The Hunt for the Perfect Lawn Chair

There is nothing more relaxing than enjoying a warm summer day in the great outdoors, in the company of friends or family, feasting on barbecued food and sipping a frosty beverage… until your back locks up and you can’t get out of the freaking lawn chair.

Or conversely, to not be able to get out of bed the next day from lower back pain.

This happened to me a while ago which had my normally brisk walking pace down to a slow shuffle much like the character Tim Conway used to play on the Carol Burnett Show. I was back at my trusty chiropractor’s office for a few sessions to get things back to normal.

Since that time, it has become an annual ritual: testing lawn chairs in the hope of finding… THE ONE!

If you have been around for a few decades as I have, you’ll probably remember that the worst thing that used to happen with lawn chairs was to get up and having a funny checked pattern imprinted on the back of your thighs from the plastic webbing. I miss those days of plaid thighs. But it wasn’t the challenge that it is today.

I’ve accepted the reality of blood circulation randomly deciding to cut out, grunting when I pick up things from the floor and discs degenerating by the hour. These “joys” are tempered by the bright side that waking up with a new ache or pain is actually a sign of still being alive to write about it.

But at this age, one size of lawn chair does not fit all (anymore). And for a chair in which I may be sitting for 3 for 4 hours, it needs to fit in the right spots. I still haven’t found it yet.

Last year, my partner and I spent an entire lunch time at Canadian Tire, testing lawn chairs. For both of us, it was one chair after another with things not fitting quite right. The joys of being over 50!

Even with the ones that were tagged as ergonomic (and priced accordingly), I still haven’t found THE ONE.

We often found ourselves saying, if I could take the backrest from this one, and the seat of that one, angled like this other one, it would be the perfect chair. But I am not about to buy three chairs, tear them apart and reassemble them no matter how good I might be at assembling IKEA furniture.

The challenge is that even though for some chairs, I can tell right away when it is not hitting me in the right spots, there are times that another chair might feel fine at first, but it’s only 2-3 hours later that the damage sneaks up on me and I am walking around like a “>” symbol.

It’s not like I can camp out at the store for a thorough and scientific test drive. So when I do buy one with the intent of trying it out at home, I know I need to ask about their return policy, in the event that it’s not THE ONE.

To make the test driving equation even more complex, I might only feel the lawn-chair-hangover-effect on my back the next day while doing something else.

And once the back is irritated, it’s game over, no more test driving. Every chair I try will hurt after that point, and it takes a few days (sometimes weeks) to get everything back into place to resume test driving.

I realize it might be a lot to ask a lightweight, portable, foldable, affordable canvas chair to properly support every spinal imperfection, but I can’t be the only one for whom lawn chairs are another reminder that I am not as young as I think I am.

Until I find THE ONE, the annual Goldilocks ritual of test driving lawn chairs continues.

Hopefully manufacturers out there are working on the next great model that will combine the backrest from this one, and the seat of that one, angled like this other one. Then, my friends, that will be… THE ONE for me!

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Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,


Filed under 50+, Health and Wellness, Humour

3 responses to “The Hunt for the Perfect Lawn Chair

  1. Marcel

    All of your chairs seem to have a straight back….ever try a Muskoka chair?

    Cool photoshopping work on the photo….unless you’re really, really fast !

  2. Pingback: 50 Signs That You Are Sick of Winter | It's the Journey

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