A Great Gift For The Gardener
Try this Combination Seat/Kneeler
The Zen like experience that us gardeners are always promised does not extend to relaxation for the knees! A key fact of life in the garden, however charming and bucolic is that we spend a lot of it on our knees. Garden work while joyous is also repetitive. It needs to be done no matter how hot or wet the day or how cold the soil we put those knees in.
What the Folding Seat/Kneeler Does
That the cushioned kneeler above the dirt takes pressure off the knees is a proven fact by now. Then you can flip it over and sit for other tasks. Think of it this way-it’s not a self-indulgence its a way to get more work done in the day. Worth every penny in my book!
This is a tool designed to make the gardener in your life much nicer! Gardening requires a lot of getting up and down. On your feet, on your knees, bend over, repeat. The exercise is good for us until it hurts and then the garden is not fun anymore.
How do we keep gardening fun? The plants don’t stop growing because we may have an ache. Take out the part that makes everyone sore and make it easier to get up and down. We will be more productive and creative in our work.
A Helpful Solution-The Combination Seat And Kneeler
The combination of garden kneeler and chair go a long way to solving the problem. This is lightweight, (- 6 lbs.) made of hollow steel, has a firm foam seat/kneeler covered in tough plastic and metal legs. (The person kneeling can choose to use the rounded ends of the legs to get up.) It folds conveniently for storage. They are rated to hold 250-330 lbs. based on the brand. We are far more productive in the garden and we have plenty of energy for other activities afterward.
Using this keeps your knees and clothing clean, particularly in damp weather. It is also useful for chores in the house like cleaning lower shelves and cabinets. Reviewers say they like it for installing carpeting, masonry, painting, camping and cleaning.
We do wonder why it took us so long to trade in the floppy kneeling pads for this.
The Issues: What Customers Complain about
There are a variety of models of this product. There are choices. Most reviewers are like us. “Why did I wait this long. I get so much more done. I feel much better during and after a session in the garden”.
There are complaints, they seem to be grouped in a few areas.
- Folding the stool: When the kneeler is in its upright position, in order to close it, you squeeze together two parallel metal bars. This is not difficult to do, but it takes a good squeeze from the middle. This did take me a couple of tries. I don’t think this is a problem and I don’t know any product that does not require this method of closing. (When folded it stores in very little space.)
- The original seat material, once used in older models, is not sturdy. I see this in reviews that are 5 or more years old. We have two and one is a replacement for a 7 year old model my husband wore out.
- The narrower kneelers are not stable: In the model we chose, the seat measures 16” in length and 8” in width for the seat itself, not the outer measurement. Some are narrower, and I think that the width of the seat is an issue of instability. Check the dimensions and reject the narrower models.
- The kneeler needs to hold your weight easily. I see weight limitations ranging from 250 to 330 lbs. If this is a worry, select the sturdier model.
- The welded area is not strong. These are steel products and do require indoor storage.
- Rust is forming and the product does not last. Ours is used in a damp climate; we do not see the problem. Dry storage is a good idea.
People who rate the product highly, emphasize the comfort for knees, hips and back. Others find it easy to use and convenient. Most versions of the product offer 1-2 heavy fabric tool pouches. When the bench is used as a seat, these are very convenient. If you are flipping it over repeatedly, during your work session, they are not much use. Now that we use the multipurpose Hori-Hori knife, we carry fewer tools and this is not much of an issue.
What Product did We Choose?
There is plenty of choice among these relatively similar choices and they have been around long enough that the early problems are essentially solved. From reading reviews, it seems that people have the most trouble pressing the bars to fold it up. I found that hard the first time, but with 2-3 tries it became not a problem. If you think this problem will bother your gardener your only solution is the molded plastic models which are rigid and do not fold down.
We bought the Ohuhu Garden Kneeler. Check the reviews, it seemed to have high rankings on several lists. This one weighs under 6lbs. (there are lighter ones) holds 330 lbs. and is made of sturdy steel and EVA padding for the seat. It is now about a year old and gets daily use. We would buy it again.
Update: Because we both wanted to garden at the same time, we bought a second one. While they are very similar, the newer model has a more dense and comfortable plastic kneeler/seat, We bought it from Gardener’s Supply in Vermont.
We have learned over time to value any tools that make us productive in the garden and make the garden work fun. If you are not productive and having fun-you won’t do it!
” I cannot express what gardening has added to my life, ever present in my mind, and increasingly in my muscles, and always adding more to what I notice in the daily course of living.”-Robin Lane Fox
Don’t forget what Claude Monet said about his garden at Giverny:
“My most beautiful work of art is my garden.”
For more tools and ideas, check here.