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GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Review

This is a solidly supportive and easy to use rocker for a reasonable price
GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker
Credit: Amazon
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Price:  $75 List | $75.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Supportive, easy to set up, wide, easy to get in/out of
Cons:  Rockers need maintenance, a bit stiff for some, doesn't pack small
Manufacturer:   GCI Outdoor
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 16, 2022
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57
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 15
  • Comfort - 40% 7.0
  • Portability - 25% 5.0
  • Durability - 20% 2.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8.0

Our Verdict

The GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker is a surprisingly good rocking chair that you can use on just about any surface. Its wide, supportive design and tall seat height make it a fine choice for most body types. Though it doesn't pack down nicely and isn't our first choice for slouching, this chair is a hit with our testers who love a good rocking chair or who like to fidget.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $75 List
$75.00 at Amazon
$50 List
$49.95 at REI
$90 List
$89.95 at REI
$70 List
$60.00 at Amazon
$45 List
$45.00 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Supportive, easy to set up, wide, easy to get in/out ofComfortable, well-ventilated, stable, great storage, easy to use, good priceFully padded, backpack straps, easy to set up, stableCarrying strap is built-in and easy to use, set-up is casual, exceptional support for your back, lightweightEasy to set up, tall angled back, supportive, high seat height, less expensive
Cons Rockers need maintenance, a bit stiff for some, doesn't pack smallLow back height, slightly lower seat height, cup holder not ideal for thin beveragesVery low to ground, narrow frame, no pocketsFabric can get dirty easily, durability could be better, cup holders could be largerVery tall seat, limited pockets, no locking mechanism, long when packed
Bottom Line This is a solidly supportive and easy to use rocker for a reasonable priceIt's tough to complain about this versatile and portable chair, especially considering the priceThis low, fully-padded take on a classic lawn chair is great for taking to campfires and outdoor concerts with its backpack strapsTaking the slouch out of camping chairs, this highly supportive model is easy to get in and out ofA tall chair with a simple set up that's easy to use and less expensive to buy
Rating Categories GCI Outdoor Freesty... REI Co-op Camp X REI Co-op Outward L... Kijaro Dual Lock Fo... GCI Outdoor Comfort...
Comfort (40%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Portability (25%)
5.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Durability (20%)
2.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Ease of Use (15%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
Specs GCI Outdoor Freesty... REI Co-op Camp X REI Co-op Outward L... Kijaro Dual Lock Fo... GCI Outdoor Comfort...
Weight 12.2 lbs 8.0 lbs 7.3 lbs 9.8 lbs 8.3 lbs
Weight Capacity 250 lbs 300 lbs 250 lbs 300 lbs 300 lbs
Folded Dimensions (length x width x height) 25" x 7" x 35" 33" x 7" x 7" 27" x 23" x 6" 45" x 7" x 7" 45" x 7" x 5"
Unfolded Dimensions (depth x width x height) 24" x 25" x 35" 21" x 31" x 31" 23" x 23" x 27" 25" x 35" x 37" 25" x 35" x 37"
Seat Height (middle) 14.2" 11.5" 7.5" 15" 15"
Features Rocks, cup holder, carry handle 1 uniquely shaped cup holder, "stowable" armrest pouch, adjustable armrests Backpack straps, DWR finish 2 cup holders, side pocket, carrying strap Beverage holder, small sleeve pocket

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Freestyle Rocker is a wide, supportive chair with spring-loaded shocks, a powder-coated steel frame, and ripstop polyester fabric rated for up to 250 pounds. It features a single-step set-up and take-down and a carry handle.

Performance Comparison


GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker camping chair - level up your camping game with a rocking chair!
Level up your camping game with a rocking chair!
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Comfort


The GCI Rocker is a fairly simple design that's both supportive and wide. The fabric may be stiff for some people's preferences, but it holds up well for many different-sized folks. The mesh back provides breathability, and the 14.2-inch seat height makes getting in and out of this chair easy. Though there's no headrest, the back is tall and upright enough to offer some support. The armrests are a bit narrow for our liking, but they are padded and work just fine. The spring-loaded shocks provide a smooth, simple rocking motion that can be enjoyed on just about any outdoor surface. If your favorite living room chair is a wooden rocker, we think you'll like this one. GCI did a fine job preserving the virtues of a good rocker in an outdoors-ready product.

