Best Beach Chairs – Tips and Buying Guide

Best Beach Chair

If you’re a regular beachgoer, and hate the idea of constantly having to hire out chairs from your chosen destination, buying your own can save you cash.

But to get the best return on your investment, it’s wise not to skimp on quality.

The beach chairs of today are a far cry from what they used to be – creaky, unstable products where you lived in constant fear that you were going to fall through the middle of it and get up trapped.

Although some beach chairs can appear to be a one-stop-shop for your entire holidaying experience, remember that it’s unwise to pay through the nose for features you’re probably never going to need.

Now, they’re the epitome of comfort. Some manufacturers even include pillows at the top of the lounge chair – meaning that they become a highly desirable destination for a brief snooze in the afternoon, or a snuggly den where you can read a newspaper. What’s more, most products these days are also poles apart from their garish counterparts that you’ll likely remember from the 1960s and 1970s.

Gone are the dull stripes which seemed to adorn every single beach chair in existence – as they have now been replaced with beautiful splashes of color which will make you stand out from the crowd wherever you go. Now… who said that you couldn’t make a fashion statement with a practical product?

Although some beach chairs can appear to be a one-stop-shop for your entire holidaying experience, remember that it’s unwise to pay through the nose for features you’re probably never going to need. For example, some chairs can come with several cup holders where you can store your drinks – and I think we can all agree that this is a little over the top. Just one is going to be more than sufficient in most cases, and this means that you get the opportunity to use the armrests for stretching out and watching the world go by.

In this buying guide, we’re going to explore the five characteristics of beach chairs that you really need – stuff that you should make sure is executed to the finest quality so you don’t suffer from buyer’s remorse in the months after purchase.

Best Beach Chair Characteristics

Storage pouch

During a heat wave, it’s likely that the beach will be teeming with people who all had the same idea: hit the waves, enjoy the sunshine, and make sandcastles. However, the downside to this is how space to pitch up your gear can be at a premium.
Because of this you should heavily consider choosing a beach chair which comes equipped with nifty pockets where you can store some of the essentials.
Always check to see whether your storage pouch comes with a mesh lining. See beach chair with canopy and cup holder

It helps guarantee that nothing is going to get lost during your travels, and means grabbing the sunscreen or a carton of orange juice for the kids can be achieved without even having to get up. Now that’s relaxation at its fullest! What you’ll be able to stow away in this storage pouch depends on the beach chair you opt for, and how cavernous the space it provides really is. Sometimes, pockets can be so shallow that they’ll accommodate nothing more than a pair of sunglasses, while others are far more generous and can fit towels and several books.Best Beach Chair

Always check to see whether your storage pouch comes with a mesh lining. You will find this useful for two reasons.

Firstly, it helps to ensure that condensation from any cold drinks doesn’t cause the rest of your stuff to become damp. Plus, it also makes drying towels and swimsuits a lot easier, because there will be plenty of air circulating through the storage pouch at all times. Better still, it also means that it’s a safe place to store your sandwiches and snacks for lunchtime – as the last thing you want is bits of sand and dirt coming into contact with your food.

It’s important that the manufacturer constructs the storage pouch out of a resilient material which isn’t going to tear easily.

After all, it’s highly plausible that you might rely on this pocket to keep your car keys or wallet in a safe place – and you don’t want any jagged edges to create an irreparable tear in the fabric.

Material

Moving on down the shopping list, pay a great deal of thought to the materials which have been used to construct the beach chair – both in terms of fabric, and the frame which ensures it remains sturdy and weatherproof when placed on the ground.

Although aluminum is the lightest frame on the market by a country mile, freeing you up to carry other stuff as you trudge to your favorite spot on the beach, it can dent if you’re not too careful – but this shouldn’t affect its structural integrity all that much.

Wood also comes recommended because it won’t conduct heat and become dangerously hot, even if it’s been left out in the sun for most of the day.

