The Classic Adirondack Chair

Let’s explore this comfortable chair that is perfect for any yard. Think of this post as everything Adirondack. We will give you ideas on where to buy or resources on building your own and what are the best materials to use. Let’s start with Adirondack what does it mean and where did it come from? The Adirondack’s is a mountainous area located in northeastern New York state. The story is, around 1900 a guy named Thomas Lee from Westport, NY a Harvard grad who then dropped out of law school and spent 3 years developing the design for the chair. He was looking for something that would hold up and work well in the rough terrain of the Adirondack’s of New York. Lee gave his friend Bunnell the design to build and the chair became so popular that Bunnell patented the design after some modifications in 1904. This chair was commonly referred to as the Westport chair, but over time and with upgrades in 1938 Irving Wolpin of New Jersey got a patent for another design and it is the most common Adirondack chair today.

They are made with the perfect leg or knee elevation and back angle to provide a comfortable sitting position. Originally these chairs were made of solid hard wood but you can find them made of red wood, cedar, pine, plywood or any kind of wood. Today the most durable and popular designs are made of plastic or polywood, made out of recycled plastic jugs or bottles. The polywood, hands down, is the most durable material. Some of them even have a wood grain and you can find a multitude of color choices.

Above are the basic dimensions of the standard chair. They come in folding styles as well as oversized, bench, with footrest, stackable, rocking or gliders. There are too many designs to list but below are some links for a few building resources you may want to look at, so you can build your own. You may want to add your own new design idea, like maybe a cell phone holder cut into the armrest.

Here is an idea for the Adirondack bench style. This is ideal for the front porch. I particularly like the center console.

The glider is a nice choice, who doesn’t like that gentle rocking motion.

We hope you enjoyed this review of the Adirondack chair and some of the different designs and features. I’m sure a few of these would look good in any yard. Listed below are links to our top choices so you can begin your search for the perfect chair.

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