10 Best Beach Chairs for Bad Backs of 2021 (Buyers Guide!)

About 16 million adults suffer from back pain. This type of pain could hold you back from doing the things you love, including going to the beach. Additionally, sitting in a standard beach chair could do a number on your spine and result in aches and pains.

That’s why it’s essential to find the best beach chairs for bad backs. This article will explore some of the top picks for supportive beach chairs, as well as the things buyers should look for when shopping for a new seat. Hopefully, these beach chairs with back support reviews will guide you to the optimal option.

The Best Beach Chairs for Bad Backs (Top Picks)

Without further ado, let’s explore some of the top picks for beach chairs for bad backs. While these products are numbered, these numbers are not a ranking, so be sure to choose the chair that speaks to you (or your back pain) the most!

1. STRONGBACK Low Gravity Beach Chair

The STRONGBACK brand is well-known for its versatile folding chairs. More crucially, they’re regarded as one of the best manufacturers of supportive beach chairs. This particular option is one of the most practical models, lacking any excess cushioning in exchange for superior back support.

If you’re someone who enjoys laying out on a towel in the sand, but you hate straining your back when sitting upright, this chair might be the best choice. It sits low to the ground, only about four inches off the sand. The Low Gravity chair also has wide, lightweight feet to help maximize surface area and reduce sinking.

The lumbar support this chair offers isn’t a cushion or a strange divet in the backing fabric. The support is built into the chair’s frame, offering 20 inches of horizontal space to keep spines aligned and comfortable. Because intense pressure on the back can be painful, this chair also features a nifty bit of hidden padding to ensure maximum relaxation.

Pros

  • Available in both a reclining and stationary style, both of which offer built-in lumbar support
  • Protected by a competitive two-year warranty
  • Made of durable, UV-resistant, mildew-resistant nylon material
  • It comes in four colors for added personality and easier identification
  • Weighs less than ten pounds

Cons

  • The beverage holder is non-adjustable for various cup sizes
  • The lack of padding could make this an uncomfortable chair for your neck, buttocks, or legs
  • Nylon material could heat to a painful temperature if left uncovered in sunlight

2. ALPHA CAMP Oversized Camping Folding Chair

Firstly, this ALPHA CAMP chair doesn’t provide nearly as much lumbar support as the STRONGBACK option above. What it does do is keep seating users high off the ground (almost 20 inches), well-hydrated, and stable. 

This neat folding chair can support up to 350lbs of weight thanks to a reinforced support structure. However, the feet aren’t exceptionally expansive, so this chair may sink into the sand slightly upon sitting down. Still, with a wide, 37-inch backing, this beach chair could be an excellent choice for taller or larger individuals.

While this option is a bit heftier than others (weighing slightly more than 13lbs), it’s also a fantastically rugged option that can stand up to general wear and tear. This is partially thanks to its reinforced steel structure and partly due to the strong synthetic fabric covering it. 

Pros

  • A sturdy steel frame can support hundreds of pounds in weight
  • The wide design allows users of all sizes
  • Plenty of pockets and storage spaces
  • Padded neck support for more comfortable sitting

Cons

  • Lacks significant lumbar support
  • May sink several inches into loose sandy soils
  • This chair weighs more than 10lbs and could be burdensome to carry

3. Tinya Ultralight Backpacking Camping Chair

When portability is at the top of your priority list, you’ll want to choose a lightweight chair that’s sufficiently sturdy to hold your weight. Weighing less than 2lbs, this Tinya Ultralight chair could be the perfect answer to your hauling problems.

Not only is this chair incredibly lightweight, but it also has excellent breathability. Made of a combination of mesh and durable fabric, this chair backing is bound to let your back breathe and stay cool while also keeping it upright and well-supported. 

The only foreseeable downside to this option is its weight restriction (230lbs maximum) and size. The width of this chair’s backing is only about 21 inches, making it one of the slimmer options on this list. 

Pros

  • Available in a ton of different colors and patterns
  • It comes in an easy-to-carry case
  • One of the most lightweight beach chair options
  • Mesh backing provides added ventilation

Cons

  • No storage pockets or exceptional additional features
  • Cannot support weights above 230lbs
  • It may be too slim for some beachgoers

(Height and weight are above average? Consider reading Best Beach Chairs for Big Guys and Gals)

4. Timber Ridge Camping Chair

While many chairs advertise their lumbar support, not all back pain originates in the lower back. Sometimes, upper back pain is the culprit. In this case, a lumbar-focused chair might not provide a lot of comfort or relief. However, a high-back chair might.

