The Best Adirondack Chairs of 2021

Adirondack chairs let you kick back and relax lakeside or in your own backyard. Check out this selection of the best Adirondack chairs, from wood to plastic, and all the perks needed for outside comfort.

By Stacey L Nash | Updated Nov 23, 2021 7:45 AM

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The Best Adirondack Chair Options

Photo: amazon.com

Everything about an Adirondack chair, from the low, reclined back to the wide arms, says relaxation. Despite their laid-back look, they’re quite stable, making them ideal for use on a sandy beach, lakeside, or in the yard. Once you’ve slid into an Adirondack chair’s natural recline, it’s hard not to close your eyes and doze.

From traditional wood seating to durable plastic, the following models highlight some of the best Adirondack chairs available. Explore these top picks to find the next lounge chair (or multiple chairs) for your outdoor space.

  1. BEST OVERALL: POLYWOOD Classic Folding Adirondack
  2. RUNNER UP: Signature Design by Ashley Outdoor Adirondack Chair
  3. BEST BUDGET: Best Choice Products Folding Wooden Adirondack Chair
  4. BEST MODERN: POLYWOOD Modern Adirondack Chair
The Best Adirondack Chair Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Adirondack Chairs

Adirondack chairs can represent a major investment in backyard seating. To make sure you’re getting the best of the best, check out the following guide to learn about the features and considerations that should factor into your decision.

Material

Traditionally, Adirondack chairs were made of wood, preferably cedar, teak, redwood, or shorea (a tropical hardwood similar to teak) because these woods naturally resist insects, sun, and weather damage. More exotic woods like eucalyptus and acacia have been added to the list of bug- and weather-resistant woods used for Adirondack chairs. Oak and pine are also common. Oak is strong and durable but doesn’t resist sun damage as well as other woods. Pine is an inexpensive option but doesn’t hold up well in sun or poor weather.

All wood requires yearly maintenance, including restaining and/or a wood sealer if you want to preserve the wood’s color and integrity. If a wooden chair won’t be used for several months, it’s best to cover it to protect it from the elements.

Various plastics from new (virgin) to recycled are other material options. Plastics vary in quality, but some of the highest-quality resins cost almost as much as wood and can imitate it in appearance and feel. A plastic Adirondack chair is often easier to maintain than wood, since it doesn’t require staining or sealing.

These synthetic materials are usually lighter than wood, though some of the more durable resins can weigh almost as much as wood. Plastic Adirondack chairs may have a UV-protective coating or protective additives in the pigments to increase their weather- and sun resistance. If well cared for, plastic chairs can last for 10 years or more, and their lifespan can be increased if they’re covered during the harshest weather to prevent fading and wear and tear.

Features and Accessories

Various manufacturers change up the classic Adirondack design to add a few unexpected perks. Built-in cup holders, for example, are a simple addition that let you truly relax with your iced tea close by. Folding chairs and built-in or separate ottomans are a couple of other design options.

Adirondack chairs may be comfortable to sit in, but they’re awkward to move and a pain to store. Folding models let you pack the chair to the beach or park or simply put it away in the garage without breaking a sweat.

Ottomans and built-in footrests are two other features that have grown in popularity. If you like to put your feet up, it’s worth splurging on an ottoman or a chair with a footrest. These chairs will take up more storage space and might be heavier than average. However, they’re often worth it for the added comfort they provide.

Weather Resistance

Weather resistance usually comes down to material, material quality, and extra finishes. Cedar, acacia, eucalyptus, and redwoods offer the best weather resistance and also have properties that naturally repel bugs. However, they need restaining at least once a year. Also, keep in mind that cedar fades to a natural gray with sun exposure. If that’s not your style, you’ll need to use a wood sealer to protect the natural color.

Plastics have come a long way in the last decade. High-quality plastics are weather resistant and don’t attract bugs. They’re also lighter to carry. Plastic also offers a wide range of color choices that you can’t find with wood. Chairs made with plastic that’s been treated with UV- and weather-resistant coatings can rival wood in durability.

Weight and Portability

A full-size Adirondack chair isn’t the easiest thing to carry. They’re long and sometimes heavy, typically weighing 30 to 50 pounds, depending on the material. If you want to take your Adirondack chairs with you to the beach or lake, look for small, foldable models.

Portable Adirondack chairs collapse in on themselves for easier storage and carrying when you’re on the go. They feature lightweight material, usually plastic. Some of these chairs weigh less than 20 pounds, though keep in mind that they may not be as stable compared to heavier, sturdier models.

Color

Adirondack chairs are made in every color of the rainbow. A solid wood Adirondack chair often features a natural-looking stain. Otherwise, they’re painted in different colors to add weather resistance. Plastic can either mimic wood to blend with the outdoors or stand out in a crowd. Red, pink, blue, white, black, and any other color are possibilities with plastic Adirondack chairs.

Our Top Picks

The chairs that made it onto this list combine high-quality materials with a comfortable design. Some include extra perks like ottomans and cup holders for those who demand a little more from their favorite chair.

Best Overall

The Best Adirondack Chair Option: POLYWOOD AD5030GY Classic Folding Adirondack
Photo: amazon.com

This folding Adirondack chair provides the look and feel of real wood but is made with recycled plastic that isn’t susceptible to bugs and has good weather and sun resistance. UV inhibitors and stabilizers built into the pigments add extra fade resistance.

When it’s folded, this chair offers easy storage, movement around the yard, and works well as a camping chair. At 37 pounds, it’s not exactly lightweight, but that weight gives this outdoor furniture added stability.

