Just because you are a bigger-than-normal person doesn’t mean you can’t get a gaming chair that looks and feels like you salvaged it from a wrecked race car. Clutch Chairz’ Throttle gaming chair is rolling, butt-gripping proof.
Unlike many products that toss the word “gaming” in front of an everyday thing in order to appeal to our incredibly attractive demographic, gaming chairs are a step beyond basic sitting items. While there’s a certain amount of showiness involved, they’re also designed to keep players upright, awake, and sitting properly as to not damage their backs during extended gaming sessions. As someone who has had back surgery to help correct years of improper sitting (and some poor lifting choices), I can appreciate that.
But I am a 6'6" person with an oversized build. I weigh around 325 pounds at the moment (and falling), which seems like a lot, but the nutritionist I see tells me for my height and build, 275 is ideal. So yeah, I am a big boy, and I need a big boy chair.
I recently reviewed the Titan from Secretlab, and was impressed with the difference a seat built specifically for someone almost my size and weight makes. Now I am giving Clutch Chairz’ Throttle a go.
What It Is
Inspired by cars, games and sports, Clutch Chairz is a company that makes gaming chairs for all sizes of people. Their website features a handy graphic to help shoppers select the perfect throne for their body type.
As appealing as their Crank, Gear and Shift series’ seats might be (sensing a naming theme), I opted to try out the Throttle, as otherwise my review would just be “ow.”
The Throttle series, built for glowing red outline people holding racing helmets, comes in a wide variety of colors and designs. If you’d rather not get all showy they’ve got an all-black edition, which will probably look really good with your glowing red outline.
Lacking a glowing red outline of my own, I chose a model that came with its own crimson accents.
This is the Throttle Series Charlie Red gaming chair. It’s got a tubular steel frame that’s ergonomically designed for the human-ish body. It swivels. It tilts. The seat goes back. It rises and lowers. LIke all Throttle series chairs, it comes with a pair of pillows: one to use as a head rest, the other for lumbar support.
While other Clutch chairs cost between $359 and $379, Throttle series units run $469. Making a bigger gaming chair requires more materials, plus manufacturing costs are higher when you’re making smaller batches. Most of humanity doesn’t need a chair built for people up to 6'4" (give or take a couple inches) and 330 pounds. It’s a gift, and a curse.
What I Did With It
I ate the armrests, made a fort out of the frame and wore the seat like a hat. Sometimes having a “what I did with it” section in my hardware/accessory reviews is stupid.
I sat in the Throttle. I ate lunch in the Throttle. I worked multiple 12 hour days in the Throttle. I took a couple of naps in the Throttle, which may or may not have coincided with those work days.
I played some video games. Some really good ones too. You wouldn’t know them. They’re from Canada.
Oh, I also assembled it, which took me around 30 minutes, not counting the bit where I attached the seat to the base backwards and had to remove and reattach it.
What I Liked
Okay Fine, It Looks Really Cool: While I profess to be an older gamer with no time for you kids and your colorful race car gaming seats, I must admit there is something exciting about opening the door to your office/gaming room and seeing a sleek black and red space pilot chair awaiting your orders. It’s like setting your butt down on the captain’s seat from a Syfy original series spaceship.
Big. Also, Tall: Though built with similar dimensions, the throttle felt a bit taller and roomier than the other giant seat I’ve sat in recently. That might be a result of the chair’s profile, or the way I sink into the cold cured foam of the seat. Plus I’ve been losing weight, so I’m not quite as wide as I was.
Whatever the case, my super-long torso/tiny leg combo (I call it the Guido Carosella, a reference at least one person will get) fits the Throttle rather well. My head only comes an inch or so over the seat back. Considering smaller, “normal” tall chair backs hit me at shoulder level, this is excellent.
So Comfy: I was going to call this point of order “Hugging My Ass,” but that seemed a step too far. It’s okay in plain text, but bolded? I have standards. They’re around here somewhere.
Before even getting to the pillows, which we will get to, the seat does a body’s contours right. I’m especially enamored of the base, which while soft enough to let me sink slightly, remains firm despite having to support me for far longer than any object should. And those side-bits? They’re the bits that hug my ass. They’re my favorite bits.
Making Adjustments: You know what’s great? Tilt lock, which makes the Throttle’s “infinite tilt lock” infinitely better. My personal desk/gaming chair does not have tilt lock, meaning I can sit up or tilt all the way back. There is no in-between. Here I can tilt the base as far as I like it and lock it place. I worry about the strain I put on the mechanism this way, but that’s me feeling bad for a chair. Sorry, chair.
Along with the base tilt, the Throttle boasts seat tilt, 4D armrest adjustment (in, out, up, down, forward, rear) and the always handy seat raising and lowering, perfect for large people with tiny legs.
Mmmm, Pillows: While built-in lumbar support is geat, it’s not quite as versatile as just putting a pillow behind your back, especially one designed for exactly that. Plus, reaching around behind me and adjusting my lumbar pillow helps the blossoming old man inside me feel like there’s something for him as well.
There’s also the head pillow, which can either be strapped through the holes in the seat back or wrapped about it for folks with higher heads. As a higher head, I appreciate this.
What I Didn’t Like
The Instructions Were A Little Lie-y: Presented in a small, thick booklet in a handful of different languages, the instructions for the Throttle instructed me to remove the screws already installed in the seat back, then use those to affix the back to the base. There were no screws preinstalled. They were in a package, along with some washers and rings I probably should have used.
Also, I swear the picture in my instructions showed the mechanical base attaching to the seat backwards, resulting in a chair that leaned forward until I swapped things about. That may have just been me.
These Silly Base Accents: The strong metal base of the Throttle features indentations for these silly plastic chevrons. They just rest there, in their little cubbies. Nothing is holding them in. It’s like the chair doubles as a chevron holder.
Even sillier are faux red bolts resting in holes about the base of the hydraulic shaft bits. Again, they just rest in their holes so loosely they rattle slightly when you move the chair.
Of the two plus-sized gaming chairs I’ve tested so far, Clutch Chairz’ Throttle feels more like the traditional idea of a gaming chair embiggened. It’s a sleek, sporty design that, if you saw it from a distance, might be mistaken for a chair for medium-sized people.
But the Throttle is too much chair for medium-sized people. It’s built for big men and women wearing loud shirts and possibly goggles. People who pretend their chair has a gearshift and a steering wheel, making vrooming noises with their mouth as they spin and roll about. It’s very me. Even so, I like it a lot.