Gaming chairs are fast becoming the “must-have” item that every self-respecting gamer needs to own in order to spend those hours grinding away experience, or saving the world from bad guys in total style and ultimate comfort. All the pro gamers use these specialized seats to maximize their time and comfort in front of the screen. Just take a look at any Twitch stream, and nine times out of ten the streamer will be sitting pretty on some sweet seat designed specifically for a gamer’s butt and back.
And even though I am totally aware of those facts, and am an avid PC and console gamer, I actually never considered investing in a high-quality gaming chair for myself, until I had the opportunity to review the Vertagear SL5000 gaming chair. Now, I am totally ruined for ordinary desk or office computer chairs. Let me explain why.
Vertagear SL500 Out of the Box
You may want to call a friend to help you, because the Vertagear SL5000 comes in a fairly good sized box. Inside, you’ll find all the chair’s components, which unfortunately you’ll need to put together. But, don’t worry. Although I was a bit daunted at first when looking at all the pieces, multi-page instruction booklet, and included mini-tool; I quickly discovered there wasn’t that much to building the chair after all. Just put the wheels on the base, attach the base to the seat, and then slide on the backrest and attach, and voila! you’re done. I think it took me all of ten minutes…if that.
Vertagear SL5000’s Design and Style
The SL5000 sports a racing car seat-type of design, and is constructed of a rugged-yet-smooth-feeling and breathable faux leather. The chair is available in several colour schemes (black/white, black/blue, black/green and black/red), and the model I reviewed came in a nice rich red and black.
The seat back is nice and high, and the bottom seat itself is wide and flat. The upper section has more red than black, while the bottom part has a cool red racing stripe down the middle. The red stitching on the chair is also very tidy and the red trim completes the Captain’s chair/Ferrari seat appeal. Finishing off the SL5000 are two pillows which you can attach optionally. One is for lumbar support and the other is a sweet and cushy headrest. It certainly isn’t a subtle-looking chair by any means, but that’s kinda what you want. You want something that is not only comfortable to sit in for hours, but also that stands out and says you take your gaming seriously when you’re live streaming your latest session. The high contrast between the red and black really makes this particular SL5000 model look pretty snazzy, let me tell you. Everyone who peeked into my little office/gaming space was definitely impressed by the look and style of the chair.
Make Room for Your Gaming Chair
Space is also something that you’ll definitely need to consider, though. The chair is a tad bigger than most conventional desk chairs, so make sure you’ve got enough room for it at your gaming station. That being said, my own gaming space is in a little nook office under the stairs – a very tight space indeed – and yet it fit just fine.
SL5000 Performance and Comfort
The Vertagear SL5000 is a versatile and customizable gaming chair. The five solid wheels at the base offer lots of stability, and roll very easily. A lever on the right side adjusts the height of the chair, and another lever adjusts the angle between the backrest and base (between 80 and 140 degrees).
The armrests are long, black and slightly padded, but not too soft. Actually, the armrests are one of the things that really sold me on the SL5000. You can adjust their height and width, and they can also be rotated, retracted and adjusted sideways for just the right fit. As a gamer, armrests are an important feature for me. Considering everyone comes with different arm lengths and sizes, and we all have our own particular way of sitting/gaming, it is awesome that the Vertagear gaming chair lets you subtly customize exactly how you like your arms to be positioned.
On my normal “god-I-so-hate-you-now” chair, I use an old throw pillow rolled up and scrunched behind my back for better support, however the SL5000 has that lumbar pillow that’s height adjustable, so you can get the best support for your back exactly where you need it. Plus, the high back and curved sides of the gaming chair gives you that “enveloped-in-my-chair” feeling of full support, but without feeling claustrophobic. I also really liked the headrest pillow, too, especially when angling the chair back into a semi-reclining position to watch movies. Without the headrest pillow, I found my head went too far back into the seat at that particular laid-back angle.
Less Sweaty Gaming
If you’re sitting for hours gaming, intensely focussed on shooting aliens or just grinding away XP in an RPG you’re going to sweat. I found the SL5000 kept me nice and comfortably cool, thanks to its breathable fabric. The back doesn’t sit flush against the base, either, which is meant to allow the lumbar support pillow straps to slip through the space for adjustability. But, that gap also serves to allow for airflow, I found, making sitting in the chair very comfortable no matter how long my butt was parked there.
The Final Word
At first, I thought the flat base seat would not be as comfortable as something with a more curved “butt-shaped” seat. However, the Vertagear SL5000 is an extremely comfortable chair, and more so because it made me adopt an improved posture when using it. The longer I’ve used it, the more I have appreciated its comfort and design. In both style, construction and performance, the SL5000 seems like it would be a much more expensive chair, and yet it comes at a fairly decent price. As I stated earlier, the armrests are great, and you just can’t beat being able to so finely adjust how they are angled. It makes long gaming sessions infinitely more comfortable. Overall, I can confidently recommend the Vertagear SL5000 to anyone who spends a lot of time sitting in front of a screen, and wants to do so not only in breathable faux leather comfort, but also in impressively and impeccably constructed style.
Are you looking for a new gaming chair? How does the Vertagear chair stack up against other gaming chairs on the Best Buy web site? Let me know in the comment section below.