For many years I have used nice office chairs from Costco for my home computer space. They would typically come with a lifetime warranty, so when they wore out after 3 years or so, I’d take them into the store and get the new model for close to free. I had no real complaints; the chairs were fine for a few hours of gaming and social media at a time.
With Covid-19 restrictions, I was sent home to telecommute and my weekly time in the chair more than doubled. So, as the latest Costco chair neared the end of its life and their warranties became less generous, I started to look for an upgrade. Work had purchased a very comfy, super-ergonomic, office chair that I liked, but I wanted something different for my own space. Frankly, the name brand super-ergo chairs were more expensive than I was willing to pay out of my own pocket.
Gaming chairs are a class of chair that look like race-car bucket seats. They are now common enough to find at most big-box stores that sell office chairs. But, there is a lot of variation in price and quality. As as a large man who has worn out quite a few office chairs, I wanted to get a nice one.
I started with a Google search for reviews. But frankly, I got a lot more out of YouTube reviews. I was able to watch people assemble the chairs and watch different sized people sit in them.
Based on my reading and watching, I decided to focus on chairs from Secretlab. They seemed to be an the right price and quality points for me. And, unlike most of their competitors, they gave recommended height and weights for their chair. That gave me confidence that I would fit, be comfortable, and not prematurely destroy my purchase.
As shown at https://secretlab.co/collections#sizing-guide, their Omega, Titan, and Titan XL models are designed for increasingly large people. The Titan model was where my height and weight fell. You can also see that the Omega and Titan are both available in nearly 40 different color/logo combinations including licensed designs like Batman, The Joker, Game of Thrones, and various video games and esports teams at a slight premium upcharge.
I chose to go with the much more subtle “ash” color combination with their man-made “PU Leather”. It still has a fair amount of embroidered branding, but I don’t need to wear sunglasses while sitting in it.
I placed my order in early July of 2020 at a shipped price of $399. At that point due to increased demand for working from home (WFH) gear like chairs, desks, laptops, and webcams, they were significantly backordered and told me very clearly that my order was expected to ship by the end of September: two and a half months later. I was impatient, but they were very clear, my old chair was still functional but getting a little iffy, so I placed the order. In the end, it was delivered a week before they had initially promised to ship. So, they beat their prediction. As of this writing, the back order for this model is about two weeks.
This is a very heavy chair. Secret Lab’s spec page says it weights 77 pounds. The shipping box adds a bit more and it was all I could do to lift the box off of my driveway where it was delivered and carry it into my living room. I quickly decided to assemble it downstairs into major components, carry the partial chair upstairs in multiple trips and do the final assembly in my upstairs office.
Assembly was easy and both the instruction poster and the YouTube video they pointed to were very clear. They had spent some extra effort and money on the unboxing experience with wheels in a nice foam lined box rather than in a blister pack, etc. This had little to do with the daily use of the chair but made me feel like I was dealing with a premium item and that my money had been well spent.
It is now a little more than six months since I started using the chair (you may see a little dust at spots on my pictures.) I am very pleased with the chair. It is sturdy. It supports my body and weight well. The lumbar support is very nice as is the (removable) pillow. I adjusted the reclining stiffness and distance to be very comfortable to me. The chair does allow reclining to nearly a horizontal position, but I have not used that feature; 30 degrees or so is enough for me to briefly close my eyes.
The one minor complaint I have is that the seat is a little too firm for my preference. I added a black seat cushion pillow that I already owned and all was right in my world.
The chair comes with a 3 year warranty. If you make a qualifying social media post with a photo of your chair they’ll add another 2 years to that, for a total of 5. I posted to twitter and quickly got a confirmation of the extension. Details are included with the chair.
I also have two $20 discount codes that I can give to friends. If the code is used, Secret Lab will send me a bottle of upholstery cleaner. So, if you’re a friend who has my email or phone number and are going to place an order, check with me to see if I still have a code available.
Extra Bonus Review: Chair Mat
The plastic chair mat that I used to improve rolling over the office carpet had cracked in multiple places and needed to be replaced. I tried one from a big-box store and it dented on the first day. Then I tried this one from Amazon. It is made of polycarbonate and much sturdier. It looks new after 6 months of use with no cracks or dents. I recommend it.
One very important safety tip: It is shipped taped into a cylinder. When the tape is cut, the mat will spring flat with significant speed and energy. Stand clear or you may get mauled by the little spikes that keep it from sliding on the carpet.