As far as relaxing environments go, nothing is quite as amazing as going to the beach. Whether it’s a day trip or a weeklong vacation, sitting on the sand and watching the waves roll in is one of the best ways to unwind and get back in touch with your inner self.
If you really want to seal the deal and make the experience more enjoyable, then you should invest in a beach chair. These handy devices make it easier than ever to relax on the sand as you can fold them out and soak up the sun without having to worry about getting sand all over your body.
Best of all, these chairs work in almost any situation, meaning that you don’t have to use them exclusively at the beach. Whether it’s relaxing on your patio or sitting at a campsite, beach chairs are both comfortable and versatile. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best models out there for relaxation and see what they can do for you.
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As we’ve seen, there is a lot of diversity with beach chairs, which can make it somewhat difficult to find the ideal model for your needs. Nonetheless, if you break them down into their primary components, you will see that it’s not as complicated as it seems. Here is what you should be paying the most attention to when buying a beach chair.
When referring to the material we are talking about the frame and the fabric. Usually, beach chairs will use aluminum for the frame because it is light and durable, thus making it easier to transport. Also, the metal is much less resistant to corrosion and rusting, which is hugely important when exposing it to the salty sea air. Steel is another good choice as it is more durable, but it will be heavier and could corrode faster.
As far as fabrics go, polyester is the most common, but we prefer canvas as it has a much better feel and will conform to your body better. The benefit of polyester, however, is that it’s cheaper and it’s usually waterproof.
While these features are important for the chair itself, it’s also imperative that you pay attention to the weight limit for the seat so that you don’t risk breaking the seat after you sit in it. All beach chairs will have a rating as to how much weight it can hold, so don’t try to exceed that by much if you want to ensure longevity.
Another thing to look at is the width of the chair to make sure that it can accommodate your body. Some are extra wide while others are more narrow, so pay attention to that specification when picking out a model. Finally, look at how much ground clearance you have between the seat and the sand. For some people, it can be difficult to get in and out of the chair if it’s too low, so be aware of that if you’re worried about getting in and not being able to get back out.
Do you like to sit mostly upright or are you better when you are laying all the way back? Some beach chairs give you options as to how far you can recline, which means that no matter what your preference is you can get comfortable as you see fit.
Not many beach chairs come with a footrest, but if they do, then you will want to make sure that it also can adjust to your needs. If the footrest doesn’t move along with the back of the chair, then it can be awkward or uncomfortable in some positions.
Because comfort and convenience are the main aspects of any beach chair, you will want to get a model that makes your life as easy as possible. Here are some of the most common add-ons that you can find on chairs to make your sitting session that much more relaxing.
Why have to get up every time you want a drink? Most beach chairs include at least one cup holder, but if you’re planning on planting yourself for a few hours, then you might want to get a model that has more than one space for a beverage. Also, some of the more high-end units come with an insulated pouch to keep your drinks cold.
Going to the beach means bringing a bunch of extra supplies like sunscreen, sunglasses, towels, and other personal belongings. Thus, it’s great to have a chair that comes with extra storage for all of these items so that you don’t have to worry about losing them or having them all over the place. For best results, get a chair that has a large pouch in the back and a smaller one up front so that you can keep your valuables within reach.
Carrying your chair to and from the beach should be an easy thing to do, which is why so many of them come with straps so that you can carry them on your shoulder as you walk. If yours doesn’t have that, then you will want to make sure that it at least comes with a carrying case. Otherwise, you might regret getting such a basic unit after lugging it out to the sand a few times.
While sitting on the beach is relaxing, the sun can do a lot of damage to your skin and face if you’re not careful. Thus, some chairs come with an attachable umbrella to keep your head safe from the brutal rays of sunlight beating down on you. While these won’t protect your whole body, they can at least keep your face from getting too burnt.
Our first stop is a standard beach chair from BeachMall. This particular model has a lot of the features that you would want from such a device, such as a durable aluminum frame, a thick and comfortable fabric seat, and a swing out drink holder to keep yourself hydrated while out on the sand.
Other features that we like about this chair include the high-capacity seat that can hold up to 275 pounds, the extra wide spacing that makes it easier to get in and out, and the three-position leg rest to make chair much more comfortable than the competition. As you will see, footrests are hard to come by, so if that’s important to you, then you might want to get something like this. Overall, this chair is an excellent addition to any beach getaway.
As far as chair brands go, Rio is one of the most ubiquitous and well-known out there, which is why we are featuring multiple offerings from this company on this list.
Our first stop is the Classic Lay Flat Beach Chair, which comes with all of the features you could want (without a footrest) and the durability to last multiple seasons without breaking down.
This particular model is special because it is both super lightweight and extra durable. The 300D polyester can hold up to most abuse, and the aluminum frame also stays in shape year after year. To help keep it in top condition the frame has steel reinforcements, so you don’t have to worry about breaking it. In fact, this chair can hold up to 250 pounds with ease.
