Best Beach Chair for Bad Back – After an extensive examination, we have found that the best beach chairs for bad backs are an award-winning model, the Strongback low gravity beach chair. These chairs have patented lumbar support and are designed by Strongback. Most find that these chairs offer superior comfort and extra supportive features that are ideal for those with back problems.
No beach experience is complete without a great beach chair. But when you’re also toting around a beach bag stocked with sunscreen and beach towels, plus other gear like beach umbrellas, you want your haul to be light and breezy. Fortunately, we’ve found the best beach chairs that are worth the trip.
Our Good Housekeeping Institute textiles experts rounded up beach chairs with a range of features like multiple position recline for tanning and back pain relief, backpack straps for portability and adjustable canopies for extra sun protection. We sent several beach chairs to our panel of GH consumer testers to try out in real life: They tested for comfortability, how easy it was to carry, how it held up and how it suited their needs. When it comes to shopping for beach chairs, our pros recommend considering the chair’s height: Some people prefer being low to the sand, but if you’re older or have bad knees, tall beach chairs are easier to get out of. You’ll also want to consider weight capacity. Most beach chairs will support up to 250 pounds on average, but there are camping and beach chairs that claim to support up to 500 pounds.
While chairs that are low to the ground typically aren’t the best for accommodating back pain, the STRONGBACK low-gravity beach chair more than compensates with its wealth of lumbar-supportive features. Lumbar support is integrated into the ergonomically shaped steel frame, which is complemented by padding at the lower back for extra comfort. Along with a seat that’s 21 inches deep, it’s designed with a sturdy back that aligns the spine and hips while you’re seated and padded armrests that provide extra cushioning. However, because it has shorter legs, it may make it harder to sit down and get up — an important consideration to keep in mind.
Made from heavy-duty 600-denier polyester, the STRONGBACK beach chair stands up to heavy beach winds, and the wide feet won’t sink in the sand. There’s also an attached drink holder to conveniently store a canned or bottled beverage. Last, this chair has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, but only weighs 8.5 pounds itself and is designed to be easy to transport — just fold up the chair, place it in the included carrying pouch, and sling the two straps over your shoulders.
According to a reviewer: “I go to the beach a few times a week living in Southern California, and this chair has been my trusty sidekick. My wife usually lies on a towel, so I like that it is low profile to keep us on a similar level. The back support is amazing. Most chairs like this your back sinks in and makes for some soreness later on. This chair is one of the best purchases I’ve made over the past year.”
Pros & Cons
- Award winning, patented, lumbar supportive profile design aligns your body posture to provide relief to your spine and ease tension throughout your back
- 2-YEAR WARRANTY - Best in the marketplace! Durability Guaranteed. See manufacturer for complete details. Contact Strongback Chair directly for warranty issues after 30 days of purchase. Warranty not valid on 3rd party purchases
- Big spacious ergonomic seat designed to align hips and back for maximum comfort and relaxation
- Easy to use and lightweight - the perfect portable lawn chair for camping, travel, beachy picnics, beach trips, sports, concert events and other outdoor activities; includes a backpack style carry bag and cupholder
- Newly redesigned low gravity Gen 2 has an improved locking system and enhanced connections; heavy-duty, durable construction with a 300-pound weight capacity allows adults to be comfortable and secure
- Improved patented durable frame-integrated lumbar support with stronger rivets for stability
2.STRONGBACK 3.0 Guru
Another option from STRONGBACK, this beach chair sits higher from the ground, making it a helpful option for anyone who has a hard time standing up after sitting in lower positions. Like the low-gravity version, it has lumbar support integrated into the steel frame, along with lumbar cushioning for extra comfort. Perhaps most helpful, it’s available in two sizes for people of varying heights — this Guru chair is designed for people 5 feet 8 inches and under, while the Elite chair is constructed for those over 5 feet 8 inches. Opting for a height-specific chair can help ensure that you sit with your knees at a 90-degree angle to your hips, which can help relieve lower back pain.
At 27 inches, this chair offers plenty of seat depth, and the ergonomic design aligns the hips and back for proper posture. The wide, no-sink feet keep it from getting stuck in the sand, and the two integrated cupholders let you keep cold beverages nearby. Made with 600-denier polyester, the chair has a 300-pound capacity and weighs 10.5 pounds. It can be collapsed and stored in the included travel bag, which has two shoulder straps for carrying.
