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Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury Review

This hammock-like reclinable chair looks dreamy but overall could use some improvements, especially for the price
Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury
Credit: Nemo
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Price:  $250 List | $245.97 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Good recline, sturdy flex frame, packs small, made entirely of breathable mesh
Cons:  Seams are stiff and pokey, poor cupholder design, narrow shoulders
Manufacturer:   Nemo
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 16, 2022
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53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 15
  • Comfort - 40% 4.0
  • Portability - 25% 8.0
  • Durability - 20% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 3.0

Our Verdict

The Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury looks amazing, but we're not sold. The reclining feature is comfortable, the headrest is appreciated, and the fine mesh aids in breathability and helps the chair pack down relatively small for easy transport. However, we found the seams to be full of pokey ends that kept bothering us while we were trying to relax, and the overall shape of this chair is too narrow for broad shoulders. When a newer version of this chair came out, we were hoping some of these issues were addressed. Unfortunately, there are very few substantial updates to the newest version, and we're still left underwhelmed.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $245.97 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$62.73 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$300 List
$300.00 at REI
$50 List
$49.95 at REI
$45 List
$45.00 at REI
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Pros Good recline, sturdy flex frame, packs small, made entirely of breathable meshFits just about anyone, comfortably padded seat, super robust, plenty of storage, simple to useDurable and sturdy design, amazing comfort, quality fabric and materialsComfortable, well-ventilated, stable, great storage, easy to use, good priceEasy to set up, tall angled back, supportive, high seat height, less expensive
Cons Seams are stiff and pokey, poor cupholder design, narrow shouldersFairly large and heavy, holds water, not breathableVery expensive, heavyLow back height, slightly lower seat height, cup holder not ideal for thin beveragesVery tall seat, limited pockets, no locking mechanism, long when packed
Bottom Line This hammock-like reclinable chair looks dreamy but overall could use some improvements, especially for the priceOur favorite among all contenders, this robust chair makes camp lounging a simple and comfortable affairA favorite amongst our group of testers for its superior comfort, sturdy cross-over design, and lasting durabilityIt's tough to complain about this versatile and portable chair, especially considering the priceA tall chair with a simple set up that's easy to use and less expensive to buy
Rating Categories Nemo Stargaze Recli... ALPS Mountaineering... Yeti Trailhead REI Co-op Camp X GCI Outdoor Comfort...
Comfort (40%)
4.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Portability (25%)
8.0
5.0
5.0
7.0
6.0
Durability (20%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
Ease of Use (15%)
3.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Nemo Stargaze Recli... ALPS Mountaineering... Yeti Trailhead REI Co-op Camp X GCI Outdoor Comfort...
Weight 7.7 lbs 14.1 lbs 13.3 lbs 8.0 lbs 8.3 lbs
Weight Capacity 300 lbs 800 lbs 500 lbs 300 lbs 300 lbs
Folded Dimensions (length x width x height) 24" x 7" x 7" 39" x 8" x 8" 43" x 9" x 12" 33" x 7" x 7" 45" x 7" x 5"
Unfolded Dimensions (depth x width x height) 25" x 36" x 45" 24" x 37" x 38" 30" x 25" x 36" 21" x 31" x 31" 25" x 35" x 37"
Seat Height (middle) 12.6" 15" 16.75" 11.5" 15"
Features Swings and reclines, movable headrest, cupholders, and a pocket 2 cup holders, 2 side pockets, storage pocket behind headrest, adjustable armrests Adjustable cup holder, carry bag 1 uniquely shaped cup holder, "stowable" armrest pouch, adjustable armrests Beverage holder, small sleeve pocket

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Stargaze Recliner is a uniquely designed chair that both swings and reclines. Featuring a flexible aircraft aluminum frame with a bacteria-resistant monofilament nylon mesh seat and an adjustable headrest, this chair also packs down into an impressively small case.

Performance Comparison


Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury camping chair - the fully reclining nemo stargaze saves your neck for stargazing and...
The fully reclining Nemo Stargaze saves your neck for stargazing and provides a potential napping space, even if it is a little tricky to setup.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Comfort


The Stargaze Recliner provides a swinging experience similar to that of a hammock chair. The newest version somewhat lowers the user's center of gravity with a curved bar in the middle to bring you closer to the ground — the newest version has a seat height of just 11.5 inches. While the breathable mesh, adjustable headrest, and recline features are all much appreciated, we think some important details are lacking that would help this chair live up to its name.

