Another week has gone down, and some amazing games have seen there release from Red Dead Redemption 2, Grip Combat Racing and as of today 06.11.2018, the new and improved Final Fantasy World Maxima and I must not forget my favourite release on the Nintendo Switch Diablo 3 Eternal Edition. But playing games is never great without sitting on something comfortable and having access to food and drink, so in this review, I am taking a look at the new AKRacing Arctica Gaming Chair.
If you have not heard of AKRacing here is some information about them
AKRacing has been in business since 2001 as a real seat manufacturing company. First in automotive sports seats then expanding to gaming and office chairs. We do 100% of our own R&D and product development, testing, and QC. We even design and tool our own our armrests, 5-starbases, and mechanisms for most models. So, we control the full user experience to a degree most other companies can’t or just don’t.
We do not OEM or manufacture for anyone else, 100% of the production from our factories are for the AK brand. The only way to get an AKRacing chair is to buy an AKRacing branded chair. We are sure no one makes a better gaming chair–that is why we back it with a 5-year warranty for the chair and 10 years on the frame.
Now let us get on with the review and the unboxing, well from the very start when this chair arrived I had the drag it upstairs into my office, this is actually my third gaming chair now over the last few weeks, I am still not used to the weight of them 25KGs. Why did I not just build the chairs downstairs? I question that now, I wish I did decide to do that.
As with the AKRacing Opal Office Chair Review, we found everything was packaged away extremely well, On top was the starbase, remove that, and remove the cardboard you will get the backrest, underneath the backrest you will find the seat, cushions, and a box with all the other parts required to build the chair.
Now, this chair had a different Chair base, which first confused me as I had not seen one like this before, one side allows you to adjust the height of the chair and the other side stops you from rocking the chair back and forth. The AKRacing Arctica is actually my first gaming chair to have this new and improved chair base, however rocking this chair is impossible, well for me anyways.
You also get the following items
- 5 Plastic wheels,
- Chair Back,
- Seat and armrests already attached,
- Lumbar Cushion and Neck Cushion,
- Gas Cylinder,
- Protective Gloves,
- Gas Cylinder cover,
- Back Cover side mount,
- Seat Mount,
- Hex Keys,
Now I want to keep with the seat base and the Gas Cylinder itself as I had heard through the grapevine that AKRacing had the first ever extra-heavy duty gaslift allowing some of the chairs to hold a much heavier gamer. So I reached out to them to get this confirmed and this is what I got told;
We indeed have a custom gaslift in one of our chairs, I don’t think it’s patented though – but it is different from what everyone else is using. We are talking about extra-heavy duty gaslift in our AKRacing Core Series Max Gaming Chair. This gaslift is sourced from Korea and is rated up to 400 lbs /180 kg. The Max gaming chair was designed to be a true heavy-duty chair, with an extra wide backrest and seat (which is also flat for that extra room), so we wanted to make sure the chair not only fits bigger people, but actually holds the weight and lasts for a very long time.
All other AKRacing chairs (and all chairs by other manufacturers) use Class-4 gaslift, which is the best gaslift available in China. It is rated to 330 lbs / 150 kg, which is still a good weight capacity, but 400 lbs is definitely much better for a heavy-duty chair, which was our goal. This is what makes Max stand out from other “heavy-duty” chairs on the market – they may be wide in size, but they still use Class-4 gaslift that can hold up to 150 kg at its maximum.
So with everything unboxed let’s get a close look at each item, followed by the building of the chair in a nice video. First off is the starbase, which is mostly metal painted white with black plastic tops with AKD embossed into them.
When looking at the seat from the front you have two textures and three colours, white, red and black, with textured edges on the inside, which hugs your sides, or you lean up against, with the AKRacing logo at the top.
The middle section is also a section in itself as it offers another level of comfort, a much softer cushion to sit back on. Now it does not come away from the chair as a separate cushion, it is just designed into the chair.
The back of the AKRacing Arctica Gaming Chair is all white with the AKRacing logo right at the top, it is plain and simple and looks good.
With all AKRacing chairs, they come with a 5 when it comes to fire resistance, what does this mean? well have a read below
The Gaming chair conforms to BS 7176:2007 which is a specification that describes four different hazard levels for contract furniture and describes appropriate tests for evaluating furniture materials. The hazard categories are ‘Low Hazard’, ‘Medium Hazard’, ‘High Hazard’ and ‘Very High Hazard’. This chair is Medium Hazzard and you would see such products in the likes of Hospitals, Hotels, Hotel bedrooms, Places of public entertainment, Public buildings, Public Halls, Public houses and bars and Restaurants.
Then we finally have the neck and lumbar cushion
Now keeping with the cushions, the lumbar cushion is perfect and is designed well, however, the neck cushion is not. Even though I have used one for some time I have no complaints. This all changed when I started using the neck cushion from the AKRacing Opal Office chair, which is very similar to the premium max cushion shown in the image below. I can tell you now, the improved design is much better suited to a resting position with our necks and upper back. I have brought this up with AKRacing and offered them the chance to allow users to ever purchase or supplement the original neck cushion with the one that comes with the Max Gaming Chair, which to me is a much better cushion and will improve the comfort for gamers around the world. I am unsure if they will, but here’s hoping.
