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The Best Beach Chairs of 2024

A good chair can make or break a day at the beach. We tested the leading beach chairs to find the best of 2024.

A man lounging at the beach in the Tommy Bahama backpack beach chair.
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A perfect day at the beach requires a few important items, one of which is a beach chair, which provides the ultimate spot to sit back and relax. The best beach chairs are portable, easy to unfold and repack, and are comfortable perches on which to catch some rays, read a book, or spend time with friends and family.

Beach chairs have been around for nearly as long as people have been spending leisure time at the beach. What was once a relatively standardized market with only a few basic options has blossomed, and there are now more beach chairs to choose from than ever before. With modern materials, technologies, and refined designs, today’s beach chairs suit every need and preference.

Of course, with so much variety to choose from, finding the perfect beach chair isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. From classic styles to padded loungers, pop-up loveseats to inflatable couches, and everything in between, you can find the ideal model to make your time at the beach more comfortable and convenient than ever before.

Our beach expert, Hannah Haas, tested a diverse selection of eight beach chairs to compile this list of the best. From beach days on the rugged central California coast to backyard hangs with friends, we tested those chairs for months and have recommendations for you. Below are the best beach chairs based on our testing. To help you find the best chair for your unique needs, we’ve included a buyer’s guide, an FAQ section, and a handy comparison chart.

Best Overall Beach Chair

Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair


  • Weight 7.9 lbs.
  • Materials Aluminum, Alloy Steel, Polyester
  • Reclining Yes
  • Features Backpack straps, rubber carry handle, adjustable pillow, insulated pockets, cup holder, phone holder
Product Badge The Best Beach Chairs of 2024


  • Cup and phone holder
  • Adjustable reclining angle
  • Backpack straps for easy carrying
  • Insulated beverage pouch


  • No footrest
  • Sometimes difficult to adjust
Best Budget Beach Chair

Pacific Breeze Lounger 2-Pack


  • Weight 6 lbs.
  • Material Alloy steel frame
  • Reclining Yes
  • Features Backpack straps, zippered storage pocket, adjustable back rest
The Best Beach Chairs of 2024


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to carry
  • Relaxed position


  • No armrests
  • No cup holders
  • Sits directly on the ground
Best Beach Chair With Shade

GCI Outdoor Backpack Beach Chair With Sunshade


  • Weight 10.3 lbs.
  • Material Polyester, alloy steel, aluminum, mesh
  • Reclining Yes
  • Features Adjustable sun shade, backpack straps, large storage pouch, beverage holder, head pillow
The Best Beach Chairs of 2024


  • SPF sun shade
  • Storage pouch fits lots of stuff
  • Backpack straps for easy carry
  • Beverage holder
  • Affordable


  • A little heavier than similar options
  • Difficult to adjust
  • Bulky
Best Lounge Beach Chair

Neso Beach Lounger


  • Weight 12.3 lbs.
  • Material Rust-resistant aluminum and steel; Water resistant polyester
  • Reclining Yes
  • Features Full length lounge chair, folds up small, shoulder carry strap, water resistant, small storage pocket
The Best Beach Chairs of 2024


  • Easy to use
  • Durable material
  • Full length


  • No arm rests
  • No cushioning
  • Somewhat narrow
Most Portable Beach Chair

Helinox Beach Chair


  • Weight 3.3 lbs.
  • Material Polyester, aluminum
  • Reclining No
  • Features Storage bag (converts to pillow), mesh back for breathability
The Best Beach Chairs of 2024


  • Very lightweight
  • Simple set up
  • Small collapsed size
  • Breathable mesh back
  • Good for camping too


  • No armrests or cupholders
  • Stiff fabric – can be tough to stretch into place the first few times
Best Beach Chair for Moving Cargo

Mac Sports 2-in-1 Beach Day Lounger and Cargo Cart


  • Weight 19 lbs.
  • Material Aluminum; polyester; plastic
  • Reclining Yes
  • Features Converts from cart to chair, head cushion, wheels
The Best Beach Chairs of 2024


  • Beach cart and lounge chair in one!
  • Can carry up to 100 lbs of beach gear
  • Wheels make it easy to roll your gear to the bech
  • Easy to assemble


  • Heavier weight and bulkier size
  • Wheels don't roll great in soft sand
  • Pricey
Best Inflatable Beach Chair

Chillbo Shwaggins Inflatable Couch


  • Weight 2.3 lbs.
  • Material Polyester
  • Reclining N/A
  • Features Fills with air, storage and carry bag
The Best Beach Chairs of 2024


