Is it really the lightest chair in the world? We don’t know. We have a feeling there’s a chair out there somewhere that has it beat. At 3.65 pounds, though, the Zieta Ultraleggera is definitely lightweight, making it the kind of chair you can toss from one end of the backyard with enough force to make you look like the strongest homeowner in the neighborhood. Or something.
Designed by Oskar Zieta, the chair is billed as a tribute to Gio Ponti’s Superleggera, the iconic lightweight chair from 1957, which tipped the scales at 3.75 pounds. While they only managed shave off 0.10 pounds from that 60-plus year design, it’s still an impressive feat, considering how sturdy the chair is and how much weight it can hold.
The Zieta Ultraleggera has a frame made entirely from aluminum using a manufacturing process called FiDU, which involves laser-cutting a two-dimensional outline of the chair from two aluminum sheets, welding them together, and inflated the welded piece using compressed air, eventually reshaping it into the frame you see in the final product. From there, it’s welded with a seat and back panel, both of which are laser-perforated to minimize the weight without sacrificing overall strength. According to the outfit, this free-forming technique uses less energy, less material, and produces less waste, as it doesn’t require molds or machine cutting, making it a highly-efficient technology that’s ideal for these environmentally-conscious contemporary times. Plus, the fact that it’s made entirely from aluminum (including the welds) means it’s far easier to recycle than multi-material furniture pieces, with no need to remove any fastener whatsoever.
While it weighs a paltry 3.65 pounds, the chair can support loads of up to 2,600 pounds, so you can use it to hold heavy furniture when you’re moving stuff in the living room, an engine when you’re messing with your car in the garage, or your newly-delivered arcade cabinet while you’re moving furniture around to accommodate it, on top of offering a proper seat for the biggest individuals out there. Yeah, this thing is one sturdy metal chair that should support anything you put on it.
The Zieta Ultraleggera comes in various aluminum finishes, namely brushed, polished, and powder coated, with option to get it in powder-coated carbon steel, in case you want something even sturdier than aluminum. They offer it in a variety of colors, too, so you can better coordinate it with what you already have at home. Dimensions are 30.7 x 19.3 x 22.8 inches (height x width x depth), with a seat height of 17.7 inches.
It is sold as a standalone chair, by the way, which should make it a fine piece to add to any dining room, game room, or backyard space. Granted, we’re not sure how well it’s supposed to hold up to the elements, but since it’s all-aluminum with option for carbon steel, it should handle all that sun and rain just fine, provided you perform proper maintenance on the regular.
Want one? The Zieta Ultraleggera is available now, priced starting at $1,190.