RDR2 and chill.
When I think of a gaming chair, I think of a futuristic, carbon-fiber clad desk chair gliding effortlessly across the floor on a set of high-quality casters, and that’s what most high quality gaming chairs are these days. With designs based on the seats found in high-speed super cars, it’s part of the reason they’re called racing chairs: they look like they’re going fast even though they’re sitting still. Respawn has taken the design of the classic racing-style gaming chair and adapted it for the living room with its first “console gaming chair,” the recline-able Respawn 900 (See it on Amazon).
Respawn 900 – Design and Features
Like most gaming chairs, at first blush the Respawn 900 looks like it was yanked out of the cabin of a track-ready Lambo. Faux carbon fiber fabric gives it that supercar look, and colored accents help it stand out amongst the rest of your furniture. If you viewed only the top half of the Respawn 900, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between it and countless other gaming chairs.
However, moving down the chair a bit, the differences become apparent. Remember, this is a console gaming chair, so it’s designed with the living room or dorm room in mind. That means instead of a subtle, fold away footrest found on some gaming chairs, the footrest blends seamlessly with the rest of the chair, curving in a way I found extremely comfortable under my knees. Most chairs end abruptly about midway through the upper parts of my legs, but the Respawn 900’s contour felt like a team of cherubs supporting my legs on a puffy cloud.
The cushioning is just enough for my larger than average frame, although I wish it had been just a little thicker. Still, at no point while sitting in the Respawn 900 did I ever feel uncomfortable. It’s not a big, plush easy chair like your gramps might sit in, but it’s not a harsh folding chair or piece of plastic patio furniture. It hits the Goldilocks zone of cushioning.
Being 6′ 2″ is a slight detriment when the Respawn 900 was fully reclined. My legs dangled just a little over the footrest, but for most people the length shouldn’t be a problem.
Reclining is excellent, although I couldn’t actually play anything while fully reclined other than Switch in handheld mode. There are various degrees to which it can be reclined, and at its “most reclined” setting it’s almost horizontal to the ground, which required tipping my head up to see the screen. I can’t see myself ever falling asleep in the Respawn 900, because it doesn’t quite go far enough back for me to comfortably doze off. That’s fine though, as that’s a dad-bridge I’m not quite ready to cross.
There are extra features with the Respawn 900 to further differentiate it from the desk chair pack. First of all, there’s a detachable pouch on the side large enough to fit a controller and a remote. I had a weird urge to fill it with snacks, but decided against it for a multitude of reasons.
The pouch attaches under the arm rest with some heavy duty velcro, so it could probably handle a full bag of Combos. There’s also a cup-holder molded into the arm rest on the left side. It’s big enough for a can or bottle of your favorite beverage, but I would have liked it to be a bit deeper. It’s deep enough that a normal 12-oz can is nice and sturdy, but I wouldn’t trust a tallboy in it, especially if I started swiveling a bit.
Another big deviation from a PC gaming chair is the Respawn 900’s lack of casters. Instead, it comes with a large, circular base covered in the same leather as the rest of the chair. Since it’s designed to be immobile, it sits where you want it to sit, facilitating relaxation while gaming on your console.
The Respawn 900 swivels effortlessly in 360 degrees, and if you need to move it, it doesn’t weigh very much. I had no trouble moving it out from the center of my living room for vacuuming. There is no height adjustment, like you find in most traditional desk chairs, but it doesn’t really need one since it doesn’t live under a desk.
One minor problem I had with the design of the Respawn 900 was getting used to its reclining mechanisms. There’s one lever to control the footrest, and it operates like how you’d expect. There’s another lever to recline the back of the chair, but to use it you need to pull it outward rather then back and forth.
Ultimately the action for both reclining parts is smooth, but I noticed a great deal of silicone lubricant doing the heavy lifting on the mechanism for the back, which makes me wonder how smooth it will be once the silicon dries up. Also, the levers are a little too close together for my liking. I managed to smash the hell out of my knuckles reclining the footrest too quickly. That wasn’t fun.
Respawn 900 – Assembly
The Respawn 900 comes in a really large box, and is packed in several different pieces. Some assembly is required, but it was a reasonably easy process to get it all together. Everything you need is in the box and it even includes a few extra nuts and bolts in case you lose one (or at least, I hope they are extras). All the disparate pieces slide together and are held in place with the included bolts. There’s nothing more complicated than lining up the correct holes. The moving parts of the reclining system are pre-assembled.
Working alone, I was able to construct my new throne in about 40 minutes. Putting it together as a solo mission wasn’t bad at all, and I didn’t need to resort to any sort of trickery or swearing to put it all together.
Respawn 900 – Gaming
The Respawn 900 is made for console gamers, so if you’re looking for a comfortable place to sit yourself down and play, the Respawn delivers.
Not having it roll around is both a blessing and a curse, but the scales tip way more toward a blessing. It’s not particularly heavy, so if you want to move it around your living space, it’s not an issue. It stays where you want it to stay, but is easy enough to move if you want to. Since there’s no wheels like a desk chair, and its base is so solid, it stays exactly where you want it, which is great for a living room setting.
I’m a tall man at 6 foot 2″, so the ergonomic pillow didn’t sit where I wanted it to. To utilize it comfortably, I actually had to unclip it and move it further up than its designed for. People of normal or slightly above average height shouldn’t suffer from the same problem.
The cup holder was handy, and it also made a great place to drop my phone for easy reach during loading screens or when I just needed to answer a message. The small pouch attached under the arm rest made controller storage easy and convenient. Since I have kids, controllers are always going missing, so not having to dig through couch cushions when I want to play was appreciated.
The cup holder was handy, and it also made a great place to drop my phone for easy reach during loading screens
I don’t think sitting in the chair improved my gaming skills, but I liked how easy it was to switch between reclined and standard sitting positions. When things start to get hairy in-game, I lean in and sit literally on the edge of my seat, and the curvature of the Respawn 900 was extremely comfortable during those tense moments when things got busy on-screen.
Since it’s easy to move around, I positioned it much closer to the television than any of the other furniture in my living room. The couch is a great spot for gaming, but I can’t easily move it, and I find being up close and personal improves the immersion level of games on a large TV. I also found myself swiveling one way or the other, depending on how my neck was feeling at any given moment. At some points, I was perpendicular to my TV while I played, and could easily switch to whatever angle I wanted to maintain a level of comfort.
The Respawn 900 is available in five different colors with an MSRP of $299, but you can find it on Amazon for slightly cheaper.