So I am 5ft 4inches and weigh around 80.5kg, a short tubby dude you could say, but this chair is actually not for me it is for my partner who is 5ft 5inches and weights 59.4kg and this chair, even though wider than the average gaming chair is perfect for her. Offers a lot more room while sitting, or having your legs up on the chair, sometimes even crossed, “it is extremely comfortable” she says, for me since I am used to gaming chairs, it feels a little too big, no idea why she enjoys all the extra space.
So below you will find a picture and the actual measurements of the chair;
- Height adjustment – Set your desired height by using the lever underneath the chair.
- Adjustable armrests – Adjustable height.
- Backrest adjustment – Perfect for when you want to lay back and take a break from whatever you are doing!
- Rocking function – The chair can be tilted up to 12-degrees, it also lockable in the upright position to prevent the chair from rocking.
- High-quality materials – PU Leather that is both great-looking and easy to clean.
- Class-4 gas lift – Durable for up to 150kg!
- Durable wheels – Cool looking wheels that make it very easy to move the chair around.
- Metal frame – A durable metal frame structure ensures durability for years to come!
I have built a number of these chairs in the past, and even now they can be a little bit of a pain to assemble, but after around 15mins I was done and dusted.
First, you assemble the Starbase, which just means attaching the wheels, placing the gas cylinder into the hole and added the Gas Cylinder cover. Then you turn to the seat and attach the seat mount by removing the four screws on the seat, place the mount correctly making note of the front and back written clearly on the mount so you attach it the correct way. Then grab the backrest and remove the screws on both sides. You then attach the backrest to the seat, once in place attach the side covers to hide the screws. The use all your strength to attach the seat to your finished starbase and you’re done.
I created a video, which is 3.35x faster than the original, with a bouncing trance soundtrack once again to listen to while you watch;
The Arctica Gaming Chair is made with PU Leather, what is PU Leather? well, it is simply artificial leather. Comes with an Anti-corrosive black painted full metal frame. The seats are padded with High-Density Mould Shaping Foam and finally a metal starbase with plastic edges. The cost of this chair is £449.
Now the chair is built, have a check above at the finished design with neck and lumbar cushions attached. These cushions will help rest the neck during those long gaming sessions, streaming, competitive events or anything else you can think of doing with your chair. Then you have a lumbar cushion which helps you keep your posture and protects the lower back. Some people do not like the lumbar cushion, but I can tell you now, ever since I have used them my back feels much better sitting down for long periods of time. But there is an issue with these ones and they did not come with a butterfly clip. what is a butterfly clip? well, it helps to hold the cushions in place from behind see image below;
Why did this chair need to have a butterfly clip? well the lumbar straps kept falling down and became an annoyance, in the end, there was no real way to keep the straps in place, so I reached out to AKRacing and requested one. From the image above you can see how the cushions are now attached and how it has improved the design, there is also no way the straps can fall down anymore.
The chair is black. white and red with the AKRacing logo’s on the top front and back of the chair there is also embossed logos on the side of the chair and the starbase.
The image above is the tilt mechanism which is fun and the backrest can literally drop totally flat, so if you fancy some time staring at the ceiling you can, I can think of other things you can do, but I will leave that to your imagination. There are a number of different angles you can tilt the backrest into and each angle has a locked position. The Gas cylinder is a class 4 which will hold up to 150kg / 330lbs that’s just under 24stone and will allow the chair to be heightened or lowered based on your preferred height. So what I am simply saying here is, you can do a lot more than game, stream on these chairs.
The Seat has the Arctica logo etched into the front of the seat and stands out a mile, its one of AKRacing’s chair brands that do this, as there are not many chairs that show off the name of the chair, maybe this should be added to all other chairs, I don’t know, I rather like it if I am to be honest with myself.
Moving to the armrests and what the industry class as 4D, this simply means the armrest can rotate, slide forward, backward, side to side and up and down, so you can truly get that perfect position to rest your arm in. This type of armrest offers a lot for flexibility however they miss the groove from the original armrest that felt comfortable and sort of hugged your arm.
So that’s is the whole chair, everything bar the kitchen sink covered for you, but there is always that one thing, how does it feel and use? well, it’s wonderful to use, extremely comfortable possible even more comfortable than my AKRacing Team Dignitas chair. Though it did come with issues, like the butterfly clip not being provided with the chair and I found that this chair should have one, and rocking the chair was impossible, even though the seat mount offered this option. The 4D armrests you do get used to in the end and all the extra features in flexibility allow you to align the rests perfect. Even though the chair is mostly white and gamers might be thinking it will get dirty rather easily, well you might be right, that’s why I have a leather cleaner available to clean these chairs.
So overall, these are the three chairs I own in my office now, my old favourite team chair the new Arctica and a chair from e-win and in all honesty each of them has their benefits and each offers a different level of comfort even though they look rather similar. It is odd how one design can offer a different level of comfort and in all honesty, I can recommend all them. They all offer a different style, colours, and form but they all offer a comfort not available in your common household chair.
You can currently by them from Scan and Box.co.uk in the UK and they both have a 15% discount going on right now: