If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best canopy chair is, then we recommend the Beach Mall Aluminum Beach Chair as the best one.
Who doesn’t love camping? I can’t think of a better way to unwind than with some serious R&R at an off-the-beaten-path campground.
That’s the number one reason why people head to the outdoors. And can anything beat enjoying your favorite beverage in the best canopy chair?
In this article, we’re going to review the following chairs:
- GCI Outdoor Waterside SunShade Folding Captain’s Beach Chair
- ALPHA CAMP Shade Canopy Chair
- Quik Shade Adjustable Canopy Folding Camp Chair
- Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair
- Beach Mall Aluminum Beach Chair
What to Look for in a Canopy Chair
There are camping chairs, and then, there are foldable chairs with canopy. They’ve come a long way from pulling up a log close to the campfire.
They’re more comfortable today with lots of amenities such as:
- Cup holders
- And, yes, canopies
The materials and designs have improved too. Manufacturers make them last with rip-resistant fabrics, better construction of the frame, and higher quality builds. Think of those old web strap folding types your parents bought.
Of course, not all the added bells and whistles are necessary. Some are over-the-top. But others make for a better camping experience.
A canopy chair has an overhead tarp, not unlike a baby stroller. The purpose is the same—to keep UV radiation at bay. While gets your rays helps your bones, it also increases your risk of skin cancer. What a drag.
So, a canopy chair has some health benefits.
The things for include the size and shape of the canopy. You’ll see some that lay parallel to the ground. That’s fine until the sun is over the yardarm, i.e., happy hour.
If it doesn’t cover you, you’ll risk a sunburn. That’s why I like to go with a product that has an adjustable top.
You’ll also find them with UV coatings to ramp up the SPF protection. I’d suggest to read up on the chair’s specs to see if you need to do anything to maintain it.
Some models have removable canopies too. I’d put that feature into the personal preference category. To me, it’s another thing to lose or forget to pack. I’d just assume that it was one piece.
You also need something that is comfy. I like a softer form instead of something that is rigid. It provides better back support, IMHO.
Armrests are a must-have, but a backrest is a welcome feature too. An ottoman takes it to a luxury level, but the cooler will suffice if it doesn’t have one.
Cupholders are essential in my book. After all, you’re going to get thirsty sitting in the sun all day. Some canopy chairs take it to the next level with other perks like storage pockets, insulated holders, and even bottle openers.
Polyester and nylon are the fabrics of choice with canopies chairs. They are lightweight and can wick moisture away quickly. That also applies to their drying ability.
You’ll also see mesh show up in the product descriptions too. It’s a smart addition that counters the diminished breathability of some materials.
I’d recommend checking the stitching along pressure points where the seat meets the frame. If something is going to give, that’s where it’ll happen first.
That precaution also applies to soft armrests, especially around the cup holders. Speaking of which, give them the once-over too. I mean, what good is the best canopy chair without a place to put your beverage?
It’s been my experience that you’ll likely have limited color choices. A lot depends on marketing. For camp gear, the selection leans toward earth tones and more muted hues.
For the beach, anything goes. It’s all about marketing.
My number one criterion is that the chair is lightweight. I’m willing to sacrifice some comfort for something that isn’t a pain to lug around the campsite.
Typically, you’ll see either steel or aluminum—or a combination of both. The former offers strength while the latter sheds the weight.
As long as it’s under 15 pounds, I’m good with it.
Pay attention to the weight capacity of the chair. That relates back to the frame material. You’ll find it in the list of specs.
Most chairs include a carrying bag which I consider a necessity. A bungee cord works in a pinch.
My Picks for the Best Canopy Chair
When it comes to camping, Americans aren’t afraid to spend money on gear. It’s the number one outdoor recreation expenditure to the tune of over $31 billion each year. That’s a lot of air mattresses and tarps.
Like your tent, you get what you pay for when it comes to a canopy chair. The things I pointed out above will steer you in the right direction. Here’s my roundup of the some of the best ones.
The GCI Outdoor Waterside SunShade Folding Captain’s Beach Chair caught my eye for a number of reasons. It’s a roomy size that screams comfort with solid armrests. I’m not as much of a fan of the fabric ones because of the like of support for the beverage.The back has a square of mesh to maintain the airflow to keep you cool. Yes! I also like the placement of the cup holder out of the way of the arms.
