Deck Chair Buying Guide

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Deck Chair Buying Guide

The 2003 Australian film, "Danny Deckchair" tells the story of a man who ties balloons to his deck chair and floats away on a romantic adventure. For most people, this is not a sensible or viable activity, but a deck chair can be a comfortable way to spend a few hours in the great outdoors. Deck chairs have their origins in the maritime world, as seating for passengers on ships. Since anything on the deck of a ship needed to be lightweight, portable, and durable at the same time, deckchairs were made of strong wood with a canvas seat.

This design is still followed today, but the deck chair now comes in several other styles, including the popular, and heavier variation, known as the Adirondack chair. Deck chairs are popular as outdoor furniture due to their ability to handle the elements so well. When buying a deck chair, whether it be in a store or online using eBay, there are a few things to consider; mainly style, the materials they are made from, and how they can be cared for properly.

Deck Chair Styles

The classic deck chair is simple and elegant; a lightweight wooden frame that is able to support a canvas seat. A classic deck chair can be folded for easy transport and storage. When the deck chair was originally developed, there was only one way that it could be unfolded, but many modern deck chairs using the classic design will have a series of notches so that the angle of the back can be adjusted. This allows each person to find their own optimum level of comfort. Many classic deck chairs still use canvas, because it can support a great deal of weight and is quite durable, but some use other fabrics. Along with the classic deck chair, there are several other styles available that are often referred to as deck chairs.

Folding Chairs

Folding chairs are often lumped in the same category as deck chairs, although the term is usually applied to folding chairs that have a canvas or cloth back and seat. The difference between one of these folding chairs, and a classic deck chair, is that a classic deck chair has no clear division between seat and back, whereas a folding chair has a bar that differentiates them. While classic deck chairs almost always have a wood frame, folding chairs often have an aluminium frame.

Adirondack Chairs

Adirondack chairs are often called deck chairs, even though their resemblance to the classic deck chair is minimal at best. Adirondack chairs are nearly always made entirely of wood and have their origins traced back to the Adirondack Mountains of the northeastern United States. Adirondack chairs have a seat that slopes downward toward the back, as well as a back made of planks that fan outward as they go up. Like a classic deck chair, an Adirondack chair is designed to be used outdoors.

The solid wood construction of Adirondack chairs is very durable, and many Adirondack chairs are painted with paint that further protects the wood from the elements. When purchasing an Adirondack chair, it is important to ensure that the paint used is a UV resistant type that will keep the chair in prime condition for years. It is also helpful to determine if the chair itself is held together with screws that will not rust, such as those made from stainless steel.

Camp Chairs

Camp chairs function as a sort of spiritual successor to the deck chair. They are lightweight, sturdy, durable, and easily portable, Most camp chairs can be stored in a canvas tube and easily taken anywhere, they can also be step up and folded, in a matter of seconds. Camp chairs usually have an aluminium frame with a canvas seat and back. In many cases, the arms of a camp chair feature a built-in cupholder.

Deck Chair Construction

The original deck chair design was very simple, and part of the reason for this simplicity was because these deck chairs were made with teak. Teak is a kind of hardwood that grows in tropical areas of Asia and the Pacific region. It can be found in many colours, ranging from light brown to a dark reddish colour.

The History and Use of Teak

For centuries, teak was the wood of choice for shipbuilders due to its natural resistance to water. Teak is also very strong and durable; some teak furniture, such as park benches made in 19th century Britain, has lasted for over a century. With so many desirable qualities, it is obvious why teak was used for deck chairs. Today, teak is still used for deck chairs, but there are several other woods, along with aluminium that are used as well. Adirondack chairs in particular make use of many woods such as cedar, cherry, and cypress.

Deck Chair Seating

In the original deck chairs used on ships, a simple strip of canvas, large enough to support the body, was ideal for a seat. Canvas is durable, water resistant, and can support a lot of weight without tearing. Canvas is still a popular option, but today’s canvas is not the same as the canvas used in the early days of deck chairs.

History and Use of Canvas and Polyester

Originally, canvas was made from cotton or linen, and referred to a more specific type of fabric. Today, canvas can refer to any thick, sturdy fabric, even something made out of synthetic materials such as polyester. Polyester fabric and blends made from polyester and other natural fibres are commonly found in today’s deck chairs. Folding deck chairs, in particular make use of polyester and polyester blends. Seats made with a synthetic blend can be as durable as cotton canvas, but the synthetic material may be softer and more comfortable to sit on.

Deck Chair Maintenance

Deck chairs, at least those made of durable wood or aluminium and all-weather fabric, should be able to survive wind, rain, and other inclement weather. The lives of deck chairs can be extended with proper care and maintenance. The fact that most deck chairs can be folded up and easily taken indoors for storage, means that they can be spared the worst of an onslaught of bad weather. There is no reason to keep them outdoors if they take up minimal storage space and are easy to carry.

The big exception here is with Adirondack chairs, which are not capable of being folded up and are much heavier than other chairs. Adirondack chairs and those made of any kind of wood can be treated with oils and protectants in order to keep them for deteriorating. Teak is such a useful wood for furniture and even has a lot of natural oil that helps keep it from taking damage from water, but it was still benefit from the occasional oiling.

Buying Deck Chairs on eBay

Deck chairs in all their varieties can be easily searched for, and purchased, on eBay. Even larger, heavier chairs, such as Adirondack chairs, can be found in abundance and in various colours. The prices for all types of deck chairs may be significantly lower than the prices elsewhere. For all of these reasons, it is worthwhile to use eBay to find the perfect deck chair. A simple search on eBay using the search bar on the home page can bring up a huge selection of deck chairs. The best way to do this is by using a keyword tailored to specific needs.

While a broad term like "deck chair" will bring up everything on eBay that is considered a deck chair, modifying the search term with specific words referring to style, colour, or type of wood can help buyers meet their needs more quickly. Once the ideal deck chair is discovered, eBay has a number of features in place that make purchasing one simple and fast. In a fairly short amount of time, a buyer can be enjoying the outdoors in style and comfort.


A deck chair is an item from history that can still have a lot of relevance in today’s world. Deck chairs were designed to survive a trip on the open sea, and for this reason, can easily handle a summer rainstorm in a backyard garden. Most deckchairs still follow the classic design of a strip of canvas suspended by a wooden frame that serves as a comfortable, sturdy seat. These classic deck chairs are commonly made from teak, a versatile, durable hardwood.

There are also alternatives, not just in terms of the wood that they are made from, but also in terms of style. Deck chair alternatives consist of folding chairs, Adirondack chairs, and camp chairs. Adirondack chairs feature a unique design and, unlike other deck chairs, they are made entirely out of wood. Most other deck chairs have a seat made either of the traditional cotton canvas or more likely, a type of canvas created from a blend of polyester and other fibres. Once a deck chair is purchased, it can last for a long time if it is properly cared for and maintained. Keeping all of this in mind while purchasing a deck chair, will ensure that the purchase is a smooth and effortless one, ending in a great deal of satisfaction.

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