One thing I feel a lot of people - whether they be gamer, office worker or just overall using the computer to web-browse - overlook when setting up their desk environment is their chair. The chair is one of the least thought-of aspects of your desk life. Think about it, though: it’s one of the constant pieces of equipment you will use at your desk, whether you’re writing in a journal or publishing a tweet. Enter the Cougar Armor Racing Chair. As someone who has sat in a lot of different gaming/racing chairs at conventions, friends’ houses and more, I’ve had a lot of experience testing out some of the industry’s brightest brands. However, Cougar is one I was unfamiliar with going into this review.
It should be a chair more people talk about when pricing out their comfort needs.
- Colors: Black, Black and Orange (reviewed)
- Max Load: 120kg / 264 lbs
- Materials: Steel (frame), High Density Foam, PVC Leather, Plastic Armrests and caster wheels
- Overall Height: 163 cm / 53.93 in
- Backrest Width: 59 cm / 23.23 in
- Seat Width: 56 cm / 22.05 in
- Seat Depth: 50 cm / 19.69 in
One of the most impressive aspects of the Cougar Armor Racing Chair was how easy it was to set up. While at first glance it may look daunting, once I unpacked everything and got the components ready, the whole assembly time was only about twenty minutes. I started the assembly as an episode of Chopped came on and enjoyed the second half of it comfortably in the Cougar chair.
It’s striking to look at as well. The Armor chair I received is black with orange trim and it really stands out in my office. The leather on the chair is breathable enough, but I do find in longer gaming sessions I have a tendency to sweat more than I did in my previous chair, also leather. However, it’s hard to compare since that chair was more than ten years old and the leather well worn. I did, however, grab an office chair from IKEA to test out a regular office chair against the Cougar and I will say, while the IKEA chair was comfortable enough, the difference between the two was night and day.
The Cougar Armor chair sports a cushion for your head and neck to lean back into, but it was the lumbar support I was most excited for in the end. For the first couple of days my upper back actually hurt more than normal because my body was just not used to being supported as well as it was in the Cougar. My shoulders could relax and my lower back wasn’t sinking into the depths of my office chair as it had been doing for years.
One major issue I’m noticing though, however, is durability of some of the materials. By day two the elastic straps that hold the lumbar support onto the chair had already begun fraying. It makes me wonder if the straps are being over extended beyond their normal capabilities here. However, the chair is set up exactly how it shows in the instruction manual, so I can only assume it’s just a lower quality strap than some.
Speaking of quality, the chair itself is of excellent build quality overall. Aside from the strap issue the leather feels great, the chair itself has some weight to it so doesn't side around aimlessly like the IKEA chair tended to do. However, for all the ways this chair screams “premium,” one area I feel Cougar has dropped the ball has to do with the arm rests.
The one area where you don’t have any padding are the armrests. This isn’t a wholly bad thing at first glance, but after a few hours of use, it does start to wear on you. While the armrests on the Armor chair are fully adjustable, with Cougar labeling them as 3D Armrests, the lack of padding on the hard ABS-style plastic does wear on you during long gaming sessions. It’s a shame to see such an integral part of the chair missing a simple comfort feature such as even minimal padding.
Additionally, the chair itself, while sturdy and heavy, is a bit off center with how the weight is distributed. Nearly every time I’ve tried scooting the chair forward under my desk it’s felt as though the front was going to come out from under me since the legs are situated more in the back of the chair and not in the middle to evenly support the weight. I originally thought I had set the chair up incorrectly, so I looked at the part that connects the shaft going to the wheels and it clearly is set up correctly. It’s just not centered, but I feel the chair would have the exact opposite feel - the back end shooting up and out behind you - if the bracket were reversed.
However, in the end, this chair has solved one of the great problems plaguing my gaming experiences: my back no long hurts. My neck is no longer in need of desperate rubbing down thanks to the actual support the Cougar chair provides. The 180-degree incline allows me to really just kick back and rest at points as well, and the solid steel frame and mostly durable materials assure me that this gaming chair will withstand many gaming sessions to come throughout the years.
- Pillows of Lumbar and neck support
- Class 4 gas lift and. 180-degree recline make the chair incredibly adjustable
- PVC Leather is not really breathable
- Some of the materials already showing signs of wear
- Armrests, while incredibly adjustable, aren’t as comfortable as they should be for a chair like this.