In a Nutshell:
The Space Seating AirGrid Managers Chair Surprisingly attractive for a mesh-based office chair, and full-featured, although on the pricey side. Recommended for provisionally recommended for anyone struggling to find the right chair.
Value for the Money
Are you in the market for a new office chair? Have you been frustrated in your search to this point?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then the Space Seating AirGrid Manager’s Chair may be what you’re looking for, but we’ll put particular emphasis on the word “may.”
As you can see just by glancing at the overall rating of this chair, it is by no means perfect. Slightly above average, yes, but it’s definitely not hard to find a better chair overall.
That said, every person is different. Every person’s needs and priorities are different, and it’s entirely possible that you’ll be more than willing to overlook this model’s shortcomings. If so, you’ll be immensely satisfied with this model. If not, it’s likely to underwhelm, if not outright disappoint.
Not to worry, we’ll cut through the clutter and discuss the model’s various strengths and weaknesses, so you can decide for yourself if it’s the right chair for you. If that sounds good to you, let’s get right to it!
An Overview of the Space Seating AirGrid Manager’s Chair
The first thing you’ll notice about the Space Seating AirGrid Manager’s Chair when you see it for the first time is that it’s surprisingly attractive for a mesh chair.
So far, the Herman Miller Sayl is the only mesh chair we’ve ever seen that you could call attractive, but we’ll readily admit that the design team did a pretty decent job here. It’s not an eyesore and manages to be relatively unassuming, which means that it tends to blend in relatively easily with a wide range of home décor schemes.
Given that most people don’t buy office furniture based on looks alone, that’s good enough for us, and we suspect, good enough for a broad swath of the market.
Regarding basic stats, here’s what the AirGrid Manager’s Chair looks like:
There are a couple of things worth talking about here. First and foremost, this is a big, beefy chair. If you have a smallish room, this model is probably going to fill it up and dominate it. That, plus the chair’s weight, plus the height adjustment range all combine to make this a decent chair for big and tall users.
It’s not ideally suited for all big and tall people, but it seems clear that it was designed to cater to that end of the market. Even better, the base is lightweight steel, so it’s heavy and durable. That, combined with the use of mesh both work well for a chair designed for heavy daily use, and that’s a very good thing.
Basic stats, however, will only take you so far, so let’s dig deeper now here in our Space Seating Professional AirGrid review and see what makes this model tick.
Adjustability and Comfort
The AirGrid scores well on comfort for a few different reasons. First, while the mesh seatback might not be much to look at, it’s incredibly durable and breathable. If you’ve ever spent long periods of time in a leather chair, you know how important that can be, because leather will make you sweat like crazy!
The mesh backing here avoids that and makes the chair more comfortable.
Then there’s the fact that the seatback’s position can be adjusted to taste and the chair has a tilt and lock mechanism with a range that runs from 90 to 120 degrees, which allows you to tweak the way you sit at your desk and maximize your comfort. That’s excellent.
Next, there’s the generously padded waterfall-style seat, which is well implemented and comfortable. Even better, the seat is upholstered in a mesh-like fabric which is also quite breathable. Again, this makes the chair ideal for heavy daily usage, and the waterfall style seat is the first of three ergonomic features to talk about.
The Space Seating Deluxe AirGrid Back chair also offers lumbar support, and even better, it’s mildly adjustable! You can slide the lumbar support pad up and down by about two inches in either direction, allowing you to put the added support exactly where you need it.
You don’t find too many chairs that offer adjustable lumbar support, and we like it very much, so again, great job by Space Seating! Unfortunately, this is where the negatives start creeping in. There’s no locking mechanism on the lumbar support. It’s held in place mostly by being snug in the slider and the weight of your back pressing against the chair.
Unfortunately, though, it’s almost impossible to adjust the lumbar support while sitting in the chair, and over time, the slider will become less snug, which will cause the support to fall to the lowest position before you can sit down in the chair. It’s one of the more common complaints leveled against the model, and it is a fair one.
