Doesn’t it feel good when the sky is clear and the sun shines brightly? Your instinct will tell you to go out of your house and relax on the porch or patio to take advantage of the fine weather condition. The perfect outdoor furniture for this kind of setting is the Adirondack chair.
Considered as an American classic, Adirondack chairs are originally made of wood which is used primarily outdoors. Wikipedia describes it as “a simple, rustic wooden chair for outdoor use”. They are unique due to their unorthodox design of having a slanted back rest shaped like a fan with flat armrests that are spaced wide apart.
Origin of the Chair
The very first Adirondack chair was designed by Thomas Lee who was vacationing with his family at Westport, New York. His purpose was to make a chair that will be stable even on a slope. Their location then was along the Adirondack Mountains where the modern name of the furniture had been derived.
Mr. Lee commissioned a carpenter Harry Bunnell to put his design into reality. However, sensing a potential huge profit Bunnell applied and got a patent for the design without the knowledge of Mr. Lee. The unique design quickly became famous in the region.
Bunnell made other variations of the Adirondack. From a chair for the adults, he also experimented with child Adirondacks. Today, there are several types of Adirondack furniture which you can easily find whether at online or in brick and mortar stores.
Choice of Materials
The very first Adirondack chair was made of hemlock. During recent years though, the materials became varied. It could now come from other species of wood. They can even be made of plastic resin or composite wood. Fans of these chairs can choose from a variety of materials that would suit the surrounding where they intend to use the furniture.
The best material for Adirondack chair depends on how, when and where you will use it. Poly Lumber is polyethylene material made from recycled plastic such as milk jugs. It is high density and durable but expensive. Adirondack furniture made of polylumber is almost maintenance free.
The material which is more appropriate for patios and gardens are those made from wood especially cedar or cypress. These two types compared with other woods are the most durable and are weather resistant. They can be stained or painted for added protection. Some furniture makers say teak is also a good choice of material for outdoor furniture. But I would not recommend a teak Adirondack to be painted. Teak wood has oil that would not allow paint to adhere properly.
What People Say
The beauty of Adirondack chair combines both classical and comfortable design whether it is made of plastic or wood. Although in general, a plastic chair is relatively cheaper than wood, its life span is shorter. A majority of wood material, notably cedar, will last longer because they resist cracking or splitting. Cedar is a soft wood but has 80% the strength of oak.
Those who have already used Adirondack furniture mostly have nice things to say. One consumer review at amazon.com said he was so impressed at how well engineered the wooden chair he bought was for assembly. He found out it was very easy to put together.
World Market, a high end specialty import store noted the elegance of the lounge chairs when they placed a tag on every Adirondack chairs they are selling. It has a title “Why We Love It”. The full description of the tag reads: “A signature silhouette of outdoor living, our Antique-White Classic Adirondack Chair’s wide, slanted seat invites endless relaxation. Built for comfort, this chair provides a timeless look ideal for bringing classic design sensibility to your favorite outdoor hangout.”
The video below shows how to assemble a type of Adirondack chair.