James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

More stylish – and taller – than most, the elegant Quest Elite Riviera Lounger has been designed for easier rising and sitting – as our expert explains

Overview

The sun is shining and your tour has taken a scenic turn. Why not stop at a beauty spot, get out the camping chairs and soak up some rays? Sun loungers are the traditional choice for total relaxation on holiday and the beauty of them is that they generally fold flat for storage in the motorhome and allow you to lie face down to read a book as well as face up to gaze at the clouds.

However, during our test of camping chairs we realised that comfy recliners with multiple positions are often the best all-round choice if you can only choose one kind of chair per person, due to concerns over the payload and storage space available in your motorhome.

Reclining chairs can be perfect used in semi-reclined positions for reading and sunbathing, as well as lying flat out.

These chairs make it easy to get into and out of, because you can put them into upright positions just for the purpose. Then there's all that comfy padding, with contours in all the right places to support your back. In their upright positions, you can often use recliners for dining at a table – but they do vary. 

A new kind of recliner is available to make it easier – the two-part comfy reclining camping chairs with separate footstools. Designed to fit neatly together or even clip on, these two-parters aim to give you the best of all worlds.

So, there's plenty of choice, but which sun loungers and recliners are the best in the UK today?

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 unusual-looking Easy Camp Pier at £39.99 looks odd, but could this innovative design catch on? We tested another novel design, too, the Argos Malibu Rolling Recliner at £34.99, which turns itself from chair to hammock!

The Outwell Merlo costing £67.99, came next and finally we discovered the Kampa Opulence Amalfi, £74.99, a five-star-performer of the reclining chair world.

So, how did we go about testing our assortment of sun loungers and recliners? We looked for comfort, checked it in every possible position, and checked the maximum load weights. Some reclining camping chairs hold people up to 100kg to 120kg (15 stone 7lbs to 19 stone) as a maximum weight limit. Some go up to 150kg (almost 24 stone). It's a good indication of the chair's strength, whatever your own weight.

We checked each chair's folded size and shape and the total weight, noting that aluminium frames are usually a bit lighter than the powder-coated steel-framed sun loungers.

Armrests came next, followed by bonus features like headrests, lumbar support, cup holders and trays. 

Finally, we assessed the chairs to ensure they offer good value for money.

In this review we'll focus on the Quest Elite Riviera Lounger, costing £76.99. Many people have moved away from sunbeds in favour of relaxers, and sunbeds’ low heights are a major factor. So Quest has tackled that head-on with this model. At 48cm high, it’s actually no lower than the majority of camping chairs, making getting on and off a whole lot easier.

After the cosseting, hammock-like shape of most relaxers, the uncompromising flatness of a sunbed takes some getting used to. But it does mean that you can lie on your front should you want to read.

Maximum load capacity is 120kg, and the product weight is an impressive 5.8k. At 83cm x 70cm x 22cm, it's reasonably compact to store, too.

The Quest Elite Riviera range also includes the Riviera SL chair with Side Table, the Riviera XL Chair with Side Table, the Riviera Extreme Comfort Chair with Side Table, the Riviera Relaxer with Side Table, and the Riviera Foot Stool, all in the same fabric as the Riviera Lounger.

Technical specs

Size in use198cm x 68cm x 48cm
Size when folded69cm x 22cm x 82cm
Weight5.8cm
FabricQMesh Premium Quality Textilene
Frame materialAluminium
Seat height48cm
All-weather fabricEasy to clean
Guarantee2 years
Quest Leisure product code154980

Verdict

Taller, sleeker and more stylish than rival sun loungers, the Quest Elite Riviera Lounger reinvents the sunbed for the 21st century. It's rather firm compared to squashy recliners, but it's light, strong and well worth our four-star rating.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Attractive
  • Lightweight at 5.8kg
  • Excellent maximum load capacity of 120kg

Cons

  • Hard surface
  • You'll need another chair for dining
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