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The Steelcase Leap Chair

an independently commissioned review   |   see all reviews


Steelcase Leap Chair Independent Overall Rating: 7 of 10      [ how this works ]
7 out of 10 Stars

Price Range: $769.00 to $1894.00

PROS:
Very comfortable and well suited to general office work.

CONS:
Low emphasis on performance and high-productivity features, and little to offer in the way of advanced design or style.

OVERALL RATING:
The Leap Chair is well above average, and does many things very well. It's strengths are comfort and usability, and the only detracting features are the absence of overt stylization and performance design.

 

PRODUCT REVIEW


FIRST IMPRESSIONS
I was somewhat familiar with the Leap Chair before I sat in it, and I thought of it as something of a "little brother" to Steelcase's more celebrated Think Chair. After having sat in it for about a week, I can definitively say that this chair stands on its own as a comfortable, affordable, and all-around high-utility chair. It's slightly larger than most typical office chairs, with wide shoulder support and a back that goes all the way up your spine. Beyond its roominess, it's very adjustable, with variations in height, recline, armrest length and height, and lower back firmness. I put all of these adjustments to good use in the Leap Chair, and any buyer will be able to customize this chair to a pretty exacting degree. Leap is everything you really need in an office chair, and while there aren't any "wow" features or particularly striking aspects of design, it really holds up. Think of the Leap Chair as a really good peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
THE 'X' FACTOR
The roominess of the chair, which allows the user to really relax and sit in more than a single posture and position. The arms, too, add to the generous frame of the chair, as they were designed to slide in, out, up and down.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Leap Chair is a bread and butter chair that gets the job done. It gets high marks in the most essential categories for an office chair, and good marks in everything else. There are good reasons why the designers of the chair stayed away from stylization and high-performance design, but in the end a truly top-end chair has to have them. Leap Chair gets our hearty recommendation.

 

PRODUCT RATINGS


COMFORT / ERGONOMICS: 8 of 10
8 out of 10 Stars
Very comfortable. Leap uses breathable fabrics and open spaces in the chair to keep air flowing, which keeps your temperature regulated while you sit. The padding in the chair is soft but supportive, and it never overheats or gets cold (I don't know if you can tell, but our office has been having some weird weather). The arms are comfortable as well, and very adjustable; the Leap Chair has a pretty nifty feature that allows the armrests to slide in any direction atop the arm structure, and that can be really helpful when you're trying to find that right sitting position. The Leap Chair I sat in came with the optional head rest, which attaches to the top of the chair, and which I really liked. Of course, if you don't like headrests, you can order your Leap Chair without one.
DESIGN: 7 of 10
7 out of 10 Stars
The slip-sliding armrests are the most unique design feature on the Leap, and the adjustable lower back firmness is nothing new either. However, both design features work very well and do their simple jobs with aplomb. The thought behind the Leap Chair was not to overwhelm the user with high performance doo-dads or take their breath away with modern design, but merely to make the chair look and feel good. It's a work chair, and the design of the Leap reflects that in its simplicity and emphasis on functionality.
STYLE: 7 of 10
7 out of 10 Stars
The style of the Leap Chair mirrors the design. It's nothing spectacular; it's simple and effective. The chair is split into two support structures, the back and the seat, which are separated at their juncture (the arms hold the two parts together). The ends of both pieces peel away from the center, creating the effect (in my mind) of a sprung trap. This air pocket serves a function both stylistically (it gives the chair its only distinctive stylistic feature) and functionally (keeps the chair from overheating). The style of the chair lies in its cleanness of line and form, and its sacrifice of artifice for utility.
QUALITY / CRAFTSMANSHIP / PEDIGREE: 8 of 10
8 out of 10 Stars
Steelcase is a furniture giant, operating across the globe with an excellent reputation. They are responsible for Think Chair, the award winning office chair, as well as the Leap. Steelcase has plants across the globe, including in America, and they maintain high environmental standards and practices. Their furniture, storage solutions and design have won countless awards and fans.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: 9 of 10
9 out of 10 Stars
The Leap Chair scores very high when it comes to environmentalism. Leap is MBDC Silver Cradle to Cradle certified, and holds an SCS Indoor Advantage certification for air quality. It was constructed using recyclable material, and is itself recyclable. The Leap Chair has an excellent pedigree for Steelcase, which produced the very first furniture to receive MBDC Gold certification.
PERFORMANCE: 6 of 10
6 out of 10 Stars
The Leap Chair is not a high-performance chair in the sense of bells and whistles and high-productivity features. It is, however, extremely comfortable over long periods of time, and excellent when it comes to the bread and butter of office work, using your keyboard and computer.
READ OUR PERSONAL REVIEW OF LEAP
Read Our Review of Leap
 
DESIGN YOUR LEAP
Customize Your Own Leap Chair
 
SHOP ALL SEATING BY STEELCASE
Shop All Seating by Steelcase
 
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