Hands-on Gear Review

ENO Lounger DL Review

If you want to feel like you’re sitting in a hammock without actually sitting in a hammock, you’ll love this chair from ENO!
By: Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 17, 2018
Price:  $125 List  |  $124.95 at REI
Pros:  Hammock-like comfort, many pockets and features, adjustable seat height, padded armrests
Cons:  Complicated pole system, less sturdy, cup holder tippy and shallow
Manufacturer:   Eagles Nest Outfitters
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 15
  • Comfort - 40% 8
  • Portability - 25% 7
  • Durability - 20% 8
  • Ease of Set-Up - 15% 3
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Our Verdict

Most of us may recognize ENO from their hammocks, but now they've come out with a chair that combines that hammock feel into a chair with legs, eliminating the need to hang your sling to get that slouchy, relaxed hammock vibe. This unique feel earned the ENO Lounger DL a Notable Tag from our testers! We enjoyed the comfort of this chair and liked that you can sit at two different heights by simply folding the legs out of the way and sitting directly on the base. We also enjoyed the durability of this ripstop nylon and thick frame while maintaining a reasonably low weight. However, we weren't stoked on the set-up and take-down of this chair or the odd shape and flimsy attachment of the cup holder. If you love hammocking but can't always use your 'mock at that barbeque or your favorite desert campsite, this might be just the chair you've been dreaming of.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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We spent hundreds of hours lugging around, setting up, taking down, and sitting in these chairs to tease apart what makes any of them worth your hard-earned money to own. The ENO Lounger DL stood out to us for its hammock-like comfort, and comfort is king! To learn how this unique chair performed in other categories, read on!

Performance Comparison


"Like a hammock  but no trees required!"
"Like a hammock, but no trees required!"

Comfort


Because of its hammock-like comfort, the Lounger DL scored rather well in this category. This chair has a relaxed, slouchy feel that reminded us of our favorite hammocks. The front of the chair didn't dig into the bottoms of our legs, and we could even throw a leg over the armrest if we were feeling extra slouchy, as the armrests are soft and well-padded - a novelty among the portable models we tested! Our testers had no complaints about the comfort of their elbows while reading a book, unlike the Helinox chairs, Moon Lence Ultralight or REI Flexlite.


The two different options for seat height also stood out to us. To sit closer to the ground, you could just not fold out the leg extensions and sit directly on the triangle base. Or if getting up from a very low chair is a challenge for you, raise the ENO from 3.5 inches to 8 inches by folding out the legs. Using the four leg extensions also help make this chair more stable and harder to tip than simply sitting in the triangle base. However, the legs sink quite far into the sand compared to the wide base with legs folded out of the way. This chair also has large pockets on either hip that are quite flexible, to help prevent the things you put into these pockets from poking you in the legs while you lounge.

As a hammock-like chair, there are a few downsides if you're not feeling the 'mock vibe. The sides tend to squish you in, leaving not much room to spread your knees on a hot day and may make you feel like you're being swallowed by this bucket chair. The Lounger DL is fairly narrow, which may make it uncomfortable for larger folks. It also provides nearly no lumbar support (just like you'd expect from a hammock), and though it has a pillow, it's quite high and not adjustable so may end up more of a hindrance than a help.

There's also quite a bit of wiggle room in the poles. Their connection to the frame has lots of space (unlike the tight fit we found on all three Helinox chairs we reviewed) and our 170 pound "plop test master" felt that if he didn't tip over backwards out of this chair when he plopped down, he might eventually break it by trying too hard to relax in a hurry. While the ripstop nylon is thin, it's not particularly breathable, which may be less than comfortable to use on a sweltering day. All in all, if you're seeking the comfort of a hammock, the Lounger DL is an excellent choice. If you're looking for a more supportive chair, check out some of the other chairs in this review like the Editor's Choice ALPS Mountaineering King Kong.

With the leg extensions down  we sank easily into the sand.
With the leg extensions down, we sank easily into the sand.

Portability


Tipping the scales at just 4.6 pounds and being equipped with a handy storage bag with an adjustable shoulder strap, the Lounger DL is a fairly portable chair. Folded, this chair is only 24 inches long, which is much shorter than many of the traditional camping chairs we tested, like the Eureka Curvy High-Back, which is a whopping 44 inches in length! Though it's larger than the 3.3 pound, 18 inch Helinox Beach Chair, we still wouldn't be too upset about carrying this chair just a bit farther to find that perfect spot.


This chair isn't the best choice for a backpacking trip, like the lightweight Helinox Chair Zero, which weighs just one pound and won a Notable Tag for its incredible portability. It's also not likely a chair you'd carry around "just in case", though we found it handy to keep in the car or take with to a barbeque or even a crowded movie night with friends! All things considered, the Lounger DL retained a more-than-reasonable level of portability.

With a large  adjustable carry strap  this chair isn't too bad to carry short distances to bring hammock-less  hammock-like comfort along with you.
With a large, adjustable carry strap, this chair isn't too bad to carry short distances to bring hammock-less, hammock-like comfort along with you.

