It seems that the gaming chair market is growing more crowded by the day, with a number of suppliers eager to offer comfortable furniture that meets our specific needs. However, separating the quality goods from the fly-by-night trash isn’t always easy, particularly when you’re not given much information to go on.
Which is why the approach by EWin Racing is so refreshing. A relative newcomer to the gaming chair scene, the firm started out by making car seats in 2002, before becoming an OEM office chair manufacturer in 2012. It was only logical to combine the two into ergonomic racing chairs for the enthusiast gamer, with a focus on offering high quality at exceptional value. After their first outing at Gamescom 2016, EWin Racing has been retailing directly to gamers in both the US and Europe, with an openness and transparency in sharing how the chairs are made. It’s an approach that’s been quietly winning both plaudits and fans alike.
We’d urge you to digest the review first but, if you like what you see, EWin Racing have also offered an exclusive deal for MMORPG.com readers. Simply enter discount code ‘mmorpg’ to score 15% off this chair, or any of the others in their range. That’s in addition to free shipping to US and EU.
In this review, we’ve focused on EWin Racing’s Flash Series, featuring higher-end features like an aluminum five-star foot and 4-directional armrests, which I’ll dig into shortly. Our sample was from the Normal-size range, but the firm also offers an XL-sized version with the same feature set and specification. For a closer look at the chair in action and the unboxing experience, take a peek at our companion video review below.
Focusing on the upholstery first, both the backrest and seat are built on a metal frame made from 16mm diameter steel tubing that’s 1.5mm thick and coated to prevent rust. Cushioning is made from cold molded (not cut) memory foam, with the seat built up from three individual pieces, and the backrest from a single molded form. The foam is then supported by wide elastic webbing to ensure there’s no blocks or planks that get in the way of comfort. Wrapping it all up is 1.2mm thick grain-embossed PU leather, with double-stitching used throughout all key seams.
The seat also has a thick steel bar running across the middle to provide strength, and also acts as a mounting point for the baseplate and cylinder. Reassuringly, that gas lift cylinder is a meaty one, measuring 12cm long with a class 4 rating, and capable of supporting 150kg or 330lbs. For weight distribution, the Flash Series chair also comes with an aluminium 5-point star foot and 3” wheels.
In terms of adjustability, the EWin Racing Flash Series includes a recline lever with a tilt of 85 to 155 degrees, and 4-directional armrests that can be moved up/down, in/out, forward/back and rotated. The under-seat lever controls chair height, but also acts as a lock for the built-in tilt, with a tension knob also built into the baseplate to adjust rock resistance. Finally, the included lumbar support and neck brace cushions can be unclipped and moved or removed as desired.
You can watch our unboxing experience in the companion review video above, but it’s safe to say that the EWin Racing gaming chair is well packed and protected from potential damage in transit. Even so, unpacking the parts yielded a few pleasant surprises alongside the usual suspects we’d expect.
First up, a pair of white assembly gloves were included to protect hands from any cuts or scratches during assembly. It’s something high-end case manufacturers should take note of, especially considering the number of times that an I/O shield or PCI slot has demanded a blood-sacrifice mid-build. The four-page instruction guide is in full colour, with clear steps to follow in plain english.
Crucially, however, this chair is one that can comfortably be built solo in about half an hour or so. Some of the assembly is already done prior to delivery, with only a handful of steps needed to finish the job. All the tools needed are also included, with two Allen keys to fit all the hex bolts used. The trickiest part is locating the seat onto the gas cylinder, but that’s the hardest step. Once complete, the chair had no shakes, rattles, clicks or other problems that would indicate a build issue.
The cold-molded memory foam and elastic webbing ensure that this is a comfortable, enjoyable gaming chair, while avoiding that feeling of numbness or soreness that comes from sitting on a rigid surface for hours on end. Having a three-piece seat also meant that I didn’t feel insecure, as if I’d roll off the chair or adopt bad posture part-way through gaming. Those PU armrests also have a spongy, rubbery feel, providing give without bruising elbows or forearms.
For me personally, I was also pleased that the included cushions could be unclipped and moved around if needed. Lumbar support tends to be welcome, but the neck brace is typically too low for my taller frame. Thanks to the particular back design, I could unclip the cushion and pull it around the top of the backrest, raising it a few inches and getting it in the perfect spot for my neck. The high number of adjustment options meant that, once it was set up, it’s a chair that I didn’t want to climb out of, and felt absolutely fine for extended gaming sessions.
My only gripes were minor areas of personal preference, and not a big deal at all. I’d like to have had some quilted stitching on the seat of the chair to encourage air circulation and reduce the build-up of sweat, due to the man-made PU leather used. I’d also like the foot to have been slightly larger or slightly further forward, as my centre of gravity felt a little off when trying to rock, but this is probably related to my height as much as anything.
There’s a lot that I like about the Flash Series EWin Racing gaming chair. The chosen components are high quality, and the firm is up-front and transparent about how the chairs are made. Assembly is easy to perform solo, and the white protective gloves are an incredibly welcome touch. It ticks all of my comfort needs, with only a few minor gripes that come down to personal preference.
I think the only additional steps that EWin Racing could offer are in the form of aftercare touches. Gaming chairs are a significant investment, and it would be great if the firm offered the option to buy replacement parts direct from them. Likewise, it would be nice to see aftercare instructions included in the box, although these are available on their website FAQs.
The Flash Series EWin Racing gaming chair retails for approximately $380, €350 or £300 direct from their US or European web sites, and come with free shipping (US and EU only) and a two year warranty. At that mid-tier price point, the chair represents great value for money compared to other models on the market.
To sweeten things even further, EWin Racing have come up with an additional offer especially for us. Simply enter ‘mmorpg’ at the checkout and get 15% off the Flash Series chair, or any of the others in their range. That moves it from being great value to a very keen price indeed.
Ultimately, however, EWin Racing have certainly surprised us with their commitment to high quality and good value, and it clearly shows in the Flash Series chair. As the firm moves out of the OEM shadows and reaches out to gamers directly, it’s going to be interesting to watch how EWin Racing shakes up the market.