Designing furniture for the outdoors presents a new set of challenges that indoor furniture never encounters: the elements. The blazing temperatures of a Palm Springs, CA summer (where the average daily temperatures in summer hit 105 degrees) can sun bleach, burn, or even melt a set of outside chairs. On the other hand, what if your outdoor sectional encountered 114 inches of rain each year, as it would in Forks, WA? It would need to be highly waterproof.
These are extreme examples. People who face less inclement weather still run into issues: high salt content from being near the ocean, or a little bird that poops on the patio chair. Since we have no control over where the product lives, we make sure our designs can handle any of the above—and more.
That was exactly our mentality when we started putting together the framework for Outer. We knew that this outdoor sofa had to do more than look good and last through a season in a temperate climate. On the contrary, we considered how every aspect—frame, legs, wicker, cushions, and cover—and how they would hold up anywhere in the country.
Here’s how we know your Outer is tough enough for any outdoor environment.
All-weather wicker (AWW) sofas are easy to maintain, durable and can be left out year-round with minimal worry. AWW also minimizes temperature absorption (unlike aluminum or steel) so it won’t burn your legs on an extremely hot day.
Our wicker starts as little round plastic beads made with a combination of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE). HDPE is for the strength and LDPE is for flexibility. We then add the coloring to the beads so that the color is produced directly during the manufacturing process, which means the color has a high resistance to fading.
HDPE is also UV-resistant (meaning it won’t fade or crumble in hot sunlight), and it stands up to rain, heat, and humidity. PVC wicker, typically used in lower quality outdoor furniture, is prone to damage; even in moderate sunlight it will fade and dry out, becoming brittle and cracking over time.
The requirements when we started was to make a fabric that has the same hand feel as an organic fabric, but the performance characteristics of outdoor apparel. We harnessed innovative advances in material technology to create our patent-pending Outer fabric. This life-proof material has a nano-coating that is water, mold, bleach, and highly stain resistant. It is also UV protected.
What does this all mean for you? Basically, our cushions can easily handle the wear and tear of living outside, resisting damage or stains from weather or flying debris. Water rolls off the surface, and stains come off with little effort. Pawprints, hand prints, post-pool butts, and even black coffee won’t leave a mark.
While our fabric is resistant to nearly anything you can throw at it, we wanted to take protecting cushions a step further. The OuterShell offers protection during fair weather days and also an easy way to transport your cushions when you want to store them inside.
The integrated cover makes it even easier to protect cushions against dirt, debris, bird poop, rain, snow, and anything else that falls from the sky. It’s easy to roll off and tuck away, or to unroll and cover cushions quickly when it’s time to go back inside. And if the weather really takes a turn for the worse — you can connect the OuterShell to the bottom of the cushion and use the handle on top to carry them inside in a matter of minutes.
The Outer Warranty
The ultimate testament to our sofa’s durability: our industry-leading warranty. Our cushion and fabrics come with a five-year warranty, while our frame and legs come with a 10-year warranty.
This is nearly non-existent in the outdoor furniture world for obvious reasons (most sofas don’t last that long) but we feel strongly that our product will live a long life. After months and months of prototyping, testing, and at times starting from scratch to get it right, we finally landed on a product we feel good about putting in backyards everywhere.
We want our customers to enjoy their Outers for years to come. Not only does our commitment to durability mean they're getting more bang for their buck, it means making more memories outside.