Rinky-dink folding chairs, begone!
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Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach CHair
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Let me first say that an old-school teak-and-canvas beach chair is the very best kind there is, especially when it comes with a detachable footrest. But if you're not in the market to shoulder the expense or sheer weight of those fabulously deep-seated perches (and who is, really?), the Tommy Bahama Beach Chair is the next best thing.

My mom first discovered our family's new favorite beach day accessory at Costco, from whence all good deals come—see: legendary $1.50 hot dog and Coke combo.

How do I love thee, little Tommy Bahama chair? Let me count the ways. (Hat tilt to you, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, for the poetry.)

For starters, unlike the portable beach chairs of yesteryear, these can fold into 5 positions, one of which is laying flat, so they're comfortable for reading or full-on sunbathing. They also have adjustable pillows, cup holders, cell phone pouches, and towel bars—a real Swiss Army Knife of beach seating. Most conveniently, the lightweight chairs also fold up into backpacks with padded straps for easy transport. For anyone who has ever fumbled with a cheaply made beach chair or lugged around a nicely made, but heavy-as-sin chair, you too recognize the gift that dear Tommy has given us with this backpack design.

The one downside is that the chairs are a little pricier: $160 for 2, per Amazon. But I assure you that they are worth every penny. They're so superior to the rinky-dink beach chairs that souvenir shops peddle with reckless abandon that comparing the two feels like a sandy slap to the face: in addition to the chair's abundance of other virtues, the aluminum frame is rustproof, so you can count on them to last for several summers. Consider price per use, and the investment feels worth it. Are you sold yet? Buy them here.

For many, traveling to the beach may not be on the agenda this year, thanks to the coronavirus. But even so, these chairs will still save your summer: Pull them next to the kiddie pool, crank up the handheld fan, and it's almost like you're there.

WATCH: How To Tell If Your Sunscreen Is Expired

While you're out there enjoying your chair, make sure to slather on the sun protection too.