ergochair 2.

raz-0

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Messages
4,614
Witth the new spate of "gaming chairs" and various Chinese imports tyring to muscle into the herman miller, steel case, etc market segment, I started stalking things that looked promising. My 25 year old chair finally became unrepairable, so I had to get something. I'm also 6'7" ish and even most of the expensive chairs out there are not sized right, none of the cheap stuff available to test sit works for shit. With what I could find online about specific specs, I went with an ergochair 2.

My stats for judging my opinion - 6'6.75" 256lbs, 37" inseam, 39" sleeve. Pretty normal torso to leg ratio. Suit wise a 48" chest usually requires tailoring to fit right and has to be let out. A 50" usually needs to be taken in . I've got degenerative disks at L4 and L5, but manage it mostly by keeping up with therapy exercises and having increased my core strength to assist in supporting my weight (I also should be back below 250, but shit happens).

I'm not shilling it, so google it if you are interested. Mostly I'm posting because I saw a few comments of people curious about it from Kyle's chair updates, and my info might be of use.

As a point of reference, at work I have been exposed to the aeron, leap, and humanscale freedom headrest, and if you want to rock a golden oldie, steelcase ConCentrix chairs.

This is my $0.02 based on less than 20 hours of sitting so far for durations no longer than 3 hours.


So price:

I paid $288 delivered with a discount. I don't feel like I got screwed or really got a deal. It's not a cheap POS, and it's not a high end piece of office furniture meant to survive the frikin apocalypse (that steel case concentrix I mention above is over 20 years old and will likely outlast cockroaches, still 100% prepared to incur lumbar pain for tall people if they sit in it too long).

Shipping:

The thing actually shipped form Yonkers, so no annoying Chinese magic post drop shipping like I was concerned about. It also means I got the thing next day since I'm in NJ. Shipping was $39 of the $288 price. It was packcaged well, double boxed with what was at least a 200lb burst strength outer box. Everything was wlel protected form abrading against other bits in the box in shipping.


Build quality:

The casters are SHIT. Solid bottom half of the caster spectrum at a big box office store. They are not going to last very well on deep carpet or hard floors unless you are light. Maybe not even then.

The thing is mostly plastic, the plastic is BEEFY. It better be though, because it does not appear to be glass filled like the aeron or the leap's plastic bits. But it has lots of honeycombing and feels like a bit like a food grade 50 gallon plastic drum in terms of the material. This includes the base. Some of their marketing material shows it with a chromed steel bade and a chrome shrouded piston. That is NOT what comes with it. Plastic grayish-white base, matte black piston. The pictures showing that are accurate. It feels solid enough to live up to their 300lb spec.


Bolts and hardware are solid and come with thread locker on them, welds on the articulating bit for the base seem to be decent enough. The hardware is actually nicer than my leaps, and they use welds where the leap is using rivits in a lot of places on the articulated metal bits. Piston seems ok, but you really can't tell from the outside if they are ever any good.

The upholstery and mesh are not commercial grade stuff. They aren't crap, but they aren't going to last like steelcase, aeron, etc. The really big problem is the foam. The chair may be rated to 300lbs, the foam is not up to that task. Unlike the not very cusiony aeron and leap, the base for the foam is rigid plywood, not a flexible mesh or plastic lattice substrate like the aeron and leap respectively, so it is much less forgiving about pressure if you max out the foam.

Assembly:
Pretty straight forward. 20-30 minutes and it helps to have a spare set of hands for putting the back on. So normal flat packed office chair routine more or less.


Adjustability:

It's got mid back articulation you can lock in or out. It's got heght, springy back leaning motion trension and lock, it's got seat depth, and it has seat tilt. The last allows for a locked normal position, a locked forward tilt position which I suspect is useless, and an unlocked position which that lets it tilt freely that might be really useful for some people. It's got height, but not depth adjustable lumbar. It's got height and angle adjsutable headrest. One thing worht mentioning is that the arms are adjustable for spacing width (i.e. max hip width), but you do this at assembly, it's not adjustable without undoing the bolts and moving stuff.


Tall people shit:

This chair adjust taller than most. Stock it is able to reach about 21" thigh height. With these heavy duty casters ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EYTIHLG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 There are tons of similar offerings, I jsut got these ones, and they work well and are built like a tank.) it gets to about 23. That's the same as my tall steelcase leap. That's matching a $940 chair with a $200+ option. Beyond that, the piston is a normal 5"-ish throw (tall is usually 7" or so), but it's a really short piston. Aftermarket tall pistons straight from China run about $110-150. Normal length normal pistons cost half that for something decent, and would probably get you even more height than those wheels. The arm rests also adjust quite high. As an example, my tall leap chair cost a shit ton, and the arms max out a bit shorter than where my elbows are. Its serviceable, but not optimal. The ergochair ones I use one notch down from max. The headrest I can use on max or max -1. Anything below that is essentially useless given how much the mesh flexes. The lumbar adjust from too low to too high, so it's range is sufficient for tall folks.



Cons:

1) Like most ergonomic chairs, IMO, it's not actually comfortable. I don't really find the leap comfortable, but it is ergonomically correct based on how much back pain, leg pain, etc I experienced before switching to it and after. The ergo chair is similar, but...

