Buy Adirondack Chairs - The New York Times

A massive outdoor seat with a relaxed posture and wide, flat armrests, the Adirondack chair has plenty to recommend. It usually stays w...


A massive outdoor seat with a relaxed posture and wide, flat armrests, the Adirondack chair has plenty to recommend. It usually stays where you put it, is weatherproof, and has arms that double as cocktail tables.

Most importantly, however, “it just screams summer,” said Ann Stillman O’Learyan interior designer based in Lake Placid, NY, who has written books on the Adirondack style.

The first Adirondack chair was designed in 1903 by Thomas Lee, in Westport, NY, Ms. O’Leary said, to meet very specific requirements: “He was looking for a chair that was comfortable, didn’t need a lot of fluff, and could hold a drink.”

Mr. Lee’s chair used solid wood slabs, but countless manufacturers have since modified the design, including with wood slats that provide better drainage. “We now have fan-backs, shell-backs, wave-backs and round-backs,” Ms. O’Leary said.

Whatever style you choose, she added, “there’s no wrong place to put an Adirondack chair.”


  • What is the best material for an Adirondack chair? Wood is a classic choice, Ms. O’Leary said, “but for my current lifestyle, I do high-density polyethylene,” which provides maintenance-free durability.

  • Do wooden chairs need to be painted? Painting or staining is not essential, but it increases longevity. Without it, wood – like teak, ipe and cedar – will weather over time.

  • How many Adirondack chairs do you need? Maybe two face to face or four around a fire pit, Ms O’Leary said. But remember, Adirondack chairs take up more space than most seats, she said, “because the backs of the legs stick out.”


Chair in recycled high density polyethylene with folding mechanism

From $319 at Polywood: 855-935-5550 or polywood.com


Red cedar chair inspired by the design of Gerrit Rietveld

$275 (or $400 fully assembled) at Dan Benarcik: danbenarcik.com

Teak chair with stainless steel ties

$599 at Teak & Table Outdoor: 912-661-4300 or teakandtable.com


Recycled HDPE chair inspired by Thomas Lee’s 1903 design

$895 at Loll Designs: 877-740-3387 or loldesigns.com

Teak chair with angular design

$749 at Crate & Barrel: 800-967-6696 or crateandbarrel.com


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