Review Of The Via Riva Office Chair

front view of Riva chair

Via Riva Office Chair

The Riva ergonomic chair from Via packs a lot of features for the money making it possible to get a fully specified chair for just over $400. Similarly detailed chairs usually cost at least $500 or more.

However, it's not some space age modern design. It is firmly modeled along the lines of traditional desk chairs with foam padded and upholstered seat and back, although there is a mesh back version available.

To get the most out of the Riva it's important to make sure the correct options are specified. The entry level chair has a fixed seat depth, however to get the most out of this chair you should opt for the sliding seat upgrade. This will let you adjust the seat to fit your legs. Additionally, it also means you get a more fully functioned synchronized action helping you to recline and interact with the chair more naturally.

What Other Options Does The Riva Offer?

Unusually it comes in 3 different seat sizes and 2 back options. This is good because it means you can tailor the chair to suit your body size. As a result the chair caters for anyone from a five feet petite woman to a six feet plus man. And the weight range will support anyone between seven and just under twenty stones.

Lumbar support for the lower back is provided by two options. First there is a an inflatable air lumbar support or alternatively you can specify a mechanical lumbar support. Both items can be specified at additional cost. However, the standard foam back is sensibly shaped and will give good support for most users as it is height adjustable.

The back adjusts by an inbuilt ratchet adjuster. When sitting you reach behind with both hands and grip and raise the back slowly. As you do so the back moves up to a series of preset positions. To return the back to its lowest level, lift it to full height and start again.

Let's look at the Riva sizes and options more closely.

Dimensions And Specification

The three sizes of seat pad are as follows:

  • Standard 19" wide by 17.5" deep
  • Medium 20" wide by 19" deep
  • Large 21.5" by 19.5" deep

Here's a quick way to work out which size will be the best fit. Check the distance across the top of your thighs while sitting and add on 2'' and then select the seat matching this dimension or closest above.

Seated height can be set anywhere between 16.25" and 21.50" this should allow for most people. However, there are also optional gas lifts if required.

Riva office chair mesh back

Mesh Back Riva

Adjustable chair backs come in two well proportioned sizes. The medium back can be set between 38'' and 43'' in overall height. This back is as large as some suppliers high backs and will be more than enough for most people. However, if you need more height the high back adjusts from 40'' up to 46''

As standard the front face of the back is upholstered and the back has a protective black plastic shell cover. Alternatively, you can specify fully upholstered back at additional cost.

There is also the option to fit a mesh back.

There are several types of chair mechanism, this is the part that controls the seat and back movements. The best version is the fully synchro controller or sliding seat mechanism. It enables you to fit the chair to your torso properly and moves your body smoothly with the seat and back in a 2:1 ratio.

You have several options with arms, starting with no arms at all. Next there are adjustable arms and these allow 2.5'' of vertical adjustment.

Riva swing back arm

Swing Back Arm Detail

Moving on from this there is a full function arm and this additionally lets you rotate the arm top pads by 180¼ which can be useful for supporting your arms at an angle. Lastly there is a swing back arm option. What this does is to give you the ability to drop the arms out of the way to the rear of the chair. Effectively it makes the chair armless and when working in close at your desk this can be handy.

You can choose between a black nylon base or a polished aluminum one at extra cost. Either can be fitted with carpet casters, hard floor casters or non-moving glides.

Upholstery choice is extensive with over a 100 fabrics and 15 leather options. The most popular 4 ranges can be seen here.


Foam cushions, structural parts and non-moving components have a lifetime warranty. Gas lifts, casters and adjustable arms have a 10 year warranty, with chair mechanisms covered by a 6 year warranty.

Via upholstery carries a 2 year warranty whether fabric, mesh or leather.

Although the upholstery warranty is pretty limited, it isn't unusual for chair manufacturers to do this as they don't make the coverings. The chairs are well made and will give many years service.

Overall Assessment

The Riva from Via offers excellent value for money and when specified with the features recommended above makes a worthy ergonomic office chair. It doesn't score particularly on looks, however there is no denying it's a workmanlike product.

You will find it is very easy to put together. The components are all of high quality, including seating foams which will keep their shape for years to come, so no problems of flattened or hard seats.

Warranty is intended for the original buyer only, unlike some office chair chairs you don't get multi user 24/7 coverage. This should still be fine for most people.

Where To Buy Online

You will find the Riva at very competitive prices from this online store, this also includes free shipping and 30 day return policy.