  • Very lightweight
  • Easily portable and storable
  • Comfortable
  • Can sit in a variety of ways and/or with more than one person
  • Affordable
  • Comes in lots of fun patterns


  • Not that easy to inflate
  • Wind dependent
  • Loses air over time
Best 2-Seater Beach Chair

Kelty Low Loveseat Camp Chair


  • Weight 15.4 lbs.
  • Materials Seat: 600D polyester; Frame: powder-coated steel
  • Reclining Slight
  • Features 2 seater, arm rests, insulated beverage holders, shoulder strap for carrying, storage wrap
The Best Beach Chairs of 2024


  • Sturdy
  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Seating for two
  • Also good for camping or backyard hangs


  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Best for two people

Beach Chair Comparison Chart

Beach ChairMSRPWeightRecliningFeatures
Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair$89.507.9 lbs.YesBackpack straps, rubber carry handle, adjustable pillow, insulated pockets, cupholder, phone holder, towel bar
Pacific Breeze Lounger 2-Pack$836 lbs.YesBackpack straps, zippered storage pocket, adjustable backrest
GCI Outdoor Backpack Beach Chair w/ Sunshade$8010.3 lbs.YesAdjustable sun shade, backpack straps, large storage pouch, beverage holder, head pillow
Neso Beach Lounger$10012.3 lbs.YesFull length lounge chair, folds up small, shoulder carry strap, water resistant, small storage pocket
Helinox Beach Chair$1703.3 lbs.YesStorage bag (converts to pillow), mesh back for breathability
Mac Sports 2-in-1 Lounger and Cargo Cart$15019 lbs.YesConverts from cart to chair, head cushion, wheels
Chillbo Shwaggins Inflatable Couch$392.3 lbs.n/aFills with air, storage and carry bag
Kelty Low Loveseat$14015.4 lbs.Slight2-seater, armrests, insulated beverage holders, shoulder strap for carrying, storage wrap

How We Tested Beach Chairs

The team at GearJunkie knows what gear is necessary for every type of outdoor excursion. We know that having the right tool for the job can make your experience better, even if that’s just lounging at the beach. For our beach chair buyer’s guide, we recruited Hannah Haas, a graduate student, outdoor enthusiast, avid beachgoer, and freelance journalist who’s spent pretty much her entire life on the beaches of California’s coastline.

After scouring the market for the best beach chairs available in 2024, we rounded up a diverse selection of eight models for side-by-side testing and comparison. We crafted a detailed testing regimen that aims to compare these chairs on a level playing field. We compare weight, dimensions, materials, portability, comfort, features, and more in order to find the best chairs to bring to the beach. 

Beyond Hannah’s personal expertise and experience, we solicited the opinions of fellow beach lovers and stewards of the outdoors. By combining our testing with the opinions of friends and family, we were able to narrow down our selection to our favorite models and those that excel in specific ways compared to the rest.

However, the beach chair market is constantly evolving and improving. Rest assured, as new and exciting models hit the market, we’ll test those to ensure that our list stays up to date and brings you the best options for your days at the beach.

Testing the GCI Outdoor Backpack beach chair with shade
Testing beach chairs isn’t the worst job in the world. Still, we went out of our way to put each model through its paces while examining the usefulness and functionality of features like the shade on the GCI Outdoor Backpack Beach Chair; (photo/Hannah Haas)

Buyers Guide: How to Choose a Beach Chair

Trying to find the right chair for a day at the beach can be overwhelming. In 2024, there are seemingly endless options and it can be difficult to find what you’re looking for. While finding the best chair for you does require some thought and research, this handy how-to-choose guide has all the essential information compiled so you can make the best decision for your needs. 

We delve into everything from overall size, set-up, portability, adjustability, and other features such as cupholders and armrests. Each brand and style of chair considers different factors and provides varying features, each of which is more or less important to consumers. We’ll explain it in a clear and concise way so you can choose the best chair for your ideal beach day.

Types of Beach Chairs

Sitting in the Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair at a beach on the California Coast
There are numerous types of beach chairs from loungers to loveseats. The Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair is the epitome of a classic beach chair; (photo/Hannah Haas)

There are a variety of different style and types of beach chairs on the market. From classic beach chairs to inflatable couches like the Chillbo Shwaggins, and everything in between, you’ve got options to suit your preferences.

Classic beach chairs are typically low to the ground and have a folding metal frame with a nylon/polyester fabric comprising the seat and back panels. Typically, they have the ability to recline and many come with features like head pillows, storage pouches, cupholders, and backpack straps. Both the Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair and the GCI Outdoor Backpack Beach Chair with Sunshade are prime examples of classic beach chairs.

