I recently had to purchase a new chair when the ancient relic I was using experienced a catastrophic failure. To be completely honest, I didn’t really consider a gaming chair and went with a regular office chair. I’ve always viewed gaming chairs as an overpriced prop used by streamers to add flair to their set. When offered the chance by GTRacing to try out their PRO Series gaming chair I figured it would be the perfect chance to put that opinion to the test.
- Model: PRO Series (GT007-GRAY reviewed)
- MSRP: $179.99 – 225.99 ($160 – $199 direct from GTRacing)
- Weight Capacity: 330 lbs
- Steel frame and 5-star base
- Upgraded 2.0 PU (Polyurethane) leather
- Class 4 KGS gas lift
- Recline: 90°-170° (17 lockable positions)
- Armrest: height adjustable (7 positions); horizontal rotation (3 positions
- 1-year limited warranty
Some Assembly Required
As I began unboxing the chair I was pleased with the care that GTRacing had used in packaging. The seat and back were sealed in a plastic bag, and all the metal and plastic components were individually placed in ziplock bags or bubble wrap. Even though UPS was gracious enough to add a decent sized puncture wound to the box the ample packing material ensured everything arrived with nary a scratch or tear.
I’m one of those weird guys that like to read instructions and, like with the packaging, GTRacing went above and beyond. Instead of the typical blurry photocopied pages that ship with most furniture, the PRO Series came with a two page, four-color brochure printed on glossy heavy card stock. Each step has its own picture and written directions so there isn’t any confusion from multiple steps being shown in the same image. The only snag I ran into putting the chair together was tightening one of the dust cover bolts too tight and stripping the threads but GTRacing packed in extra bolts of each size for just such an occasion. Aside from the self-induced hiccup assembly was a breeze and took just over 30 minutes.
Form Follows Function
As I alluded to earlier, one of the main draws of a gaming chair is style. With curves and bolsters (that’s what those wing things are called) inspired by actual racing seats, there is no doubt the PRO Series chairs will add some pizzazz to your gaming area. GTRacing also touts that the design provides great comfort and adjustability. These ergonomic design choices are necessary when taking laps in an actual racer but how do they hold up when the only lateral Gs you’ll encounter are when you reach for your drink?
When looking at chairs, quality is important but you have to expect some sacrifices in the sub-$200 market. One of the most common money-saving choices is in the materials. The use of cloth or PU leather is common at this level so it’s no surprise that GTRacing went with 100% PU leather for this chair. It looks just like real leather but has doesn’t have the same soft feel. The leather is pulled tight along the seat and back with no bubbles or loose areas. The stitching is consistent with zero loose ends hanging out, and held strong during an initial tug test around the entire chair. I even used the stereotypical gamer snacks of Cheetos and Mountain Dew to test GTRacing’s claim of “almost immune to stains” and the leather passed with flying colors.
The frame and adjustment mechanisms appear to be of good quality as well. The steel frame and other metal parts feel rigid, with little to no flex when pushing or pulling on the backrest. All of the fasteners are hex bolts and the pre-drilled holes have threaded metal inserts to keep everything tight. All of the holes lined up perfectly for a snug fit and the bolts even come with a bit of Threadlocker pre-applied so there shouldn’t be any issues with parts coming loose for quite a while.
My sole issue with quality lies in the plastic dust covers that go over the support mechanism between the seat and the back. They fit just fine over the metal braces but they are made of a fairly thin plastic that looks and feels cheap. Making them just a little thicker would add some rigidity to them. This may seem nitpicky given all they do is serve as a cover but given the quality feel of all the other components this seems like a strange place to skimp.
So far the PRO Series chair has performed as expected. I’ve been rough with the chair and there haven’t been any weak points It has only been a few weeks of use, though, so I can’t attest to the chair’s durability over the long haul. The PRO Series does come with a 1-year warranty but other chairs in this price range often carry a 3-5 year warranty. Given the quality of the chair’s components, I would have expected more.
The PRO Series has the ever-familiar racing style seen across all the popular gaming chair brands – high back, lots of curves, a couple of pillows, and bright, bold colors. The PRO Series line has a plethora of color options. They have the typical red and blue variants, each with a few different striping patterns. There are also more uncommon options like purple, white, and even a pink chair with white accents. If you have a dedicated game room there’s no doubt that one of the many color choices of the PRO Series will be the perfect accent to the RGB color combination of your battlestation.
I prefer something a little more subdued and GTRacing was able to accommodate me with a gray and black version (model GT007-GRAY). The back of the chair is almost all black, with only a couple of small gray patches on the seat showing, giving the rear-view a fairly professional look. From the front, the muted color palette still gives you the same racing stripe look of other color combinations without the gaudiness usually get. Kicking the style meter up a couple of notches, the embroidered stripes on the backrest give the chair a deceptively cool look.
