Backforce V review - The revolution made in Germany for under $500?
How is that supposed to work? Well: The Backforce V comes as usual with its 10-year warranty, a synchro mechanism, Made in Germany, permanently installed lumbar support and the usual shoulder patches. The point: it costs just $465. I can hardly believe it myself so far and was more than excited to get my hands on the good stuff.
With the specs, the model name “V” could not only be based on the “V-shaped” backrest, but also symbolize “Victory”, i.e. the possible victory over the gaming chair market. Because if the Bacforce V delivers like its siblings, the air will be thin for some brands. Now let’s get started with my Backforce V review!
Seating comfort: This is how comfortable the Backforce V is in the test
I find the Backforce V very comfortable. The cushion firmness is quite comparable to the Backforce One and Backforce One Plus. I have the feeling that the upholstery is even a bit firmer, but that could also be because I have already sat in my other Backforce gaming chairs. Upholstery usually gets a bit softer over time.
There is also nothing annoying here for me, of course Interstuhl has not integrated any oppressive side bolsters on the Backforce V, over 50 years of experience in building office chairs would make such a thing impossible for a traditional company like this.
Cross-legged test: Still goes all right
With my 189cm and 85kg body weight, I can still sit cross-legged on the Backforce V. I can only sit straight up if I raise the armrests. However, I can only sit straight up and when I raise the armrests. It would be practical at this point to fold the armrest away – but that’s no longer possible on the Backforce V. Understandable, with a hammer price of $465 you have to save somewhere.
But you shouldn’t be much taller than me for the Backforce V anyway, so that fits. Especially since you already get the complete 5D armrests with upholstery for $64.
Cross-legged test passed.
Side bolsters measured in the shoulder area
The side bolsters in the shoulder area are problematic in many gaming chairs. They are modeled after those of sports cars, which only fulfill their purpose there, namely holding the driver firmly in the seat. They serve absolutely no purpose on chairs and can even be a nuisance.
Backforce has always dispensed with such side bolsters. Accordingly, I get an excellent value in my measurement here as well: The angle between the backrest and the bulge of the shoulder area is about 166°.
That is a very good value! 180° would be completely straight, so with 166° we are already very close. No gaming chair has ever achieved more than 168°. It could hardly be flatter!
Does the V-shape bother you? Is something missing in the lower back?
The question was already asked at the Backforce V launch event: Since the backrest tapers downwards, wider people were afraid that they wouldn’t be adequately supported. However, all of them were immediately convinced of the opposite, because the backrest is very comfortable:
This definitely does not interfere. The important thing is that the middle strand, so to speak, the spine and a little more berliegefläche. A little excess hip fat we do not necessarily have to lean with, so do not worry: You really do not notice anything of this.
Size advice: With these body proportions you fit the Backforce V!
Backforce itself recommends the chair just like its other models for heights of 151cm-192cm with a maximum load capacity of 130kg. With the 151cm I am unsure, I think at the size it could be difficult.
You probably either won’t get your feet on the floor or the seat will be too long if you’re under 165cm tall. However, the seat depth is still perfectly fine at 167cm, for example:
For the missing seat height at under 160-165cm but there’s extra cushions to buy on Amazon, because so far I know no gaming chair that still works under 160cm. With the cushions 160cm are also possible.
The maximum height of 192cm I find quite suitable. I am 189cm tall and much taller than me should rather not be. The seat would otherwise be too short and also the height of the backrest soon becomes a limiting factor. The headrest is a little too low for me, for example, as a headrest, but you can understand this as a head and neck support.
For me, it lies very well in the neck, so I can still lean nicely.
Conclusion: The Backforce V is ideally suited for heights of 165cm-192cm. Depending on the torso-to-leg length ratio, a little more or less is possible. If you’re shorter than 165cm, you can still use the Backforce V, but you’ll need a foot cushion.
Features of the Backforce V
Let’s now take a look at the features that I checked in detail in my Backforce V test. I didn’t have much to do – because the Backforce V doesn’t have too many features at a fabulous price of $465 and a 10-year warranty despite German manufacturing – but the essential ones for an already high minimum of ergonomics are included:
Synchronous mechanism: Ergonomic mechanism with automatic weight adjustment
The right mechanism makes a lot of difference, so it’s not surprising that Interstuhl again uses such a mechanism for the Backforce V. Compared to the rocker mechanism, the angle between the upper and lower body opens up when leaning backwards.
