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With summer just around the corner, it’s time to dust off the old beach gear and get ready to enjoy the sun and surf. One of the most essential items for enjoying a relaxing day on the beach is a good, solid, comfortable beach chair, preferably with some useful added extras, like a cup holder and a phone pocket.
For bigger people, a beach chair needs to be more than just solid and comfortable, it must be durable, lightweight, able to support a good amount of weight, and wider than the average beach chair. There’s nothing worse than a flimsy chair that is easily crushed or broken.
Spending a bit of cash right from the get-go can ensure that you never have to deal with the embarrassment or inconvenience of a silly little chair giving up under your weight. Below are our recommendations for the five best chairs for plus-size people.
Our Top Picks
1. KingCamp Low Sling Beach Chair
- Comes in variety of bright colors
- Low seat for maximum comfort
- Lightweight & comes with carry bag
- Low-back option doesn’t support neck
Capacity: 300 lbs. | Foldable: Yes
The KingCamp Low Sling Beach Chair has a 23.2-inch-wide low seat for a good leg stretch, a reclining back, a cup holder, padded armrests, a headrest, a tubular carry bag, and a mesh seat and back. What more could you ask for from a beach chair? Well, you could ask that it folds up, is lightweight and easy to carry, has an ergonomic design, and is stable on just about any surface, and you’d still be talking about this chair.
Perfect for the beach, camping, travel, or just about anything else you could need it for, this chair comes in both high and low back options, and there are three lovely colors to choose from – blue, cyan, and rose.
This durable chair has a heavy-duty steel frame and is made from strong 600D Oxford fabric. There is no assembly required, and it takes just a few seconds to open or close this chair. Best of all, it is extremely lightweight, weighing in at just 6.6 lbs. In its carry bag, its dimensions are 30.7 x 7.9 x 5.1 inches, making it very easy to carry with you, even if you have to walk a bit to get to your destination.
2. Copa Big Papa 17-Inch High Seat
- High back with headrest
- Recliner with 4 positions
- Rustproof frame
- Nylon carry handle may be uncomfortable
Capacity: 300 lbs. | Foldable: Yes
This heavy-duty beach chair by Copa Beach comes in two shades of blue and has a lightweight aluminum frame, and a polyester reclining seat that allows you to choose between four predetermined positions. It is foldable and comes with a headrest, solid hardwood armrests, a cup holder, a mesh storage area, and a dry pouch for your phone with a headset dry port, so you can listen to music on the beach without worrying about your phone getting wet.
Made from high-quality materials, the Copa Big Papa is built to handle 300 lbs. of weight, as well as sun, saltwater, and the splashing that goes with both.
The high seat is 17 inches off the ground, making it easy to get in and out of if you have back or knee problems, and the whole seat is a sling design for extra back support. The front bar supports your legs but is also a curved shape, so it doesn’t dig in and hurt your legs.
3. Rio Beach Big Kahuna Extra Large Folding Beach Chair
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- 5 reclining positions
- Includes towel bar, cup holder, pouch
- Has headrest pillow
- Low seating position
Capacity: 280 lbs. | Foldable: Yes
The Rio Beach Big Kahuna is a king-sized folding beach chair with an extra-wide seat and a backrest that is both wide and tall. This chair features 5 recliner positions, including completely flat, and a large, flip-over plush cushion, which is a contoured headrest and pillow at the same time, so you can have an absolutely comfortable nap right there on the beach!
For extra convenience, the recliner support bar for when the chair is flat, doubles as a towel rail when the chair is upright and folds away when not in use. A swing-out cup holder, and a zipper pouch next to the seat with an integrated phone pocket complete the deal.
With a frame made from rust-proof, heavy-duty aluminum, and sturdy locking brackets, this chair will support up to 280 lbs., and you can be sure it won’t buckle or collapse while in use. The aluminum is sealed with a marine-grade coating, that will ensure your beach chair survives all the beach weather you can throw at it.
The patented SAFE-Adjust reclining wooden armrests are extra-wide and contoured for excellent arm support, and the chair is built for stability on most surfaces. Weighing in at just 9 lbs., and with a comfortable, padded carry strap, this chair is convenient and easy to take with you wherever you go.
4. Tommy Bahama Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair
- Includes cooler, drink holder, pillow
- Can lay flat for tanning
- Lightweight & easy to carry
- May be cumbersome to fold up
Capacity: 300 lbs. | Foldable: Yes
Featuring multiple storage pockets, a cooler pouch, padded backpack straps, a fold-away towel bar, a drink holder, and a pillow, the Tommy Bahama Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair might just be the most all-around chair on our list.
Built for maximum leisure and unparalleled comfort, this chair has two zippered pouches on the back (one of which is an insulated cooler pouch), a smaller pocket attached to the arm, a drink holder, and a pillow for those lazy days in the sun. The towel bar doubles as an extra leg for the recliner seat which can lay completely flat.
