After two years of working from home during the pandemic, alternating between sitting on stiff dining room chairs, a soft and almost sinking couch, and an old, undersized desk chair, I decided I needed a new chair.
As a full-time remote worker and amateur gamer, I spend a lot of time (probably too much time) sitting in front of a computer. I wanted something that was comfortable, functional and attractive — a chair that could facilitate immersive gameplay but also didn't elicit annoying comments from my coworkers on a Zoom call.
The Vertagear Racing Series SL5000 hits the sweet spot between a great gaming chair and a cool desk chair, with outstanding ergonomic design, useful adjustability and a futuristic-professional look.
Well-made with high-quality materials, easy to assemble, extremely comfortable, sturdy, and subtly handsome, the SL5000 is the rare product that succeeds as a premium gaming chair while still looking good in a home office. And at a competitive price, it's no wonder why the flagship model of Vertagear's S-Line is one of the most popular gaming chairs out there.
The right gaming chair varies based on many factors, such as needs, features, budget and more. But I'm here to say that the Vertagear SL5000 is among the best gaming chairs of 2022.
Now, let's find out why.
Vertagear SL5000 review: design and setup
Vertagear claims its patented "Slide-in" hardware allows for quick and easy one-person assembly, and I'm happy to report that's an undeniably true statement.
The SL5000 arrives in a big box but is far less daunting to build than you might fear for something that weighs more than 65 pounds and has dimensions of 33 x 28 x 15 inches. While large, the package is compact and includes everything you will need.
It's fast and simple to put together, with just a few core pieces and about a dozen screws, and everything fits nicely, demonstrating the high-quality materials and intuitive design of the chair. After following just a few uncomplicated steps, I was sitting in my new chair in no time — however, if you do need help, there is an installation video from Vertagear for reference.
The SL5000 comes with clear instructions and can be assembled in minutes by just sliding the backrest into the seat, which removes any alignment or hardware complexities and makes for a hassle-free and straightforward process. The screws tighten painlessly, and you can really feel the chair's durable construction coming together.
The bulk of the SL5000’s construction comprises a steel frame Ultra Premium High Resilience (UPHR) Foam, PUC synthetic faux leather, and an aluminum alloy base.
Vertagear boasts that the SL5000 has a density “well above industry standard,” thanks to UPHR Foam, which prolongs the lifespan of the chair by preventing deformities from long periods of use — almost like memory foam. The integrated steel skeleton forms the shape of the chair, ensures long-term durability, and includes a 10-year warranty. An industrial-grade, class-4 gas lift provides extra adjustability so you can easily set the chair to a preferred height and keep it at the optimal level for gaming or working.
Crucial to the structure and stability of the chair is the five-star base that’s fabricated with aluminum alloy and is lightweight but strong. And attached to the base are motorsports-inspired Penta RS1 casters, engineered to be carefree and coated with polyurethane for smooth moving on any surface.
The racing-style gaming chair comes in a range of colors — black, black/green, black/red, black/blue, black/white, black/camo and midnight blue, which is the model I got and has a sleek black center stripe with yellow accents that provide some understated pop.
Supporting a maximum load of 330 pounds (150kg), the SL5000 is recommended for people up to 6 feet 4 inches tall and 260 pounds (118kg). The seat is 22.6 inches wide and 19 inches deep. With adjustable controls, the chair’s overall height measures 48.6 to 52.6 inches and it weighs about 60 pounds — a good size that isn't massive or overbearing.
I have a relatively small home office and the SL5000 fits nicely, attracting attention without dominating the space and making the room feel cramped.
Vertagear SL5000 review: performance and features
When you spend so much (again, probably too much) time sitting at a desk working or gaming, you want a chair that enables everyday movements and enhances gaming performance with the right features. The SL5000 offers a wide range of adjustability that delivers great comfort, range of motion and ergonomic support — in any position and for extended periods of time.
At the heart — or I should say core — of the SL5000’s success is its posture-perfect ergonomics. The high backrest is designed to provide better neck, shoulder and lumbar support. It’s also independently adjustable, allowing you to change the angle of your sitting position and recline up to 140 degrees.