According to a reviewer: “Most comfortable chair ever! Not too low or high. Easy to get in and out. Perfect for the beach or watching a game on the fields.”
Pros & Cons
- Award winning, patented, lumbar supportive design aligns your body posture to provide relief to your spine and ease tension throughout your back
- 2-YEAR WARRANTY - Best in the marketplace! Durability Guaranteed. See manufacturer for complete details. Contact Strongback Chair directly for warranty issues after 30 days of purchase. Warranty not valid on 3rd party purchases.
- Spacious ergonomic seat designed to align hips and back for maximum comfort and relaxation; made for people under 5'8" (see the STRONGBACK Elite chair for people 5’8” and taller)
- Easy to use and lightweight; the perfect portable chair for camping, travel, picnics, beach trips, sports, concert events and other outdoor activities; Includes a backpack style carry bag and dual cupholders
- Newly redesigned Guru 3.0 has improved hardware with enhanced connections; Heavy-duty, durable construction with a 300-pound weight capacity
For those in the market for a cost-effective option, this outdoor chair from Coleman is an excellent choice with a lot of high-quality features — and it boasts a 4.7-star overall rating on Amazon after 46,000 reviews. And while it’s technically labeled a camping chair — not a beach chair — Hruby specifically recommends it for people with back pain. The fully cushioned, 24-inch polyester seat and back offer support to your spine, while the high-profile steel frame helps keep your body aligned. Keep in mind that there’s no integrated lumbar support — so you might want to provide your own — but the armrests are height-adjustable, a unique feature that upgrades the comfort factor. Plus, one reviewer noted it’s “stable in the sand,” so you don’t have to worry about it sinking in or tipping over.
Besides a side pouch and drink holder, this high-off-the-ground beach chair also has a built-in cooler that holds up to four cans at once. With a weight capacity of 300 pounds and a total weight of 7.75 pounds, it’s the most lightweight beach chair on the list, helping big time on the portability front — just collapse it, put it in the included carrying bag, and sling the single strap over your shoulder.
According to a reviewer: “The chair is very comfortable and ‘fits’ well. I have been able to use it on my deck for a long number of hours with comfort. This says a lot for a person who has had back surgery. Recommended.”
Pros & Cons
- Camping chair combines a cOuncey design with a convenient built in cooler. Roomy 24 inches seat
- Built in 4 can cooler pouch keeps cold drinks within reach
- Fully cushioned seat and back provide support and comfort
- Mesh cup holder and side pocket for quick access to personal items
- Collapsible, folding design is easy to store and transport
- Roomy 24 inches seat. Comfortable 18.1 in sitting height
- Supports up to 325 lbs
Another one of Hruby’s picks is this beach chair from GCI that rocks — both figuratively and literally. The unique aluminum-framed mechanism gives this chair the freedom to rock back and forth, which can help relieve muscle tension as well as assist you in getting out of the chair. With a weight capacity of 250 pounds, the chair features a 24.4-inch-deep seat and padded armrests for added comfort. A cupholder on the front leg provides a spot to place your can or bottle.
While the manufacturer doesn’t list what kind of fabric the chair is made of, several reviewers attested to its durability. A mesh panel on the back adds extra ventilation, which is great for hot, sunny beach days, but there’s no integrated lumbar support so you may want to add your own. Weighing a total of 10.8 pounds, the chair can quickly be folded flat for easy transportation. It doesn’t have a carrying case or shoulder straps; rather it has a sturdy handle for toting by hand.
According to a reviewer: “It’s a very comfortable rocker. At the beach, you can sit in the sand AND STILL GET UP WITH EASE. It did not sink into the sand much, so there was no slanting left or right. The rocker action is relaxing. It’s great for anyone, but especially those of us who are aging or heavier than we used to be. […] Well worth the price.”
