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Tested: airCentric 3 | A whole science, to remain seated

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Presented as “the best ergonomic office chair in its price category”, the result of a decade of research and development, the airCentric 3 impresses above all with its almost infinite configuration possibilities. At the risk of stunning the user, who probably does not ask for so much, at a price that is still hefty.

WE love

It may seem surprising that in a section generally devoted to techno products, an ergonomic chair is presented. Let’s say that two years of pandemic and working from home in front of a computer have made certain accessories essential, including a good office chair that is comfortable and durable.

Our first $120 leatherette chair let us down after six months in the fall of 2020. The airCentric 3 comes with a 12-year warranty on the mechanisms, 10 years on the fabric, for three shifts a day.

For the more specifically techno aspect, the Canadian manufacturer ergoCentric, which has partnered for this model with Staples and designer Joe Mimran, of gry mattr, has adopted the slogan “The Science of Sitting”, which we could awkwardly translated as “the science to sit on” and which reflects all the R&D behind its products.

The first striking point is the ease of assembling this chair, which is good, since our test unit did not include any instruction manual. All you have to do is fit all the pieces together logically and tighten three screws with an Allen key.

The two essential parts of this armchair, the seat and the backrest, are made of fabric covering a firm polyurethane foam. At the back, the backrest is made of a plastic plate pierced with 46 vents for air circulation. Note that this backrest is not straight, but has two curves following the natural shape of the back.

Before sitting down, you have to find the ideal configuration, and the exercise is complex as there are so many possibilities. Just about everything in this chair can be customized. First, it is sold in three sizes, depending on the physique of the user, which can go up to 350 lbs.

The back can slide up to 5″ and tilt up to 30 degrees forward or back. Even the seat can swing up and down at an angle of about twenty degrees. Its height varies from 5.5 in.

The armrests are fully adjustable. They can be moved 2 in. apart and adjusted in height with a clearance of 4 in. They can also be rotated 360 degrees, placed parallel or at right angles to the desk, depending on preference.

The big question: is this chair comfortable? Yes, when we finally found the best layout, which took us a few days. Its firmness and the ingenious design of its curved backrest are pleasant and support the back well. The variable height of the armrests makes it possible to maintain an ergonomic position, in a straight line from the chair to the keyboard, arms inward.

We are obviously dealing here with an office chair, with the Spartan comfort associated with it, not a pouf in which you have the impression of diving.

We love less

Rotating armrests are good, but you can’t fix them. They therefore tend to turn constantly as soon as they are hooked.

Be careful when adjusting the height and angle of the back and seat. The springs of the mechanisms are so tight that we lost our balance each time.

At $599.99, we’re not dealing with an affordable product here. Sure, you can find executive chairs over $2,000 and luxury brands like Intro-Tech and HumanScale much more expensive, but the average person usually settles for chairs between $200 and $300.

One buys ?

The impressive configurability of this chair probably exceeds the needs of many users. But we are dealing, it is undeniable, with a quality product, durable and well designed, which must however be carefully adjusted, ideally on the advice of an ergonomist. The purchase is completely recommendable for an armchair that will be used a lot.

airCentric 3

Manufacturer: ergoCentric (in partnership with gry mattr and Staples)

Price: $599.99

Rating: 4 out of 5



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