This high-backed camping chair is tall enough to cradle even the lengthiest spines and sturdy enough to support 300lbs in weight. While you’re likely to sink into the sand upon sitting (the feet aren’t built for loose soils), at least your upper back can rest comfortably. This chair also accommodates larger, wider users, which is a huge plus.

Pros

  • Can support up to 300lbs in weight
  • A high back and a drawn-in lower back section make this option one of the most supportive
  • The woven mesh backing adds some ventilation to help keep users cool and dry
  • Included cup hold swivels out for use and is exceptionally stable

Cons

  • The feet are narrow, which may cause them to sink to soft sand
  • It weighs more than 10lbs, which could be cumbersome when walking across the beach
  • Seat width may not accommodate larger users

5. MARCHWAY Lightweight Folding High Back Camping Chair

If you’re a practical person, then cup holders, armrests, canopies, and storage pockets might be out of your periphery. Should you desire the ultimate in practical beach chair design, the MARCHWAY High Back Chair should suit your needs. 

Designed for optimal comfort and breathability, this chair lacks armrests, cup holders, and many other frills found in folding chairs. Instead, it offers a superior lightweight design, extra head and neck padding, and plenty of ventilation. 

Pros

  • Super lightweight at only about 4lbs
  • It comes in four standard colors for customizability
  • This chair features tons of padding for the head and neck
  • Features a massive mesh backing for improved airflow

Cons

  • No armrest on this beach chair
  • The pointed feet of this chair might work well on hard surfaces, but it’s bound to sink in the sand
  • It doesn’t set up instantly and does require some time to install

6. EVER ADVANCED Oversized Padded Quad Arm Chair

This EVER ADVANCED beach chair is an average-priced option with equally average features. Many of the beach chairs we’ve chosen have some flaws but still excel in at least one feature or function. This example is a moderate one.

The included cup holder is prone to molding, and the storage bag is haplessly small, but nearly every other aspect of this foldable chair is worthy of praise. At about 8lbs, it’s lightweight enough for easy carrying. 

It comes with a duffle-like carrying case that can be slung across the chest or shoulders, making things even more convenient for beachgoers. With a slightly higher back than comparable chairs, this option might not provide the best lumbar care, but it does cradle the spine.

Pros

  • Provides an adequate seat width of about 24 inches
  • Stands tall above the sand with a seat that hovers about 17 inches from the floor
  • Fold-and-Go design is ideal for those who hate messy set-up procedures
  • Extended back with some cushioning for extra support

Cons

  • The feet of this folding chair are unsuitable for sand and may lead to sinking during use
  • Non-mesh cup holder can become mildewy or moldy over time
  • The side storage bag is quite small

7. FUNDANGO Lumbar Support Folding Deluxe Camping Chair

The smart-looking camping chair might be one of the most practical foldable chairs to use. When you’re ready to take a seat, all you need to do is unsheath this chair from its carrying bag, place the grouped feet onto a firm surface, and pull outward. Voilà!

Still, this chair isn’t exactly suitable for sand, and its feet are prone to slipping and sinking. Additionally, users might have some trouble getting their favorite beverage to fit into this chair’s awkwardly-sized cup holder. Still, you just cannot beat the convenient set-up this model offers.

Pros

  • A relatively lightweight option that weighs slightly less than 10lbs
  • Made of durable Oxford fabric
  • Easy to set-up or pack away
  • It comes with a multi-pocket seat storage accessory

Cons

  • Feet may effortlessly sink into loose soil
  • The cup holder is too small for large cups
  • Lumbar support cushioning quickly flexes outward

8. Kelty Low Loveseat Camping Chair

Camping alone can be a spiritual and rewarding experience. But camping with someone else is just as fun, if not more so. This fold-out loveseat is great for couples that love to go to the beach together. It’s got plenty of room for two adults and can support up to 500lbs in weight!

Additionally, you can enjoy your own versatile cup holder (built to hold small and large cups and bottles) while you rest an arm on a sturdy, breathable armrest. The thick polyester material covering the rest of the chair is UV-resistant and bound to endure years of usage. 

While the feet could be wider, they aren’t rounded points that will sink several feet into the sand. Still, expect some sinking. And while this option’s weight might not be an issue for a group of beachgoers, it could become a bit of a problem for two or fewer people. 

