Updated at: 15-01-2023 - By: Helen Skeates

If you were to ask us to define an Adirondack chair, we would have to say that it is much more than just a chair for use in the great outdoors. As such, it has come to represent the carefree spirit and carefree days of summer.

However, if you want to get technical, Adirondack chairs are merely strong recliners designed for use outside, by the pool, or on the beach. If you’re curious about the history of Adirondack chairs and how to pick the perfect one for your needs, you’ve come to the right spot.

We’ll show you the best places to buy Adirondack chairs and teach you to appreciate its classic style.

The History of the Adirondack Chair

The Adirondack Mountains are the inspiration for the iconic Adirondack chair. The Adirondack Mountains, which are located in New York’s northeast and have a highest point of 5,344 feet, have been attracting visitors for well over a century. Its environment includes a variety of wetland habitats, including swamps, marshes, bogs, and rolling hills of rocky terrain shaped by glaciers. Great blue herons, gray jays, boreal chickadees, crossbills, and many other species of birds call the hardwood forests of the Adirondack Mountains home.

Wayfair | Adirondack Chairs You'll Love in 2023

The Adirondack chair may seem like a recent development to some, but it actually has a long history. In 1903, American hobbyist woodworker and inventor Thomas Lee crafted the first prototype of what would become known as the Adirondack chair. The lack of seating reportedly became an issue for Lee during a family vacation to the Adirondack Mountains in 1903. In an effort to alleviate the discomfort of standing experienced by some members of his family, Lee came up with the idea of creating his own chair.

However, Lee quickly learned that conventional chairs did not perform well in the Adirondack Mountains’ rugged terrain. Because the ground wasn’t level, people had to sit forward- or backwards-leaning in their seats, which was both uncomfortable and unsteady. There hasn’t been a way to deal with the bumpy ground until now. Because of this, Lee set out to create his own chair, one that would be both stable and pleasant regardless of the surface it was set upon.

Lee spent endless hours laboring over the design of an inclined seat and angled back for a chair (see image above). The Adirondack highlands’ irregular topography necessitated a sloping seat and back. In order to provide a level and secure seating surface on uneven ground, the chair’s back is slanted at an angle between 25 and 35 degrees. The name “Adirondack chair” was coined for these later.

What may come as a surprise to you is that Lee wasn’t given exclusive credit for his contributions. Following the completion of the initial prototype, Lee sent the chair to a carpenter by the name of Harry Bunnell in upstate New York. Lee had Bunnell make a replica of the chair for him. Bunnell, however, without Lee’s knowledge, patented the chair (which he renamed the “Westport Chair”). Lee didn’t even try to challenge Bunnell’s patent on the Westport Chair. Even though Bunnell was granted a patent for the chair’s design, the Adirondack chair is what most people think of when they picture a chair in the mountains.

Adirondack Chair Benefits

The Adirondack chair has many advantages due to its innovative design. First and foremost, keep in mind that the Adirondack chair was designed with sloping ground in mind. There is, therefore, no better option than the Adirondack chair if you’re in the market for new seating for a hillside patio or deck. The seat and back are slanted, making it a very stable and comfortable chair.

However, the Adirondack chair remains one of the most comfortable outdoor seating alternatives whether it is set up on a level surface or a hill. Most modern Adirondack chairs have a backrest that can be adjusted, and some even have removable armrests. Because of this, the Adirondack chair may also be readily adjusted for maximum comfort when used on a level surface.

The Adirondack chair is great because it helps reduce back pain. Close to eight out of ten Americans will suffer from back discomfort at some point in their lives, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). In contrast, the Adirondack chair’s slanted back reduces the likelihood of back pain and other health issues.

What Makes Adirondack Chairs Special?

To begin, the Adirondacks are the inspiration for the chairs’ namesake. The Westport plank chair is only one of several names for this item. Muskoka chair is the name used by certain Canadiens, whereas Laurentian chair is the name used by some Francophones.

The sloping seat of an Adirondack chair is a distinguishing feature that provides the user a clear view of the horizon (Westport). Adirondack chairs are now made with thinner wood boards for the back rest, making them more comfortable to sit on for long periods of time. An obvious improvement over the Westport chair’s predecessor, these variants have headrests and foot extensions in some models.

