Review: Respawn-200 Gaming Chair (Hardware)
The Finer Details
The box itself is your standard foam and cardboard affair, packed with all the assorted pieces needed to build the chair along with a labelled pack for the nuts and bolts, meager instruction sheet, and a peculiar allen key. In every desk, dresser, chair, or table I have ever assembled, the manufacturers have always included an asymmetrical hex wrench (L-shaped). While perfectly adequate for the job, you would always need to flip-flop which side you were using depending on the need for torque or being able to fit it in a tight spot. Respawn's included tool is equal in length on both sides, which meant even when attaching the larger bottom support pieces, the tool was able to reach over the top of the hardware and still have a long handle for torque. Maybe this wasn't intended by design, but if it was, kudos to them.
The instruction sheet leaves a lot to be desired. The single page of paint-by-numbers steps is a bit confusing and, I am ashamed to say, left me having to take the chair apart to flip a major piece around. While the trapezoid shape of the seat as drawn in the directions would lead you to believe the process starts with one orientation, a poorly indicated and scaled down representation of a sticker is supposed to be the key for which way to start building the chair-- something I realized only after reaching a step towards the end that left me unable to attach the back of the seat. Oops.
I ran into another major issue during my adventure while on the step requiring the attachment of the arm rests. I unpacked one piece, saw the label indicating it was the Right (R) side piece, and attached it. I then unwrapped the other, only to be surprised by it also having a Right (R) side sticker. I had to look online for some complete images of the chair to figure out which piece actually went on which side, based on the angle of the slope. Surprise, surprise-- I had attached the left side arm rest to the right side of the chair, making the second time I had to go back and remove pieces to re-assemble it. At some point, I thought for sure I had mistaken the R stickers to be a side indicator instead of a part label, but upon checking, saw that the arms were indeed labelled Part C, and someone at the production facility had just messed up.
After finally getting the chair together, it was immediately clear that the arm rests were going to be a major point of contention. They sit so far forward that there is a sizeable gap between the back of the chair and actual usable portion. The arms can be adjusted up and down in a locking fashion, and the pads can slide forward and backwards, but only marginally and with no way to lock them in place, they always rattle around and move about. While sitting upright is quite comfortable, everyone at some point will want to utilizing the reclining feature-- and this is where the chair completely fails. By reclining the back at all, the air gap to the arm rests becomes so wide that they are unusable. At the risk of sounding like a total klutz, I nearly fell out of the chair when I went to casually lean on one of the rests, only to neatly fall in-between it and the back of the chair-- that's just how big the gap is.
Another major problem I had was the inability to move the arms out of the way when I wanted to play games in VR while sitting. They are in the exact wrong position and get in the way of anything you try to do. Since they can't be lifted or rotated out of the way, and with the clunky moving of the arm pads and distancing issues, you're truly better off just never attaching them in the first place and using it as an armless chair.
The back of the chair reclines nicely and can be locked not only from reclining completely, but into any position you feel is right for your setup. Height adjustments work as expected and the mesh backing feels really nice. The back brace is hidden behind the mesh and the clip-on pillow at the top both provide great support. The chunky plastic design is stylish, durable, and looks very modern; very much in line with competitors' offerings.
There isn't a whole lot else to say, except that if you have cats, beware that they will love to claw on the back mesh and claim the chair as their own personal scratching post as soon as you finish building it. I've moved this particular chair into my office, out of feline harms reach, and now use it at my desk housing my Plex server.
Where to Buy:
The Respawn RSP-200 comes in a few different colors, all around $200 or so, and can be picked up off Amazon at the link below following the official advertising blurb:
Item Weight 50.7 pounds
Height 35.43 inches
Length 23.62 inches
Width 12.6 inches
- GAMIFIED SEATING: A racecar-style gaming chair that provides luxury and comfort, whether it's used for intense gaming sessions and climbing to the top of the leaderboards, or long work days.
- ERGONOMIC COMFORT: This ergonomic chair has a steel tube frame design encased in molded foam which allows for highly-contoured support and an open back seat structure that allows for additional heat control. The adjustable headrest and lumbar pivoting lumbar support delivers comfort that lasts.
- 4D ADJUSTABILITY: Find your optimal position by raising or lowering your chair, tweaking the height and depth of your armrests, and reclining between 90 - 130 degrees with infinite angle lock. Full 360 degrees of swivel rotation enable dynamic movement.
- PROFESSIONAL GRADE: Stay cool and in control. A reinforced mesh backing increases airflow to regulate body temperature and enable lightweight support. Use as a gamer chair or an office chair.
- WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK: Sit back and relax knowing this video game chair is backed by the RESPAWN by OFM Limited Lifetime warranty, and dedicated, year-round representative support.
+ High Quality Build
- Arm Rests
out of 10
While comfortable and stylish, the instructions and packing need some serious QA. Fairly useless and cumbersome arm rests may leave you considering some of the other options on the market.