Liberty Ocean office chair by Humanscale
Starts at £808
Readers can redeem a discount for any Humanscale product at Check-Out by using the code:- WFH-UK-GADGETHEAD.
The Liberty Ocean is the latest ergonomic office chair from Humanscale. Its name is such because this chair is doing its part to save the ocean, but we’ll have more on that in a minute. First of all, I need to talk about how it’s saving my back.
I’m sat in the Liberty Ocean as I write this review, and I feel like I’ve had a perfect night’s sleep, a healthy breakfast and have been getting the exercise I need. None of those feelings are true – it's the chair. As soon as I sat down in this chair, I felt the difference, and frankly, it was shocking. I thought my current office chair was fairly decent, but as soon as I sat down in this one, I not only realised what my posture should be like, but I instantly felt more awake and able to pay attention. I didn’t think posture could do that, but somehow, it does. I’ve never sat in a chair that has managed to keep my back so upright and my feet flat on the ground without making me uncomfortable: usually, the chair is either comfy but bad for me, or technically good for me but stiff to sit in after a while. This chair has removed my need to fidget, my need to slouch – I can’t quite get over how good it feels. It’s good for me AND it feels good? This is the chair equivalent of managing to find a healthy relationship.
The trick is that Humanscale has managed to perfectly walk the razor-thin balance between padding and support. The chair’s arm rests are sturdy and offer as much resistance as something solid, yet any pressure against them reveals that they’re padded. The same goes for the rest of the chair. The back also moves with your movements, but still pushes back against you the right, supportive amount as it does. I can feel it actively supporting me even as I lean it back.
The other trick is that although I’m saying my back is ‘straight’, that’s not strictly true. As we know, the back isn’t, and shouldn’t be, perfectly straight, so any rigid-backed chair is going to do you more harm than good. This back curves with the natural contours of your back, so accurately that you aren’t aware of it. I feel like my back is perfectly straight, but what I mean is that it’s upright and having support meet it in all the places and ways it should be. This comfort is added to by the back being a mesh material – not usually my go-to choice because it tends to be too hard, but again, this is the perfect level of comfort, and the mesh allows the chair to breathe and stops your back from getting hot.
I couldn’t tell from this testing period whether or not these mechanics will hold. Any office chair is only as good as its weakest bit of engineering. However, whilst I can't give any guarantees, I can report on the fact that Humanscale have also thought about this and created a solution. The company uses internal hydraulics instead of using lots of fiddly parts that can break. They keep the mechanism simple, strong and effective in order to give it the longest life span possible. If you doubt it, that 15 year warranty might change your mind!
So, we’ve talked about how this chair is saving my life. How is it helping the ocean? Incredibly, it is made out of 2lbs of reclaimed ocean fishing nets, which are apparently the most harmful of the ocean plastics. This chair is Living Product Certified, meeting the most rigorous sustainable manufacturing criteria to date. This means that Liberty Ocean is climate, water and energy positive – every time Humanscale makes one, the planet is actually better off. Not many products can claim that!
This chair looks good, feels fantastic, and it helped to better the planet. The price is high, but honestly, the amount of chiropractor bills it could save me make that price look far more reasonable. After 18 months of working from home, I have learnt the pitfalls of inadequate desk chairs. This reviewer is very much hoping the Powers That Be here at Gadget Head never remember to take this chair back again.
Perfect ergonomic support
Adjusts with you – no levers
Breathable mesh back
Made from recycled fishing nets
Living Product Certified
Production is climate, water and energy positive
May have actually extended my lifespan
A high price, but this chair is potentially worth selling one of your children for, so you get what you pay for.