How To Choose The Right Adirondack Chair?

Form and function

Adirondack chairs can be tough for persons with leg or back issues, so this is the first feature to think about. We advise you to give serious thought to the style of Adirondack furniture you wish to purchase if you fall into either of these categories.

Adirondack chairs are perfect if you want to kick back and read while also keeping an eye on a pet or young child on your lap. It works wonderfully for the aforementioned applications.


These days, Adirondack chairs can be crafted from a wide variety of materials. We have aluminum, HDPE wood, and teak available. Although the type of material is essential, it is the properties of these materials that are of utmost importance.

Weather damage is a real possibility with outdoor furniture, therefore durability is a must. In addition, think about how often you’ll need to service the chair. Finally, as this chair is intended for lounging, you should think about whether or not the comfort it provides justifies the asking price.


Form and function both demand that you find an Adirondack chair that works for you. Don’t forget to do this, or you might have trouble getting in and out of the chair. Also, provide enough breathing room around each Adirondack chair on the patio so that getting in and out of one isn’t a chore.


While Adirondack chairs are comfy on their own, adding an accessory (such as an ottoman) can enhance the relaxation factor. Pillows and cushions can be added for comfort and support, whether for the back or the head.

Should you leave your adirondack outside?

Since they are resistant to the elements, they can be left outside. Also, if you have little space to store them, it is better to leave them outside.

Instead of leaving them exposed to the elements, a tarp or roof is recommended to protect them from the elements.

The Best Adirondack Chairs of 2022

Top-notch Adirondack chairs have both a sturdy build and a user-friendly layout. For those who require a bit more from their favorite seat, several models come equipped with convenient extras like ottomans and cup holders.

Lifetime Adirondack Chair

It’s lighter than wood at only 9.5 pounds, making it easier to transport. Don’t be deceived by the seeming lack of heft. When you need to put your feet up and relax, you can rest easy knowing that the deep reclined seat and complementary ottoman can hold up to 300 pounds.

Technical Specifications

  • Material: Plastic
  • Colorways: 5
  • Weight: 9.5 pounds


  • Anti-UV coating.
  • Waterproof construction
  • Included ottoman is a perfect match.
  • Conveniently light weight and transportable


  • Non-folding chair

Best Choice Products Folding Wood Adirondack Chair

In spite of the fact that it is made out of hemlock, which is naturally resistant to decay and insects, it still needs to be weatherproofed on a regular basis. Construction is so solid that it can withstand weights of up to 350 pounds without bending or breaking. When lounging, people of all sizes might benefit from a high backrest.

Folding Wooden Adirondack Chair Accent Furniture w/ Natural Finish - B – Best Choice Products

Technical Specifications

  • Construction from hemlock wood
  • Colorways: 1
  • Weighing in at a hefty 18.75 kilos
  • Capacity: 350 lbs.


  • An Economical Option
  • Hemlock is resistant to decay and insects.
  • An extra-roomy design with wide armrests, for maximum relaxation.
  • Converts to a flat, manageable shape for compact storage.


  • needing periodic weatherproofing treatment
  • Warning: not appropriate for all weather scenario

POLYWOOD Modern Adirondack Chair

You may leave this Adirondack chair outside in any weather, as its resin and plastic construction prevents cracking, chipping, and peeling. This contemporary Adirondack is constructed from recyclable plastic and features Color-Stay technology, making it fade-resistant to the sun’s rays.

Technical Specifications

  • Blend of resin and plastic scraps
  • Colorways: 12
  • The total is 34 pounds.
  • It can hold up to 400 pounds.


  • Fabrication using resins and plastics that are resistant to the elements
  • Consists entirely of recycled content.
  • The seat’s ergonomic shape is a major plus.
  • Available in a rainbow of hues


  • Assembling and maintaining this item is required.

West Elm Portside Outdoor Adirondack Chair & Ottoman

This modern beach chair is perfect for the outdoor seating area of a beach home or a city retreat with a seaside motif, thanks to its angular lines and textured finish. Buyers can have a matching ottoman for extra seating at no extra charge. This chair is made of solid wood and is available in two different natural finishes; at 36 pounds, it’s a touch weighty but well worth it for the quality of its timeless wooden design.

