RECARO Exo Platinum Test – My experiences with the flagship from Germany


RECARO Exo Platinum Test - My experiences with the flagship from Germany

Today I’m testing a chair from probably the biggest company ever in the gaming chair market: RECARO. RECARO (CAPSLOCK!!1) may be completely new to the gaming market, but the company’s history goes back over 50 years.


If the company is known for one thing, it’s seating: Anyone who enjoys sporty cars knows that RECARO seats are considered THE premium seats. Likewise, RECARO equips aircraft manufacturers with its seats, and it also produces children’s seats.


So you can be curious about what the RECARO gaming chair has to offer in terms of seating. RECARO is not building chairs for the first time – there are already office chairs from RECARO that start at €2,000 – fortunately, they are cheaper in the gaming segment.

Table of contents


Exo Platinum

Polished aluminum base, Breathable original RECARO automotive foam upholstery, Breathable & non-slip fabric cover, Italian plastic casters, Highly stable plastic shell, Aluminum and polyurethane armrests.

Innovative soft-touch pad 360° 5D armrests, lockable self-developed mechanism, adjustable seat height, tiltable backrest with rotating wheel, max. load capacity up to 150kg, anti-submarining bar, Made in Germany.

Anyway, they started with the Exo series – there’s the standard Exo, the Exo Fx with more features, and finally the Exo Platinum with everything – that’s the one I have here and I’ll introduce it to you.

Innovations, Features & Advantages of the Super Premium Brand

Anyone who has already seen the RECARO gaming chair on the net has noticed: The design is very different from other models. The RECARO team has tried to completely redesign the approach from design to functionality. The most important differences, innovations and new features are presented first in brief, later in detail:


Seating comfort: My experience with the seating feel of the Exo Platinum

So how does it feel to sit on a chair that costs €999? There’s no negative surprise here – comfort-wise, it’s good. It’s not like you immediately think, “WOW!” when you sit down, because a chair is still a chair, more or less. However, it is many of the features mentioned that bring the comfort to a solid level.


Namely, the armrests, the backrest adjustability to the nearest millimeter (has advantages and disadvantages), the variable intensity of its own kind rocking mechanism and the anti-slip fabric together with the anti-submarining hill ensure this. All these features can work synergistically together to create an absolute feel-good effect on the chair, because we can have it exactly the way we want. Only the mechanics still leaves room for greater comfort and I would not need the anti-submarining hill now.

Multi-zone upholstery foam: proprietary development from automotive sector

Here, no random upholstery foam is poured onto steel tubes, no. A foam specially developed by RECARO with different hardnesses is used here, which is also used in the automotive sector, i.e. for sports seats. Just as with mattresses, there are different zones with individual degrees of hardness, so that every area of the body experiences the right hardness.


So here you get an original RECARO sports seat foam for home. The cushion is also not particularly hard like noblechairs, but also not as soft as the AKRacing Master Pro. The hardness is pretty much in between and should please everyone.

Cross-legged test: Enough space for it?

Since many of you like to sit cross-legged, we also do the cross-legged test, as always. We do have a seat limit – it’s a bucket seat – but it’s not a problem because the seat is very wide anyway.


As you can see here, the cross-legged seat is neither a problem with 189cm height, nor with 167cm height.

Barely any side bolsters on seat & backrest

Both the seat and the backrest are almost free of side bolsters. In the seat area, we do have a boundary on the sides, but I wouldn’t call this a typical side bolster. The elevations are softly padded, we have a lot of space on the seat here.


In the backrest area, we absolutely cannot speak of side bolsters. The Cobra neck shield has a minimal curvature, as many office chairs do. However, if we use the protractor here, we can see that the backrest is not curved at all:


At a value of about 172° between the backrest & seat, we can hardly speak of side bolsters. At 180°, the backrest would be completely flat, with only 8° missing. Thus, we can at most speak of a minimal curvature here.

Cobra neck shield discreetly shields

In the Cobra it is called the neck shield, the counterpart to it in the RECARO Exo Platinum is the shoulder attachment with the “belt holes”. Due to the special width & especially height, it shields us slightly from the environment. You’re somehow more in the game and get a little more peace of mind when playing on a fairly crowded LAN or competition.


Suitable body sizes - Does the Exo fit you?

As always, it is important that the chair fits your height and weight. The maximum allowed total weight is 150kg. For the assessment, I take myself with 189cm height and my test person with 167cm height.


With my 189cm I find the distance between the end of the seat and the back of the knee just appropriate. 2-finger width would be optimal, here’s rather 4. That does not lead to the fact that I do not sit comfortably on the chair, this is all still within the framework. However, in my opinion, you can’t be taller than 190cm.


Here at 167cm height, it’s less than 2-finger wide, but still okay. Therefore, I would set the lower limit at 165cm height. By the way, with her 55kg she can’t manage to adjust the chair lower because she is not heavy enough. She has to “hop” a bit to make it work.


So between 165cm and 190cm you can fit the Exo. The two-finger method gives the optimal ratio for orientation. A little more or less is absolutely no problem. Note: Depending on the torso – leg length ratio, this can vary.

