Thanks for stopping by and checking out this gaming chair review. We are going to be checking out Respawn’s 200 Chair. Gentry from Respawn reached out to me and sent us this sample making this review possible.
Before I introduce you to the Respawn Chair, I find it important to let ya’ll know just a bit about me and how I feel about quality chairs. I am a 20-something short, active, female person (not the cat, pictured above), and I have arthritis that sometimes impacts my back and neck.
Because of this having a comfortable chair is important to me. It’s crucial that be able to spend considerable time in it and not feel repercussions later at the gym or when I try to sleep at night. So, that being said, I was excited to take this for a spin. Sometimes literally.
Zoom In: Specs
- Recline: 90° – 130°
- Upholstery: PU leather seat / mesh back
- Casters: PU coated (safe for wood floors)
- Armrests: 2D armrests, height and depth adjustable
- Weight: 51 pounds (23kg)
- Weight Capacity: 275 pounds (125kg)
- Frame & Wheelbase: Steel
- Support: Integrated lumbar support & neck pillow
- Warranty: Limited lifetime
Trying out the Respawn 200 Chair
- Chair Backrest
- Chair Seat
- Gas Piston
- Adjustment Controls
- Head Pillow
- Assembly Guide
- Assorted Hardware
First impressions of the Respawn chair was definitely different than my interactions with other chairs. Having a plastic shell, and mesh backing made it the first of it’s kind that I’ve ever put together or tested out. It also had considerably less parts than other chairs, such as the Clutch Chair, which made assembly much easier.
After unpacking the contents and finding the instructions, all together it probably took about 6 minutes to actually assemble. However, there was at least another 2-4 minutes in there of deciphering the instructions. They were drawings only, and quite small, and while everything was pretty straightforward the attaching of the seat to the back was met with a bit of struggle.
It took me a while to warm up to the idea of having a plastic framed gaming chair, but it seemed solidly built. The mesh is strong, and anchored well at the seams, so there shouldn’t be an issue there. The neck pillow is supportive- although I am a bit of a leaner so I’m not sure how much I’ll be using it.
The actual shape and design of the chair has definitely received considerable attention, so it is more eye catching than other chairs. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is obviously in the eye of the beholder, but I quite like it. In fact I would even say that that throughout my first week of use the visuals grew on me tremendously.
As far as comfort goes, I haven’t experienced any symptoms from sitting in it all day. It seems to give me much more support than I get from my former chair. I have also become a massive fan of the mesh, because it keeps me quite cool. You can read more about my critique of the individual features below.
A Closer Look At Comfort
The part I find most comfortable is the seat itself. It’s not completely flat like many other gaming chair seats, and is less firm. The way that it’s shaped help keep my back aligned, since I have a problem with slouching. I also like how it goes up on the sides, though I’m not entirely sure how to explain why I like it.
Armrest design is pretty run-of-the mill in terms of cushion. They have slight cushioning, and are adjustable two ways for comfort. I am narrow shouldered, so I wish that they could adjust in and out so that my elbows were a bit more securely on them.
I am a fan of the mesh backing because I run hot during the day, and leather chairs have a tendency to heat me up too much. The airflow is nice and the mesh doesn’t sink in much when I lean into it. It does concern me that overtime it might stretch out and offer less support, so that will be something I keep an eye on as I continue to use the chair on a regular basis.
I’m hoping that it doesn’t wear out any faster than the rest of the chair does because that would take it down quite a few notches in terms of design. But let me be clear, I’m not knocking them for the mesh at all, I quite like it.
One of the visual features I’m not fond of (see more details in Look section) also could be a potential annoyance for someone taller than me.
Keeping custom with the racing style shape of gaming chair trends, the chair “handles” as I refer to them, are made from plastic, and are not covered by any cushioning like most racer style chairs. They don’t get in my way, but if I were taller and sat back any sort of arm stretching out would be obstructed by them. I also wonder if my shoulders would be resting on them at all. I might have my husband test it out. If you use the neck pillow, this will help keep you clear of the handles, but I have bonked on them a couple of times walking by and they don’t feel that great. I’m really on the fence about them all around. For comfort it doesn’t affect me but it easily could someone else.
Back comfort is also average so far. There is “back support” (see ergonomics) and so far I haven’t needed a lumbar support pillow. (We’ll see after a few more days).
Reclines slightly, but not very far. Obviously reclining all the way is’t a necessary feature. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’d like to be able to kick back and relax just slightly further than it allows.
Levers are somewhat difficult to reach for chair height and reclining because they are located directly under the arm and are both angled pretty sharply down. Again, as a shorter person, this might be harder for me than someone else.
One of the features that stands out the most to me is the back support. It features a mechanism that I haven’t seen in any other chair. It’s definitely Respawns suggestion to having a mesh chair with support that can look cool from the front without needing to use an extra lumbar pillow.
