The Challenge racing seat made by PlaySeat USA comes in a sleek box that pops open and reveals the majority of the work is already done for you. The Challenge does require the addition of a steering wheel and pedals to be complete, and it supports a handful of existing set ups(*See List Below). We ran our Logitech GT with ours and it took just under 20 minutes for us to be attached, plugged in and ready to go. Even better, the seat will fold up with most of the steering wheels available for quick and easy racing and storage situations.
Features and Design:
The Playseat Challenge comes mostly assembled and ready to go. The design behind the fold up chair also includes your steering wheel and pedals in its design for easy storage in your closet or under your bed when your not racing the days/nights away. You read it correctly, you do not have to take your wheel and pedals off to store this bad boy! This is a major bonus for race enthusiasts who are limited on space, and well, time. The unit is comprised of Alcantara suede seat cover that attaches to a steel frame that is powder coated black and fully adjustable for racers of all sizes thanks to carefully placed Velcro straps. It comes with a plate and an additional small frame which both quickly connect to the main frame supporting both your pedals and your wheel securely for those intense corners and quick shifts needed to slide by your opponents. The bar that supports the steering wheel does pivot for easy in and out access of the seat. We have included a list of known supported steering wheels below to help determine if your wheel(s) would work with the challenge out of the box. I am not sure the term “Smart Seat” has been coined yet, but Playseat is heading in the right direction with the Challenge and its overall design.
The Alcantara suede seat cover is as comfortable as you would hope it would be. The overall design is based off of the standard fold up chair, but with some added padding and race flair. The extra padding in all the right places allows for longer race sessions, and less discomfort. The Velcro strap arm rests are a nice addition for in between races or if you simply prefer to play utilizing them too.
Quick and easy set up has been our focal point so far, which does play a part of the overall performance, but how does the Challenge live up “to the challenge?” Once you unfold the chair and hop in and snap the pivoting arm into place, you are ready to take on any racing type from fast action arcade style, to simulators, the Challenge can take a beating. I actually took it for a trip to my mothers house for her small birthday gathering and had people ranging from 8-67 take a few laps and see what they thought. Easy in, easy out and nothing but smiles. The only complaint they had was they didn’t get to take it home! The performance of a race seat should be durable, comfortable and convenient and the Challenge hits the mark on all 3.
So have I mentioned how easy the Challenge race seat is to set up and use? Oh, I have? Well I cannot express as an active race enthusiast who has actually raced cars on race tracks of many sizes, this was exactly what I needed to bring that feeling to my living room with out having to break the bank. On top of that, it’s dreamy how easy it is to store it when your done. This seat fits in our office closet for easy race time when we have a couple minutes to burn some digital rubber. We give the Playseat Challenge a 4.5 because of its ease of set up and take down. It didn’t get a perfect score only because after a few intense races we feel it could use just a bit more padding including the side arm rests, and as awesome as the pivoting arm is, it does move a slight amount for the hardcore racers during those intense moment. The current $250 asking sits right with us and we can’t wait to see how the Challenge evolves because you know it will! Make sure if you own a wheel or have been wanting a race set up of your own, this is really worth looking into.
Our Product Review Score:
Well our time with the Playseat Challenge race seat has come to a close. During our racing, we were playing Gran Turismo 5 on PlayStation 3 using our Logitch GT steering wheel on a couple of different tvs. I am still blown away how close this unit is to being perfect. We did experience a bit of wobble with the steering wheel pivoting arm, but it wasn’t really anything too bad. We are sad to have to send it back to them but this has been added to our wish list for this 2013 Holiday season! If you have any questions I didn’t cover in the review or have an experience of your own you would like to share, feel free to use our comment system here, Facebook or Twitter to reach out to us!
*Known working steering wheels for the Playseat Challenge:
Wheels created for the Playstation2®, Playstation3®, Xbox 360® and PC, including Fanatec, Logitech, Thrustmaster and MadCatz editions sold for Playstation2®, Playstation3®, Xbox®, Xbox 360®, Wii, and all PC platforms should work. Any brand outside of this is not confirmed but shouldn’t be ruled out.
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Amazon link to purchase Challenge PlaySeat: Click Here
**Video Review will go here when its completed