Choosing a chair may seem trivial to many gamers. Questions such as, “How much better will this chair be over another?” and, “Why would I spend so much on this chair when I can get another for half the price?” often flood our minds when it comes to purchasing something new. Secret Lab understands these questions, and better yet, they answer them with their new 2020 series of chairs. Do they make a compelling case to trade in your tried and true sitting device for something different? Come with us as we sit our way to answers.
- Model: Secret Lab OMEGA 2020 Series
- MSRP: $359.00 (base model) bought direct from Secret Lab
- Maximum Height Allowed: 5’11 ft (152 cm)
- Frame: Steel
- Maximum Weight Allowed: 240 lbs (108.9 kg)
- PRIME™ 2.0 PU (Poly Urethane) Leather
- Secret Lab Cold Cure Foam
- 4 Directional, Full Metal Mechanism Adjustable Armrests
- Class 4 Hydraulic Piston
- Aluminum Wheelbase
- Multi-tilt seat mechanism
- Comes with Secret Lab Signature Memory Foam Head and Lumbar Pillow
- 5 Year Extended Warranty Available
- Chair Dimensions: Backrest L 32in x W 21in
- Dimensions cont’d: Seatbase (adjustable from floor) L 21.5in x W 22in
- Chair Weight: 66lbs
Secret Lab has certainly become a major force in the gaming chair world since they were founded in 2014 by two competitive StarCraft gamers. As any online gamer knows, the majority of what we spend our time doing during our game sessions is sit. What most people probably don’t think about is the strain that sitting for such long periods of time can have on their bodies. In many ways, I feel gamers have a poor understanding about what they want in a game chair, and what they need in one. Secret Lab has aimed their chairs at precisely the latter of that demographic, a gaming chair made for gamers by gamers.
Secret Lab’s OMEGA 2020 series has been redesigned in the right ways, even compared to their 2018 series, which has still been one of the highest rated and most sought after chairs in gaming today. The frame and use of cold cure foam haven’t changed much; however, the biggest and possibly most noticeable change for the 2020 series is the use of Secret Lab’s PRIME 2.0 PU Leather. The easiest way to define these differences is to dictate the most common problems gamers experience during long play sessions. Sitting, squirming, and sweating; the three S’s eventually cause excessive wear to regular PU leather over time. While a casual gamer may never experience such disastrous wear unless their preferred dress is coarse leather pants, the vast majority of gaming chairs these days utilize a PU Leather standard that certifies use up to 20K “rubs” before significant wear can be seen.
These abrasion tests are actually important when you begin to quantify the durability of a chair. While abrasion levels up to 20K may seem like a lot, these issues get compounded by what we, the everyday gamer, do whilst in our gaming chairs. We may spill something, we sweat, we get antsy, and that durability diminishes substantially over time. In comparison, Secret Lab has gone the extra mile, times ten. They have rated the PRIME 2.0 PU leather up to 200K abrasions. This sets a precedent in durability, which may be why Secret Lab has increased their original warranty from 2 years to 3 years, with the possibility of extending it to 5 years for free.
Stylistically, the curves, stitching and gleam of the PU leather along with the metallic accoutrements are still quite appealing. While Secret Lab does have several special-edition chairs for pre-order that are certainly eye catching( such as the Dark Knight Batman inspired chair and the Game of Thrones House chairs), I still found that the embroidered stitching of the OMEGA symbol and Secret Lab logo stylish as well. My favorite piece of flair is on the armrest in the form of an, almost hidden, Secret Lab logo. These small details compile into a stylish-looking chair, even though in function as much as glamour. Quality and practicality are at the forefront of the design decisions here. For instance, the full-metal 4D armrests are one of the more premiere features that many chairs have adopted. I’ve seen some armrests that have more obvious branding, or indentures for your fingers or palms. These types of additions are more form than function. What Secret Lab did with their 4D armrests sets the bar for what armrests should truly behave like.
If you currently have a non-SL chair with swiveling armrests, you may notice that they move accidentally. Secret Lab’s 4D armrests have buttons that lock in place and ensure they won’t move once you set them. Similarly, the XL PU caster wheels have been enhanced to provide a better rolling movement, which I found to be better than my previous chair, which would often tip forward when moving forward quickly, making the chair feel unbalanced, or the wheels would get stuck on when transferring from the floor to a carpet. The OMEGA series had far less of these issues during my several weeks of use.
Lastly and quite possibly most importantly, is comfort. Secret Lab is not the only company that uses a cold cure molded foam, but they do have their own mixture which is currently patent pending. Going back to one of my earlier points, this is the major deciding factor that I feel many gamers may not realize they have an issue with until they finally discover a chair that has what they need. Soft, fluffy chairs are not always the best for long-term gaming sessions, which is something that I had the displeasure of learning first hand. The OMEGA 2020 Series chair is not a marshmallow in a waterbed. The chair is firm enough to keep you sitting upright for hours, while still flexible and comfortable so that you don’t feel as if you’re sitting on a wooden stool.
The multi-tilt feature is also important for your comfort level as it can dictate at which angle you stay in for your extra-long game sessions. As a person who has dealt with sciatica after an injury years ago, having the right support in conjunction with the right angle to alleviate pressure off my back has been a real game-changer both figuratively and literally. In addition to the cold cure foam, Secret Lab also provides a cooling memory foam lumbar pillow, which actually works very well to keep my back cool, as well as another memory foam neck pillow. My major sticking point with the pillows is that the lumbar pillow doesn’t have any straps or anything to keep it in place if you scoot forward or stand up for a moment. Having to readjust the pillow is a minor annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless.
Secret Lab and their OMEGA 2020 series chair is the standard for gaming chairs today. There are cheaper chairs out there, and there are more expensive chairs too, but no matter where they fall on the price spectrum, I have yet to find one that outdoes Secret Lab for long term gaming sessions and quality. In the simplest terms, Secret Lab sets a price-to-performance precedent that cannot be ignored. One question was left unanswered in my review. How well will the hydraulic system hold up over time? Unfortunately, nobody can answer that, but with a 5-year extended warranty, I feel that issue has already been adequately addressed by Secret Lab themselves. Secret Lab is, hands down, the top echelon of gaming chairs.
- PRIME™ 2.0 PU Leather is rated as durable for over 200K abrasions
- Patent Pending Cold Cure Foam is solid yet comfortable
- 4D armrests are sturdier and more visually appealing
- The memory foam cooling lumbar pillow works really well
- 5-year extended warranty (when you share a picture of your chair)
- The lumbar pillow needs to constantly be adjusted when you get up
- At 66 lbs, some people may need help with assembly
- Levers underneath the chair could be better position for ease of use
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.