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Hands-on Gear Review
Eureka Curvy High-Back Review
Cons: Poor armrests, bulky, poor cup holders
Bottom line: This runner-up is an excellent choice of camp furniture that satisfies on many levels.
The Eureka Curvy High-Back was the runner up for our Editors' Choice Award this year. The super comfortable camping chair is breathable, easy to assemble, supportive, and attractive. Unfortunately, testers felt that any decent camping chair should have more useful and comfortable armrests and, ideally, a very accessible cup holder. And the Eureka does not posses these features. It's also very large, which means that it's less portable. All around, we think this chair does an excellent job of bringing "home-like comfort to the outdoor experience" as the Eureka website proclaims and we strongly recommend it as a possible candidate for your outdoor needs.
RELATED REVIEW: 14 of the Best Camping Chairs
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Eureka Curvy High Back chair offers undisputed comfort and durability. It was one of our favorite chairs that we tested, just behind our Editors' Choice winner, the ALPS Mountaineering King Kong. The only reason it did not receive a distinguishing reward was because of its disappointing armrests and its lack of a readily accessible cup holder. Its otherwise sound construction and completely supportive back won the vote of many testers and we highly recommend it for any outdoor use where its weight and bulk don't matter.
The Eureka received a nearly perfect score in comfort. It has a wide, plush seat and it is well-ventilated and supportive along the entire spine and neck. It is reclined enough that you could easily find yourself drifting off to nap in its sofa-like build, but still upright enough to read or eat without craning your neck forward. Unfortunately, the armsrests weren't as exquisitely designed as the seat. Most male testers were able to sit upright and rest their elbows on the "arm bars," as they are more appropriately called, but for the ladies their elbows hovered an inch or two above. Not too relaxing. This feature is arguably more inconvenient than uncomfortable, but regardless, it kept the Eureka from earning top honors.
Aha, the only metric that the Eureka did not excel in. The extra tall back of this chair significantly affected its portability. It weighs 12 lbs and is noticeably bulky to carry around. The REI Camp Stowaway Low is another model that is very comfortable and supportive like the Eureka, but is very portable. If you are big on this quality but need a chair that carries and packs well, consider this as another possibility.
The construction of this chair is excellent. All of the seams are reinforced and even the mesh material in the back of the chair feels more durable than the mesh other chair models like the Sport-Brella Recliner. The Eureka has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.
Ease of Set-Up
From the very first attempt testers could set this chair up in a matter of seconds. Simply pull apart two of the support bars and voila! Doesn't get any easier than that.
The only added feature of this chair is a storage pouch that hangs down from the seat of the chair. Despite its inconvenient location, it can hold more items than the pouches on all of the other models we tested. It is also very durable. It can also hold bottles of almost any size, as opposed to other models like the Coleman Oversize Quad with Cooler which can hold 12 oz cans or bottles.
Honestly, more than one tester wanted to use this chair around their home kitchen table. If that doesn't sound good to you, then at least consider it for car camping, fishing, tailgating, hanging out at the beach, or watching a kids soccer game. It will keep you comfortable all day, just don't plan on carrying it very far.
The Eureka costs $80 retail which is about the average price among the chairs we tested. It isn't a bargain, but we think that it was such a good performer that it is worth paying a little extra. With this model, a few extra bucks really does get you more. More comfort, more durability, and a chair that is good for a variety of uses.
The only group of people who are likely to complain about the Eureka are whoever is sitting behind its tall back at your kid's soccer game. It has a luxurious feel and is supportive of the entire spine. It doesn't have standard camping chair armrests or cup holders, but it still offers some storage. This model is a bit pricey, but is worth the extra bucks as it will last you and your family a long time.
— Laura Lingeman
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