A Guide to Buying the Best Adirondack Chairs

folding adirondack chair white poly furniture

Adirondack Chair Buying Guide

The adirondack chair is a quintessential outdoor staple. No matter what part of the US you live or what outdoor space you’re designing, an adirondack chair is the perfect furniture choice. 

But choosing the best adirondack chairs can be a little bit like choosing white paint. Sure, they all seem similar, but as you start looking closely you’ll notice a number of differences. Knowing exactly what factors you need to consider makes it easier to save time and narrow your search.

Common Adirondack Chair Features

  • Reclined back
  • Low seat
  • Contoured back and seats
  • Arm rests
  • Wide and roomy seating

Although there are common adirondack chair features, there are also large differences in material, color, size, and style. Those 4 core components are what differentiate quality adirondack chairs, like Phat Tommy, from other competitors. 

How to Choose the Best Adirondack Chair

The material, color, size, and style of an adirondack chair can impact its functionality, longevity, and appearance.  

1. Choosing the Best Adirondack Chair Material




Traditional wood

  • Many color options if painted
  • Accessible to purchase
  • Requires more maintenance
  • Rots and fades in outdoor weather conditions


  • Weather resistant
  • Insect resistant
  • Durable and difficult to damage
  • High maintenance and requires regular treatment
  • Costly
  • Not as durable as poly
  • Fewer color options

Poly Lumber

  • Low maintenance
  • Available in several colors and styles
  • Extremely durable
  • Weather resistant & sturdy
  • Foldable
  • Can be more expensive


  • Very affordable
  • Variety of color options
  • Accessible to purchase
  • Poor durability
  • Quickly fade and crack
  • Blows away in the wind

When you’re choosing the material for your adirondack chairs, you also want to consider the weight capacity of each. Some materials, such as plastic, may cap out at 250 pounds, while others like poly lumber can safely support up to 450 pounds. A higher weight limit is especially important for chairs that will be frequently used by a large number of people.

What’s our top tip when it comes to choosing the material for your folding adirondack chair?

Choose a material that’s easy to maintain over the long haul.

The last thing you want is to spend hours of your Saturday cleaning and treating your adirondack chairs. When it comes to maintaining your outdoor furniture, less is more. Materials that need to be treated, resealed, or repainted on a regular basis will end up eating away at your free time or not being used much because you just don’t have the time to keep them in good condition.

Poly outdoor furniture is the easiest material to maintain. Most of the time you can remove any grime with soapy water and sponge. Even in the most extreme cases, a quick rinse with the power washer is all it takes to return your furniture to its original sparkling state (If using a pressure washer, be sure to maintain at least 3 ft distance). Our poly is guaranteed to remain in top condition for 10 years so you can enjoy summer after summer in your adirondack chairs!

In fact, poly adirondack chairs are the strongest material on the market - they can even take on the moose!

Poly outdoor furniture is built for all weather conditions

The poly planks are non-porous, so they can take on any environment without breaking down. Compared to wood or aluminum patio furniture, poly resin is the most resistant to water and the elements - making our furniture an excellent option for poolside furniture.

  • Poly furniture resists fading in hot direct sunlight
  • No covers or storage needed
  • Resists fading, splitting, or cracking
  • Stainless steel fasteners
  • Unlike metal that gets too hot in the sun, poly lumber is comfortable even in hot summer months

poly adirondack chairs poolside furniture

Poly is the best material for poolside furniture due to it's durability and resistance to all weather conditions

2. Adirondack Chair Colors

The color options of your adirondack chairs will be entirely dependent on what material you choose. Natural wood chairs will have a treated wood finish. Though rare, aluminum chairs will also have limited color options. 

Plastic, poly lumber, and painted wood chairs will typically be available in a variety of colors and finishes. Our poly adirondack chairs come in 10 classic colors.

  • Weatherwood
  • White
  • Teal
  • Grey
  • Brown 
  • Black 
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Cranberry red
  • Dark red

poly adirondack chair color ideasPhat Tommy's poly adirondack chairs are fade-resistant - UV inhibitors prevent fading in direct sunlight; remains beautiful year after year.

