Office Mid Back Mesh Chair Ergonomic Swivel Lumbar Support Desk Computer Chair (Black)
To preface, let me say that I've spent a good amount of time in offices. Along with having used so many of these types of chairs, I've also assembled and disassembled a lot of them. So, while I'm taking the price point of this one into account, I'm also reviewing it with the benefit of that experience.
This chair has the fit and feel of a toy - something you would expect to find with a playset of some kind. Picture any movie scene in which an adult sits at a child's tea party where the plastic furniture is entirely kid-sized, to comedic effect. It's not actually that small, of course, but within the context of a workday, that's what it feels like. Read below for details. It would never hold up to a full schedule for me - definitely not several days in a row, let alone one extended day. I know, because I tried to use it for two days and knew I couldn't tolerate a third. Just inferior quality in almost every respect.
I don't believe in the phrase "you get what you pay for" as an always-true axiom, and I consider myself to be pretty good at finding a deal. But the truth is, I cheaped out this time on a purchase that I really should have known better than to do.
For reference, I'm male, 6ft tall, approx. 190lbs., with a 36 waist according to what my jeans say.
To be fair, there are three positives that I can say about this chair, based on two days' impression:
• The seat seems well-padded.
• It seems to have decent lumbar support.
• As with any chair of this type, the mesh back is breathable.
That's about it. They're pretty good positives for any chair to have, but the negatives definitely outweighed them.
Ultimately, everything added up to an experience of my being far too distracted by what I was sitting on for me to concentrate on what I was doing.
While most of the assembly was relatively straightforward, there were two assembly issues I had in common with other reviewers:
• The casters were quite difficult to seat properly in the wheelbase, resulting in one of them falling out. Other than using a hammer, which is awkward, there's a trick to installing these types of casters when they give you trouble. With the bottom of the wheel base facing up, you insert the caster post into the hole, hook your thumb over the caster housing with your fingers under the base, apply leverage with your wrist and squeeze until the post pops into the hole. You might need a relatively large hand size and a decent grip for that in any case, but with this chair, it's both hands and your grip needs to be vise-like.
• There's a bolt attaching the upper part of each arm to the back of the chair on either side. The angle and depth of the hole in the arm through which the bolt passes makes it unnecessarily awkward to get at. It's not insurmountable, obviously, but it certainly is impractical and more annoying than it needs to be. I imagine the designer, whoever they are, was somehow pleased with distinguishing themselves as being so uniquely clever within the exotic and highly competitive world of low-end office chair engineering.
Here's why this chair is useless to me:
• Most importantly, the chair is too small, as mentioned above. The back is too short and too narrow for me, and the arms are too close together to accommodate my hips and legs comfortably. I imagine it would be better for someone with a smaller, more slender frame. But that's in direct contradiction with what they promise right off the bat in the description - namely, a large seat that's comfortable for the hips and legs. Draw your own conclusions about why I find that off-putting.
• Max lift is not high enough for either my height or that of my desk (29.5" desktop). It's about an inch too short, which put my arms at an awkward angle while using anything on my desktop - keyboard, mouse, tablet, etc.
• The arms are not padded. This exacerbated the discomfort of the inadequate height by forcing a tendency to rest the points of my elbows on the hard plastic of the arms. This became painful, fatiguing and distracting, to say the least.
• The wheels did not roll or rotate smoothly, if at all. This was true even after finally getting them all fully seated in the base after falling out the first time.
• The locking lever that keeps the chair upright was constantly slipping out and unlocking, causing the chair to lean back under my weight unexpectedly. Frustrating.
• From the point where the seat mounts on the lift cylinder, there emitted a loud, sort of creaking/cracking sound that occured with nearly every weight shift in any direction. I suppose a little lubrication might have solved this issue, but that wouldn't happen due to the following:
• Upon deciding to return this chair, I was unable to remove from the lift cylinder either the baseplate OR the wheelbase. I've done this sort of thing before and it's a simple procedure - rubber mallet and a pipe wrench, easy-peasy. But not with ill-fitting or inferior materials such as in this case, apparently - you'd think I'd welded them together. I'm pretty handy with tools, but I don't think anything short of a pile driver is going to separate these pieces. If you can't separate the pieces, you can't get them back in the box to return the chair. Which pretty much caps off the whole experience, doesn't it?
Buyer beware. It's your 50 bucks.