4.0 out of 5 stars
By M. Smith - Reviewed in the United States on August 31, 2019
Little pricey but not many Back Supporting Beach Chairs to choose from
When pricing good beach chairs that I thought may also double for concert,park, etc, chair I suddenly found that what I wanted was $100 plus at the local beach shop (yikes). After doing some research I came across these Strongback chairs. From the reviews for the "standard" chair design, it looks like due to the height and high center of gravity multiple reviews have noted failures at leg weld points. For this reason I passed on the "Standard" design and targeted the "Low Gravity" design (the Low Gravity "2.0" (not sure what the 1.0 was), and the recliner designs). The only other chair that made my list was the very well liked Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair which can be had pretty cheap (I think $25) at your nearby Costco (though I think the Costco brand is suppossedly inferior to the stock Tommy Bahama one which sells for $80 if you can find it). Since I was already at the beach and really impressed with the Stongback beach chair concept (I've got a bad back and am 260lbs) so I thought WTH and got both the 2.0 and the recliner designs shipped to the beach house and decided to do a head-by-head comparison at the beach. What I found is that essentially these two chairs are the same chair exept that the "recliner" design has front legs that can extend using a pivot mechanism making the chair have a steeper front angle (i.e. recliner). It should be noted that you cannot manually adjust from standard to "recliner" while seated. You either have to decide you want it in the standard position or the recliner before you sit in it. The pics attached compare the two chairs (2.0 on left and recliner on right). Below are the strengths and weaknesses ot the Strongback Low Gravity Chairs in general (both designs): Pros: 1. Does indeed provide good back support and forces one to sit with good posture so that your back doesn't tire out as easily over long sitting periods 2. Seems pretty durable in construction. Double stiching used with the HD fabric and the frame material seems a decent gauge metal 3. I like the lever lock design in the back of the chair which creates a tight lumbar support and ensures the chair will stay in the position when in use Cons 1. Pricey for what it is. I really envision the sweet spot for this kind of chair to be between $40 to $50. 2. The cup holder is flimsy and cheap but servicable. You can fit something slightly larger than a 12oz can in this 3. Little difficult to collaspe (maybe this will get easier once I break it in) 4. The accoridan collasping design is crappy and is hard to transport without the bag compared to backpack chairs or chair with a built in carrying straps 5. The carrying bag is atrocious, very thin, cheap and the close string constantly gets stuck on the legs when trying to put the chair into the bag. The materials should have been similar to what the chair fabric is (polyester 600D tear and wear resistant fabric) and wider to make it easier to insert the chair into it 6. The chair is pretty heavy for it's size (12lbs) 7. One less year of warranty if purchased on Amazon (3 year if purchased directly from Strongback) 8. The chair is very low to the ground, but you can "launch yourself" to a standing position by pushing off on the "padded arms" without too much difficulty. Would have liked the chair to be a little taller but its low height wasn't a deal breaker for me When choosing between the 2.0 design and the recliner design I decided to go with the recliner design for $10 more. Using the pivot legs to slightly increase the height causes you to fall back into the lumbar support even more (due to the angle) which I think is more comfortable and provides more back support. The short extension legs are housed in a plastic pivot housing which may fail at somepoint. I would have rather hoped this housing is steel/metal vs. plastic but my initial thought was the housing was relatively durable. So in closing. I like the Strongback chairs even though they are a little too pricey for my blood. The accesories (cup holder and bag) that come with the chair are cheap compared to the chair's overall constrution. Personally I liked the recliner design over the 2.0 design and felit like it gave very good support to the lower back. As mentioned you can get this chair directly from the manufacturer and get an additional year of warranty. They ship tax free and with free shipping so that might be the best way to go if you really are sold on this chair. I choose to purchase on Amazon due to how quickly I could get the chair shipped to me (2 days) and their flexible return policy. I hope this review has been helpful.
5.0 out of 5 stars
By MariaSmiles - Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2016
Holy sit, this is a COMFY chair!!