Pros & Cons
- Portable beach friendly rocking chair quickly and easily folds flat for storage and transportation
- Outdoor Rocking Chair: Equipped with a convenient carry handle, this portable folding chair quickly and easily folds flat for simple storage and transportation
- Sturdy aluminum frame supports up to 250 pounds includes padded arm rests and built-in beverage holder
- Quality Construction: Constructed from sturdy aluminum and steel, this foldable chair frame supports up to 250 pounds and features a durable mesh backrest for continual airflow
- Patented Spring-Action Rocking Technology delivers smooth rocking motion anywhere outdoors – beach, lawn, patio, or camping
A zero-gravity chair such as this one from Amazon Essentials will keep you in total comfort all afternoon. Finger recommends this design because it allows you to recline at any angle — just lean back, and your legs will lift to align with your spine, taking the pressure off your lower back. Constructed with a durable steel frame and weather-resistant Textilene fabric, this chair includes a removable headrest pillow that provides extra neck support, and one reviewer reported it can be moved down to cushion the lumbar area.
With a capacity of 200 pounds, this foldable chair weighs 17.8 pounds, making it a little heavier and bulkier, so keep that in mind if portability is a concern (and note that there are no handles or straps for carrying). If you plan on hitting up the beach with a buddy, you can even buy this chair as a two-pack that comes with a convenient side table.
According to a reviewer: “Very comfortable chair. fully reclined it really helps to relieve my lower back pain and is very relaxing.
Pros & Cons
- Zero-gravity chair (2-pack) with side table for ultimate comfort and convenience when relaxing outdoors
- 2 removable headrest pillows and 2 cup holders (1 for each chair) and 2 cup holders (integrated into the table); chairs and table fold flat for compact storage and easy transport
- Lockable recline function; safe, sturdy construction; made of durable steel and Textilene fabric; Tan color
- Spot clean with a damp cloth; do not iron; do not use strong chemicals for cleaning
- Each chair measures 26 by 31.5-60.2 by 33.9-43.3 inches (LxWxH); table measures 18.5 by 18.5 by 21.5 inches (LxWxH); weighs 43.4pounds; backed by an Amazon Basics 1-year limited warranty
6.Rio Beach 4-Position
With a 4.7-star overall rating after 2,000 reviews, this is one of the best backpack beach chairs on Amazon, and it has the convenience of two padded straps that allow you to sling it over your shoulders for seamless transportation — no carrying case required. While it has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, the chair only weighs 11 pounds itself, so it can be easily toted to and from the beach. The wide seat is made out of a durable polyester fabric, and there is also a built-in neck pillow that provides extra support and cushioning. Made from lightweight aluminum, the chair has a sturdy back and four reclining positions that can relieve pressure on your lower back, but note that the seat is only 17 inches deep.
There are two compartments: a drink holder on the side, as well as a large storage pouch you can access while traveling. (Following Finger’s advice, you can even keep a small towel inside the pouch to use as lumbar support when you get to the beach.)
According to a reviewer: “This is my new beach chair. I like that it is higher off the ground than most. I have had 2 back surgeries and a knee surgery. It is easy for me to sit down and get up from it. It’s easy to carry, not heavy and sturdy.
Pros & Cons
- The Rio Beach backpack chair offers hands-free portability and is lightweight to carry.
- Adjustable, backpack shoulder strap with large storage pouch. Patented and only by Rio Beach
- Flexible suspension design supports and conforms to your body
- 4-position easy-adjust recline options
- Lightweight, rust-proof aluminum frame. Weighs only 8 lbs
- Features a large adjustable pillow and cup holder
- Seat Height: 11 inches. Weight Capacity: 240 lbs
Why Regular Beach Chairs Won’t Work For Users With Bad Backs
As mentioned, you need a beach chair with lumbar support to position the spine naturally. Regular beach chairs, unfortunately, do not have it. As a result, they won’t work for users with bad backs.
When the spine takes its natural position, there’s little strain on the lower back. So, if you are known to suffer back pain, you get to enjoy maximum relief.
And if you don’t have a history of bad backs, then such a chair can prevent it.
Types of Beach Chairs For Bad Backs
Generally, beach chairs with back support come in two broad categories:
< id="a-recliner-beach-chairs-for-bad-backs">a) Recliner Beach Chairs For Bad Backs
Recliner chairs can take an upright and laying position to give you maximum resting comfort.
Sometimes, the chairs are known as zero gravity beach chairs since they can offer you a weightless relaxation experience. Simply put, you feel like you are taking a rest on space.
Recliner beach chairs come with ample lumbar support, and a good example is the Portal Oversized Mesh Back Zero Gravity Recliner Chair.