RECARO Exo Platinum test in detail: The special features

I’m really into this section. Why? I have the opportunity to describe a few new things to you. You can’t wait to find out what the Exo Platinum’s submarining hill is all about, what you can do with the armrests, and how it feels to sit on the new flagship from Stuttgart. Above all, how different does a specially developed foam feel that no chair has ever had before?

Design: An elegant cobra

The wide shoulder area at the top reminds me a bit of a stately cobra. Although other gaming seats also have a bulge in the shoulder area, I particularly notice it in the Exo Platinum, but that could be due to the color contrast. In terms of width, we have about 60cm in the shoulder area, just like the Master Pro. That’s only 4 cm less than the EPIC, for example. However, the shoulder element is higher than on the other models – that could be the reason.


After I have analyzed the cobra look: The rest of the design is also really something. Elegance is my keyword for the Exo. You can see the chair’s price at first, and that’s the way it should be. From the unique armrests to the polished aluminum base to the certainly elaborate use of various fabric accents, everything is right here for me. However, it only gets really exciting when we look at the functions.

Also unique: the Exo is a bucket seat made of high-strength plastic

No, the fact that other chairs have a steel frame is not an advantage over a plastic shell. A high-strength plastic is used here, which you won’t break while sitting or even when freaking out in front of the computer. The RECARO company knows exactly what it’s doing here and pursues an ergonomic ulterior motive in addition to the design aspect.


The models you’re familiar with usually use steel frames – though, of course, they don’t use a steel plate, but rather several steel tubes give the foam a chance to adhere and form your backrest. How this looks exactly, you can see here: Marco destroys 2 gaming chairs. Problem: Theoretically, this creates pressure points on each steel strut when leaning against it. With a complete plastic shell, however, the foam can lie completely against it and thus offers a uniform support.


Even if it’s hard to notice while sitting – optimal quality & ergonomics seem to be important points and these are served with a plastic shell.

Problem of a bucket seat: a synchronous mechanism is not possible

As ergonomically sensible as an optimal contact of the upholstery with the plastic shell seems, it is a pity that there is no synchronous mechanism option for the chair with this design. A synchro mechanism is much better than a rocker mechanism, which is the tendency here – but more on that later.

White plastic shell - dark streaks after impact?

With sensitive colors such as white, it’s hard to say whether the reverse side will remain white even if I bump into something with it. Yes, it does. This is because the tray made of highly stable plastic is actually made of white plastic, not just painted white. So if there is a scratch at all when it is bumped, it remains white and is hardly noticeable. Ultra close-up:


Here we see it: I went GTA-style with a screwdriver on my Exo Platinum in the test and lo and behold: There are no ugly stripes, the plastic is completely white. The dark spots here are just shadows or dirt from the screwdriver.


Apart from the fact that it is an absolute rarity to hit your backrest so hard somewhere anyway, nothing can happen here.

Base: aluminum mirror polished

The three most commonly used materials for foot crosses are aluminum, nylon (plastic) or steel. A highly polished aluminum cross has been chosen here, which contributes to the high-quality appearance and of course also provides sufficient stability.


Made in Germany, parts from DE & EU, handmade

RECARO produces the Exo Platinum in an ecologically and sociologically sustainable way. This means that not all parts have to be transported around the world from Asia to be assembled in Germany, because the parts for the Exo come directly from Germany & the EU. Sociological sustainability is becoming more and more important in times of globalization and I think it’s really cool that so much is made possible in Germany. Because that not only secures jobs at RECARO, but also at all of its German suppliers.


The chair is partly manufactured by extremely precise machines, but some important things, such as attaching the upholstery, can only be done by man and his hand, which is why they rely on handwork by skilled personnel.


Slowly, even those who already know the price of the chair should realize why it is not the cheapest. Here simply ecological & sociological responsibility meets outstanding quality through tradition. But whether it is really worth its price in the end remains questionable.

Rocking mechanism - Synchronous mechanism Mechanism developed in-house

Normally, swivel chairs use rocker or synchronous mechanisms that allow the user to swing or move the seat and backrest.


However, because RECARO considered offering different preset seat positions for the RECARO Exo, which according to RECARO could not be realized with either a rocker or a synchro mechanism, they developed their own mechanism, which I can only partially see as an advantage, because the mechanism is more of a rocker than a synchro mechanism.


When rocking, we can adjust the resistance of the mechanics via a wheel on the right underneath the seat and adapt it to our body weight.


This is the only way to implement the “attack position” that many gamers want. And that brings us to this feature:

The preset seating positions - Developed through collaboration with gamers

The design & development of the RECARO Gaming Chair has been in the works since 2017 – 2 years before market launch. Many gamers were consulted and their seating behavior was analyzed in order to finally implement these 4 most selected seating positions, which can be quickly adjusted through the pre-setting:


This is the attack position. You probably know this from yourselves – when you’re playing with real concentration, you like to bend forward longer. The problem is that our posture sucks and we end up with a hunchback. But with the Attack Setting our posture stays much better and thanks to a special feature we shouldn’t slip off the chair. I’ll show you this feature in a moment.


