James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

The Kampa Opulence Amalfi is the winner of Practical Motorhome's sun lounger and recliner tests in 2016 – our expert explains why

Overview

Life on the open road is enough to make the heart sing, but when the sun is shining it's great to take time out, pause for some fresh air in glorious surroundings and get the sun loungers out for a while.

So, how comfy are your current camping chairs and recliners? We've gathered a varied selection of sun loungers together in our quest to find the most relaxing camping chairs for motorhome holidays.

We reviewers are a fussy bunch. Not only do we want products that are good value for money, but they also need to be light, strong, durable and practical, while offering comfort and versatility.

We've tested many reclining camping chairs, some with 'stepless' backrests that you can lock in any position. We've found relaxer chairs with cupholders and trays. And while loving all the extra features, we keep coming back to the fact that it's a compromise between buying bulky, heavy reclining chairs with all mod cons and travelling light!

So what else have we tried? Many people are happy with traditional sun loungers – and they'll be even happier with the Quest Elite Riviera Lounger, because it has a taller seat height than most, so you could rise effortlessly and elegantly from it, without spilling your tea. 

Some reclining chairs will allow you to sit upright, for dining, then recline into one of the many backrest positions, putting your feet up on a separate matching footstool. Potentially, these might offer the best solution when storage space is tight. 

So, which sun loungers and recliners are best for you?

To find out, we tested a good selection of reclining camping chairs, including the Easy Camp Tera at £39.99, the Quest Elite Riviera Lounger at £76.99, a traditional sunbed with a difference. It's up against the Outwell Victoria at £85.99, a sunbed with desirable extra features such as a sunshade and comfy padding. The Easy Camp Pier at £39.99 looks odd, but promising – we like trying new things. We also tested the equally unusual Argos Malibu Rolling Recliner at £34.99, a chair that becomes a hammock. Next we tested the Outwell Merlo Summer, costing £67.99

Finally we tested the Kampa Opulence Amalfi, £74.99, which proved to be the best reclining chair we've encountered. Why did we rate it so highly? 

The Kampa Opulence Amalfi reclining chair is a cheaper alternative to Kampa’s premium reclining chair, the Verona Indulgence, which costs a whopping £105.

The Amalfi also retains enough of its posh sibling's best character traits to make it a better option than Quest’s very similar Ragley. From a comfort perspective this and the latter are neck and neck, and both benefit from having step-less reclining mechanisms and bungee-cord fabric retention. We found that the bungee-cord suspension system created a very comfortable and well supported seat.

But the Kampa Opulence Amalfi chair wins points over and above its rivals because it has a maximum load capacity rating of 150kg, which translates as 23 stone 8lb 9oz approximately. It also has smart contoured wooden armrests, and a useful clip-on table and cupholder. The Textilene polyester seat fabric is waterproof, too. And this relaxer chair reclines to a fully laid back position.

The design of this chair just seems to go the extra mile, offering more comfort and versatility for less money than its siblings and opponents.

Technical specs

Size when folded91cm x 67cm x 13.5cm
Maximum load capacity150kg
Weight8.8kg
Seat fabricHeavy duty waterproof Textilene
Kampa product codeFT0238

Verdict

With its smooth backrest action, comfortable support and extra headrest, the Kampa Opulence Amalfi recliner has beaten all other sun loungers and reclining chairs hands-down. The high load rating, premium armrests and waterproof fabric put the seal on it – this is a well made reclining camping chair, at a fair price. We've awarded the Kampa Opulence Amalfi reclining chair a five-star rating, making it the winner of the Practical Motorhome sun lounger and reclining camping chair test in 2016. 

Conclusion

Pros

  • Strong enough to support up to 150kg (23 stone 8lb 9oz)
  • Reclines completely
  • Adjustable headrest
  • Variably adjustable reclining system with locks
  • Waterproof seat fabric
  • Detachable tray

Cons

  • 8.8kg is quite heavy
  • You'll need one each or it'll cause a fight
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