Chairs are very much taken for granted. You buy one, sit in it now and then, and never give a second thought. The pandemic has changed that; we are all stuck inside our homes with our backsides firmly planted on seating of some shape or form and many of us have found our buttock cushioning devices to be severely lacking.
I am one such person. My gaming chair which had previously been used for a couple of hours each evening became my office chair overnight, and it turns out that sitting in it for ten hours a day was very uncomfortable. Thankfully the lovely people at BraZen sent one of their gaming chairs to review and I think I can safely say this is one of the most thorough gaming chair reviews I could possibly carry out, and I’ve been encased in it’s cushioning goodness in it for well over two hundred hours.
The BraZen Sentinel Elite PC Gaming Chair comes in a very large box and clocks in at almost 20kg – to say this is a beast of a chair would be an understatement. My old chair was, well, chair sized, while Sentinel Elite is more like a throne and even a 6’5″ heffalump like myself has plenty of room to wiggle around. The chair is designed to support weights of up to 120kg, which is just about enough for me if I breathe out. And remove an arm.
The chair needs assembly when you unpack it, but all the tools are provided and for the most part it’s a piece of cake. However, the back of the chair seems far too small when you are constructing it, there’s a good 2cm gap on each side between the back itself and the metal tabs on the seat you are meant to attach it to. It does fit, but is definitely a two person job. I had to contort myself in to very weird positions and praised the lord that I (used to) go to the gym so I had enough strength to push the tab down far enough to get the screws in.
The chair has five feet each with nylon casters so you can swish about with ease, and two arms that can be raised or lowered. You can also raise or lower the height and adjust the angle of the back from vertical to practically horizontal. There are two additional cushions, one for your lower back and one that attaches to head rest. Frankly, they don’t look great and so I originally left these off, but soon attached them as they massively improve your seating posture and give vital support for your back. The seat itself is modelled on the ‘racing bucket’ seats you find in posh sports cars and so has slightly curved edges to ensure your posterior is nicely centred.
The single most important question is one of comfort, and after a very thorough testing I can assure you it is. My old chair was giving me all sorts of back and neck pains, but since switching to the BraZen and sitting in it all day and every day, I’ve not had a single twinge. It has just the right amount of squidge in the padding to make it feel luxurious and an actual pleasure to sit in. About the worse thing I can say is that the adjustable arm rests are perfectly placed if you are relatively upright, but they don’t move if you recline the back to one of the more louche settings.
The Sentinel Elite comes in a range of eight colours, all of them are very bright and loud with the BraZen ‘B’ splashed over the cushions, so if you favour pastels in your gaming room you might need to look elsewhere. Despite being branded as a PC Gaming Chair, the chair is actually compatible with all gaming platforms, though obviously intended for playing at a desk. At around £170 it’s not the cheapest of gaming chairs, but it’s nowhere near the most expensive either and you do get a very high quality product for your money.