This is the Core Focus position. Here we lean a little further back, so we don’t sit quite as tense and chasing as we do in the Attack position. This sitting position is also supposed to be perfect for playing in a focused and goal-oriented manner.


This is the Core Relax function. A more relaxed position than the previous two, optimal for those sessions where we don’t need to give 100% performance, but rather mess around a bit for fun. So already on the computer, you get the idea.


This is the Relax position, meanwhile it has been renamed to Recharge. The name of the position says it all – when the session is over, we relax and sit back – just like when we’re watching a movie or on YouTube or whatever.

My problem: price vs. mechanics vs. ergonomics potential

High-quality office or gaming chairs in this price segment almost exclusively use synchronized mechanisms. These ensure that the seat tilts back less than the backrest when the user reclines. This gives the back “real” movement, which is necessary for a decent supply of nutritive fluid to the intervertebral discs, for example.


The Exo has a rocker mechanism. Even though it comes from RECARO and has been optimized, it remains a rocker mechanism. And I don’t know that from such strong price ranges. Meanwhile, there are, for example, the Backforce One and One Plus to buy, with synchronous mechanism and priced at $540 go.


I think that RECARO wanted to stay true to the tradition of the bucket seat, which in my opinion is at the expense of ergonomics. The Exo sits not shit, so I sit well on it – ergonomically would have been with a synchronous mechanism but just more in it – discs & back would be grateful. I can not forgive that in a chair for the price almost.


Update: RECARO has written to me that they deliberately decided against a synchronous mechanism, because this is more useful for everyday office use and you could not have specified the individual positions with a synchronous mechanism. However, I can’t really understand the reasons, especially because gaming chairs from Germany with a synchro mechanism have been rapidly gaining popularity for a few years now and are very well bought.


So far I haven’t met anyone who says that their mechanics compete with their personal gaming positions. And what you have to remember is that very few of us are highly professional tournament players who sit in front of the computer for hours in the attack position. Even with a lot of gaming, movement in the back is important and you can mimic almost all of RECARO’s positions with a synchronized mechanism, except for the attack position.

Anti-submarining hill - My experience with the Exo Platinum

This feature didn’t mean anything to me at first. Submarining is when a passenger slips under the lap belt in a car accident, causing serious injuries upon impact. At the gaming table, the consequences are less dramatic, but in some seating positions, we get stuck and slide forward with our butts – like in a car when submarining.


The anti-submarining hill is designed to prevent just that. The idea is that there is a hill in the front area that keeps us in our sitting position. Initially, I was quite convinced of this, but over time I noticed it while testing many other gaming chairs: I never actually slide off the chair, even when wearing slick chino pants. In this respect, I can’t really chalk up this feature as a win for me; the already low-slip cover of the RECARO Exo Platinum in the test would probably have been enough.


However, I do not want to exclude that this hill can have a benefit for one or the other.

Adjustment options and other features in the RECARO Exo Platinum test

There’s no question that a chair has to deliver when it comes to adjustability. That you can adjust the height is little worth mentioning & clear, but there are a few other very good features. I’ll show you those now, starting with the absolutely awesome armrests.


The most valuable, innovative & stable 5D armrests I have ever seen

The Backforce One has been the chair where the armrests wobbled the least. Otherwise, no matter which manufacturer: The armrests always seemed a bit cheap and were not stable, they always had a lot of play and wobbled. Not with the RECARO Exo Platinum. In our experience, many people complain about this wobble, but the new armrests here are bombproof. Nothing wobbles at all.


And quite apart from that, these armrests are a highlight that I’ve never seen before. They run completely smoothly, can be moved into any conceivable position, and simply look so premium.


In addition, there is a soft-touch pad that is harder than a cushion, but softer than the standard armrests made of soft plastic. My elbows love it!


Those who find the armrests annoying can also fold them very far back and sit cross-legged on the chair, for example. Here, too, you can see that the target group has been intensively studied, because you can realize any position with the armrests.


A lever below the seat allows the armrests to be adjusted separately outward and inward.

Backrest like in a car - Turning wheel instead of lever - Adjustment accurate to the millimeter

You can adjust the angle of the backrest to the seat surface according to your taste. However, a sports seat manufacturer doesn’t do this with a lever like other gaming chairs, but with a rotary wheel – just like in a car. The advantage: We can adjust the position of the backrest with millimeter precision.


The downside: It’s a bit of a hassle to adjust the backrest angle more often. My girlfriend, for example, tested the Exo Platinum for a while, she usually likes to adjust the backrest. With the standard gaming chairs, you adjusted the tilt with a lever in seconds. Here, the process takes its time.

Hybrid rollers - chic, but not as easy to run as expected

The RECARO Exo Platinum comes with hybrid rollers that are equally suitable for hard and soft floors. I can confirm that, I can roll on both tiles and carpet without any problems.


The rollers are also nice and quiet, but they don’t run as smoothly as I expected. That’s not a big deal, but there should be a bit of rework.