Technical Specifications

  • Eucalyptus and mahogany woods are used.
  • Colorways: 2
  • Total 36 pound weight.
  • Uncertain Weight Capacity


  • Consists entirely of solid wood
  • Polished to a regal wire-brushed sheen
  • Coating made of a protective polyurethane


  • Pricey

Crate & Barrel Paso Teak Outdoor Adirondack Chair

The chairs sold at Crate and Barrel may be found in a number of different materials and hues, from recycled POLYWOOD in bright colors to warm teak wood. To maximize your reclining comfort, use the Paso ottoman with this Adirondack chair set.

Technical Specifications

  • Teak wood or plastic?
  • Colorways: 7


  • Style of the modern era
  • It comes in a wide range of colors and materials.
  • Plush upholstery and enough of arm support.


  • Both the weight and load capacity are unknown.

Jarratt Plastic Adirondack Chair

The recycled plastic used in its manufacture is extremely durable. Note: Jarratt’s Plastic Adirondack Chair does not fold and requires assembly before use.

The recycled plastic used in its manufacture is extremely durable. Please be aware that Jarratt’s Plastic Adirondack Chair does not fold and does need to be assembled prior to use.

  • All kinds of weather won’t affect a structure made from recycled plastic. Jarratt’s Plastic Adirondack Chairs, as a point of clarification, do not fold and do require some assembly prior to use.
  • All kinds of weather won’t affect a structure made from recycled plastic. Please be aware that Jarratt’s Plastic Adirondack Chair does not fold and does require some installation prior to use.
  • The recycled plastic used in its manufacture is extremely durable. Please be aware that Jarratt’s Plastic Adirondack Chair does not fold and does need to be assembled prior to use.
  • Weight Limit: 500 lbs.


  • Stainless steel hardware that is built to last
  • Engineered to withstand any climate
  • A tall backrest provides ample lumbar support.


  • It doesn’t fold
  • Some Assembly Required

Pottery Barn Adirondack x Polywood Rocking Chair

The Adirondack rocker from Pottery Barn is made from recycled POLYWOOD, but it looks just like real wood. It has a color-stay finish for low-maintenance vibrant color that lasts through the seasons, and it is available in three vintage-inspired hues.

Technical Specifications

  • Material: Plastic
  • Colorways: 3
  • Overall, it weighs 42 pounds.
  • There is a 300-pound weight limit.


  • Conventional elegance
  • Long-lasting Polywood construction
  • Very little rocking action


  • Quite hefty at 42 pounds.

POLYWOOD Classic Folding Adirondack

The chair may be folded in half for easy storage. It’s convenient for lounging in the yard and going camping. Despite its rather hefty weight of 37 pounds, this chair can withstand both human weight and outdoor conditions. Considering the high quality, the pricing is reasonable.

Technical Specifications

  • Materials: plastic bottles that have been recycled.
  • Colorways: 14
  • Weighing in at 37 pounds
  • It can hold up to 400 pounds.


  • Long-lasting engineered wood design
  • Curved seat designed for comfort.
  • Converts to a flat, manageable shape for compact storage.
  • Multiple color options are provided.


  • Some Assembly Required

QOMOTOP Poly Lumber Adirondack Chair

The sheer enormity of this chair is impressive. The seat is wider than that of a traditional Adirondack chair. The max load of 350 pounds is an increase of 100 pounds above other competing models. As with other plastic chairs, this one may be stored with little more than an off-season cover.

Technical Specifications

  • Material: Plastic
  • Colorways: 4
  • Dimensional Analysis: 46 lb
  • Capacity: 350 lbs.


  • A cup holder that can rotate 360 degrees
  • Extensive design for maximum ease of use
  • Disinfection is a breeze


  • Some Assembly Required
  • This chair does not fold.

Rosecliff Heights Lopes Adirondack Chair (Set of 2)

White, lime, crimson, and dark brown are just some of the 13 color options available for this chair set, making it ideal for individuals who want to add a splash of color to their backyard or by the fire.

