I have been uncomfortable in my office chair for a year or so. It was a perfectly nice ‘executive style’ chair, but not long after the warranty ran out a couple of years ago it started to ‘list’ to one side by about 10 degrees. This abnormal sitting position was accompanied by a ‘rocking’ from side to side: I looked at the mechanism, and found that a bearing hole in a metal plate that was supposed to be round had become oblong due to wear.
So I started looking around for a replacement. After some trepidation, I decided to opt for a ‘gaming’ chair: yes, I’m a gamer, but I’m not a tech-bro “Gamer”, so choosing one of the iconic clique-indicators of this tribe for my home seemed a bit wrong. Specifically I started looking at the products made by Secretlab, and specifically their Titan model.
Why the Titan?
There are a number of things about the Secretlab’s Titan chair that were appealing to this chair before I bought it.
- Secretlab’s reputation: The manufacturer has a good reputation for making solid and comfortable chairs
- Adjustability: The seat back angle is fully adjustable (not just ‘fixed’ or ‘rocking’); on the Titan model, the arms are adjustable in terms of height and armrest angle. There is also an adjustable lumbar support
- Chair reputation for quality/strength: The Titan is rated for people up to 300 pounds, and it has a three year warranty plus a two year extension for people who share pictures of the chair online
- Unoffensive appearance: I work from home and use my chair in a professional context. I didn’t want blaring colours and patterns, glowing lights, or obvious “this is a chair for pro gamers” visuals. Although Secretlabs has such options, they also have ‘plain’ options
- Honest to goodness leather option: the default chair materials include PU leather (I.e.: fake leather) and cloth materials. But this year Secretlab added a Napa leather option, and it is done ‘right’ i.e.: all the chair surfaces are actual leather. Yes it is much more expensive, but I like leather vs vinyl
So I purchased the Secretlab Titan in Napa leather in early April, and I’ve been sitting on it now for about a month.
But is it good?
The chair itself comes ‘some assembly required’, but the packaging and instructions are fantastic. Assembly was easy, and gave me the opportunity to get a good look at internals of the chair. Every part of it is very solid: no wobbly plastic bits, no not-quite-fitting metal parts. The base is aluminum, the gas cylinder and chair mounts are rock solid, and the arms are bolted quite firmly to the seat. Everything is neat, tidy, and well-assembled. The leather covers front and back surfaces: this is uncommon these days, where it is quite normal to have leather ‘seating surfaces’ and vinyl everywhere else.
The adjustments are all smooth and solid: I was especially pleased by the back angle lever and the arm height mechanisms. I should note that I don’t ‘fiddle’ with my chairs much: once I get them set the way I like they generally stay in that position for months or even years. This means I’m not giving the mechanisms a workout- so your mileage may vary.
The seat surfaces are very firm, and not at all ‘plush’. This took some getting used to coming from a ‘plush’ executive chair. This is by design: the firmness comes from studies of people who spend a lot of time sitting, and apparently is very important to the long-term comfort. Just don’t expect a fluffy bottom pillow. But the back support, and particularly the neck support, is great. I am getting into the habit of leaning back into the neck cushion rather than leaning forward, and I’be noticed I have a bit less neck and shoulder pain after a day of working.
This is easy: 10 out of 10, would buy again. I’ll see how it is holding out in a few years, although I’m pretty confident that it will hold up very well.
The Secretlab Titan is a great investment if you sitting in a chair in front of a computer for extended periods. It is reasonably priced for chairs of its kind. It is not ‘cushy’ but in my opinion is very comfortable for my usual eight to ten hour days.