GTRacing has packed a lot of adjustability into the PRO Series. With a quick pull of the lever on the right side of the chair the backrest can be reclined from the fully upright 90-degree position down to the almost horizontal 170-degree position. At the 90-degree position, the support pillows pushed me beyond vertical but, with 17 lockable positions, I was able to make slight adjustments until I found a comfortable angle. Regardless of the backrest angle, the large base was enough to keep the chair stable at all times.
A second lever on the right side of the chair is used to control the seat height. The 3.5” range from 18.5” to 22” high doesn’t seem like much but when paired with the 3” of armrest adjustment it should be easy to set the chair up for any desk. That second lever is also used to lock and unlock the rocking feature of the chair.
The armrests also have a horizontal swivel with 3 positions: straight, angled inward, and angled outward. The seemingly arbitrary angles actually serve a distinct purpose. As expected, the straight setting is perfect for typing and using a keyboard and mouse. With both armrests angled in, they perfectly supported my forearms while using a controller and the outward adjustments gave extra support when using additional peripherals like my flightstick. On the downside, the ratchet grooves have some wiggle at each lock position, and applying too much lateral pressure can cause the armrests to move out of position, especially if you push on them while getting up out of the chair. A redesign to include a locking button to the swivel would add cost to the build but I would gladly accept paying a couple of extra bucks to shore up this one flaw in an otherwise completely sturdy chair.
I have always viewed the straps holding the pillows in place as an unsightly design choice but they do make adjustments to the pillows for multiple users quick and painless. The holes near the top of the chair allow for a little over 3” of adjustment to the headrest pillow height while the seat belt type straps of the lumbar pillow allow you to position it anywhere along the backrest The straps allow for easy removal if someone doesn’t like how the pillows feel (more about that below).
BBS (Back And Butt Sweat)
Now for the real question – how does the PRO Series chair feel during a gaming marathon? Pretty damn good actually. The high-density foam of the seat and backrest are firm but have enough give to be comfortable for extended sittings. The headrest and lumbar pillow are much softer but still give you an extra level of support to reduce neck and back pain. As an unexpected benefit, the pillows also create small gaps that allow air to circulate along your back and help reduce the sweating often associated with leather chairs.
Size Does Matter
Along with myself, my two kids acted as test subjects over the last couple of weeks to help determine how well the PRO Series would accommodate various body shapes and sizes.
Test Subject #1 – Coming in at 6’ and 220 lbs, I have thoroughly enjoyed the chair. My head sits right at the top of the backrest so someone more than an inch or two taller may have difficulty positioning the headrest and have to remove it. The width of the chair readily accommodated my build and the bolsters were neither a positive or negative factor. As mentioned earlier the reduced sweatiness compared to other leather chairs was a huge boon.
I’ve never had a desk chair that would recline as far as this one and at first, I wondered who would ever need such a wide range. After many hours of testing, I can report that it was easy to find an angle for working and gaming with mouse and keyboard. The wide ranges of the reclining angles are great when gaming with a controller or watching Twitch or Netflix, and propping my feet up on my desk and dropping all the way back to 170 degrees made for some very comfortable catnaps.
Test Subject #2 – My son is also 6’ tall but tips the scale near the 300 lb mark. Before using the chair he expressed concern that the design angles might be constricting with his wider build but in practice, he found the curvature of the seat and back quite comfortable. The chair is rated to hold 330 pounds so it isn’t surprising that he didn’t have any issues with support or stability issues during his time in the chair.
Test Subject #3 – My 12-year old daughter was the final person to run the chair through its paces and was undoubtedly the most excited to get a chair that looked liked the ones her favorite content creators use. At 5’ and well under 100 pounds, she is also the tester that had to fiddle with the adjustments the most. Right off the bat, she had trouble with both pillows. The lumbar pillow was too big for her small frame and was immediately removed. With that out of the way, the headrest sat too high on the chair and pushed her head forward instead of supporting her neck. Bye-bye headrest.
With the extra fluff out of the way, there were still a couple of quick adjustments in order. Raising the seat up to desk height and dropping the armrests down were easily accomplished but, due to the extra width created by the seat bolsters, she still doesn’t like how far apart the armrests are. Speaking of the bolsters, they also get in the way when she wants to sit cross-legged. To top it all off without the extra weight my son and I carry she found the seat to be too firm for her liking.
After spending a few weeks with GTRacing’s PRO Series chair I have no doubt that my original perception of gaming chairs being overpriced and designed for fashion over function have been completely squashed. You won’t get all the amenities of a $1000 chair but at the $160-180 range (current pricing and free shipping when buying direct from GTRacing’s website) the PRO Series offers solid build quality and comfortable, ergonomic design suitable for long gaming sessions. The multi-function adjustments go beyond those found in the typical office chair found at this price point.
Both my son and I have abandoned our other chair and have fully embraced the PRO Series. My daughter has rejected the chair and moved back to our regular office chair. This gives me hope that she still has some free will to resist the influencers and, more importantly, it shows that even with all the adjustments offered in the PRO Series line it may not be the perfect choice for everyone.