Liberty™ Chair Review

Liberty Chair With Aluminum Base

Liberty Chair by Humanscale

The first thing that strikes you about the Liberty™ is the absence of adjustments and levers, in fact there are only 2 manual adjustments, seat height and depth.

This will be welcome news for people who find all the levers and controls on the typical office chair just plain confusing.

Another thing that impresses is the care and thought which has gone into the back mesh upholstery. Rather than just follow others and use a standard stretch mesh, Neils Diffrient re-thought how chair back mesh ought to function and with the help of textile designer Elizabeth Whelan created a more user friendly upholstery.

Mesh upholstery has been found by some users to not offer good postural support additionally it has often been cited as abrasive causing significant wear to clothes.

To combat these concerns a non-stretch mesh was designed which displaces instead of stretching under body weight, however the design has been taken a stage further with the back mesh being formed using 3 panels of mesh.

Much like a tailor using multiple layers of fabric for body and strength, the Liberty™ back mesh works in much the same way and eliminates the need for any separate lumbar support which can be a source of discomfort on many mesh back chairs, this neat innovation offers excellent support as a result.

Liberty Chair Front

Liberty Chair Front View

The mesh upholstery is specifically designed to be gentle on clothing and has been comprehensively tested and shown to be less abrasive than a light weight cotton fabric.

The seat pad isn't made from mesh as Humanscale believes that for all day sitting it lacks comfort, this is certainly a complaint heard from some users of office chairs with mesh seat pans.

Instead a slimline sculpted foam is used to ease pressure points with an optional gel insert called Technogel® which actually migrates from high pressure points and moves to fill areas of low pressure resulting in far more even distribution of the user's weight and so relieving the pressure often experienced under the sit bones at the base of the back.

Launched at NeoCon in 2004 the Liberty™ chair won a Gold award for ergonomic seating and is the creation of designer Neils Diffrient who earlier designed the highly successful Freedom chair also from Humanscale.

Like the Freedom, Diffrient concentrated on simplicity of use and function and at the same time has introduced some ground breaking design innovations with the Liberty™.

Model Options

Liberty™ swivel chairs come in a single size and are offered without arms, as well as optional fixed or height adjustable arms. The chair back includes 3 different mesh finishes.

Standard frame finishes are black or silver, with a polished aluminum 5 star base option at additional cost.

Seat pads are offered in a wide range of either fabric or leather upholstery and have contoured foam pads with an option of including the gel seat pad.

Following the success of the swivel chair a complimentary 4 legged side chair was added in 2005 and has won many design awards. It's ideal for people who wish to match their office seating it also works well as a stand alone chair for meeting areas.

Dimensions And Adjustments

Humanscale claim that the Liberty™ will fit 95% of the population, specifically users from a 5 feet tall woman through to a 6 foot 4 inch high man, catering for user weights from 100 lbs to 250 lbs.

Additionally, by changing the standard gas lift for either a shorter or longer reach the chair should be able to cater for users outside these parameters, this offers a lot of user flexibility.

Seat width is 21 inches and the standard height adjustment range is 16 to 21 inches with the alternative gas lifts catering for seat heights as low as 15.25 inches and as high as 28 inches which is a very impressive range of adjustability.

Seat depth can be adjusted between 16.5 to 18.75 inches by the under seat paddle lever and enable users to set the correct depth for their leg length.

Fixed arms are set 10 inches above seat height, adjustable arms can be adjusted between 6.5 and 11.5 inches and are very much recommended for the small extra cost. Both arm options can be specified with gel pads for additional lower arm support and comfort.

Unusually, there is only one caster option and the reason is due to the larger than normal 3 inch diameter twin wheels which enable easy movement over most floor surfaces.

Liberty™ chairs are environmentally friendly with 54% of the content made from recycled materials and 95% of the chair being recyclable.

Overall Assessment And Warranty

There's little doubt the Liberty™ swivel chair and its complimentary side chair is a high quality chair deserving serious consideration from those looking for high quality ergonomic office seating.

The simplicity of adjustment will seem a bit strange initially as force of habit may have users wondering where all the levers and knobs are, however the benefits will likely soon be appreciated.

A slight concern for lighter built people may be the 21 inch wide seat, which is a little wide, nonetheless seat depth is of greater importance and by adjusting this to readily suit individual leg length should help to minimize any issues over this.

The chairs are built with high quality materials and all models carry a non-transferable 10 year warranty on all components except upholstery and cushions which have 5 years, so users should get many years of service from their Liberty™ chair.

Where To Buy Online

This site offers great pricing and quick shipping on the Liberty with free shipping to the US mainland and a 30 day return policy too.

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