7 Best Beach Chairs of 2021 (Buyers Guide!)

There’s no reason to struggle to find the best beach chairs for the next vacation you have planned for you and your family. Yes, there’s plenty to choose from, but that’s why we’ve taken the time to put together this top quality beach chairs review

We’ll not only go over the different types of chairs available (such as reclining models, lightweight versions that are perfect for travel, and types with a canopy), but we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each. Plus, we’ll give a detailed look at how to best maintain your beach chair and how to set it up.

Let’s dive in!

The Best Beach Chair Reviews (Editor’s Picks) 

We’ve waded through hundreds of options to come up with our reviews for only the best beach chairs available. Note that while these are numbered, these aren’t ranked. Each is top-quality and offers unique benefits and advantages.

1. KingCamp Low Back Beach Chair 

Like many beach chairs, this one folds up for easy storage and transportation. However, it opens and closes within seconds and, despite its large back, fits easily in the trunk of a car.

It isn’t the lightest option, but roughly seven pounds isn’t heavy. Plus, it has straps and a carrying bag to make it even easier to get it from the car to the beach.

Possibly best of all, it’s a comfortable option. It has a headrest and a breathable mesh backing to keep you cool on hot days.

This model also comes with a cupholder and a storage compartment for any small goods, such as a phone or keys.

It may not be the heaviest chair on the list, but it has a sturdy frame that can hold up to 300 pounds, which is more than many other beach chairs. Plus, it’s 23 inches wide, which is more space than most beach chairs.

Pros

  • Added comfort with foam-covered armrests
  • Provides more support than other beach chairs
  • Anti-skid foot pads keep the chair in place
  • The metal legs are rust-proof steel

Cons

  • A bit bulky due to its sturdy nature
  • Very low to the ground
  • Can become uncomfortable with legs fully extended due to pressure on the support bar

2. Alpha Camp Mesh Camping Chair 

If you’re in the market for a sun canopy chair, then this model by Alpha Camp may be for you. Its canopy protects against 50+ UPF but can be folded into the back of the chair when it is not needed.

The frame is made of heavy-duty steel and is capable of supporting a weight upwards of 350 pounds. Although the chair is on the heavier side at 14 pounds, it does come with a carry bag for greater portability.

In terms of comfort, the Alpha Camp chair has reinforced breathable mesh, padded armrests, and an oversized seat. Each arm also has a pocket: one is a holder that can accommodate a 32-ounce cup or bottle, and the other is a mesh storage bag. 

Pros

  • Canopy provides shade and protection against 50+ UPF
  • Comes with a carry bag
  • Easy to set up
  • Sun canopy can be folded into the back when not needed

Cons 

  • Canopy is not adjustable
  • On the heavier side
  • May be too tall when packed

3. Rio Gear Beach Wave Folding Chair 

If you’re in the market for a lightweight and affordable chair, then RIO Gear’s Beach Wave chair could be the model for you. It offers a no-frills experience with the singular goal of giving someone a comfortable seat to lounge in.

While that means the chair isn’t adjustable, its semi-reclined stance offers a reasonable balance between being positioned either too far back or too upright. It sits low to the ground, meaning that while it might not be suitable for a taller person, it’s advantageous for relaxing at the beach.

Thanks to its 600D polyester fabric, the chair is also wear-resistant and quick to dry out. The steel frame can support up to 190 pounds, but the chair itself only weighs five pounds. That benefits its intuitive design, which can be folded almost fully flat for easy transportation and storage. 

Pros 

  • Lightweight design weighs five pounds
  • Portable and space-saving 
  • Doesn’t require any assembly
  • Has a wide selection of colors and patterns

Cons 

  • Low profile may be unsuitable for taller people
  • Lacks a cup holder
  • Can struggle on uneven surfaces

4. KingCamp Heavy Duty Steel Folding Chair 

The KingCamp heavy-duty steel folding chair offers both stability and comfort. This chair is as suitable for lounging at the beach as it is for camping outside an RV or a fishing lake.

