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Field Tested: Nemo Stargaze Luxury Recliner

As ridiculous as it sounds, camp chairs are a hotly debated subject these days. Everyone has their preference, and whether it’s small lightweight options or the most expensive canvas and wood campaign chair you’ve ever seen, each has its merits. I’ve been on the hunt for my own favorite for some time now, and after many failed attempts I can say that I’ve come pretty darn close. The chair in question is called the Stargaze, and it is a little slice of camping heaven.

The Stargaze is essentially a combination of a hammock, recliner, and rocking chair all in one. It allows its occupant to smoothly sway back and forth by the fire, cradled in a comfortable yet supportive seating structure. The party trick though is its seamless auto-recline feature, which tilts the chair toward the sky as you lean back, allowing you to stare up at the stars above, or simply take a long nap.

The seat structure is made with a monofilament mesh that provides additional airflow for hot days and is UV and water resistant. A cushion on the top of the chair gives your head a comfortable place to rest while reclined, and there’s a no-spill cup holder integrated for your favorite beverage. Of course, there’s also a stash pocket built in for your phone or a good book, which you’ll need since you won’t want to get up after you sit down. The frame itself is made from aircraft grade aluminum and is capable of supporting up to 300 pounds without issue.

What We Like

So what do we love about this chair? For starters, it is extremely comfortable. Whether you want to lean back and take a nap, hang out at a tailgate, or just have a conversation with friends around a fire there are few better ways to do so than in a Stargaze. I also love that despite all of this comfort, the chair weighs just 6 pounds, 5 ounces, and measures in at 23.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches when stowed. That makes it an easy addition to your camp kit without adding the worry of taking up too much space. The reclining function operates smoothly, stability is favorable, and I have yet to have any components squeak or come loose.

Setup is quick and easy after the first time you do it, and the padded bag is just right size for remaining compact, while not being overly tight to where it’s difficult to store the chair. As an added bonus, the Stargaze is also a guaranteed way to make friends and start conversations on the road. It seems no one can resist asking you about it!

What We Don’t Like

Despite my love for the Stargaze, it isn’t perfect. The main support poles are awkwardly placed for your arms, so you’ll likely have to get used to a slightly different seating position like the one shown above. These main poles also make it difficult for couples who might want to sit near one another, especially if they want to hold hands. The small rubber feet can fall off easily as well, but the biggest downside is simply the price. At $220 for the top-end model, it is without a doubt one of the most expensive chairs on the market, but in my opinion, it’s well worth it.

Conclusions

The Stargaze is an absolutely fantastic camp chair. It’s light, compact, comfortable, and makes it easier than ever to relax on camp outings. There are many great chairs out there, but this is certainly one of my favorites, and possibly, my all-time favorite.

To learn more, check it out on their website here.  

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Managing Editor.

6 Comments

  • Michael

    February 1st, 2019 at 8:13 am

    We have two of these Stargazes. They are pretty awesome and a great way to sit back and relax. When we first got them, there was a safety recall and we had to send them back. It was a minor thing thing with the straps, and it’s all good now. However, if anyone out there is looking to purchase a used chair, be advised that it might be pre-recall and therefor needing updated. Nice chairs though!

    Reply
  • Brian

    February 1st, 2019 at 8:30 am

    I have had one of these for about 8 months, I feel every aspect of your review is accurate. My biggest complaint is the armrest scenario but you tend to adapt and adjust to it.
    I picked mine up for $43 at an REI garage sale.
    I later identified it as part of Nemo’s recall (which you should have mentioned), https://www.nemoequipment.com/product-recalls/
    So mine has been sent back, repaired (hub recall) and returned in that time. They even replaced a missing foot.
    To me this chair isn’t $220 cool but it is $43 spectacular.

    Reply
  • mark quitan

    February 1st, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    we have 2 of these chairs and both were sent back for recall repairs. no biggie. if youre short like me, 5’7″ the arm rest are not much of an issue 🙂 as far as the price, we got them using our REI points and i feel that they are worth the price considering what a helinox chair goes for also.

    Reply
  • Jared

    February 2nd, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    This seems ridiculous to spend that amount of money on a camping chair unless you’re full time living from your vehicle or spend 75% or more of your time on the road. Either that or you have tons of money and $200 to you is the same as spending $20 for most others. I personally would not spend this money no matter how comfy it is.

    Reply
  • Steve

    February 4th, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    I’ve had a few of these and returned them both, first was due to the recall, which I had no issues with the replacement however the chair wouldn’t stay attached to the poles, replaced again and the feet all fell off and the straps again wouldn’t stay attached to the poles.

    Nobody seems to mention the fabric cutting into the back of the legs either? This was a huge problem for a lot of people whom tried my chair out, didn’t seem to bother me.

    Definitely not worth the price of the chair to be honest.

    Reply

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