Editors Note: Updated 2018
The Chairs of Summer
What a summer it’s been! We’re excited to announce that our own exclusive brand of high quality modern Acapulco chairs are a huge hit! The chairs and chat sets have been flying off the shelves so quickly we’ve manufactured hundreds more to create a massive late summer supply of Acapulco furniture, so anyone who wants one can get one.
We’ve also received lots of questions regarding the sets from some of you out there. One of the most common questions we get is a simple one:
“What’s the difference between your Acapulco chair, and [Some Other Guy’s] Acapulco chair?”
While we know how great our Acapulco chairs are, frankly, we wanted to know the answer to that question too – completely and unequivocally. So, we went ahead and bought [Some Other Guy’s] Acapulco chair to do a one on one comparison. It’s the ultimate Acapulco Chair showdown!
So without further ado, allow me to introduce the contestants.
Our Acapulco Chair
“Iiiiin the red corner, weighing in at a sturdy 16 pounds, it’s the Loco Acapulco, the King of Summer Swing, the Liege of Vinyl Weave, the Incredible, the Inimitable, the Outstanding Patio Productions Acapulco Chair!”
The Other Guy’s Acapulco Chair
“And in the blue corner, weighing in at a sleek 14 pounds, it’s one of the current best selling Acapulco chairs around today, the People’s Reigning Champ, The Lovely, the Classic, the King of the Mountain – it’s The Other Guy’s Acapulco Chair!” (the Other Guy is left unnamed for legal reasons, but you can find it online easily enough.)
Sizing Up the Competition
We officially released our own Acapulco furniture this year under our in-house brand, Harmonia Living. We love this style of furniture, both for its unique aesthetic and its versatility. But we had been keeping a close eye on the bigger brands in the space and noticed several key areas where we felt they fell flat. We endeavored to make an Acapulco chair that corrected these oversights and embodied the purest, and most comfortable, Acapulco form.
First things first, we felt most Acapulco chairs out there were just a little too small. Now, most people like their outdoor furniture to be pretty lightweight. But at some point, being too lightweight actually sacrifices some durability. One reason the Other Guy’s chair is lighter than our is simply because it’s smaller. Keep in mind, just like the Other Guy’s chair, our Acapulco uses lightweight rustproof aluminum for the frame.
One area where we felt the Other Guy really skimps on size is the seat frame, the oval frame that actually supports the hammock-style weave. Compare the diameter of the Other Guy’s seat tube:
To our seat tube:
The extra width makes our chair sturdier and more durable. It’s less prone to bending and warping from any kind of impact. Another advantage of the larger circumference is that the weave has a more graduated loop around the tube. Smaller frames make for a tighter and more drastic loop, which actually creates weak points on the vinyl that degrade faster over time.
The Question of Comfort
Another area we felt most Acapulco chairs could improve in was the spacing between vinyl strings. Traditionally, the strings are spaced fairly wide apart; this is because hand-weaving these chairs takes time, and having more strings takes even longer. As a result, most Acapulco chairs look more or less like the Other Guy’s chair:
Notice that 2 inch gap between strings? That’s roughly the length of your thumb, fully outstretched. This kind of spacing means the chair can be built quickly and easily, but it doesn’t leave you with a whole lot of support. And because the weight of your body is distributed across relatively few strings, the amount of pressure your body applies on each string is amplified. And, according to Newton’s Third Law, those strings are applying an equal amount of pressure into – eep! – Your back. That doesn’t sound very relaxing to us.
On the other hand, here’s our chair:
We’ve cut the distance between strings on the average Acapulco chair by half. These strings more evenly distribute your weight across the face of the chair, so our Acapulco acts more like a hammock than a trawling net – it will cradle your body without digging into it. More vinyl strings also means that each chair takes a little longer to put together, but we are confident that this makes for a much more comfortable sitting experience.