< id="b-low-gravity-beach-chairs-for-bad-backs">b) Low Gravity Beach Chairs For Bad Backs
Low gravity beach chairs generally have a low-lying seat to let you stretch out your legs. As a result, they are the right choice for fighting off muscle cramps on the legs.
The chairs also come with lumbar support to relieve you from back discomfort, and a perfect example is the Strongback Low Gravity Beach Chair.
Other categories include: Low-gravity beach chairs, backpack beach chairs, lounge beach chairs
Buying Guide For The Best Beach Chairs For Bad Backs
Consider the following when buying a beach chair for bad backs:
- Lumbar Support – Lumbar support refers to a feature that supports the lumbar spine and keeps the spine in its natural position. The feature may be integrated into the chair’s frame or may come as an adjustable pillow. The latter is generally ideal when several people with bad backs share a beach chair.
- Frame – Most beach chairs for bad backs come with tubular or powder-coated steel frames. So, they are not just sturdy but also rust-resistant. As a result, such frameworks are likely to serve you for the long-term. But steel frames are heavy, so aluminum is the best if you’re looking for portability.
- Weight Capacity – A comfortable beach chair should bear your weight. If not, then there is the danger of crushing it, and you wouldn’t want that. So, check for the weight capacity under specifications.
Generally, it’s advisable to go for a higher limit. If you weigh 200-250 pounds, for example, consider a beach chair with an over 300 weight capacity.
- Portability – Going to the beach, you need a chair that you can fold and carry. Preferably, it should feature shoulder straps or should come with its carry bag. And more, the chair should be lightweight.
Since we are talking about beach chairs for bad backs, its weight shouldn’t strain your back.
< id="additional-buying-considerations">Additional Buying Considerations
- Upholstery – The upholstery is just as important as the frame. So, it needs to be weather-resistant and, at the same time, rip-proof. Polyester is a great choice, being very durable, lightweight, easy to clean, and comfortable
- Armrests – Armrests are critical when it comes to the stability of beach chairs with lumbar support. They are also essential for promoting your natural sitting position and comfort. Look for ones that are able to hold your weight so you can easily get in and out of the chair.
- Seat – If you are tall or you have a chronic knee problem, a low-seat chair is not ideal. Simply put, don’t go for a low gravity option as you would strain to get off it. Instead, consider a higher seat.
- Backrest – And when it comes to the backrest, consider an option with a taller backrest to recline more flexibly. Such a chair removes pressure from your back when you relax.
- Accessories – Considered by some to be luxurious or maybe unnecessary, accessories like drink holders, holding trays, and side pockets are excellent add-ons. Other worthy accessories include built-in coolers, detachable headrest, canopies, and leg rests.
1. Which Are The Best Beach Chairs For Bad Backs?
By prioritizing lumbar support, here are the best chairs for bad backs
- Portal Oversized Mesh Back Zero Gravity Recliner Chair
- Strongback Elite Folding Camping Lawn Lounge Chair
- Rio Beach 4-Position Lace-Up Backpack Folding Beach Chair
- Strongback Low Gravity Beach Chair
2. What Should I Look For In The Best Beach Chairs For Bad Backs?
The first thing to consider in the best beach chair for bad back is lumbar support. The feature can be frame-integrated or can come as an adjustable pillow,
The beach chair should also feel comfortable and should come in a sturdy design.
Additionally, it should be portable and accessory-packed.
3. Are Zero Gravity Beach Chairs Good For Bad Backs?
Zero gravity beach chairs put your spine in a neutral position, and as a result, the spine maintains its natural position.
As a result, they protect your spine from straining. So, yes, zero gravity beach chairs are safe for bad backs. That explains why they are among the best beach chairs for elderly.
4. Why Are Beach Chairs Low?
Beach chairs are generally low to provide you with a shorter ground clearance to stretch your legs. Such chairs are also very stable and suit plus-size campers.
5. Who Makes The Best Zero Gravity Beach Chairs?
So many zero gravity beach chairs exist, but not everyone is credible. Here are two manufacturers who I believe make the best zero gravity beach chairs:
- Hengfeng (The guys behind the Portal Oversized Mesh Back Zero Gravity Recliner Chair)
- Timber Ride (The guys behind the Timber Ridge Zero Gravity Oversized Recliner Chair)
< id="concluding-thought">Concluding Thought
Now you have five best beach chairs for bad backs. What’s your favorite among them?
