Camping chairs can be your all-around go-to if you can use them at the beach. But sometimes, you might not want to.
Camping chairs can be used at the beach because they have similar qualities to a beach chair. As long as they are durable, comfortable, and portable, then you’re good to go. However, consider the size, height, and reclining features to determine if they’re ideal substitutes.
Despite having the same qualities, there are cons to using a camping chair as a beach chair. But there are ways to work around that.
Are Camping Chairs Suitable for the Beach?
The most important thing to consider is how the camping chair is built. Will you be able to lay out and tan?
Will you be able to adjust the height to fit under an umbrella or canopy? Is it easy to carry and set up?
These things will help determine if camping chairs can work on the beach.
First, look at the qualities of a camping chair vs. a beach chair. Finding out their similarities and differences will help you decide.
A. Ideal Qualities of a Camping Chair
Ideally, camping chairs are comfortable. Some are even heavily padded to make it feel like a cushion.
However, some chairs don’t fit all body types. Sometimes it’s because of the frame or design that makes it different from a traditional camping chair.
Comfort can be subjective. Some campers prefer firm support and a hard headrest. This is why camping chairs are also designed differently.
If you’re considering bringing your chair to the beach, you’ll want to be sure it’s comfortable.
2. Durable and Sturdy
Camping chairs tend to have an aluminum structure with poles. They’re ideally durable and sturdy because you may sit on them for long hours around a campfire.
The durability depends on the weight capacity of the camping chair. Sturdy ones are typically bulkier and heavier (with fewer points for portability).
These qualities sometimes ensure its comfort and value.
3. Portable and Easy to Set-up
Campers typically backpack or hike with them to a spot, so heavy chairs are a con. However, the heaviness is due to other features such as sturdiness or size.
For example, some camping chairs act as a loveseat where two people can sit together.
Quick and easy foldable camping chairs are ideal and take no time to set up. Compact-sized ones even fit in a backpack.
The more portable a camping chair is, the lighter they are.
Sometimes, camping chairs come with bags for storage. Others have a feature that transforms into a backpack, so you can easily carry them.
4. Functional Storage
Some camping chairs have a storage feature such as a cup holder or a phone pocket. Others have an insulated cooler attached to an armrest.
The Coleman camping chair has a classic model of this.
It’s built with a 4-can cooler pouch suited for your cold drinks, a mesh cup holder, and a side pocket to keep your personal belongings within reach.
5. Suitable Size and Height
The size of the camping chair will dictate if it’s roomy and comfortable. Bigger chairs may be better if you need space, but they could be heavier.
On the other hand, the ideal height will depend on how you plan to use it. Lower camping chairs, for example, can be suitable for lawn concerts and sandy terrain.
However, higher chairs make it easier for you to get in and out of.
There’s no standard size and height of camping chairs because designs vary greatly. As a reference, the height can range from 6 in. to 18 in.
Choosing an affordable camping chair is always a plus if you don’t sacrifice quality. The price will depend on the chair’s brand, features, and design.
You can find cheap ones for under $20. However, just don’t expect a certain level of comfort.
Other branded camping chairs can be as expensive as $250. The NEMO Stargaze camping chair is an example. It’s a recliner “luxury chair.”
Of course, you don’t need an expensive chair to enjoy a camping chair. It all depends on the features.
7. Good Design
Camping chair designs can be innovative.
When choosing a design, you can look at a chair’s seat fabric, frame construction and how it folds, back seat height, weight capacity, and leg design.
This is also where other features, such as the ability to recline, rock, and swivel, come into play.
You’ll want to focus on leg design when considering taking your camping chair to the beach.
Beach chairs don’t typically have four legs that can sink unevenly on the sand. The legs of camping chairs can be two-legged, three-legged, gliders, or rockers.
If you’re purchasing a new camping chair, it’s always wise to test it out.
B. What kind of chairs do you take to the beach?
Beach chairs are durable and are typically made of metal (aluminum). For a beach chair, it’s essential that the material is salt-resistant and does not rust.
The seat is also usually hard-wearing and made of marine-grade fabric. This fabric does not rip, stretch, or rag after being exposed to sand, salt, and UV rays.
Sturdier beach chairs sacrifice their portability.
But you’ll benefit from their support, especially with high winds. Sturdier chairs will also likely support heavier weights. Some chairs can support up to 500 lbs.
Assuming you’re driving to the beach, sometimes you’ll have to walk a long way from the parking lot to an ideal spot.
A portable (and lightweight) beach chair would be suitable as it makes it easy to carry.
Some beach chairs can even be slipped into a tote bag or backpack. Sometimes, they also have their own storage bag you can place them in after folding flat.
Conversely, a lighter beach chair will sacrifice durability and sturdiness. You’ll want to find one with just the right amount of balance.
There’s no point in bringing an uncomfortable beach chair. You might as well just bring a stool.
