Best Beach Chairs and Umbrellas

by dustytoes

I go to the beaches in Florida a lot and have found a lightweight, folding beach chair and good umbrella to take along.

When I pack up to go to the beach, I've been missing one essential item; a great beach chair! Finally, I have found and purchased a chair that fits all my needs. I got an umbrella too.

I don't sit down much at the beach, but that is because I haven't had a comfortable beach chair to use. My old chairs all got rusty and were heavy to carry. And carrying a chair with a cooler and umbrella and beach bag just didn't appeal to me. I'm getting old, and I need simplicity. But this chair has padded straps and a carry handle! It leaves me hands-free.

I took my time in buying a beach chair because I looked around a lot first. Now I have the perfect chair and umbrella set to keep me happy by the sea.

Why The Tommy Bahama is the Best Beach Chair in my Opinion

The weight limit is 300 pounds, and prices vary widely.

The Tommy Bahama beach chair offers everything you need to spend a day at the beach.

1. Padded shoulder straps for carrying, and strap to hook the chair together.

2. The frame is lightweight, rust-proof aluminum - armrests are plastic (lightweight and won't rust).

3. Recline in 5 positions, including all the way back to flat - or hang a towel on the bar.

4. Padded little pillow for the head and attached pouches for drinks, cell phone, keys etc.

5. 4 Attached compartments to store food, drinks, phone, tablets, etc.

My Beach Chair

The hibiscus design was my favorite.
My chair
My chair

Buy This Chair at Amazon

Use this link to see the color and fabric options, as well as prices.
Tommy Bahama 2015 Backpack Cooler Chair with Storage Pouch and Towe...

Sit or Recline Easily

The bar on the back can be used to hang towels when not reclined.
My Tommy Bahama Beach Chair
My Tommy Bahama Beach Chair
My photo

Pouch and Cooler on the Back of the Chair

Until I began to fill these two compartments on the back of the chair, I did not realize how much they held.

For the photo I included:

My Kindle Paperwhite (so I can read in the sun).

Big Yeti cooler cup so I can keep drinks cold.

A bottle of soda and Cliff Bars snacks which are healthy and filling, but need to stay cool.

All this and space to spare, for sunscreen, a hat, and whatever else you need.  If you are taking along a lot of towels and kids toys, remember this chair has padded straps to carry on your back!  

These are the types of things I would take to the beach with me, along with a small cooler where my drinks and sandwich would be.  And of course my umbrella to sit beneath!

Pouch and Cooler compartments
Pouch and Cooler compartments
Storage on Back
Storage on Back

Florida Beach

This is low tide at an east coast Florida beach where vehicles can drive and park on the beach.
Day at the Beach
Day at the Beach
New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Extra Wide Beach Chair Holds up to 300 Pounds

Rio Beach Big Boy Backpack Chair, Blue
Only $61.93

Be Comfortable and Shaded at the Seashore

Beaches are not known for their shade, but while we love the beach, we sometimes need to get out of that hot sun.  I know I do here in Florida.  

In the summer months the ocean water is not always enough to keep me cool.  Water temperature is in the mid to upper 80's and the heat index is often over 100 degrees.  Even the ocean breeze is warm.  I don't like to bake in the sun, but I love being at the ocean, and most people take along some sort of shade - usually in the form of an umbrella.

You will need a sand anchor, either built into the bottom of the umbrella, or one to dig a hole to stick the umbrella into.  No one wants to chase their umbrella across the beach on a windy day - I've seen it happen!

The Tommy Bahama beach umbrellas below have poles that tilt, to direct the shade where it needs to be.  They also have built in sand anchors, which are easy to use.  I have not tried my new umbrella in a strong wind.  If the wind gets really crazy, it may be best to take the umbrella down.

This umbrella has a wind vent - opening in the top area, which helps keep the wind from picking it up and tossing it.  Most of them have a UPF 100 rating as well.


Beach Umbrella with Sand Anchor and SPF Sun Protection

Prices vary widely for the Tommy Bahama beach umbrellas, so look around for the best deal.
Tommy Bahama Sand Anchor Beach Umbrel...
Only $299.0
Tommy Bahama Sand Anchor 7 feet Beach...
Only $199.99

Florida Beaches in Winter

This probably does not apply to all areas of the state. The Keys and Gulf coast are probably always busy.