The headrest is a fantastic idea, and making it moveable is clutch. However, our 5'4" and shorter testers found that they couldn't get the headrest low enough to be comfortable. The padded armrests are nice for some, but they didn't work as well for taller folks. Because of its weirdly C-shaped design, this chair is mostly only comfortable while reclining and not very pleasant for things like sitting up and eating dinner.

Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury camping chair - though the headrest is movable, its range of motion is very limited...
Though the headrest is movable, its range of motion is very limited and our shorter testers don't like it.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Portability


This is one area where the Stargaze shines bright. This chair conveniently breaks down and packs up into a compact storage bag with an adjustable shoulder strap. At 7.9 pounds, it's about average for the chairs we tested and weighs less than a gallon of milk. The carry case has an internal storage pocket for a few small additional items, making transport that much easier. It also has a top loop for an easy grab with one hand.

Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury camping chair - the nemo is easy to sling over your shoulder and take with you.
The Nemo is easy to sling over your shoulder and take with you.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


The flexible aircraft aluminum frame is a bit alarming to watch while anyone is using this chair — it flexes a lot! But it's designed to do so, and in our experience, it works well. Though the chair is rated for 300 pounds, we piled two people totaling around 440 pounds into this chair to push it. With some overloaded violent swinging and bouncing, the Stargaze flexed a lot but suffered no damage. We also left this chair outside in the sun and rain for a couple of months, and after a few weeks, we noticed the trim on our model had become very faded though the mesh seemed to be unphased.

Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury camping chair - we're not sure what benefit the color-coded poles are in the newest...
We're not sure what benefit the color-coded poles are in the newest version, but they provide flexible security for this chair.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Ease of Use


This model does have a bit of a learning curve for quick setup. The frame breaks down into color-coded segments joined with a bungee cord, and the seatback has two small poles that must be removed from the headrest and similarly collapsed. Right out of the bag, these two thin frame poles are challenging to fit into the back of the headrest. After several times setting up this chair, though, we found this to be much easier — not only because we were more practiced but also because the material was better broken in. The new version of this chair also has bungees that hold the back of the chair upright even when it's not in use — the previous version tended to flop over and fold in half every time you got out of it.

Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury camping chair - small bungees hold the back upright in place while you get up to...
Small bungees hold the back upright in place while you get up to grab another book.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

The Stargaze is a bit awkward to roll up and fit easily back into its bag, both because of thick seams in odd places and the fairly giant poles. If the bag was just a little bit longer, you could avoid taking out the back stiffener poles, which would help make everything less awkward. All in all, compared to many simple fold-and-go chairs, this one is significantly more involved to use.

Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury camping chair - it's a very awkward package to try to shove back into a little bag...
It's a very awkward package to try to shove back into a little bag...
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Aside from the whole swinging and reclining thing, the Stargaze has a cup holder and a pocket big enough for a smartphone and then some. We appreciate both of these features but aren't sold on the utility of their locations. Both the cup holder and the pocket are on the sides of the seat, making them challenging to use when seated. While we appreciate the effort put in by Nemo to provide convenient storage, we think the actual utility of these two features is rather lacking.

Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury camping chair - using this cup holder located in the seat is a struggle at best and...
Using this cup holder located IN the seat is a struggle at best and often resulted in us spilling on ourselves.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


Retailing for a pretty staggering price, we struggle to recommend this chair. While we hope that future improvements to this intriguing recliner will make it more comfortable and functional, we're not sure that this latest iteration is worth the price.

Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury camping chair - these bars help lower the center of gravity of the user - though...
These bars help lower the center of gravity of the user - though they certainly don't make it any easier to pack away!
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Conclusion


We are sadly underwhelmed by this interesting recliner. While we think the recline feature and adjustable headrest are solid concepts, the devil is in the details, and we think those are rather lacking in their current form. We hope this expensive option continues to receive improvements that will help us love it more in the future.

Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury camping chair - we wish it came with a footrest, but this cooler does just fine.
We wish it came with a footrest, but this cooler does just fine.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Maggie Nichols
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