Like a lot of people, I’ve done a lot of sitting over the past two years. Working remotely – and not being remotely interested in working out – I’ve spent much of my time since 2020 sitting.
I’ve sat on sofas, on stools, on steps, on toilets and, for a few grisly hours, an exercise ball. And, of course, I’ve sat on chairs – tall, gawking ones and short ones being very droll, among many others. In fact, when it comes to sitting, I consider myself something of an expert, combining more than three decades of experience with immeasurable passion and – if I can admit it – a fair bit of skill too, attributes which have only improved these last couple years.
All of that boastfulness is simply to say, you’re in the right place for a chair review. Whether you’re a Fortnite fanatic, a Counter-Strike shooter or a work-from-home warrior, you need a good chair. But, especially for gamers, what makes a good chair? What features do you want? And how much are you going to pay?
Here at T3, we’ve tested a lot of gamer chairs – and we’ve got a list of the best gaming chairs for budgets and bodies of all shapes and sizes. But today I'm reviewing the Vertagear PL4500, a premium model from the leading gamer chair brand’s Racing Series line.
Vertagear has recently gained a reputation for the quality of its award-winning chairs, combining form and function with a focus on ergonomic comfort, durable design, and innovative features, as well as a sleek, cool aesthetic. Indeed, sitting in the towering PL4500 you feel like you're atop an ultra-modern throne – and, having entered the WFH era of our increasingly online world, you might as well be surveying your kingdom.
Vertagear PL4500 review: design and setup
Most high-end gaming chairs claim "effortless assembly," and certainly one of the areas where you can really see if a product is of premium quality is in its craftsmanship and construction.
The PL4500 is relatively simple to set up for something that arrives in a huge box with a gross weight of 70 pounds (32kg). Out of the package, it stands 54.1 inches tall and weighs 58.9 pounds (27kg). Engineered with an integrated steel frame and an industrial-grade metal base, the Vertagear is an imposing beast. But the well-built parts and intuitive design mean this beast has brains to go with its brawn.
Assembling bottom-up, the strong, polyurethane-coated casters fit flawlessly onto the aluminum alloy five-star base, and the class-4 gas lift – which provides adjustability – installed easily into the center of the base. The arms come pre-attached to the seat and you just have to attach the control mechanism to the bottom of the seat. After connecting the seat to the base, I lifted the seat back up and place it on the seat, trying to make sure the metal arms and adjustable tilt mechanisms were lined up in the right position.
Honestly, this was the most – or perhaps only – frustrating aspect of the assembly. Attaching the seat back with the provided screws seemed like it would be easy enough; the seat back slid smoothly into position, part of Vertagear's patented "Slide-in" hardware. But it wasn't as effortless as I hoped to get the holes lined up to screw the seat back into place. After a few tries, the screws found their homes, the chair was completed and I was ready to sit down and adjust the position.
While not at all a significant setup concern, I wouldn't agree with Vertagear's claim that "The chair can be assembled in seconds by simply sliding the backrest into the seat." It's possibly a bit more complicated than that, though not much. There were no hardware complexities, the pieces were extremely well made, and overall it was a hassle-free, one-person assembly process.
As for the design, the PL4500 is robust and sturdy, with the steel frame and heavy-duty metal base reportedly supporting up to 400 pounds (180 kilograms) and ensuring long-term durability. The casters are impressively maneuverable and smooth-gliding, even on my carpet. Vertagear’s Ultra Premium High Resilience Foam boasts a high density that approaches memory foam, as well as removable cushions with extra padding for neck and lumbar support and correct posture.
The gas lift works great for seamlessly raising and lowering the chair to the optimal height, but it's not the only thing that's adjustable. The armrests are adjustable in three directions, keeping you steady and comfortable, regardless of body shape and sitting habit, while the backrest can be reclined up to 140 degrees, with a tilt mechanism that can be locked in four different positions.
All in all, the quality of design and easy setup make the Vertagear PL4500 one of the easiest gaming chairs to put together. Even with the backrest-screw-alignment issue, which took up about 20 minutes, the entire assembly was done in half an hour.
Vertagear PL4500 review: performance and features
I'll be honest with you. When I called myself a chair expert earlier, I was exaggerating a little bit. I mean, sure, I love to sit and believe I can do it with the best of them. But when it came to sitting, I'd never really evaluated the performance of the chair. Able to be sat on? That's a good chair. Broken or missing seat or a completely different type of furniture? Not a good chair.
