The Puma Active Gaming Seat is easy to assemble, if you can put your shoulder into it. It consists of a simple, anodized, black, steel frame built out of four, pipe-like sections that snap together. Two narrow crossbars provide additional frame support once everything’s put together, and long, ski-like, rubber feet keep the chair stable. You just match the colored dots on each section, inserting the crossbars before clicking the parts together. Everything fits snugly, so you may need to push really hard to align the parts. Still, the Puma Active Gaming Seat is easier to put together than the SecretLab Titan and other office-style, gaming chairs that have numerous bolts and screws.
Once the frame is assembled, you pull the padded slipcover over it to form the chair’s body. The slipcover is where your choice of color comes into play, either black or red, depending on the model you buy. You fit the cover’s “head” over the frame’s upper curve, and then pull the “foot” over the lower curve .
Pull the wide, hook-and-loop tabs over the crossbars and secure them firmly, then do the same with the tabs tucked into the cover’s “wings.” You then attach them to the short, support bars near the frame’s feet. With everything pushed, pulled, and fastened into position, you slide the U-shaped, clamp-like cushion over the top bar to form the headrest. The assembly process isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
Sturdy and Steady
Fully assembled, the chair weighs close to 15 pounds and stands 33 inches tall, 22 inches wide, and 31 inches deep (at the feet, the seat section is closer to 11 inches wide). It’s small and light enough to easily pick up and move out of the way when you just want to sit on the couch.
It might sound precarious to build a gaming chair like a hammock by suspending a fabric cover across a metal frame, but with everything in place, the Puma Active Gaming Seat is surprisingly sturdy. The slipcover is made of a dense material that feels like heavy-duty nylon across the middle and vinyl across the sides. Once all the tabs were secured over their bars, the chair supported my fairly large frame without issue.
The Puma Active Gaming Seat has long, rubber feet that are slightly curved. However, don’t expect it to behave like a rocking chair. The feet are designed to let the chair slightly rock, and settle into one of four different positions depending on how far forward or backward you lean on it. You can lean all the way back, but tall people may find the chair is a bit too short to comfortably rest their head against the hard headrest. You can also lean all the way forward and perch on the chair’s front. Finally, you can assume less extreme positions, such as sitting upright or slightly backward. Playseat calls these positions Cruise, Defense, Attack, and Win modes, but they’re all just different sitting angles.
Mesh pockets provide plenty of places to tuck your controllers and remotes. Wide, shallow pockets sit on the back and front of the chair, while narrower, deeper pockets sit on the sides. The chair lacks cupholders, but you can probably tuck a bottle or two in the side pockets.
Sitting on the Puma Active Gaming Seat isn’t like sitting on a typical gaming chair. The actual seat is relatively narrow, almost like a saddle, and sitting on it naturally leaves your legs spread. This provides a low center of gravity, keeping the chair in place whether you sit far forward or far back. The design enables a large range of leg motion, however you want to sit.
The Long Sit
I found the Playseat Puma Gaming Seat a comfortable alternative to how I usually play when sitting in front of the TV. The saddle-like seat feels more supportive than an ottoman or stool, as it let me sit upright or lean forward without worrying that it’ll tip over. The backrest is short, but I found it fairly comfortable when I leaned back, letting the firm headrest support the back of my neck without needing to scoot the lower half of my body too far forward.
Don’t mistake Playseat Puma Gaming Seat for a replacement for a recliner or couch. The chair is relatively narrow, so it doesn’t offer the same long-term, relaxing support as larger furniture. It’s a chair designed for you to wiggle about, as you’re playing game. You can lean back and watch TV, but the same, free range of motion that lets you move around while sitting on the chair means you have far less surface area to settle back onto for long viewing sessions. I could probably sit back and watch a TV show episode while on the chair, but I wouldn’t want to watch a whole movie that way. That’s really not what the seat is for (hence the “Active” part in its name).
For Gamers Who Can’t Stay on the Couch
The Playseat Puma Active Gaming Seat is a unique gaming chair that fits my console gaming habits almost perfectly. The chair lacks wheels, but it’s small and light enough move with ease. More importantly, it provides support when I sit, lean, and perch while gaming. The Playseat Puma Active Gaming Seat is a bit expensive, and you can’t exactly relax on it for extended periods, but if the couch isn’t cutting it while you play games on your TV, it’s a strong option to consider. For a more traditional gaming chair, check out the excellent, Editors’ Choice-award-winning SecretLab Titan.