The result is movement in the back. This noticeably relieves the back and above all the intervertebral discs, which suffer most from sitting for too long. Compared to other synchronous mechanisms, however, we can only lock this in 2 positions, namely the starting position and the maximum position:
The special feature: both rocking and synchronous mechanisms normally have a lever or adjusting wheel with which we set the resistance of the backrest to our body weight. The synchronous mechanism of the Backforce V does not have such a lever; it is a synchronous automatic.
The mechanism determines the weight on the seat surface and adjusts the contact pressure based on this itself. Such mechanisms are a bit cheaper, which is why they were chosen at a fighting price of $465.
Even though I would prefer the standard mechanics, this is simply nothing that you could really criticize in this price segment – especially since we still have a synchronous mechanism in front of us. Especially since the mechanism does the job very well for my girlfriend and me – the contact pressure fits 100%.
Lumbar support completes the relief package for the back
A lumbar support should also not be missing for the Backforce V. However, one thing is clear at $465: It is not adjustable. That would be nice to have, but it’s not absolutely necessary – I’ve always found the fixed supports of the Backforce One or Recaro Rae, for example, very suitable. And the support is always better than most lumbar cushions.
With the lumbar support, the Backforce V is supposed to fill our hollow back and thus counteract one-sided overload in this area. This works very well for me, my lordosis is optimally filled. An adjustable lumbar support is then particularly what for those who want to buy absolutely premium at any price, or have a particularly pronounced hollow back. Nice to have, not a must have.
(Foldable) armrests with soft plastic
The armrests of the Backforce V are only height-adjustable. They are also foldable on some models, as they were on its predecessors. This applies to the Eintracht Spandau, PCGH and blue/red versions. However, these cost $30 more – my opinion on whether it’s worth it, in a moment.
The armrests are not further adjustable – this is also the price, we cannot expect more for $465.
In any case, you can be satisfied with the height-adjustable armrests of the V – we should not forget what the Backforce V costs. If you can save $64, you can also buy the optional 5D armrest and upgrade the Backforce V with it.
My opinion: Special editions are not worth it for armrests - my alternative
The special editions cost $30 more, but you get the LED brooch at PCGH & Eintracht Spandau (not red blue!) and the 2D armrests, which are height adjustable & foldable back. If you celebrate the designs of the 3 special editions, of course you can buy those. However, I wouldn’t do it for the extra features.
I would spend $64 more if anything instead of the $30 and buy the 5D armrests with upholstery for that:
Sure, that’s another $30 more – but for that you can adjust the armrest in 4 directions and you also have it covered with the soft Alcantara imitation. Very well invested money, and: You do not have to order the armrests directly. You can still buy them months later.
So the special editions wouldn’t make much sense to me, unless you just find the design particularly nice. But I wouldn’t want to buy a 1D for $30 more.
Backforce V plastic base & casters
We cannot expect a noble base in aluminum rim design here. Instead, the simpler version is used here, a plastic base. This does not make any difference in terms of functionality, only optically.
Plastic bases are also extremely sturdy and can easily withstand the approved loads, so there’s definitely nothing to worry about – there are already enough gaming chairs with plastic bases anyway.
The rollers are 65mm large, these are very smooth running and also run quietly. By the way, the casters are braked depending on the load, so if you’re not sitting on your Backforce V, it won’t roll well. Office chair manufacturers do this specifically so that the chair doesn’t roll away behind you when you’re standing. As soon as you sit down, the casters roll.
These are the same casters that are used on Backforce One & One Plus.
Breathable fabric covers made from recycled material
The seat covers of the Backforce V models are all made of 100% fabric; no artificial leather is used. The fabrics are made of 100% recycled PET, for example from recycled plastic bottles. Here, too, attention is paid to sustainability, which is not at the expense of fabric quality.
This one is good, after all. The cover is not as rough as that of the Backforce One (Plus) in All Black, but not as soft as an Alcantara imitation, either. It feels high-quality and will also protect us from sweating more than necessary in higher temperatures in summer. Everything fits here!