Even with the comfortable wooden armrests, aluminum and steel shafts, and durable and comfortable polyester fabric, this chair still weighs only 8 lbs., making it light and convenient to carry with you to the beach, and the lake, a game, a concert, or a campsite. The padded backpack straps make for ease of transport, and the 24 x 32 x 28-inch frame is large enough for a larger body, yet still small enough to lug around.
5. ALPHA CAMP Heavy Duty Canopy Lounge Chair
- Breathable reinforced mesh
- Sunshade canopy (lowerable)
- Cup holder & phone pocket
- Slightly heavier option
Capacity: 350 lbs. | Foldable: Yes
If you’re a big person (or a person who likes big, comfy chairs) who has sensitive skin, this chair is the one for you. The ALPHA CAMP Heavy Duty Canopy Lounge Chair features a foldable canopy that provides 50+ UPF sun protection, as well as a large cup holder, padded armrests, and a mesh phone pocket. It comes with a carry bag and is very easy to set up and pack away. There are three color options for this chair, namely enamel blue, royal blue, and red.
Weighing in at 14 lbs., this sunshade chair is made from a sturdy and breathable reinforced mesh and Oxford cloth, and has an oversized frame with extra supporting tubes. The leg tubes are 0.9 inches in diameter, for extra strength and safety. The durable, heavy-duty steel frame has an anti-rust hammer tone powder coating for protection against the sun and sand, and the stable construction will support 350lbs.
For extra peace of mind, the chair comes with a one-year guarantee and a promise of free replacements or refunds for any quality issues.
What to Know Before Buying a Heavy Duty Beach Chair
A comfortable, convenient, and durable beach chair is a must for any beach lover who wants to enjoy their days in the sun. If you’re a big and tall person looking for a sturdy and comfortable beach chair for the upcoming summer season, there are a few things you should keep in mind while you shop. A beach chair for the larger beachgoer should be sturdy, comfortable, and durable, and have at least a few extras that make your day on the beach more convenient and enjoyable. Look for chairs that stand out from the rest, and have the extras you really want.
The build will be the most important consideration when buying your new beach chair. There’s no point in buying a chair with all the convenient extras if it can’t support your weight, or if it’ll rust and break in one season. The quality of the materials used, the strength of the frame, the weight of the chair, and the height of the seat are all things to take into consideration.
Look for strong, reinforced fabrics that are breathable, robust frames made from steel or aluminum, and a seat height that will work with any problems you might have, such as sore knees or a weak back. The frame should be rust coated, and the feet should be spaced widely apart for a more stable stance.
If you’re a bigger person, you’ll want to look for a chair that can comfortably carry your weight. Buying a weaker chair to save money may end up costing you more in the long run. Look for chairs with a weight capacity of at least 10 lbs. over your own weight, and preferably higher. After all, you’ll want your chair to be able to hold a little more than just you – a book, phone, bottle of sunscreen, and of course, the clothes you’re wearing.
You’ll know which beaches you spend most of your time on, and how far you have to carry your belongings to get to your favorite spots, so be sure to choose a beach chair that is light enough to lug that distance. A good beach chair for plus-size people should be durable and strong, but also lightweight, foldable, and easy to carry. Look for a chair with a carry bag or padded strap, and one that weighs as little as possible – anything over 20lbs will not be convenient or comfortable to keep with you wherever you need it.
Less important than the considerations above, but still important for an enjoyable day on the beach, are the little extra additions that make many beach chairs stand out these days.
If you’re a reader, look for a chair with a waterproof pouch that is big enough for a book. Most people don’t go anywhere without their phones, so look for chairs with a waterproof phone pocket. If you love to sunbathe, look for a reclining chair with a pillow or headrest. And if you like to enjoy a beer on the beach, look for a chair with a good cup holder, or even a small cooler section.
If you have kids, or if you love to swim, a very useful extra is a towel rail. These are usually able to fold away, and sometimes have more than one use. One final optional extra that is a good choice for people with sensitive skin is a canopy or umbrella. These are often sold separately and can be an excellent choice if you spend a lot of time on the beach, and want to stay out of the sun for most of it.
There are a number of different types of reclining chairs, but most will either have a few preset angles or be made in the “zero-gravity” style.
Recliners with preset angles will allow you to choose between four or five different positions, and the chair will lock into place at your chosen angle. Zero-gravity chairs will allow you a full range of motion over 180-degrees or more, and will also lock into place once you have found a comfortable position.
Reclining chairs are great for sunbathing, napping on the beach, or reading a book. A few will even offer arm and face holes for lying on your stomach and reading. Always be sure to check out the quality of recliner locking mechanisms when choosing your chair, to avoid sudden unwanted movements.
If you intend to spend a lot of your time in your recliner chair lay flat, make sure the chair is long enough to support your whole body, and you don’t end up with your head or feet hanging over the edge.