I’ll admit, I’m not really the core market for gaming “lifestyle” accessories. The garish colors, over the top names, and Monster Energy inspired designs of everything tend to be massive turnoffs. Plus a great many of them tend to hide shoddy craftsmanship and crap materials under an RGB-friendly color scheme or edgy naming schemes. But it turns out, gaming chairs are in many ways better than their more “respectable” brethren, with all of the bells and whistles of your grandpa’s leather office chair but without necessarily breaking the bank. You can even find some that don’t make your eyes bleed!
Some of them come from EWinRacing, an Ohio company that (despite the name) are in the market of making video game furniture, with their specialty being computer gaming chairs. They were nice enough to send one to me to check out, one of their EWin Champion Series chairs. Selected according to my height and weight (they have one for everyone), the Champion series comes in a variety of colors and themes. Some come in the usual gamer-themed colors like “Mountain Dew Green,” “Edgelord Red,” and “Disrespect Women & Minorities Blue,” there are also some more toned down colors, including an all-black version that looks straight out of the board room and the black and white version that I chose. After order, it arrived EXTREMELY quickly (3 days). It was missing the neck and back pillows, but once I brought that up those were also sent in the same swift time frame.
Putting It Together
The build process for this chair was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a while. It all comes very well packed together with lots of bubble wrap, and in theory is a pretty quick setup: add top to bottom, screw on covers, add wheels. But hoo boy was it not. See, the first issue is that the instruction booklet they sent was less a booklet and more a folded piece of paper, and inside was a parts list and a pictorial guard. A few problems with this. First, some of the parts they listed were not actually in the box, and had already gone onto the chair. This wouldn’t be an issue except for the fact that the instructions (such as they are) rely on the correct parts. Without those, the hard-to-read instructions become almost incomprehensible.
Second, those rules are listed out as a series of squares, each with small arrows and a TINY amount of text corresponding to each step. It was like if Morrowind-era Todd Howard wrote an instruction manual. They also put it on a black background, which made the many BLACK parts incredibly hard to see. Luckily the chair is sturdy enough you can find of fumble and bumble your away around, but having to improv the building of the chair didn’t exactly put me in the mood for epic gaming. Wheels went on super easily though, just pop right into the base.
Oh, and if you order one, make sure you have an set of allen wrenches, esp larger ones. The two they send are too small for the screws you have to use. So just keep that in mind.
Once I survived the 12 Trials of Chair Construction, I could actually sit in the damn thing. And you know what? Pretty damn nice. In fact, I’d say it was worth the swearing and pinched fingers. The leather that covers the chair is nice without being overly slick and sweaty, and the memory foam underneath is soft and comfortable. It’s also nice to have a chair that goes over one’s head, letting you lean back more comfortably, which it does do very well (though it’s not as precise as the diagram shown). There’s a little bit of resistance when you pull the lever, and as such you can overshoot your “intended” angle by a bit. But it can go nearly 180 degrees vertical and hold my weight (as I’d hope), and once I got over my built-in fear of falling, which is not the chair’s fault, I could see it as something to nap in. Not as easily as a La-Z-Boy or a couch, but if you needed a cat nap at the desk it would do a treat. The cushions help a lot with that, as the neck and lumbar cushions add a great deal of support to those places without being invasive. They do have a version that comes without the pillows…but you should really get the pillows.
You can basically make the entire chair fit to your body, with the arm rests having a big range of motion. Not only can they raise and lower, they can also move inward and outward, letting you adjust your arm placement depending on work. I’ve never had inward bent armrests, but it turns out they’re a godsend when reading or playing with a controller. The chair is a little tall, so if you have a very short desk it could be an issue, but otherwise it can accommodate lots of different heights. Also the wheels? Smooth like butter and very sturdy, even with the space age hubless design that is an option for many chairs. The whole chair is actually incredibly sturdy, and there’s a high level of craftsmanship that almost seems outsized compared to the cost of an entry level gaming chair.
- Sturdy design and high quality material
- Plenty of ways to make the chair fit your exact needs
- Actually seems like something you can nap in
- Pretty good value for the price
- Extremely fast customer service and delivery
- Unclear and overly-simplistic instructions make chair construction feel like a bad mini-game
- Missing or changed parts make instructions even more confusing
- Extremely heavy
- Can be easy to overshoot how far back you want to lean.
Overall, this is just a really nice chair. You don’t really need to game in it to enjoy it, as it’s a strong step up from most lower end chairs. And it’s even better than many “real” office chairs I’ve used, as the shape fits well to the body and there’s way more room to move in it. If you spend most of your day in front of a screen as a writer, programmer, or, yes, gamer, then I’d give the EWin Champion Series (or any EWin chair) a shot.
You can pick up your own chair on the EWin shop. Not only that, you can use the code FANDOM on checkout to get a whopping 30% off the cost of your order!
Thanks to EWinRacing for the chair provided for this review, as well as the images used.