Although plastic and painted wood chairs may also come in several color options, these materials often require more effort to maintain the color. Plastic chairs will likely need to be stored or covered in order to prevent fading in the sun. Painted chairs may need touch ups every year or two as the sun, rain, and extreme weather conditions take their toll. Our poly lumber won’t crack, rot, or lose its color even after years outside. 

For more color ideas and inspiration, check out our comprehensive guide to adirondack chair color ideas!

3. Adirondack Chair Size 

Most adirondack chairs have a seat height between 12 to 16 inches, with an overall height between 36 to 42 inches. The low to the ground design of these chairs make them perfect for relaxing, but the low seat can also be difficult to get in and out of, especially for people with mobility issues. (If you're in search of a patio chair with a slightly more raised seat and more upright chair back, consider our new fire pit chairs - similar look, but easier to get in and out)

Additionally, if you want to enjoy the classic design of an adirondack chair but need a taller option, you may choose to opt for a bar height chair. Our tall adirondack chair has a seat height of 28 inches, more than twice as high as our classic adirondack. Not only can it be easier to get in and out of, but the taller height helps preserve the view if you’re placing these chairs on your deck or balcony. 

Phat Tommy's folding adirondack chair dimensions: 

  • 43 lbs. - light enough to move around your patio but won't blow away in the wind
  • Folding for easy storage
  • 450 lb. weight capacity

folding adirondack chair poly furniture outdoor patio tan assembled composite resin plastic heavy

Folding adirondack chairs ship assembled!

4. Adirondack Chair Design

Adirondack chairs are their own style, so when you consider how you want your chairs to look, the devil is in the details. Here are a few factors to consider—

  • Do you want a classic arched back or are you going for a more modern look?
  • How wide are the armrests? Thin or narrow armrests aren’t going to be as comfortable.
  • Would you prefer a folding adirondack chair to maximize storage space? 

Key Differentiators of Phat Tommy's Poly Adirondack Chair Design

  1. Foldable design for easy storage and transportation
  2. Ships assembled - simply open, unfold, and enjoy
  3. Comfortable contoured back
  4. Wide arm rests for food and drink
  5. Wood look style but with a more comfortable and smooth finish

folding adirondack chairs

Pair folding adirondack chairs with a poly coffee table to create an all weather conversations set

Maximize Use of Your Adirondack Chair

Now that you’ve invested time and effort into choosing the ideal adirondack chair, you’re ready to invest your money. To fully enjoy your chair, you may want to consider adding complementary pieces.

While an adirondack chair is already a relaxing piece of furniture, it’s easy to add a few key pieces of furniture to create a luxurious set-up that you absolutely love. With an adirondack chair footrest you can stretch out and recline for maximum comfort. Our ottoman footrest is available in the same 10 colors as our chairs to pair perfectly with your adirondack chair.

If you plan on spending a lot of time on your furniture, we recommend incorporating some sort of accent or side table. The poly coffee table (shown above) is designed to pair with our adirondack chairs, providing you with a safe spot to set your drink or book when it’s not in your hand. A table also makes it easier for friends and family to gather together for a game or meal in your adirondack chairs.

Adirondack Chair Alternatives

What if an adirondack chair just isn’t for you? If you need a slightly more supportive seat or something that allows you to move, here are a few options you might consider.

Fire Pit Chair

We love the look of adirondack chairs gathered around a firepit, but sometimes you need something just a little different. Our fire pit chair sits slightly higher than our adirondack chairs and offers a roomy seat and contoured seat back— ideal for anyone who needs just a little bit more support in a chair. Viewed as a adirondack chair alternative, our fire pit chair is our pick as the best adirondack chair for fire pits

Swivel Glider

If there was one chair to rule them all, it would be this one. A swivel glider chair moves in all directions to allow for easy conversation among friends and a 360 view of your surroundings. 

Outdoor Rocking Chair

When it comes to quintessential outdoor furniture, rocking chairs are a close second to adirondack chairs. The smooth rocking motion of our outdoor poly rocking chair makes it the perfect spot to relax and enjoy just a touch of movement while you sit.