Padded, comfortable seat
Unique design touches
No built-in cupholder or table
Padded fabric is not waterproof
We purchased Lafuma's Futura Air Comfort Zero Gravity Chair so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
Lafuma is a French outdoors brand that sells a range of outdoor clothing, footwear, packs and furniture. To see if their zero-gravity chair delivered comfort and quality on par with its high price tag, I tested it over several weeks at my home and on the road. I assessed the chair’s comfort, durability and portability, as well as its aesthetics. Read on for my insights.
Design: Luxury recliner in this category
The price is probably the most prominent feature of this product since it’s about three times the cost of most of its competitors. At about $300, this is the high end of the product segment, so my expectations were high for this chair.
The zero-gravity category has a lot of lower-cost options that all look and operate pretty much the same. This offering from Lafuma stands out and should appeal to those who like zero-gravity chairs but want a design that’s more than a glorified folding deck chair.
A patented design that you won’t see on any other zero-gravity chairs is its suspension system. Lafuma claims that its elastomere clip system provides a firmer support system than the cable and gusset systems on most cheaper chairs. It also allows the fabric and pad to be removed for easier cleaning, a feature I haven’t seen on any other chairs. I found the chair very firm and supportive, but it was difficult to tell if that was because of the clip system or the type of padding.
I tested an attractive solid-colored Coral Blue chair that really popped. There are muted black and taupe options if you’re hoping the chair will be less conspicuous. Despite the price tag, this still looks pretty much like deck furniture with its mix of black plastic and HLE (high-limit elastic) steel with black powder coating. It’s far from the chintzy aluminum and woven polyester folding chairs that were standard in 80s cookouts, but despite the manufacturers’ suggestion to use it “inside by the fireplace,” it is not fine furniture.
Comfort: Plush-yet-firm padded support
The Lafuma chair delivers comfort unlike most of the chairs in this category, thanks to its serious cushioning. It has 3-layer cushioning; the exterior is a Batyline fabric that is designed to resist UV damage and fading, mold and mildew, water and weather, extreme temperatures, and stretching. After a couple of weeks of testing, it didn’t suffer any fading and wasn’t affected by a range of temperatures from below freezing to the high 60s.
My biggest complaint about the padding is that it isn’t waterproof. It purports to be quick-drying (and my testing bore that out after a light rain), it isn’t like unpadded deck furniture that can simply be wiped off and used immediately.
The armrests are hard plastic and given how plush the seat is, the chair feels like it is missing padding on the armrests for longer periods resting in the chair.
The adjustable pillow is made of the same material as the rest of the padding and is equally comfortable. Given how substantial the padding is, you probably could live without the pillow, but I have to admit it was nice to have and made this chair extremely nap-ready.
Another thing that felt the chair was missing was a cupholder or side tray. Even the cheapest zero-gravity chairs seem to include a plastic tray of some sort. At this price, I would have expected Lafuma to include one. One is available but considering it’s only $15 and this chair is one of the most expensive in its class, this feels a bit like a Rolls Royce not coming with a rearview mirror.
Portability: Consider the add-on case
This Lafuma chair isn’t the heaviest and the frame is lightweight-yet-strong. However, at nearly 20 pounds, it’s still not something you’d take hiking with you. At most, this is a solid car camping option or a great deck chair that you can use in the warmer months, then stow away after patio season.
Lafuma separately sells a handy and stylish-looking travel case that I wish they’d simply include with their chairs. Like most zero-gravity chairs, the Lafuma chair is just a bit too large and awkward to carry easily without a case or handle. The chair can unfold if held wrong, and given its weight, it made me wish it had a carrying handle or longer arms to lug it around easily.
Price will be the biggest hang-up for most when considering this chair. While extremely comfortable and well-designed and fitted with an extended manufacturer warranty, $300 will likely be more than many are willing to pay for one deck/camping chair.
Lafuma AirComfort Zero Gravity Chair vs. Phi Villa XL Padded Zero Gravity Chair
If you want a soft, comfortable zero-G chair but can’t stomach the price tag on the Lafuma, consider the padded zero gravity chair from Phi Villa that lands comfortably in the middle ground between cheapo chairs and the expensive Lafuma.
You’ll get some padding on the fabric (also not waterproof and can get waterlogged), but at a third of the price. This Phi Villa offering is also a bit wider than the Lafuma chair, though it’s also a tad heavier if you intend to take the chair on the road.
- Product Name Air Comfort Zero Gravity Chair
- Product Brand Lafuma
- MPN LFM3120-6893
- Price $330.00
- Weight 18.5 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 29.95 x 44.49 x 32.68 in.
- Materials HLE steel, batyline fabric, plastic
- Warranty 5-year limited