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Best Beach Chairs

A solid beach chair is a must-have for any surfer’s beach kit. Photo: Pieter de Malsche // Unsplash.


The Inertia

There’s nothing better than sinking into a comfy beach chair after a long surf. Perched on your beachfront throne, you can enjoy well-deserved R&R and/or take time to sip on a cold one, eat lunch, watch the waves roll in, or read. While there are countless options on the market, there’s a wide range in price and quality among the chairs out there. After testing several different chairs, I’ve rounded up seven of the best.

The Best Beach Chairs for Surfing

Snow Peak Low Beach Chair ($170)
Coleman Living Collection Flat-Fold Chair ($80)
Parkit Voyager ($250)
YETI Trailhead Camp Chair ($300)
Helinox Playa Beach Chair ($219)
GCI Outdoor Big Surf Chair with Sunshade ($80)
Kelty Low Loveseat ($139)

What Makes a Good Beach Chair?

When picking out a beach chair, there are a few things I take into consideration. First and foremost, I want my chair to be comfortable. Additionally, I want my beach chair to have some storage space, be portable, and come at an affordable price point.

Comfort
If you’re anything like me, summer days call for hours and hours at the beach. When I’m not in the water, I’ll post up in my beach chair to read, write, and watch the waves. Since time on the beach is my down time, I want to spend it being as comfortable as possible.

Storage
I don’t require a lot during my time chilling at the beach, but I think a good chair should include a cup holder (or two) and a spot to stash a few essential items.

Portability
If you’re lucky, your favorite surf spot offers beachfront parking. But for most of us, all day beach days require a few trips to and from the car. Beach chairs come in many shapes and sizes but the most important factor to me is that it’s easy to transport. I look for backpack style straps or a shoulder sling and prefer that my chair is lightweight. Added points if it can carry a few items as well.

Cost
I’m not sure why the price range is so drastic when it comes to beach chairs, but it is. I want a chair that ticks all my boxes but also comes at an affordable price so I can spend my hard earned dollars on other necessary surf equipment.

Snow Peak Low Beach Chair

Snow Peak Low Beach Chair ($170)

Comfort: 3/5
Storage: 0/5
Portability: 5/5
Cost: 4/5
Total: 3/5

Available in two different colors, Snow Peak’s Low Beach Chair is designed for long days at the beach. Featuring a rugged canvas fabric, bamboo wooden armrests, and an aluminum frame, this chair has a nice, sleek look. Weighing in at eight pounds, the Low Beach Chair is lightweight and easily packs into its included carry case, so transportation is a non-issue. Although the chair doesn’t recline or include any add-ons like cup holders or storage space, it’s comfortable enough to chill in between sessions.

Check Price on REI and Amazon.

Coleman Flat Fold Beach Chair

Coleman Living Collection Flat-Fold Chair ($80)

Comfort: 2/5
Storage: 0/5
Portability: 5/5
Cost: 4/5
Total: 2.75/5

If you’re looking for a simple, fold up beach chair, then the Coleman Living Collection Flat-Fold Chair works. The teal and aluminum design is simple yet cute and wooden arm rests complete the look. The chair sits low to the ground, folds up easily, and weighs just four pounds, so it’s super easy to transport. The backrest isn’t padded, and it hits about mid-back, so it’s not the most comfortable design. But, if you’re looking for something simple, it gets the job done.

Check Price on Backcountry and Amazon.

Parkit Voyager Beach Chair

Parkit Voyager ($250)

Comfort: 4/5
Storage: 5/5
Portability: 4/5
Cost: 2/5
Total: 3.75/5

Designed to be functional, durable, and comfortable, Parkit’s Voyager is the ultimate outdoor adventure chair. Crafted to last, the chair features industrial framing, woven polyester webbing, and a wooden armrest. Thoughtful features include hands-free backpack carry straps, a versatile cupholder, and an under the seat attachable cooler for stashing food and beverages. In an effort to support the environment, one mangrove tree is planted for every Voyager chair purchased, so you can feel good about the chair you’re sitting in.

Check Price on parkitmovement.com

YETI Trailhead Chair

YETI Trailhead Camp Chair ($300)

Comfort: 5/5
Storage: 3/5
Portability: 3/5
Cost: 2/5
Total: 3.25/5

In my experience, all of YETI’s products are exceptional and the Trailhead Camp Chair is no exception. The chair features a supportive, UV-rated FlexGrid fabric that’s extremely comfortable and perfect for relaxing in after a long session. Additionally, the Camp Chair is very well made and includes a convenient cup holder. Weighing in at 13 pounds, the Camp Chair is on the heavy side for a beach chair, but it does pack into a travel bag complete with a shoulder strap to combat the weight. It also includes instructions for set up and tear down on the armrests, which I appreciate.

Check Price on YETI.com, Amazon, REI, and Backcountry.

Helinox Playa Beach Chair

Helinox Playa Beach Chair ($219)

Comfort: 4/5
Storage: 3/5
Portability: 5/5
Cost: 3/5
Total: 3.75/5

If you’re someone who values portability above all else, you’ll love Helinox’s Playa Beach Chair. With all the comforts of a beach-ready lounger, but the packability of your classic lightweight camp chair, the Playa ticks all the boxes. Designed specifically for the beach, the chair’s splayed legs are sand-ready, and mesh panels let that sea breeze in to keep you cool while sunbathing. Weighing in at just 4.5 pounds, you still get features that larger options on this list boast, like a cupholder and armrests.

Check Price on Amazon and REI.

GCI Big Surf Beach Chair

GCI Outdoor Big Surf Chair with Sunshade ($80)

Comfort: 4/5
Storage: 4/5
Portability: 5/5
Cost: 4/5
Total: 4.25/5

The GCI Outdoor Big Surf Chair is tailor-made for post surf chill sessions. Featuring a built-in adjustable SPF sun shade, the UPF 50+ fabric allows you to easily take a much needed break from the sun. Designed with comfort in mind, the chair includes a padded headrest and a four-position mesh backrest that allows you to configure the chair to your preferred sitting position. Additionally, the chair includes a hidden slide out table with a beverage holder for enjoying post surf drinks and snacks. When you’re ready to pack it up for the day, the Big Surf Chair folds flat and includes backpack style straps for the walk back to the car. I’m a big fan of this chair.

Check Price on REI and Amazon.

Kelty Loveseat Low

Kelty Low Loveseat ($139)

Comfort: 5/5
Storage: 3/5
Portability: 3/5
Cost: 4/5
Total: 3.75/5

If you’ve got a couples surf trip on the books or plan on getting away to the beach with your significant other, look no further than the Kelty Low Loveseat. Its double-wide design lets two people get cozy instead of awkwardly holding hands from separate chairs. It’s like a couch, but for the outdoors. Beverage holders on the armrests tick the “storage” box, and despite weighing in at 15 pounds (it’s basically two chairs, remember), a roll-up sling helps transport this bad boy from the car to the sand.

Check Price on REI and Amazon.

Editor’s Note: For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.

Disclosure: The Inertia may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from the affiliate links included in this feature at no additional cost to you. Our goal is always to entertain, educate, and inspire, and we hope you find this feature useful.

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