The chair’s tilt tension adapts to your body weight, so you can lean back with comfort and confidence, and the adjustable tilt mechanism is engineered with a locking system to keep you upright. The gas lift puts you at the right level for any desk or table, no matter your height or body shape.
But that’s not all that moves. The armrests have four-directional adjustability and are ergonomically designed to keep your forearms comfortable and steady to prevent sore shoulders or slipping. The casters are particularly impressive, as they glide effortlessly across the floor, even over my rough carpet.
The SL5000 also comes with memory foam neck and lumbar support cushions to give you extra padding. The cushions can be moved based on posture and preference, and they can also be removed if — like me — you find them obstructive or unnecessary.
Unlike other gaming chairs, including some Vertagear models, the SL5000 is relatively unadorned. It doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles; it primarily prefers form and function over fun and fancy. The most important features are its superb comfort and ergonomic design, delivered through high-quality construction and the adjustability of the seat.
However, there are some nifty features available beyond the standard specifications.
For some reason exclusive in the S-Line to the midnight blue model — the model I got — is the HygennX technology. Designed with a patented coffee-infused fiber to limit odor and increase breathability with quick-drying functionality, HygennX neutralizes bacteria growth while prolonging the life of the chair and accessories. And I’ll admit the seat is very breathable and doesn’t seem to hold much moisture, odor, or heat, compared to other normal or gaming chairs, which is a major plus.
Additionally, the SL5000 is upgradable with a compatible RGB LED kit. According to Vertagear, the lights “elevate your gaming experience” as “the smart interactive effects yield unlimited possibilities to reflect your mood on live streams or immerse yourself in intense gaming adventures,” with modes like audio and gameplay sync and nearly 17 million colors.
The LED kit is sold separately, and based on my experience with other Vertagear gaming chairs, isn’t worth the price — though it might be for some hardcore gamers.
Overall, I found the SL5000’s performance to be excellent. Movement is free and easy; comfort is maintained over marathon workdays and all-night gaming sessions; the 4D armrests and tilt motion are great for high-speed, reactive gameplay; the deep, wide bucket seat is actually enjoyable to sit in; the adjustable height and tall seat back give you a commanding sense of control, without feeling like you’re in a rigid throne hunched over or restricted.
Vertagear SL5000 review: verdict
Since upgrading from my previous seating options to the SL5000 I have noticed major improvements in a few areas.
First, I actually work in my home office now, because I have a comfortable chair that I enjoy using. Second, whereas I used to feel neck, lumbar and shoulder pain from being hunched over for hours in a stiff, smaller wooden chair, I’m now able to work and game for hours with no stiffness, soreness or struggle, thanks to the ergonomics and adjustability. The SL5000 also adds a head-turning, almost-stylish aesthetic to the room, with its big-but-not-too-big size and sleek appearance.
It won’t blow you away with features or flashing lights — unless you get the LED upgrade — but the SL5000 is a comfortable, good-looking product that is well-made and can function as a performance-boosting game or work chair. The main criticism would be that, for the price, this is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none chair — not quite a full gaming chair, not quite an office desk chair.
This Vertagear model is more affordable than most of the first-class selections on T3’s list of the best gaming chairs of 2022 — and it could join its peers there soon. From the moment you start assembling this chair you’ll know you’re getting premium quality at a not-quite-premium price.
While Vertagear is the same chair maker that partnered with Swarovski to release a lavish, diamond-encrusted gaming seat last year, the SL5000 is a cool, comfortable chair that comes with a cool, comfortable cost. And, since you can feel pretty confident you're going to be sitting in it for a while, it's definitely worth the investment.
Vertagear SL5000 review: also consider
If you're looking for a solid gaming chair from a dependable brand that aids performance and looks good at a competitive price point, the SL5000 is a superior seat.
But if you're shopping for a great work-slash-gaming chair and interested in something slightly different, consider the similarly priced AndaSeat Kaiser 2, the Razer Iskur, the top-rated SecretLab Titan Evo, or one of the other Vertagear choices.
They're all top-rated gaming chairs like the SL5000 that make strong cases for being the best in the category. Happy sitting!