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With the number of articles that I’ve written lately about outdoor furniture for plus-size people, you’d think I got fat and moved outside. Well, I did just move into a house with a yard and patio for the first time…but I was always fat.
The difficulty of finding heavy-duty furniture was one of the main reasons I started this blog in the first place so, when I spend a bunch of hours shopping for and sitting in high-capacity chairs, I have to share. This time was no different.
My wife and I spent probably 20 hours driving around to see heavy-duty Adirondack chairs, reading reviews for them online, and putting them together after we bought a set. Long story short, I firmly believe that an oversized Adirondack chair is tied in first place for “Ultimate Outdoor Chair” with rocking chairs. However, if you are a big and tall guy, a well-fitting Adirondack chair is probably going to be easier to find and more comfortable. So let’s take a look at the chairs we narrowed it down to and then get into the why of it:
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What Makes a Great Oversize Adirondack Chair?
If you’re a big guy (or girl) it should be pretty obvious to you that most companies who are trying to ride the “Big & Tall wave” are actually just short little weasels sitting behind a marketing desk. They are not big, not tall, and have no idea what they should make. Big people are built differently and have different needs than skinny people. There is much more to building an Adirondack chair for a big and tall person than simply scaling up a tiny option.
The 4 things we looked for and considered in our search were:
- Material. If you’ve never given any serious thought to the matter, the number of materials available to construct outdoor furniture is pretty astounding. The most common ones we encountered are wood, resin, wood composite, polywood, and metal/aluminum. Of those options, we are most partial to polywood. It is the most durable, doesn’t fade easily, isn’t cold to sit on, etc.
- Seat Width. There are companies that make “high capacity chairs” that no big & tall person could even use because the butt-spot is too small. We looked for chairs with significantly more than average space for our rear ends.
- Height. We looked for two different height measurements in our Adirondack chairs. First, the back height. It had to come up high enough to adequately support my upper back. Secondly, we took into account the height of the seat off the ground. If it’s too low then big & tall users end up eating their knees and having a hard time getting up again.
- Capacity. It probably goes without saying but any plus-size Adirondack chair needs to have additional weight capacity. We set a benchmark of 300lbs in our search. Our rationale for this was that weight capacity means much more than just the weight it can hold. It typically means that higher quality material has been used, the fasteners have been upgraded, and the company took the time to thoughtfully design the chair.
Now, in my opinion, everyone should get an oversized chair whether they are plus size or not. They are roomier (meaning comfier), will last longer, and typically display a higher build quality.
Given that list, let’s see what chairs were up to snuff:
Best Oversize Adirondak Chair: highwood Hamilton KING
When it comes to high-quality outdoor furniture, highwood is the name at the top of the list. They have an extremely popular Adirondack chair design known as the Hamilton which is a great choice for most people. Recently, however, they have released this version, the King. With a 4″ wider seat and a 6″ taller back than their standard chair this one is perfect for big and heavy people.
And it’s not just the size that makes us love it:
- It is made 100% in the USA and is backed by U.S.-based customer service and support. Speaking of support, we typically email our top choices in lists like this with a couple of generic questions before recommending them just to see how quickly they respond. highwood was extremely quick to get to us and helpful in getting our questions answered.
- highwood uses 304-grade stainless steel hardware which will not rust or degrade
- The material they use looks and feels like real wood but is highly resistant to fading, doesn’t need to be sanded, painted, or re-stained, and won’t give you slivers in your backside.
- Unlike wood, their poly material is extremely easy to clean. It naturally repels dirt but, if it does get dirty over time, you can simply spray it off and use a bristle brush without fear of damaging it.
- This chair is rated by highwood to have a 400lb capacity. While I’m not quite there, it does feel incredibly solid and doesn’t have any strange creaks or groans when I sit down.
Now, with all those positives there has to be a catch, right? Well, there is. The type of quality that you find at high-end resorts, theme parks, etc. does not come cheap. However, if you are seriously interested in having a product that fits you, is super durable, and will last for many seasons to come, this is the best option!
Runner Up: Lifetime Faux Wood Adirondack
If this chair had a slightly higher weight capacity, it would probably be sitting on our patio right now. Our garden is littered with Lifetime products and we’ve always been impressed with their service and prices. However, 300lbs was just a bit too low for more (for now).
However, if you’re within that limit, there is a lot to love about this chair! It is made from a similar simulated wood material as our first choice that comes with the look of wood without all of the maintenance and drawbacks.
It is 3/4″ wider than the highwood and, coupled with the tall back, this is perfect for both big and heavy users as well as tall people.
If it’s important for you to save some money while still buying from a well-known company that provides great customer support, consider this chair!
Best for Big & Tall: OT QOMOTOP Oversized Chair
I’m not sure how OT QOMOTOP came up with their name (random letter generator perhaps?) but perhaps it’s excusable as they were spending all of their time designing this chair!
While it doesn’t have the highest weight capacity, this chair is the biggest in our review. If you are tired of being pinched by too-narrow seats, this one measures a full 22″ between the armrests.
Its 350-pound weight capacity is respectable and users report that it is easy to assemble and feels solid. I wasn’t able to sit in this chair personally which is the reason it isn’t higher on this list. However, if the reviews are any indicator, we’ll probably buy this one 20 years from now when our highwood chairs wear out! If you are on a budget though, try this one out!
Best on a Budget: Best Choice Products Folding Adirondack
This is the smallest and lightest chair in our review which, in my opinion, gives it some distinct advantages! If you want to sit at the lake or on a boat in something besides a camp chair or nylon beach chair, this is an awesome option with a trick up its sleeve. While all of the other chairs in our reviews have a solid back (which is what we typically see in high-capacity chairs) this one easily converts into a lounger!
This chair is also different than the others in our review in that it is the only one made out of natural wood (Hemlock to be exact). This gives it a couple of advantages to counteract the drawbacks of wood. First off, wood is great to sit on! It is typically warmer than the “poly” options and makes you feel at home (at least it does for me). In addition, it is paintable, sandable, repairable, and arguably better for the environment. It does, however, comes with the obvious drawbacks of longevity and the possibility of splinters.
All in all, this chair is the best budget option if you need a big-and-tall Adirondack chair. It is a bit bigger than your average garden chair, has a 350lb capacity, and is an amazing price for the quality that you’ll receive.
And that’s a wrap folks! While it’s pretty obvious which chair I prefer (because I bought them) I recognize that most people probably don’t use their patio as much as I do and are unwilling to spend the equivalent of a mortgage payment on outdoor chairs. If that’s the case, then bypass the highwood and choose from one of the other high-quality but more pocket-book-friendly options!
I do have to say, though, having oversized Adirondack chairs that myself and any of our guests can fit in has been a game-changer for our nights sitting on our patio and family get-togethers. So don’t wait to order!