It features a 12-liter cooler bag on the left arm that can keep both food and drinks in a fresh state. On the right side is a table that incorporates a handy cup holder that includes drain holes.

The frame is composed of high strength steel and can accommodate a loading weight of 330 pounds. Likewise, the chair’s material is made of wear-resistant 600D Oxford, a heavy-duty polyester fabric that is both rugged and soft.

Reviews have given attention to the chair’s supportive design, with a particular emphasis on its durability and overall comfort. If you want something to last years and still be comfortable, this may be your best beach chair.

Pros 

  • Made of a sturdy steel frame that can support upwards of 330 pounds
  • Fabric is wear-resistant and durable
  • Features a cooler bag to keep drinks fresh
  • Side table comes with a cup holder

Cons 

  • It may be on the heavier side
  • The design is somewhat bulky
  • Some buyers experienced difficulty when folding it up

5. SwimWays Kelsyus Canopy Chair 

Produced by SwimWays, the Kelsyus Canopy Chair is designed for multiple uses, including beach trips. That is benefited by a sun canopy, which can protect beachgoers from exposure by up to 50+ UPF.

Once folded and snapped down, the Kelsyus canopy transforms into a portable carry bag. This comes with a secure snap-lock buckle, as well as a shoulder strap for hands-free carrying.

Despite its portability, its powder-coated steel frame can support a weight load of up to 250 pounds. The fabric itself is a mesh design, offering users breathable and ergonomic seating.

Its oversized seat and rounded front also mean that you won’t have to deal with a chair that cuts into the back of your legs. For many reviewers, the chair’s comfort was a big selling point. 

Pros 

  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Canopy doubles as a carry bag
  • Sun canopy delivers 50+ UPF protection

Cons 

  • Cup holder may be considered small
  • Some reviews found the straps to be flimsy
  • Sun canopy only swivels back and forth

6. Moon Lence Portable Folding Chair 

When it comes to portability, few are as transportable as this lightweight folding chair by Moon Lence. Though it only weighs two pounds, its frame is a durable, high-strength aluminum alloy, and it can support a load of up to 242 pounds.

Besides its weight, the chair is extra portable thanks to its mesh and cup holders being readily foldable. This can make it sufficiently compact to fit inside carry-on luggage, a stroller, or a backpack.

Of course, it wouldn’t be easily portable if it were hard to assemble. Fortunately, reviews by and large have described the simplicity of both setting it up and folding it away. The chair itself incorporates an ergonomic and breathable mesh design, while the material is made of a soft but wear-resistant 600D Oxford polyester fabric. 

Pros 

  • Lightweight design weighs only two pounds
  • Can fit inside a backpack or carry on luggage
  • Quick to set up and fold away
  • Designed to be easy-to-clean

Cons 

  • Some may find it too low to the ground
  • It is on the smaller side
  • Leg stability may struggle with softer ground

7. Quik Shade MAX Shade Chair

Those looking for a full-coverage canopy as well as a foldable beach chair may find the Quik Shade MAX Shade Chair the premier option. It has one of the largest canopies available, providing the most protection for those brutally hot days.

Because of its size, it’s on the heavier side at 10 pounds. However, it can also support up to 225 pounds. Its frame is made out of steel, so it’s sturdy and rust-resistant.

It comes with one cup holder per armrest, as well as a convenient mesh storage pocket that’s perfect for a phone, keys, and other small items. Plus, the polyester fabric is both water- and stain-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about it getting damaged at the beach.

Best of all is that you can adjust the canopy by lowering, tilting, and raising it to give yourself maximum protection throughout the day.

Pros

  • Features a carry bag
  • Sun canopy is adjustable 
  • Has two cup holders and a storage pouch
  • Intuitive to set up and fold away

Cons

  • Is long when folded up
  • Lacks a recline position
  • Materials are sturdy, but screws may come loose

(If your weight and height is above average, consider reading our article on Best Beach Chairs for Big Guys)

Beach Chair Buyer’s Guide – (Your Guide to the Different Types of Chairs)

No two beach chairs are alike, but there are some broad categories you can use to help you determine what sort of beach chair you’ll be happiest with. Some may want a beach chair that folds up to take up less space, while others are more interested in portable, lightweight models.

Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of each one, as well as how you can properly maintain your chair!

Beach Chairs with a Canopy

Canopy beach chairs come in many shapes and sizes. Some have a small canopy just enough to keep the sun off of your head. Others have a large canopy that extends far enough to protect your whole body from the sun.

Some beach chairs even come with adjustable canopies, allowing you to determine how much protection and shade you want. This also lets you move the canopy with the sun, so you know you’ll be protected no matter what time of day it is!

While it’s a good idea for everyone to wear sunscreen when out in the sun, not everyone is going to need a canopy over their beach chair. If you burn easily or have fair skin, this may be a good idea for you.

Benefits of Having a Canopy

There are a few benefits to having a canopy over you as you sit and enjoy the outdoors. The biggest benefits are:

  • Can keep you cool on a hot day
  • Protects against skin cancer
  • May help prevent premature aging of the skin
  • Can prevent painful burning
  • Helps avoid heat stroke on extra hot days

There are many dangers of spending too long in the sun, some of which can have lifelong effects. For example, skin damage from UV rays can build up over time, leading not only to our skin looking older than its years, but it can also lead to skin cancer.

While not all skin cancer is deadly, removing it leaves behind scars and burns. A canopy is a great solution not just to keep you cool when the sun’s at its peak but also to keep you safe as you enjoy your time outside!

Drawbacks of a Beach Chair with a Canopy

Any disadvantages to using a beach chair with a canopy will depend on what you need specifically. That being said, they aren’t for everyone! Some common drawbacks are:

  • Can be more expensive than other models
  • Are often difficult to assemble
  • May be difficult to carry around on vacation

If you’re going for a long hike before you get to the destination where you plan on setting your chair up, a canopied beach chair may not be the right answer. They can be heavy and cumbersome, difficult to hold as you walk.

Of course, they’re also often pricier than other types of beach chairs. Not everyone needs a canopy and may want to invest that extra money in something that offers more comfort, like a reclining beach chair.

Features

The main feature of a beach chair with a canopy is the canopy itself. Of course, depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you may get some nice extra features as well.

Some offer reclining capabilities in addition to the canopy; some have adjustable canopies; some provide UPF sun protection, and so much more. 

How to Set Up Your Beach Chair with a Canopy

While some people may find setting up a canopy tricky at first, once you get it, it will be a cinch. Many canopy beach chairs have clip-on canopies that can either be folded up or rolled up for storage.

When setting your chair up, all you need to do is unroll your canopy and then hook (or snap) it into place. There should be clear hooks or snaps on the sides of the chair if it’s a portable model.

However, a static canopy chair that doesn’t fold up for travel purposes will likely have a canopy that is permanently attached. It may have a fabric shade you can slide on and off to wash but otherwise won’t need any additional attention.

Maintaining Your Beach Chair with a Canopy

Depending on the material your canopy is made out of, there will be different ways of cleaning it.

If you have a fabric cover as a canopy for a stationary beach chair, you’ll probably be able to wash it with a mild, color-safe detergent in your washing machine.

However, your canopy will likely be made of plastic or nylon. In such cases, you can keep it clean by using mild dish soap with warm (not hot!) water and a sponge. Simply give it a gentle wipe down with the soap, then another with some plain water. 

You’ll want to make sure your chair stays as dry as possible to prevent mold buildup. Unfortunately, it’s also imperative that you don’t get your canopy too close to a heat source as this could warp the material.

Folding Beach Chairs

Nothing beats the convenience of having a folding beach chair. Unlike lightweight and portable options, they can still offer extra creature comforts while still being advantageous for travel and storage.

Because they can collapse, they can fit more easily into tight spaces. That’s great news for campers, beachgoers, and those who don’t have a lot of storage space in the garage at home. 

However, because they’re not designed to be ultra-light, they may be sturdier than more “portable” models, and they may come with some nice extras, like cushions, drink holders, pockets, and more.

