Overview of the Balans Kneeling Chair Options
People may well be confused by the Balans chair options, because the name has been associated with two different manufacturers, Variér and HÅG.
Why is This?
Peter Opsvik was inspired to design the original Balans in the late 1970s following pioneering ideas by Dr A. C. Mandal and Hans Chr. Mengschoel for an alternative way of sitting to the stereo typical 90º angle of an office chair. And this original concept is still being produced by Variér and remains highly popular.
HÅG on the other hand collaborated with Peter Opsvik to design a new version of the Balans more in keeping with the styling of an office chair by including a 5 star swivel base giving more mobility to the user, regrettably HÅG is no longer producing its version of the Balans. Fortunately around the same time Stokke also approached Opsvik to come up with a wheeled version of a kneeling chair resulting in Wing™ Balans® which is now marketed under the Varier brand.
It is similar in principle to the HÅG product, making greater use of wooden components and features as well as having some extra features.
Which Is Best?
Both chairs are excellent examples of kneeling seats and can be used in broadly similar ways. The Variable Balans has a unique function insofar as it has a rocking action and could be said to more readily promote active or dynamic seating. Here's where you will find a more detailed review of the Variable version.
The Wing™ Balans® tends to find favor with people who need to be able to move quickly around the workspace and this is due to the wheeled base, it also works well for work surfaces up to 36 inches high.
Although lacking the rocking action it has a rubber damper arrangement at the seat and gas stem joint which to some extent helps take any harshness out of the sitting position providing a comfortable user experience. It still readily allows users to vary their seating position, so shouldn't present any issues with sitting dynamically.
You will find a full review of the Wing™ Balans® here.