Wood also comes recommended because it won’t conduct heat and become dangerously hot, even if it’s been left out in the sun for most of the day. Sure, they might be a little heavier, but in terms of safety around children, they’re unrivaled. You should purchase some varnish as an accessory, as giving it a bit of treatment every summer – when combined with gentle sanding – keeps it looking as good as new.

Then there’s steel which is popular contender for beach chair frames. However, you’ll normally find such products are on the pricier end of the market, and there’s no guarantee that they will be fully resistant against rusting.

Moving onto the fabric, you’ll want something that’s tough without compromising on your comfort. It should be so soft that you can effortlessly drift away to the sound of crashing waves, without having to budge around and find the perfect position.

It’s important that this material offers plenty of ventilation, too – otherwise your back could become rather sweaty because it hasn’t been allowed to breathe and get some fresh air.

Polyester is particularly common – and this is in part because of how it’s durable and can handle the beach chair constantly being shunted into different positions. It’s also unlikely to lose its color over time.

An idea you might want to consider, for added luxury, is taking along a towel which you can drape over the chair. It’ll keep you warm if the clouds set in, and guarantees added softness, too.

Umbrella included

Everybody love beach chairs which boast this feature – as usual, umbrellas are an accessory that you would feel compelled to purchase separately anyways. Once you’ve applied some strong sunscreen, a dependable canopy means you can feel less guilty about dozing off for a little while as you enjoy an afternoon nap.

You should check to see whether or not the position of the umbrella is adjustable – after all, if your chair has several positions, yet the canopy is inflexible, you’ll find yourself thinking that this is a gimmicky feature with no real value.

Thankfully, most umbrellas can swivel in three directions, allowing you to tilt it and tweak its height until it’s in an optimal position.

Thankfully, most umbrellas can swivel in three directions, allowing you to tilt it and tweak its height until it’s in an optimal position. And, once you’ve read that gripping chapter of your favorite book – or perhaps completed a particularly grueling crossword puzzle – you can normally fold it behind the chair to carry on sunbathing.

Always make sure that the fabric which has been used for the umbrella is UV resistant. Although it won’t shield you completely from UVB rays which can endanger the skin indirectly, you will help to lower the risk of sunburn or unwanted damage.

One feature that’ll put your mind at ease is a metallic undercoating, as this indicates the fabric has been treated to offer sun protection to a standard of SPF 50 or more.

Any umbrella which has been affixed to a beach chair should also have your family’s safety in mind. If it’s placed directly over the lounger, it’s possible that your head could collide with the umbrella once you get up.

For this reason, most manufacturers of these high-end products include safety tips on the end of an umbrella’s ribs, helping to stop something sharp from coming into contact with your eyes.

A final flourish of detail that never goes amiss are umbrellas which can be detached from the beach chair effortlessly. They normally include clips that attach and detach the accessory in a matter of seconds – perfect for indecisive holidaymakers.

Carry case

This characteristic of beach chairs is normally found in products which have been tailored for holidaymakers heading on backpacking or camping vacations.

However, in recent years, it’s become far more of a mainstream feature – given how it gives you plenty of freedom to lug around sand buckets, toys, coolers (and your children!) from A to B.

In some cases, you may not be given a storage bag by the beach chair manufacturer – but a carrying strap which can be placed over your shoulder, making it look like an oversized tote bag of sorts.

In some cases, you may not be given a storage bag by the beach chair manufacturer – but a carrying strap which can be placed over your shoulder, making it look like an oversized tote bag of sorts.

Bearing this in mind, you should check to see what the beach chair’s dimensions are when the product is folded, as if it’s rather long, it can end up dragging along the floor and scuffing the frame – as well as being really uncomfortable to take with you.

We’ve read extensive reviews before bringing this buying guide to you – and it appears that one major gripe that many shoppers have with complimentary carrying bags and cases is how they’re not very well designed.

This often means that packing away the beach chair after you’ve enjoyed a day of sun, sea and sand can be nothing short of a nightmare – as the bag doesn’t appear to be wide enough (or deep enough) to properly accommodate the chair in its folded state without part of the frame peeping out.