Durability


Constructed from 210D ripstop nylon with aluminum alloy legs, the Lounger DL has a weight capacity of 250 pounds. The corners and pole pockets are thick and reinforced and joined areas of fabric are doubled over, and some have double-stitched seams as well. The poles are thick and feel quite sturdy when setting up the chair. This certainly wasn't a chair that we felt had an overly cheap construction.


That being said, we had a couple of durability concerns. Mostly that there's a decent amount of wiggle room in the poles and their attachments to the corners of the frame. Though this helps give a little extra mobility to enhance that hammock feel, it also made us a little nervous. Some of the seams were also single-stitched, and while we never had any issues with this during our testing, it didn't give us the same confidence that we found in models with all double (or more!) stitched seams like the Helinox Beach Chair or ALPS Mountaineering King Kong. ENO also reminds users not to sit on the bungees that attach the leg extensions, as they won't stand up to that kind of abuse for too long! Though we had a few minor complaints, we felt this chair will stand up to the task of assisting your relaxation.

Reinforced corners and ripstop fabric are great!
Reinforced corners and ripstop fabric are great!

Ease of Set-Up


This was by far our least favorite part of this chair, and where it scored the lowest in our tests. The poles were extremely challenging to put together and take apart and required a lot of patience and practice. The best thing we liked about this process was that after taking so long to put the frame together, the actual seat was very easy and painless to attach, as it hangs loosely on the frame.


The construction of this frame we found to be rather tedious. Even after the learning curve was learned, it always took extra time to set up and take down the Lounger DL. While the seat is easy to attach to the frame, its loose fit and short pole pockets meant that we frequently (accidentally) pulled the seat off the frame while trying to pick this chair up and move it. There are so many poles and once this chair had a little dirt in it from use, we found that they became more challenging to pull out of the corner sockets. Gathering them all together to roll the chair up was best done on the ground, as the poles are so large only someone with NBA-sized hands might be able to hold them all in one palm.

The leg extensions that snap to the bottom of the frame also frequently unsnap quite easily, adding to the challenge. Fitting this chair back into its top-opening storage sack was also a struggle. If we folded the chair fabric, it became so wide that it was nearly too tight to squeeze into the bag. If we didn't fold the fabric, it was still quite wide and too long - we always had to smash the ends into the bag before we could cinch it shut. The Lounger DL was our least favorite chair to set up and take down.

Poles on poles on poles! The set-up and take-down of this chair was a bit more complicated than we were expecting  and with so many poles!
Poles on poles on poles! The set-up and take-down of this chair was a bit more complicated than we were expecting, and with so many poles!

Features


The Lounger DL has some features, though we did not fall in love with all of them. The stretchy side pockets were by far our favorite and could hold a surprisingly large number of things without sacrificing comfort. From books and phones to keys and extra water bottles, these pockets were roomy! The cup holder we were less enamored with. It's quite wide and not overly deep and floppily attached with just a single row of stitching. We had a hard time putting a regular 12 ounce can or bottle in this cup holder without spilling some of the contents! With the addition of a binder clip, the cup holder was significantly less floppy, but still, we felt the dimensions were better suited to filling it with crackers or trail mix than a beverage. The Lounger DL also has a padded headrest, though it's not adjustable at all, so depending on your height you may love it (taller folks) or find it to be in the way (shorter folks).

We weren't so sure about this oversized cup holder for holding beverages  but the addition of a binder clip helped!
We weren't so sure about this oversized cup holder for holding beverages, but the addition of a binder clip helped!

Best Applications


The Lounger DL is an awesome solution if you're looking for hammock-like comfort in a chair. It retains a pretty good level of durability and portability while giving you a semblance of hammocking without the need for trees. However, if you need lumbar support or a wider seat, we feel you'd be better off checking out one of the many other models in this review like the Kijaro Dual Lock or even the low ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous.

To read or not to read? With large handy pockets like these  you can always keep your book close at hand.
To read or not to read? With large handy pockets like these, you can always keep your book close at hand.

Value


At a pricey $125, this chair is a bit of an investment. If your pupils turn into hearts like a cartoon character every time you look at a hammock, we think you'll like this chair from hammock-maker, ENO. However, if you seek a more diverse chair with a bit more support and stability, and only occasionally want to feel like you're in a hammock, this chair probably isn't worth your hard-earned dough.

Conclusion


If you skipped from the top all the way to this section to find out what we concluded from our testing of this unique chair from ENO, our verdict is that it's an awesome choice for hammock-lovers. If you love your hammock but want to sit in an actual chair, this model gives you both! If you're seeking a gift for your friend, who sold her tent because of she only hammock camps now, she'll probably love this chair. However, if you're reading this with a quizzical look on your face because you're not sure if you're ready to be in a hammock at all times, the ENO Lounger DL might not be the best chair for you.

Take a break and relax in the ENO Lounger DL.
Take a break and relax in the ENO Lounger DL.

Maggie Brandenburg

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Most recent review: May 17, 2018
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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