Picture this: The waves are crashing, there's the soft sound of gulls overhead—and then there's you, desperately kicking at sand and struggling to keep your beach towel from flying up in the breeze. Ah, if only you had the one thing missing from this scene: one of the best beach chairs on the market. Whether you're headed to the shore, the lake or the park, you won't be fully ready for summer’s sun and games without one on hand.
As far as options go, they really run the gamut: This pick from Sunflow ($296) is undoubtedly the cream of the crop with its detachable canopy for mid-day shade, while this option from Coleman ($43) has its own cooler for snacks.
The most sought-after seats for sunning will be durable, easy to tote and have plenty of bells and whistles, if that's what you're after—and yep, you’ll find us in one of ‘em.
What Is the Best Material for Beach Chairs?
If you ask us, the most important feature of a beach chair is that it stays upright and doesn't fall apart, which means you'll want to choose its materials with care. Here are a few of the most durable materials to look for in your seaside seat.
BEACH CHAIR SEAT MATERIALS
Polyester: Polyester is a strong and durable fabric that can withstand outdoor elements, like sun, sand and water. Its resistance to fading, tearing and stretching make it an ideal material for your beach chair's seat.
Canvas: Canvas, which is typically made from cotton but sometimes polyester, hemp or linen, can withstand regular use, as well as exposure to water, since it's naturally water-resistant. Its breathability also allows for air to circulate, which is essential for staying comfortable on the beach. Cotton and hemp versions will not be the best for sun exposure, however, as they're prone to fading. On the bright side, canvas is easy to clean—dirt or stains can be removed by brushing or spot-cleaning with mild soap and water.
Nylon: Nylon is another beach superhero. It’s lightweight, waterproof and durable, ensuring portability and comfort, and any moisture will dry quickly and cleanly. Like cotton, however, nylon is prone to sun degradation, so it may be best to opt for a neutral color in this fabric.
BEACH CHAIR FRAME MATERIALS
Aluminum: Aluminum is lightweight, portable, durable and stable. Aluminum is also resistant to rust and corrosion, meaning it will be suitable for beach use, as it can withstand exposure to moisture and saltwater without deteriorating over time. Better yet, it's also 100 percent recyclable, making for a great eco-friendly choice.
Steel: Steel, like aluminum, is tough-yet-lightweight, durable, and resistant to corrosion.
Wood: Wood beach chairs have a timeless aesthetic. They also offer durability and stability, as well as comfort, depending on the design. With proper maintenance, they can last for years, making them a worthwhile investment for beachgoers.
How We Chose the Best Beach Chairs?
We chose the best beach chairs by carefully vetting their qualities and analyzing customer testimonials. In our research, we looked at the materials the chairs were made of, their storage options and comfort. We also looked at price, portability and style
1. Sunflow Beach Chair Bundle
Standout Features: detachable sun shade, dry bag and towel, cupholder, four-position recline
Materials: aluminum, PVC and polyester
Dimensions: 36.5 inches by 27 inches
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
Let's get this out of the way: Yes, this chair bundle is pricey. But it was also designed to be the end-all-be-all of beach chair bundles—in fact, reviewers have called it "beach royalty." Commerce Director Nicole Briese put it to the test and found that it lived up to the claims. Everything about it, from its backpack-style design, which enables you to easily carry it from the car to the perfect spot in the sand, to its detachable UPF50+ sun shade—easily its best feature—is purposefully designed. The chair itself features a strong aluminum frame and a water-resistant PVC and polyester blend seat. It adjusts into four different positions, almost intuitively so, so you can sit up or lay back and read, and it sits a comfortable 9 inches above the sand. (A high-tide version is also available that sits at 15 inches up.) It also holds nice and firm in squishy Florida sand—no unwanted shifting here! Better yet, it comes with a dry bag for your shades and other precious belongings, a cupholder and a beach towel that attaches directly to the chair. If you're still not convinced it's worth nearly $300 bones, Briese says you can likely get away with buying just the chair ($198) and the sun shade ($48), dropping your total to $246.
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