2) As mentioned already, the seat foam is not up to the rated weight. I'm squashing the crap out of it with more than 40lbs left to spare on their max weight rating. The one piece plywood (or whatever, feels like plywood) base the foam and upholstery is affixed to isn't flexible, so this may cause pressure points that are going to be problematic. If I had to call it, I'd say this is probably a non issue if you are 200lbs or less.

3) The mesh would be better if it was more taut/less flexible. It's not puckering or anything like really cheap mesh can, but it's weave allows a greater elastic effect than others. I suspect a lot of people might find it to be too "soft" feeling.

4) THE SMELL. Holy shit. Out of the box and packaging this thing REEKS of outgassing plastic and mold release compound. The mold release compound stank dissipated in a day. The plastic smell is decreasing but still not 100% gone. It'll probably pass 100% at some point, but I'd treat setting this thing up like installing glue in carpet. Wherever it lives is going to stink like VOCs for a week at least.

5) The tension for back lean resistance is only so strong. It's a bit better than most of the staples/office max depot whatever chairs, less strong than some of the really good chairs, and on par with cheaper commercial chairs for meeting rooms. If your tall or fat, this is an issue with most every chair today to some extent IMO, and this one is no exception.


Pros:

1) The armrests. Very firm but slightly plaible surface material. they are height adjustable, forward and back adjsutable, and pivot slightly. They are also cupped a bit, and curved towards the front. I find them to work very well for me to provide forearm support while typing. They permit less yaw than the leap arms, but I like that. I'd take these over the aeron, leap, or humanscale for lots of typing. They aren't as tough as the aeron, leap, etc. as I believe they are all or mostly plastic in construction.

2) If you unlock everything and go full recline, it's actually super comfy for a quick nap and there's actually a point to the headrest. Outside of that I'm not sure why headrests are a thing on office task seating type chairs. It actually beats the human scale freedom with headrest for this, and that was my high water mark for such things.

3) Fully unlocked seat base tilt (hip tilt?). If you like sitting on your leg, perching, kneeling on your chair, or other weird positions, you may really dig this mode.

4)Quiet so far. The leaps can get REALLY squeaky if you run the tension near max. The aerons can get a little squeaky over time. This is pretty quiet.


Not sure:

1) lumbar support. It pokes you in the back a bit. It's kind of like the original lumbar design for the aeron in that it's an oval thing in the middle you adjust up and down, and unlike the leap's lumbar strap thing, it actually does something other than when reclining. I do wish it had depth adjustment because it is a bit too pronounced out of the box. This may be a non issue if the foam compresses a bit. It'd also be a non issue if the mesh had a bit less stretch to it. If you don't like lumbar support, this is not the chair for you.

2) front to back seat adjustment. I mean it works, locks up nice, but I'm not short and I see no reason for me ever moving it forward more than one notch from the rear.

3) The headrest is meant to go behind the neck/under the base of the skull, not behind the head.


Verdict:

If you find aeron mesh to squishy, the odds of you liking this chair are near zero.

If you weigh over 300lbs, I suspect this chair will fail spectacularly at some point, and beyond the usual of just ruining the seals on the seat height piston.

If you really love the type of chair where the seat base and back angle are fixed relative to each other, and the whole thing tilts, this is the polar opposite of that to the extreme.

If this were $200 at a local store I'd say it was a really good value and try it out. At $300+ shipped, I'm not so sure, especially since you can score a used aeron with lumbar for about the same, a new aeron without lumbar for about $100 more, or an "open box" basic black leap off amazon for the same price.

If you are tall, leggy, and 200lbs or under, adding less than $80 in parts off amazon will likely give you adjustability with this chair you'd have to pay in the $1000 range for a chair.
 

raz-0

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Messages
4,614
update 08-02-2019

The foam on the seat is still a real problem. It is progressing pretty much how I thought. Not breaking down and failing to rebound, but compressing quicker over time reducing the comfortable period. I spent a good chunk of seat time since the intial review fluctuating between 240 and 250lbs. and the exact same problem persists. They are just not using the right foam for a high use chair or for the weight they claim.

I've got a new chair at work with a similar approach with the upholstered foam base, mesh back and similar ergonomic adjustments. The foam is just better. Both get squished near flat by me, but the expensive work chair retains some give, and the ergochair doesn't. Both make me appreciate the neat trick the leap pulls off being comfy with much less padding and still not using mesh.

The squishy mesh thing is still true.

Upholstery has held up better than I thought it would.

The casters proved to be tougher than they looked as I hijacked them for something else. I'd upgrade them to average.

If you are tall, I'd rescind my recommendation of heavy duty casters and go with this piston kit https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FGLVD6M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
It includes a tool to get your piston out of your old chair. I've been using the piston on a new chair at work. It's also like $30. It'll only really do you any good if your chair uses a short throw piston or seats deeply, but the ergochair 2 seats deeply, so you should gain height.

As for the stink, it took about a month to reach non offensive levels while sitting in the chair and maybe 2 to be gone.
 

Dajinn

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
111
Thanks for the detailed review. I wish there was a reliable way to test one out without having to buy it first. I currently use an Embody, but I really miss having something to rest my head on.
 
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