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker camping chair - spring-loaded shocks provide a smooth and comfortable rocking...
Spring-loaded shocks provide a smooth and comfortable rocking experience.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Portability


The Freestyle Rocker doesn't compress much for storage. Even less than your typical sports chair, it collapses in the middle, bringing the right and left sides together but keeping the same height and depth as when it's set up. And considering it's one of the heavier chairs we tested at 12.2 pounds, this chair is unlikely to be one you want to carry a mile from the car if you can help it.

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker camping chair - the gci rocker carries just like a suitcase.
The GCI Rocker carries just like a suitcase.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

The Freestyle features a carrying handle on the frame, preventing any need for an extra storage bag. We didn't mind bringing this chair in the car and to events with reasonably close parking, but it isn't our first pick for long-distance carrying.

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker camping chair - no case for this chair - just a handle to carry it wherever you need...
No case for this chair - just a handle to carry it wherever you need it to be.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


The listed capacity of the Freestyle is 250 pounds, which is about the minimum for most camping chairs we've tested. The powder-coated steel frame and ripstop polyester fabric seem fairly durable and held up to our bounce tests with a 220-pound tester. The spring-loaded shocks did become a bit stiff during our testing but are meant to be oiled periodically. Once we did that, they returned to their smooth, quiet movements.

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker camping chair - the powder-coated steel frame and ripstop polyester fabric holds up...
The powder-coated steel frame and ripstop polyester fabric holds up fine, as long as you don't leave this product outside for weeks or months at a time.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

We aren't sure of the longevity of the cup holder under heavy use, as it seems to be rather awkwardly attached to the front of the frame with metal rivets. But we experienced no actual issues with it during our testing. However, after leaving this chair out in the hot sun of a high desert all summer, it became incredibly damaged and frayed without even being used. The fabric and seams literally began falling apart just from sitting in the sunlight — not a great quality for a piece of outdoor furniture. To be fair, this happened under intense sunlight at 5,000 feet in elevation. If you don't keep your chair out on your patio all summer, this will likely be a non-issue.


Ease of Use


The Freestyle has one of the simplest mechanisms for setting up and breaking down. Just pushing the sides away from each other gets this seat ready for rocking, and with a handle on one side, you pull the seat up and collapse it sideways to move on to your next spot. The sturdy steel frame maintains its shape, and a fabric handle on the back allows you to carry your Rocker much like a suitcase.

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker camping chair - hard to mess up those directions!
Hard to mess up those directions!
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Is the fact that this outdoor chair can rock smoothly on pretty much any surface not enough for you? Well, it also includes a cup holder on the front of the frame. This out-of-the-way placement helps you avoid spilling your beverage while gesturing wildly to tell a story. However, it's a fairly large cup holder without much support, so skinny bottles can sit a bit awkwardly. Still, we think this is better than not having a cup holder and leaving your refreshments on the ground.

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker camping chair - the freestyle rocker's cup holder is plenty large - maybe too big?
The Freestyle Rocker's cup holder is plenty large - maybe too big?
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


The Freestyle Rocker brings a lot to the table. We think this easy-to-use, supportive rocking chair is well worth what you'll spend on it, provided you're into it. And as long as you keep it from sitting in direct sunlight for months to be promptly destroyed by UV, we think you'll be quite pleased with your purchase.

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker camping chair - relaxing with a good book and the gci freestyle rocker on a...
Relaxing with a good book and the GCI Freestyle Rocker on a beautiful evening at home..
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Conclusion


We were skeptical about an outdoor rocking chair, but the GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker came as a pleasant surprise. Sure, it's a little gimmicky, but we can't deny that we enjoyed sitting in it. The rocking mechanisms need a little oil from time to time, and it shouldn't be left for months in direct sun, but we are quite impressed with the smooth ride this chair provides. We think this rocking chair is a good blend of comfort, convenience, and simplicity — and all for a pretty reasonable price!

Maggie Nichols
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