James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

The versatile Easy Camp Pier is a sun lounger, camping chair and load-lugger as well, but can this Jack of all trades be a master of one?

Overview

Which sun loungers and recliners are the best to buy for motorhome touring?

To find out, we tested a good selection of reclining camping chairs, including the Easy Camp Tera at £39.99, the Kampa Tuscany Comfort Chair and Stool (£35 for the chair and £19.99 for the stool), the Kampa Opulence Amalfi at £74.99 and the Outwell Victoria at £85.99.

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, 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.

Then we tested the Outwell Merlo costing £67.99, and the Kampa Opulence Amalfi recliner, £74.99, the latter proving to be our top pick when it comes to recliners.

So, what were we looking for during our testing process? Value for money, of course, and items that would be light, strong, durable and practical, while offering comfort and relaxation.

When you want to put your feet up, you have several choices. You could pick one of the many comfy padded reclining camping chairs on the market. The best of these offer multiple backrest positions, some running on a rail so that you can lock it at any angle you want. There are relaxer chairs with cupholders and trays built into them. Some of these are a bit bulky and heavy, though, so you may not want to make room for them in your motorhome if you like long road trips. 

So what else could you choose? Traditional sun loungers are still popular choices for holiday relaxation, though we have to admit that the low ground clearance can make some of them hard to get out of at times. Check out the Quest Elite Riviera Lounger for the solution to that.

There are even reclining chairs that closely resemble more upright camping chairs, but come with a separate matching footstool. These aim to give you the best of all worlds – a camping chair that you can use when eating at most camping tables, that reclines for relaxation and has somewhere to put your feet up.  

And now for something completely different! Given the amount of chairs, drinks and even coolboxes that some of us choose to drag with us to the beach, a sunbed that doubles as a sack truck seems to be pure genius. But can such a bizarre concept work in reality?

Well, when it comes to practicality as a sun lounger, the answer is no.

Although this unit is so low that your feet end up supporting your lower legs, the line where the fabric ends really digs into the back of your thighs after a while.

However, rake the back up and the Pier does make an acceptable beach chair.

Despite weighing just 4.3kg, the wheels and raked frame mean that this is bulkier than most sun loungers and reclining chairs to store in your motorhome.

And the maximum loading capacity is limited to just 100kg (15 stone 10lbs), too. What makes it worse still is that the load you can carry when you use it as a trolley goes right down to a 20kg maximum.

Technical specs

Size in use62cm wide x 150cm long x 22cm high
Size when folded62cm x 117cm x 22cm
Weight4.3kg
Maximum load capacity as a chair100kg (15 stone 10lbs)
Maximum load capacity as trolley20kg (3 stone 2lbs)
Frame materialSteel
Seat fabricTextilene 100% woven polyester, coated
Seat height15cm
Colours availablePale blue; orange
Positions4

Verdict

Putting wheels on a sun lounger so that it can be used as a handy sack barrow to get your stuff to the beach is a great idea. However, in practice the Easy Camp Pier is uncomfortable to lie out on, which is surely the main purpose of a lounger. As a more upright chair to use on the beach, it works. We've given this interesting new Easy Camp Pier sun lounger a three-star rating

Conclusion

Pros

  • Interesting idea
  • Attractive colour
  • Useful as a sack barrow
  • Good as an upright beach chair
  • No need to carry it, just wheel it!
  • Lightweight (4.3kg)

Cons

  • Uncomfortable as a sun lounger
  • Can only support people up to 15 stone 10lbs
  • Bulky to store
  • Low to the ground
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