Lounge chairs aren’t too different, although they typically involve an additional section to support the legs. Lounge chairs can typically be oriented in a number of ways to lie flat, sit upright, or positions in between. The Neso Beach Lounger and the Mac Sports 2-in-1 Lounger and Cargo Cart are both good examples of lounge chairs.

Pop-up style chairs are popular at the beach because they are typically quite affordable, fold up small, and are versatile for use in a wide range of outdoor settings. We didn’t test any single pop-up chairs, but we did try the Kelty Low Loveseat. This two-seater pop-up chair is super well made, packs down small for its seating capacity, and will work well for everything from car camping to a day at the beach with the family.

Camp-style models employ the designs of lightweight and super portable camp chairs and tweak them slightly for the beach environment. The Helinox Beach Chair is a great example. This chair weighs just over 3 pounds and folds down incredibly small, yet its feet are designed for stability in the sand along with mesh back panels for breathability.

Hybrid beach chairs are another interesting innovation. The Pacific Beach Lounger is essentially a full-length cushioned beach pad with support to prop up the back into a variety of lounging positions. Likewise, the inflatable Chillbo Shwaggins Couch uses air to fill a large chamber that you can lie on or sit numerous people.


The Neso Lounger beach chair set up for some lounging in the back yard
Different styles of beach chairs vary in size and seating style. The Neso Lounger can be set up in a variety of ways from sitting upright to laying down completely; (photo/Hannah Haas)

Most beach chairs are designed to fit one person, so you’ll often want to bring several to the beach if you’re hanging out with family or friends. There are a few models that we tested that can fit two or more people, like the Kelty Low Loveseat and the Chillbo Shwaggins Inflatable Couch.

The size of a chair may also be important depending on your height and if you want to be able to fully extend your legs or not. On the low-height classic beach chairs, you can always extend your legs out ahead of you, but if you want to support them, you’ll be better off going with a lounge-style chair. Lastly, the size largely determines how portable the chair will be.


Several beach chairs and a couple of beach umbrellas loaded into the trunk of a Subaru for a day at the beach.
Since you have to get your chairs to the beach, portability is a factor for transporting them in your vehicle and from your vehicle to the beach; (photo/Hannah Haas)

We’ve all got to get our chairs to the beach one way or another, so portability is an important factor to consider. Any good beach chair folds to a smaller size for transport in your vehicle or carrying to and from the sand, but how much they weigh and how small they pack down varies among the different models.

The weight of the chair is the main factor when determining how easy a chair will be to carry, but how compact it is, and whether or not it comes with a case to carry it in also plays a role. The most portable models we tested are the Helinox Beach Chair and the Chillbo Shawaggins Inflatable couch, both of which collapse to a small size and weigh just 3.3 pounds and 2.3 pounds, respectively.

Some chairs, like the Tommy Bahama and the GCI Outdoor, come equipped with integrated straps so they can be carried as a backpack. This makes them very convenient and easy to carry but could be a pro or con depending on your need to carry a backpack filled with gear to the beach.

Other models like the Neso Beach Lounger and Kelty Low Loveseat come with shoulder straps, but their slightly heavier weights make them less ideal for carrying long distances. A very novel approach comes from Mac Sports and the 2–in-1 Lounger and Cargo Cart. This chair converts to a small beach wagon and rolls on two wheels.

Depending on how much gear you’re hauling to the beach, investing in a good beach wagon may be a great way to cart your chairs, beach umbrellas, coolers, and more.


Lounging at the beach on the Pacific Breeze Lounger
Most chairs are quick and easy to set up. Some, like the Pacific Breeze Lounger, are easier than others. We were so eager to use this comfortable lounger that we even forgot to pull the tag off; (photo/Hannah Haas)

Assembling and disassembling the chair is a crucial part of choosing the perfect model for you. If you’re unable to set up the chair, you’re better off not having carried it with you in the first place. An easy setup of your beach gear (and an easy pack-up process at the end of a long day) can make or break any day at the beach. Most people don’t enjoy reading complicated instructions or experiencing gear malfunctions when they’re just trying to relax.

Fortunately, most brands realize this, and pretty much every chair we tested is very straightforward to set up and break down. Some simply fold open and closed while others need to be filled with air, but for the most part, they aren’t too complicated.


