Review: Outer’s Outdoor Furniture Is Worth the Splurge

We put the DTC label's backyard wares to the test

March 29, 2023 11:52 am
an grey Outer couch and wooden coffee table on a patio
Outer's outdoor furniture is the pinacle of DTC quality...with the price tag to prove it.

Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, we may earn a small share of the profits.

It’s the last day to save up to 40% on in-stock products during Outer’s Fourth of July Sale.

If you’ve been online in the past couple of years, there’s a good chance you’ve seen an ad for Outer’s pricey outdoor furniture — that’s how I first became acquainted with the brand and its offerings. Sadly, as a resident of tiny New York apartments, I didn’t have a chance to try the brand until a unique opportunity came after Hurricane Ian hit my parent’s neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida. 

What a bummer, right? Right. The good news is that they’re recovering and doing as well as they can be, so let’s not dwell on that. When the dust settled, I decided that I might be able to feed two birds with one scone and get my parents a set of Outer’s furniture to replace what they had and get feedback from some professional lanai loungers. They’ve been lounging their asses on the Aluminum Outdoor Sofa with Armless Chairs for a few months now and hopped on the phone with me to chat through their experience – Let’s dive in. 

What Exactly Is Outer?

In 2019, Terry Lin and Jiake Liu created Outer, the AAPI-founded, sustainable outdoor furniture brand with proprietary eco-friendly materials and a climate-neutral business model. Their mission is to  “bring life back outside” by making it easier for us to enjoy our outdoor spaces (if we have them). On top of their sustainability initiatives, Outer also believes in altruistic partnerships from the farmers, craftspeople, and manufacturers they work with. 

Aluminum Outer Outdoor Furniture Set in White around a fire pit
Outer’s Aluminum Outdoor Furniture Set in White

Specs and materials: 

  • Sofa: 98.2″ W x 34.6″ D x 29.3″ H
  • Chairs: 28.9″ W x 34.6″ D x 29.3″ H
  • Each chair frame weighs between 18 and 25 lbs. The cushions add approximately 10 to 15 lbs.
  • The cushions are made with machine-washable fabric that is bleach-cleanable and water, mold, mildew, and stain resistant.
  • The frames are made from extruded aluminum tubing.

What We Considered When Testing Outer: 

Overall Form:

Aesthetics: For some people (me) shopping for furniture, aesthetics can account for more weight in a decision-making process than they probably should. Thankfully, Outer’s furniture is pretty minimalist and sleek. Their sofas come in aluminum, wicker and teak options in a variety of colors that are neutral and designed with longevity in mind. These things plan to be part of your outside oasis for at least 10 years. They also have an assortment of configurations, with up to 8 seats and enough seating options that you shouldn’t have trouble finding something to fit your space. 

Quality: When I asked about quality, my parents said that the furniture “looks and feels as expensive as it is.” I asked them how the furniture compared to the outdoor furniture they’ve had before (which would have been something you’d pick up at a Lowe’s or Home Depot in the $1,000 – $3,000 range) and she said there was a distinct difference in quality. The cushions on a more budget friendly set would certainly have deep butt marks by now. I know, this nearly $7,000 set should certainly beat the old stuff, but she also mentioned that a neighbor recently spent a similar amount on a new set and it’s not nearly as nice as the Outer set. 

Outer’s built-in outer shell cover protects the cushions when not in use, and features Velcro to secure it in place and a handle for convenient transport and storage.

Overall Function:

Comfort: The first thing my mom said when she hopped on our call was that the cushions are firm and comfortable. My dad (who has back problems) chimed in to say that he has spent plenty of time on the couch, and he finds it way more comfortable than any furniture they’ve experienced because of those firm cushions. My mom spends her mornings lounging sideways on the couch and said that she could comfortably nap on it (weather permitting).

Features: One of the standout features of Outer outdoor furniture is the built-in outer shell made of weather-resistant materials. It rolls out and over cushions to protect them from everyday outdoor elements, but it won’t replace the need for a regular cover if there’s real weather. My mom said she liked them for being able to quickly move the cushions if needed, there’s a handy handle on each shell for quick lifting. 

Assembly: The assembly required is very minimal, you are basically just hooking portions of the couch together. My parents’ only complaint was that the shipping boxes were so strong that “you need to be like hercules to break them down.”

Overall Care:

Cleaning: The fabric is stain-resistant to start with, but it’s also very easy to clean. My mom said that she was able to wipe off a mark with just water and a paper towel. 

Warranty: The frame comes with a 10-year limited warranty and the cushions a 5-year limited warranty.

  • What’s covered? For the frame: broken frames, loose joints and welds, splintering and cracking of material, and other defects in workmanship and materials. For the cushions: seam slippage, buttons and zipper closures and excessive fading, color change or strength loss and other defects in workmanship and materials.
  • What’s not covered? For the frame: minor cosmetic cracks, variations in color or texture of finishes, flaking, chipping, bubbling or other cosmetic defects to the paint. For the cushions: tears, shrinkage or pilling of cushions or other fabric, normal flattening or compression of cushions and minor variations in color or texture of fabric are not covered. 

I looked into replacing cushions should you need to, and it’s not available through the site. The Outer team informed us that they’re not always available for all collections and you’ll have to reach out to customer support to see what solutions they offer. This is definitely a drawback, but the customer support team is responsive and helpful. 

White Aluminum Outdoor Sofa with Dark Pebble Gray Cushions in front of a pool
White Aluminum Outdoor Sofa with Dark Pebble Gray Cushions

The Verdict: Is Outer’s Outdoor Furniture Worth The Expense?

Overall, if you’re in the market for high-quality outdoor furniture that is stylish, comfortable, and built to last, Outer is worth considering. It’s expensive, but the quality and warranty make it worth the splurge.  My parents might not have purchased this set on their own due to financial constraints, but they are adamant that it is the best outdoor furniture they’ve ever used. They highly recommend it to anyone who has the money to invest, especially since it’s built to last.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.