When most gamers are shopping for chairs, the vast majority will likely choose a racing, or “gaming” chair to help them during those long gaming sessions. However, the more I’ve used those chairs myself (first a Cougar, then a Maxnomic) I’ve started to wonder if I would be better suited in a regular office chair instead. After all, my gaming PC is also my work PC, so I spend upwards of 8 to 10 hours minimum in my office chair. Enter the ErgoChair 2 by Autonomous.
I’ve always been intrigued by the Autonomous line of chairs. The ErgoChair is one that would also catch my attention, but I was convinced that the standard racing chairs were the better choice. However, after months of using my most recent desk chair, I started to notice more and more back pain. I could never get comfortable in these chairs, and it only got worse each day. So I was curious as to how a regular office chair with none of the gaming flair would do in keeping me comfortable throughout my work day.
- Dimensions 29”L x 29”W x 46” - 50”H
- Seat dimensions 20” x 20W”
- Seat Height 18” - 20”
- Back Dimensions (w/o headrest) 21”W x 22”H
- Back Dimensions (w/ headrest) 21”W - 28” - 31”H
- Tilt Range 20°
- Armrest’s Height 11” - 14”
- Caster wheel’s diameter 2.369 inches
- Number of caster wheels 5 pieces
- Materials: Polyester fabric with molded foam interior and durable nylon plastic frame; PU handrest pads.
- Colors: Cool Gray, Evergreen, All Black, Red Apple, Black & White, Baby Blue
- Weight Capacity 350 lbs
- Item weight 48.5lbs
- Cost $369 from the Autonomous.ai website
First Glance and Impressions
The Autonomous ErgoChair 2 comes in a rather large box - which makes sense given this is a good sized chair. Unpacking and assembly was rather easy as well - each of the screw and parts were clearly labeled with the instructions detailed enough to make assembling the chair rather simple, a trend I’m noticing more and more with higher end chairs.
To make it simpler, Autonomous also has videos right on the product page of the ErgoChair 2, both to help someone assemble the chair as well as how to adjust it properly. It’s actually incredibly useful, especially the latter since the ErgoChair 2 seems like it has literally all of the adjustment levers.
At first glance, though, I didn’t think this chair was going to be as comfortable as my padded memory foam gaming chairs I’ve used for years now, especially the back material. Instead of it being a solid frame, the ErgoChair ‘s back is simply a mesh back. I was also incredibly disappointed to see the ErgoChair 2, like many other chairs nowadays, has unpadded armrests.
I think the chair definitely looks attractive, especially in the all black variety I got to match my office. The ErgoChair 2 does come in multiple color schemes, so you can choose the one that best fits your aesthetic.
The ErgoChair 2 is one of the most adjustable chairs I’ve ever used as well. Autonomous really seems to have gone out of their way to ensure everything you might want to be adjusted can.
On the left of the chair you have the back adjustment, and the lean this chair has is deceptively far. On the right side of the chair you can adjust not just the height of the chair, but also the back tension as well as the angle and position of the actual seat itself until you hit that sweet spot.
The back itself, despite it not being the large padded chair I’m used to, is outrageously comfortable. The breathable material helps keep me a bit cooler, which during the Las Vegas summer, even indoors, is paramount. It also doesn’t feel like it’s not going to support me if I lean back in it all the way, istead maintaining its rigidity and support the whole way back.
Most racing and gaming chairs today come with a lumbar pillow to support your lower back as well. Autonomous solves this with an adjustable support built into the chair behind the mesh. It’s not obtrusive and doesn’t really move around on you thanks to the design. I often forget it’s there, until I sit in a different chair and miss it utterly. The headrest is also adjustable with both its height and angle as well.
With all of these points of adjustments, it feels like Autonomous set out to give its user the most personalized control it could over their seating position and preferences. It’s not a chair that demands you sit in it a certain way, rather one that fits your personal comfort demands instead.
But is it comfortable?
With all that said, it’s easy to praise a chair for all of the options it has, but it all doesn’t matter if the chair isn’t comfortable. Thankfully, the Autonomous ErgoChair 2 is the most comfortable chair I’ve ever used.
Ever since switching to the chair about three weeks ago, I’ve had a decrease in back pain and I’m finding myself able to more easily focus on work rather than continually adjusting throughout the day.
The chair might not raise high enough for some people - it only goes from a height of 46” to 50”, but for someone of my height it’s perfect enough to keep my feet firmly planted on the floor. However, this is also a catch-22 for me personally as I have a desk bike under my standing desk I like to use during the day. In order to do so I need to raise my desk up to allow for my knees to move up and down freely underneath while riding the desk bike.
Unfortunately the chair won’t raise high enough to follow so I’m having to reach up to the keyboard and mouse, putting strain on my wrists and forearm. For a desk made by a company that excels in standing desks, that lack of just a little extra height to accommodate situations like that seems like an oversight. It also makes me wonder how someone who is taller than me would fare in this chair overall as well.
My other major point of contention is the lack of padding on the armrests. In short spurts they aren’t uncomfortable, but after sitting in the same chair for multiple hours a day they can start to become less and less comfortable overall. I found myself rubbing my elbows and arms to relieve pressure as the armrest just starts to feel harder and harder as the day goes on. For a chair that costs over 300 dollars, it just seems like it could have some sort of padding. This isn’t an Autonomous only issue either - every chair I’ve bought and used pretty much have unpadded armrests. In fact, the cheapest chair I own - a $49 chair from IKEA is the only one that has padded armrests - and they are sorely (literally) missed in every other chair I use.
However, I do appreciate the level of control I have over everything on this chair. From the angle of my seat to how far back I want the chair to let me lean, everything is set to my personal level of comfort. As a result I really haven’t had to adjust the chair much in a week, other than to let myself lean back all the way when I wanted a quick break or the lumbar and head rests.
In my opinion that’s a testament to how well built this chair truly is - I was essentially able to do the initial set up and then leave it alone. As a chair that touts itself as being eminently ergonomic, it definitely fits that description, easily.
The Autonomous ErgoChair 2 is a fantastic chair, one that has made working and playing games in my home office much more comfortably. It’s gone a long way in improving my posture and productivity, as I’m no longer thinking of constantly adjusting myself in the seat or moving a pillow around. Instead, the outrageous amount of control you have over the ergonomics of the chair allow you to just set it up and go.
It’s not without its faults, however. For some the chair might not go high enough, especially if you’re like me and use a desk bike to stay somewhat active while working. Additionally, the lack of padded armrests is baffling, especially for a chair that costs as much as this one does.
As far as the cost, I truly believe this chair is worth the price tag. Right now, as of this writing, the ErgoChair 2 is running the chair for $369, and while that is admittedly a lot of money for a chair, as something many of us will spend hours and hours in each week, whether working, gaming or in my case both, it’s worth the long-term investment.
It’s certainly made me never want to go back to a racing chair for long work or game sessions. And that's not really a knock on your traditional gaming chair either, they are mostly great. But the level of comfort and control offerred by the ErgoChair 2 is something I'm not sure I can do without anymore. It's definitely a chair worth looking at if you're getting tired of your current set up, and using the ErgoChair 2 for a little over three weeks has me convinced I won't be tired of it any time soon.