Anyone who knows anything about technical outdoor equipment knows Nemo makes kickass gear for the hardcore outdoorsman.
Way back in 2010 we tested an inflatable bivy from Nemo for use on a reporting trip to Afghanistan (was it a GoGo Elite? I forget).
Full-on operators use their stuff as well as the overlanding set and anyone who needs rugged gear in extreme conditions and must save weight.
This year Nemo teamed up with premium hunting gear company First Lite — which specializes in high-end big game hunting clothing and equipment — to pattern a special edition of their Stargaze Recliner Luxury in the hunting gear company’s Cipher camo, marking a sharp departure from Nemo’s typical color pallet.
Dubbed the “Stargaze Recliner Luxury Field” (ugh, that’s a mouth full), the new chair is 100 percent no joke. It’s a big chair, measuring 27″x36″x44″ and weighs in at seven pounds, so it’s probably not going to go on any lightweight backpacking trip.
It has thick, sturdy aircraft-grade aluminum legs, a padded, adjustable headrest, beer and cellphone holder — and it all packs down into a compact carry bag for transport. The backrest is made with a non-absorbent monofilament mesh that’s strong and weather resistant.
The Luxury Field has a special “suspended” design that allows you to lean the chair back in one fluid motion without tipping the frame.
Hence the “Stargaze” monicker.
The GearScout team (and family) spent a few months at sporting events, shooting competitions and in the front yard with this “camp chair on steroids” and came up with a few thoughts to help determine if this is the right solution for you.
What we liked
The Stargaze Luxury Field looks cool at heck and definitely turns heads. The First Lite camo is awesome and the design itself is unlike any camp chair we’ve ever seen.
It was very comfortable — generally (more on that below) — and the reclining capability was smooth and luxurious. Being able to lean back, and for shorter people, sit almost cross-legged in the seat itself was a plus.
The headrest was another nice extra and the stash pocket worked great to keep the smartphone at close hand.
The Stargaze all packed up is small enough to keep stashed in the truck and take with you for a stroll to the lacrosse field or car camp site.
Lastly, we had zero worry that any of the chair’s components would break or strain under weird angles, uneven surfaces or excess weight. The chair is stated to hold 300 lbs., and while we never took it to that kind of limit, we were occasionally burdened with guns, gear, ammo and food.
No biggie with the Stargaze Luxury Field.
And the ability to lightly swing the chair is very cool — no other camp chair we know of can do that.
What we didn’t like
But it wasn’t all puppies and kittens with the Stargaze.
First off, I’m a tall guy with wide-ish shoulders and I found the seat back a bit constricting when I wasn’t reclined.
The beer holder is at a weird angle and very close to your leg, so spills were imminent unless you gulped down a few ounces before entrusting it there.
Also, getting out of the Stargaze could be a but disconcerting given the generally long back and short seat bucket.
And it’s kind of big. This isn’t something you can take from stage to stage at a shooting match or carry with you all day in the field. It’s more of a base-camp or tailgating chair, which kinda limits its “range” of use.
The Stargaze Recliner Luxury Field is seriously cool camp chair that’s super tough and engineered for comfort — all backed by a company that’s at the cutting edge of hardcore outdoor design.
And at a suggested retail price of $229, it’s a serious commitment to comfort. But that’s one reason why the Stargaze Recliner Luxury Field could be the last outdoor chair you’ll ever want to buy.
Christian Lowe is senior editor for digital operations and is a competitive pistol and rifle shooter.