James StanburySee other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury
The best sun lounger we've tested is the Kampa Opulence Amalfi – and our expert is on hand to explain why this superb all-rounder is the winner
If you're looking for the best sun loungers for caravan holidays, you've come to the right place. We've assessed a batch of likely looking reclining chairs, giving them marks for a range of attributes.
We checked the levels of comfort in semi-reclined positions for reading and sunbathing, as well as lying flat out. We found that it's much easier to get on and off a recliner chair, when its in the upright position, than a traditional flat sun lounger. What's more, many recliners have comfy padding and contoured shapes designed to support your back in all the right places.
A new development in the world of camping chairs is the two-part recliner chair and footstool. Available to buy separately, these two clip or fit neatly together, aiming to deliver the best of all worlds. In the best case this gives you a comfy camping chair that you can use for sitting up at a table to eat, as well as a recliner for total relaxation – and somewhere comfy to put your feet. So, potentially you could now take just one unit away instead of two.
We appraised the overall comfort levels of each chair, in all its various modes, and checked the maximum load weights. Generally this tends to be between 100 and 120kg (in other words, some go up to 15 stone 7lbs and others 19 stones) as a maximum weight limit. There are some reclining chairs that will support heavier people, up to 150kg (almost 24 stone). It's handy to have that extra strength in a chair, whatever your own weight, just in case you need it when friends pop in.
We considered the overall weight and packed-down size of the sun loungers and recliners we tested, too. We know how precious your storage space can be in a caravan and we also don't want to overload your payload unnnecessarily! Most of the chairs have aluminium frames, but there's still quite a variation in the weights and dimensions.
We looked at armrests and reclining positions, checking how easy it is to get in and out of the chairs. And of course we sat up and took note if there were any bonus features like headrests, lumbar support padding and somewhere to put a cuppa or a glass of wine.
Value for money is always on our minds when testing camping accessories for caravanning and we have taken the costs of both chair and footstool into consideration, where they're intended to be used together.
We've compared the Westfield Avantgarde Noblesse Chair, £104.99, with Breeze Stool, £34.99, to the Kampa Comfort Tuscany Chair, £35, and matching stool £19.99 and the Outwell Melville Chair and Dauphin Footstool, costing £59.99 for the chair plus £17.99 for the stool.
No group test of sun loungers would be complete without traditional styles such as the Argos Folding Sun Lounger, £19.99. For more padded comfort, how about the Kampa Verona Indulgence Deluxe, £105, the Quest Elite Ragley Sage Stepless Relaxer, £69.99 and the Kampa Opulence Amalfi, £74.99?
In this review we'll focus on the Kampa Opulence Amalfi, which is a cheaper alternative to Kampa’s Verona Indulgence, and comes from Kampa itself; it also retains enough of the aspects we love about the Verona to make it a better option than Quest’s very similar Ragley.
From a comfort perspective the Kampa Opulence Amalfi and the Quest Ragley are neck and neck, and both benefit from having step-less reclining mechanisms and bungee-cord fabric retention.
But the Kampa Opulence Amalfi chair has a maximum load rating of 150kg, smart wooden capping on the arms, and a useful clip-on table and cupholder. The Textilene fabric is waterproof, too.
This comfy and relaxing chair has contoured wooden armrests, comes with a detachable tray for your drinks and reclines to a fully laid-back position. It weighs 8.8kg and packs down to a folded size of 91cm x 67cm x 13.5cm. The adjustable headrest slides on a track, so it should fit people of differing heights.
|Size when folded||91cm x 67cm x 13.5cm|
|Suspension||Bungee cord system|
|Seat fabric||Heavy duty waterproof Textilene fabric|
|Adjustable headrest||Slides on track, not elastic|
|Maximum load capacity||150kg|
|Kampa's product reference no||FT0238|
The superb Kampa Opulence Amalfi contains all the desirable features boasted by more expensive reclining camping chairs, in a terrific value-for-money package.
We've given the Kampa Opulence Amalfi a five-star rating and crowned it our overall winner in 2016!
- Adjustable headrest
- Comfortable padding
- Reclines fully
- Has a drinks tray
- At 8.8kg it's heavier than very basic sun loungers