Three Things to Consider Before Buying an Adirondack Chair

A modern version of the original design can fit your particular style.

If there ever was a chair that perfectly blended function, simplicity, and style, the Adirondack chair is it. Thomas Lee, a man who owned a summer home in New York’s high and steep Adirondack Mountains, developed the prototype of the Adirondack chair more than 100 years ago. Lee made a wooden chair with a slanted seat that allowed anyone to sit on a slope but still look straight out and savor the view.

That simple departure from a standard chair endures today, and not just for people sitting on picturesque hillsides. Place an Adirondack chair on level ground, and you’ll be in a very comfortable reclining position. The solid frame is sturdy and unmoving, allowing you to relax. The wide armrests give you a place to rest your hands comfortably. The generous back supports your shoulders and is high enough so you can rest your head. The Adirondack chair doesn’t just suggest outdoor tranquility; it commands it.

That’s why many people get Adirondack chairs for their patios, decks, and porches. Here’s a guide to three styles of Adirondack chairs you might want to relax in.

This product is made from polystyrene and won’t crack, chip, or peel. Lifetime

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A rounded top edge, a tapered planked back, a curved seat front—these are all hallmarks of the original wooden Adirondack chair. You can enjoy those features in maintenance-free polystyrene Adirondack chairs. They look just like the original versions, but won’t give you splinters or require painting every few years.

New spins on the classic design include the use of weatherproof materials. POLYWOOD

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If you want an updated look to go with your updated home, consider an Adirondack chair with a sleeker look than the original. Modern spins have minor style changes that make them more compatible with other furnishings, and they’re available in various colors.

This version has a swing-out drink holder on one armrest, and a wineglass/cell phone holder on the other. ECCB Outdoor

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The original Adirondack chair was one unmoving piece, but some manufacturers know that users may want to put their chairs away for a while, or only bring them out for when a crowd comes. You can get a foldable Adirondack chair, with drink holders, to use when you have guests—or to relax in when the party’s over.