One of the downsides of being at the beach is that you have the sun in your face at all times. Usually, this is mostly a good thing, but that also means that you have to reapply sunscreen on a regular basis if you don’t want to get severely burned.
Fortunately, this next seat from Sport-Brella helps protect your skin and face by providing an adjustable umbrella that attaches to the seat itself.
While it won’t cover your whole body, you can rest easy without worrying about getting the sun in your eyes while you sleep.
Other features that we like about this chair include a cup holder on the side, a zippered pouch for your valuables, and the fact that it can hold up to 300 pounds, which is more than what most of these other chairs can handle. Best of all, the umbrella is also removable, just in case it starts to get in your way.
As we mentioned, Rio is a fantastic maker of high-quality beach chairs, and this next model is a step up from the one we saw above. The Big Guy Backpack Chair is designed to be as comfortable as possible, even if you are relatively large.
The frame and fabric on this model are extra thick and can hold up to most abuse, which is why the chair can handle up to three hundred pounds easily. In addition to its strength, you get added comfort with a padded headrest, molded armrests that conform to your body, and a drink holder on the side. Overall, this is a highly relaxing chair.
Next, we have another middle-of-the-road beach chair that comes with a lot of standard features that you can find on most of the other models that we’ve seen.
This particular chair has a steel frame, thick waterproof fabric, and solid hardwood armrests. If durability is important to you, this is one of the most rugged beach chairs out there.
In addition to the materials, this model comes with a padded headrest, a drink holder on the side, and rear storage for your convenience. It can also hold up to 250 pounds easily and weighs only ten pounds.
Our last Rio Chair is the Ultimate Backpack model that comes with an insulated cooler on the back. If you want to stay refreshed while out on the beach, this is a great model to have as you can store two drinks on the side and then hold two more in the cooler for later. That means that you never have to get up except to go to the bathroom.
The other things we like about this chair are the padded headrest, molded armrests, and the sling lace design that conforms to your body better than anything else we’ve seen.
We’ve already seen what Sport-Brella can bring to the table as far as sun protection out on the beach, but if you want the ultimate in comfort and convenience, then this recliner model has everything you could need and more.
First of all, it comes with the signature umbrella that helps keep your head and face out of the harsh sun. Second, it has an adjustable and removable footrest to give you the best recline options available. Third, it has four drink holders and an insulated beverage compartment, so you never run out of refreshment, and finally, it has a bottle opener on the side so you can crack open a vintage soda or a beer with ease. This is the ultimate travel chair.
Thus far, we’ve seen beach chairs that are made of a durable frame and fabric seating. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use other methods to relax on the beach, as illustrated by this air-filled lounger from Hikenture.
This style of chair is becoming much more popular these days because they are so easy to setup and take up almost no space in your back.
Instead of lugging around a physical chair from place to place, now you can come with a piece of fabric and fill it up within seconds and have a soft, relaxing lounger on which to lay.
What makes this chair so desirable is that it’s so comfortable and yet so durable. You wouldn’t think that an inflatable model could hold up to three people, but this second generation unit can. Also, because it’s so easy to create, you can bring it with you wherever you go, whether it’s to the beach, out camping, or at an outdoor concert. Wherever you want a comfortable place to sit, this chair can follow.
As far as tropical brands go, none is quite as synonymous with the beach as Tommy Bahama. While most people are familiar with the company’s T-shirts, the fact is that they make a decent beach chair as well.
The Backpack Cooler Chair is remarkable for several reasons, mostly because of the quality of its construction and the fact that it comes in such unique designs.
What we like about this chair is that it can hold up to three hundred pounds, it has molded armrests for better comfort, it comes with a padded headrest, and it has storage and a towel bar on the back for your convenience. Overall, this is a fantastic beach chair, and it can even match with your Hawaiian shirt.
For the most part, Coleman is a camping brand, but this Breeze Beach Sling Chair is an excellent addition to this list because it is lightweight, easy to use, and highly relaxing.
While it doesn’t recline like most of the other ones on this list, the angled design makes it much better than if it were straight up and down.
Other features that we like about this chair are the fact that it weighs less than six pounds, it has a durable aluminum frame, and it has padded armrests for added comfort. Overall, this is a relatively straightforward and basic unit, but it can provide some excellent seating without adding too much weight to your gear.
Because of the diversity of chairs that we’ve seen, it can be hard to come up with one or two that stand out above the rest. However, when it comes to best features and benefits, the Rio Ultimate Backpack Chair and the Sport-Brella Recliner are our top picks. We love the addition of headrests, footrests, and in the case of Sport-Brella, the inclusion of an umbrella to keep our head out of the sun. Overall, these chairs have everything you could want for a relaxing time on the beach, and best of all they are comfortable almost anywhere.
A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!