As you can see in the picture, between the backing and the mesh is a moveable lumbar support that can be adjusted slightly up and down, and click into place if you move it forward. Honestly, it’s a really smart addition that I think will help keep the mesh from stretching, and keep backs from hurting. However, it is slightly temperamental. If you don’t get it clicked just right, it will move around, so I would suggest playing around with it a bit where you can see it before you sit in it.
Again, in the comfort section, I mentioned the two-way adjustable armrests, though they won’t be great for smaller framed/shorter armed sorts like myself.
From only a visual perspective, the Respawn CHAIR has a plethora of features that make it stick out in a lineup of other gaming chairs.
The first piece is the mesh backing. It really fits a different style of gamer than the ones that are all leather, and features designs on the backing of the chair. The seaming is well done on the outside in all but one place. Sitting in the chair by my left ear there is a slight buckle in the seam where a piece of the plastic frame has just slightly poked through. It is, at the time incredibly small, but I noticed it when I was checking the mesh seaming and you can see where I’m pointing to the flaws below.
With the pillow on it’s hardly noticeable, though I will be keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t create a hole or cause unraveling. At this point it is a tiny cosmetic blemish, but on a mesh chair it’s so crucial that the seaming around the outside be strong so that it lasts its worth.
The biggest pleasing stand out to me is by far the shell. Coming out of the box, it was an instant yes for me. It’s not overdone, and has a nice matte finish. I might have even said “whoa it looks like a Transformer” good point as that was the only way for me to describe the design. I’m sure Respawn does a better job describing it than I do.
The seat also features just a bit of design that compliments the shell without overdoing it. I’m partial to the mix of dark grey and black, which is even featured on the chairs base. The arms are a difficult one to spruce up, and Respawn hasn’t put too much effort into making them particularly interesting, but that work with the rest of the aesthetic. However, there is a bit of peeling of the rubber coating on the back of the rest itself. I’m assuming this is where the rubber has been cut by a mold, but it does make them look worn from the back.
Alright, I’ve been pretty supportive of the design so far, but there is one glaring thing that I’m going to criticize Respawn for, because it’s really an easy fix. I like that they tried something different with the “handle” like design on the chair.
It’s different, it stands out, and I actually like the concept. However they missed the mark a bit. While this is a personal opinion I do think that the overall look would be much better if the gray plastic inset on the “handles” was matte finish. It just cheapens the overall look with the glossy finish.
Having a gloss finish makes the gray look a slightly-off shade compared to the gray that is used on the seat cushion, pillow, and logo stitching. I also would argue that the molding is just a bit off as well, which you can see in the photos below. However, I will say that the design itself is still appealing to me. And would likely receive less criticism from me had they changed the finish of the handles, or didn’t use grey there at all.
Back to the Action
Now, let’s do a quick recap.
In terms of assembly, the instructions were a little unclear due to simplicity. However, I did appreciate that there were less parts in the box than other gaming chairs I’ve helped assemble. It made things a lot easier when the instructions did become unclear because there wasn’t too many pieces to juggle. That also cut down on the un-boxing time.
Comfort is the most important quality to me, and I think the Respawn 200 is really nailing it so far. The seat is comfortable, and I feel that I have a good amount of back support. The reason I didn’t give it a 9 or a 10 is because I think the armrests could be adjustable in and out to account for people of smaller/larger sizes. I would also say that the plastic wings might bother someone taller, or someone obsessed with looks.
For me, the Respawn 200’s aesthetics checks a lot of boxes, but it missed the mark on the “handles” construction, and the gloss of the grey plastic features, as I discuss more thoroughly above. I also think the armrests needed to be a little cleaner. The seat and mesh has been executed perfectly, though.
Taking into the account of the arm rests, and having a backrest that’s harder to use, ergonomics aren’t as great as I would like in a chair. Especially one where you will be sitting for hours on end. The ability to reach the adjustable levers also takes it down a tad. It’s close to a 7, and if you’re taller it might feel a little better as far as ergonomics go. I still feel as if I can maintain a good posture in the chair, but I have to adjust things a bit more frequent than I would prefer.
The price is definitely reasonable for what you’re getting. When I compare it to chairs I’ve spent ~$100 I can see all the upgrades I’m getting for the price difference. I think the only thing that it might be lacking at this price is a better recline, and maybe better execution on the design of the ergonomic backrest.
That said, I think the build quality matches the price for the most part, I’m still curious to see if the mesh backing will sag after awhile of use, and based on its lifespan this score could fluctuate either way.
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Zoom Out: Verdict
Comfort - 8/10
Ergonomics - 6/10
Build Quality - 6/10
Look - 8/10
Price - 9/10
Assembly - 8/10
The Respawn 200 chair tries to do a couple things different. The lumbar support adjustment and backrest aesthetic is a fresh take on the quintessential racing style gaming chair. While I don’t think Respawn executed these new elements perfectly, they get points for doing something new. Furthermore, they delivered a quality chair for about $200, about a $100 less than the competition.
- Fantastic price
- Speedy assembly process
- Superb comfort w/ breathable mesh back
- Inadequate armrests
- Recline capped at 130°
- High gloss accessories detract from the design