GCI Outdoor MaxRelax Pod Rocker
This chair is a cradle of comfort for car-camping outings.
Brand: Gear 360 Reviews
Model: Product feedback from every angle
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BACKPACKER Gear 360 Review
We’ve previously praised GCI’s Pod Rocker series for its traditional rocking-chair feel, and the MaxRelax somehow manages to improve an already stellar concept. It’s a “soft-arm” rocker, meaning it doesn’t have traditional arm rests. Instead, the chair cradles your body in a comfortable, upright hammock-esque position: “It sits lower than many framed camping chairs, and the angle is perfect for kicking back while still engaging in conversation, eating, and drinking,” said one user after a night spent on Forest Service land near Rocky Mountain National Park. Like the other Pod Rockers, the MaxRelax employs GCI’s Spring Action Rocking Technology, which looks like mini mountain bike shocks on the chair’s rear legs. Ease fore and aft, and these spring-loaded rigs perfectly imitate the flow of a porch-bound rocker. What also puts the MaxRelax into a category of its own is that its entire seating surface is quilted, which adds both warmth and comfort on a chilly night. It’s like sitting on a puffy jacket. “My backside was toasty, which was great when the temps dropped double-digits as soon as the sun went down,” our tester says. Comfort caveat: If this chair is covered in melting snow or left out overnight in rain, the moisture will soak the insulation and require a drain and dry-out period in direct sun before resuming lounging (or packing away). Also, the nylon shell material is as susceptible to singeing from errant campfire sparks as most puffy jackets are. The chair supports up to 250 pounds and folds to a relatively small size given its features.
I love this chair! It is a bit hefty but fine for car camping. I really like the material (it reminds me of a sleeping bag) and the width of the seat and back. I found it very comfortable for relaxing at a campsite, on a deck, or around the campfire.
I am not much of a rocking camp chair fan but this one is nice, with not too much movement but enough to enjoy. The drink holder and cell phone holder are convenient and easy to use. I also like the adjustable cord to allow for various drink container girths. The ease of folding it up and securing the chair with a short strap and pull tab versus the struggle to put it in a bag is also a welcome option.
Overall, I highly recommend this chair to car camping folks, as it feels very durable and versatile on multiple surface areas, as well as functional. I will be telling my family and friends about this chair!