A History Of The Outdoor Folding Beach Chair

A History Of The Outdoor Folding Beach Chair

Going to the beach, watching fireworks on the 4th of July, and camping with your friends - Americans across the country have created some of their favorite memories from these experiences over the years. What is it that helps us enjoy those moments? Well for one, the company we keep is very important but, the main factor to a quality experience that often goes unnoticed is the perfect outdoor chair. More specifically, beach and camping chairs that enable us to relax after a rigorous day of hiking, find comfort when we’re enjoying a barbecue on the sand, and even throwing back a few beers at a tailgate before the big game.

No matter the occasion, the right outdoor chair can make all the difference.


When was the actual concept of an outdoor lounge chair brought into the world? Beach chairs were invented after World War II, at about the same time that Americans were celebrating the end of the war by buying properties with large lawns and backyards. As such, the new homeowners started spending more time entertaining and celebrating the American victory of WW2 and the backyard became the new living room.

Group of friends gathered in the backyard using outdoor folding lawn chairs to spend quality time with each other

Meanwhile, aluminum had become a common material of the time thanks to the production of military aircraft. Manufacturers faced a dilemma and needed to find new ways to utilize the raw material. Lone behold, take the raw aluminum, turn it into lightweight tubing and the makings for the ideal collapsable outdoor chair were readily available. 


The original inventor of the lawn chair was a war veteran named Fredric Arnold. Influenced by utilitarian designs of the early to mid-modern era, in 1947 Arnold came up with a design for a portable chair that could collapse easily and be stored conveniently, but this product still needed improvements as the first version of the chairs weren’t very stable and tended to fall apart after a short summer season. Arnold would go on to make improvements to the product and start his own company, Frederick Arnold Company, where he and his team refined the shape of the chairs and added interwoven fabric webbing to reinforce strength. At the peak of their existence, the company produced more than 14,000 chairs every single day.

Even though these chairs were a big hit in the 50’s, by the 1990's competitors had come out with camping chairs & beach chairs that were lighter and cheaper. These newer lawn chairs would often rust quickly and the fabric frayed easily due to cost-cutting and the use of low-quality webbing. Regardless, these lightweight and simple to use products grabbed the attention of consumers who, at the time, happily replaced them year after year as part of their seasonal purchases. 

Meanwhile, in the background, landfills became littered with the waste of these cheaper products, poor craftsmanship and price competition across the industry created a race to the bottom, and the value of durable, high quality and long-lasting products was forgotten. 


It's been a little over 70 years since Fredric Arnold brought his creation to the mass market and the world is ready for something new. In the spring of 2020, as a global pandemic took over our lives, The team here at PARKIT launched VOYAGER, the ultimate outdoor chair on Kickstarter. Our little company, based in San Diego CA, raised just under 500k to begin building our version of Fredric Arnold's classic American creation. 

Scheduled for delivery in Q1 of 2021, PARKIT is introducing an outdoor folding beach chair that is unlike any other. Our team at PARKIT has utilized many of the traditional and iconic styles of the past, while re-engineering the concept of a beloved camping chair with design enhancements and quality improvements that are required for the modern era.

Voyager Outdoor Camping Chair In Slate and Claico
Our tough new product has an interchangeable cup holder that has been fitted for cans, coffee mugs, and canteens, hands-free carry straps that offer 3 different carry styles and exterior pockets that hold and protect the valuables you bring with you. Voyager has been designed to be comfortable too. Our design team identified key elements in ergonomic comfort and designed a chair that you'll enjoy for hours on end. To top it off, the chair includes a detachable cooler that can hold approximately 12 cans of your favorite beverage while maintaining ice for upwards of 8 hours.

Its craftsmanship is far superior to the status quo and unlike many other beach chairs, the PARKIT Voyager doesn’t rust thanks to the use of aircraft-grade aluminum. It's a chair who's reliability is endless and will always be one of the companions you'll want at every outdoor gathering.


At PARKIT, our goal is to bring people together from all walks of life and to share their stories of adventure. The Voyager chair enables people to share their stories and make memories in the outdoors with the people they love. Give Voyager a try and Pre-Order today. After all, it’s more than just a chair. #EnjoyTheExploration

Learn more about the Voyager Outdoor Chair from PARKIT.

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