Being someone who spends the majority of their day in front of a computer working in my nine to five, as well as actively creating content for YouTube and live streaming, I need a chair that is not only ergonomic, but built well, and built to last. I’m a large man. I stand in at a bit over 6’6″ and almost 370 lbs. Most chairs buckle and fail within a few months of my use. I’m a large man and when it comes to computer and office chairs, options are limited. I have attempted to strike up interest with many of the major chair manufacturers to build a relationship in recent weeks, only to mostly be ignored. Most seem to be appalled by, or fearful of putting their chair to the test of a true Big & Tall person.
I think that is the biggest complaint I have had in shopping for a new chair. These high end gaming chair manufacturers always provide their samples and review models to small frame, small build people who these chairs aren’t really designed for, or meant to be used by. So you end up with a lot of reviews praising the high end build quality. The reality however, is this, and forgive me as I go into metaphors: sending a Big & Tall chair to a small person to review is the equivalent of a Ford Ranger saying it can carry a single bag of garden mulch with ease.
My new friends over at EWIN Racing however, have stepped up to the plate and provided a review sample of the EWIN Racing Flash XL series for me to take a look at for a discounted rate (full disclosure here). I had a very at length conversation with them about the lack of reviews on chairs that are supposedly designed for people of my stature. They agreed, and here we are. So let’s dive into this, and look at packaging, assembly, build quality, design quality, and overall first thoughts.
Be warned, this chair is HEAVY! It took a bit for me to manhandle it over the doorstep into the house. Sadly, I wasn’t home when the chair was delivered, and this is at no fault of EWIN, but the carrier sat the chair directly in front of my door and I was forced to move it up and down the stairs twice. The box is extremely robust as it appears to have taken a few hard knocks, but the contents are very well packaged. Foam is limited in packaging, but the box fits the pieces well, and there are a few more pieces of robust cardboard inside to keep punctures to fabric from happening. All upholstery parts of the chair come sealed in heavy plastic bags, so the chances of upholstery being damaged is slim.
If you managed to see Friday’s video of the unboxing and assembly, I skimmed over both aspects of this, and in today’s video review, I really didn’t focus much there either. There isn’t much to say. This chair is well packaged and truly is easy enough for a toddler to put it together. I wasn’t joking when I said that. Even Charlie after a few minutes of pondering was able to figure out what parts went where.
Let’s get in the meat and taters of the review now. The build quality of this chair is outstanding. Like I said, it’s heavy. It has a fully steel frame. The chair comes with a 330 lbs weight limit, but I would venture to guess that the frame of the chair itself will hold much more, and is only limited by the gas shock of the chair. I am knocking on the door of 370 lbs, and the chair is rock solid when I sit in it, with no wobble. Amazingly, there are also no squeaks anywhere.
If I lean to one side in the chair, the arms do not feel flimsy as they are 1/4″ steel bolted to decorative steel tubing. There is no give in the base and it feels solid. Likewise, when I release the locking mechanism and lean the seat back, I do not feel like the chair is going to topple. I can lean back and feel completely safe which is not a way I typically feel in an office chair as a larger man.
The fabric and stitching is absolutely beautiful. I looked over my model very carefully, I couldn’t find any uneven seams or anything out of place. Everything looked very good and symmetrical in the stitching. It is faux leather, so if you find yourself sitting at your desk without a shirt or in shorts, it does have that sticky feel on the skin. I can’t really demerit the product for this because not everyone has their morning coffee in their boxer shorts while browsing through social media.
I know many will say design quality and build quality should be in the same category. I feel when you are talking terms of a chair designed for a Big and Tall individual, it’s entirely different. It may have outstanding build quality, but be designed very poorly for someone of Big and Tall stature. As stated, I’m 6’6″ and about 370 lbs. My height and large frame put this chair to the absolute test. I truly appreciate EWIN stepping up to taking this challenge, as it’s NOT something they had to be a part of.
Being someone that stands in at 6’6″, the first thing I notice when I sit down is that I do have the ability to adjust the lumbar pillow up and down to where I need it, and it will hold in place. This is phenomenal! On most chairs like this on the market, the pillow is NOT attached, and doesn’t land where a taller person would need it. That’s not a problem with the EWIN Racing Flash XL. On the other hand, the head pillow is quite the annoyance. There are no adjustments for it and for me it falls right between my shoulder blade. It’s nice during a long session. as I can lean back and put pressure between my shoulder blades when/if I get tense in my upper back. Just normally sitting however, it’s uncomfortable and annoying.
The arms of the chair could stand to be about an inch taller. When I sit back, my elbows don’t reach, so I find myself hunkering over at times to rest my arms, which puts me in an awkward lean. I will say the arm rests are comfortable to lean on. They are not covered in the same fabric as the rest of the chair, but instead, some form of molded rubber.
With all of the nit picking out of the way, for a Big & Tall person, the EWIN Racing Flash XL has one MAJOR design flaw, and that is in the seat. As you notice on the edges, it is designed like a bucket seat. I am assuming to keep the rigid shape in the foam, they installed metal brackets in the bucket sides of the seat. I would say someone with a 42″-44″ waist line would be completely fine in this chair (I have a 46″-48″ waistline). However, if you’re any larger than this, be prepared. After 6-8 hours in this chair, those rigid metal pieces in the bucket portion of the seat will begin to dig in and make your hips REALLY tender.
I contacted EWIN to find out if there was a way to adjust or remove those ,and unfortunately, there is not. My advice to EWIN is this: angle those things out (cup the booty don’t stab it), just to put more padding between the hip bone and the metal piece, or remove them all together, and use a stiffer foam. When you first sit in the chair, you don’t notice them, but after a few hours, they truly do begin to dig in. For me, that’s sadly a deal breaker on this being the perfect chair.
The big question? If the EWIN Racing Flash XL chair disappeared from my life today, would I run out and by one again tomorrow? At it’s current state, No. The seat is a deal breaker for me. I spend long sessions at the computer, and while it’s fine for a few hours at a time, the discomfort after a long day of work is not pleasant. However, should EWIN address this detail in the seat and come up with a better solution, ABSOLUTELY! The design flaw in the seat is the only thing that kept me from being able to say this is the best chair for a Big & Tall person that money can buy.
I do want to again thank EWIN Racing for stepping up to this challenge as it’s NOT something they had to do ,and all other manufacturers were appalled at the thought of putting their chair to the test. EWIN Racing believes in their products. They have proven that to me with the level of communication they have had in answering my questions, and receiving my feedback during this initial review process. EWIN has built an amazing quality product in the EWIN Racing Flash XL series of chair. If you have a slightly smaller frame than I do, or ONLY fall in the Tall category, then this chair will likely be PERFECT for YOU. EWIN, if you ever do a seat redesign, I would love to take that new design for a spin, because by my standards, every other component of this chair passed the challenge exceeding my expectations.