Our Search For The Best Portable Chairs

If you want a cushy seat, back support and something that can withstand some tough love in the harsh marine world…here is our short story of The Three Bears Chairs.

There are dozens of deck/beach/camping chair options out there.  Over the past 10 years we’ve owned a lot of ’em.  When it comes to the salty sailboat, we’ve personally tested three different deck chairs.  Turns out, the third one was just right (but it’s actually the one in the middle).

deck chair comparison


best boat seat comparison


The first was the standard West Marine chair.  They were already on our boat when we purchased it.  The previous owner had just purchased them, didn’t like them…and gladly left them behind for us (they even still had the WM tag on them).  Sweet, one man’s trash is our treasure!  They weren’t exactly cheap at $99 a pop, and they looked nice so we thought they must be pretty good.

Sadly, we could feel the deck beneath our bums and the metal bits all around.  The cushion wasn’t cushy and the frame was uncomfortable.  We were starting to understand why the previous owner was so keen to leave them behind.

The second was a sweet find on Amazon.  Super affordable at $29, backpack straps and “neat, it has arms”, I thought as I hit the add to cart button.  It was great for about a month.  They aren’t adjustable so there’s no recliner action but it was comfortable and convenient enough.  Then, I started seeing the rust come through the fabric.  Sad face.  They couldn’t handle #SaltLife and would quickly die if we keep exposing them to the sea air.  So, we gifted them to a local (that didn’t live on the ocean) and we were back to hunting for the perfect deck chairs (yes, #firstworldproblems).

not made for marine life

I still think these are fun for camping or other general purposes, but not tough enough for a marine environment.  Backpack Chair:  $29 on Amazon:

Turns out, the third time is a charm.  We were gifted a set of Sport-a-Seat chairs just before taking off for Panama (BEST BOAT GIFT EVER)!  It’s no contest, the quality is leaps and bounds better than any other portable chair we’ve seen or parked our butts in.  The Sunbrella fabric is holding up great, the foam is substantially better than the other chairs and it feels oh so cushy under our bums.

west marine vs sport a seat

The blue West Marine chair has limp, lifeless foam. The grey Sport-a-Seat has thick cushy foam.

Because they use Sunbrella fabric, you can order them in the same canvas as the rest of your boat or go for something personalized.  The covers zip off for easy washing and you can order a replacement cover if you ever have a big oops moment (but hopefully not).

At $149 they are a bit pricier, but worth it!  They are well made with solid stainless-steel components that look brand new after a year.  We’re thinking they will stand the test of time and our hard arses.   So, they get our solid stamp of #BoatLife approval.

We asked sport-a-seat if they would be willing to offer up a discount for our loyal viewers…and they said yes!  It’s not much, but enough to buy a couple of beers to enjoy while you sit in your fancy new chairs.  Feel free to toast to us for the fabulous recommendation.  Cheers!

$10 Discount and Free Shipping if you use the discount code “WYNNS” at checkout.

Buy From Sport-A-Seat:



  1. tim

    limp lifeless foam is going to be my next cats name

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