No Compromise! The headline that adorns the Brazen website is a statement of intent that sets certain expectations so let’s see if the Brazen Puma is up to the task.
Gaming chairs are the sort of peripheral add on that are, largely, a reflection of the spare cash you are sitting on. You simply can’t cut corners on the amount of padding beneath your cheeks or bolstering for your back, there isn’t a lot of give in physical manufacturing and you tend to get what you pay for. So, with the Brazen Puma Gaming chair coming in at around £99 I wondered what I was getting when Brazen shipped a sample out to us for review. The British brand has been around for several years now with a clear mission, value for money without cutting quality. So, how much chair does one get for a ton?
- Material: PU (front), PVC (back), mesh and foam padding
- Armrest: PP armrest with PU and foam padding
- Adjustment: Butterfly mechanism for height adjustment and tilting
- Lift: 8 cm Class 3 Gas Lift
- Base: 32 cm nylon base
- Caster: 5 cm nylon casters
- Approx dimensions: Height 119 cm; Width 65 cm; Depth 74 cm
- Maximum recommended load weight: 120kg
- Approx product weight: gross 15.6 kg; net 13.6 kg
The Puma’s size doesn’t make it the tallest chair that even Brazen has on offer. The Brazen Phantom Elite comes in at roughly 10cm taller, for example. At 119cm high, the Puma proves relatively easy to manhandle out of its cardboard shipping container. Like the E-Win series chairs, Brazen do not ship an excess of packing along with their hardware, instead choosing to wrap the Puma is a thin plastic sheet in case of adverse weather. Otherwise, the bulkier sections of the Puma are snugly squeezed into their container and unlikely to see any damage in transit.
On unboxing the Puma, everything you might expect to see is evident. The base, back, arms, wheel, legs, and gas cylinder are all ready to be put together. That is probably for the best as the included instruction set is quite sparse. In fact, it almost seems like an afterthought hurriedly photocopied together. Functionally, the Brazen’s instructions do not impact on the final product, but when other manufacturers throw in a glossy manual and clear photos, it just impacts the user experience.
Initially, the slightly sketchy nature of the reading material is coupled with another moment of disappointment. Before even unsheathing the Puma’s largest parts, the legs of this chair make a striking impression. While designs like the E-Win Racing Flash come with contoured legs and rimmed wheels, the Brazen Puma might feel a little lackluster in comparison. This isn’t to be misunderstood. The Puma’s has a solid base that is clearly engineered to take the full weight of its class 3 gas lift and is not going to give, but if you want something flashy then don’t look down.
My initial introduction to the Puma aside, putting these components together is a simple enough affair. All the relevant screws and a single hex key are provided. It, again, isn’t as flashy as more expensive competitor’s tools but the Puma isn’t as expensive as some of its competition. The base and casters all push together nicely, while the base, back, and arms all screw in. Construction is swift with just eight screws are required to connect the main body of the chair and arms. A set of pre-drilled and pre-threaded holes make life relatively straight forward, all you have to do is find the hole and screw.
Rounding things off is the gas lift arm which, again, is a quick fix of just four screws. Once the seat is balanced on the top of the gas lift a few handy screw caps are available to cover up any open screw holes in the side of the Puma. Bizarrely, these seemed to be ill-fitting on my sample. However, given a little work, these still made it in and finished off the furniture.
Look and Feel
Things start looking up significantly once the chair is fully present and it makes a bold statement. A mix of black PU leather and breathable mesh line the chair and are woven together atop a significant volume of foam padding. Sturdy white stitching runs almost the entire length of the Puma, setting off a monochrome aesthetic. This continues through the rest of the chair with white accents that serve to give it a slightly aggressive edge. The arms that straddle the Puma are also decorated with a set of fabric tops that follow this mix of foam under a PU leather coating. 9 alternatives are available to this white accenting, so if you'd prefer blue, pink, or red then they are available.
Get up towards the top of this construction and the entire chair is finished off with a huge embroidered logo. Just as the Brazen mantra sits atop the company website, the brand logo is woven into the top of an ample headrest. This loud but impressive detailing continues on both the back and bottom of the chair meaning visitors or viewers will be in no doubt. This chair speaks volumes, probably turned up to 11.
The Brazen Puma doesn’t just look the part, it manages to feel it too. The foam padding is substantial and is supportive without being too firm. The back of the chair is fixed in place so you are not going to be slouching around and the cushioned armrests are a welcome change to the flat plastic armaments that seem to be the norm. I spent hours playing Conqueror’s Blade and perusing E3 streams over the last week and I cannot complain at all. The quality of construction really does hold up during long gaming sessions. This is especially relevant given the use of fabrics and a racerback design to improve airflow, for those longer raids.
Although the Puma is a great chair, some of the design choices are obviously compromises. The Puma fails to ship with some of the more intricate detailing on higher-end models. It also has fixed armrests. While we tend to praise the various axis of movement that top end chair s give, the armrests on the Puma are not even unidirectional. These are comfortable but do not yield their position at all. If you are likely to need to reposition these or play VR games, Blood & Truth comes to mind, then you may want to consider this when buying.
Just like the arm resets, the Puma does not seem to bend or flex much. There is an obvious lack of any reclining features, giving no quarter to bad posture and no additional lumbar support. The chair does have tilt control so you will be able to make some modifications. Brazen has clearly taken the decision that it should do fewer things well and it really does succeed.
After a good week in the Puma, I can say that the chair is, ironically, a good compromise. The Puma feels solid, and it is certainly well constructed. It has a premium feel that will look right at home beside any gaming rig and it is a solid choice that doesn’t look likely to fail you any time soon. What’s better, especially for European gamers, is Brazen’s home spawn point. As a UK company, you’re buying from a manufacturer with strict consumer rights and safety laws. A dedicated customer support number is available and you can even buy spare parts. This speaks to the expected life span of your investment. Although, it would be worth noting that the Brazen warranty page appears blank at the time of writing this review.
The compromise comes with a number of added extras that you will find in its more expensive chairs. extras that are present in the Brazen’s Phantom Elite or Shadow Pro models. Yet, at a £99.99 price tag, the Brazen Puma is the Golf GTI of gaming chairs. It is inexpensive, aggressive, it will never come last but it really does seem built to just keep going. You can find out more about Brazen and their line of chairs over at the official Brazen website.
- Great Value
- Easy To Build
- Solid Construction
- Just About Good Enough Instructions
- Basic Features