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Kingsley Bate vs. Jensen Jarrah: Which Should I Buy?

If you’re shopping for outdoor furniture, Jensen and Kingsley Bate are both names that you’ll likely come across. These two manufacturers are known for their commitment to quality, sustainability, and style. Both have an outstanding reputation for delivering top-of-the-line products, though there are some differences in their construction and visual styling. 

Jensen Jarrah is known for luxury outdoor furniture that’s made from only the finest materials. These elegant pieces are built to become family heirlooms that you’ll pass down for generations. Kingsley Bate is the best-known name in teak furniture. Their outdoor pieces are known for their timeless style and impressive longevity. Get to know both of these options so you can narrow down your choices to the outdoor furniture set that’s best-suited to your needs.

The History of Jensen Jarrah and Kingsley Bate Furniture

white van traveling through a Bolivian forest at night

Image via Unsplash by KAL VISUALS

Jensen Jarrah was a popular furniture brand known for its use of Jarrah wood, a dark red Australian wood that is extremely durable, making it ideal for outdoor pieces. It’s naturally resistant to insects and is very high-density. Jensen wood has a rich red hue when it’s cared for properly, but this material requires regular maintenance to retain its appearance. Unfortunately, Jarrah wood can be difficult to source. This — among a number of other difficulties — caused Jensen Jarrah to close in 2010.

Jensen Leisure Furniture emerged to take the place of Jensen Jarrah. Jensen Leisure furniture moved their focus to Ipe products. Ipe is another dense and resilient wood that’s favored for outdoor furniture. It’s also known as Brazilian walnut and lapacho. This wood is eight times harder than California redwood and naturally resistant to insects, rot, and weather. Its incredible density makes it nearly as fire-resistant as concrete and steel.

Ipe faces some criticism because it’s not always sourced in an ethical or eco-friendly manner. The wood grows in low density and is relatively rare. Jensen has overcome this by using only FSC-certified ipe. To underscore their dedication to the environment, Jensen Leisure Furniture is rebranding again and will be known as Jensen Outdoor going into the 2021 season.

Kingsley Bate got its start in 1983 with the development of a teak furniture program in Java. The company began by producing window boxes. Kingsley Bate soon expanded into other types of furniture such as benches, dining tables and chairs, rocking chairs, and lounge furniture. This was the first American company to use Javanese teak.

Environmental Responsibility

Jensen Outdoor is committed to sustainability. They maintain a land-lease partnership with the Bolivian government and manage more than 2 million acres of forests in Eastern Bolivia. This part of the country features 3.7 million acres of forestland certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Using the FSC certification chain of custody, Jensen can track every piece of wood back to the exact tree and identify right where it was felled. Each plot of land is harvested only once every 30 years.

Jensen Outdoor gained certification with the FSC in 1995. This means that all forests Jensen harvests for their wood products are independently inspected by the FSC. To maintain certification, Jensen must comply with the FSC’s 10 Principles of Forest Stewardship. These include protecting indigenous peoples’ rights, maintaining the social and economic well-being of forest workers and local communities, and conserving biological diversity.

Jensen only uses mature century-old Ipe trees for their products. The younger trees are mindfully left in place to help replenish the forest before it is harvested again. This small footprint practice makes it possible to utilize Ipe without causing harm to the environment or diminishing the sustainability of the resource.

Kingsley Bate harvests teak from controlled plantations. The Indonesian government restricts the number of trees that companies can fell and ensures that reforestation takes place at an equal rate. After successfully demonstrating that teak can be harvested without harming the environment in Indonesia, Kingsley Bate began sourcing a small amount of Burmese teak as well to supplement their supply.

Products

Jensen Outdoor uses luxury materials to craft their long-lasting products, delivering pieces that can be passed down for generations. Ipe timber is featured in many pieces. Ipe’s chocolate brown hue lends an air of elegance to any outdoor space. This stunning grain can be carefully maintained to keep this rich color or allowed to age to a sleek silver patina. 

Select pieces also feature high-pressure laminate. This material is resistant to stains, scratches, and impacts. It can withstand the weather, and retains its appearance well year after year. High-pressure laminate provides a modern look and a variety of finish options.

Jensen’s woven furniture uses Viro Fiber, a high-density polyethylene product that can stand up to temperatures ranging from -90 to +175 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s resistant to fading so you can rely on the same stunning colors long into the future. Jensen delivers handwoven fiber pieces. The Viro Fiber weave sits over a powder-coated aluminum frame that provides lightweight structure and exceptional durability. These frames allow the fiber to conform comfortably to your shape while still retaining the furniture’s form.

For cushion fabrics, Jensen uses Sunbrella. This acrylic fabric is solution-dyed and maintains its vibrancy for years. The synthetic threads are thoroughly colored all the way through, so every item has a rich, even hue. The fabric stands up exceptionally well to UV rays, temperatures, moisture, and use.

Kingsley Bate is best known for its teak furniture, which is thoughtfully crafted for comfort, durability, and style. This teak is available in both Grade A and distressed styles. Kingsley Bate also uses all-weather wicker fiber that’s hand-woven. For durability, the company uses only 304 grade stainless steel for its outdoor furniture pieces that utilize metal. Upholstery is made from urethane foam, though quick-drying foam is available by special order. 

When comparing Kingsley Bate and Jensen, the most important consideration is personal style. Kingsley Bate offers a more contemporary look, while Jensen is slightly more refined in some collections. Both will last for decades when given the right care. Invest in furniture that you can love for a lifetime.

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