It’s also an issue that could easily be avoided. It wouldn’t add to the cost of the chair to engineer a simple locking mechanism on the lumbar support, but alas, the company has opted not to do so.
This brings us to the third ergonomic feature the Space Seating AirGrid chair boasts, the headrest.
The headrest is moderately comfortable and padded with the same mesh-like fabric you find on the seat, which makes it breathable.
Sadly, although the headrest is height adjustable, the mechanism for doing so is a simple lever action with a very weak lock to hold it in the desired position.
As with the lumbar support, it won’t take long before this mechanism breaks down entirely, which will cause the headrest to fall to its lowest position and stay there unless you engineer some alternate solution to keep it in the desired position.
Given the price they’re asking for this chair, we regard that as totally unacceptable. Combine that with the fact that the headrest isn’t all that comfortable anyway, and we regard this as a poorly implemented feature.
In fact, many users have said they have simply removed the headrest entirely, once the locking mechanism stopped working. That brings us to the armrests. Like the headrest, these are height adjustable at the touch of a button, but again, they suffer from the same problem.
Thankfully, the armrest locking mechanism is a bit sturdier than the one used for the headrest, but then, the armrests have to support a lot more weight, which means they’ll tend to break down just as quickly, and perhaps even more quickly. Not good.
To make matters worse, although the armrests are lightly padded, they’re a far cry from being comfortable and not ergonomically designed, either. As with the headrest, many users have simply reported removing them and not using them at all.
The problem, of course, is that you’re being charged for these features, and this isn’t a cheap chair, to begin with; why pay for something that’s so poorly implemented you won’t be able to use it in the long run? Needless to say, all of these things impacted the Space Seating Manager’s chair’s final score.
Does Not Come Assembled
Here, Space Seating shines. Although this is a big chair, it’s easier to put together than you might think. Part of this stems from the fact that the armrests don’t add to the structural integrity of the chair, so you’re not in the position of having to try to balance the seat, the seat back and one of the arms to get the three pieces put together during the assembly process.
It’s also true though that Space Seating did an excellent job in terms of making their chair easier than average to put together, so credit where credit is due!
Pros & Cons of Space Seating Airgrid Managers Chair
So where does all that leave us? As you’ve seen, the AirGrid is very much a mixed bag. Some things, the company really got right, and we applaud them for it, and some things are…well, ‘disaster’ would be too strong a word, but some elements of this Space Seating 25004 chair are just not good at all.
Let’s break it down then, into pros and cons to summarize. Here are the things we think you’ll like best about this chair:
And here are the chair’s biggest weaknesses:
Space Seating Professional AirGrid Review Conclusion
Based on the lack of durability of the locking mechanisms in various places on this model, the Space Seating AirGrid Manager’s chair’s value score took a big hit from us. That, combined with the low brand reliability made its final score barely above average, even though this chair is solidly built and has a lot of attractive features.
Sure, it’s entirely possible to engineer your own solutions to hold the armrests, headrest and lumbar support pad in the positions you want them, but for the price you’re paying for the chair, you just should not have to do that.
Furthermore, why pay a premium for features you either won’t use at all or will remove once they start breaking down, which is the solution many people who have bought this chair have adopted?
Given all of that, we very cautiously, provisionally recommend this chair, but we do so with this proviso:
- If you like every feature this chair has to offer, and you don’t mind doing a bit of DIY work to keep it functioning correctly with the weak locking mechanisms fail, this is a good option for you.
- If you’d rather just buy a chair that works, and that you don’t have to babysit, then there are better and more cost-effective options out there.
References & Resources
- Office Star Products, Official Brand Website.
- Space Seating AirGrid Manager’s Chair User Manual.
- Office Chair Buying Guide, Industry Buying.
- How to Fix an Office Chair That Leans Back, The Office Oasis.
- 5 Features to Consider When Buying an Office Chair, Office Chairs Unlimited.