Secretlab TITAN XL review

The Secretlab TITAN XL series gaming chair at my desk

Last year was, without a doubt, the year of remote working. I now spend most of my days and evenings sitting at my desk. During November I began to realise just how painfully uncomfortable my chair had become.

After much research, I’ve bought myself a new Secretlab TITAN XL series gaming chair and even though I’ve only had it for a week, I love it.

Back in March, one day I was in the office, the next I was clearing out my desk and preparing to move all my work online. Within a week the whole company had moved to remote work—Zoom was installed, our free Slack account started forgetting messages every three days rather than every two weeks as it more quickly reached its last 10,000 messages limit, my commute was reduced from fifty minutes to two, and my carbon footprint shrunk.

When I moved into my wee house in 2018, I bought myself a proper desk and an IDEAL 365 office fabric operator chair for £75.

It wasn’t the most expensive chair but it also wasn’t the cheapest. It was okay. It did the job and my boys (when they were significantly smaller) loved to squeeze on it side by side and spin around on it.

But over the last year, I began to realise just how uncomfortable the chair was and started to consider that it may be actively contributing to my ongoing back pain issues.

Secretlab

I had never heard of Secretlab before I had a conversation with a colleague who was waxing lyrical about his new Secretlab OMEGA chair that had just arrived.

He did warn me, however, that as soon as I started exploring their website all my online adverts would be for Secretlab after that. He wasn’t wrong.

I then spent about a month doing the research. I read reviews, watched more videos than I expected and everyone said the same thing: if you can afford one, buy one.

Secretlab chairs are not cheap—my one cost £499 and that was with a discount—but they are great quality. (Some of the price I will be able to claim on my work’s wellbeing allowance.)

Due to the lockdowns and more people working from home, there is now a waiting list for Secretlab chairs. They are building them as quickly as humanly possible. My batch was estimated to be shipped around 6 January 2021; I received it on 28 December 2020, more than a week early.

Build

Everyone says the same thing when their Secretlab chair arrives—it feels like a quality product just from the packaging.

It’s not all just thrown in a cheap box with a badly leaflet photocopied of instructions written dubious in English it is. Everything has its place. The instruction card is full colour and about three feet square. There are build videos on their website to walk you through—I received an email about these a few days before the chair arrived. It even comes with high quality tools. The main seat and back are wrapped in plastic. There is a box with all the parts in it.

There is SO much packaging—I wasn’t expecting just that much. However, I can happily report that the box can comfortably-ish fit three children in it.

Forget the £499 chair, the box was where all the fun was

It took Isaac, Joshua and I about 20 minutes to build the chair, carefully following the instructions on the giant card.

The Secretlab TITAN XL in black soft weave

How it feels

I’ve been using the chair for about a week now and I love it.

I heard a lot of people on videos explaining that the chair is much firmer than they expected from a gaming chair. I know what they mean. I’ve sat in a few gaming chairs that swallow you into their soft leather folds but provide very little good back support. This chair is different. It was about as firm as I hoped but then I’m used to sitting on my wooden benches at the kitchen table and I like that solid feel to a seat.

When I sit in it, I feel properly supported. This seat positively encourages me to sit up straight. Even within seven days it has done wonders for my posture. I didn’t realise how little I leaned back on my old chair until I got this—in the Secretlab TITAN XL, I can lean back on the chair and feel supported. I’m sure I could easily fall asleep in it (and it reclines a lot… at times I feel like I am at the dentist!).

What I wasn’t really expecting is how heavy it is to move around. This really is a solid chair but that’s what I want as someone who is currently a little above 150 kg. I trust that this chair will support me for years to come.

Another thing is that at its lowest, the seat on this chair is significantly higher than my last chair. That is great for my long legs—I’m 6′ 4″ (193 cm) with a 36″ (91.4 cm) inside leg—but I’ve had to raise my desk on wooden blocks so that my arms are more at 90° and I’m not tempted to hunch forward. That’s no problem for my children, they just raise the chair (and then enjoy spinning around on it!)

The only negative thing that I can say about the chair is that already some of the stitching on the strap securing the memory foam and cooling gel neck pillow has come lose. I have emailed Secretlab with my order number, chair serial number, instruction card serial number and a couple of photos and asked for advice about how to piece the strap back together again. To be honest, I don’t mind giving it a few stitches but for something this expensive I really didn’t expect to have to do that already.

Update: Secretlab got back to me the next day and offered to send me a new memory foam pillow as soon as possible under warranty. What fabulous service!

Conclusion

Even after just eight days, I am delighted with my purchase.

The reviews were right, this is not just a great chair, it is an investment. Not just because it is expensive but also in terms of the health benefits that it will give me.

As we slide into another full national lockdown, I do so knowing that my back will be supported. Thank you Secretlab.


Referral link discount

If you want to get £20 off your Secretlab chair you can use this referral link (limited to the first person who uses it).

What do I get out of it? Apparently, Secretlab will send me some cleaner for my chair but mostly I’ll just get the feeling of satisfaction that you’ll get some money off an excellent chair.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 49 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Vision Ltd, Dundee. Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and former warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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