This manufacturer must have been looking over my shoulder to address so many of my pet peeves.
- The canopy is adjustable.
- It has a UV coating.
- It’s lightweight.
- The mesh on the back makes it more comfortable.
- It’s easy to get back into the bag because of its design.
- Some may find the chair too bulky.
The ALPHA CAMP Shade Canopy Chair differs from the previous product in several ways. You have your choice of four colors. I liked the black and white stripe, myself. It has a striking form to it.The manufacturer did a top-notch job with the construction of the frame. When you sit in it, you know right away that it’s well made.
The coverage of the canopy is generous. However, it is not adjustable side-to-side.
- It is a well-made design with plenty of spot-on reinforcements.
- It has two sizes of beverage holders.
- It supports up to 350 pounds.
- It has a rust-resistant powder coating on the metal parts.
- The chair and canopy are one piece.
- You can’t move the canopy to the side to stay with the sun.
- Some might find the height from the chair to the canopy too high.
The Quik Shade Adjustable Canopy Folding Camp Chair has a few extra features that make it worth a look. You can tilt the canopy to the position that you want which I always appreciate. It is one piece.It has two beverage holders of different sizes. While the armrests are fabric, the design keeps your cup from tipping.
While it’s less wide than the previous two, it’s still comfortable. The steel frame is well-constructed. You can transport it in the bag or with straps for a quick setup. Overall, it’s a decent value for the price.
- You can move the canopy up or down with the sun.
- The cup holders are well-made.
- It has a pouch on the side.
- It is lightweight.
- The frame is sturdy.
- The fabric of the canopy isn’t taut, giving it an unkempt look.
- It’s a bit awkward to get it back in the bag.
The Kelsyus Canopy Chair is an example of a product that has the end user in mind. I loved the fact that the canopy doubles as the carrying bag. No more searching for it when it’s time to break camp!The Kelsyus chair is comfortable from its shape to the mesh seat. The canopy has an overhang on three sides to improve its shading ability. It’s also adjustable.
It does sit a bit lower to the ground than comparable products. I didn’t mind it at all. I didn’t like the cup holder. The mesh lets condensation drip down, but it struck me as a bit flimsy.
- There’s no carrying bag.
- The steel frame has a powder coating to prevent rust.
- The canopy locks into the place where you want it.
- The extended sides and front compensate for the lack of side-to-side movement of the canopy.
- It’s quick to set up in a snap.
- It has only one mesh beverage holder.
The Beach Mall Aluminum Beach Chair looks as sturdy and robust as it is. It is the quintessential piece that you can buy in a variety of bright, cheery colors.
Unlike my other picks, you can recline into four positions with this one and tilt the canopy to boot. It’s perfect for catching some ZZZ on a lazy summer afternoon.
It has wooden armrests which don’t add to the weight. It is 7.5 pounds. The choice of material makes the beverage holders more stable too. It also has a clear pouch to store your smartphone and still keep in touch with your peeps on Facebook.
- It can recline.
- The canopy matches the position of the chair.
- The cup holders are sturdy.
- It’s lightweight.
- The available colors give it a fun, beachy feel.
- The canopy doesn’t fold on the back of the chair if you prefer to be in the sun.
My choice for the best canopy chair was a straightforward one. I made up my mind when I saw the pictures of the Beach Mall Aluminum Beach Chair in the reclining position. You can actually take a snooze at the campsite or the beach.
The product in each of the settings looked comfortable and sleep-worthy. I also liked the wooden armrests which offer a better way to hold a cup or other beverage securely. The fact that it made little impact on the overall weight was the cherry on the sundae.
All of the canopy chairs I considered hovered in the same price range. However, my pick was on the high-end of the spectrum.
I loved the color choices too. Who says a canopy chair can’t have a fun element to it? I was surprised to see it, but it was a pleasant discovery.
Another thing that stood out for me was the construction of the Beach Mall product. I thought it was well-made from the top to the feet.
I also have to give a shout-out to the addition of the clear pouch. What a contemporary feature! I guess we know which market the manufacturer is targeting with this chair. No worries. It’s an excellent option.
If you like to hang out at your campsite, a canopy chair is an ideal way to chill out and take in the scenery while staying cool and comfortable. My lineup of picks has something for everyone and every budget. Hang loose, Howie!