Summer is here, and many people prefer spending long hours on the beach, as opposed to locking themselves indoors and running every available cooling appliance, from ACs to fans. Beach chairs are ubiquitous on the beach during summer, as well as in warm climates. However, choosing the right beach chair depends on numerous factors. You’ll find a wide array of styles, sizes, and functionalities, and choosing the right chair for your needs may be quite confusing.
A day at the beach can lighten up anybody’s mood, and there’s no doubt about that. However, for experienced beach lovers, having the right gear can make your experience more enjoyable. This may include beach umbrellas
, towels, beach chairs, and sunscreens.
A beach chair is an essential accessory for anyone looking to spend a summer day at the beach. We all know the sand can get scorching hot, and you don’t want to ruin your day by running back to the hotel room or your home, or hiding in a beach shelter
What should you look for in a beach chair? Beach chairs are pretty simple accessories, but there are a few factors to look at. For instance, you need something comfortable and easily portable, with a design that allows you to fold it up and keep it in your car trunk. Also, consider its materials, to ensure it's light enough to carry, but will still offer the required durability. Some beach lovers use beach mats
, but if a mat's not thick enough, the afternoon heat from the sand will surely penetrate to your skin.
The market is saturated with a wide array of beach chair brands and models, but the popular types include inflatable loungers, oversized sand chairs, and beach chairs for kids. Read our consideration factors to learn what makes each model worth considering.
Beach chairs vary widely in price depending on the quality, and on extra features such as umbrellas, ability to fold up, and materials used. You can find a good quality chair for $30 to about $100. That doesn’t mean there are no cheap beach chairs out there. Generally, we don’t recommend very cheap options, since they may not offer the best quality for your expectations.
Beach chair frames can be made from metal, wood, or plastic. Chairs with steel frames tend to be the most expensive, but offer more durability. However, steel adds additional weight to the overall construction, and may rust easily if not kept dry. Aluminum frames are a lighter alternative, but must be handled gently to prevent bending and denting. Wood provides a sturdy and classic appeal, but, again, comes with more weight. Plastic chairs are the cheapest and lightest, but must be handled with care if you want them to last longer. Perhaps the major positive with plastic or wood armrests is that they won’t heat up under the scorching sun.
The seat and the backrest are usually made from polyester, polypropylene, or plastic. They offer durability, are easy to wash, allow air circulation through open weaves, and usually dry quickly after washing. High-end models are made from cotton or canvas.
As the summer heat soars high, the sound of the surf hits the shore, and you try to catch some afternoon breeze, a decent beach chair will be a godsend. Beach chairs come in handy both at the beach, and at the poolside or in the backyard. Here are the basic components that make up a beach chair:
- Frame - Beach chair frames are made from various materials, including steel, aluminum, wood, and plastic. Steel is the sturdiest. Aluminum is lightweight, making it more portable. Wood offers an upscale look, but can be heavier to carry around. Plastics are lightweight as well, but can be quite delicate. If you choose to go with steel, be sure it's powder coated to prevent rusting and scratching.
- Seat Fabric - Seat fabrications vary in terms of denier, a measure of thickness and weight. You can find chairs made from cotton, nylon, canvas, and polyester. Always consider denier strengths ranging between 420D and 600D for durability. Canvas and cotton fabrics are soft and comfortable, while nylon and polyester fabrics offer more weather resistance. The material choice is more about personal taste and comfort.
- Extra Features - Although you’ll find beach chairs of various shapes and sizes, there are additional features that set each model apart. These may include cup holders that allow you to relax in style, as you keep yourself hydrated with your favorite drink by your side. Some chairs come with padding to offer that extra comfort, while others have canopies to keep the scorching sun off your head. The canopy can also provide extra storage with pockets, and still serve as a tote bag. It’s also important to consider chairs that fold up for easy storage, and that have a comfortable head rest and multiple reclining positions to suit your comfort level.
Construction and Design
When it comes to design and construction, there’s a lot that goes into a beach chair. The type of chair you choose to buy will depend on your specific needs, as many models out there are designed to meet particular requirements. Here’s an analysis of some common beach chairs you should consider:
- Classic sand chairs - These chairs are designed for sturdiness, and offer compactness and ease of operation on the sand. They are perfect for the beach due to their ease of use and portability. If you’re looking for a comfortable chair with no-nonsense sturdiness, this could be your best bet!
- Chaise lounge chairs - These chairs are designed for comfort above everything else. They're usually heavy and difficult to move around, but this may be a fair trade for the comfort they offer. If you’re looking for the utmost relaxation, choose a model with comfortable padding and contouring.
- Backpack chairs - As the name suggests, backpack chairs can be easily folded and carried via shoulder straps, just like a backpack. They are ideal for beach life since they are easy to transport, lightweight, and extremely durable.
- Toddler beach chair - If you’re taking your kids along to the beach, a toddler beach chair is a great investment. They are usually small, light, and low to the ground, making them easily accessible to kids. They also have latches to prevent accidental closure.
- Hi-boy beach chairs - These chairs have long backs to offer that extra support. They are ideal for tall and large people, and ensure that a large portion of the body is supported for maximum comfort. Despite the extra length, they are lightweight and easy to transport.
- Zero gravity beach chairs - These special chairs are designed to support your entire body. They're slightly longer than ordinary beach chairs, so they might be heavier. They simulate zero gravity by taking the full weight of your body, hence enhancing total comfort.
Performance and Ease of Use
Beach chairs are either easily portable or have extra comfort features like armrests. A beach chair that folds in half, either vertically or horizontally, allows you to carry it around. When it’s time to go home or back to the hotel, you simply throw it into the trunk and drive off. Some models even fold into three sections, making them smaller and easier to carry and store. Consider a chair with attachable sling shoulder carry straps and a separate carry bag if you’re going to carry it around.
Armrests offer comfort, but you don’t want an armrest that heats up easily under the scorching sun. Consider armrests made from wood to offer sturdiness and comfort. Others may be covered with different fabrics, or padded to keep them from overheating and give some extra comfort.
Some beach chairs include various amenities, such as attached pillows that flip to the back of the chair when not being used. Some come with slings or pockets for your drinks, cellphones, and books, and even attached coolers for your favorite drinks and snacks.
We looked at specialty outdoor product brands that use the most durable and lightweight materials and premium designs. We compared the prices of top-rated beach chairs to find options for different budgets. We've chosen a variety of chair styles, from compact to large reclining models, so you can choose whatever fits your needs. With such a list in hand, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and pick the beach chair for you.
Caravan Sports makes it easy to enjoy the outdoors, whether you're tailgating, hitting the beach or hanging out at the park. Its instant canopies, portable shelters and outdoor seating let you and your friends comfortably enjoy the great outdoors. It's highly specialized, so it has a wide assortment of options when it comes to outdoor shelters and chairs.
The Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair can turn a park into your own personal living room, complete with full reclining capability. It locks in place with a dual finger top locking system and can be folded down for easy transport. Its durable powder coated steel frame and textaline fabric are built to stand up to the elements for a long time. The headrest is also adjustable for added comfort.
This zero gravity chair is available in a variety of colors: beige, aqua blue, black, blue, burgundy, camouflage, gray, red, terra cotta, emerald green, toffee and beige patterned.
The chair style you choose will depend mostly on how you'll use it and how mobile it needs to be. Long trips to the beach or a campsite would be best matched with a compact chair. But if you're by the beach, why not spring for something more supportive? Whatever you're looking for, these brands have a range of options for you to choose from. Hopefully, we helped you find the ideal beach chair you’ve been looking for. However, if you didn’t find a perfect match from our picks, feel free to sample other alternative choices from these brands.