Fabric covers for all exo chairs

All Recaro Exos are covered with a high-quality fabric to ensure a healthy level of breathability. The fabric feels quality and comfortable, I’m very happy with it. I never got too hot on the Exo.

Exo Platinum: What does "high-quality breathable fabrics in a composite" mean?

Recaro writes about the most expensive model, the Recaro Exo Platinum, that it is equipped with “high-quality breathable fabrics in the composite”. I asked Recaro what that actually means and whether a different cover is used here than in the Exo or Exo FX:


No, the fabric covers are the same everywhere. The breathable fabrics of the Platinum refer to the mesh applications on the side bolsters. However, we did not experience a real plus in breathability compared to the other models. Customer service also said that this was more of an optical element.

High price - justified? No.

The Exo starts at 799€, my Exo Platinum is 999€, in between there is a model for 929€. Proud price, no question – if you deal with the chair, you also know that the Exo must cost a bit.


However, it is still too expensive in my eyes. Compared to competitors, which are at 500-700€, none of the Exos performs more – on the contrary – even less. The synchronous mechanism is missing in this price range. At around 1,000€, features like a seat depth adjustment or seat tilt adjustment would also make sense. Features that the competition already offers at much lower prices.


No warranty - only legal warranty

In addition, there is no warranty – where other manufacturers in these price segments offer 5, 10 or even 12 years warranty, RECARO gives no warranty at all. More than the statutory warranty is not included here. That is a pity.


If you produce Made in Germany, with high-quality components and fully stand by your product, you should offer something. Even manufacturers from China sometimes give a 3-5 year warranty. To be one of the most expensive brands on the market, but to offer the least warranty, does not fit for me.

Why are the prices so high? No own production

The first reason: RECARO does not produce its gaming chairs itself. They are manufactured by the company Bock 1 GmbH & Co. KG in Postbauer-Heng, which of course greatly increases costs: The producer is, after all, an external party who also wants to make a profit.


The second reason, according to my theory, is that RECARO thought they could get away with a lot in terms of price because of the name. Because there’s not really a good reason to sell the chairs from 800-1,200€. I think through the company’s history they thought they could calculate generous margins.


This thesis is supported by RECARO itself, because you have a large part of the year juicy discount promotions: At very regular intervals there are vouchers and discounts, with which you can easily get 150-400€ off. To me, it looks like they overestimated the price, so they have to boost sales with heavy discounts.


Of course, they still earn money even with the discounts, after all, no company has anything to give away. Personally, this shows me that the price was set too high from the start.


Another argument for the overly high price are Amazon’s prices. For some time now, Amazon itself has been buying RECARO models and selling them themselves with Prime shipping. The Exos as well as the Raes are much cheaper than at RECARO directly. Some are even more than 200€ cheaper – and here, too, you can assume that Amazon still earns money on the models.

Criticism of customer service accessibility

At least at the market launch, RECARO proudly claimed that it wanted to support the customer with support options. Apparently, this only works sometimes. There is a hotline that is supposed to be available Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and also a live chat.


In the past few weeks, I have wanted to call the hotline a few times – on Tuesdays at 13:20, the tape announcement tells me that I would be calling outside of business hours. Sometimes you are on hold for a few seconds until you are told that all employees are on the line and then they hang up.


It doesn’t quite work out with the live chat either. I’ve asked a question or two there, too – even though it said I was in position 1 in the queue, I still didn’t get an answer after 15 minutes and finally left. That can be quite annoying.

TL;DR: Conclusion & review of the RECARO Exo Platinum in test - Buy?

For those who didn’t want to read this text block in its entirety, here it is again in brief: Can I recommend the RECARO Exo Platinum based on my current experience? If it’s purely about the functions: Yes, I could. I sit well in the chair, it is comfortable and has many adjustment options.


But when I put the features in relation to the price, the recommendation turns. In my eyes, the RECARO gaming chairs are simply too expensive. You have to shell out 750-1,200€ for the EXO, which I simply don’t think is okay considering the lack of warranty & synchro mechanism.


Of course, there are also some good arguments for a higher price:

In summary, you get a well-tuned gaming seat that invites you to relax, focus and deliver thanks to the preset seating positions. Quality and workmanship are also impeccable here – there is not a seam out of place.


On the other hand, there are also quite a few minus points that diminished the fun of the RECARO Exo Platinum test:

Update: My criticism regarding mechanics

In this price range, the material quality of the RECARO gaming chair is impeccable, no question: However, there is more ergonomic potential in the chair at this price, which the manufacturer does not take advantage of. Thus, the Exo “only” gets a rocker mechanism instead of a more valuable synchro mechanism.


For this price range, a synchro mechanism is actually a must when you look at the competition from the gaming or office chair sector. This would allow the back to move more when sitting, which would nourish the intervertebral discs and relieve muscle groups. When sitting in the rocker mechanism, the angle between the upper and lower body always remains the same. We do move with the chair when we lean back, but our backs don’t move.