Plus, if you end up getting impatient and trying to effectively shoehorn the beach chair into the case, you end up with another problem: bags made out of weak fabrics can often split, meaning that you’re left without any accessory to transport it at all.

As such, you should always check to see what other shoppers’ experiences are with carrying cases that have been included for free alongside your chosen beach chair. Although they can be an absolute blessing when they’re made with love and care, it’s something of a hollow gesture when they aren’t up to the task.

Best Beach Chair
red beach chair at a lake with dark clouds and evening light

Lightweight

Most manufacturers these days do provide information about how much their beach chair weighs when it’s in a folded or compact state. This can give you a clear idea of whether or not it’ll be easy to manage if you have a long way to walk from a car park to the beach. If you’re not familiar with kilograms, which seem to be the norm these days for providing weight, don’t despair – you can normally get a conversion into pounds with a nifty converter!

For the most lightweight option, we highly recommend aluminum – not least because you’re also guaranteed that it’ll be quite an inexpensive material, too.

Now, as we explored earlier, the frame that you select for the beach chair will have a considerable influence on how much the product weighs – and the same goes for heavy-duty fabrics which can send the scales spinning.

For the most lightweight option, we highly recommend aluminum – not least because you’re also guaranteed that it’ll be quite an inexpensive material, too.

The great thing about selecting an aluminum beach chair is how you also won’t have to compromise on the load capacity of the product. In layman’s terms, this is how much of a person’s weight the frame can support without it beginning to bend, become unstable, and start to list.

The average load capacity we’ve seen from the most popular products on the market rests between 250lbs and 300lbs (or 113kg to 136kg.) In a nutshell, this is really generous – not least because of how your weight will most likely be distributed throughout the beach chair pretty evenly once you’re in a reclining state.

You should be able to relax all on your lonesome, or invite the kids onto your knee to top up on sun cream, without damaging the structural integrity of the chair.

So – in summary, there are five characteristics that you should be looking for in the best beach chair for summers of intensive, enjoyable, and above all, relaxing use.

Storage pouches will go a long way to keeping your stuff safe and secure, the materials should be light but durable, and an umbrella always comes in handy.

 

Beach Chair Buying Guide

Most people don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing a beach chair – after all, it’s not the type of purchase you make every day.

The secret to success is knowing what constitutes a well-built and sturdy product.

Beach chairs are often able to provide you with that delightful sensation of lying on the sand, without the unpleasant feeling of being covered from head to toe in sand grains.

Oftentimes, you’ll just be a few inches off the ground when you’re in a fully reclined state – and this also means you’ll be in easy reach of sunscreen and the cooler bag that you’ve probably packed with loads of sandwiches and soda cans.

Comfort and safety are both taken into account with the best-known brands of beach chair. For example, it’s possible to purchase products which come with armrests that boast a beautiful hardwood finish. Also, there are foldable beach chairs (which we’re going to be discussing in further detail later on) which are cleverly designed to ensure that there’s no possibility of trapping your fingers accidentally.

Do make sure you check whether or not a carry case is included in the box. Some innovators in the industry have gone one better, by ensuring that their chair can also be fashioned into a backpack, while others include discreet shoulder straps.

So, without further ado, let’s jump straight into our buying guide on beach chairs – enabling you to pick the right product ahead of your vacation.

Choosing the Right Beach Chair

Best Beach Chair
Without a doubt – just like any other product – the one thing you’re going to be most concerned about is whether or not the beach chair is durable. If it begins to fall apart when you’re days into your holiday, it can prove to be both annoying and expensive, especially when you have to start hiring expensive sun beds from the beach as an alternative.

So: what are the telltale signs that a beach chair isn’t going to let you down?

Ideally, the beach chair should also have a “wipe clean” fabric – allowing you to get rid of any stains without a second thought.

Well, there should be a lot of emphasis on weather resistance. This should be in the form of the fabric, which shouldn’t begin to lose its color – irrespective of how long it has been left out in the sun for.