Bought this for a week-long "summer camp" experience. SO GLAD I brought it!! Comfort by the campfire? Check. Comfort in meditation class? Check. Comfort at a workshop, taking notes? Check. Comfort at the end of the day, in the bunk? Check. Comfort watching an awesome Talent Show? Check!!! I bought this and another non-lumbar supporting chair of otherwise almost the exact same style (I found that one before finding this one). The other one was really comfy and well-made, but still, you CAN tell the difference in comfort and support, between the two. I brought the Strongback to camp and left the other home (& will be returning it). This chair is quite LOW and is somewhat of a challenge to get down into and up out of. It's not necessarily hard, but I'm not necessarily totally in shape, so it's probably a lot easier for a more fit person (I do go to the gym several times a week, and do squats, but still...). The arms are very helpful and supportive, and although I'm quite curvy and voluptuous, the chair felt supportive and sturdy, even as I plunked down into it and ungracefully pushed myself up to standing, on somewhat unlevel "camp ground". It's not a chair I'd want to be popping in and out of, but for a fairly static event, it works great! Some of the scenarios had me in the chair for over 45 mins at a time and I was more comfy than I am right now, in my office chair for 20 mins! The seat is a good width and depth, accommodating my "baby got back"-style trunk and even a bit of room to wiggle or lean (left to right or front to back), if you so choose. The front angles up to nestle you in, and doesn't cut into my legs at any point (I have a 29" inseam). If size also matters to you, check out the photo I posted, for detailed measurements from Strongback. It opens and closes with ease (nothing worse than a "stuck" chair when you just wanna sit and relax or stand and pack up). And the wide, articulating feet help it to stay sturdy on a variety of terrain. The dual-shoulder straps on the bag are a nice touch, but I don't like to carry things that way and there's no padding, so it's not super-comfy to carry it like that. After a few rounds wrestling with the bag (it's not impossible, just typically, minorly frustrating), I opted to just carry it (closed) by the larger cross-bars. It was a LOT easier for me to carry that way and of course, set-up and pack-up were much faster. Bonus: no sand spilling out the next time I upturned the bag. It is a reasonably heavy and well-sized chair (read: not cheaply-made, so it's got some mass to it), so not an ultra-light, but neither am I and for times when I'll be sitting for a while, I'll take comfort and sturdiness over teetering on a piece of nylon slung over three lightweight sticks (yes, I also have that chair, too). While it's got girth, it's not so obtrusive as to call a lot of attention to itself. As one of the few people who brought a chair to most events during the week, I didn't feel out of place; and, in fact, several people commented that it was a really good idea! I also like the subdued styling (black and grey). The back is a thicker, padded surface, with a bit of mesh for breatheability. Not the type of mesh you can see through or is plastic and sticks to you, but the type that might be on the underside of a high-quality backpack strap. If I were to improve this chair, it would be to: - make the cup holder a bit larger (it's about the diameter of a can of soda, and maybe 2/3 the height - didn't try a can, but fits an iphone 6 in the case). - add another "pocket" on the other side (another, larger cup holder, or a flat pocket?). (NOTE: they do sell this, as an add-on) - add a velcro or buckle strap to the frame, itself, so that I can just close it up and carry it away and it would stay tightly closed. As it is now, sans the bag, it doesn't flop open, but a little extra security would be good. - add a sturdy shoulder strap somehow to the chair frame. Carrying it by hand without the bag is easy enough; however, it might be nice to have a strap for when you need a hands-free option. The Browning Strutter Chair has this and that's pretty cool. - add some head or neck-supporting option, even a raised sling of fabric like the Strutter. The lumbar support is great, but the upper thoracic / cervical area is too short to support my neck and the back angle seems geared for chillaxin' (maybe I just have a heavy noggin). A chair's #1 job is to support the body in a sitting position. I value comfort and function over the convenience of these "improvements" I've listed, so my rating remains 5 stars. There are plenty of chairs with doo-dads and straps and what-not that just don't hold up to actual use, and certainly aren't as comfy and supportive as this STRONGBACK chair. Overall, this is a FANTASTIC chair and I'm glad I found it and toted it to all my camp activities. It seems sturdy enough to last many more trips and I'm hoping I get to use it again. Seriously, it's so comfy, I CRAVE sitting in it and I might just set it up in my Living Room! I paid $59 here on Amazon, with Prime shipping (needed it quickly). The company also sells the chair (and other models) direct from their website. After visiting there and starting, but not completing, my order, they reached out to me personally with a friendly email. Bonus points for good customer service! In case you're wondering, I am not in any way affiliated with Strongback. I just found out about their chairs two weeks ago, and I'm quite the fan of a good, portable, comfy chair. I'm grateful to have found Strongback and I plan to buy other chairs of theirs, for other sitting needs. Seriously, I might just get one for my living room! I rely on reviews to help me make informed decisions. I hope this review helped you! :) ITEM: STRONGBACK Low Gravity Beach Chair with Built-In Lumbar Support, Black and Grey