So if you don’t want to miss this ergonomic feature, you should take another look at the Backforce One Plus or Backforce One. If you want maximum material quality, go for the RECARO Exo; if you want maximum ergonomics and very good quality at the same time, go for its two competitors.


Note: Returning the RECARO Exo costs 30-40€.

RECARO does not offer free return shipping. So if you don’t like the chair, you will have to pay 30-40€ for the return. This is of course not nice, but in this day and age it is becoming more and more common: Backforce & Secretlab also charge return shipping costs. For this, shipping is free with most sellers, with others it is charged, but the return costs nothing. So, on the whole, it’s a balanced deal.

Recaro Gaming Chairs – Overview

Recaro gaming chairs - overview of all models + test

In 2019, the Recaro company came out with their first gaming chairs. First there were 3 models, of the Exo family, the Exo, the Exo FX and the Recaro Exo Platinum. In 2021, a model was added: The Recaro Rae.


Recaro has been producing seating for over 50 years, but so far more sports seats, aircraft seats and child seats. So experience in seating should be there, which went into the development of the first Recaro gaming chair. In my tests of the individual models, you can find out how well this has worked out.

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Where are Recaro gaming chairs produced?

The chairs are produced in Germany, making it one of the few Made in Germany products on the gaming chair market. However, Recaro does not produce the chairs itself – this is done by the company Bock 1 GmbH in Postbauer-Heng. However, Recaro Gaming GmbH is headquartered in Stuttgart.


For reasons of sustainability, I very much welcome this: The environment is protected because Recaro chairs do not have to be shipped halfway around the world, and jobs are also secured in Germany. Strengthening one’s own economy is therefore fundamentally a good thing!

Models: Click here for the tests

Recaro Exo / Exo FX / Exo Platinum:

The Exo was the first model of Recaro Gaming. It is available in 3 versions, which differ a little in terms of function, but mainly in terms of design. What all 3 models have in common: They are way too expensive in my opinion. Details can be found in my Recaro Exo Platinum review including video.


Workmanship and quality are on a high level, and there is nothing to complain about in terms of seating comfort. Nevertheless, the Recaro gaming chair disappointed me in the test: You don’t get enough for the extremely high price. All details about the features & my experience with it here:

▷ To the Recaro Exo Platinum test with pictures, video & more! ◁

Recaro Rae Essential / Bright:

2021 saw the release of a new Recaro gaming chair, the Recaro Rae. They took the many criticisms of the mechanics of the first model seriously and gave the Rae a synchronous mechanism. I find the design here again very beautiful and special. However, this chair is not cheap either.

▷ To the Recaro Rae test with pictures, video & more! ◁

Fittingly, my Recaro Rae unboxing video:

No warranty on Recaro Gaming Chairs

Unfortunately, this circumstance unites all Recaro gaming chairs: Despite the very high purchase prices and the manufacturing in Germany, Recaro does not grant the customers any manufacturer’s warranty. This means that you only have the legal warranty of 24 months at your disposal.


For me personally, this is a bit disappointing. Recaro is one of the absolutely most expensive manufacturers in the gaming segment, topped only by Herman Miller in terms of price. Herman Miller gives 12 years on this, while manufacturers like Interstuhl give a whopping 10 years for the Backforce One & Backforce One Plus models – and at prices far below those of the Recaro models.


I don’t quite understand what’s behind this. One reads on the net basically hardly after now 2-3 years aufgetrenenen defects, the chairs seem to be robust, they also make this impression. Was one not sure at the beginning and wanted to see how the Recaro Exo performed on the market? Would it be better not to offer a warranty before it becomes a cost trap? Pure speculation.


High quality workmanship & solid functions

Recaro’s gaming chairs are characterized by solid workmanship and material quality. In my tests, I could only find small things to criticize about the quality of the chairs.


Functionally, the chairs also make a good impression. The features such as armrests, mechanisms or lumbar support function perfectly in tests, only the casters of the Exo Platinum are a bit stiff.

Partly not enough function for the money

Still, what I find lacking in the Recaro Gaming Seats are the points that justify the models’ high prices. The Exo, for example, is very expensive for the fact that it has neither a synchro mechanism nor a seat tilt or seat depth adjustment. A variably adjustable lumbar support would also be included at prices of €800-1,200. However, such features are unfortunately not included.


Conclusion of the Recaro Gaming Chair Test

To get a detailed picture of the individual models, be sure to check out the reviews. My conclusion so far in the Recaro gaming chair test is that I cannot recommend at least the Exo family. Recaro does build comfortable chairs, but purely in terms of price they are not competitive: That’s because the competition gives customers more, at smaller prices.


Thus, Recaro’s gaming chairs are quite basic and what bothers me the most is that there is no warranty for the strong prices. My conclusion about the Recaro Rae is still pending.