Pros

  • A wonderful multi-person option
  • Supports up to 500lbs
  • Built-in armrests are relatively sturdy and super convenient
  • Features four total cup holders of various sizes for superior drink compatibility

Cons

  • One of the heaviest beach chair options, weighing 15lbs
  • It may not suit single beachgoers
  • Feet aren’t wide enough to prevent the chair from sinking slightly

9. STRONGBACK Elite Folding Camping Lawn Lounge Chair

It was challenging not to populate the list of our top picks solely with STRONGBACK chairs, but fortunately, we found several worthwhile competitors. Still, this STRONGBACK beach chair has a lot to offer, including superior lumbar support.

While this particular model may be over-budget for some, it’s also an item that could be worth saving for. Like other STRONGBACK chairs, this option is protected by a two-year warranty. It also features a structural form of lumbar support that goes far beyond cushioning. 

Additionally, the armrests are sturdy and padded with comfortable material. If you’ve grown tired of lackluster armrests made of flimsy fabric, this chair could be your dream come true. 

Pros

  • This chair offers strong lumbar support plus lower-back padding
  • Thanks to this model’s wide feet, it hardly sinks into loose sand or soil
  • Firm, padded armrests ensure that your arms and your back are comfy

Cons

  • It may be too pricey for some buyers
  • Heavier than the average beach chair by about 2lbs
  • Beverage holder mesh may not accommodate large cups

10. KingCamp Low Sling Beach Chair

Whether you’re looking for a beach chair for yourself or a dual pair for yourself and a partner, KingCamp has you covered. Their Low Sling Beach Chair is a worthwhile option for singles or couples looking to get close to the sand while also enjoying some spinal support.

Available in three bright colors, there’s little chance you’ll ever lose this chair among the crowd. The bright fabric is not only eye-catching but also UV-resistant polyester, ensuring that your chair’s material doesn’t fade or wear away after hours in the sun. Still, there are a few things to note about this particular option.

The price difference between these options isn’t staggering, though it is somewhat disheartening to pay more for features that are naturally built into other types of beach chairs. 

Pros

  • Available in multiple colors, packs, and types
  • A low-sitting option for those that enjoy being near to the sand
  • Breathable mesh backing for added comfort
  • Wide footing for reduced sinking

Cons

  • When fully extended, the cup holder may tilt and allow the drink to spill
  • No direct lumbar support
  • Added features cost more

(Best Beach Chairs are still best options to check)

Best Beach Chairs for Bad Backs Buyers Guide (Your Guide to Selecting the Best Product)

Types of Beach Chairs for Bad Backs

There are several different types of beach chairs, and it’s essential to consider these types before choosing a new chair. Otherwise, you might end up with something that isn’t quite what you wanted, or that doesn’t work for your intended usage. 

For example, a canopy chair that provides plenty of shade might not be the best option for an outing on an overcast day. But it could work wonders on a hot, sunny, cloudless afternoon.

Additionally, some beach chairs (looking at you, folding lounge chairs) are notoriously heavy, challenging to maintain, and uncomfortable. When you’re familiar with the common challenges of each typeface, as well as their unique benefits, you can feel more confident while browsing for a new support beach chair.

Some of the most common types of beach chairs include:

  • Folding Chairs
  • Folding Lounge Chairs
  • Padded Chairs
  • Canopy Chairs
  • Backpack Hiking Chairs

In this section, we’ll explore each type in greater detail to discover what advantages and disadvantages it may have. Because our primary focus is finding the best possible beach chair for a bad back, we’ll begin by examining sand chairs.

Folding Chairs

You’re likely familiar with folding chairs. These types of chairs are often made with plastic or steel, and they typically feature a synthetic fabric covering. They’re often used for camping, sporting events, patio areas, and cook-outs. 

Folding chairs tend to be lightweight and easy to use. However, one of the most significant drawbacks of this chair type is the lack of lumbar support. Fortunately, several beach chair manufacturers have recognized this issue and jumped in to fill that gap. 

Some of the newest models of folding chairs include exceptional back support features. Of course, if sitting down isn’t as alluring to you as lying down, you might want to opt for a folding lounge chair.

Folding Lounge Chairs

Folding lounge chairs are some of the oldest beach chairs in existence. Their earliest iterations were simply wooden frames with cloth canvas stretched over them, but contemporary versions are far more advanced. 

Still, due to their increased size, folding lounge chairs can be a little cumbersome. Consequently, many beach resorts simply provide lounge chairs rather than expecting guests to bring their own. 

But public beachside areas may not have some luxuries, prompting beachgoers to tow along a heavy chair for the ride. If you’d like to keep off the sand while still reclining to a fully supine position, you’ll want that folding lounge chair.

Padded Chairs

When you need a little extra cushion, padded chairs have your back. They also have your arms, neck, head, buttocks, and thighs. That’s because padded chairs offer far more cushioning to all these areas than standard lightweight folding chairs.

