Spectating My Kid’s Soccer Games Will Never Be the Same Thanks to This Space-Age Lounge Chair
The Homall zero gravity chair supports the knees, spine, and neck to release tension so you can relax.
While there’s nothing wrong with a traditional beach chair or those foldable chairs you see lining the field at Sunday youth soccer games, most just aren’t particularly comfortable. On the hunt for chairs that would provide better support, my family decided to invest in a couple of the newest trends in portable outdoor seating: zero gravity chairs.
What is zero gravity?
As the name suggests, the zero gravity chair has its roots in aeronautics. NASA developed the zero gravity chair to neutralize the gravitational forces astronauts feel as they’re hurtled into space in the cockpit of a rocket. A zero gravity chair raises the head and knees just above the heart so the legs and torso form a 120-degree angle. This position takes pressure off the knees, back, and neck so you can rest more comfortably.
Finding the Right Feel
In our search for zero-gravity nirvana, we had a few options to choose from. Most zero gravity chairs consist of denier fabric, nylon polyester, or Textilene. While Textilene is water resistant, it has a plasticky feel that’s not particularly comfortable on bare skin. Stiff and scratchy nylon polyester, which is the same material one would find on a collapsible camping chair, isn’t what we were looking for, either. While denier fabric can get wet, we preferred its soft upholstery-like feel, so we went with the Homall Zero Gravity Chair. In addition to being constructed with soft, breathable fabric, it is one of the most affordable zero gravity chairs we could find: It’s just $89.99 for two chairs.
Setting it Up
The Homall chair has a steel frame, so it’s noticeably heavy when you pull it out of a storage cubby or off a shelf in the garage. It also requires a bit of effort to unfold and set up.
Zero gravity chairs recline from an upright position to the “zero-gravity” position. The Homall chair accomplishes this movement with two round tension knobs. Turning the knobs toward you releases the chair, causing it to recline backward as you lean back. Turning both knobs away from you tightens the mechanism, locking it into place. Operating the knobs takes some getting used to. The first few times I used the chair, I forgot to lock the reclining mechanism in place, causing me to unexpectedly (and rapidly!) recline when I sat down.
After a bit of practice, controlling the chair is easy and the twin locking mechanisms hold the chair firmly in place whether in the upright or reclined position. I also like how the control knobs are conveniently located just under the armrests, eliminating the need to reach under or behind the chair to make adjustments.
Floating in Space
For a chair that’s reasonably priced, this one creates a comfortable sitting position, especially when you compare it to the rigid structure of a standard beach chair or poolside chaise lounge. It provides support from the head to the knees, most notably supporting the lumbar area that most beach or pool chairs neglect.
Adding to its comfort are the zigzagging bungee cords that connect the cloth seat to the frame. These cords serve as a sort of suspension system for your body, cradling you as you shift in the chair or adjust the recline. All of these features combine to create the floating-in-space feeling that a zero gravity chair promises.
The Homall comes with some nice extras, including a detachable headrest that provides additional head and neck support. If you don’t need the headrest, you can remove it or slide it to the lower part of the seatback to for extra lumbar support. Each chair also comes with a large tray with molded holders for two drinks, a book, and a tablet that attaches to the frame.
While our zero gravity chairs offer more comfort than your typical beach chair or foldable camp chair, they do have a major drawback. The steel frame gives this chair a hefty weight of nearly 20 pounds. That’s a fair amount to lug along with you if you plan on achieving zero-gravity comfort at the lake, or on the sidelines of your kid’s soccer tournament.
Unlike aluminum chairs, this chair is also susceptible to water damage. We left the chair out in the rain a couple of times and found traces of rust around some of the connection points in the frame. It’s not a major issue given that the chair is not intended to be a piece of permanent outdoor furniture, but it’s worth noting.
When we went shopping for our zero gravity chairs, we originally planned to keep them with our RV. We were looking for something that would allow us to relax comfortably as we sat around a crackling fire at dusk or sipped coffee in the great outdoors on a brisk fall morning.
The Homall chairs do serve this purpose, but we like them so much that now we tote them everywhere. Despite their weight, we’ve hauled them to the beach, to the neighborhood pool (even though the pool has lounge chairs), and to outdoor movie night at my son’s elementary school.