But I know enough to know my limitations, so I called in a professional. Or, at least, a semiprofessional. My friend Robert is a Counter-Strike semipro who has sat in a lot of gamer chairs. Together we tested the Vertagear PL4500, assessing its performance, comfort and functionality across a wide range of tactical criteria.
Most importantly, as a chair, it is excellent to sit in. Seriously. The PL4500 was the most comfortable chair either of us could remember. It's actually kind of fun to sit in – you're up so high but so well supported, with seemingly unlimited range of motion and almost a feeling of protection, given the sturdiness of the materials and the way its enormity envelopes you while you play.
Everything about the Vertagear seems to have been done with practical purpose. The chair doesn't budge a centimeter when you sit down in it, but when you want to move it the casters glide smoothly on the floor. The PL4500 is recommended for those up to 6 feet, 6 inches tall, weighing up to 260 pounds (118kg), and while I won't say which of those measurables either of us more closely approximate, I can confirm that it appears to be an accurate claim.
The chair's form and function are fantastic, as you're able to maintain perfect posture while still being upright, relaxed and actively engaged with the game. On that note, the 3D armrests are unexpectedly useful, allowing you to rest your arms at a perfect length with the mouse and keyboard for long sessions with zero fatigue. The recline functionality is first-class, enabling you to lean way back and hold the position in place with little resistance.
The pillows are a tale of two cushions. The head pillow is actually very comfortable and a nice addition, while the lower back pillow is too large and hard. Essentially pointless, it was quickly tossed aside.
However, the breathability is very real. Thanks to its HygennX technology – which Vertagear says is designed with a patented coffee-infused fiber to limit odor, increase quick-drying airflow and maintain bacteria control to prioritize cleanliness and comfort – you can sit in this thing for hours, gaming intensely, and the chair remains basically sweat-proof. Do not underestimate this feature, which is not standard for all premium gaming chairs and isn't even available in Vertagear's three other PL line models that don't come with HygennX.
As noted previously, this chair is very big. While that's definitely not a bad thing, it's worth mentioning that the PL4500 can and will dominate a small space. Whether it's in a home office, bedroom, studio apartment or serving as the nursery for your infant child, you will need a lot of open space for the chair not to be in the way and dwarfing everything that's around it. Of course, depending on your gaming setup, that might be exactly the effect you're after.
Finally, we should talk briefly about the lights. The PL4500 is compatible with what Vertagear calls "the world's first wirelessly controlled RGB LED upgrade kit with interactive modes such as audio and gameplay sync and 16.8 million colors to match your mood." The LED kit is supposed to enable you to "unleash new levels of your gaming experience," which sounds good until you realize the upgrade costs $229.99.
The RGB LED kit is cool – producing a futuristic vibe and giving you the sense that you're in the game, which you'll have to decide whether you want if you've got company over – but it's not worth $230, or more than half the price of the chair. Not to mention the comparatively poor construction of the LED kid, which was finicky to install, unintuitive to use and partially stopped working after a week for unexplained reasons.
Regardless of that, it's too expensive anyway and mostly irrelevant, unless you're a professional streamer or content creator. Luckily, though, you don't have to get the upgrade to enjoy the chair.
Overall, the PL4500 is a very good chair – well-designed, high-performing, comfortable, ergonomic, with useful features (except the LEDs) that just feels good to sit in, even for long periods of time. Also, as Robert noted, it looks like the command chair Batman would have, which is badass.
Vertagear PL4500 review: verdict
The PL4500 has an attractive, mature look with a robust build and first-rate design, emphasizing ergonomics, maneuverability and innovation that (mostly) enhance performance.
Sitting right around the price of the top five picks on T3's list of the best gaming chairs of 2022 – company it could well join – you can feel confident that you're getting the premium quality you're paying for with the Vertagear. After all, this is the same chair maker that partnered with Swarovski to release an epic, diamond-encrusted gaming chair last year.
Especially if you're a gamer of a more substantial size, but even if you just want comfort, functionality and features – namely breathability, as in no butt sweat – the PL4500 is a great chair to spend big money on and use for years.
Vertagear PL4500 review: also consider
If you're shopping for gaming chairs in this price range but interested in something slightly different, consider the SecretLab Titan Evo, the Razer Iskur, the NobleChairs Epic Series Real Leather or the Mavix M9. They're all top-rated chairs similar to the Vertagear that make their own case for being the best place to sit down for a while.