Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury Review
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Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury
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$79.99 at Amazon
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|Pros||Good recline, sturdy flex frame, packs small, made entirely of breathable mesh||Fits just about anyone, comfortably padded seat, super robust, plenty of storage, simple to use||Durable and sturdy design, amazing comfort, quality fabric and materials||Comfortable, well-ventilated, stable, great storage, easy to use||Easy to set up, tall angled back, supportive, high seat height, less expensive|
|Cons||Seams are stiff and pokey, poor cupholder design, narrow shoulders||Fairly large and heavy, holds water, not breathable||Very expensive, heavy||Low back height, slightly lower seat height, cup holder not ideal for thin beverages||Very 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 price||Our favorite among all contenders, this robust chair makes camp lounging a simple and comfortable affair||A favorite amongst our group of testers for its superior comfort, sturdy cross-over design, and lasting durability||A solid and affordable option for carrying your camp seating longer distances||A 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...|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|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
Since our test period, Nemo updated this chair with a new pole configuration that is designed to be more intuitive and facilitate easier setup. The new chair is also revised to accommodate broader shoulders and provide more elbow room, and the padded headrest is larger. It's also offered in some fun new colors, like the aqua pictured above on the right. We're linking to the updated chair, but since we haven't tried it out yet, our review text still references the previous model.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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