Duelhawk is a relatively new player to the now-established gaming chair market, but the UK-based company has come flying out of the gates.
The company offers two gaming chairs for the moment, and I’ve been reviewing the premium Duelhawk Ultra – a high-end option positioned to rival the likes of Secretlab and Noblechairs. But can it keep pace with the competition?
Design and build
Simple, understated design
Fabric or PU leather finishes
Only one size
The first thing I appreciate about the Ultra is the design. The chair comes in three finishes: a black PU leather option, or fabric in either dark or light grey.
I’ve been reviewing the ‘Nebula’ finish – dark grey fabric – and love how understated it is. Yes, this still has the over-sized racing bucket seat design of most gaming chairs, but the grey body with black and blue accents aren’t too attention-grabbing otherwise. Even the logos are restrained, with only a couple of small logos on either side of the headrest, and a simple angular design running down the centre of the body.
The fabric is light and breathable, which for someone who lives in a hotbox of a flat is certainly appreciated. The downside of course is that you have to be a bit cautious about spills and stains, though the black leather model should be much easier to keep clean.
The only accessory included is a black headrest pillow. The design means that there’s no real way to adjust the height of this, which is a slight disappointment, so there’s a chance that you may find it just doesn’t sit right. It’s about right for me – at 5’11” – though your mileage may vary.
I’m actually basically in the middle of the recommended height range for the chair – 5’3” – 6’3” – while it can support weights up to 135kg/300lbs. That means this will be suitable for the majority of people, though some on the large side may prefer to look at options like AndaSeat’s XL Fnatic Edition or the Secretlab Titan Evo, which comes in a range of sizes.
Comfort and features
Adjustable all over
Firm but comfortable
Otherwise though, customisability is a clear strength here. You can set the height, the tilt (with a wide 85-175 degree range), the level of lumbar support, and just about every aspect of the position of the armrests – which can be adjusted in four different directions.
Duelhawk boldly claims these are “The best armrests in the game,” and while I’m not ready to quite go that far, they are great. The surface is smooth, subtly contoured, and wide enough to comfortably rest on, and adjustments are both easy to make and click in reassuringly so that the whole thing feels smooth and sturdy.
The lumbar support is particularly key, and helps this feel like a chair that will genuinely preserve your posture. A circular dial on the chair’s right-hand side tweaks the lumbar setting, which essentially determines how much the chair pushes into your lower back to fit the curve of your spine.
In fact this is a good option for back support even aside from that, thanks to the choice to use a dense, firm foam for the seat. You won’t sink into this like you might some softer chairs, but really that’s better for your back. And while I can’t attest to whether that foam will begin to break down and soften over time, I haven’t noticed any change in the few weeks I’ve been using the chair – and the promise of a three-year warranty should bring some peace of mind about long-term quality.
Price and availability
The Duelhawk Ultra is available right now from Duelhawk’s site, and ships for free to the UK and across Europe – though unfortunately it won’t ship any further than that.
At full price it costs £499, though at the time of writing it’s reduced to £339, and has been for a little while – so may well stay there.
At £499 this feels expensive relative to the competition, but that reduction makes it much more competitive. There are cheaper chairs out there, but I’d argue it’s worth paying more if you can afford to, especially for the sake of the lumbar support and adjustability on offer here – vital if you expect to use the chair for long gaming sessions, working from home, or both.
Still, if you can only pick it up at full price it’s worth checking out our ranking of the best gaming chairs, as you will find other quality options below £400 that we can happily recommend.
The Duelhawk Ultra is a strong opening salvo from Duelhawk, which has quickly proven that it can compete with the big guns in the game.
With plenty of adjustability and a few finish options it’s easy to make this chair your own, and build quality seems to be top notch across the board.
The understated design and emphasis on back support and posture feel like the Ultra’s main strengths, but you may want to look elsewhere if you prefer a less subtle look or just want something a little softer.
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