James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

Buy the Outwell Victoria sun lounger and you get a sunshade and headrest into the bargain – read our review to find out if it's worth its premium price

Overview

We've been busy testing camping chairs, to find the best, most comfortable and practical sun loungers and recliners for motorhome touring holidays.

In many ways the padded recliners with multiple positions are the best relaxer chairs for most occasions. They're good to use in semi-reclined positions for reading and sunbathing, as well as lying flat out. When put into upright positions they're easy to get in and out of. And we're quite enamoured of chairs with comfy padding and contours designed to support our backs, particularly when relaxing after a long drive.

Upright chairs are obviously the best when it comes to dining at a camping table, but then we also want recliners for proper relaxation.

The sun worshippers among us still favour sun loungers, though. These are terrific for feeling the warm sun on our backs while enjoying some holiday reading. They're also perfect for star-gazing and cloud-watching.

But there's also another option – a new trend for two-part recliner chairs with footstools.

Which is best? To find out what all these reclining chairs are actually like, we've put plenty to the test. For instance, we tested the Easy Camp Tera at £39.99 and the Kampa Tuscany Comfort Chair and Stool (£35 for the chair and £19.99 for the stool).

For sun lounger fans we tested the Quest Elite Riviera Lounger at £76.99, a traditional sunbed with a difference. It's up against the Outwell Victoria at £85.99, an elegant sunbed with a sunshade and comfy padding.

Then we tried a couple of novelties, the unusual-looking Easy Camp Pier at £39.99, which has wheels, and the Argos Malibu Rolling Recliner at £34.99, which turns itself from chair to hammock!

The Outwell Merlo costing £67.99 looks ready made for posing with a glass of wine. Our favourite reclining camping chair of all proved to be the Kampa Opulence Amalfi, £74.99, a five-star-performer if ever we saw one!

Every product we tested was checked against the same criteria. We looked at chair comfort, trying each one in all its various modes, and checked the maximum load weights. Most reclining camping chairs can hold people up to 100kg to 120kg (15 stone 7lbs to 19 stone) as a maximum weight limit. Some go further, supporting heavier people, up to 150kg (almost 24 stone). It's a good indication of the chair's strength, even if you and your partner together are so slim that you don't add up to the maximum load stated.

Bearing the modest payloads available in some motorhomes and limited storage space in mind, we checked each chair's total weight and folded size and shape. Chairs with aluminium frames tended to be lighter than the powder-coated steel-framed sun loungers.

The shape of the armrests can make quite a difference to your comfort and we also loved spotting extra features like headrests, lumbar support padding and somewhere to put your coffee or your glass of wine. 

Value for money is the final gauge we applied to all our sun lounger tests, because we all love a bargain!

In this review we check out the Outwell Victoria sun lounger, which sells for £85.99.

What could be more annoying than getting comfortable, only to find that the sun is shining in your eyes? Okay, we don't blame you if you feel that an adjustable head shade is a little gimmicky; but don't let the sunshade put you off what is actually an excellent sunbed. 

At 5.3kg, and with a fold-up size of 75cm x 59cm x 17cm, the aluminium-framed Outwell Victoria is noticeably lighter and smaller to store than Quest Elite Riviera, yet it can support maximum loads up to 125kg (19 stone 9lbs 8oz).

The Textiline woven polyester fabric used has just the right amount of flexibility to make the basically flat sunbed shape comfortable, too, while the padded headrest comes into its own when the backrest is inclined.

Technical specs

Size in use58cm wide x 188cm long x 32cm high
Size when folded58cm x 79cm x 18cm
Weight5.3kg approx
Frame materialAluminium
FabricTextiline, 100% woven polyester, coated
Maximum load capacity125kg (19 stone 9lbs 8oz)
Backrest positions5
PillowDetachable
SunshadeDetachable

Verdict

The excellent Outwell Victoria sun lounger offers more comfort than most sun loungers, and we're happy to gain a headrest and sunshade into the bargain. It's light and compact, therefore great for motorhome touring.

Our only pang of regret comes from the fact that the 30cm seat height seems quite low when you want to get out of the Outwell Victoria. If you're a little older you may find you can rise more effortlessly and elegantly from the rival Quest Elite Riviera Lounger, with its 48cm seat height.

The Outwell Victoria is a cracking sun lounger and we've awarded it a four-star rating.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Lightweight (5.3kg)
  • Comfortable
  • Strong enough for people a shade up to almost 19 stone 10lbs
  • Adjustable, detachable sunshade
  • Detachable headrest
  • Durable PVC-coated woven polyester fabric

Cons

  • Low 30cm seat height
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