Recaro Rae Test – Experience on the Bright Orange from Germany

Recaro Rae Test – Experience on the Bright Orange from Germany Here you can read about my Recaro Rae review. This is the second Recaro gaming chair ever, after the Recaro Exo Platinum, whose price-performance ratio I didn’t really like. The Recaro Rae, however, is cheaper and comes with a feature that is important to

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Recaro Rae Test – Experience on the Bright Orange from Germany


Recaro Rae Test - Experience on the Bright Orange from Germany

Here you can read about my Recaro Rae review. This is the second Recaro gaming chair ever, after the Recaro Exo Platinum, whose price-performance ratio I didn’t really like. The Recaro Rae, however, is cheaper and comes with a feature that is important to me: The synchronous mechanism.


It will be very exciting to see how the Recaro Rae will convince. Considering the purchase price, I was skeptical, but after the last offer on Amazon, I finally struck: Whether I could make friends with the new gaming chair in the last few weeks in the Recaro Rae test, you will now find out!


Rae (Bright Orange)

Plastic base, multi-zone seat cushion, breathable & non-slip fabric cover, plastic casters, wood/plastic composite interior, plastic & polyurethane armrests.

4D armrests, synchronous mechanism, max. load up to 150kg, anti-submarining bar, fixed lumbar support, Made in Germany

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Features of the Recaro Rae at a glance

Let’s move on to the features that distinguish the Recaro Rae. Functionally, it is well positioned so far, only a neck pillow would have been an option – and the fact that there is no warranty at a rather steep price bothers me:

Seat comfort test: Is the Recaro Rae comfortable?

I am so far well satisfied with the seat comfort. I’m definitely sitting comfortably here, the upholstery is a multi-zone upholstery foam according to Recaro. How you can imagine the different zones, I unfortunately do not know – for me, the cushion feels pretty much the same in all places, the only thing I can feel is the anti-submarining hill.


The cushion has a very pleasant hardness. I would compare it to the cushion of the Backforce One and Backforce One Plus respectively, so very balanced – as both manufacturers are very experienced office chair builders, I’m convinced this is decently tuned. The cushion is softer than noblechairs & Secretlab, but firmer than DXRacer.

A neck pillow would be nice.

No neck or headrest is included with the Recaro Rae, and none is available as an optional accessory. In the case of the Recaro Rae, however, I did miss some sort of support in the test. I can’t even explain exactly why – because I don’t use a neck pillow with every gaming chair, but in this case it would improve comfort. My girlfriend doesn’t see it that way, she doesn’t miss the neck pillow.


However, the Rae is not uncomfortable without a neck pillow – I often keep my head in the air anyway, but a pillow would be much more comfortable when leaning against it in a relaxed manner. I therefore put one on from another gaming chair.


It doesn’t help the chic design of the Recaro Rae, but I like it.

Neck pillow recommendation for repurchase

I would also recommend buying a neck pillow if you don’t have one – if you want a particularly good pillow, I would recommend the Nitro Concepts pillow set (on Amazon or Overclockers) or the noblechairs pillow set (on Overclockers) – they are filled with memory foam and are a bit cooler.


You won’t need the lumbar cushion, but you could use it for other purposes. Otherwise, of course, it’s also another, just make sure a soft fabric cover. Neck pillows made of PU leather are rather unattractive.

Crossed legs on the Rae: cross-legged test

The seat offers enough space to sit cross-legged on the Recaro Rae even with my 189cm & 82-84kg body weight. The only limiting factor here can be the armrests:

cutting seat test

They can not be placed particularly far out, so that one with longer or thicker legs may get space problems. With my physique’s but easy clear, as of course with my girlfriend with 167cm & 52kg.


Cross-legged test passed!

Seating surface: Lots of space & hardly any side bolsters

As with the Recaro Exo, side bolsters have been omitted here as well. Strictly speaking, side bolsters are already visible, but they don’t feel like any. These are probably the softest side bolsters I have ever seen or felt.


They can be pressed down with absolute ease and even when you put your leg on here, you absolutely don’t notice them. So this has been implemented optimally here: side bolsters are part of a design concept here without interfering in the slightest.

Backrest: side bolsters measured with protractor

The side bolsters on the Recaro Rae are also very mild. Actually, I don’t even want to talk about side bolsters, because they come from racing and the Rae isn’t actually modeled on a racing seat – so here it’s more like the normal shapes that office chairs often have.


If I apply the protractor, we arrive at a value of X degrees. Thus, there is no question of side bolsters here, considering that 180° would be completely straight. You also have to remember that you tend to arch your shoulders forward on the PC anyway, because you stretch your arms out towards the keyboard and mouse.


In my opinion, no one has to fear an impairment of shoulder freedom here.

Suitable body sizes in the Recaro Rae test

Finally, on the subject of comfort, the question now arises as to how tall and heavy one may be in order to be able to call oneself “suitable” for the Recaro Rae. I am 189cm tall & weigh about 84kg. My test person is 167cm tall and weighs 52kg.


The seat depth is still well suited for my height. I have about 4 fingers of space between the seat and the back of the knee, 2 fingers is considered a guideline for optimal conditions, but a few fingers more or less is not a thing.


If you’re much taller than me, or have a different torso-to-leg length ratio than I do, it could soon get tight here.


Likewise with the backrest – with my height, I’m already almost at the upper limit. I can’t be much taller, otherwise my head would protrude above the headrest.