But comfortable ones will help you settle under the sun with features such as reclining backs and footrests. Some even come with an umbrella.
Other times, comfort doesn’t mean more but less. You may want to bring a small foldable beach chair compared to one with many features but is bulkier.
Comfort is subjective, so like camping chairs, sit on one before purchasing.
Like camping chairs, beach chairs vary in price. You can get one for about $50 or less or choose expensive ones that can reach $100 to less than $200.
I like the Gymax Folding Chaise Lounge because aside from being able to tan on it, I can choose to use a sunshade should I decide not to.
I can also adjust it to five reclining positions. However, it comes at a whopping $76.
An expensive beach chair doesn’t automatically mean it’s a better option. It’s always about the features you look for.
C. Cons of Using a Camping Chair on the Beach
If you look around, camping chairs are considered as many as beach chairs. However, using them as one comes with disadvantages.
This is mainly because the environment you use them in differs. An outdoor camp or forest differs from a sandy beach where you’re bathing under the hot summer sun.
Let’s discuss why it may not work out.
1. Big and heavy
Camping chairs come in various weights and sizes. If you’re carrying a loveseat camping chair across the beach, you might not return with it at all.
The heaviness of camping chairs sacrifices their portability, and unlike beaches where you might want to move from time to time, in the forest, that’s not the case.
Also, a camping chair is likely not the only thing you’re bringing.
A heavy camping chair might add to the mental and physical stress you’ll put on yourself, which you could’ve avoided if you’d gone with a lightweight beach chair.
2. Not the right height
Not all camping chairs recline, and they come in different heights. Assuming you have one that doesn’t recline, it’ll be less relaxing and not ideal if you want to get a tan.
You must consider how low it would sink in the sand for a shorter camping chair.
On the other hand, tall camping chairs may not fit under awnings or canopies. Proper beach chairs are generally lower, making them more comfortable for relaxing.
3. The chair’s legs can sink into the sand
Speaking of how low a camping chair might sink in the sand, it’s worse if the depths are uneven.
Imagine constantly re-adjusting the chair’s position or tilting it over and over just to sit properly. Not very relaxing at all.
Wider feet or bars for a camping chair may work better than a standard 4-leg design.
The wide legs may help dissipate the weight, and the bars resemble a beach chair’s design. Also, remember that larger and more studier designs are more stable.
D. Pros of Using a Camping Chair on the Beach
1. You can save on costs.
The main pro is that you save on the cost of buying a beach chair. Beach chairs can be just as expensive as camping chairs.
Using a suitable camping chair, you only need to focus on other costs, such as food, swimsuits, etc., when planning an outing at the beach.
2. You can have an all-around outdoor chair.
An ideal camping chair can be your all-around outdoor chair.
Whether you plan to camp, go to the beach, go to an outdoor concert, or just relax on your lawn, you already have the gear to do so.
Because plenty of camping chairs can be used for a beach chair, you may want to consider both experiences before purchasing one.
E. How You Can Use Your Camping Chairs as Beach Chairs
Based on the cons, you can’t solve the problem of your camping chair being too heavy. And if your camping chair doesn’t recline or adjust its height, that’s it.
But you can work around the problem of the legs sinking or potentially consider investing in a new camping chair.
1. Solve the Problem with Uneven Ground or Sand
You can place a towel or a mat under your camping chair. This prevents the legs from getting buried.
If you have a three or four-legged camping chair, you can cut cans in half to place them under the legs. These will adjust the height for any uneven positioning.
2. Invest in a Camping Chair with Multiple Features
Camping chairs with multiple features can be costly. However, if you regularly camp and plan to go to the beach occasionally, purchasing a new one is an investment.
You can choose one with a reclining feature or an adjustable height and those that come with a canopy and storage for your convenience.
F. Can camping chairs get wet?
Camping chairs use metal, and although rain will be the only likely cause of them getting wet while camping, you might wonder if they’re safe to be used at the beach.
There are ways to take care of the metal and fabric materials, so you need not worry.
1. Camping chairs are water resistant.
Camping chairs are typically water resistant, so you can leave them outside. You don’t have to worry about drying yourself off after taking a dip.
When purchasing or using your own camping chair at the beach, look at its specs to ensure it’s water resistant.
2. To keep them in their best condition, dry them off after use.
More expensive camping chairs will likely have high-quality fabric.
But to keep them in their best condition, it’s always best to dry them off and not leave them wet. This will also reduce the tendency for water marks or fabric fading.
Camping chairs can be used at the beach. They are typically considered by many as beach chairs themselves.
However, whether your camping chair is suitable for the ideal beach experience would depend on its features.
You’ll mainly have to consider durability, portability, and comfortability.
There are pros and cons to using your camping chair as a beach chair, but you can make your way around the cons.
You can decide whether a separate beach chair investment is worth it.