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Home / Tips and Tricks / The chair for people who like to stand – Review Geek

The chair for people who like to stand – Review Geek


  • 1 – Absolutely hot waste
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm waste
  • 3 – Severely flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute design Nirvana

Price: $ 255

The Active Seat in a home office
Cameron Summerson

The Vari Active Seat is an interesting product. It is a standing office chair, an optional “intermediate” chair for sit / stand desk users. It’s a third choice between sitting and standing, giving users more flexibility for those times when you don’t want to stand or to sit.

Here’s what we like

  • High quality office chair
  • Movement in the base ensures maximum wobble

And what we don’t do

  • Expensive
  • Can’t move it easily while seated

In a nutshell, that’s what the Vari Active Seat is. It is a stool-like chair that leans back and forth and back and forth. It is height adjustable between 25.5 inches and 35 inches, so you can bring it all the way back to the ‘normal’ seating level if you get tired of standing and leaning.

I have tested it next to the Vari office chair the past months to get an idea. In short, if you have a standing desk, the Active Seat is pretty much a must-have. It’s a great way to get some rest when you’re tired of standing but don’t want to risk sitting in a chair.

Okay, but what’s the point?

A valid question! Standing office chairs like the Active Seat are designed to give you a middle ground between sitting and standing. They still require your core to be engaged (which prevents slouching), so they are ‘better’ than traditional chairs in that regard.

It is not designed to replace your standing position, nor is it designed to replace your sitting position. Instead, it’s a third option that’s (heh) in between the two. If you’re currently a standing desk user, you may already know the struggle – too tired to stand, but not in the mood to sit. I understand this all the time.

And that’s really where a standing office chair is perfect.

It’s a simple chair

The best thing about the Active Seat is that there isn’t much to it. It comes fully pre-assembled, so you just need to take it out of the box and sit on it. That’s good stuff.

The Active Seat in the lowest position
It can get pretty short.

This is not your father’s bar stool. It has a large, sturdy base that weighs about 25 pounds, a height-adjustable mechanism, and some sort of rectangular top. Diamond, even. Just kidding. It’s a trapezoid.

The chair has a maximum weight of 250 pounds, so it is sturdy and stable. At its lowest point, it is about 25.5 inches, for which it should be low almost all users – I imagine even sub-5’0 ″ users would be fine here. Likewise, the maximum height of 35 inches is quite tall, so 6’0 ″ + users should have no problem with the height. I am not ashamed to admit that I have to jump to get on the chair when it is at maximum height (I am 5’6).

A closer look at the Active Seat seat
A closer look at the Active Seat seat Cameron Summerson

The top is well padded and there is also a small back with a handle. Well, I assume it’s a handle anyway because that’s how I always move the chair. And you certainly cannot rely on it. I found the pillow comfortable enough for how I used the chair, which was in jumps. It’s pretty sturdy so I’m not sure I’d want to sit on it all the time when I’m not standing, but it also doesn’t feel like it breaks down easily. It is robust and the cover feels thick and premium.

The chair… mail? The thing the chair is attached to (sorry I’m not familiar with stool / chair component naming) is where all the movement takes place, which is almost certainly why the base is so heavy. You can lean forward for a kind of semi-sitting, semi-standing position, rock back and forth, and even turn almost all the way around. It’s a nice seat for restless people like me. (I like to wiggle while I think.) The nice thing about this is that it has what Vari calls “tilt protection” built in, which prevents the seat from moving more than 20 degrees forward. In other words, if you To do decide to use it as a bar stool, you probably won’t (?) stagger your drunken self away from it.

Of course, this stable base and wobble-enhancing form factor has its drawbacks. First, you can’t roll around in the chair, so you need to get the position perfect if you sit / stand in and out all day. I found myself moving the chair, sitting on it, and then getting up again to move it a few inches each time I used it. Not a deal breaker, but something to watch out for.

Fortunately, it’s easy to move with one hand (assuming you can pick up 25 pounds with one hand, of course). You can just grab it and swing it where you want it. You could theoretically shove it across the floor if you’re not in it, but I wouldn’t. If there’s anything under that weighted base on a hard floor, you risk damage. And on carpet? It’s just easier to pick it up.

Conclusion: it is good but pricey

The Active Seat at the highest point
It also gets quite long. Cameron Summerson

So here’s the thing: This is a $ 255 limited-use chair / stool / stool. If you couple that with the chance that you already have a good (and maybe even pricey) office chair, it becomes more difficult to sell. Vari also sells the Active Seat Basic, which appears to be essentially the same as the Active Seat, but a little smaller with a little less height for $ 55 less. Still, at $ 200, it’s not cheap.

That said, if you’re browsing Amazon looking for a standing office chair in this style, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a good one for a lot less. Several makes quality products, and I’ve found you get what you pay for here.

With those things in mind, I can easily recommend the Active Seat (and by extension the Active Seat Basic) to anyone looking for a standing office chair. It’s a niche group for sure, but if you’re part of it you’ll be digging this chair.

Here’s what we like

  • High quality office chair
  • Movement in the base ensures maximum wobble

And what we don’t do

  • Expensive
  • Can’t move it easily while seated

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