Sling Outdoor Patio Furniture
Sling outdoor patio furniture has a frame typically made of composite, MGP, or aluminum, and a tight fabric or mesh material that is stretched across the piece to create a thin, sleek sitting area. The sling material itself varies greatly, and can be a plastic-type loosely or tightly woven mesh, or a luxurious outdoor fabric.
Because sling is a single layer of fabric or mesh, it is ideal for pool side applications. It can get wet from pool water, rain, and be hosed off without concern. The dry time is very fast, making it extremely easy and convenient to clean as frequently as you like.
The ribs that the sling material is attached to on either side may be shaped as straight lines or more form fitting to your body’s shape. Sling chairs often are curved in the lumbar area and feel form fitting when you sit on them. Even without any cushion, they tend to be quite comfortable. High-back slings are fairly common and some appreciate this neck support that is rarely found in other furniture categories.
Despite the many advantages of sling, there are some less desirable aspects to consider. Sling furniture is typically very light weight, because the fabric itself (or lack of) doesn’t add any weight to the piece. The frames are also often light weight. Swivel rockers spin in the wind and your patio can look disorganized with chairs facing in any random direction. The slings can act as sails in the wind and even lift. It’s no uncommon to hear stories about sling chaise loungers being pulled from the bottom of a swimming pool.
Sling chairs often have a weight limit that is prohibitive for some consumers. The fabric, along with very few crossbars, bears all the weight. Slings can sag over time and need to be re-stretched or replaced. The construction of some chairs prohibit repair and require replacement altogether.
Padded slings are an interesting alternative for those wanting a simple chair that can get wet without worry. Rather than a single layer or mesh or fabric, padded slings are double-walled with a very thin cushion in between. The result is a padded chair with extra softness, yet still a chair that can be hosed off and dried quickly. Padded slings are attached to the furniture and the “cushions” cannot be brought inside during off seasons. Padded slings can also stretch and sag over time and may need to be replaced or tightened by the manufacturer or a shop that specializes in sling repair.
- Christopher Amos