Reclining in the 4-position adjustable GCI Outdoor Backpack Beach Chair
The ability to recline is a feature that many beach chairs share. Models like the GCI Outdoor (pictured) and the Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chairs offer several positions of adjustable recline so you can choose your perfect lounging position; (photo/Hannah Haas)

Whether or not a piece of equipment adjusts easily is a crucial factor to consider. Some beach chairs recline, have adjustable shades, and optional head cushions. Who knows if you’ll want to read, lay back and take a nap, or sit upright for a card game by the campfire? We think the best beach chairs typically include some sort of adjustability to dial in your seated position.

Both the Tommy Bahama and GCI Outdoor chairs have several reclining positions to choose from. The Tommy Bahama can even go down to flat. The Neso Beach Lounger has five-position adjustability as well and can go from sitting upright to laying down completely flat.

Extra Features

Detail shot of the cupholder feature on the Kelty Low Loveseat beach chair
Most chairs have a few features that make your life a little easier. We’re huge fans of cupholders and pockets that keep our drinks upright and out of the sand; (photo/Hannah Haas)

Features aren’t mandatory, but we always appreciate it when little details are included that can enhance the quality of our beach experience. Some chairs include special features like cupholders, extra storage, armrests, head cushions, and sun coverage. Determining how crucial these features are to your ideal day is important when shopping for the best beach chair.

We love cupholders for keeping our beverages within arm’s reach and out of the sand. Likewise, a pocket that can hold your book, phone, or sunscreen can help you stay organized. Backpack straps and large zippered compartments may also be useful for bringing the essential gear along and negating the need to carry an additional bag. Some of these features are pretty personal and will determine whether or not you enjoy your day at the beach.


The Kelty Low Loveseat beach chair set up as extra seating in the backyard
Loveseat for two at the beach? Yes. Extra seating for friends in the backyard, a comfy double seater at an outdoor concert, or a lounge spot on your next car camping trip? Also yes. Most beach chairs are impressively versatile and can be used in a wide range of settings; (photo/Hannah Haas)

While many beach chairs have the word “beach” in their name, most are highly versatile and can be used in any number of outdoor settings. Whether you’re hanging out at the park, going to an outdoor concert, car camping, or chilling in the backyard, most beach chairs will transition well into just about any situation.

Likewise, many camp chairs may work quite well at the beach too. If you’re hoping to get a camp chair that works well in sand, however, you may want to consider the size of the feet for use in soft sand. Skinny little feet may work well on firm surfaces but can sink into and be unstable on the beach.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I get a beach chair?

While many people enjoy laying on a towel directly on the sand, that doesn’t work for everyone all the time. A quality beach chair can be a great investment in your comfort and the enjoyment of your time spent at the beach. Not only will they get you off the ground, but many will allow you to adjust your position for comfort or things like reading or napping.

Many beach chairs are also optimized for use at the beach with carry straps, reclining features, pockets, cupholders, and more to make getting it to and from the beach and staying organized while you’re there much easier. Of course, many camping chairs can also double as beach chairs too.

What other gear should I consider for trips to the beach?

There are quite a few pieces of gear that can make your trips to the beach easier and more enjoyable. Since getting all your gear to the beach can be a hassle, consider adding a good beach wagon to your routine to cut down on trips and carrying it all in your arms.

If you like being in the sun but don’t love getting sunburn, there are lots of great beach umbrellas and shades that can add a layer of sun protection. Beach towels are also a critical part of the equation, and there are lots of great new beach-specific towels to choose from.

If you’re bringing food or drinks along, a great hard-sided cooler, soft cooler, or backpack cooler can keep everything ice cold until you’re ready to enjoy it. And, if you’re spending the whole day at the beach with the family, a portable grill can help you serve up hot, delicious food wherever you are.

Why are some beach chairs so low to the ground?

Classic beach chairs are pretty low to the ground. While this does make it slightly harder to sit down and stand up from them, it puts the user in a position where they can comfortably stretch their legs out in the sand in front of them.

And when you recline the seat back, it feels pretty darn close to sitting in a full-on lounge chair. The low seat height may not be for everyone, so if you have mobility issues or bad knees, you may want to look into chairs with higher seat heights.

What’s the most portable beach chair?

Realistically, all the beach chairs we’ve tested are quite portable, some more easily than others. The two lightest and smallest options are the Chillbo Shawaggins Inflatable Couch and the Helinox Beach Chair. They weigh 2.3 pounds and 3.3 pounds, respectively, and collapse down so small that you can toss them in a backpack.

Beyond that, both the Tommy Bahama and the GCI Outdoor Backpack Beach Chairs have backpack straps that make them super easy to carry. Similarly, the Pacific Breeze Lounger also has backpack straps.

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