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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.  


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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.