The beach near me on the Atlantic side of the state is much less crowded during the winter months.  The water temperatures drop and for most Floridians becomes too cold to swim.  

Of course tourists are always here, but with school in session it is mostly the older crowd.  The exceptions are special events like "Bike Week" and "Spring Break".  Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays bring a lot of visitors as well.

It's mainly filled with tourists because those of us who are so used to heat, think it's cold when the air temps drop to 60 and the water is 60-70 degrees.  Locals tend to stay away except to take walks.

Lots of Seaweed along the Beach
Lots of Seaweed along the Beach
My Photo

What to Consider When Buying a Beach Wagon

First of all, will it hold everything you need it to?  These wagons have weight limits, and some have mesh bottoms which would not be comfortable for kids or animals.

The wheels need to navigate soft sand because you will likely encounter some.

Remember that metal will get very hot in the sun, and so will dark colors.  I am at a loss as to why all the wagons I see for sale are made in dark colored material!  If you are putting a young child or animal into the wagon be sure to take that into consideration.

Pulling a wagon will be easier if less heavy items are packed into it.  Beach chairs, towels, umbrella, and bag of necessities might fit.  Add a child or heavy cooler and you may be in trouble.

Upright carts may work better for your needs.  There are a lot to choose from so take the time to research and read reviews.


Beach Wagons Can Help on Long Trips to the Shore

Read the reviews and decide for yourself which one works best for your needs.
Mac Sports Heavy Duty Collapsible Fol...RIO Gear Rio Brands Deluxe Wonder Whe...12" Balloon Wheel Conversion Kit for ...

The trek to the beach can be a long one, so pack light!

Smyrna Dunes Park has a whole new beautiful boardwalk (my photo shows the old one), but it's quite a walk to the water.
Smyrna Dunes State Park
Smyrna Dunes State Park
My photo

A Beach Less Crowded

Although it is possible to drive onto the beach, and that is usually what I do, there are beaches in my area that require lots of walking to get to.

The Smyrna Dunes State Park has long boardwalks and dog trails that wind throughout a peninsula ending at Ponce Inlet.  Some secluded beaches can only be reached by taking these trails.

Now why would I want to walk a long way when I could simply drive and park right on the beach?  Because of crowds.  I like to avoid crowds of people, which can be difficult to do in the state of Florida.  I seldom go near any beaches on the weekend.  During the week the beach can be okay, but in summer the vacationers are here.  They are also here for holidays throughout the year, Bike Week, Spring Break, Biketoberfest, and who knows what.

There is always something going on that brings tourists.  And many condos and hotels are constantly being built to accommodate even more people.

So paying a fee and walking the boardwalk to get to a beach less crowded is sometimes what I prefer to do.

Tide Coming in at Ponce Inlet Beach

Find this ocean pass at the tip of New Smyrna Beach.
Beach at the Inlet
Beach at the Inlet
My photo

If you like beaches, Florida, and collecting seashells, read my blog, Seashells by Millhill.

Today we went out on the boat. It’s been a while since we’ve gone out because the weather has cooled off. We weren’t out for long, and stopped at some favorite beaches...
Found lots of knobbed whelks on this deserted island beach in Mosquito Lagoon. And a few other pretty shells.
Many people dream of having a beach all to themselves. Because we have a boat, we often get to be on deserted beaches. But you can find deserted, and semi-deserted bea...

The Beach After a Storm

I took an early morning trip over to search for seashells but found only jellyfish and seaweed!
Parking on the Beach
Parking on the Beach
My photo

Beach Vacation Articles

Updated: 09/11/2018, dustytoes
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dustytoes on 07/13/2017

@DerdriuMarriner, I don't know about that, but really one side is all that is needed to hold a drink and small items. Plus you have the larger storage in the back.
You always have good questions!

DerdriuMarriner on 07/13/2017

dustytoes, Great chair in terms of comfort and convenience. Do they not make models with compartments on both arms?

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