I tested The Folding Gaming Chair and now I may never go back to the couch
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I tested The Folding Gaming Chair and now I may never go back to the couch

Jul 16, 2023

Why be constrained by the placement of your couch?

Although we all likely grew up thinking that being an adult would solve all of the problems we had back when we were kids, unfortunately this isn’t the case as adulthood comes with its own set of challenges. While you may now be able to afford an Xbox Series X, a PS5, a Nintendo Switch and the games to go with them, all that free time that you had growing up has since been replaced with other responsibilities like chores and household projects.

Even when you do manage to find the time to sit down and finally play that game you’ve been dreaming about for ages, the adult in you realizes that your living room is a mess and could use a quick clean. With that done, you finally pick up one of the best Nintendo Switch controllers and prepare to make some serious progress in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom only to realize that your controller badly needs to be recharged. While you could play in handheld mode, a game this beautiful is meant to be played on one of the best TVs.

If the couch wasn’t so far away from your TV, you could plug your controller in and play for a few precious minutes before getting back to your busy day. Alternatively, you could sit on the floor and play like you did when you were a kid but looking up at the TV like that will now give you a sore neck. Besides dealing with game updates that come at the most inopportune times, quickly getting comfy and jumping into your next gaming session is something a lot of us — and especially those of us with small children — struggle with.

I’ve spent the past week testing out The Foldable Gaming Chair ($169) and not only can it help solve these problems but it’s also easy to take with you anywhere you go. That way, you can get set up and ready to play before your favorite game is even done loading, whether you’re in your living room or spending some time in the great outdoors.

If you haven’t heard of The Foldable Gaming Chair before, and it’s likely you haven’t, it was created by a Dad named François Robitaille who was facing similar problems. Just like me and other parents, his gaming time had “become significantly more limited.”

On top of this, François lived in a small condo where his couch was too far from his TV. After putting his kitchen chair right up close to the TV, trying out a similar set up with one of the best office chairs and even buying a gaming chair designed to be used on the floor, he decided he would have to build his own. However, just like the other chairs François tried, it would need to be movable and easily storable so that it could be tucked away when not in use. To this end, he tested over 100 foldable chairs to find an existing one that would meet his criteria as trying to design one from scratch got expensive real fast.

The end result of François’ year-long journey is The Foldable Gaming Chair ($134, tfgc). While it may look like an ordinary camping chair at first glance, he tailored its design specifically to the needs of gamers. Not only is there extra padding throughout the chair and it can support up to 350 pounds but it also features a headphone holder, a controller holder, a cup holder and even a wine holder.

As this is a portable gaming chair after all, The Foldable Gaming Chair ships with a carry bag and there’s a strap to compress it so that it easily fits in the bag. It can be set up in seconds and there aren’t any extra pieces that can be misplaced.

While I particularly like the large pocket on the right side of The Foldable Gaming Chair which can easily hold a controller, a Nintendo Switch or even the Steam Deck, the collapsible headphone holder is a nice touch. In fact, François designed it this way to make it less prone to breakage, especially during transport.

Although I was skeptical about just how comfortable The Foldable Gaming Chair would be, after the first time I sat in it, I knew it was something special. It didn’t have the same stiffness that a camping chair does and it doesn’t look out of place in my game room.

In fact, I left The Foldable Gaming Chair unattended for a few minutes only to come back to find my wife sitting in it working on her laptop with her feet propped up on a stool. She stayed like that for hours, which leads me to believe it’s just as comfortable to work in as it is to game in.

I personally spent most of my time testing it out playing games on the new Xbox Series S in my office and on my Nintendo Switch out in the game room. While it’s designed to make it easier to sit closer to your TV than you could on your couch, I also found it to be quite comfortable when used with one of the best standing desks.

As I recently got a fence and now have an actual backyard, I also took The Foldable Gaming Chair outside. It was easy to get situated and it was nice playing my Switch outside for a change. Since I was playing in handheld mode, I used the chair’s controller holder to store my phone so that I could game without any distractions.

The Foldable Gaming Chair’s cup holder was easily able to hold my water bottle but I also wanted to test out its wine holder too. After pouring myself a glass of red wine, I sat back in the chair and picked up where I left off. The wine holder did a great job of holding my glass steady and the sturdiness of the chair itself reassured me that I wouldn’t be picking up broken pieces of glass from my new backyard anytime soon.

I know the idea of sitting on The Foldable Gaming Chair to play games on your TV might seem silly when there’s a perfectly good couch right behind you but after testing it out for myself, I feel like I now understand François’ vision.

Maybe you’re a dad or mom with only a few hours to game each week and cleaning up all of the toys strewn across your living room doesn’t make sense as they’ll all magically find their way back there the following day. With The Foldable Gaming Chair though, you just need to quickly unpack it, set it up and you’re good to go. Likewise, maybe you’re a student living in a dorm or your first apartment and getting a couch and a proper home theater set up is out of the question due to budget constraints and space limitations.

I particularly like how you can play games on your TV using a wired controller without the need for a USB extension cable. Although most people now prefer wireless over wired controllers, being able to use one while sitting in front of the TV evokes a nostalgic feeling and reminds me just how fun playing games this way used to be when I was a kid.

Now that summer is here, I plan on hitting the road and alongside more gadgets than I’ll likely have a need for, I also plan on bringing The Foldable Gaming Chair with me to test it out on vacation but that’s a story for another day. For now though, I can wholeheartedly say that I was thoroughly impressed with the time I’ve spent in this one-of-a-kind gaming chair so far and can’t wait to play even more games while sitting in it.

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Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.

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The Foldable Gaming Chair ($169)