Secretlab Aape Collection gaming chair review: Seriously suave streetwear style

Secretlab goes ape with this limited edition collab.

Secretlab Aape Red Gaming Chair Hero
(Image: © Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central)

Secretlab is no stranger to epic chair designs. While the base designs for the Secretlab 2020 series chairs are relatively tame and can blend in with most office environments, Secretlab also sports a litany of wilder collaborations and licensing partnerships with esports teams and huge games like World of Warcraft. The company's latest partnership is a limited-edition drop with an iconic Japanese streetwear brand: Aape by A Bathing Ape.

The collaboration blends Aape's flat camo print with Secretlab's stylish base to create a collection that feels unique in the gaming chair space. Available with green, red, or blue camo, the print adds some extra street style spice that stands out without feeling jarring. That's mixed with Secretlab's solid material choices and construction to create a tempting combination.

But is this drop worth your money? Let's dive in a little further to check the collection out.

Secretlab Aape Collection: Price and availability

Secretlab Aape Red Gaming Chair Aape Logo Front

Source: Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central)

The Secretlab Aape Collection will be available, at least initially, in two limited-edition drops. The first will drop at 2 a.m. ET on March 26, while the second is planned for March 31 at 9 a.m. ET. There could be further drops after these two, but it seems Secretlab is looking to keep the whole "limited edition" moniker truly, well, limited.

As for price, the chairs are available in Secretlab's Omega and Titan sizes for $490 and $540, respectively. That includes all three color variants for each model, with prices only varying by size. However, Secretlab is splitting up availability of color variants between drops, with the green camo launching with the March 26 drop and the red and blue patterns coming on March 31.

Secretlab Aape Collection: What you'll like

Secretlab Aape Red Gaming Chair Side

Source: Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central)

I've been using Secretlab chairs for years at this point, and there's one reason above all else I stick with them: Their quality is unmatched among even the best gaming chairs. The material choices, whether you're picking up one of the leather chairs or go with the SoftWeave fabric, all feel great and are built to last. Moreover, everything from the wheelbase to the metal arm mechanisms feel incredibly solid.

Secretlab's quality is unmatched among gaming chairs.

That focus on quality extends to the attention to detail as well. The feedback you get from maneuvering the arm mechanisms is incredibly chunky, and it just feels satisfying to use. When you turn to the designs, of which there is no shortage, every detail feels intentional and thought out. This is something that first hit me when I noticed the dragon scale patterns on the House Targaryen design from Secretlab's Game of Thrones lineup, and it has extended to each subsequent drop.

That brings us to this new collaboration with Aape, which taps into a bit of streetwear styling without going overboard. I'll be honest: I've never been the biggest fan of camo print. However, there's something about the way both companies have approached this design that I really dig.

Rather than going full-bore on the camo, Secretlab and Aape kept the same basic styling as the base Omega and Titan chairs while adding the camo as an accent. The result is an eye-catching design that doesn't feel distasteful.

There are three colors available: green, red, and blue. All three avoid the garish blast of primary color that you might expect, instead leaning on a mix of more subtle, flatter tones.

The pattern holds up when you get up close, with three shades of red overlapping with black accents spread about. It's composed of stitched print against a soft, light-red background that feels really nice to the touch. Moreover, the stitching is very well done, without any snags that I could spot.

Rounding the design out are the usual Secretlab logos stitched into the chair's back, along with others for Aape and A Bathing Ape, as you'd expect. What stands out here is the Aape logo on the rear of the back, which looks great in a white leather with white stitching around its edges.

Overall, it's just a very suave style that give the base Omega and Titan chairs a bit more edge without being too aggressive. That's something that you don't necessarily expect when you first hear the words "camo print." If you're a fan of camo, or just love Aape's streetwear styling, you'll really dig this chair.

Secretlab Aape Collection: What you won't like

Secretlab Aape Red Gaming Chair Back Logos

Source: Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central)

Despite the quality of this collection, there are still a couple of areas that might trip you up. First is a Secretlab thing that has been a gripe of mine for a while: lumbar support is only built-in with the Titan models. With the smaller Omega model, you'll get a memory foam lumbar pillow instead. While it's nice, it's not quite as comfortable as adjustable support that's built into the chair.

While I'm a fan of the styling, camo print definitely isn't for everyone. It's done in a tasteful way here and is more understated than some of the louder chair designs, but it is still, well, camo. If you count yourself among the camo haters out there, you'll be better served looking into Secretlab's base designs for the 2020 series.

Finally, there's the prevalence of logos across the chair. They're not super jarring, but if you just want an office chair that doesn't look like it struck a sponsorship deal, then you'll want to look elsewhere among Secretlab's designs.

Secretlab Aape Collection: Competition

Razer Iskur Hero

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

When you're looking at the gaming chair space, there are loads of options to consider, ranging from cheap Amazon knockoffs to incredibly premium designs. Secretlab is definitely one of our favorite brands, but it recently got some heated competition from Razer's first gaming chair, the Razer Iskur. Not only did it impress with premium quality, but it sits in the same general price range as Secretlab's offerings and includes pretty robust lumbar support.

On the other end of the spectrum, you can save quite a bit of cash if you're willing to take a step down in quality. The EasySMX high-back gaming chair offers a similar style to Secretlab's lineup for a much more affordable $250. However, you'll also end up with a step down in the quality of materials and an odd headrest.

Overall, however, the Aape Collection offers a one-of-a-kind design that you simply won't get anywhere else. If this collaboration strikes your fancy, Secretlab is the way to go.

Secretlab Aape Collection: Should you buy it?

Secretlab Aape Red Gaming Chair Front Side Angle

Source: Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central)

You should buy this if ...

  • You love camo and Aape's designs
  • Your priority is comfort and quality materials
  • You want a chair that will last

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You don't dig camo designs
  • You don't want a "gaming" chair
  • Price is an issue

Secretlab and Aape knocked it out of the park with this design. If you already have a love for camo and want one of the highest quality gaming chairs on the market, then this is a great purchase. If you find camo grating, or just don't want to drop nearly $500 or more on an office chair, you'll want to look elsewhere.

Ultimately, the reason Secretlab continues to be my go-to for office chairs is because of the quality. While I've reviewed several of its chairs, I've continued to use the Secretlab chair I got in early 2019 every day. More than two years later, it still looks great, is comfortable, and doesn't show any major signs of wearing down. I can't say the same for the handful of generic office chairs I've purchased in the past.

Price can definitely be a barrier to entry here, especially with this limited edition. However, if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, whether for work or play, your back will thank you for spending a little more on a quality chair. The design is just the cherry on top for anyone who's really into Aape's streetwear bona fides or detailed camo patterns.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl