Multi-position locking mechanism
Includes cupholder table
Height limit of 6 feet, 2 inches
Padded fabric that is not waterproof
Heavy and awkward for carrying
We purchased Phi Villa's Padded Folding Zero Gravity Chair so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
Phi Villa is a consumer goods brand that specializes in selling patio and outdoor living products through Amazon, Wayfair, and other online retailers. To see if their oversized zero-gravity chair delivered weightless comfort, 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 to see how it performed.
Design: Padded version of a zero-G recliner
There are a lot of lower-cost zero-gravity chairs on the market, but this Phi Villa model sets itself apart by being one of the few with padded cushioning to make it comfier for longer rests outside. There are also some small touches such as the dual-color fabric design and wood armrest that make it feel more upscale than Phi Villa’s lower-priced competition.
The chair tested was the larger “XL” model, so while the build feels solid without being bulky or too heavy (it weighs about 25 pounds). It is a good 10 pounds heavier than some of the smaller, cheaper options in this product category. The frame is heavy-duty steel tubing which permits loads up to 350 pounds and helps it feel a bit more like furniture than a camp chair.
I tested the Phi Villa XL chair in blue, but it’s also available in red, aqua, gray, and even hunter camouflage. All of the fabric color choices are two-tone, with a black stripe down the center of the fabric breaking up the color. This design touch makes the chair feel classier, but it is not fully elevated into fancy furniture territory. It’s still a folding deck chair and the fabric is reminiscent of automotive seat coverings.
This chair works well on a deck or around a campground, though it’s likely limited to car camping since the weight makes it only practical for carrying short distances. Some online reviewers said they used the chair indoors for back pain relief, but you’d likely want to fold it up and store it away when not in use since it doesn’t look like indoor furniture.
A molded plastic tray clips below the armrest on either side and has one cup holder that is about right for a standard can or bottle. It was a tad small for most of my reusable mugs and cups.
A drawback with a padded fabric cushion versus a more traditional water-shedding rattan or similar outdoor fabric is that the cushion can get wet. This might be a trade-off you’re willing to make, but it means you have to stow the chair away when not in use or wait for it to dry out if it gets wet. The tested chair only experienced minor rain, so I can’t speak to how long the padding takes to dry. However, not being waterproof, it may be a dealbreaker for some.
Comfort: Good range of motion and locking mechanism
The Phi Villa chair delivers on comfort thanks to its larger length and width. I am 6 feet tall and found the length to be perfect. The combination of the width and padded fabric with the headrest pillow made this a super-comfortable chair to kick back in.
One gripe that popped up in online reviews is the chair’s length for accommodating taller people. Despite the chair being an oversized model, I feel if I were any taller, my feet would overhang the footrest. The footrest would dig into the back of my leg above the ankle. The product description says it is designed for people up to 6 feet, 2 inches. That covers a large swath of the population, but it leaves taller folks requiring a different chair.
The wooden armrests are a nice touch. They aren’t padded, but the polished wood is much nicer to the touch than the hard plastic offered on cheaper models. They also add a touch of class to the chair, which makes it feel less like a cheap folding chair.
The slide-on pillow is low-profile and is easy to adjust by sliding up and down along the frame. For a footrest, it’s made from the bottom of the steel tubing that makes up the chair’s frame. It has a small casing that makes it less slippery, but it’s not padded and not comfortable for much taller users who plan on using it for an extended period.
Portability: Heavy and awkward while toting
At 24.9 pounds, the chair isn’t too heavy to carry around short distances, but like many of the zero-gravity chairs in this category, there isn’t a built-in handle to make it any easier. The larger sizing makes it awkward to get a hold of even though there are openings in the fabric where you can grab the frame. Also, because it’s a folding chair, you have to be aware of the possibility of it unfolding if you don’t hold it right.
If the manufacturer included a carrying case or a small fabric handle, it could help people understand the best way to carry it.
The frame is heavy-duty steel tubing which permits loads up to 350 pounds and helps it feel a bit more like furniture than a camp chair.
Additionally, the included cupholder table doesn’t have a set storage location. While you can place it on the seat and fold it up inside the chair for transport, it falls out easily if you don’t carry the chair the right way. It would be nice if it had some kind of stowaway compartment to keep the tray attached to the chair during transport.
Many folks will likely use this chair on a deck and won’t care about its portability, but for those who do, this shortcoming while traveling is noteworthy.
Price: Middle of the road
At around $100, the Phi Villa XL chair isn’t the cheapest on the market and you’re paying a bit more for the padded seating and XL sizing. If you don’t value the extra space or the cushioning, there are cheaper options. But if you’re looking for a slightly more refined look and a little extra comfort, then this is a reasonable price point.
Phi Villa XL Zero Gravity Chair vs. Goplus Folding Zero Gravity Chair
If you aren’t sure about spending $100 on a folding deck chair, you can try out a zero-gravity chair for less with the Goplus model. The two things you will miss out on are the padding and its length; the Goplus is even shorter than the Phi Villa, so it is not suitable for above-average height loungers. But the cost (around $50) is easier to stomach if you aren’t sure if zero-G is right for you.
- Product Name Oversized Padded Zero Gravity Chair
- Product Brand Phi Villa
- MPN PVLA1054
- Price $114.99
- Weight 24.9 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 29.14 x 35.43 x 44.88 in.
- Color blue, red, aqua, gray, and hunter camouflage
- Materials Plastic, steel, wood