A New Angle on Posture
Speaking of sitting experience, we felt that another thing Acapulco chairs always seem to get wrong is the angle. Traditionally, these chairs are not adjustable, and we (like the Other Guy) decided to stick to tradition in this respect. The angle of recline is set right out of the box, so whether you prefer ours or the Other Guy’s is totally a matter of personal taste.
For this comparison, we’ve enlisted the help of our lovely patio furniture models Todd (background, sitting in Some Other Guy’s chair) and Jelani (foreground, sitting in our Acapulco chair). Thanks guys.
Some Other Guy’s chair (background) is obviously designed for summer afternoon lounging, tilting way back in a deep recline position. This is perfect for beachfront tanning, which of course was the original purpose of the Acapulco chair. It’s a nice, relaxed position that gives your body maximum exposure to sunlight. Good job, Other Guy!
With our chair, we decided to take a different approach. You’ll notice that if you buy more than one chair, we call our Acapulco sets “Chat Sets.” This is because we felt that, with a slight adjustment in the angle of the chair, we could take the Acapulco from a tanning recliner to a social recliner. Our Acapulco keeps you in a comfortable upright posture, facing your fellow guests for conversation. After all, you can be relaxed and sociable all at the same time!
I think it’s fair to call this part of the competition a “wash.” What do you prefer? Deep reclining classic Acapulco chairs, or upright, modern Acapulco chairs designed for social scenarios?
These Boots are Made for Walking
Finally, you can tell a lot about an Acapulco chair by taking a look at its legs and, in particular, its feet. The legs on our chair are more or less the same as our competitors, but the feet are very different. This is an area where manufacturers can save a lot of money by skimping a little on quality. Acapulco chairs are pretty lightweight, but people still tend to prefer sliding and dragging the chairs over lifting them up to move them. And if you want to scoot your chair up a little without leaving the comfort of your seat, you’ll know soon enough if the feet of your chair are designed for quality or cost effectiveness.
Some Other Guy’s chair has classic, simple, flat plastic feet:
They look good, and they serve their simple purpose pretty well in that they help the chair rest flat on the ground. But could you imagine how those feet would look after hours of scraping those wafer-thin bits of plastic across a concrete poolside? They’re built more for fashion than for function.
Now compare the feet on our Acapulco chair:
See the difference? Our feet may not be quite as flashy as the competitor’s chair, but they are certainly better able to withstand constant wear and tear. These feet will keep your Acapulco chair stable and skid-free, and they won’t wear down anytime soon, no matter how much you like to move patio furniture around.
We’re pretty confident that this Acapulco chairs comparison results in a TKO for our very own modern Acapulco lounge and dining chair. Here’s what makes us different from Some Other Guy’s chair:
- Our thicker aluminum frame makes our chair a little heavier than the competition, but sturdier and stabler too
- Less space between strings gives you more support and more comfort for long-term sitting
- Our chair reclines less than others, making it less useful for afternoon tanning, but better for socializing with friends
- The feet on our chairs are designed for wear and tear, while also increasing stability
- Wide oval shape is more accommodating to a variety of body sizes and postures
- You get all this, for essentially the same cost!
So, who do you think wins this competition? At Patio Productions, we’re pretty confident that our Acapulco chair is the best in its class. We are sure you won’t find a better chair anywhere else at this price. Another one of our favorite features is the ability to stack the chairs if you need some more space. What’s not to love about space saving efficiency? We invite you to check out our best-selling Acapulco chat set today, but if you think our chair still falls a little short of Some Other Guy’s chair, then please, let us know! We are always looking to improve our furniture to make it the perfect fit for you.
Oh, and by the way, we did not do a comparison of our other Acapulco products like the Acapulco dining set (image below) or our Acapulco ottoman and side table because there’s nothing to compare them to; they’re totally unique, and we think you’ll love them! If you don’t feel like you need the whole set, we also have the table option on it’s own. Check them out today!
If you’re curious about the debate between purchasing original and replica Acapulco chairs, check out our take here!
This article was written by Mike Bowman.