Ideally, the beach chair should also have a “wipe clean” fabric – allowing you to get rid of any stains without a second thought, and without them becoming a permanent addition to the product’s appearance.

Next, you should ensure that the chair can withstand the odd downpour. The fabric should be able to dry quite quickly – as usually it will offer plenty of ventilation which allows the chair to “breathe.” This is also useful for whenever you’re taking a break after a dip in the sea, as your swimsuit should be dry in no time at all.

Always carefully comb through reviews for any indication that the beach chair isn’t rustproof. It can be highly inconvenient and annoying when the frame begins to discolor, and you have a right to quality workmanship.

Thankfully, beach chairs are really cheap to buy online, available in a plethora of colors, and normally, the pictures that you’ll see alongside the product descriptions do provide a realistic representation of the beach chair. Typically, dimensions are also provided for your reference.

What is the load capacity?

This is arguably the most important specification of your beach chair, and the reason why is simple: if you don’t do your homework, it’s possible that the product will be unable to support your weight, causing the frame to become irreparably damaged.

And, if you failed to check the load capacity of the chair before purchase, it won’t be protected under the manufacturer’s warranty – because it was your error (and duty) to make sure that you bought the correct product for your requirements.

Remember that opting for furniture which can take greater amounts of weight doesn’t necessarily mean that the chair is going to be heavier to carry around, too.

No matter whether how much you weigh, there is going to be a beach chair that’s suitable for your requirements. As a minimum, load capacities with these products tend to rest around the 250lbs mark – but some chairs can handle up to twice as much without breaking a sweat.

In many ways, it all depends on the frame that your beach chair has been made of, and do remember that opting for furniture which can take greater amounts of weight doesn’t necessarily mean that the chair is going to be heavier to carry around, too.

If you have the budget to buy products which have been constructed out of steel or aluminum, you’ll be delighted with the exceptionally portable nature of these chairs – as they can weigh less than 10lbs.

It’s important, however, to make sure that you always use the beach chair as instructed, distributing your weight evenly across the surface that’s been provided.

Some disgruntled shoppers have reported, for instance, that the adjustable armrest snapped off their chair when somebody sat on it. However, if the instruction manual provided with your product specifically warns you against such use, it’s likely that you only have yourself to blame.

Is the beach chair foldable?

Folding beach chairs are all the craze these days, and that’s because they’re immensely convenient for ferrying to and from your favorite sunspot. It means that products with rather hefty dimensions – in terms of width, length and height – can be compressed down into a size that’s small enough to constitute a backpack.

An added feature that you’ll normally enjoy with folding beach chairs is the opportunity to pick and choose from an assortment of sitting positions. Whereas some products will offer three preset modes, others may offer five or more.

There are even items out there which offer the ultimate in personalization – allowing you to gradually adjust the seat until you find the perfect angle for you.

There are even items out there which offer the ultimate in personalization – allowing you to gradually adjust the seat until you find the perfect angle for you. This could be especially advantageous if you’ve struggled with neck or back problems in the past.

The one thing to check with this specification is whether or not the hinges are going to prove highly resistant against wear and tear. Unfortunately, this can prove to be a major downside to foldable beach chairs, because the fixtures can’t handle continual movement and abrasion. As a result, it could mean that the folding mechanism stops working altogether – throwing any prospect of portability out of the window with it.

As these fixtures can be impossible to replace by purchasing replacements on the web (unless you’re a highly skilled mechanic,) consider choosing a manufacturer which has a devoted section in its warranty to these fixtures.

That way, you can rest assured that your investment is covered if the hinges deteriorate through no fault of your own.

Finally, make sure that the chair folds into a flat, stackable shape – as this’ll be ideal if you need to store more than one in your loft.

Will a pillow be included?

Unfortunately, lying on a beach chair is not always the comfortable experience you may think as it seems. That’s because there may be instances where the fabric that’s been placed on top of the frame – typically polyester or Sunbrella, both man-made textiles – haven’t been padded.

This is normally remedied by throwing a towel over the beach chair, which gives you a soft place to recline, and also stops the chair from getting wet and covered in sand throughout the day.

