There’s nothing worse than spending a day at the beach without a comfortable beach chair. Sand works its way into every crevasse of your body, you’re beverage can tip over, and before long your backside starts aching while you wish you were at home sitting in a comfy chair!
Avoid this unfortunate scenario with a good backpack beach chair. They’re not only comfortable to sit in for hours at a time – but they’re also super easy to sling over your shoulder and carry around the beach, park, or campground.
There’s a wide variety of beach chairs out there – from basic camper style chairs to tilt-recliners with all the bells and whistles. I’ll break down the best backpack beach chairs on the market, and how to choose the best one for your needs.
Quick Answer: 7 Best Backpack Beach Chairs
- Best Overall: Tommy Bahama Backpack Cooler Chair
- Runner Up: Rio Beach Suspension Backpack Beach Chair
- Backpack Lounger: Pacific Beach Lounger
- Best Lightweight & Compact Beach Chair: Sunyear Lightweight Compact Folding Camping Backpack Chair
- High Back Chair: MOVTOTOP Folding Beach Chair
- Chair with Cooler: RIO Gear Ultimate Backpack Chair with Cooler
- Chair for Larger Body Types: Rio Beach Big Guy Backpack Chair
Why do you need a backpack beach chair?
Beyond just a comfortable place to park your rear end, newer backpack beach chairs have several features that make them super handy to have around.
These chairs are a major step up from those cheap white plastic chairs you often see at the beach.
Many come with added features like beverage holders, built-in coolers, towel holders, adjustable headrests and convenient carrying bags. This makes them great for a variety of different uses like camping, sporting events, fishing and more.
Their backpack straps make them easy to carry from your car’s trunk to the beach – even for people with reduced mobility.
Top 7 Backpack Beach Chairs
How to pick the best backpack beach chair?
With so many options out there, picking the right backpack beach chair for your needs can seem like a confusing task. No worries – ill break down some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a beach chair.
Anytime you’re using gear near the ocean you’ll want to be sure it’s rust and corrosion-resistant. Saltwater is highly corrosive to metal – which can lead to chairs seizing shut or corroding beyond repair.
Look for aircraft-grade aluminum or powder-coated stainless steel frames to ensure they’ll hold up to sea spray or rouge waves.
If you’re one of those people that can never seem to find a comfortable seating position – then you’ll want to look for a chair with multiple adjustable seating positions. Higher-end chairs typically have around 4 or 5 reclining positions.
If you like to lay face-down and work on your back tan or catch some Z’s, then make sure to look for a chair that can lie completely horizontal.
Most chairs will be fairly easy to adjust, but cheaper chairs can pinch and collapse when you adjust them. All of the chairs reviewed above are designed to avoid this happening.
One of the major advantages of a backpack beach chair is its portability. Compared to traditional beach loungers, these chairs are ultra-portable and easy to transport. They typically fold up flat into a compact profile, making them easy to fit inside your car’s trunk or a beach cart.
Adjustable backpack straps allow you to easily sling a folded chair over your shoulders for the trek to and from the beach, park, sporting event or campground.
Most of these chairs are also fairly lightweight, weighing approximately 7 – 8 lbs. each. That’s significantly less than clunky beach loungers, which can be a pain to transport.
Construction materials vary widely among manufacturers. In general, you’ll want to look for a chair with a rust-resistant metal frame and tear-proof canvas chair material.
Most canvas materials are made from tear-resistant 600 denier polyester fabric. This fabric will provide a good balance of durability, support, and comfort. It will hold up to long term use and can handle a fair bit of wear and tear.
Newer backpack beach chairs come bundled with a variety of accessories that make them a valuable addition to every beach outing.
Many come with rear insulated and non-insulated dry storage bags capable of stashing snacks, cold drinks, keys, cellphones, and other electronics. Some have large storage bags with room for kids snorkel sets, beach towels, reading material and even floating GoPro camera mounts.
Other useful features to be on the lookout for are beach towel racks, cup holders and fully adjustable headrests.
To be sure, weight capacity is an important consideration when selecting a beach chair. The last thing you want to happen on your relaxing beach day is your new chair to collapse, forcing you to park your rear end in the hot sand.
Most of the models reviewed above have a weight capacity between 240 and 300 pounds, with the Rio Beach Big Guy Backpack Chair being specifically designed for big and tall folks.
If you’re looking for higher weight capacity, there are several beach chairs available with 500 pounds weight capacities, but unfortunately, they don’t come in backpack configurations.
Seat Height & Back Support
Seat height is an often-overlooked factor when considering any chair, but it really shouldn’t be. If your backrest is too low, you’re going not going to find a comfortable seating position and won’t be able to relax fully. Think of those high-backed leather chairs you often see in cigar lounges or man-caves – now those are comfortable!
Just as important as the seat height is back support. Properly supporting your back is key anytime you’re sitting in the same position for a long time. Look for a chair with good lumbar support to keep your spine aligned correctly.
Another feature to consider is padded armrests. While this might seem like an unnecessary add-on, good padding in your armrests can make a huge difference when sitting in the same seat for hours at a time.
Waterproof / Fade-proof
Lastly, some models come with canvas featuring waterproofing and fade-proofing. While these aren’t strictly necessary, they can extend the lifespan of your beach chair so that it lasts for many years.
Waterproofing is most often found on the bottom of the seat material, so your rear end doesn’t get soaked by wet sand or unexpected waves. Fade-proofing is also nice to have, especially as the harsh sun can cause wear and tear to many materials.
If you’re planning on using your chairs directly in the sun, without the shade provided by a beach tent or canopy, then fade-proofing is doubly important.
Q: What’s the most comfortable beach chair?
A: That is a pretty subjective question. It really depends on the person and their preferences. If you’re on the taller side, you’ll want to look for a chair with a higher backrest. If you like to lie horizontally, make sure to get a chair that adjusts completely flat.
Q: How much does a beach chair weigh?
A: Most of the beach chairs reviewed above are between 6 and 8 pounds each. Backpack beach chairs tend to be on the lighter side, as they need to be lightweight and extremely portable.
Q: What’s the best backpack beach chair for bigger people?
A: Without a doubt, the best backpack beach chairs for bigger folks are the Rio Beach Big Guy Backpack Chairs. These chairs are specifically designed with big and tall users in mind. The seat is extra wide at 22”, the aluminum frame is extra-large, and a tilt-lock bracket prevents accidental tipping or folding.
I’ve loved being in the outdoors for as long as I can remember. I grew up fishing, canoeing, and camping throughout the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. It’s what lead me to start this site and share my passions for fishing, diving, kayaking and more. Nowadays you can find me writing about my passions or (preferably!) preparing for my next outdoor adventure.