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Every summer I think of a joke from comedian Josh Gondelman once done“Unless you live next to the beach, going to the beach is so much more stressful than being at the beach is relaxing.” He’s right – especially when you think about the process of schlepping towels, sunscreen, a change of clothes, snacks, an umbrella and a cooler full of drinks there. Sure, you could try using a utility cart, but once you get past the boardwalk, the wheels are useless in the sand, which means you have to unload everything and lug it around. It’s enough of an ordeal to keep me from going there more than twice a year.
But early last summer, I spotted a utility cart and beach chair combination on a friend’s Instagram story. That’s what it looks like: a collapsible daybed that converts to a granny cart. After seeing it pull it easily over the sand, I ordered one from Amazon to try on a trip to Ocean City the following month. And let me tell you, since that first outing, I’ve never been to the beach without it.
The Mac Sports chair has oversized wheels at one end, allowing you to navigate the long stretch of sand you have to travel to get to my favorite spot on Jacob Riis Beach. The handle is sturdy and easy to maneuver, and once I’ve directed it to my preferred destination, I set up my blanket and unload the cooler, beach tent, towel and my padded tote. Then you detach the mesh sides, flip the bottom over to make a footstool (a rare feature for mobile loungers) and adjust the cart into a lounger. As a fat person, I’ve found many other beach chairs to be uncomfortable or flimsy, but the Mac Sports chair is roomy and well-built. And while I usually only carry beach supplies for my partner and I, I might find it useful if you have kids or a larger group – according to the product description, it can hold up to 100 lbs in mode cart.
Perhaps the best part of the Mac Sports chair, however, is that once I’m done using it, it folds up into a pretty slim profile that slips easily into a closet. The only minor downside is that you have to make sure you lock the arms of the chair tightly after using it as a dolly or it will knock you over when you sit down. Price-wise, it’s more than your average camping chair, but it’s useful for more than the beach – out of season I unfold it in my little yard and mail it with a book.
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