The body weight is also important here: The Recaro Rae is indeed loadable up to 150kg, but some customers report that already at 85-90kg the resistance of the mechanism can no longer be adjusted strongly enough. I can not confirm this so, but also believe that you put too much weight in the backrest at 100kg + and rather fall backwards.


I recommend the Recaro Rae for users from 165cm-190cm tall. A few centimeters more or less are possible, depending on torso and leg length. Space-wise, you should easily weigh the maximum 150kg, but then the synchro mechanism might not be adjustable tightly enough. I think with a maximum of 100-110kg that still goes here.


Tip for gamers under 165cm: If you’re shorter, it’s going to be hard for you to even find a chair that allows you to get your feet on the floor. That’s why I like to recommend footrests like these for the smaller among us. The feedback so far has been great – a real solution!

Features of the Recaro Rae in detail

Before we look at the rest of the Recaro Rae’s features, there’s one thing I’d like to note that’s important in evaluating them – the Recaro Rae’s purchase price. The Recaro Rae Essentials are available for €599, while the Bright versions have different colors and cost a tidy €699. Again, I feel the price is a bit high, which is why I rather recommend you buy from Amazon.


The Raes are often a lot cheaper here. Personally, the RRP directly at Recaro would be too high, especially since you have to pay there for the return, if necessary – which is okay in itself – at Amazon you can avoid this, the chairs are cheaper there & the return shipping free of charge.

Synchronous mechanism: Listening to customers

One of the main criticisms of the previous model, the Exo, was that only a rocker mechanism was installed for the high price. Recaro has taken this feedback to heart and equipped the Rae with a synchronous mechanism. That made me very happy & is also appropriate for the price.


When leaning back, the backrest tilts back significantly more than the seat. This creates real movement in the lower back, providing blood flow & nutrients to the intervertebral discs. The only condition: You also have to use the function, and preferably not lock the backrest.


Of course, this is also possible: You can lock the synchronous mechanism in 5 different positions.

Resistance may not be adjustable firmly enough

As with every rocker and synchronous mechanism, there is an adjusting wheel with which you can set the resistance of the mechanism when leaning back. You have to adjust this to your own body weight so that you don’t have to use too much force when leaning backwards or fall backwards too easily.


In some reviews & mails I have already read that some users with 85-90kg the setting even on the hardest level still yields too quickly. I can not yet determine that personally with my 84kg, but also already use the hardest of the 7 setting options.


Accordingly, I can well imagine that you put from 90-110kg quite too much weight in the backrest and comes too easily back when you lean. It depends very much on how the weight is distributed over the upper body and legs. Recaro could work on this again.

Fixed lumbar support

Lordosis supports are known in many variations: The most inelegant are the lumbar cushions, which are often too large. Next, there are the fixed lumbar supports, which can also be found on the Recaro Rae. In the area of the lower back, you see a bulge that is supposed to fill your lordosis (quasi your hollow back).


I also find the lumbar support here very suitable, as does my girlfriend. We humans have very different anatomies, so fixed supports are not always suitable, sometimes they are too high or low, or too far pronounced. Here, however, it is perfectly balanced and supports our lordoses excellently.


Even better would be lumbar supports that can be variably adjusted. Secretlab TITAN Evo, noblechairs HERO or Backforce One Plus, for example, have such supports. Here we can optimally adjust the curvature to our lordosis – absolute fine tuning. At the purchase price of the Recaro Rae (600-700€), I would have found such a lumbar support also appropriate. But that does not make the fixed support bad!

Anti-submarining hill on Recaro Rae

Recaro remains true to its anti-submarining hill, which was also already available on the Exo. Recaro is a racing seat manufacturer and that’s exactly where this hill comes from. In the automotive sector, submarining is when you slip under your lap belt in a rear-end collision, causing yourself serious injuries.

anti-submarining hill

Rear-end collisions don’t tend to happen on the PC, at least not outside the screen. Recaro believes that people often slip off their chairs while gaming. That’s why there’s a hill under the cushion at the front of the seat to stop us.


I personally don’t slide forward on any chair so far. The idea is therefore nice, but irrelevant for me and therefore not really a plus.

Does the elevation of the anti-submarining hill interfere?

I could not feel the hill on the Exo. But since the upholstery of the Recaro Rae seems softer and thinner, I can definitely feel this hill here. In one or two comments on the net I have read that this hill can be very annoying when you slump in the chair and loll.


I can’t confirm that so far. I also often hang in the chair more than sit in it and I hardly notice the hill. Only when I sit on the edge of the seat do I feel it very well.

4D armrests - or 3.5D? + soft plastic

The Recaro Rae features 4D armrests, which are made entirely of plastic, whereas the predecessor model has metal armrests. Since the Rae costs less than its predecessor, it seems that savings had to be made somewhere. However, this doesn’t make any difference from a purely functional point of view. The surface of the armrest is made of a softer polyurethane to protect the forearms.


However, the armrests are not quite 4D. One of the 4 directions is the rotation of the armrest. The support can also be rotated inwards, but hardly outwards. The outward rotation is actually only needed when you sit cross-legged on the chair and need more space.


