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RESPAWN RSP-400 Review: A Bold Entry Into the “Big and Tall” Chair Arena

By Damien Gula on September 05, 2018 | Hardware Reviews | 0

Last year, RESPAWN dropped into the gaming chair market out of nowhere with an entire line up of chairs. This line-up included everything from office-style chairs to the mesh backed, gamer-focused RSP-200 - which we reviewed here at MMORPG. Out of the myriad of options, the one chair missing from this line-up was something for the big and tall. Once again, RESPAWN Products answers the call with the RSP-400 to fill the gap between the boutique and the commonplace.

Specifications

  • MSRP: $274.99
  • Available in Red, Green, Blue, and Grey
  • Adjustable lumbar and headrest pillows
  • Armrests with multi-directional adjustment
  • Seat size: 24” wide x 24.25” deep
  • Back size: 24” wide x 31.31” height
  • Weight limit: 400 lbs.

If you haven’t heard of them, RESPAWN Products is a subsidiary of OFM, Inc. - an office furniture supply business that has been around for over 20 years. With the rise in popularity of “gaming chairs,” they launched the RESPAWN line to fill in the price gap between the average office chair and the racer-style bucket seats becoming synonymous within gaming culture.

Enough history - let’s take about the chair itself!

Covered in SofThread leather (a bonded leather) and supported by a sturdy steel framing, the RSP-400 feels like a quality chair out of the box with assembly taking no time at all. Having reviewed the RSP-200, there were some key things that I was looking for which RESPAWN has absolutely nailed with the RSP-400. Those things we the sturdiness of the base, the feel of the backing, and the armrests.

Let’s begin with the armrests - the unsung hero with the RSP-200. The RSP-400 has similar armrests, but with a broader padded top and more adjustable features. Outside of adjusting up and down, they can adjust side to side, angle in or out, and slide forward and backward, all depending on your needs. This is important if you are switching between keyboard and mouse-based game play and kicking back with a controller.

Moving on to the foundation it is built upon, the RSP-400 features an incredibly sturdy, all metal base with standard casters. While it may seem like a mundane feature, having a “big and tall” chair with a solid footprint is key for supporting you during you play sessions. This is a large step up from the previous generation of chairs that had hardened plastic base, making it one place that function certainly takes precedence over form.

Speaking of form and function, let me talk about the back on this chair for a moment. As a guy who is 6’ 3” with a pretty broad frame, I cannot tell you how happy I was to sit in a chair that I actually fit in. The RSP-400 is devoid experiencing those awkwardly placement of “features” meant to encourage ergonomic support in those shorter than you which only caused more back ache! What you have instead are two adjustable pillows for lumbar support and neck support. The neck pillow is odd if you aren’t used to it, but it does encourage you to have good posture while using it. If you would rather not have the pillows, they are removable.

As I have spent time with the chair, I do have two major critique for the RSP-400. The first critique concerns the height adjustment.

The RSP-400 has a height range of 16.75” to 19.50” - a short range on paper, but in practice it may come up literally and figuratively short. My current chair sits at a maximum height of 23” - which is where my desk and everything on it sit for maximum ergonomic comfort and support. Being as tall as I am, I found myself missing those extra 3.50” while using my gaming space. Over the short term, it is a minor inconvenience, but in the long term it would get rather uncomfortable.

The second critique for the RSP-400 is one common to this style of chair: heat. Over longer gaming sessions, I found myself getting very, very warm. The bonded leather, while both extremely soft and comfortable, is not very breathable. Now, I am typically a walking nuclear reactor, so it could just be me. However, if you find yourself struggling with personal body heat management while using a chair like this, you may want to consider some other structural materials for your own comfort.

Final Thoughts

The RESPAWN RSP-400 is certainly a contender in the “big” chair arena, but struggles when it comes to the “tall” - at least in the leg department. It’s broad base and high back with adjustable support pillows fits like a dream if you have been used to sitting in products designed with those much smaller than you in mind. The adjustable padded armrests, steel framing and base, as well as the SofThread leather upholstery add touches of class while playing their supporting role well. The extra weight support is incredible within this price bracket, but it does come at the cost of your chair’s height adjustment. Outside of this one misstep, the RSP-400 is a titan in every other respect.

At the end of the day, RESPAWN sought to bring their game to the big and tall arena. With mainstream competitors offering chairs in the $400 - $600 USD range, at $274.99 USD, you are going to get a well-built care to support your needs that, while a little more squat, can still play like a boss with the big dogs.

Pros

  • Good overall sizing
  • Quality of materials and attention to detail are very nice
  • Good back support and seat width
  • Sturdy frame and base

Cons

  • Height adjustment is not great for longer legs/higher desks
  • SofThread leather isn’t very breathable

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


Pastor_Dame

Damien Gula

Born in the heyday of mullets and the El Camino to a tech-foward family, Damien joined the MMORPG.com team back in 2017 to review hardware and games as well as provide coverage for press preview events. He has participated in a number of MMOs over the years, including World of Warcraft, RIFT, Guild Wars 2, and the Destiny series. When he isn't writing for MMORPG.com, Damien is a pastor by trade who loves talking with anyone interested about life, God, and video games (in no particular order). He also co-hosts a podcast dedicated to these conversation with fellow MMORPG writer Matt Keith called Roll The Level.