The Quersus Icos 1.1 is a bit of an odd beast. Upon looking at the promotional pictures on the website I was struck by two things: Firstly, despite its striking good looks and Darth Vader vibes it didn’t appear to have a whole lot of cushioning, so I wondered how comfortable it would be once you were sitting in one. The second was the price. The Icos 1.1 is currently available on discount for $599, and that, my friends, is a lot of money for a gaming chair. Not the most we’ve seen by any stretch, but a significant chunk of change. For that sort of price it really better deliver on its promise of being “the most cutting edge chair of 2023”.
Nevertheless, when we were offered one for review I jumped at the chance to sit in the lap of luxury chair refinement.
First impressions on receiving my unit were good. It comes in a substantial box, as you would expect, and is packaged in the sort of way that makes you feel reassured that you’ve bought a quality product, with clever flat pack design and a gigantic laminated card on which are printed some less than intuitive but still nicely rendered instructions. Each individual piece has significant heft, but it wasn’t too much of a pain to put together especially given the very nice toolkit Quersus has included, complete with a rather lovely branded allen key extension and high-quality bits.
Once built it’s certainly a striking looking object, and one that I think might split opinion. I’m actually a fan of its Sith-like good looks, although that gigantic black rear shroud might stand out a bit in an office setting. I’d go as far as to call it handsome, and as I stood back and admired my work I couldn’t help but be impressed at the imposing nature of its design.
Sitting on it, if I’m honest, is where things started to go a little south. Quersus is adamant that this chair was designed to deliver excellent back support, with a “restflow” headrest and all sorts of sculpting to reduce fatigue, improve circulation and increase productivity. I can believe that might be true, however, my first impressions were that it’s firm, with almost a capitalised F. So firm in fact, that for the first couple of days using it I was left with, and I’m sorry to put this image in your mind, something of a sore posterior.
However, while it’s certainly firmer than I would prefer, after a few days of use the bottom cushion in particular became comfier in a way I found quite supportive. It took some getting used to, but I will admit that as someone who prefers my gaming chairs to be on the plush side the unyielding yet supportive nature of the Icos did begin to win me over. It straight-up refuses (and again you’ll have to forgive me here) to be kind to your buttocks, and mine have rather healthily responded.
I am very sorry if you were eating your lunch.
(Image credit: Andy Edser)
Anyway, back to the chair. While I could get used to the firmness of the bottom cushion, what I couldn’t get used to was the angle of the chair itself. There’s adjustment here of course, courtesy of something Quersus calls the MS (Maximus Synchro) synchronous mechanism.
Despite the somewhat silly name this is basically a chair base unit with adjustment handled by two knobs underneath which can be pulled to unlock, then twisted to adjust the tilt tension and synchronous tilt, before being pushed back in to lock again. All very well, but no matter how I fiddled, pulled and clicked I couldn’t get the chair into a position I liked.
The Icos 1.1 synchronous tilt mechanism allows you to slide the seat base and tilt the backrest, then clicks into a preset tilt position once locked. This sounds fine in principle, but I found myself bouncing between two settings that ranged between uncomfortably bolt-upright and leaning ever so slightly too far back. I can believe that the first setting is very good for your back, but it’s so rigidly upright that I almost felt like the chair was going to tip me forward and out.
The Icos seems determined to correct your posture, and while the goal is admirable, the experience is not particularly pleasant.
The tilted position directly after it would be fine if the headrest could also be adjusted to support your neck, but unfortunately it’s limited in motion to only moving up and down, so leaving the chair in even the first level of tilt means your head would need to be pointed back and slightly upwards to receive any support.
This is an unpleasant sensation, and it’s as if the chair itself is telling you that you’re sitting in it wrong. Bolt upright is how it wants you to be, it seems, or there’d be some sort of tilt adjustment in the headrest or a cushion to accommodate a good lean backwards.
(Image credit: Andy Edser)
(Image credit: Quersus)
✅ You like a firm touch: If you suffer from a lack of support in your current chair and you want something that’s going to whip you into shape, the Icos 1.1 may well be for you.
✅ You’re looking for something durable: The Icos 1.1 is very well built, apart from a slight wobble in the headrest. It feels like it could survive a lot of punishment, and will likely last for years.
✅ Aesthetics are important to you: While the looks might split opinion, I happen to appreciate its sci-fi aesthetic, and it does raise comment from everyone who sees it. A personal choice, but I think it looks great.
❌ You want a plush experience: This chair focuses on posture and ergonomics in a way that may be pleasant for some, but if you’re looking for something to cosset you in a luxury, pampering sort of way, this is not the chair for you.
❌ You want a lot of adjustment: While the Icos 1.1 is adjustable, I couldn’t quite get it to where I wanted it. A tilt adjustable headrest or lumbar cushion would improve it immensely.
Speaking of that headrest, I noticed that it wobbles within its sockets. This isn’t so bad in its default position all the way down, but if you’re of the taller persuasion and want to raise it up, the wobble gets worse. Not a particularly egregious sin, and far from the first chair I’ve seen to do it, but for this sort of money a bit more attention to fit and fitting would be appreciated.
That being said, the rest of the chair feels very heavy and robust, which is reassuring, and the obsidian black fabric on my review model seems very hard wearing yet soft to the touch. The 4D adjustable armrests are well made and supportive, it’s built like a tank, and I have every confidence that it will stand up to a remarkable amount of abuse. It’s just that for this sort of cash, I feel like a bit more attention could have been given to luxury over spine-resetting mechanics.
It feels like the sort of chair your chiropractor might love, but when it comes to sitting down at the end of a hard day and comfortably enjoying your games, I couldn’t, and still can’t, get on with it. Perhaps I’m simply the wrong build for it, or my posture is so awful that the Icos is attempting to do me and my future self some good, and my body is resisting.
But honestly, I want comfort out of a high-end chair, and the rigid design here simply didn’t provide enough of it for my tastes.
(Image credit: Andy Edser)
So much so in fact, that I’ve made a modification of my own. A bit of searching around led me to this lumbar support and headrest cushion combo on Amazon, and since its installation I can say that it’s made an absolute world of difference. With a bit of added plush-ness, the combination of a squishy head support and a soft lumbar cushion means I can leave the chair in its leant back position in perfect comfort. Now the Quersus Icos 1.1 is a genuinely nice place to sit, and I can appreciate its good looks and build quality without feeling like it’s trying to reset my spine in ways I’d rather it didn’t.
I’ve left the bottom seat cushion as it is though. I like what it’s doing to my glutes, and I reckon I’m going to look fabulous in my swimwear this year.