"Okay, Chary, seriously...another gaming chair?", you might be saying aloud to your monitor while reading this review, for some unexplainable reason. And yes, we're back to ChairTemp once more, friends. SecretLab has a new variation of one of their gaming chairs, and after the tragic death of my loyal Noblechair Hero, it's time for a replacement that will hopefully last the test of time. I'm here to check out the OMEGA Softweave^3 2020 Edition, so we'll be seeing just how much this one sets itself apart, and why I think this might be one of the best gaming chairs ever. But let's not spoil the review too quickly.
Immediately, SecretLab's Omega chair bucks the trend that just about every other gaming chair in the world has been copying for years. Rather than use leather, or rather, faux-leather, the Softweave version instead opts for a fabric material. Not only does it look far less obnoxious, but the soft cloth-like texture is a lot nicer to sit in, sort of like a loveseat or recliner. On the other hand, it's also a lot less breathable due to this fact, and I've noticed that the chair is a little warmer than say, the OPSeat or LFGaming chair and their hole-poked leather, but I think the tradeoff of extra warmth is worth the comfort.
Building the chair is an incredibly easy process, so I won't linger too long on it. It all arrived in a massive titan of a box and required two people to heft it into my room. From there, unpacking it and building it went incredibly smoothly. SecretLab has pretty much built the whole thing already; you just need to slot the backrest onto the seat, and the seat onto the wheels. The first sign that SecretLab goes the extra mile can be noticed during the building process--not only do they provide an insanely huge chart the size of the box so that you can easily read every step of the instructions, they also give you a tiny toolkit, equipped with everything you'll need, including an allen wrench and a much-appreciated allen wrench grip. The whole thing is packed together way better than most, and it makes for an easy, stress-free building experience.
Now, out of every one of the gaming chairs I've tried so far, each of them had its strengths and standout features, but the one complaint that's stretched across all of them has been that they're built, to put it bluntly, for large men. It makes sense, given the statistics, and I could easily believe that more men than women would also be in the market for garish gaming chairs as well, but my issue still stands, regardless. SecretLab offers the Titan or Titan XL variations of their chairs, designed for broad-shouldered individuals, but excitingly, they also offer the smaller Omega form factor. The backrest is less wide, and it has a smaller seat, making it easier to not feel dwarfed by a throne of a chair, and instead able to sit more ergonomically and upright. For the Omega, the manufacturer recommends being around 5'9"/175cm and somewhere in the ballpark of 175lbs/80kg. At 5'2", the headrest sits a little tall (but I tend to stretch the pillow's elastic band and force it down lower than normal) but otherwise, the chair is perfect for my size. Where other gaming chairs, or even standard office ones tend to have armrests that are way too wide for my shoulders to sit naturally, this one is right out of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and fits "just right.”
I digress. What's important to know here boils down to the fact that the Omega chair is something that women, shorter men, or at risk of insulting myself, children, would be able to feel comfortable and relaxed in. Not to say that it's tiny, either--there's still plenty of room for me to sit cross-legged in, a bad habit ergonomically, perhaps, but a preferred way of sitting personally regardless. Should the chair not fit your needs out of the box, then there are numerous adjustments you can make, from leaning the backrest, to moving the arms in, out, up, or down.
On the topic of the arms, they're another solid feature of the Omega. When it comes to the armrests, I've noticed quite a few chairs will cheap out, either by making the adjustment piece too thin and easily breakable, or by not letting them be moved much more than just up or down. SecretLab opted for a nice, thick metal slab to serve as the paddle you press in to make the armrests raise or lower. I've made the mistake of turning my chair around too quickly and bumping it into the front of my desk, which would normally break off the paddle, but since it's metal, it just bounces off and stays there, sturdy. A plastic button exists on the inside of the rests so that you can push them in or out depending on your shoulder width. Finally, the last piece is yet another metal button, and this one slides the rests back and forth to also best suit your arms while gaming/typing. As for the arms themselves, they're not that padded, but the rubbery material is soft and supportive for your elbows. Having this amount of customization in the arms of the chair is really useful, and while it SHOULD be a standard feature, most gaming chairs seriously neglect that part, so I'm grateful to see it featured prominently on the Omega.
Over on the bottom half of the chair, you have a few knobs and dials as well. These are used for raising or lowering the chair's height to meet your desk, and to lock and unlock the chair's tilting capabilities. You've also got the typical car-like bar on the right, which lets you lean the seat back almost to a flat 180 degrees. I can't honestly imagine anyone wanting to sleep in their gamer chair, but at least the Omega Softweave would probably be your best bet for doing so. The wheels are also smooth; super smooth, in fact, and will glide nicely across any hardwood floors or floor-mats. Everything about the chair is quality, moreso than the others I've tried, and I say this having previously reviewed a $1,200 chair. I'm really impressed by SecretLab here.
As for the negatives, they're pretty few and far between. I mentioned that the fabric, while the highlight of the Omega Softweave, will absorb heat pretty well, which is something important to consider if you live in a place without A/C, though the thought of sitting in hot leather that sticks to you sounds worse, even if it's marginally cooler. On top of that, cloth, even nicely-stiched cloth, is far more likely to stain than leather that can just be wiped down. Everyone always says to never eat at your desk, but I'm sure plenty of us have had snacks nearby, and it's yet another detail to keep in mind; a single drop of Mountain Dew Code Red will mark its territory on this chair. Forever.
At the risk of sounding like a complete and utter shill: I love this chair. I don't have a reason to praise it as much as I do beside a pure passion for how much I genuinely like it. I can't get over how good it is. My favorite part is the fact that someone out there finally made a chair that fits my pathetically diminutive frame, but to say that's the only good thing about the SecretLab Omega Softweave would be an insult; at $439 ($379 on sale!) for the OMEGA model, it comes in at a fair price, is way softer and nicer to sit in over long periods of time, and from the headrest to the wheels, is built with primo materials. Anyone who scoffs at typical gamer chairs should give this one a look, because it definitely sets itself apart from the rest of the hundreds of generic chairs out there.