If you like camouflage and breathable material, the Cooler Master R1S is the chair for you. However, it could use some more features. The R1S is a basic needs chair with thoughtful design features such as the camouflage print (there are also two pink, non-camouflage options). The height is adjustable, the arms are adjustable and it can recline 180 degrees. You know, for those times when you want to take a nap at your desk but can’t get into your bed because you wake up eight hours later and wonder what year it is. The price is good too: $249 for the R1S makes it a great buy, but you get what you pay for when it comes to adjustability.
|Overall height (with feet)||49.2 – 52.4 inches (125-133 cm)|
|Backrest height||82 inches (32.3 cm)|
|Backrest width (shoulder height)||57 inches (22.4 cm)|
|Seat width (total)||20.9 inches (53 cm)|
|Seating depth||22.4 inches (57 cm)|
|Armrest height||11-14.2 inches (28-36 cm)|
|Recommended maximum weight||330 lb (150 kg)|
|Weight||52.9 pounds (24 kg)|
|Additionally||Neck pillow, lumbar pillow, mouse pad|
The only thing I can’t get over with gaming chairs is the material that covers them. The PU synthetic leather that so much of even the best gaming chairs usually makes gaming sessions hot and sweaty, and not the hard way. On my first look at the Cooler Master Caliber R1S Camo (MSRP $249 (opens in new tab)) and the promise of breathable PU leather, I rolled my eyes. These sandwiches have sat on many chairs that promise to be a comfortable, curvy, and breathable experience. But few keep those promises, so I usually end up with toasted sandwiches. Chairs like the AndaSeat Spider Man Edition Gaming Chair usually gave me plenty of room, but the leather didn’t cool down. I was excited to test the R1S in the sauna I call my stream room, and amazingly, I was surprised by the results.
Before we get into the comfort of the chair, let’s talk about style. The R1S camouflage is available in two colors, purple and black – this review has the purple camouflage. At first glance, the camouflage pattern looks just like any other, except for the chosen colors. But if you look more closely, you can see that the Cooler Master logo is embedded in the pattern. This gives it a unique feel. The pattern adorns the entire chair, trickling down to the seats and extending to the lumbar and neck cushions. It sits on the side of all these elements and acts as a boundary.
There are also two versions of this chair in solid pink to replace the camo pattern, which is great considering how divided camo is. We also did not look at it during this review.
The neck pillow is not noticeable. Not only because I don’t feel the need to lean all the way back in the chair, but when I lean back, the pillow flattens under the weight of my head. I know what you’re thinking, does she have a big head – that’s not the point. The pillow is filled with down, unlike the lumbar support – it’s the lumbar support for me! This lumbar support is an essential part of this chair. Using memory foam for lumbar support is a classic premium gaming chair move. Some chairs like the FlexiSpot GC01 use a cheaper green foam to fill their pillow. The R1S went with memory foam, which I loved.
Cold-formed seat foam with a thickly padded backrest atop a steel frame is why the R1S promises a cuddly seating experience. But this chair also has movable armrests and a height-adjustable gas lift for further adjustability, plus a matching mouse pad. I can’t tell you when was the last time I bought something and got a matching mouse pad, it’s pretty cool. Weight-wise, it’s about 60 pounds, which isn’t noticeable as you slide around the room. Metal is used for the base with 360 degree multi-directional casters making it easy to move. The chair moves extremely well on hardwoods and very low pile carpet.
There are three controls to adjust this chair: a switch to adjust the height of the armrest, a lever that turns the tilt on and off as well as the gas lift, and a knob that controls the amount of tilt available.
Comfort and adjustments
This is what you’ve been waiting for, how does my ass fit on this chair? The height range for this chair is five to six feet with a weight range of 110 to 330 pounds. It seems that the CoolerMaster R1S is intended for a wide range of people with different hip sizes. The seat width is 53 centimeters including the upright sides. I know the measurements indicate I might be able to fit up to a 3 XL but I don’t see how that would work. I think anyone in size XL would not be comfortable in this chair because of the raised sides. My hips don’t lie when I say I just fit into this char as medium to large. I am less than five feet and I fit perfectly in this chair, the 82 cm backrest leaves the neck pillow behind my neck and not on the back of my head or between my shoulders. The neck pillow snaps through the backrest leaving little ways to adjust it if it doesn’t fit my body.
We all have weird sitting habits, mine is I don’t really use the backrest, but I will still complain about poor posture. To counter this, I like to lean the backrest forward to accommodate my needs rather than leaning back in the seat. The annoying thing about the R1S is that the backrest doesn’t tilt forward; however, it can recline 180 degrees. Like any gaming chair, there is a tilt and recline function. Not all tilt features are created equal – some are great and some are a little weird. This chair fell into the “little weird” category simply because the chair started to feel wobbly as it reclined with the tilt active, which of course scared me. While I’ll be using the recline feature, I won’t be doing the full 180 degrees with the tilt on. This chair feels like it can recline more than 180 degrees with the tilt engaged. Tightening the knob under the seat usually helps to tighten the tilt, but turn it too far to the right and the tilt is gone. Another reason the tilt on/off lever (which is also the height adjustment lever) felt weird is because of its placement. This is located under the right side of the seat towards the rear, making it difficult to reach.
I usually like to remove the lumbar support when I recline in my gaming chairs, but I didn’t feel the need to do that with this chair. Without the lumbar support, this chair would be less impressive. The lumbar support consistently reinforces great posture, even when I’m not resting against the back of the chair. It fits my back perfectly and allows me to sit up straight even when leaning forward.
Armrests are there to relieve pain and provide comfort, and they adjust about 3 inches to different heights. As I reclined, it would have been a great addition if the armrest could move back and forth to support my elbows and forearms. The armrests move in one direction, up and down; unlike the Titan Series 2020 where the armrests move up, down, side to side, in and out. They also feel a bit wobbly after tightening the screws. I’m not sure if that’s to give the user’s arms more room or a design flaw. It didn’t bother me much, but it’s noticeable. Just like all back zippers on the lumbar support, neck cushion and backrest. If I wanted to replace or fluff the memory foam, it would be a tedious process.
The most comfortable feature of this chair is the breathable PU leather. I spent hours in it when it was over 90 degrees and below 50, during a crazy time Apex Legends competitions, during long-winded work meetings, and not once was I stuck in the chair, having to peel myself or put something between the leather and my skin. It’s a wonderful feeling that my legs still feel cool after sitting in this chair. This makes me want to spend more time in it because my body doesn’t need a break from overheating.
Putting this chair together is easy if you’ve built as many chairs as I have, but for your first chair, the difficulty is intermediate to entry-level. The instructions are not in the box but are available along with a video on the Cooler Master website. Screws and an Allen wrench come in at the back and the screws are separated by letters – which feels completely useless if you don’t look at the instructions. And I didn’t look at the instructions, so I guessed where to put the screws by testing them in several places before turning them in. It’s not hard to figure out where they’re going, but it’s an extra step that could have been avoided if Cooler Master made directions more accessible.
The Cooler Master R1S has very impressive breathable leather, which is a huge wow factor. But as usual, the raised sides of this chair can be a little annoying as you’ll be forced to try on the seat or bust. Luckily I did fit in this chair, but it’s still not a favorite feature of mine. The lack of adjustability on the arms is another setback, as I don’t feel like I can use the full backrest if I want to. I think this is a good chair for gamers if they are not looking for a lot of adjustability in their armrests. Ultimately, this chair needs a reboot to add some new features.