Autonomous ErgoChair with updated partial review
I’m quite interested in this chair. I currently have a Herman Miller Aeron and it’s has its ups and downs. I like that it makes me sit proper, but I don’t like that it makes me sit proper. I’d like to be able to sit with my leg crossed under me, or sit sideways where the Aeron’s mesh seat is against you sitting this way.
I started researching chairs and came an odd post on reddit where a user was asking for advice on this chair. A few people seemed to have said it was a kickstarter that had a massive following. It seems quite nice.. really nice, especially for that price. I didn’t know if this is something that is too good to be true, or someone has finally come out with an ergonomic chair with quality and low price in mind.
I’ve already tried to schedule an appointment at their showroom in Los Angeles, but their website’s appointment system is quite bad and couldn’t figure out if my appointment was created. I finally reached out to someone via their chat system to get some information on testing/purchasing their products. If there was one thing about this that made me skeptical of the company it was the fact that if you visit, you can’t actually purchase one there. You still had to order online and ship it to your home/office. This makes zero sense. If you have a show room, SELL THEM THERE! You are making it difficult for me to give you my money.
I still have a lot of interest in the chair, but I’m not sure if they deserve my money when they make buying it so annoying.
I finally found time to head over to meet with the Customer Relations person for Autonomous. They have a room in the WeWork offices in Santa Monica with 4 desks, 1 ergochair, and 1 ergostool. This kind of makes sense as to why I couldn’t buy a chair as there’s no storage space. How many people go to a showroom with the intention of buying a product? My guess is a fair amount. Just keep some near by, or a few boxes in there in case someone wants to buy it.
I was pleasantly surprised about the comfort the chair had to offer. The butt/seat cushion was nice enough to sit on, and felt like 8 hours could be a breeze. The mesh back was nice, and even better for the summers in Los Angeles. It wasn’t stiff enough to make leaning back uncomfortable, but it’s not the same comfort that the Herman Miller Aeron offers. The lumbar support felt nice and slightly softer than the Aeron rubber support.
The headrest is a great addition and something I really miss about my previous chairs. The option to lean back and think (maybe nap) while working is really convenient. The headrest is the same material, but has more give than the backrest. It does adjust up/down and to a few different angles where I was able to move it to a position for me that made a big difference in comfort. The person who tested this before was much taller.
The armrests left a lot to be desired, and by that I mean they left off a lot of material. It’s made of really hard rubber that offered not much in the world of comfort but they weren’t bad by any means. They do move forward, back, and can push them outward or in. The outward/inward adjustments aren’t much to write home about either, but I’m not one who has ever had to make those changes.
One thing that was I never knew I would want is the ability to change the tension of the reclining. The website says that it exists, but I was never able to find that lever. One feature I would request would be to label the levers… they were all blank. It was a guessing game when trying to figure out the chair and we had to refer to the manual to try to where the tension adjuster was. Back to reclining… it wasn’t as if the default reclining tension of the chair was bad, it’s just a feature I like to have after owning an Aeron. Update...it seems there is a tension adjustment knob, but its on the underside of the seat. Not the best place to keep this adjustment since you can’t adjust then lean back to test.
The seat does move forward, but didn’t seem like it moved a lot. Maybe I am asking a lot of a chair trying to compete with Herman Miller for under $300. An issue I didn’t think would ever be a problem is the chair does not a tall maximum height. Based on the documentation on the website, its a 3″ maximum lift. This wont cause me any concern, but for anyone over 6’2″ I its possible the height limitation could cause problems.
Although this update sounds like I’m knocking on the product, I really did like the chair. When comparing it with higher end chairs, it really does compete when you think about its price. If you have the money to spend, go check out the Herman Miller Embody, if you don’t you should really check out this chair.
I didn’t have much time there since I was on my lunch break, but here are some pictures of the chair I was able to take.
Here are some other reviews that shed some light on the quality and comfort of the chair
(Update 11-14-2017) I will be purchasing a DIY Desk kit from them soon and expect a review soon after.
Autonomous has since updated their line-up with Pro and Pro Plus models. I’ve yet to try one, but they do look like a great improvement. Let me know if you have tried one!