A good beach chair for an elderly person should be supportive, comfortable and lightweight. It should also be foldable for easy portability and breathable to prevent overheating and sweating.
In this buying guide, I recommend the five best beach chairs for seniors (in my humble opinion).
If you don’t have time to go through all the individual reviews, here is a summary of my top picks:
Key Consideration When Buying A Beach Chair For An Elderly
A. Comfort And Support
This is especially important for elderly users as they are more vulnerable to back and joint problems caused by an uncomfortable beach chair.
Here’s what to look for when it comes to comfort and support.
- Safe recline – check that the chair can be reclined to different positions. Make sure the recline lever is safe to use with little to no risk of getting your fingers crushed when using it.
- Padded headrest and armrests – a padded headrest provides support and pressure relief for your head and neck while padded armrests take pressure off your shoulders and arms.
- Breathable – because you’ll be using the beach chair outdoors in the sun, it is important that the fabric is breathable. Otherwise, you’ll be left with hot and sweaty skin.
B. Size & Max Weight Capacity
Check that the chair can support the weight of the user. Despite their lightweight look, most beach chairs can support a surprising amount of weight with the strongest having a capacity of 400lbs (181kg).
Lighter weight beach chairs have a weight capacity of about 250lbs (113).
Also, check that the chair will accommodate the user’s body height and size. Note the width and depth of the seating area as well as the height and width of the back.
Something else to check is the height of the seat from the ground. Don’t get a beach chair that’s too low to the ground, as it will make it difficult for an elderly user to sit and stand up, especially if they have bad knees.
Look for a beach chair that’s the same height as a normal chair (at least 17” high).
C. Durable Construction
When it comes to durability, focus on the quality of the fabric and the frame. Make sure the fabric is strong and weather-resistant. It should withstand years of outdoor use without tearing or fading.
As for the frame, aluminium is the best choice. An aluminium frame will be lightweight but strong. Aluminium is also rustproof and can withstand the sun and other weather elements well.
Steel frames are also common and can hold more weight than an aluminium frame. On the downside, a steel frame makes the chair a bit heavier.
If you buy a steel-framed beach chair, make sure it is powder-coated or has some other technique to keep out rust and corrosion.
D. Easy Portability
A good beach chair should be easy to carry around. This is especially important for an elderly with reduced body strength.
For easy portability, look for a beach chair that weighs under 15lbs (6.8kg) and is foldable. Some beach chairs also incorporate shoulder straps or a carry handle to make it easier to carry.
Heavier beach chairs usually come with wheels to pull or push the chair across the sand. Some of these heavier designs also double up as a beach cart.
E. Storage & Accessories
Most beach chairs incorporate a pouch or pocket on the side of the chair, providing a convenient place to stash your sunglasses, sunscreen, magazine and other items.
Others also include a cup holder and a canopy or umbrella.
Best Beach Chairs For Elderly: Top 5 Reviews
1. Mac Sports 2-in-1 Beach Folding Lounge Chair + Cargo Cart
If you are looking for a beach chair that also doubles up as a beach cart, I recommend this one from Mac Sports.
You can use it as a cart when carrying stuff from the car. The storage space is large enough to fit towels, a small cooler, a couple books and other items. If you are spending the day with your grandchild, you can also load up a ball and other sports equipment.
A telescopic handle and wide-tread wheels make it easy to pull the loaded cart along on the sand.
Once you get to your spot on the beach, you just unload the cart and unfold it into a lounge chair. You can recline the chair into four positions with the integrated pillow and armrests providing extra support and comfort.
When it’s time to go home, simply form it into a cart again and load up all your stuff. If you have a small boot, you can unload the cart and fold it flat.
Despite having a lightweight aluminium frame, the Mac Sports 2-in-1 chair and cart is significantly heavier than other beach chairs. It weighs 20.9lbs (9.4kg). But the wheels make it easy to carry it to and from the car.
The cart has a weight capacity if 100lbs while the lounge chair has a 225lb capacity.
What I like about it:
- Makes it easy to carry stuff to and from the beach.
- Comfortable and supportive chair.
- Sturdy and weather resistant.
- Easy to pull along on sand.
2. AmazonBasics Outdoor Zero Gravity Lounge Folding Chair
If you are looking for something more affordable, I recommend this AmazonBasics zero gravity lounge folding chair.