Benefits of a Folding Beach Chair

There are plenty of benefits to getting yourself a folding beach chair for your next vacation. These include:

  • Taking up less space in your storage area
  • Being more easily transportable than other models
  • Still offering comforts of more luxurious chairs

The biggest benefit of using a folding beach chair is that it takes up less space for storage, which also makes it easier to transport. However, because it’s not necessarily a lightweight model, you’ll get some extra comforts, and it may last longer thanks to heavier, better-quality materials.

Drawbacks to Using a Folding Beach Chair

There are a few drawbacks to using a folding chair, depending on how you plan on using your beach chair. For example:

  • Can be clunky when carrying the beach chair
  • Often heavier than other models
  • Not as luxurious as a recliner or beach chair with a canopy

While there are plenty of advantages to having a folding beach chair, it’s not the best for travel, and it doesn’t offer the same levels of comfort as other models.

(If you are suffering from back pain, you should read our article on Best Beach Chairs for Bad Backs)

Features

The main features of a folding beach chair are the fact that it can fold into a compact space. This is perfect for those of us who don’t have a lot of extra storage space or for those of us who want to take our beach chairs out and want something easy to carry but still comfortable.

After all, the folding beach chair is often perfect for taking down to the beach or lake, and if it isn’t a lightweight model, it will likely still be made out of high-grade materials. 

How to Set Up Your Folding Beach Chair

Thankfully, most folding beach chairs are easy to navigate. Usually, all you need to do is grab the top and seat of the chair and gently pull it into its upright position.

Some may collapse by bringing both sides together or in another fashion. Typically, your beach chair will come with a pictograph of how to work it, so be sure to look that over before opening your chair.

Maintaining Your Folding Beach Chair

As with any outdoor furniture, you need to protect your chair from rust. Because your folding chair will have springs, you’ll need to be extra careful to take care of it and keep it dry between uses. 

If it has cushions or textile coverings, you’ll have to wash them every now and again to keep them clean. 

It’s also a good idea to regularly wax your chair, grease the springs, and use WD-40 when necessary. This will keep it in good working order and help it last for years to come.

Portable and Lightweight Beach Chairs

If you’re a traveler and like to go on walks along the beach or hikes from the bluffs down to the water, you’ll likely want a portable and lightweight beach chair. They’re also great if you need a chair frequently to take to children’s sporting matches, or if you often picnic with the family.

The lighter the chair, the more you can carry, and the easier it is to bring along, no matter where you go. 

Benefits of Using a Portable and Lightweight Beach Chair

However, with so many other types of beach chairs available, all relatively portable, what sets this type apart? Some of the benefits include:

  • Easy to carry other things at the same time
  • Makes storing it even simpler
  • Still comfortable but light enough for even a child to carry

For those of us who want to be able to simply sling our beach chairs over our arms and go, a lightweight and portable beach chair is the best option.

While they may not be as comfortable as some others, they’re still better than sitting on the sand or hard ground.

Drawbacks to Having a Portable and Lightweight Beach Chair

Of course, every type of beach chair will have some drawbacks. Some of the disadvantages of a lightweight and portable beach chair are:

  • Being lightweight may mean cheaper materials
  • Cheaper materials won’t last as long
  • May not be as luxurious as other models

A lightweight and portable beach chair will likely be less expensive than, say, a reclining model, but that in turn may mean it won’t last as long. After all, quality materials tend to be heavier.

However, if you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank and is easy to bring to and fro while carrying fishing gear, then a portable and lightweight version might be your top choice!

Features

Fortunately, there are plenty of options when it comes to a lightweight, portable version of a beach chair. Just remember that the more add-ons a chair has, the more likely that the price will go up accordingly.

For example, you can get a portable beach chair that has a side table attached, a cup holder, pockets for storage, or even a canopy! Of course, the more stuff you add on, the heavier it will become.

How to Set Up Your Portable and Lightweight Beach Chair

Most portable and lightweight beach chairs are going to be foldable, so you’ll set it up the same way as other foldable beach chairs.

