Bateman Labs makes us drool with their new gaming furniture

Bateman Labs makes us drool with their new gaming furniture

We get locked in with the Bateman Labs V-Armchair and its accessories

Team SideQuesting spent an ungodly amount of time at the Bateman Labs booth. Located off to the side of one of the PAX East rows, the layout of the area looked like a college dorm room, full of seats and screens shoved together and missing only a futon and a mini-fridge. Was it a lounge? Was it a storage area? It didn’t have the giant colorful banners of the rest of the show floor and was easy to miss — but once we made it there we didn’t leave. It was a black hole of cool, and we were sucked in.

Bateman Labs was founded a few years back by a team that has its roots in software and technology but wanted to make something a little more hands-on. They are woodworkers, craftspeople, and gamers, and just love to make stuff with their hands. While looking at the chairs they have to sit on while playing games today — office chairs and couches and bean bags — they realized that there seems to be something missing in the middle of it all. And so, after a few smaller projects, the V-Armchair was born.

The chair, an incredibly simple seat with oodles of Modern Design touches that make my heart thump, is essentially 5 pieces of wood and a couple of cushions. The parts assemble together easily, the cushions drop in place, and voilĂ : it’s now chair. But it’s now a chair that’s surprisingly comfortable and full of opportunity. Humble brag: I personally have 25+ years of experience designing comfortable seating. I know the ins and outs of cushion foam, materials, armrests, durability, position. I know where a body has to be have both short- and long-term comfort. Sitting in the V-Armchair, I immediately knew the team was on the right path. I was giddy. For comfort! For one, the chair sits lower than a couch; it’s more akin to a lawn chair, with nice back and cushion angles that support rather than force. I sat “in” the chair instead of “on” it, with my feet able to touch the ground and my knees up at the right point. I don’t know if the team studied body position for a living like I have, but it all fell into the right place. The lower position means that our eye line is always pointed slightly upward. It feels good!

And hey, it LOOKS good. Bateman Labs offers the chair in a few different wood types, with the Walnut looking especially delicious IMHO. The seat is 100% made out of wood, with nothing more than a lite gloss to help provide protection. Because of the wild world of shipping, the Vancouver-based team had to specially source their wood from around North America. The reason the team isn’t adding any color stains is for a couple reasons: 1) it obviously looks great at a natural color, and 2) if an owner scratches or damages the wood it’s easier to sand and refinish it on their own instead of trying to color match the right stain and go through a lengthy process. One nice touch is a human-focused design detail of beveled edges underneath and around the corners, preventing someone from inadvertently slicing a finger on a sharp piece of wood or getting a splinter — and it ends up looking really nice by virtue.

Behind the furniture at the booth is a video playing that shows the build process, from cutting to assembly, and it’s fascinating. The parts are cut to within millimeters of each other to be as efficient with the wood as possible, something that, again, I was fawning over. I must have stood there mesmerized watching the video on loop for four times while Taylor was chatting with Sawyer, one of Bateman Labs’ founders, about some of the details of bringing a product like this to a world where typical gamer chair companies are starting to disappear.

Even though the design is cool and would look great in any room (so that our partners and spouses would unknowingly allow us to buy a gaming-focused chair) the real magic is the modular aspect. The chair features square-shaped mounting holes throughout the sides and top, allowing for the attachment of small things like hooks and controller holders to large items like computers, tables and lap desks. An additional ottoman allows us to put our feet up and even mount dual screens, for the full locked-in experience.

The modular system itself is interesting; it’s very much a square hole and peg system, but the hole has curved lead-ins to guide users when they push the plug in and help prevent damage to the seat. The pegs themselves are made of wood and are naturally spring-loaded so that when they’re plugged in they push against the hole to stay force fit. There’s no fear of something falling off, and even if the plugs do get loose later in their lives it’s easy enough to buy or cut a new one. The company knows how much community is built around modular products like these, so they’re not shying away from letting owners create their own attachments.

And I could go on and on about the chairs and their accessories, because they really were that cool. From an unassumingly simple booth on the side of a walkway came one of the coolest products we’ve seen yet at a PAX yet.

For more info, visit Bateman Labs website

Watch our video HERE:

~~ The Bateman Labs V-Armchair won a SideQuesting Team Choice Award at PAX East 2024 ~~

Images courtesy Bateman Labs & SideQuesting