The terms "Secretlab" and "gaming chair" have been synonymous since the company began selling them in 2014. Multiple partnerships with premier gaming companies--most notably the shocking yellow Cyberpunk 2077 chair and the recently announced Pokemon collabs--have created some of the most popular gaming chairs in the world, that success leading to Secretlab branching out to other products (including this fantastic desk). The question then becomes: what makes these chairs so good? Is the hype real, or is the $549 price tag hiding a subpar sitting scenario? Having now had the Secretlab experience for myself (including while I write these words), I can confidently say the hype is real.
Price: $549 (Secretlab)
The first major point in the Titan EVO 2022 XL's favor is how incredibly simple it was to put together. The box comes with a poster-sized step-by-step guide, with full pictures and notes, letting you know exactly what piece goes where during the setup. The step order is thankfully logical as well: wheels on the base first, then put the chair itself together, screw the piece that connects the chair to the wheelbase onto the chair, snap everything together, and boom! Done. It's as idiotproof as I, a certified idiot, could ask for, and it made building the chair take less than 45 minutes from opening the box to sitting in the finished chair.
As I progressed through the build, I was impressed by how durable each part of this chair feels. I am an admittedly large mammal, flirting with (though not quite at) the chair's upper weight limit. Buying chairs like this is always a risk, because even with the posted weight limits on chairs I can never really trust the chair is going to hold me. Every part of this chair feels strong and weighty, and the more I put it together the more confident I felt it would be able to handle the job being asked of it. Another chair I've recently used–the Vertagear PL6000–did a great job of keeping me upright too–the Titan EVO 2022 XL certainly isn't the only chair that's capable of holding the weight–but Secretlab's seat does feel even more capable.
Once the build was complete and I sat in the chair for the first time, I completely saw the light. Despite being rigid and heavy as I mentioned before, this chair is delightfully comfortable. The "hybrid leatherette" material on both the seat and the backrest have enough strength to support me while also having enough give to make me feel nice and comfy. The magnetic headrest that came inside the box certainly helps the comfort factor too, but it's not necessary. Secretlab also offers alternate armrests that attach via magnet, making them easy to swap out.
Update, 7/27: Secretlab has also released memory foam armrests, which bring the comfort of the magnetic pillow to your forearms.
At $79 a pair it's a steep price to pay for such a luxury, but the difference between the original armrests and these new ones is night and day. All the chair needs now is a memory foam pad for the seat and the ability to recline, and I'll be able to take some secret naps in my Secretlab.
What sets this seat apart, for me, is the lumbar support technology. Secretlab calls its new system L-Adapt as it flexes to adjust to your different seating postures to deliver consistent support. Unlike other chairs I've sat in before, the lumbar support is built right into the back of the chair and adjusted using two knobs, one on either side of the chair. If I want the support higher up, I can adjust the one knob. If I want it more spread out as opposed to a centralized spot, that's the other knob. I can tinker and play with these settings to my heart's delight, until I find the perfect lumbar adjustment for me, and that is pretty awesome.
I can't help but compare this to the aforementioned Vertagear PL6000, which does not have built-in lumbar support. Instead, it comes with an extra lumbar pillow that can be strapped to the chair, but the method of getting the pillow strapped is nigh impossible. The straps consistently slide off of the sides of the chair, making my ideal lumbar support position a frustrating venture. With the Titan EVO 2022 XL everything's built-in, so all I have to do is turn knobs and be on my way. This method makes things so much easier, only adding to Secretlab's appeal.
As I sit in the Secretlab Titan EVO 2022 XL typing these words, I am thinking about how natural sitting in this chair feels. My posture is upright and normal, my hands are at an angle that feels normal and painless, and my feet are planted on the ground in a comfortable position. This is the way gaming chairs should make people feel, the feeling every gamer dreams of when they think of that perfect gaming chair. The price tag is steep for a chair–$549 is certainly nothing to sneeze at–but considering how durable this chair feels I can only assume it's a 15-20 year investment into a high-quality chair. There's a lot of hype around Secretlab and its line of gaming chairs, and in the case of the Titan EVO 2022 XL every bit of it is warranted. This is a very cool, very durable gaming chair, and it's worth the price of admission.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.