If you’re crippled by your lower back conditions I simply wouldn’t recommend going right away into a mall to buy the first fancy looking or cheap beach chair you encounter.
Let’s be honest… Since we, back pain fighters differ in so many aspects, there’s no ultimate solution for all, though.
I’m quite aware of that and today I want to provide some good alternatives for everyone suffering from back problems.
- The Strongback Low Gravity Beach Chair as our top pick
- Rio Gear Big Guy which we think the best lightweight beach chair
- The Rio Hi-Boy which we consider the best beach chairs for elderly
- And the Coleman Deck Chair being the most compact ergonomic beach chair among all
Often these ergonomic beach chairs function not just as beach chairs, but camping chairs or even stadium chairs as well.
However, if you’re looking for pure camping fun, I’d recommend checking our best camping chair for bad backs guide over here.
Now bear with us, and let’s see what our first nominee holds for us!
Strongback Low Gravity Beach Chair
✔️ Lightweight at 9.5 lbs
✔️ Backpack style carry bag
❌ Might be too low for some at 4″ from the ground
Rio Big Guy
✔️ Mid-height seat at 8″
✔️ Adjustable back support (4 position)
❌ Still can be too low for some
✔️ Great back support
✔️ 7 adjustable positions
❌ Can be hard to carry (11.4 lbs)
Best Beach Chair for Bad Back – Top Pick:
Strongback Low Gravity Beach Chair
Any surprises? I’m sure you’ve heard of Strongback if you’re a true back pain sufferer. Their beach and camping chairs are famous of their revolutionized lumbar area which customers rave about.
Forget being swallowed by the loosely knitted mesh. The inverse ‘C’ shape provides firm support for your lower back while still being comfortable even for long hours of relaxing.
However, don’t think that the list of benefits end here. Weighing only 9.5 pounds makes the Strongback Low Gravity a great solution for those who need to walk longer distances to reach the shore.
What you’ll love to hear is that it comes with a back-pack style carry case size of a yoga mat. This makes it a convenient option for stadium-dwellers too.
You won’t need to worry even if you consider yourself a big girl/guy: with a massive 300 lbs capacity and wide-enough back support, the Strongback scrapes the upper limits.
A very important point is sinking if it comes to beach chairs. Does it sink into the sand when I sit down? – you might ask. Thanks to the wide foot base, you can stay sit comfortably without lifting the chair from time to time.
The bad news? Some might consider the Strongback too low. The sitting pad being only 4” from the ground may make it hard to use especially for elderly people.
Best Lightweight Beach Chair:
Rio Big Guy
The Rio Gear Big Guy won’t win design awards with its rather dull looking blue mesh. Yet beneath its slightly boring appearance there’s more to the mesh itself.
Being firm enough to help you maintain a healthy sitting posture, there’s no chance you’ll feel sunken in it, which is usually responsible for lower back pain issues.
If these weren’t enough, a 4-position adjustable back support further extends comfort level.
Keep in mind though: this is a regular, low position beach chair with 8” sitting height from the ground. Definitely not something which I’d recommend for the elderly.
Putting the appearance and ergonomics aside, Rio Gear’s Big Guy performs great on our weight test as well. Being able to hold up to 300 lbs with only 8.1 lbs of overall weight, it closes in our best lightweight beach chair choice as well.
Although there’s no pouch / carry case included, the Big Guy features adjustable straps on its back making it easy to be carried to the beach.
There’s a catch though. Some will still find the sitting surface too low and that can mean a problem for people with severe back or knee problems.
If you’re looking for a higher alternative, you should check out our guide on the best camping chairs for bad backs. Still, the Big Guy is definitely higher compared to the Strongback.
Best Beach Chairs for Elderly:
Rio Beach Hi-Boy
There’s no question that elderly people won’t like humping down to ground level.
This easy in easy out beach chair solves the hassle of sitting down and standing up by placing the seat 17” off the ground. Honestly, it’s like the height of a dining room chair.
Although not coming with a decent lumbar support as the Strongback does, it still provides ample support for your lower back by not letting you sink into the mesh.
Similar to the Big Guy, this fellow has seven different adjustable positions letting you relax while enjoying sunlight.
Coming in a quite sturdy construction, the Hi-Boy will allow for up to 250 lbs thanks to its aluminum frame.
The weakest point? Without doubt, it’s a bit heavy at 11.4 lbs to carry around. Although, there are 2 padded straps for that, it can be disturbing on a daily basis.
Also, not a big deal but worth mentioning: although it’s a study build, be prepared for squeaking whenever you change position.
Let alone its weaknesses, the Hi-Boy is definitely one of the best high off the ground beach chairs out there.
Best Ergonomic Beach Chair:
Coleman Portable Deck Chair
Although it’s titled ‘deck chair’, the Coleman can and should be used as a beach chair as well.
Being the most compact in size and weight as well on our list, the Coleman comes in a 31.2 x 21.1 x 8.5 size outshining all the above contenders.
At 16.5” height from the ground, you’ll never experience falling down into the chair therefore this counts as a true back saving feature for me!
It’s worth noting that thanks to its smaller dimensions the overall weight is reduced accordingly. 7.12 lbs counts as super-lightweight, although take into account that sizes are quite reduced in this case.
Speaking of which, it’s needless to say that it’s super easy to carry around, thanks to its weight and carrying handles.
However, the Coleman Portable Deck Chair’s true magic lies within its back support. Firm enough, yet still slightly bent backwards, giving your lumbar area ample amount of assistance.
The catch here is the back support’s position. Taller people might find it a bit uncomfortable, as it’s a tad short.
What to look for when buying a beach chair when having a bad back?
I’ve gathered some notes for you to consider even if you’re not a first time beach chair shopper.
Does the chair provide proper back support?
For me, back support can mean two things: lower or upper back support. Since most of us suffer from lower back pain, I’d go with a chair that provides firm lumbar aid.
Most beach chairs come with mesh betweeen the aluminum / steel framing. Now this is a dealbreaker. If the mesh is too loose you’ll probably slouch in resulting in a tough lower back pain.
Buy beach chairs that have tight firm mesh, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. You can still upgrade it with a pillow later on.
Have the proper legs
This might be a no-brainer, but let’s not skip it. If you manage to choose a chair without the proper legs, you’ll sink into the sand.
Choose a chair that either has the proper rubber pads or has a full rail between one pair of legs at least.
Being easy on your back
Can you lift the chair easily? If it’s so heavy that it strains your lower back when lifting, then what’s the use of great lumbar support?
All the chairs listed above are carefully chosen to save your lower back from strains, but take weight into account when deciding on which to stick with.
Is the seating height low or high?
Last but not least, some words about seat height. If you’re suffering of chronic pains I’d urge you to choose a chair with at least 10” of seating height.
Why? Because you’ll have a hard time sitting down or getting up from a regular, 4” – 8” high beach chair.
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