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Which backpack beach chair is best?

Packing up everything for a trip to the beach isn’t always easy. Forgetting something essential could derail the day, but at the same time you don’t want to overpack and carry a bunch of things you don’t need. A backpack beach chair takes away some of that hassle by using a practical time- and space-saving design. It’s easy to carry and evenly distributes weight.

Check out the Oniva Picnic Time Fusion Folding Chair for a reliable chair with plenty of luxurious bonus features.

What to know before you buy a backpack beach chair

How it works

A standard beach chair requires a strap or storage bag for transportation. Getting the chair in and out of that bag is challenging and the single-strap carry method can make your shoulder hurt. A backpack beach chair eliminates the storage bag and more evenly distributes weight as you carry it.

The chair folds up with backpack straps that easily slip over each shoulder. These straps are usually adjustable and leave your hands free so you can carry beach toys, a cooler or anything else you might need. 


Most backpack beach chairs are constructed from a metal such as aluminum to prevent rust and corrosion. The arms are made from plastic, so they don’t get too hot and burn your skin.

The metal frame is swathed in fabric, most likely a canvas polyester. This heavy polyester feels durable and strong without being uncomfortable against your skin. It’s breathable, dries quickly and doesn’t get too hot under the sun.

Reclining positions

A backpack beach chair can sit at a fixed position or recline at different levels, depending on the chair you select. The most versatile reclining chairs have up to five positions.

Chairs that don’t recline are more compact, but reclining chairs can adjust for a more comfortable sitting experience, especially if you are going to be seated for a long time. Some reclining chairs can lay completely flat, letting you lie on the beach with more structure than you’d get with a towel alone. 

What to look for in a quality backpack beach chair

Sun canopy

If you don’t want to pack an umbrella separately or you’re traveling solo and don’t need a ton of coverage, a beach chair with a canopy is a great option. A sun canopy adjusts to shield you from the hot sun as you sit and folds back out of the way when not in use. It’s built into the chair, so it packs up easily as part of the backpack design when it’s time to go home .

Storage features

A great backpack beach chair comes with built-in storage that keeps your beach area well-organized. This can mean anything from a towel bar on the back for drying your wet towel or hanging armrest cupholders and pouches for your drinks, snacks, book or phone. Some chairs have a storage cooler attached to the back of the seat or the handle so you can carry your water without packing a separate bag.

Padded straps

The best beach chair backpack straps are adjustable, as this allows you to loosen or tighten the straps while you carry the chair, keeping it secure. The straps are also padded, which provides comfort and relief on your shoulders and back. Padding is important if the chair is heavy or you plan on carrying it a great distance.

How much you can expect to spend on a backpack beach chair

A single backpack beach chair costs $30-$200, while a set of two costs $100-$230.

Backpack beach chair FAQ

Are the backpack straps detachable?

A. Some beach chairs have straps built into the backing, but others have fasteners so you can take the straps off when the chair is in use and hook them back on when it’s time to carry the chair away.

What is lace-up seat suspension?

A. A chair with lace-up suspension has roped loops all the way up to attach the fabric seating to the metal frame. The design is supposed to contour more easily to support your body’s shape.

What’s the best backpack beach chair to buy?

Top backpack beach chair

Best Oniva Picnic Time Fusion Folding Chair

Oniva Picnic Time Fusion Folding Chair

What you need to know: This collapsible chair has a powder-coated aluminum frame with a polyester canvas fabric and plenty of extra features. The weight capacity is 350 pounds.

What you’ll love: The seat and backrest are ribbed for comfort. There’s a detachable cooler for drinks, a shelf for books, an electronics pocket and a fold-out side table. The backpack straps are padded. The frame comes in black, red or blue.

What you should consider: It does not recline. There are fabric loops for an umbrella, but the umbrella is sold separately.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Top backpack beach chair for the money

Best Homevative Folding Backpack Beach Chair

Homevative Folding Backpack Beach Chair

What you need to know: This foldable chair has an aluminum frame with lace-up seat suspension and great extras. The weight capacity is 250 pounds.

What you’ll love: There is a towel bar on the back and a rear cooler pouch. The backpack straps are padded. There is a hanging cell phone and cup holder on the arm. It has a comfortable head rest and adjusts to accommodate five sitting positions, including one that lays completely flat. It comes in blue or multi-color fabric.

What you should consider: It can be difficult to fold up.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best GCI Outdoor Waterside SunShade Backpack Beach Chair

GCI Outdoor Waterside SunShade Backpack Beach Chair

What you need to know: This foldable chair has an aluminum frame and a blue fabric design. The weight capacity is 250 pounds.

What you’ll love: It reclines to accommodate four sitting positions and has a built-in beverage holder. There’s a comfortable headrest. The sun canopy is a major asset, and it’s adjustable.

What you should consider: The fabric could be more durable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Emily Verona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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