Pros

  • Durable engineered wood construction
  • Comfortable curved seat
  • Collapsible and easy to store
  • Available in multiple colors

Cons

  • Assembly required

Runner Up

The Best Adirondack Chair Option: Signature Design by Ashley Outdoor Adirondack Chair
Photo: amazon.com

The textured grain finish of this chair’s high-quality, high-density polyethylene provides durability for heavy use and long-term weather resistance. The textured design doesn’t mimic wood, though the grayish-brown color could be viewed as a wood tone. The chair also comes in white, turquoise, and red.

This chair may be made of plastic, but it’s not particularly lightweight: each chair comes in at around 39 pounds. That doesn’t make them most portable, but it adds stability in a stiff wind.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty plastic construction
  • Attractive textured finish
  • Available in five colors
  • Includes tools and hardware for installation

Cons

  • Assembly required

Best Budget

The Best Adirondack Chair Option: Best Choice Products Folding Wooden Adirondack
Photo: amazon.com

The Best Choice Products chair is made of hemlock, a wood that’s rot- and pest-resistant. A natural finish provides a traditional look with the added bonus of a folding design. At 18.75 pounds, it’s relatively lightweight in comparison to other wooden chairs, allowing you to move it around your yard or pack it up with relative ease for a day at the beach. That folding design also creates a chair that’s easier to store in the off-season.

Sturdy, strong construction gives this model a 350-pound maximum weight limit. A tall backrest supports tall users and lets you sit back with proper posture and relax. You save money with hemlock wood. However, you’ll need to regularly apply a weatherproofing treatment to prevent rot. It’s also best to store this model in a covered area in the off-season.

Pros

  • Affordable choice
  • Hemlock wood resists rot and pest damage
  • Large seat and wide arms for enhanced comfort
  • Collapsible and easy to store

Cons

  • Requires regular weathering treatment
  • Not for all weather conditions

Best Modern

Best Adirondack Chairs

To accentuate modern outdoor decor, consider the sleek profile of this POLYWOOD design. The contemporary back style combines with the classic contoured seat and waterfall front slats for comfort. Its weatherproof resin and plastic build won’t crack, chip, or peel when left outside, so you don’t have to worry about hauling the chair back inside during bad weather.

This modern Adirondack chair is made from recycled plastic, with Color-Stay technology that prevents fading caused by UV rays. The chair weighs a reasonable 34 pounds, so it’s light enough to drag around the deck or patio.

Pros

  • Weatherproof resin and plastic construction
  • Made with recycled materials
  • Comfortable contoured seat
  • Comes in multiple colors

Cons

  • Some assembly and maintenance required

Our Verdict

Chosen for its eco-friendly recycled plastic construction, fade-resistant capabilities, and collapsible design for easy storing, the POLYWOOD Classic Adirondack chair takes our top spot. Though it has a higher price tag compared to traditional wooden chairs, it’s also more durable and suitable for year-round use. For a more traditional look and feel, the hemlock wood chair from Best Choice Products offers rustic charm at a lower price point, though less weather resistance.

How We Chose the Best Adirondack Chairs 

Adirondack chairs are a classic choice for outdoor seating reminiscent of mountain retreats and days spent at the cottage.

Each of the above top picks comes with thoughtful features like ergonomic design, UV and moisture resistance, and heavy-duty construction to last for years to come.

Some of the above picks are foldable and lightweight for easy storage and portability even though they are constructed of materials such as sturdy polyethylene, wood, or plastic to withstand tough weather conditions. Many of these options also come with special design features like contoured or large seats, wide arms, waterfall slats, and large back panels for added comfort and support.

Finally, several of the above picks come in multiple colorways to match your current outdoor space. However, note that some of these options require assembly and maintenance to remain durable and fade-free.

FAQs

You may recognize an Adirondack chair when you see one, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have questions. We answered a few of the most common to help you decide if Adirondack chairs are in your future.

Q. What is the difference between Adirondack and Muskoka chairs?

Adirondack chairs were named for the popularity they gained in the Adirondack mountains. In Canada, this same chair design became popular in the Muskoka region, which is the name by which they are commonly referred to in that country.

Muskoka chairs can look just like an Adirondack chair but sometimes have a lower back and seat. The names are largely based on the region in which their popularity took hold.

Q. Can you leave Adirondack chairs outside?

The materials and where you live determine if the Adirondack chair can stay outside year-round. There are both wood and plastics that withstand inclement weather and sun damage well enough for year-round outdoor storage. However, any chair, no matter what material it’s made of, will last longer if it’s covered when not in use.

Q. What color Adirondack chair should I get?

Adirondack chairs can blend with the color of your home or stand out as a pop of color. It depends on how you want to use them. If you want a natural look, invest in cedar, teak, or acacia. However, if you’re looking to add fun colors, plastic offers the most options, or you can paint a wood chair.

Q. How long do Adirondack chairs last?

It depends on how well they’re maintained, whether the chair is outside year-round, and the material of which they are made. In general, cedar Adirondack chairs that are properly stained each year should last about 10 years. Redwood, acacia, and eucalyptus may have a longer lifespan at 15 years or more, but it depends on how well they’re maintained. Pine and other less hardy woods may only last four or five years. Exposure to salt water and harsh winters can drastically reduce a chair’s lifespan regardless of the quality of the materials.

High-quality plastics rival hardwoods in durability, and sometimes in price. However, plastic also requires some care, though not as much as wood. Plastic can get brittle if repeatedly exposed to changing temperatures and intense weather. The chairs will last longer if they’re put in storage or covered in the winter. A high-quality plastic chair that’s covered during inclement weather has the potential to last 10 to 20 years.