Because you may be lying flat – or at a heavily reclined angle – it can be impossible to get comfortable when your head hasn’t got a little bit of elevation.

However, a towel won’t solve the frustration you can often experience from the lack of a pillow. Because you may be lying flat – or at a heavily reclined angle – it can be impossible to get comfortable when your head hasn’t got a little bit of elevation.

That’s  why many beach chair manufacturers include a pillow for free along with their products. It may be sewn into the fabric, or secured into place with Velcro or a similar type of fastening.

You should check to see whether or not it is removable, and more importantly, machine washable – as you don’t want your loved ones or your children to be lying on a dirty pillow which cannot be removed from a beach chair that’s been in the family for several years.

From an aesthetics point of view, it’s also worthwhile to see whether or not you can find a beach chair where the pillow has a matching pattern to the rest of the fabric. It certainly presents a nice finishing touch – especially if the color of the chair is quite distinctive to begin with.

There’s no need to pay extra just so you have the privilege of a beach chair with a pillow, as this can also be bought as an inexpensive accessory.

Sun protection

Best Beach Chair
Another important consideration to make when you’re purchasing a beach chair is whether or not it comes with additional accessories to ensure that you can be given some welcome respite from the sun on a hot day.

Usually, you’ll be able to choose from an awning of some kind, or an umbrella. If you’re really innovative, it might even be possible to drape some sun resistant fabric over the chair – but this can be quite a tricky thing to achieve, especially if it’s windy in the coastal region where you’re enjoying a vacation.

More often than not, you’ll find that the simplest solution out there is to invest in a beach chair which comes with an umbrella that can be adjusted until it’s directly over your head and upper body.

More often than not, you’ll find that the simplest solution out there is to invest in a beach chair which comes with an umbrella that can be adjusted until it’s directly over your head and upper body.

However, do bear in mind that not any old fabric is going to be up to the task. Instead, it’s crucial for you to ensure that the canopy has been pre-treated with a coating that gives it UV resistance to an SPF 50+ standard – or, alternatively, a metallic undercoating that works to a similar effect.

UVB rays – widely perceived to be among the most damaging by skin cancer experts – can still permeate through fabrics without a strong SPF rating. As a result, it’s highly plausible that you could still get sunburn while underneath an inadequate umbrella.

In many ways, it’s akin to being out in the midday sun when you’re just wearing a T-shirt. Although your skin may be covered, in a way, it’s still going to become reddened and sore with prolonged exposure.

As such, the advice is always to wear sunscreen when you’re at the beach – even if you have a snazzy chair with a SPF-coated umbrella.

Is the chair going to be sturdy enough?
This is kind of related to load capacity, which we were discussing in detail a little earlier in this buying guide. When you are out purchasing a beach chair, you should be able to expect a product which feels solid – so you can recline and relax without fear that it’s going to collapse under your weight at any moment.

If your beach chair lacks the sturdiness you deserve, it’s possible that it may list to one side – meaning that you end up sitting or lying at an angle.

Given how you might be using a beach chair in the sand, it’s important that the legs can handle slightly uneven surfaces.

Worse still, it won’t hold firm whenever you make even the slightest of moves – making you feel seasick even though you’re meant to be on dry land.

Given how you might be using a beach chair in the sand, it’s important that the legs can handle slightly uneven surfaces. The legs on the frame should also be nice and long, enabling it to have more contact with the ground.

You might want to consider checking how tall the beach chair will be off the ground when it’s in a fully reclining state – as this can also be a strong indicator of how strong and sturdy the product is going to be. After all, the lower it is off the ground, the less grief you’re going to have with occasional gusts of wind.

So, in summary, let’s go over the five specifications you should expect from your brand-new beach chair once again.

First, always check the load capacity to verify whether it’s compatible with your weight. Next, consider whether you can fold the beach chair to make transportation easier. A complimentary pillow always goes a long way, as does sun protection features to keep your family safe. And finally, a sturdy chair never offends!

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