Personalizability: This is how the V becomes your V!
A feature that simply belongs to Backforce and therefore must not be missing on the V: The shoulder patches! I still find the idea really nice and am glad that there is the possibility of the Backforce V again. Patches are attached in the shoulder area, which are attached by Velcro.
For $12 a piece you can choose your own text here, for example your name or that of your team. The patch is then embroidered just for you and thus the Backforce V becomes your personal unique. For me absolutely super, the patches look very cool, are always replaceable and above all cheap.
Quality & workmanship on the Backforce V
The build quality of the Backforce V is on the same high level as its more expensive siblings, the One & One Plus. After all, both are handmade for you in the same factory by the same staff. The seams all sit here, there are no irregularities whatsoever. So super high level!
What’s clear: The use of materials is kept a bit more favorable here, you’ll find more information about that in the next section, basically it’s just the base and less elaborate design elements. What I find crass: Despite the small price of $465, the interior of the Backforce V is again equipped with molded wood. It doesn’t get any higher quality than that.
Overall, I also find that the V makes a high-quality impression despite the affordable price. It is very sturdy and simply looks high-quality. I would have suspected without knowing that it costs more.
Sustainable production & 100% recyclable
The Backforce V is produced as sustainably as possible. What Interstuhl does to conserve resources simply cannot be summarized here in a nutshell. For more information, take a look at my video on the production of the Backforce chairs. The fact that they are produced in Germany alone saves a lot of emissions, because nothing has to be shipped halfway around the world, the chairs are already in Germany.
In addition, the V is again 100% recyclable, here absolutely nothing must be on the hazardous waste, everything can be recycled and production runs are re-supplied. To guarantee this, one has come up with something for the honeycomb pattern in the shoulder area, for example.
If you had glued the honeycomb pattern, you wouldn’t have had recyclable plastics on the gaming chair. Instead, they used the Electro Welding process. Here’s a video where you can see Electro Welding in action. The covers are made of 100% recycled PET material.
You can find out more about sustainability at Interstuhl here, and at the bottom of the page you can also download a sustainability report.
Service: 10 years warranty and low return shipping cost
Actually, it’s really crazy that I can write this here, but the Backforce V comes with a full 10-year manufacturer’s warranty. So with an investment of 399€ you have the absolute security that you can use the V for at least 10 years. I think this is pretty sensational, a Made in Germany chair with 10 years warranty for $465 is something special.
If something should be with your V, in most cases even a technician comes to your home, who analyzes the error directly on site and then fixes it. This is customer service.
How can the Backfoce V be so cheap?
Various points are responsible for the small price. On the one hand, less material is used here, so the backrest is narrow at the bottom without restricting the seating comfort. On the other hand, savings have of course been made here and there, such as with the base, which is now made of plastic instead of aluminum. The LED brooch has also been replaced by a plastic panel (but can be added if desired):
Conclusion to my Backforce V pre-assessment
As is the case with a company that has been building chairs for over 5 decades, the Backforce V is right on comfort, sitting very well without causing any uncomfortable tightness or foreign body sensations anywhere. With that being said, the Backforce brand has sparked a true revolution here that will definitely turn the gaming chair market upside down. Why?
We have a very well-designed gaming chair here, which already has the basic requirements for ergonomic sitting with a synchro mechanism, fixed lumbar support and height-adjustable armrests. The Backforce V is handmade in Germany and comes with a 10-year warranty.
You can get all that for $465 including shipping. This can only change the market. There is absolutely no gaming chair, not even from the Far East, that can keep up with this price-performance ratio. I am thrilled. Of course, some savings were made here and there, which is why an aluminum base, for example, is no longer included – but who really wants to complain about that at under $500?
Tip: Take the models for $465
I would rather buy the Backforce V models for $465. There are also 3 models for a little bit more, for $40 more there’s partly the LED brooch, but partly only the fold-away function for the armrest. I would spend if then rather $64 more and buy the complete 5D armrests including upholstery with Alcantara imitation in the accessories store. The $30-40 more just for the fold away feature is not really worth it in my opinion.
Unless of course you like the design of one of the special models, in which case it might be worth buying. However, it is not really worth it for functional reasons.