Technical Specifications

  • Materials: plastic bottles that have been recycled.
  • Colorways: 13
  • Dimensions: 20 inches tall by 13 inches wide by 5 inches deep
  • A maximum of 250 pounds may be supported.


  • Comfortable folding structure
  • Guaranteed to be secure in any climate
  • Cracking, splintering, and chipping are prevented.
  • Convertible structure


  • Heavyweight

How We Chose the Best Adirondack Chairs

Outdoors, Adirondack chairs are a timeless staple, conjuring images of rustic cabins and mountain getaways. All of the best options are well-made and built to last, with features like ergonomic designs, protection from the sun and rain, high ratings on review sites, and more.

These Adirondack chairs, made of wood, resin, and plastic, are weatherproof and protected from the sun and rain. A number of the aforementioned recommendations are available in recycled plastic, making them an eco-friendly and long-lasting choice. Most of the featured Adirondack chairs are between 35 and 38 inches tall, have 30-inch wide seats, and can support between 250 and 500 pounds.

As such, many of these chairs are collapsible for easy transport or storage. Similarly, most models are available in a variety of colors and finishes to better complement a wide range of outdoor decor. Large seat backs for extra support, cupholders, and ottomans are available on some models.


To help you decide if an Adirondack chair is right for your outside space, we’ve addressed some of the most often asked questions.

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

Adirondack chairs were first popularized in the Adirondack mountains, hence the name. The Muskoka region of Canada is where this style of chair first gained widespread popularity, hence the regional moniker.

While both Muskoka and Adirondack chairs share a similar aesthetic, Muskokas often feature a lower back and seat.

Q: Can you leave Adirondack chairs outside?

The Adirondack chair’s ability to withstand the elements depends on the materials used and the climate of the owner. Depending on their composition, some polymers and woods can be left outside all year without deteriorating too much from the elements. However, regardless of the materials used in its construction, a chair will have a longer lifespan if covered when not in use.

Q: What color Adirondack chair should I get?

Adirondack chairs can either complement the interior decor or serve as a bold accent. It all depends on your intended use for them. Cedar, teak, and acacia are great choices if you’re going for a rustic aesthetic. For the most variety in bright hues, though, look to plastic. It’s not uncommon for do-it-yourselfers to decide to paint a wooden chair a different color.

Classic Adirondack Chair - Forexco

In addition to natural wood tones, popular Adirondack chair colors include blue, red, and white.

Q: How do you clean an Adirondack chair?

Power washing is no problem for wooden Adirondack chairs. Plastics and resins can be cleaned with water, a little detergent, and a sponge or cloth.

Q: How do you store an Adirondack chair?

Most Adirondack chairs already have weather protections built in, but you can extend their life even more by keeping them covered and in a shed. When not in use, folding chairs take up very little space.

Q: How long do Adirondack chairs last?

Adirondack chairs have a life expectancy of about 10 years depending on the building material, and that’s with regular staining and cleaning, storage, and protective covering. Here are the particulars:

  • Timber made from redwood, acacia, or eucalyptus may last for 15 years or more.
  • Less durable timbers, such as pine, may only last for four or five years.
  • In terms of durability, high-quality plastics can keep up with exotic hardwoods (and sometimes in price). Although prolonged exposure to fluctuating temperatures and harsh weather can cause plastic to become brittle, a high-quality plastic chair that is protected from the elements could last as long as 20 years.

Although high-quality materials can help protect patio furniture from the damaging effects of sun, seawater and harsh winters can shorten the life of any outdoor chair.

Q: How do you paint an Adirondack chair?

If you want to protect your wooden Adirondack chairs from the elements, an oil-based paint is your best bet because it won’t chip or fade. Getting rid of any dust or debris that can get trapped under the paint by wiping down the chairs before you start is a good idea.

Painting an Adirondack chair made of plastic or resin is best done using exterior gloss paint because it will adhere better to the surface. However, a base coat or primer can be necessary.

Q: How do you recycle an old Adirondack chair?

Those who want to help the environment can take their old Adirondack chairs to a recycling facility.


When you understand what an Adirondack chair is and what sets them apart, you can determine whether or not to invest in one. In that case, you can utilize our shopping manual as a resource.