While many folks pay a lot of attention to the gear in and around their computer, I think it tends to be more what’s directly wired in. Then again, over the last year and a half, you no doubt have been reconsidering that chair you’ve got at the desk, particularly now that the main work chair. At least, I know I have. Enter, then the Vertagear SL2000, a chair that I’ve been logging some serious hours in as of late.
Now, don’t let the fact that the Vertagear SL2000 is labelled as a “gaming chair” dissuade you from considering it (or any gaming chair, for that matter). Sure, some of it is going to be down to the styling, whether you want a chair that looks like it belongs in an office, or if it looks like it could have come out of a race car. Past that, why a gaming chair? Well, gamers have spent hours and hours at a stretch staring at a screen (hey, just like us keyboard workers), so chairs have evolved to not just be comfortable, but also supportive and ergonomic.
A lot of that is going to start with the foundation of the chair. I mean, many chairs look nice in the store, but after a few months or years, the bad construction comes through. Now, we’ve not had the Vertagear SL2000 for years, but this feels like a chai meant to go the long run. It starts with a steel frame (in both the base and the back; it carries a 10-year warranty) that’s the foundation for everything. On top of that you’ve got a fairly dense foam (firm, but not unforgiving), and then over that you’ve got the artificial leather. Where that’s attached to the frame, you’ve got heavier ring clips holding it in place, which again speaks to the longevity.
All of this sits on your standard gas lift cylinder (a class-4 in this case), which nestles into an aluminum base (no plastic here!) into which the casters nestle in. The aluminum base, along with the steel frame, makes for a stable and sturdy chair, netting a chair at just under 53 lbs. Into that base, you’ve got the casters that I mentioned, which are actually pretty nice based on chairs I’ve had in my basement setup. Our floor isn’t the smoothest, but these casters handle it with ease, making pushing back with the chair a cinch.
That gas lift if your first introduction to the ergonomics of the Vertagear SL2000, allowing you to get the height of the seat set so your legs are at a good angle, and you’re sitting at a height that makes sense for your setup. This was the first issue I ran into with the chair. The lever that you use to adjust the height of the chair is also the one that you slide into place to keep the chair from tilting. What I discovered is that if I pushed that lever in too far (again, to prevent the recline), it put the S-shape in the bar right in a spot on the gas lift that – when I sat – engaged the release on the lift which meant I sunk down. So, it took some trial and error, but I figured out how far I was able to set that lever in without it inadvertently sinking me to the floor.
The next bit of ergo you’ll run into on the Vertagear SL2000 are the armrests. These are fairly basic units, for which you can adjust them up or down. They’re not particularly padded (just a molded soft plastic), but that’s fine, as I don’t use them for much once I’m in the chair. If you’re particular about them, though, there is an upgrade option. Next you’ve got the actual back of the chair. I found that to be supportive, and the curve it’s got built in worked quite well for my back.
However, many folks seem to like the lumbar pillows that come on chairs these days, and the Vertagear SL2000 has it’s own as well. I tried it for a few days, but it just wasn’t for me. Sitting as I do in a chair, I felt like my lower back was the only part of my back in contact with the chair, which made for a weird sitting position. Fortunately, two clips take that off, and my comfort level was increased. I found the included pillow (also removable) to be hitting at a good height for me, so I’ve left that in place.
And speaking of height – coming in at 6’3″, it’s rare that I run across a desk chair that I would actually consider reclining in, due to my head not being supported. In the case of the Vertagear SL2000, the back of the chair is easily tall enough to accommodate me, should I feel the need for a quick nap during a lunch break (and there is a separate recliner handle on the seat, so you’re not tilting the whole chair).
So, while I’m not a gamer by any stretch, I found the Vertagear SL2000 to be a solid upgrade to my work-from-home setup. It was a simple setup (just have to assemble the pieces and put screw a few things together; hardware and t-handle wrench are included), and then you’re all set to get it adjusted to how best fits your body and your workspace. There is that one issue I ran into with the gas lift, so keep an eye out on that if you pick one up, as you may need to adjust how far you slide that locking lever in.
All this comfort – and materials for long-term longevity – don’t come cheap, especially if you’re used to buying whatever the local office store has on sale when you need a chair. MSRP on the Vertagear SL2000 is $349.99, but they’ve got a Black Friday sale going on at the moment that drops the price down to $299.99. Then again, given how much time we spend on our butts and at keyboards, a good chair is something your back is going to thank you for over the years. You can check out the Vertagear SL2000 – and all the colors and some of the customization options (armrests and casters) directly over at vertagear.com