If some (or all) of your pain comes from pinched nerves and uncomfortable seating arrangements, a padded chair could be the ideal solution. 

Canopy Chairs

Canopy chairs are often folding chairs, though not every folding chair is a canopy chair. The feature that sets canopy chairs apart from other types of chairs is the sun-blocking shade it provides. 

These chairs often have an included bit of tarp or UV-resistant fabric that hangs above the seat. This allows you to enjoy the warmth and bright bliss of being at the beach without suffering a massive sunburn. 

While it’s always a good idea to add sunblock before heading outside, these chairs can keep you cool and shaded on even the hottest of summer beach days. As such, canopy chairs remain one of the most popular choices among beach lovers everywhere. 

Backpack Hiking Chairs

As the name of this chair type might suggest, backpack hiking chairs are typically used by hikers and backpackers who don’t want to cop a squat on wet or uncomfortable terrain. These types of chairs tend to be lightweight, small, utilitarian, and durable. 

They can be used as beach chairs, though compact hiking or backpacking chairs may not offer a wealth of lumbar support. Consequently, many beachgoers that suffer from back pain may want to select a different chair type.

Benefits of Using Beach Chairs for Bad Backs

There are a wealth of benefits you could enjoy by using a beach chair to help lessen your back pain. Perhaps the main advantage of such chairs is pain relief. But a bad back isn’t only painful. It can also turn a fun and exciting day into a no-good, absolutely rotten time. 

The right supportive beach chair could help make your beach time more enjoyable, primarily because it’s helping to reduce back pain and the common symptoms of a bad back. Still, the most notable benefits of using beach chairs for bad backs are:

  • Reduced Back Pain
  • More Enjoyable Beach Time
  • Comfortable Seating
  • Less Sand in Your Pants
  • Shade and Shelter

With enough spine support, a beach chair could help lessen back pain. This type of comfortable seating is bound to help beachgoers enjoy their time more thoroughly and get less sand in their swimsuit or trousers. Some types of chairs may also provide shade and shelter!

Drawbacks

Even the smartest inventions and products can have flaws or drawbacks. While beach chairs for bad backs are primarily advantageous, they can have a few disadvantages. Generally, the most common drawbacks associated with beach chairs include:

  • Inconvenient Carrying
  • Maintenance and Cleaning
  • Poor Materials

Naturally, you could also add “poor lumbar support” to the list of common complaints surrounding beach chairs. However, because you’ll likely be browsing through the most supportive beach chairs, this drawback shouldn’t become an issue. 

Instead, you may want to focus on your future beach chair’s weight, ease of portability, materials, and potential maintenance routine. These factors could make or break a purchasing decision and influence the longevity of a beach chair. 

Features

Before you go out and snap up the first beach chair that catches your eyes, you might want to take a moment to consider your ideal beach chair’s features. What kind of back support would your perfect beach chair offer? Would it be a low-lying chair that gets you close to the sand, or would it keep you high and dry?

These are only a few of the questions that you may want to ask yourself before committing to a new beach chair. Some additional factors to mull over include:

  • Type of Support
  • Height
  • Width
  • Weight Capacity
  • Materials
  • Additional Features

After all, some chairs offer built-in structural support, while others only have well-placed cushions. Additionally, some chairs may lift users high off the sandy floor, while others embrace a position close to the surf and turf.

If you’re larger or smaller than the average adult, you might also want to consider the width and weight capacity of your future beach chair. It’s also crucial to think about the types of materials your chair is made of, as plastic may splinter and break, but metal can rust. 

Finally, the additional features a share offers could help make it an ideal option or a terrible solution. Some chairs, for example, have shaded canopies and insulated drink coolers. Others have very few additional features to offer but provide exemplary lumbar support. Your preferences will help inform your final purchasing decision.

Maintenance

The proper way to maintain and clean your beach chair will likely depend on the chair type and material. A metal-based chair won’t enjoy a water-based cleaning, and a nylon chair cover is bound to suffer some horrendous effects if washed with harsh chemicals like bleach.

Typically, manufacturers will provide specific recommendations concerning the best way to keep their products clean. However, if your chosen chair doesn’t come with a neat set of maintenance instructions, there are a couple of things you can try. 

Namely, you could:

  1. Safely wash your chair fabric, and
  2. Wipe its legs down

Both of these activities should leave you with a fresh-smelling and looking beach chair. Let’s explore how you might best wash and wipe your supportive, back-friendly chair!

