I’ve come to appreciate a good chair. They can alleviate back pain, stop my ceaseless fidgeting, and make sitting in one place for work or pleasure a more comfortable affair. Vertagear, a veteran of the industry, has released a new series of chairs using a few tricks up their sleeve to make them entirely unique. Let’s unbox the SL5000, uncover what HygennX is all about, and see why Vertagear remains among the very top of the gaming chair space.
The first thing I always look at on a chair is the materials. In this case, we have a blended material that Vertagear calls PUC synthetic faux leather. It’s a blend of polyurethane faux-leather and polyvinyl chloride, better known as PVC. This combination results in a soft and durable material that’s waterproof and should repel odors. PUC is available on all color combinations, save one – their midnight blue HygennX chair. It’s one of the most unique materials I’ve ever seen, and one I had to actually put my nose on to believe. Intrigued? Grossed out? Read on.
If I gave you ten guesses on what Vertagear’s HygennX product is made from, there’s a very real chance you’d get it wrong all ten tries. Only available on their Midnight Blue models, The SL5000 HygennX is made from reclaimed coffee grounds. Utilizing the 99.8 percent of the grounds that are normally discarded, this material locks out bacteria and fungus when combined with silver infused threads. In addition to the chair itself, their headrests and pillows for this model are also made from this upcycled material. It’s pretty neat tech, surprisingly doesn’t smell like coffee at all, and actually repels smells like I’d hit it with Febreze. We tested it with a strong perfume which didn’t stick to the material for more than a few minutes. In fact, it actually doesn’t smell like anything, so it should repel…let’s say “other” smells as well.
Underneath the PUC faux leather is ultra premium high resilience foam. Regular foam can handle 2.5 pounds per cubic foot, but UPHR foam pushes that to just over 4 pounds per cubic foot. This should help with the more sturdy among us, as well as retaining its shape as you aren’t pushing it to its limits, without being too stiff or uncomfortable.
Underneath all this is a steel frame to keep the chair stable. I’ve developed a deep appreciation for steel framed chairs, having watched a few aluminum framed chairs become loose. I’ve even had one completely come apart, so I understand why the frame is critical. While the rest of the chair has full warranty support for two years, the frame itself is covered for ten. It’s also nice to see that Vertagear also has a military appreciation program that provides a discount for military members and veterans. Thanks very much for that!
Heading underneath, the SL5000 is supported using a star aluminum alloy base. Sitting in it is a standard class-4 gas lift. Because Vertagear used a non-proprietary gas cylinder, you can replace these easily enough for about 20 bucks on Amazon, or you can pick up a taller or stronger one as you see fit. As it stands, you can set the seat height to anywhere from 16 to 21 inches off the floor with the base gas lift. You should sit with your feet flat on the ground to alleviate pressure on your neck, shoulders, and legs, and you should be able to do that for any height up to 6’4”. Be mindful that changing the cylinder does change the center of gravity, so make sure you send me a video of how that goes if you use too high of one.
Sitting underneath the star frame lies my biggest complaint with nearly every chair I’ve reviewed – the casters. Every time you see a chair it’s demonstrated on a hardwood floor, and these Penta casters are great for that. In fact they are coated with polyurethane that matches the rest of the chair so it should glide quietly. Unfortunately, and especially when rubber coating is involved, this is going to pick up carpet in the worst way. I’d recommend swapping these out with a single wheel rubber caster as they are good on all surfaces. If you are on a flat surface, these Penta casters are probably the best I’ve seen, but if you are on carpet, you’ll want to spend the $20 to replace these.
On the chair are 4D armrests that have become somewhat standard at this point. They are able to move in four directions – hence the 4 Ds. Specifically, forward, backwards, up, down, and rotating left and right allow you to properly position your body in such a way where you can relax your shoulders while you game.
Naturally, the SL5000 can be adjusted back to tilt backwards. In fact, it will tilt all the way up to 140 degrees. Since 180 degrees is just downright scary, 140 is more than enough for my needs. It should allow you to relax backwards when you are gaming with a controller or watching a movie, or be sitting at 90 when you are using a mouse and keyboard.
There are a pair of pillows, frankly the standard on just about any gaming chair, though these are made of the aforementioned coffee grounds to ensure they won’t stink up the place. These use a strap to keep them in place, allowing you to remove them or adjust them as you see fit.
Assembly on this chair is a snap. There are only eight bolts, four to secure the tilting portion to the bottom, and four to lock in the backrest. Simply slide the backrest onto the arms and screw them in with the included handled Allen wrench and you are done. It’s a simple port design that allows the chair to be assembled by one person.
There is one last goodie that makes the SL5000 chair unique – the LED addons. Vertagear offers a pair of add-on kits that allow you to add addressable LEDs to the whole package. Better still, it’s not just random colors, but is in fact wirelessly addressable and integrates with NZXT CAM software. This means you can sync it with your games and music, or select from over a dozen presets such as breathing or color wave.
These LED kits are sold as two separate add-ons – one set that illuminates the openings facing forward and rear, and another that will illuminate the star chair base. The one that illuminates the floor is just for fun, but the rear-facing one has a utilitarian purpose. When using a greenscreen for streaming, having proper lighting is crucial, and this chair can provide it. It’ll also make the chair at least 10% faster, so that’s pretty important.
Charging the LED is accomplished with a magnetized port in the rear. Using a standard included wall plug, you’ll be able to charge the chair by simply snapping this little canon plug into place. While rolling cord free is the way to go (no more running over cable snakes!) , you can even use the chair while you charge, so game on while you fill the room with rainbows. The only drawback is that the charging is somewhat slow – 3-4 hours for a full charge. That said, the ability to swap out the batteries when they reach end of life is an overwhelming positive as it means the life of the chair bound by a LiPo battery that will eventually fail. Great choice, Vertagear!
There are a number of color options available for the SL5000. While they won’t have the HygennX tech, you can pick it up in all black, green and black, red and black, blue and black, digital camo, and a white and black option. These chairs all feature the same polyurethane leather and ultra premium high resilience foam, steel frame, etc. All of them support the RGB lighting upgrade kits, so feel free to mix and match.
On the pricing side, the SL5000 is currently priced at just $399, which is a steal for mid to high end chairs. The lighting rig on the other hand is a bit pricey at $229 for the top one, with a bottom one that lights up the chair bottom also coming in at $229. Together that totals more than the SL5000 itself. I leave it to you if you love LEDs that much, or if you have a rear-lighting use case.
There’s a lot to like with Vertagear’s SL5000 chair. The smell stain and repellent HygennX should keep the chair looking and smelling like the day you bought it, and the high resilience foam should stay comfortable as well. With a solid warranty to back it, changeable batteries, aggressive pricing, and a useful LED setup as a possible add-on, it makes the Vertagear SL5000 easy to recommend.