Why you Need a Chair with Lumbar Support
If you already suffer back aches and pains, then you need to decrease the stress on your spine. It is also a good idea to increase your muscles strength, with certain exercises.
When resting though, it is vital that you sit in the correct position for your spine. If your body is slouching, then the lower back is pushed outwards. This causes strain with the natural curvature of the spine. By having lumbar support, you can keep the natural shape of your spine.
A supportive chair should sit flush to the small of the back. Ideally, you should sit in a position so that your head, back, and bottom are all aligned. Once you have achieved this, then sit back in the chair.
This is when you should feel the push of the lumbar support in your lower back. Lumbar cushions that are moveable can be useful to support your back, where it is needed the most.
Does Chair Weight Matter?
Carrying around heavy weights adds excess strain to ligaments and muscles, especially if you don’t have a beach cart or other method of easily transporting your beach items around.
If the weight you’re carrying is not carried correctly, these weights will put a strain on the neck, shoulders, and spine. The neck is a weaker point than the back.
Having two straps for carrying a weight on your back (like a backpack) will distribute the load more evenly than a single strap will. If you must use the shoulder, swap the weight over as often as you can as it will decrease postural sway.
It is also better to hold the load as close to your body as you can.
One other factor of weight is how much the chair will hold. Most will hold a body weight between 200-350lbs. You do not want the frame to collapse while you are sat in it, or to cause any strain on the material, which would render it uncomfortable.
What other features to look for in an outdoor chair
The last thing you want is your beach chair sinking in the sand. To prevent this, chose a chair that has flat feet or other design that works well in sand.
We have explained what carrying a heavy weight can do to your spine. For this reason, try and chose a chair that has a carry bag with handles, ideally one that can be worn like a backpack
Check the frame of the chair to make sure none of the metal bars will sit directly against any part of your body. If that happens, the pressure could reduce blood supply to that area, causing numbness or tingling.
You don’t want to have to shrug up your shoulders because armrests are too high, too small, or even none existent, giving no support. Your shoulders should not feel tense in any way when your arm is upon the arm-rest.
One feature of a beach chair is often the small legs that result in sitting close to the ground. This is fine if you feel comfortable with them, but you may struggle to get in and out of the chair.
If your favorite chair does have small legs, make sure the armrests are supportive to help you get in and out.
Images of the beach conjure up scenes of fun, relaxation, beauty, warmth, and happiness. But if you have a bad back, lounging at the beach can lead to aches and pains in your back. In these cases, you will need extra support. Slouching in a chair not suited for your body could cause discs in the spine to rub together. This can result in undue pressure, and eventually damage to the spine.
With huge numbers of Americans suffering from back troubles, it is important that you consider how you sit. This means all the time, whether for relaxation or for work.
Buy a chair that promotes a healthy posture, with inbuilt lumbar supports. That way, you can enjoy that well-earned relaxation on the beach, and sit in your supportive chair for hours on end. Though don’t sit in the sun too long, that will only lead to other health issues.
To help you determine which is the perfect beach chair for you, we have chosen a few of the most popular, to review. This will hopefully give you an idea of what you need to look for.
Best Beach Chair for Bad Back – There’s nothing better than relaxing in a reclining camping chair in the warm sand on a breezy beach. Sadly, for the one-half of working Americans who report back pain symptoms each year, relaxing isn’t that easy.
Whether it’s acute or chronic, the long-lasting result of a serious injury or a hereditary condition can easily spoil what was meant to be a relaxing day away from the city.
For this reason, we’ve compiled the following list of the best beach chairs for those of us who suffer from back pain. The following ergonomic beach chairs are specifically designed to help ease tension and relax muscles. So relax, and continue to read as we cover some of the best beach chairs that will have you enjoying the beach again in no time.
As the last vestiges of summer slip away, it’s time to get in as many beach trips as possible. A beach chair or lounger can make that trip (or just about any outdoor activity) that much more comfortable. So to help you find the best chair for your shoreside excursions, kids’ soccer games, or even stoop hangouts, we’ve rounded up the best beach chairs, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon. And if you’re looking for more beach gear, we’ve got roundups of the best beach towels, beach umbrellas, and beach bags too.