Synthetic Fabric Wash

When the fabric of your beach chair begins to get a bit moldy, off-colored, and dingy, it’s time to give it a good wash. To do this, you’ll need to unfold your chair to its most terrific expandable point and gather some helpful cleaning supplies.

This job is best done outside, as things may get a little messy. You can use dishwashing liquid or a color-safe detergent to start generating some soapy suds. Using a soft cloth or non-abrasive brush, simply massage your chosen washing liquid into the fabric of your chair, being sure to add water as you go. 

When the entire chair is covered in white suds, you can rinse the chair down. A garden hose is an ideal tool for this step, though you can also use anything you might have on hand. An empty plastic milk jug, for example, could make an excellent rinsing tool once washed out.

After you’ve washed away any and all suds, you can let your beach chair dry. If you’re working on a particularly warm and sunny day, you may want to allow the chair to air dry. However, if the weather isn’t friendly, you may need to hand dry as much of the chair as you can before putting it into an enclosed room for further drying.

A small dehumidifier or set of fans could work wonders in preventing accidental mold growth during the drying process. Setting small bowls of baking powder near your drying chair may also help it to dry more quickly. Once your chair’s fabric is entirely moisture-free, you can begin to focus on the legs.

Leg Wipe-Down

This maintenance task is far faster and more convenient than the last one. To wipe down your chair’s legs, you’ll need some water, some dishwashing or all-purpose soap, and three clean cloths. 

You’ll want to dampen one clean cloth, apply a pea-sized amount of soap, and begin scrubbing away at the legs. When you’ve rid them of any caked-on grime or dirt, you’ll dampen your second cleaning cloth and rub away any remaining soap residue. Lastly, using your third cloth, you’ll quickly dry the legs.

Some beach chair legs are made of steel, a material that can rust when exposed to moisture. To prevent rust build-up in your beach chair, it’s essential to keep it as dry as possible. If you’re not sure that you’ve removed all the moisture from your chair, try putting it in a room with a dehumidifier and waiting a day or so.

Safety Tips 

When using a supportive beach chair, there are relatively few safety tips to keep in mind. But that doesn’t mean there are zero safety hazards involved with using a beach chair for your bad back. 

Some of the most crucial safety guidelines to follow include advice like:

  • If using a chair with slats, do not recline naked
  • Do not allow small children to play with folding lounge chairs, especially chairs with moveable plastic slats
  • Always apply sunscreen before sitting outside in a beach chair
  • Adhere to manufacturer weight limits to avoid breaking a chair or injuring yourself with one
  • When not in use, always store beach chairs in a dry, temperate environment

Still, most beach chairs are extremely safe. User error or misusage are the primary culprits behind any beach-chair-related injury, and injuries of any type are generally rare. The majority of stories surrounding beach chair injuries seem to stem from using them while naked.

Best Beach Chair for Bad Back Comparison Chart

ProductPriceSize (LxWxH)Weight Capacity (pounds)Unique Features
STRONGBACK Low Gravity Beach Chair$23.5" x 22" x 24 "300Made of durable, UV-resistant, mildew-resistant nylon material
ALPHA CAMP Oversized Camping Folding Chair$37" x 22" x 40.1"600A sturdy steel frame can support hundreds of pounds in weight
Tinya Ultralight Backpacking Camping Chair$22.6" x 21.3" x 26.3"300It comes in an easy-to-carry case, one of the most lightweight beach chair options
Timber Ridge Camping Chair$22.5" x 23" x 38.5"400A high back and a drawn-in lower back section make this option one of the most supportive
MARCHWAY Lightweight Folding High Back Camping Chair$17" x 6.5" x 5.5"300This chair features tons of padding for the head and neck
EVER ADVANCED Oversized Padded Quad Arm Chair$22" x 22" x 41"400Extended back with some cushioning for extra support
FUNDANGO Lumbar Support Folding Deluxe Camping Chair$22.8" x 22.4" x 17.7"400Made of durable Oxford fabric, easy to set-up or pack away
Kelty Low Loveseat Camping Chair$23.5" x 44" x 31.5"300A wonderful multi-person option
STRONGBACK Elite Folding Camping Lawn Lounge Chair$27" x 28.5" x 36.5" 600This chair offers strong lumbar support plus lower-back padding
KingCamp Low Sling Beach Chair$22.8" x 23.2" x 25.2"400Available in multiple colors, packs, and types

Final Thoughts

There are tons of excellent options when it comes to beach chairs for bad backs. We presented some of our top picks, each with something smart and useful to bring to the table. But the included buyer’s guide could help you choose the best possible supportive beach chair now and in the future.

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