AKRacing Arctica Gaming Chair Review
Over the past few months, we’ve reviewed more hardware and peripherals than we can shake a stick at, but from everything we have done – headsets, speakers, entertainment systems, and toys – we’ve never had the pleasure of looking at one of the more expensive items you can buy for your gaming setup: the elusive gaming chair! Fortunately, AKRacing was kind enough to send over a chair to our Ireland office for review, and over the past two weeks, we have been doing just that!
Shipping and Packaging
The Arctica Gaming Chair from AKRacing retails for about €349.99 in Europe and can be purchase direct from the AKRacing Website here. For US Pricing and Where to Buy, as well as coupon codes for a 12% discount, head to the bottom of the page! The shipping process – albeit weird – was fairly smooth, and it didn’t take long for the box to arrive. It wasn’t super quick, but it also wasn’t egregiously long. As of the time of writing, I’m unsure if AKRacing offers an express shipping method, or if there is only one way they send them out.
When the box arrived, it was very neat and clean, with everything packed tightly inside to minimize movement while in shipping. Everything in the box had an extra level of protection via bags and other protective shipping materials, which should be the case when you are paying a premium for the product. As a nice added touch, AKRacing includes a pair of white gloves to put the chair together. As the unit we reviewed was a bright, clean white, having the gloves to minimize any dirt and grime while assembling was a nice added bonus.
Construction, Design, and Our Thoughts
Obviously, these full sized, high back chairs from AKRacing don’t come pre assembled, so there is a fair amount of assembling required on behalf of the consumer. Included with each AKRacing chair is a universal manual that applies to all of their products. While this definitely saves the company money on printing and packaging costs, it did create some confusion when we put the chair together.
Each AKRacing chair comes with a lower back pillow for added support and for ergonomics, but the way the pillow is attached differs from chair to chair. In our situation, the manuals way of attaching the pillow did not match the design of the chair we were constructing. Thankfully, quick support from AKRacing meant our pillow was attached within the hour. After a brief discussion with the company, it was noted that specific manuals for each chair is something the company is considering. As one of our only minor gripes with the chair, this makes us feel confident AK is looking to make a much needed change that will benefit the consumer.
All in – outside of waiting for an update from AK for the pillow – constructing the chair only took 25 minutes. As an added bonus, any tool required to put the chair together was included in the package, which meant tracking down your own tools – or borrowing from someone else – isn’t necessary.
Base and Class-4 Gas Lift
Aside from our small pillow issue, putting the chair together took very little time. The chair itself rests on a 5-Star Based, named for the 5 outward prongs that attach to the five included wheels. As you move up the chair from the based, you’ll find the handy Class-4 Gas lift which enables the user to raise or lower their chair with incredible ease, supporting up to 150 KG or 330 lbs. Even with a fair amount of weight in the chair, things moved very smoothly and easily.
As we continue to move up, we get to the actual seat. The seat itself is built on a fairly solid metal frame, and than wrapped in molded plastic. Because of the technologies that AK employs when putting their chairs together, no amount of sitting will ever deform interior of your chair in anyway. While firm and long lasting, it is also designed to be comfortable. This particular model is covered in a vegan friendly faux leather which is soft and durable, although perhaps we will need to revisit this after a longer period of time with the chair. In more expensive AKRacing models, real leather is used in place of faux leather, adding to the increased costs.
The chair back is not set in only one spot, and therefore, users can set the back to what ever degree they feel most comfortable. That being said, the chair can be locked in several positions from 90 degrees to 180 degrees. Yes folks, you could lay down in this chair if you so desired!
For many years, I’ve been using a standard office chair both for office work and gaming time, and while that chair has functioned well enough for many years, there was no comparable when sitting down in the AKRacing chair. In fact, I might not have known my current chair was a problem until I took the AK model for a spin. The difference is mind blowing.
Already after two weeks, I’m feeling more comfortable after spending 8-12 hours in this chair as opposed to my old chair. Even my co-workers agreed that this was one of the most comfortable chairs they have ever sat in. When it comes to your back in an office or gaming situation, you can never put a price on comfort and ergonomics. Back pain can cause life long problems for anyone, regardless of their profession, and even casual gamers will see an immediate benefit from using a chair like this. The included back pillow – which may seem gimmicky to some, or simply as a throw in ‘branded item’ to others – is incredibly important for comfortable sitting sessions, and forces you to use proper posture.
Although I would argue that taking care of your body is one of the key reasons to purchase an AKRacing chair, it’s also important to note that AKRacing chairs are also aesthetically pleasing, and depending on the model, come in a variety of colours to match your gaming or office setup. When perusing the website, I never once found a chair I didn’t think looked great, and this is saying something because I’ve seen numerous gaming chairs that are absolutely hideous.
Worth it for the Price?
As I said earlier, I really feel you cannot put a price on comfort and body preservation, and sometimes it takes a new product to show you how much better your at home / at office life could really be. The minor aches that I attributed to office life are not bothering me as much anymore, and that quality of life improvement alone is worth the premium price you pay for products like this. And, AKRacing is backing their chairs 100%, offering some of the best customer service via Twitter that I have ever seen? Have a problem, they will try to fix the problem as best they can, and do so with friendly service every time.
Are AKRacing gaming chairs expensive? You bet they are, but the price is a steal when you consider what improvements it will make to your life over the long term.
- Very good quality and design
- Great look
- Addtional accessories
- Some problems with instruction guide
If you want to get your own racing chair, you can head to their European website, or their North American website, and use coupon code gamesreviews_12 to save 12% on purchases between 150-300 euros, or 200 – 500 dollars! Code expires July 31st! For those who prefere amazon it is available there as well.