Air loungers are advertised everywhere at the moment. The idea is you pull the bag side to side, alternating which of its two chambers you have open and snapping it closed after each motion. You roll up the end and, voila, you have a relaxing air-filled seat to lie on.
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But maybe you’ve wondered if it’s really that easy. So did we!
So we bought the Lizard Air Lounger for $69.95 (plus $14.95 shipping) from showtv.co.nz, which also sells them through TV infomercials. There are lots of other brands of air loungers being advertised on social media and we’ve seen The Warehouse is selling one.
If you’d asked us last week what we thought of it, we would have told you it’s a waste of money as we struggled to inflate it. But having tried it in a few different settings, some members of our staff have mastered the technique.
Giving it a go inside when it first arrived, no-one was able to get enough air into it. So we took it outside on a non-typical Wellington day where there was only a slight breeze. Three of us had five attempts each trying to fill it with enough air. We got it slightly more inflated, but there still wasn’t enough air for the seat to be usable.
On a much windier day in the capital a group of us took the lounger to a nearby park. It was so windy you wouldn’t really want to be relaxing outside. We had a hard time inflating the bag – it took a few minutes of swooshing it back and forth to get it inflated. It was easier to wait for a strong gust and fill the bag in one go.
Still not convinced whether it was a good buy or not, we took it to the beach on a gorgeous sunny day. We had no trouble filling the lounger with the gentle sea breeze.
Was it comfortable? If you sat with your backside halfway down, you would sink so your body was in a V. It was more comfortable to wiggle up so your head is right at the top. However, the Air Lounger deflates quite quickly. Over 10 minutes, a person sitting in it gets lower and lower. See our time-lapse video below that shows a Consumer staff member sinking over 10 minutes.
You also need to deflate it or have someone else sit on it before going for a swim or you’d lose it in a breeze.
So does it work? Yes, but it seems practice is key and a gentle breeze is ideal for mastering the technique. Those who can inflate it easily use a sharp jolty action and can even do it inside now. But how quickly it deflates is a major downside. We also got a lot of funny looks on the beach from people who looked perfectly happy just lying on a beach towel.
Have you bought one? We’re interested to know if you think it’s worth buying. Leave a comment and let us know.
First Looks are trials of new or interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Our lab-based tests offer truly objective product comparisons.
by Kate Harvey
Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) is warning not to use air loungers in water, following two near drownings in Australia.
“Many people may have got these as presents for Christmas and there are obviously different types in terms of quality and design," WSNZ CEO Jonty Mills says. "I'm not sure they're designed for the water and it does appear some may have flaws with the lining which present real danger when used in the water. Our advice is to keep them out."
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