As we grow older, we all begin to long for the days when we can sit back on the front porch or on the patio, reminisce on old times with the people that have always mattered, people who made those times “the times”, and you know, just soak up the sun and laugh.
Why an Adirondack chair? No, honey, you don’t need such negativity in your life. Instead say with us: “why not
an Adirondack chair?” An Adirondack chair is literally what many regular chairs can never be and we all know that there is no other chair that should sit on your patio, (of course within a reasonable viewing distance of the barbecue grill
), except this particular one. It’s like fries and ketchup or 4th of July and fireworks - you never separate the two. It is simply not done.
Adirondack chairs are a fantastic addition to your yard; they're stylish, comfortable and a classic piece of outdoors furniture. There's a lot of different styles out there, so you'll have a lot to choose from. Perhaps you'll choose one with a butt groove in it (we love those, so comfy!) Or maybe you will decide on a standard Adirondack chair with a plush outdoor cushion
Whichever style you go for, you won't be disappointed when you're lounging back in the sun, beer in one hand, watching the kids laughing as they swing up to the sky on their swing set
. That's the dream, right?
So now that you know that you should have bought your Adirondack chair yesterday, let’s see the features you should look out for before you make that purchase.
I know what you’re thinking: “these things are going to be pricey”. Let’s say that’s true, but you also know that elegance comes at a price. Plus, you only live once. Now, in truth, there are the high-end ones of about $390 (the material used and finishing are contributing factors—mahogany and oak can’t cost the same as plastic), but remember what we discussed, the Adirondack chair leaves no one out. So, for those of us on a budget, there are the ones that cost between $85 and $180.
Before you start considering it, let us inform you that bad things come at a price too. That price is called “cheap.” Cheap Adirondack chairs exist, but so does decomposing pizza. We don’t necessarily go out and buy them just because they exist.
What specific things should you look out for in an Adirondack chair? Here are some we consider most important:
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Personal proclivities
Let’s now look at these in detail.
Construction and Design
An Adirondack chair is only as good as the material it's made of. Well, actually, there's quite a few things that make an Adirondack chair great, but material is pretty important. Some of the materials used in making the Adirondack chair include:
- Teak: offers resistance to the elements and ultimately, longevity
- Cedar: tantalizing aroma that’s great for you and not so great for insects
- Cypress: contains natural oils that will prevent rot and repel insects
- Pine: probably the most beautiful of all when stained, especially with the knots it naturally forms
- Mahogany: really strong and scratch-resistant. Refinish this chair yearly so that it will remain scratch-resistant
- Shorea: strong and comes in a shade of silver. If left unfinished, it will age from a shimmering brown to a brilliant gray
- Oak: contains natural preservatives to help with insects and harsh weather conditions
- Plastic: for those concerned about the environment (like we all are supposed to be), this works. Plus, it’s maintenance free
To maintain your wooden chair, be sure to protect it from moisture. Whether or not the wood is unfinished, the structural integrity of your chair remains intact and safe from the elements as long as it is kept away from moisture as much as possible.
If you are purchasing the plastic type, the burden of maintenance is somewhat lifted. A plastic Adirondack chair is not as delicate and “needy” as its wooden counterpart.
Like we said earlier, you can paint your chair. This will especially appeal to the younger ones. If you want to paint your chair be sure to note the following: You have to renew the paint every three years at least. Although oil-based paints last longer, they are quite toxic. You can try oils from naturally-occurring products, like linseed oil.
Some Adirondack chairs are foldable, some come with ottomans, while some can be made into loungers and porch swings. There are also big sizes, small sizes, and sizes in between, depending on what you want and who is going to be sitting on it.
Performance and Ease of Use
A pertinent question remains: whether or not to refinish your wooden chair (most come finished) and how often that should be done. That question is an exhaustive one that’s beyond the scope of this guide. You have to consider the climate in which you live, and some other factors. So, since this isn’t a high school science class, we’ll just give you the gist:
If you love the look, buy it. Why? Because finishing basically preserves the original color of the wood. So, when an unfinished wooden chair is exposed to the atmosphere for a while, its color slowly ages but the wood retains its essential strength. An added tip for those living in a hot climate: go for a chair made of wood reinforced with UV light because it aids the longevity of the chair.
