Investing in a gaming chair is just as important as buying your next sofa or loveseat. The best gaming chair is something you’ll spend hours in – probably for both work and play – so you’ll want something with enough cushioning to feel supported and comfortable with extended use. Whether you use your chair for long video calls, gaming sessions or naps, you want a sturdy chair.
The Flexispot GC01 chair ($159) looks like a typical gamer chair with its black leather, angular red accents and a small neck pillow that fastens into the holes of the headrest. However, the seat doesn’t feel super padded and after spending a few weeks in it I noticed it doesn’t fit well for people who need adequate back support.
Flexispot GC01 Specifications:
|Upholstery||PVC artificial leather|
|Overall height (with feet)||47.2 – 51.2 inches|
|Backrest height||32.7 inches|
|Backrest width (shoulder height)||22.8 inches|
|Seat width (total)||19.3 inches|
|Seat width (contact point)||15.7 inches|
|Seating depth||19.3 inches|
|Armrest width||3.1 inch|
|Armrest height||25.6-29.5 inches|
|Maximum supported weight||275 pounds|
The PVC imitation bezel of the GC01 is red and black and no other flashier designs are available. The appearance does not stand out at all among the many gaming chairs that you find everywhere on Amazon and elsewhere online. But the upholstery of the seat is easy to clean and also somewhat simpler than with fabric-covered seats, such as the much more expensive SecretLab Titan SoftWeave† Unlike that fabric, the GC01’s faux leather isn’t interwoven, so dust and dirt don’t get in between.
The current $160 MSRP of the GC01 is surprisingly cheap, but once you start examining the backrest, you’ll begin to understand why. The tungsten carbide frame of the chair is easy to feel by squeezing the backrest or by lying down in the back of the chair, which we will discuss in the next section. Fortunately, the seat offers more cushion than the backrest and you don’t feel the metal frame through it.
Despite its price, the GC01 has one design luxury that sets it apart from its competitors: a footrest. That’s hard to find in a gaming chair under $200. The Mavix M5′s footrest, for example, is $44 extra. The footrest is easy to attach to the bar under the seat. When you want to use the footrest, simply slide it out and turn it over. When you’re done, flip the footrest over and slide it back under the seat where it nestles comfortably. During my testing, the footrest never slipped for no reason.
The GC01 prides itself on its red-and-black theme and carries it all the way down to the removable cushions, base and wheels. The GC01 doesn’t have the most exciting look in the gaming chair arena, but the attention to detail is appreciated.
Comfort and adjustments
Flexispot says the GC01 can hold gamers weighing up to 275 pounds, but doesn’t recommend height.
The GC01’s backrest measures a total of 32.7 inches long, but a few of those inches are eaten up by the seat. There is a lever to pull the backrest up about 3 inches, and then you can turn a knob underneath it to hold the backrest in place. But when the back is in the highest position, there is a gap between the back and the seat, which is unusual to see and makes me wary of leaning back.
As mentioned in the Design section, there isn’t much foam in the GC01’s backrest, and what isn’t something extra like memory foam or a modified version of it like Secretlab often stuffs its seats. As a result, the backrest just doesn’t feel comfortable. It gets even worse when you lean back, because then you can feel the metal frame through the padding. The backrest can be reclined 90 degrees for an upright posture or reclined 135 degrees. Usually gaming chairs are very soft and filled with cushioning to allow for long gaming sessions; the GC01 feels a bit empty in comparison.
But if you want to use the GC01’s footrest, recline is your best option. The footrest attached to the chair sits under the seat and rolls out for your comfort. However, the footrest, like the backrest, does not fit my body. Instead, the footrest sits under my knees and my calves and feet dangle over the front. It lifted my legs – just not in the most comfortable way.
This is a seat after all, so let’s talk about the actual seat of the GC01. It is literally 19.3 inches wide, but because there are two bumpers on the side, the actual point of contact is only 15.7 inches. That is remarkably more space than the slightly more expensive AndaSeat Jungle offers (14.2 inches). But the GC01’s seat bumpers will get a little uncomfortable after a while if you have thicker thighs. The bumpers are not so thick that they immediately pushed my thighs in, but within 30 minutes I noticed them rubbing against me. At that point, it felt like the bumpers were actively digging into me.
The GC01 also comes with a removable lumbar support pillow and neck pillow. The lumbar support pillow is made of a piece of foam that is easy to squeeze, which suggests that the filling is not very dense and does not fit well on your body. memory foam does. Wherever I placed the plate, it didn’t provide much support to my lumbar area. It served as a buffer between the metal frame and my body while helping me keep my posture straight.
The neck pillow is also removable in the meantime. It’s filled with fluff, so you can refill it if it ever starts to flatten out. The GC01 cushion naturally sits closer to the top of the backrest and is secured to the seat through the holes under the headrest. I’m 6’s and the pillow was usually between my shoulder blades during testing.
Meanwhile, the armrests are very thickly padded, but again, not with memory foam or anything better. Instead, it feels like the same lumbar support foam, but more densely packed. Plus, oddly enough, the padding didn’t stay in place during testing. Leaning on the armrests, I sometimes accidentally pushed the foam aside. Unlike the armrests on many other gaming chairs, such as the Secretlab Titan or AndaSeat Jungle, there are no adjustments possible in the armrests. You cannot rotate, shift or lift them.
Still, the GC01 offers quite a few customizations, considering the price. Using the height adjustment level, the seat can be anywhere from 42.2-51.2 inches long. That’s significantly shorter than the AndaSeat Jungle, which is adjustable from 49.8-53.7 inches. That leads me to believe that this chair is best suited for someone shorter than me (5’8″).
In addition to the height adjustment lever, there is a lever under the seat to turn the seat tilt function on or off, a feature we’ve seen on other seats, such as the SecretLab OmegaI
At 37.5 pounds, the GC01 is lightweight compared to rivals like the Jungle (50.7 pounds) and Omega (66 pounds). That made it easy to roll around. I had some trouble getting it over a thin carpet on my hardwood floors, but once it was on the carpet, it slid over like it slipped on hardwood.
Assembling the GC01 chair wasn’t difficult, but the process was different from many other gaming chairs I’ve reviewed. It took me about 30 minutes to assemble the chair.
The first difference I noticed is that the armrests need to be screwed in completely, an indication that they won’t move once the seat is built. Instead of flipping the seat over to attach a piston and the levers, the footpeg is attached first, which is easy to do. Then the lever mechanism behind the footrest connects to the backrest of the chair. Finally, place the seat on top of the wheels, where the piston is already in place. The backrest is attached to the seat with a T-Bar.
In a more familiar step, the back is secured to the seat by screwing the side panels.
Instructions for building Flexispot’s GC01 can be found here: [PDF]I
The Flexispot GC01 seems like a good deal to start with. We’ve seen it as cheap as $150and that’s with some necessary adjustment options like 90-135 degree recline, height adjustment, and optional neck and lumbar pillows that don’t add much but can at least help with posture.
But the comfort gamers need for hours of gaming and work just isn’t there. There isn’t enough cushion in the seat to last 20-minute gaming sessions, let alone a full work day.
I weigh less than 200 pounds and it took less than an hour for me to start having pain in my back, thighs and derriere. I don’t think anyone over 200lbs would have an easier time.
You better pay a little more for something like the AndaSeat Jungleour choice for the best gaming chair under budget. It has a narrow seat but is still more supportive and reasonably priced too $290I
Unless you’re looking for a seat for a child, your body will demand a little more love than the GC01 offers.