Secretlab makes some of the best gaming chairs on the market and makes not secret about how great some of its designs are. The company regularly unveils new colors and licensed partnerships. With such a steady unveiling of new chairs, there’s always a risk that you may buy a chair only to find that you would actually prefer the look of a newer model. You were left wishing you had waited or biting the bullet and ordering the new chair.
Until now. Today, Secretlab has announced its brand new SKINS product for its Titan EVO 2022 gaming chairs. These sleeves allow you to completely change the look and feel of your chair with just a few minutes of effort, and look surprisingly close to being a whole new chair. I was able to go hands on ahead of embargo to let you know just how they stack up.
I’ll be frank: there’s not much in the gaming chair market that can surprise me anymore. There are new designs are new ergonomic features year after year — which are great — but none of them really feel ground breaking. There are few “wow” moments.
But that’s exactly what the Secretlab SKINS provide. In a pre-release video where Secretlab showcased the product, the presenter stood in front of a selection of colorful SoftWeave EVO gaming chairs. Then, with a flourish, he pulled the skin right off the latest Soda Purple color to reveal it was actually a completely different TITAN EVO 2022 model. It was completely indistinguishable.
In that briefing, the company shared that one of their most common pieces of feedback is that users wanted to swap chairs or felt let down that they purchased something just before the color they really wanted was released. Secretlab SKINS are the answer to that.
SKINS are custom-fit, custom-embroidered sleeves that slide over the back and seat of your existing chair, transforming it into a SoftWeave of your choice. There’s a level of precision in its design that makes them incredibly form fitting and easy to install. You can tell they’re a sleeve up close, but as you’ll see in the pictures, it can be genuinely hard to tell the difference.
See for yourself:
In the picture above, you can see my stock Titan Evo 2022. In the second picture, you have the same chair with its SoftWeave sleeve. I’ve shown it to several people and without fail, everyone has thought they were two different chairs.
What’s also impressive is how easy they are to install. The backrest simply slides down over the top. There are three zippers that need to be undone so it will slide easily. With a few minor adjustments, you zip back up the vertical zippers on the backrest to keep it in place. Then, you tilt the chair forward, pull a flap through the gap so the fabric is taut and zip the final horizontal zipper.
The seat is a bit more complicated, but not much. There are no zippers on the seat but instead a pair of nylon buckles that connect underneath the chair. After you slide it on, there are plastic tabs where the fabric meets the side panels of the seat and any excess gets tucked away under the edges. You tighten down the straps for each buckle, snap it into place, and you’re done.
The whole process only takes about five minutes. It can take more if you get finicky about perfectly aligning the bolsters, but you really don’t need to and getting them perfect is difficult for something that makes no visual difference to the chair. It’s simple, straightforward, and fast. Boom. New gaming chair look without the giant price tag (more on that later).
Now, it’s not without its quirks. In the manual, Secretlab suggests ironing or steam releasing the fabric as an extra optional step. I didn’t do that with mine and there were a few wrinkles I had to smooth out my hand. A couple persisted but released on their own over a few days sitting on the chair.
Where the fabric of the seat cover tucks in was also almost impossible to get perfectly smooth. Try as I might, I couldn’t get the left side of the seat to fully tuck in, which left as small section with an unsightly set of waves. In practice, it’s pretty much a non-issue since it’s a) small and b) hidden under you when you’re actually sitting. But, for the month, I wish there were a second plastic tab here to make a clean tuck point.
Finally, even though the magnetic headrest works fine, the backrest sleeve is made to fit over the magnetic bracket covers. This creates noticeable bumps on either side of the chair. Secretlab told me that they opted to have the backrest cover sit on top of these to protect the integrity of the fabric, which makes sense, but it would be just about perfect with these on the outside, so I hope they engineer a way in the future.
The final product is truly excellent. I love the look of SoftWeave but have never been able to try one. Secretlab assures me that the material used here is an adapted version of the SoftWeave Plus used on its latest chairs, so the soft, comfortable feel is nearly identical. It also feels fairly robust. Even with all of the tugging I did to get the fit just perfect, the material didn’t stretch or warp and essentially stayed perfect.
Secretlab SKINS will retail for prices starting at $169. The price took me back. This is an expensive pair of skins. But if you’re considering buying a whole new chair, that $169 is far less than you would otherwise pay. I also have to applaud the innovation on display here. These skins are truly surprising and are very well executed. If you’re looking to upgrade your Secretlab TITAN Evo 2022, they make for a great, cheaper alternative.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.