Easy to assemble
Comfortable seat cushions
UV- and fade-resistant fabric
Gap between table planks and frame
Odd chair and table heights
Table leg screws don’t line up well
Finding the perfect outdoor dining set requires a bit of research. There are thousands of options on the market, so you really have to whittle down the list to find the one that best suits your needs. If you regularly host friends or family, you’ll have to consider the number of seats a table has. If you live somewhere that’s subject to rain, snow, or even unwavering sunshine, you’ll also have to consider the set’s durability. In our search for the ideal set, we came across the Wade Logan Castelli Sunbrella Dining Set. The nine-piece set is built from UV- and fade-resistant wicker that’s designed to withstand harsh weather. To see if it really delivered on its promises, we picked one up and tested it at our home just east of Tacoma, Washington.
Setup Process: Quick and easy
Setting up the Castelli Dining Set is fairly easy. The table and eight chairs arrived straight to our doorstep in two boxes. Since the table itself weighs nearly 100 pounds and each chair is 12.5 pounds, we used a dolly to move the boxes to the back patio where we’d be placing the set. The chairs came fully assembled, so once we moved them, all we had to do was pull them out of the box, unwrap them, and attach the cushions.
The part that does require minor assembly is the table. Both the tabletop and legs were encased in cardboard inside one of the boxes for extra protection. The set comes with eight bolts, eight washers, and one Allen wrench. Once we got everything unwrapped and found the directions, we were happy to see there wasn’t much to it. We did have issues lining up the holes of the table with the holes on the legs, though; the legs are labeled 1, 2, 3, and 4, and each needs to be attached to the corresponding corner of the table. It did take a bit of wiggling to get the holes lined up, but in total it only took 10 to 15 minutes to assemble the table and 5 to 10 minutes to attach the cushions to the chairs.
Design: High-end but has its caveats
This wicker set has a casual look and feel that we love. We went with charcoal, and the cool two-toned gray has great depth that doesn’t look like plastic. While the table and chairs aren't made of natural wicker, the high-density polyethylene resin looks high quality and it’s designed to be UV- and fade-resistant.
As far as additional weatherproofing goes, the acrylic cushions are also covered in Sunbrella, a a rugged fabric that was specifically engineered for outdoor use. The covers are attached to the cushions with Velcro, so they can easily be removed and replaced once they wear out. When it comes to washing the fabric, you can spot clean the cushions with non-toxic soap and water.
We went with the charcoal option and the two-toned gray has great depth.
While the set looks great, we did find a couple of issues with its design. First, there’s a slight gap between the wicker table frame and the faux-wood boards which comprise the tabletop. The space is large enough that if food falls in, it can be hard to get out. You have to take a knife or some other narrow instrument to push it out the side. The rest of the table is easy to clean, though. We used this set with four children, and when they made a mess, we were able to hose down the entire thing.
The other issue we encountered had to do with the height of the table and chairs. Depending on how you choose to look at it, the table is either too tall and the chairs too short, or the chairs are too short and the table too tall. Our group of adult testers ranged from 5 feet, 5 inches to 6 feet even, and each of us found the ratio to be a bit off. The table stands 30 inches high while the seats stand 19 inches high. We think the large gap is to accommodate the two chairs at the head of the table which have arms, but this left a pretty big gap for the armless chairs on the side. Did that make it difficult to use the table? No. But if we were to pinpoint one issue when it came to the set’s comfort, this would be it.
Durability: Solid tabletop, questionable wicker
We don’t have many concerns about the durability of this dining set. As we noted earlier, the table is heavy and sturdy and while the boards of the tabletop are plastic, not real wood, they’re very high quality. Since our table is placed on a covered patio, we also don’t have to worry about the wear and tear caused by constant rain or sun exposure.
The chairs are another matter, however. If you read any other reviews, you’ll notice repeated reports of the wicker breaking after a year or two of use. We’re also concerned about the bottoms of the chair legs as they’re outfitted with plastic pads that seem like they won’t last long in an outdoor environment.
The high-performance plastic build is quite heavy, so you won’t find it tipped over after a bout of heavy wind.
We set up the table and chairs on a patio that has aggregate. The rough patio surface could chew through the plastic pads pretty quickly and once it does, we're concerned that it will rip through the wicker as well. For now, we're reminding everyone to pick up the chairs and push them back in rather than sliding them.
Size: Enough for family and friends
The table is 43 inches wide and 83 inches long. It provided more than enough space for eight people with enough room for food in the middle. We used a traditional place setting with dinner plates, cups, and silverware and had no issues. Better yet, no one bumped elbows—even on the long sides where three people were seated side by side. The seats are also a good width—22 inches, to be specific—and can hold 300 pounds each.
No one bumped elbows—even on the long sides where three people were seated side by side.
Price: Get ready to pay
You get what you pay for with the Castelli 9-Piece Dining Set. It's beautiful, well made, and available in an array of colors. All that said, it is a major investment at just under $2,000. If you're not ready to make this large of an investment in your outdoor set-up, there are less-expensive wicker sets, you may just have to sacrifice a few seats.
Competition: Competitive prices, different designs
RST Brands Deco 9-Piece Patio Dining Set: RST Brands’ 9-piece set (view on Home Depot) is comparable in price, size, and design. While it is slightly narrower, it has thicker cushions and is recyclable when you’re done using it. The major difference here is that RST’s option comes with brown wicker, as opposed to Castelli’s gray, but it also offers its Sunbrella cushions in an array of colors from gingko green and cantina red to spa blue and maxim beige.
Amazonia Arizona 9-Piece Outdoor Dining Set: Rectangular wicker tables aren’t everyone’s style. If you prefer a different look and feel, try this eucalyptus set on for size. The set still seats eight people, but there’s not as much maintenance since it’s cushion-free. The Amazonia Arizona set (view on Amazon) also has a slightly lower price tag at $1,695.
- Product Name Castelli 9-Piece Sunbrella Dining Set
- Product Brand Wade Logan
- UPC 68019634680
- Price $1,899.99
- Color Gingko green, maxin beige, tikka orange, Moroccan cream, charcoal, sunset red, navy, spa blue, yellow bliss blue, slate, royal blue, stone grey
- Table Dimensions 85 x 43 x 30 in.
- Chair Dimensions 30 x 22 in.
- Table Weight 98 lbs.
- Chair Weight 12.5 lbs. each
- Table Material Plastic, resin wicker, rattan
- Seating Capacity 8 people
- What's Included Table, 8 chairs, 8 seat cushions
- Warranty 1 year