The inward rotation is more important because you can also hold controllers comfortably. Nevertheless, other 4D armrests can do more here, so I didn’t want to leave it unmentioned – so rather 3.5D armrests in my estimation.


60mm casters & plastic base

The rollers of the Recaro Rae are made of plastic and are suitable for hard and soft floors. On our hardened cork floor, the rollers also run nice and smooth and quiet.

plastic rolls-rae

The base here is made of plastic. Recaro itself speaks of “high-performance plastic”, which presumably means that the plastic is reinforced with glass fibers. Some other manufacturers also have such reinforced foot crosses. The plastic base crosses can withstand the load limits without any problems – that’s what they’re there for, after all – but an aluminum base could have been used here for the price.


This does not make a functional difference, but the high price has to be found somewhere – if not in the functions, then at least in the use of materials. More would have been possible here, but I only write this in view of the price. If the Rae would only cost $400 or $450, I would not say anything, after all it is made in Germany.

Covers of the Recaro Rae Essential & Bright

Since Recaro wants to ensure maximum breathability, all models on the Rae are also covered with a fabric cover. More specifically, these are polyester covers that are also supposed to have anti-slip properties, for the same reasons as for the use of the anti-submarining hill.


Haptically, the covers make a high-quality impression and I also feel well ventilated on the Recaro Rae, it does not get too hot on the chair.

Differences: Rae Essential vs. Rae Bright

The models are equipped exactly the same purely functional. The difference between the Rae Essential & Bright is only in the colors of the covers and its decorative stitching. The Essential versions are available with black, gray & white applications on the edge of the chair, the rest is standard black.


The Bright versions are designed completely different in color – I also find very nice. Backrest & seat are different colors here and the decorative stitching is color matched. There is also a 3D fabric on the sides of the seat & backrest, which is also rather visually different.


My only problem here: The Bright editions are 100€ more expensive than the Essentials. I feel that’s too much for just having to use different colored fabrics & stitching in production. Maximum a fifty I would have found for it still ok. But with Recaro’s pricing policy I’m on a war footing anyway.

Price vs. materials & workmanship: More is possible

Also this criticism I ask to see in consideration of the price of the Recaro Rae: At $400-$450 I would say nothing. The build quality here is flawless so far: The seams all run straight and I can see absolutely nothing that speaks for an expandable workmanship.


The material quality, however, could be better. Many found the Recaro Exo too expensive, which is why the Rae is also cheaper. But you also notice that: The Rae only weighs 20.2kg, the Exo weighs 4.4kg more, FX & Platinum even over 6kg. So generally less or less massive material is used here.


The upholstery, for example, is thinner, I can already feel the inner workings of the backrest with medium pressure on the upholstery. The armrests are made entirely of plastic and the base is also made of plastic. Also overall, the Recaro Rae Bright Orange does not look like a 699€ chair in my eyes. I’m glad I only paid around 500€.


The Recaro Rae did get a synchro mechanism unlike its predecessor, but it just got some other savings. For the price I paid, I think it’s ok – at the Recaro price, the Rae would not be an option for me.

No warranty - only warranty

The next point: I would accept the slightly cheaper materials if Recaro would give a warranty, but they don’t. Despite the fact that they sell their chairs as super high-quality, Made in Germany by hand, they do not give their deep-pocketed customers any warranty.


Only the legally obligated warranty of 24 months we get. For me this is too little. Even some manufacturers who produce in China give guarantees. And the competition from Germany can do it better: Backforce already offers a 10-year warranty for the One, which only costs 499€.

Why is the Recaro Rae so expensive?

One reason for this is that Recaro produces in Germany. Production here is of course much more expensive than in the Far East. What drives the price up, however, is that Recaro does not produce itself, but has it produced. The production takes over the company Bock1 GmbH & Co KG in Postbauer-Heng. Thus, there is one more instance here that wants to earn money on the chair.


Nevertheless, it is apparently also cheaper: For example, Amazon also sells the Recaro Rae itself, and often significantly below the price that Recaro itself calls up. My Recaro Rae Bright Orange cost less than 500€ instead of 699€.


The competition offers much more for the money. If you want to compare with German manufacturers, there is only Backforce: And the One Plus costs 649€, with 10 years warranty, seat depth adjustment, seat tilt adjustment, 4-way lumbar support, more elaborate design & partially higher quality materials. Therefore, my opinion: The Rae would be for me at most around the 500€ still an option.

Conclusion on the Recaro Rae test: Worth buying?

In conclusion, I can say in my Recaro Rae review that the chair is definitely something. It sits comfortably, has decent features and is handmade in Germany. Only the price doesn’t quite suit me. I also do not want to compare only with Backforce, there are also ergonomic office chairs that offer much more in the price range.


The materials are kept rather cheap, functional could also be more in it and there is no warranty. Nevertheless, I can recommend buying the Recaro Rae. There are now hardly any German gaming chairs and the seating comfort is very good here. However, I would personally wait for offers.