Help! I desire a $700 chair. Is there any hope?
March 5, 2007 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Is $700 too much to spend on an office chair? Are there any alternatives to the HAG Capisco Saddle Seat chair?

I know good office chairs are expensive (my $5 IKEA red school chair is no longer cutting it), but $700 for the chair I want seems outrageous. However, this is the chair I really want. I sat in it over at a chair store in SF (they want more for it than online) and I really like the saddle seat, and the fact that the back is a "plus" design. It feels really good on my back/posture, plus you can sit in the thing backwards (Major plus!)

I am a really tiny woman, so it is hard to find comfortable ergonomic chairs. This one also has a foot ring/foot plate that is really convenient (for $70 more). I also have a very small apartment, so the compact size of this chair is very appealing.

I have been thinking about this chair for months and months (every time I sit in my crappy $5 IKEA in fact).

I have not been able to find this chair used ANYWHERE. Does anybody know of a similar chair (one you can comfortably sit in backwards), or a way to rationalize/diminish the cost?
posted by iamkimiam to Shopping (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Just go get it, looks awesome :)
posted by zeoslap at 7:50 AM on March 5, 2007

Math break.

Let's say you use this office chair for 3 years. Not accounting for leap year antics: 1,095 days.

Cost of chair: $700.

Daily cost of chair over 3 years: $0.64.

Is your comfort worth a doughnut's worth of change a day? You're going to be sitting there working and having fun for years. In two weeks, you won't care about the price of the chair, if you like it as much as you profess.
posted by Mikey-San at 8:05 AM on March 5, 2007

No it is not too much. It is just about right. Getting a chair that fits you is very important if you are going to spend much time in it. Herman Miller also makes great ergonomic chairs in small sizes.
posted by caddis at 8:14 AM on March 5, 2007

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is income. I don't want to ask about your income, but I'll just say this-- if you cna afford it with your "leisure" money, without dipping into your savings, retirement money, mortgage, rent, grocery bills, other bills, etc etc etc, then do it. However, if you're not making enough to get the chair, start saving a bit now for a "chair fund." I know, responsibility, boring... but you'll regret it if you have a $700 computer chair and no electricity with which to use your computer.
posted by magacid at 8:18 AM on March 5, 2007

If you are thinking about it that much, you should probably get it. The fact that you can't find any used ones might be a good sign, that people don't want to part with them. Also, it could end up saving you money in the long run if it saves you from having back and neck problems, and lasts longer than several cheaper chairs.
posted by Melsky at 8:30 AM on March 5, 2007

caddis: "No it is not too much. It is just about right. Getting a chair that fits you is very important if you are going to spend much time in it. Herman Miller also makes great ergonomic chairs in small sizes."

Another vote for Herman.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:53 AM on March 5, 2007

I spent nearly 1000 dollars on this chair about 3 years ago and it was worth every penny; it is very comfortable even for long periods and still looks and feels new. I am not sure it was the best deal out there, but I am happy with it. If you sit in a chair for long periods, you can expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars to get a good one. An added bonus is that it will last much longer and thus be competitive cost-wise in the long run.
posted by TedW at 8:54 AM on March 5, 2007

I second the Aeron Chair...
I have been using it at my work and some of other work places for years...

So I ended up buying one for myself two years ago...

Best purchase I have ever made.

The Smart Money or the Business 2.0 did office chair show down in last month issue.

Compare to other top ergo office chairs... The Aeron Chair was hands down TOP winner by very wide margin... a matter o fact, the other so-called ergonomic chairs(which were more expensive than the Aeron) were some times fair worse than cheap office depot chairs....

The Design and Quality of Aeron is unbelieveable.... I have seen Aeron chairs that were abused in the conference rooms for years... but they always look and feel like new...

So even getting used one (around $4-600) is very good idea....

barebone Aeron chair is also good , if you want new...
posted by curiousleo at 9:04 AM on March 5, 2007

Are you willing to buy one used? Once with the foot ring just recently went on ebay for $360 including shipping. If you've been thinking about wanting one for months you probably can wait a few weeks looking for one to go on sale. And hey, if the chair turns out to not be everything you'd hoped, you can always re-ebay it.
posted by aspo at 9:30 AM on March 5, 2007

I don't really want an Aeron chair because I like the minimalist features of the saddle seat capisco - and that you can sit backwards in it. Also, I don't have the space in my apt. for an Aeron chair.

I just can't believe that I am having such a hard time finding a knock-off, or anything remotely similar to this design. But I will keep checking eBay, craigslist, etc. Any other thoughts as to where I could find this chair used?

Thanks for all the suggestions/comments so far! I'm starting to realize now that a good chair is a lot like purchasing a mattress.

Thanks AskMeFites!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:50 AM on March 5, 2007

Also that saddle chair of yours is quite the conversation piece. You might consider treating it as art that rolls around your apartment.
posted by mmascolino at 10:20 AM on March 5, 2007

If you don't mind superficial blemishes, you can find many of these chairs on fleabay for half the price, or less. I got a 1st-generation Leap Chair through one such vendor, and while I did need to clean the wheels a bit before I put it to use, the actual product has been fantastic.
posted by Muu at 10:23 AM on March 5, 2007

The HAG Capisco is great! We bought ergonomic furniture for the office several years ago; I chose the Leap mentioned above, and my coworker chose the Capisco. She LOVED it--I even wound up wishing I had chosen it myself! (The Leap was fine, once I figured out all the knobs, but it didn't actively make me a happier person as the Capisco appeared to.) The backwards seating option is sweet too--great for when you're bored or tired and just need to be propped up in front of your computer. $700 is a lot of money, but if your job keeps you chained to the computer it is more than worth it! Where else do you spend so much time? Bed? ...on preview, I see you've already made this connection.
posted by CaptApollo at 10:42 AM on March 5, 2007

Even beyond the three year lifetime cited above, I bought what was to me an expensive office chair (~$400) almost 10 years ago and I'm just now getting to where I need to replace the butt part due to dirt and age or get a new one. These chairs are designed to be sat in for long periods of time and besides your computer monitor is the most important part of any workspace.
posted by rhizome at 11:26 AM on March 5, 2007

Oh, and for the last month I've been using an Aeron and while it's fine for now it's not the better than sliced-bread experience people talk about. I think the Aeron appeal is more visual than functional.
posted by rhizome at 11:27 AM on March 5, 2007

Don't forget that you can write off the cost of the chair for any freelance work or side business you run.

I bought an aeron chair a couple years ago and I'll probably have it for another 5 years or more. It's incredibly comfortable and I no longer get tired after sitting for many hours.
posted by mathowie at 12:13 PM on March 5, 2007

I'm going to chime in with an enthusiastic vote for the Steelcase Think, which is not only created with its environmental impact in mind but is very very comfortable. And unlike the Aeron, which is tricky to adjust correctly, the Think molds to your body - the only adjustments you need are height, arm height, tilt, and seat depth.

(Treehugger and Cory Doctorow on the Think.)

What can I say, I love my freaking chair!
posted by joshuaconner at 3:21 PM on March 5, 2007

Those are all great chairs, but none of them are ANYTHING like the Capisco! Anybody have suggestions for chairs that are able to be sat in backwards, fit in a very small space, and under $700?

I think I'll have to start saving money into a "chair fund" (thanks for the suggestion Magacid!). And keep scouring eBay.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:50 PM on March 5, 2007

Update: I bought the chair - it's absolutely awesome. And amazingly easy to assemble (I was dreading that). Thank you all for your help and suggestions!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:31 PM on March 17, 2007

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