That means pulling either the top and the seat apart or gently tugging the arms apart to unfold it. Of course, each chair is different. Make sure you read any instructions before you try to assemble it for the first time, just in case.

Maintaining Your Portable and Lightweight Beach Chair

A lightweight beach chair may not last as long as more expensive models, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take good care of it to help it live a longer life.

Make sure you keep the vinyl or fabric dry and do what you can to care for the metal bars. That may mean waxing them before beach trips and keeping them dry between uses to prevent rust.

Reclining Beach Chairs

When we go to the beach, many of us want to be as comfortable as possible. That’s where a reclining beach chair can be beneficial!

They’re probably the most luxurious of all beach chairs and, like many beach chairs, combines with other types. Some may have a canopy, while others may be foldable, or both! 

What it all boils down to is no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find the perfect reclining beach chair. 

Benefits of a Reclining Beach Chair

Those who are looking to maximize how relaxed they can be when outside may want a reclining beach chair. Of course, there are more benefits, such as:

  • Maximum comfort, no matter where you are
  • Ability to adjust how erect the chair is, which can be easier on your back
  • Better for those who want to even out their sun exposure
  • Gentler on the joints

Not everyone has a great back and wants to sit up straight for hours at a time. Having a reclining chair can allow us to set our chair at the perfect angle, relieving pressure on our spine and joints. 

They’re also perfect for those of us who want to really relax when outdoors or for those who want to make sure they get an even tan.

Drawbacks to Using a Reclining Beach Chair

As comfy as a reclining beach chair can be, there can be certain drawbacks. Some of those disadvantages include:

  • Bulkier and heavier
  • May be harder to transport from place to place
  • Can be harder to set up and maintain
  • Higher price point

While they can’t be beaten for comfort, most reclining beach chairs aren’t as portable as lightweight options. 

Features

Like every type of beach chair, the individual features are going to vary, model to model. 

For instance, many reclining beach chairs will come with a cupholder. Others may have a side table attached, giving you a great place to put your lunch or a book as you lounge.

How to Set Up Your Reclining Beach Chair

Every reclining beach chair is going to vary in how it works. Some will have hooks that you can use to lower the back support. Specific models may slide back while others have a lever under the arm you use to lower or raise them.

Maintaining Your Reclining Beach Chair

The more complicated the mechanism, the more care it’s going to take to maintain. Grease and WD-40 will be necessary to keep gears and springs in good condition, while wax can protect the metal from rust.

The fabric or vinyl itself will also need to be cared for. Try to keep it out of the sun when not in use and dry it off after it gets wet.

Best Beach Chair Comparison Chart

ProductPriceSize (LxWxH)Weight Capacity (pounds)Unique Features
King camp low Beach back chair$22.8" x 23.2" x 25.2" 300Provides more support than other beach chairs
Alpha Camp Mesh Camping Chair$37" x 22" x 40.1" 350Comes with carry bag and easy to set up
Rio Gear Beach Wave Folding Chair$24.39"x19.87"x4.91" 190Portable and space saving
King Camp Heavy Duty Steel Folding Chair$37.4" x 22.83" x 43.31" 330Cooler bag to keep drink fresh
Swim Ways Kelsyus Canopy Chair$36.5" x 7.5" x 7.5"250Comfort seats with wide padded arm rest
Moon Lence Portable Folding Chair$22" x 24" x 26" 242Easy to set up and fold away
Quick Shade MAX Shade Chair$7.5" x 37.4" x 6.3 "225Sun canopy is adjustable

Wrap Up

What kind of beach chair you end up choosing will largely depend on how you plan on vacationing. No two chairs are alike, and some may have features you just don’t need.

For example, if you plan on carrying your chair around as you go about your day hiking or the like, you will probably want something lightweight and portable. However, if you’re looking for something to keep the heat off of you in a brutally sunny area, then a beach chair with a canopy is likely the best.

Really think about what you want out of your chair and how you plan on using it most often. Then, you’ll have a better idea of which chair you want to get, or at least which chair you want to get first!

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