The 10 Best Beach Chairs

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This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in April of 2015. If you're going to lounge in the sun, make sure you do it comfortably and in style in one of these beach chairs. They're not just great for providing a comfortable seat on sand, but work well at picnics, sporting events, outdoor concerts, or in the backyard, too. Several models come with useful features, like cupholders, headrests, canopies, storage pockets and coolers. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. GCI Outdoor Waterside

2. Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler

3. Mac Sports 2-in-1 Folding Lounge

Editor's Notes

February 22, 2021:

Having a comfortable place to sit will make an already great beach day even better. And that is where these chairs can help. We have made sure to include only quality models, and in a range of styles to suit every need. It was with this former priority in mind that we chose to eliminate the Cascade Mountain Tech Compact and Kijaro Coast Folding. While there wasn't anything necessarily wrong with these two, they simply don't offer anything different enough from other models on our list.

Replacing one of the eliminated chairs is the GCI Outdoor Waterside, which is great because it has a canopy that can provide some much needed shade during long days at the beach. It also has backpack straps for convenient carrying and an attached cupholder. If you have a child, you can pick up the Kelsyus Canopy, which also provides some protection from the sun.

The other new addition is the Mac Sports 2-in-1 Folding Lounge. We like this one for both its comfort and versatility. It acts as a beach cart when folded up, so you can use it to lug all your other gear, and then sets up as a multi-position reclining lounger once you get to your destination. The Rio Gear Lounge is also a comfortable recliner, and it actually has a more charming style than the Mac Sports model, however it certainly won't make your trip from the parking lot to your location any easier. On the note of comfort, few can compare with the Caravan Sports Zero Gravity thanks to its ability to lock securely into wide variety of positions.

November 30, 2019:

Unfortunately, the beach doesn't have seating, so unless you feel like plopping down on a towel, a beach chair is your best bet for comfort. The ones we've picked out are also appropriate for camping and other outdoor activities, and many feature useful extras like carrying bags, beverage holders, headrests, and more. There are also two options designed for children: the Melissa & Doug Flex Octopus and Kelsyus Kids. Here, you'll find a solution for every member of the family. For even more seaside fun, add a beach umbrella to the mix.

The newest chairs in the group are the Rio Gear Lounge and Cascade Mountain Tech Compact, the former added because of its extended length and popularity, and the latter for its portability and durable construction. The Telescope Casual Sun and Sand and Therm-a-Rest Treo got the ax due to confirmed quality complaints.

Special Honors

Moonlight Sun & Rainbow Sling Chair If you live on the beach, then you may want to opt for a charming model like the Moonlight Sun & Rainbow Sling Chair. It isn't the lightest nor the most portable, but it is certainly stylish and comfortable. society6.com

4. Caravan Sports Zero Gravity

5. Rio Gear Lounge

6. Melissa & Doug Giddy Buggy

7. Strongback Low Gravity

8. Kelsyus Canopy

9. BeachMall Jumbo

10. Rio Gear Ultimate Backpack

Beach Chairs And Amenities

You could do all of that, or you could invest in a quality beach chair to keep you and your belongings off of the hot sand.

If you are preparing for a day at the beach, you will need an awesome beach chair. Sure, you could just take along your favorite beach towel and hope the sand isn't so hot that it scorches you through the fabric. And you could worry about constantly washing your towels and dragging two or three along so you can lay on one, dry off with the other, and possibly take along a spare in case of disaster.

You could do all of that, or you could invest in a quality beach chair to keep you and your belongings off of the hot sand. A good beach chair allows you to lounge in a reclined position while you read your favorite book, or lays flat so you can work on your summer tan.

Some beach chairs come with amenities such as an attached pillow that flips to the back of the chair when not in use, pockets or slings for your drinks, books, or cell phone, and even small attached coolers for snacks and quick access to drinking water.

The right beach chair will fold and be easily portable. Many come with attached straps that make them easy to carry on your shoulder so you can carry your beach bag as well and still have your hands free to wrangle the kids.

You might even choose to invest in a beach chair that has a built-in canopy to shade you from the sun and protect your skin. This is great for people who plan to be outside for hours on end or who have fair skin and are especially prone to sunburn.

Benefits Of A Beach Vacation

There are multiple benefits to taking a trip to the beach with your brand new beach chair in tow. Besides the obvious excitement of getting away from work and spending time with sand and ocean, your mind and body can tangibly benefit.

Whether you are splashing in the water, running along the shore, or simply kicking back in the sunshine to enjoy your favorite book, music, or get a tan, a day on the beach will wear you out. The great thing about this is that you will sleep like a baby when you get to your bed.

Besides the obvious excitement of getting away from work and spending time with sand and ocean, your mind and body can tangibly benefit.

You will get your daily allotment of Vitamin D just by hanging out on the beach for ten minutes. Be careful not to spend too much time in the direct sunlight. Bring a form of shade and always use sunscreen!

If you're hesitant about jumping into the water, don't be! The iodine in salt water is a great way to boost your immune system. So wade up to your knees or waist and splash around with the kids or your significant other. You will start feeling rejuvenated in no time.

This one might seem obvious, but you tend to get more exercise when you're outdoors. Don't spend your entire time sitting around on your beach chair. Get up, splash around in the water, or take a stroll along the sand. You will feel better if you do.

Your skin will thank you for your beach trip. The sand exfoliates, while the sun detoxifies, and the salt water has antibacterial properties.

If you have trouble breathing, ocean air can do wonders for your lungs. You naturally breath deeper when you're outside in fresh air. A day at the beach can exercise your lungs and increase the amount of oxygen you get.

Finally, time at the beach is great for your mind. You practically have no choice but to relax and enjoy yourself. This can be replenishing and restful for your mind and help your focus when you finally do have to get back to the regular grind.

A Brief History Of The Beach Chair

The modern beach chair most closely resembles the butterfly chair which was invented in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1938. It was designed by three architects named Antonia Bonet, Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, and Juan Kurchan. It was originally made from two steel rods that bent to hold a large leather sling, creating a chair that could be folded and carried anywhere.

The original Strandkorb design only seated one person, but it was eventually expanded to seat two or more people.

The butterfly chair is a version of the Paragon chair that was invented in the 1870s to create seating for campaigns. It appears that this design was expanded on to eventually create modern day portable camping chairs and beach chairs.

The original beach chair was also known as the Strandkorb. It was invented in 1882 by Wilhelm Bartelmann who was a German basket maker. They were designed to shield beach patrons from the elements by providing surrounding protection on the sides and top. It kept people dry in the event of rain and also provided shade when the sun became too hot.

The original Strandkorb design only seated one person, but it was eventually expanded to seat two or more people. They were considered comfortable and luxurious and were often lined with fabric for maximum comfort. The Strandkorb is still used today in Germany.


Brett Dvoretz
Last updated on February 24, 2021 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.


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