Cleaning is relatively easy. Pressure washing is best, or else, you can use a soft brush and mild soap. But even more importantly, ensure the chair dries out completely. We can’t emphasize it enough, your chair needs to be kept away from moisture at all times. Lastly, make sure you clean the chair at least every other week.
In comparison to their wooden counterparts, plastic chairs are more resilient.They remain strong year-in, year-out and with little maintenance.
A final word on climate: if you’re going to cover your chair during the winter, because you can’t move it or there’s no space to store it, before you cover with a tarp, ensure that it is dry first. Then, be prepared to keep checking on it throughout the season as the tarp and low humidity can encourage the growth of mold and the like.
To make sure that you end up with an Adirondack chair that works for you, we advise you to bear in mind such things as your budget, the exact place you intend to use it, how much time and resources you’re willing to put into maintaining it, and the material it would be made of. Well, our buying guide already showed you everything you need to know; now let’s jump into the individual product reviews for more fun.
Established in 2006, Outdoor Interiors is devoted to designing stylish, innovative outdoor furniture made mostly of plantation grown teak and Brazilian eucalyptus hardwoods. By using only first grade plantation-grown hardwoods and blending woven wicker, stone, and lush fabrics into its collections, it has become renowned for introducing thirty to forty new and fascinating products yearly.
Outdoor Interiors’ Eucalyptus Adirondack Chair (MSRP $211.85) has a retractable ottoman that slides easily under the chair and has a few settings for straight out or down towards the ground; it extends out about 18 to 20 inches. With proper maintenance, its beautiful brown umber stain finish should last outdoors for many years.
This chair is made from Brazilian eucalyptus hardwood that’s plantation grown. It is deep, wide, and long enough to provide that extra bit of comfort. It is well-balanced and strong so you can sit in confidence and its good looks will make your patio the envy of your neighbors. It comes with a maintenance guide. A simple routine of oiling with linseed or hardwood oil two to three times a year is recommended to maintain its finish.
Kilmer Creek was founded in 1999 and all of their products are made by the Amish. All of their merchandise is made in Amish communities located outside of St. Ignatius in Western Montana, USA. A lot of pride and workmanship is put into every piece of their crafted outdoor furniture. All of their products are made of natural, durable, and non-toxic western red cedar, including this folding Adirondack chair.
Kilmer Creek’s Folding Cedar Adirondack Chair (MSRP $131.99) has clear span slats that are planed and edges that are routered for rounded smoothness. It is shipped partly assembled and ready for staining. With this Adirondack, it’s up to you to decide if you want to stain it, use a clear finish, or simply leave it be (in which case it’ll weather to an unpretentious grey). It is lightweight for ease of moving about and folds easily for storage. The western red cedar wood gives it strength, beauty, and natural resistance to the elements. This Adirondack chair also features stainless steel screws and a carrying capacity of over 260 lbs.
Fire Sense is on a mission to provide beautiful, functional products for your home and outdoor space at the best possible price. By centering on quality and inventive designs, they intend to bring not only warmth but style, luxury, and value to your living space. All of their merchandise, which includes patio furniture, patio heaters, and fire pits, are designed in the United States and assembled around the globe.
Fire Sense’s Coconino Wicker Adirondack (MSRP $19.17) promises a relaxing and satisfying patio or poolside experience. It requires zero maintenance and is lightweight for easy portability. It can be used year round. It comes with a beige cushion for added comfort and convenience. This chair also features aluminum frames, a carrying capacity of 220 lbs. and with its cushion removed, it is stackable. Please ensure you refer to the manual when assembling.
Remember how your friends keep telling you to slow down and smell the roses? Well, you can’t possibly do that sitting in a chair and staring at your computer. Get that Adirondack chair now and get out -- Literally!