The NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair is the first-ever swinging and reclining camp chair that's designed for stability, comfort, and (somewhat surprisingly) compactness in mind.
At 6.31 lb / 2.863 kg, it's not a backpacking chair (unless you are willing to sacrifice pack comfort for at-camp comfort), but it's a fantastic chair for any activity that doesn't require you to carry it for hours through the wilderness.
The Stargaze (not Stargazer) may look intimidating (or silly), but it's surprisingly simple to set up and anyone offering grief based on its looks will quickly be changing their minds once they're seated in it.
I first used the NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair on a month-long trip rafting the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. It was subjected to near-daily exposure to water, endless amounts of sand and wind, and a heavy rotation of campers claiming it as their own in the group's chair circle around the wood-burning stove.
- Weight: 6 lb 5 oz / 2.863 kg
- Unfolded Dimensions (in): 45.5 x 36 x 25.5
- Unfolded Dimensions (cm): 116 x 92 x 65
- Folded Dimensions (in): 7 x 24
- Folded Dimensions (cm): 18 x 61
- Weight Capacity: 300 lb / 136 kg
- Seat Material: Water-resistant nylon mesh
- Frame Material: Aluminum
- Cup Holders: 2
- Size: One size
- Colors: Oxide, Fortress/Goldfinch, Plasma Fractus, Sedona/Smoke, Twilight/Smoke, Graphite/Smoke, Field
- MSRP: $250
The Comfort: The NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair does an excellent job completing what should be a priority for any chair, being comfortable. The swinging, the reclining, and the stability (more on this below) all help to make the Stargaze arguably the most comfortable camping chair on the market. The way the chair comes up around you when you sit down almost makes it feel like it's hugging you – but not too tight of a hug. Honestly, it's far more comfortable than I imagined it would be when I first looked at it. On my Grand Canyon trip, it quickly became the most popular chair in the fire circle.
The Rocking: The Stargaze is marketed as a luxury recliner, but it also hangs – and rocks. I was worried that the rocking would be too much and that I would hate it, but it's quite glorious. Now, when I sit in a non-rocking chair I feel as though I'm trapped in a fixed position. The rocking has ruined me and now I need it always. And as long as I've mentioned reclining, the reclining is also incredibly simple and comfortable to pull off.
The Stability: Part of what contributes to the comfort of the Stargaze is the fact that it's so stable – even on uneven or loose ground. The four feet inspire confidence lacking in many camping chairs (the sort, like the Stargaze, with poles that need to be assembled). I've rocked fairly aggressively in the Stargaze and have yet to get anywhere close to tipping myself over. The one downside? You can't (or at least you shouldn't) stand on it (as is true for the majority of camping chairs).
The Cup Holders: The NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair has two cup holders – but I guess technically one? There's one that's obviously a cup holder at the front left of the chair. There's another, what NEMO describes as a pocket, on the interior right side of the chair. Apparently, it's a “media pocket”. It fits a can, but you wouldn't want to leave an open can in there. NEMO suggests using it for something like your phone or book – although it does kind of press up against you when you sit in the chair. Personally, I would love a second cup holder that's the same as the other one.
The Set-Up: The Stargaze can be a bit tricky to set up at first, but it's also incredibly simple once you understand how to do it. It's essentially three steps. Step 1, assemble the (attached) poles that make up the base – they snap together the way that tent poles do. Step 2, attach the chair to the poles with the two grommets at the top of either arm (they're even labeled “top” so you know which way it goes). Step 3, assemble two more small poles and insert them in the sleeves at the back of the chair to give the back structure. For how crazy the chair looks when set up (or in its bag), it's a lot easier to set up than it looks.
The Sitting Down/Standing Up: The one thing you'll need to be careful with when using the Stargaze is sitting down in it and standing up from it. Since it rocks, if your butt is positioned too far forward on the seat when you go in for a landing, you risk swinging the seat back and missing it. Getting up can prove tricky, too. Fortunately, there are two rigid bars – one on either side – that tell you exactly what you need to do, “HOLD HERE TO SIT AND STAND”.
The Storage Bag: My least favorite thing about the NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair is packing it up. The breakdown goes smoothly, but things get a little frustrating when putting the chair back into its carrying case. I love the chair once it's put away, but getting it into the case (and getting the case zipped up) can sometimes be a challenge.
The Price: If you're wondering why the NEMO Stargaze has the word “luxury” in its name, it's probably to help justify the price. At $250, it's among the most expensive outdoors/camping chairs out there. Honestly, it might make a suitable piece of indoor furniture as well depending on your aesthetic – it would be a shame to only use the chair once or twice a year.
The Name: For the first few months I used the Stargaze, I mistakenly called it the Stargazer. I was recently informed that the name of the chair is the Stargaze – no ‘r'. That said, I think Stargazer is a far superior name. “Hey friends, where's my Stargaze?” just doesn't sound as good as, “Hey friends, where's my Stargazer?” Honestly, I think they should change the name. Let me know if you agree.
Who is it for?
The NEMO Stargaze is not a backpacking chair. However, it is a chair for any outdoor pursuit where weight does not impede your bringing a piece of equipment along.
As I stated above, I used this on a Grand Canyon rafting trip and it served me well – even when all the poles that keep it together got filled with water and sand; I should probably give it a good wipedown.
For hanging out at camp (near a vehicle), sitting at the beach, rafting a river, or even on the deck of your friend's family's vacation house, it's an awesome piece of furniture (I feel it's sophisticated – and expensive – enough to be deserving of the title of furniture).
|NEMO Stargaze Recliner||6 lb 5 oz / 2.86 kg||$250||300 lb / 136 kg||2||Swings & reclines|
|YETI Trailhead Chair||13 lb / 5.9 kg||$300||500 lb / 227 kg||1||Long when packed|
|Helinox Sunset Chair||3 lb 4.8 oz / 1.5 kg||$170||320 lb / 145 kg||0|
|Snow Peak Low Beach Chair||8 lb / 3.63 kg||$170||220 lb / 100 kg||0||Bamboo arms|
|GCI Outdoor Freeform Zero Gravity Lounger||20 lb / 9.07 kg||$125||300 lb / 136 kg||0||Reclines|
|REI Co-op Camp X Chair||7 lb 3 oz / 3.26 kg||$50||300 lb / 136 kg||1||Drop-down pocket|
|Kelty Lowdown Chair||7 lb 6 oz / 3.35 kg||$75||350 lb / 136 kg||1||Adjustable armrests|
|Big Agnes Big Six Camp Chair||3 lb 3 oz / 1.45 kg||$150||300 lb / 136 kg||0|
|Lafuma Futura XL Recliner||23 lb / 10.4 kg||$309||310 lb / 140 kg||0||Reclines|
|Eureka Tagalong Highback Chair||4 lb 2.4 oz / 1.88 kg||$185||265 lb / 120 kg||1||Pocket underneath|
|Eagles Nest Outfitters Lounger DL||4 lb 10 oz / 2.1 kg||$125||250 lb / 133 kg||0|
I love the NEMO Stargaze.
Is it made for backpacking? No. If you take it backpacking, you'll hate it.
Is it made for car camping, river trips, and watching your friend's soccer game? Yes. Will people look at you funny when you first set it up and then be skeptical about sitting in it? Yes. Will they love it once they sit in it? Yes.
Questions, comments, or personal experience with the NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair? Leave a comment below and let me know! Check out the NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair here.
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