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This lounge chair will change the way you read, relax and refresh on beach days

I won't hit the beach or pool without it.
TODAY Illustration / Courtesy Danielle Murphy

There is one day of the year in particular that I look forward to most. No, not my birthday or any holiday. For me, I await that single sunny morning in May when my family's pool finally opens for the summer. It's a sign that the season of swimming and tanning has finally arrived. And there's really nothing like dedicating an entire weekend to lazily lounging in the sun (with ample protection, of course) — but only when there's something decent to actually lounge in.

To have a successful pool day, comfort is key, which means when I'm not laying in a floaty, I need a chair that I can sit, recline and sunbathe in for hours. For most basic beach and pool chairs, that's a pretty tall order, and most of the seating arrangements I find barely check the boxes. They're either hard to put together or are truly uncomfortable to sit in. Plus, I'm an avid reader — so I can't be twisting and turning to find a satisfying sitting position when I should be flipping pages.

Luckily, I may have found a lounge chair that satisfies all my pool — and beach — day needs, plus some.

Ostrich Chaise Lounge

I decided to try this unusual lounger that I found on Amazon — and I wasn't disappointed. At first glance, it just looks like your normal, run-of-the-mill beach chair. But on closer inspection, this lounging essential has quite a few special features.

What makes this chair so special?

1: Head and arm slots! What makes this chair really standout from others is the holes so you can lay comfortably, regardless of position.

You'll never see me sitting at a beach or poolside without a book in my hand. And this lounger, which features strategically placed holes near the shoulders and head, allows me to push my arms and face out through the bottom to continue reading my compelling novel (under the chair!) while simultaneously sunbathing my back.

Associate editor Danielle Murphy using the Ostrich Beach Lounger
Courtesy Danielle Murphy

Does it look silly? Maybe! But it's surprisingly comfortable, and I get so lost in my book (or feel so relaxed that I fall asleep) that I don't really pay attention to passersby. And when I'm done laying in a stomach-down position, I just have to turn over and flip the pillow back to its normal position over the hole.

2: It keeps your feet elevated. Unlike other beach or even camping chairs, this unique lounger folds out into a full-size seat — almost like a massage table — stopping at 72 inches in length. If you're using it for the beach, you'll appreciate having the option to keep them completely out of the sand. The same goes for avoiding dirt on camp grounds, feet-burning pavement at a tailgate, wet grass at kid's sporting events and more.

3: Easy portability. For something that looks so large, it's surprisingly lightweight and easy to carry, thanks to its built-in strap on the chair's side. Folding it up and packing it is a breeze, allowing you to take it from the beach to the comfort of your own backyard.

And the cons?

Just one: Be sure to read the directions or watch the instructional video on Amazon before trying to open this chair. I didn't and couldn't get it open for 10 minutes, which almost made me write the entire thing off before even getting a chance to sit in it. You have to make sure that you open the legs first — all the way. There are two red lines drawn onto the hinges, which should disappear if you you've successfully opened it. If you don't, the chair will sink in on itself and collapse under your weight.

The pillow also isn't the most luxuriously padded headrest out there, but I wasn't expecting anything five-star. The fact that it even has a pillow is a bonus feature in my opinion, but if you're looking for something particular, don't expect more than a basic (but not uncomfortable by any means) piece.

It's surprisingly durable

The frame of the chair is made with stainless steel and has a polyester body, which can hold up to 250 pounds, according to the brand. Coming in at 5'3'' and 120 pounds, I can't attest to its strength. However, I have shared it with three toddlers at once and it held up perfectly.

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