You notice the first use of red pencils when unpacking: The Rae comes in two parts, the backrest is not connected to the seat. It’s different with the big Exo brothers. Also untypical is the plastic base, which looks cheap in comparison, and the equally unspectacular castors. Otherwise there is nothing to complain about. The Recaro Rae Essential is unobtrusive during assembly, assembly is like any other gaming chair in this price range and takes about 22 minutes. Proper tools and very good instructions are included in the scope of delivery.
Who is the Recaro Rae Essential suitable for?
The crux of gaming chairs is that they can only cater to a certain range of body types. Why? Everyone’s body is different, so you should choose a chair that fits your anatomy. In order to determine which chair fits, interested parties should clarify the following questions:
- Seating comfort: How comfortable is the chair? Is the cushion soft or hard? What about the ergonomics and how well can it be adjusted to personal needs?
- Service: Is the chair easy to use? How many settings does it have?
- Quality: How valuable is the chair? Is everything stable or do certain parts wobble? How is the processing?
The backrest, the seat, the seat depth and height are particularly important. The minimum seat height of the Exo Platinum is quite high at 46 centimeters. Thanks to the gas spring with a stroke of 10 centimetres, tall people can raise it to a maximum of 56 centimetres. In this way, a wide range of gamers’ bodies can find the ideal sitting position – sizes between 1.70 and 1.90 meters are covered. However, the player should not be much taller, from 2 meters it could get really tight. And the seat itself? Due to a slight curvature at the front end, the gamer never slips out of the seat shell, so the back always fits perfectly into the backrest. The seat depth is 48 centimeters deeper than the Exo, but 50 centimeters would be even better.
Good support, but it can be better
Humans have two natural curves in the cervical and lumbar spine, which experts call the lordosis. Gaming chairs should fill out these curves to relieve the muscles and prevent tension. And the Exo does that in an exemplary manner, but the Recaro Rae tested here does not: Although a synchronous mechanism with integrated lumbar support works here, it does not adapt very well to the back. Admittedly, this is criticism at a high level, because the chair still supports well, but not as well as the Exo series. The backrest is adjustable, but cannot be reclined 90 degrees. After all, the mechanism allows the backrest to be locked in five positions. Recaro can pay extra for a neck pillow (99 euros).
Another reunion with the red pencil: the armrests are a bit wobbly and relatively cheaply made. After all, the contact surface is a bit softer and therefore of higher quality. Otherwise, they are perfectly normal 4D armrests. What that means? They can be adjusted vertically, horizontally, inwards, outwards, forwards and backwards and can even be rotated by around 45 degrees. As if that weren’t enough, the backrests can even be screwed on variably – for wider gamers, a little further away from the seat on the side.
Recaro Rae Essential: Quite firm foam padding
The seat surface, height and depth as well as the armrests and lumbar support are most important for ergonomics. All this says little about the general seating comfort. The company CMV Hoven GmbH from Mönchengladbach provided the editors with a special seat cushion that is also used by the car industry. The so-called BPMS system measures the pressure distribution of the body on contact surfaces, and the associated software displays the results in a 3D image. The results show how well the weight is distributed on the chair – which in turn allows conclusions to be drawn about comfort . The red area shows where the greatest pressure occurs.
Top: Ergonomically, there is hardly anything to complain about, and the chair is still very comfortable – even if it is one of the firmer chairs. As a result, the pressure points are concentrated quite clearly, whereby lighter gamers can distribute their weight better on the chair. The pressure point measurements confirm the impression. In practice, the padding still felt comfortable.
Breathable fabric against sweat
You sweat when you gamble. Sure, the high level of concentration and the exciting games get you going, but the material of the upholstery ultimately determines the temperature on the buttocks and back. Breathable fabrics do not heat up as much as airtight leatherette seats. The Rae has an air-permeable fabric cover, so it hardly heats up even in heated battles. In addition, the rough fabric surface provides additional support and feels comfortable.
Recaro Rae Essential in the test: the conclusion
Interested parties can get the seat and backrest in the usual Recaro quality: the chair is comfortable, offers a lot of support and supports in the right places. However, the manufacturer has saved on the armrests and the base. But the price and performance are right.