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AKRacing Premium Gaming Chair Review

By Christopher Coke on December 17, 2018 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

AKRacing Premium Gaming Chair Review

AKRacing is one of the most well respected names in the gaming chair business. When they reached out to see if we’d take a look at their entry in their highest-end Premium line, we had to accept. Today, we’re reviewing the AKRacing Premium Gaming Chair in Camouflage. It’s always hunting season somewhere - why not have a gaming chair to match?

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Specifications

  • MSRP: $499.99
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Frame Color: Black
  • Weight Capacity: 330 lbs
  • Chair Cover Material: PU Leather
  • Foam Type: High Density Mould Shaping Foam
  • Foam Density: 55 kg/m³ (seat) 50 kg/m³ (back)
  • Foam total weight: 6.4lbs
  • Adjustable Armrests: 4D
  • Armrest Pad Size: 9.9*3.3*1″
  • Minimum Armrest Height: 11 inches
  • Maximum Armrest Height: 14 inches
  • Automotive-grade hinges
  • Mechanism Type: Premium Seat Mechanism
  • Adjustable Tilt Angle: 12 degree
  • Tilt Lock: Yes
  • Tilt Angle Lock: Yes
  • Gas Lift Class: 4
  • Backrest Height: 33 inches
  • Backrest Shoulder Width: 21.6 inches
  • Adjustable Back Angle: 180°
  • Adjustable Lumbar Cushion: Yes
  • Adjustable Headrest: Yes
  • Base Type: 5-star chrome base
  • Caster Size: 2.5”
  • Seat Size: 21.6” wide, 19.3” deep
  • Maximum Seat Height: 21.3 inches
  • Minimum Seat Height: 18.1 inches
  • BMI Range: up to 29 (Border BMI Range: 30-35 - not recommended for 36 and over)
  • Net Weight: 49.55lbs
  • Meets/Exceeds ANSI/BIFMA Standards: Yes
  • Warranty: 5-year materials/workmanship, 10-year steel frame

If you’ve explored the world of gaming chairs at all, you’ve probably noticed just how similar many of them are. There’s a good reason for that. Very few companies actually own their own factories, which means they’re all buying and, for lack of a better term, re-skinning the different parts with their branding. AKRacing is one of the scarce few that does own their own factory and keeps everything completely in-house. From product design, to tool production, to choosing the best materials, it’s all under their control which sets them apart from the pack.

The model we’re looking at today is part of their Premium line, AKRacing’s top of the line excepting their singular “Pro” model which we hope to look at in the future. Having reviewed a number of gaming chairs at this point, I’m in a unique position to be able to compare many different chairs from actual use and not second-hand accounts and spec sheets. The Premium has a heckuva lot going for it and is easily the most comfortable out of the box sitting experiences I’ve had yet.

Setup is easy and doesn’t require multiple people to get the job done. The box is big and heavy like all gaming chairs, but AKRacing did a good job of packing things concisely to keep the box as compact as possible. I was able to get it from my porch to the living room for setup by myself. The include a nice set of directions but if you’ve ever done a chair like this, you won’t find many surprises. They give you all the tools you need and even pre-install a number of screws so you know exactly where they go. I’m an old hat at this, but even with lots of picture taking, I had it assembled in 20 minutes.

AKRacing chairs do tend to be a little bit more expensive than a lot of the competition, but with that you’re really getting quality craftsmanship, a durable steel frame, and padding that’s comfortable right away. The back, pictured above, is lush with additional foam that fills in the contours of your back. It does include the telltale “wings” found on all gaming chairs but it’s wide enough that you don’t feel hugged into place. The stitching is also well done. There’s a spare tie with a little extra string here and there, which I would have liked to have seen clipped, but when assembled they’re out of sight, so it’s a nitpick at best.

The seat, on the other hand, is only slightly contoured to fit your bottom and legs. I vastly prefer this style of seat versus the racing seat style with wings on either side. I often cross my legs underneath me when I sit down at my PC, and the Premium in Camouflage easily accommodates that. Interestingly, the other colorways don’t feature flat seats, so bear that in mind if camo isn’t your thing and you’re a leg-crosser like myself. On the left and right side of the camouflage patterning is also a stylish faux carbon fiber trim which looks great in contrast with the smooth surfaces.

The other feature is the 4D armrests. Four-dimensional movement, in this case, means you can adjust height, width, angle, and depth. On the surface this seems like a “set it and forget it” feature but actually turns out to be quite important for a gaming chair. The position of your arms varies whether you’re holding a controller versus typing on a keyboard, for example, and changes again depending on whether you’re leaning forward or reclining back. I also really like that the arm surfaces are a dense foam instead of plastic, which avoids sore elbows after leaning for too long.

The base also allows for full recline if you’re in the mood for a quick cat nap. I’m not one to sleep at my PC, but I do like to put my feet up and lean back when playing with a controller. You feel like you’re going to fall backward the first time you lean all the way back, but the large and heavy star base keeps you upright. You can also adjust the tension of your rock and lock your tilt angle on top of height and recline adjustments.

Assembled, you have something that looks like this. Camo isn’t my style, but it’s definitely the most stylish camouflage gaming chair I’ve come across. Living in a rural area, there’s a lot of people I know who would think this was darn cool. The mix of black, white, camo, and carbon fiber really does look good. Small touches, like the crossed rifles on the lumbar pillow or mid-form crosshairs on the back definitely give it a flair that looks pretty neat. My sister and her fiance are big hunters as well as gamers and absolutely loved it.

So what’s it like to sit in? Right out of the box, better than any other chair I’ve used. The foam is soft right away, so there’s no break-in period like most other gaming chairs. It’s only been used for a couple of weeks, but as it’s broken in, it’s only become more comfortable and is dense enough where you don’t need to worry about feeling the frame or getting thin at any point. Other chairs get close to this point, but it takes quite a while which can be dismaying to first-time buyers. The AKRacing Premium suffers none of that which is likely a perk of their having complete control over the materials they use. The lumbar support cushion is also quite nice and is removable in case it ever needs a wash.

Final Thoughts

This isn’t the first AKRacing product we’ve reviewed here at MMO, but it’s the first chair I’ve personally had a sit in, and I’m impressed. It’s not going to shock anyone with its design but the amount of small touches really make it a premium experience. What you’re getting here completely delivers on everything you would expect from a gaming chair: it’s big, it’s stylish, it has proper lumbar support, lots of adjustability. That added comfort out of the box and excellent 5/10-year warranty really does set it over the top. I would love to see AKRacing challenge the mold of modern gaming chairs, but the Premium is undeniably good for anyone in the market to buy.

Pros

  • Excellent 5/10-year warranty
  • Soft right out of the box (better than any other we’ve tried)
  • Quality construction and detailed stitching
  • Can be easily assembled by one person
  • Lots of adjustability

Cons

  • Comes at a price premium
  • Non-camo variants feature winged seats

The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.

Christopher Coke / Chris has been a fan of MMOs since the mid-1990s when he cut his teeth on MUDs. These days he scours the internet for the latest and greatest multiplayer gaming experiences.

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