The Wall Street Journal

We dropped into dozens of beach chairs to find the best so that you don't have to. Here, our six favorites - based on price, style, ability to withstand sand and all-day sit-ability.

For beach bums we found these six to be the best seats for lounging seaside: (From left) Rio Wave, Sunday Supply Co. chair, Tommy Bahamma Wavy Marlin Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair, Yeti Hondo Base Camp, Strongback Low Gravity 3.0 Beach Chair and Sunflow.

For the better part of a decade, I have been on a quest to find the perfect beach chair. Wooed by slick Instagram ads promising a better, more life-altering seat, I buy a newer, fancier model annually. Then right about this of summer, I realize it's shortcomings. My efforts aren't lost on my regular beach-sitting crew. As we gather each July at Wiborg Beach in East Hamptonk NY, they watch with amusement as I unveil my latest. Sometimes it is a tricked out and, often, complicated to use. This year, I blew the bank and went big, arriving on the sand with a $198 Sunflow. As I muddled through the five-step process of opening it, I assured my friends (as I have with other chairs in the past) that it was, in fact, "the Cadillac of beach chairs." Every year, on cue, my friend Martha somewhat smugly says that her small, no-name chair is old (14 this year), and it is "perfect" and that she OxiCleans it at the end of each season to keep it looking new. It doesn't do much: It opens. And it closes. These two factors should not be taken for granted. I once had to stuff a new seat into the back of my car fully ajar after I couldn't get it to fold down. (Another not only tipped over while I sat in it but was so difficult to open I felt certain hundreds of comfortably seated sunbathers were mocking me as I tried to set it up.)

To save you the shame, struggle and expense of buying the wrong beach chair yourself, I decided to conduct a slightly more scientific review of my fleet, as well as some new additions. I built my test list off the suggestion I gathered by asking fellow beachgoers about their own chairs. Most people, I learned, have strong opinions. I made sure to hit various price points and include a range of standout features, from ultra-strong frames to customizable cushions. I also weeded out a few camping and lawn chairs not made primarily for sand. Then I enlisted the helpf of friends and strangers to test the comfort, style and ease of use each offered,. Here, my favorite six. 

The Status-Maker
New in 2020, the prestigiously chic Sunflow Chair crosses 1960s Italian design with the Apple aesthetic. Be prepared for strangers to approach and comment. 

User Friendliness: Thanks to its depth, width and supportive seat, this is a full-bottle-of-rosé, sit-all-day kind of chair. Opening it, however, requires practice, a page of instructions and a video. It's a beach chair that comes with a helpline. Plus, at 9.4 pounds, it's heavy to carry.

Bells and Whistles: Attachments (not pictured) are available from $25. The cupholder, though, is hard to lock in place, and the shade top feels flimsy. From $198,

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