Plenty of support
No cup holders
Between unsupportive, hard-to-walk-in sand and 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. A super-flexible and breathable Textilene mesh fabric outfits the durable steel frame, providing ventilation and draining any water while offering plenty of support. The freeform mode allows you to recline into a weightless position, and the zero-gravity mode 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: a canopy to shield you from the sun's harsh rays. This chair seems to have it all. For a very competitive price, you get a low-profile beach chair, with a durable and fully adjustable steel frame, featuring 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 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.
The best overall beach chair is the RIO Beach 4-Position Lace-Up Backpack Folding Beach Chair. With this lightweight chair, you get the best of 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 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 no need to spend at the high end to get a quality beach chair. You can secure an outstanding option right around the $50 mark.
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, which 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 the beach chair you’re selecting has helpful added features that improve functionality. This includes multi-position recline, a cup holder, a sun canopy, storage pockets, and even insulated coolers.
How do you store beach chairs in the garage?
Properly storing beach chairs depends on the kind of beach chairs you have, but wall racks and storage pegs are often great for keeping them tidy. You can fold and hang up chairs, or cinch them and tucked them away in their storage bags or even extra-large plastic trash bags. You can stack plastic and wooden chairs and move them to the side; just be sure they’re clean and dry before storing them long term. If you store chairs outdoors or in a shed, be sure to secure them with a protective tarp or cover.
How do you clean beach chairs?
Find out what your beach chairs are made of to avoid ruining them with chemicals or cleaning tools that are too harsh. Canvas and fabric chairs have protocols different from wooden or plastic seats. For removing everything from salt residue to sunscreen stains, proper detergents and solutions made for beach chairs or outdoor furniture, along with brushes or cloths are all ideal.
How do you get mold off beach chairs?
Mold often is caused by exposure to excess moisture, and the quicker you treat it, the better. Start by brushing off the mold outside, then spot-treat the area with hot water and a cleaning detergent or formula that’s suitable for the fabric. For wooden chairs, use a vacuum to clean the surface and follow it with a scrub brush and white vinegar solution, or bleach for stubborn stains.
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. 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. Additional reporting was done by Melissa Epifano, a news writer for The Spruce covering trends, decor, and design topics, with a deep appreciation for all things interiors and exteriors.