Unlike other beach chairs that only have a reclining back, both the back and seating area of the AmazonBasics chair can be adjusted. Reclining both parts creates a weightless zero gravity feel.
The breathable and weather-resistant Textilene fabric is held to the powder-coated steel frame using double bungee cords for added support.
The steel frame allows the AmazonBasic to have a higher weight capacity of 300lbs.
At 16.5lbs, the chair is slightly heavier than aluminum beach chairs, but still light enough to carry around by hand. It helps that the chair can be folded into a flat pack.
The main complaint from customers is that the clamps that tighten to lock the chair in a certain position are not secure enough. You are not going to fall over when you recline but you’ll feel some slight shifting.
Some users also say the chair pop out of position when you stand up, forcing you to re-recline it when you sit down again.
But for the price, users say the chair is a good deal. Other than the clamps issue, it’s well made and looks like it’ll last a long time.
What I like about it:
- High weight capacity.
- Durable steel frame.
- Zero gravity reclining.
3. Rio Beach 17″ Extended Height 4 Position Folding Beach Chair
If you are looking for an ultra-light beach chair, I recommend the Rio Beach folding beach chair. It weighs only 8lbs (3.6kg), making it easy to carry by hand. It also comes with padded shoulder straps for easier portability when the chair is folded.
The seat is 17” off the ground, which is perfect for most people. Being a lightweight aluminium frame chair, the weight capacity is a modest 250lbs.
Four recline position allow the user to adjust the chair to their comfort while extra-wide armrests provide elbow and arm support.
Unfortunately, the Rio Beach chair does not come with a pillow, so you may want to carry one with you when you go to the beach or park.
A mesh side pocket provides a handy place to store small items.
What I like about it:
- Very light.
- Rustproof aluminium frame.
- Includes storage pouch.
- Multiple recline positions.
4. ALPHA CAMP Heavy Duty Canopy Lounge Chair
When outdoors at the beach or park, sun protection is important. The ALPHA CAMP lounge chair includes an integrated canopy to keep out the harsh sun.
The shade can be folded away when you want to feel the sun.
Despite having a canopy, the Alpha Camp beach chair is still easy to carry around. It weighs 14bs and folds down just like any other beach chair. It even comes with a carry bag for easier portability.
A heavy-duty steel frame provides sturdy support for users up to 250lbs while the oxford cloth fabric with a mesh back ensures good breathability.
An integrated cup holder on one armrest provides a convenient place to put your drink or water bottle. The other armrest has a pouch for your smartphone.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a larger pocket for storing bigger items. The Alpha Camp beach chair also lacks a pillow.
What I like about it:
- Includes canopy to shield you from the sun.
- Easy to fold and pack in the included bag.
- Includes cup holder and phone pocket.
- Durable and weather-resistant fabric and steel frame.
5. Timber Ridge Camping Chair
For heavier users, I recommend the heavy-duty Timber Ridge camping chair. It has a higher than average weight capacity of 300lbs. The added support comes from the steel frame.
The Timber Ridge chair is also my top recommendation for those shopping on a budget.
A ground to seat height of 18.5” makes the Timber Ridge chair easy to use, even for seniors with problematic knees. A 22.5” seat width accommodates even larger body types.
Unlike other beach chairs that consist only of a thin fabric seat, the Timber Ridge chair has a padded seat and back. You won’t mind spending hours in this chair.
The two armrests are also padded. But do carry your own neck pillow as the Timber Ridge chair doesn’t have one.
Another missing feature is a recline function. Unlike most beach chairs, the Timber Ridge chair stays upright, which explains the lower price tag. If you love stretching back on a recline chair, get one of my other picks.
To make up for the lack of a recline function, the Timber Ridge chair has a high back (22”) that makes you feel as comfortable as if you were on a normal chair.
The chair also includes a swivel cup holder that can hold both cups and bottles.
As for portability, the Timber Ridge chair is easy to carry around. It weighs 13lbs (the steel frame makes it a bit heavier than an aluminium chair) and can be folded and packed into the included carry bag.
What I like about it:
- Padded seat, back and armrests.
- Includes cup holder.
- Durable steel frame and polyester fabric.