[Review] Steelcase Leap V1 vs. V2: Which Is The Best For You?


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If you’re looking for a high-end office chair, you’ll surely hear about Steelcase.

Founded in 1912, it’s now one of the leading office chair brands today.

It’s no wonder since all their office chairs are well designed with the best ergonomics.

In 1999, Steelcase released the Leap V1, which became an instant favorite for many office workers.

7 years later, they made a new and improved version, the Leap V2. Which, needless to say, was also a big hit.

Okay, enough with the history.

Now, if you find yourself debating whether to get the V1 or the V2, a question will naturally pop up…

…which one is better?

We’re here to help you make that decision.

In this article, we’ll show you:

  • How the V2 is different than the V1 in design
  • What new adjustments were added to the V2
  • Analyzing the specs of the V1 and V2

Plus, we’ll add some real user reviews about the Steelcase Leap V1 and V2.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Steelcase Leap V1 High Back Office Chair -Black Fabric
Steelcase Leap Black Fabric V2 Office Chair
Product
Steelcase Leap V1
Steelcase Leap V2
Backrest
Short and wide
Tall and narrow
Armrest
3-way adjustment; Thick padding
4-way adjustment, Thin padding
Seat
Adjustable lip tilt; Thick padding
Flexible seat lip; Thin padding
Base Material
Steel
Heavy-duty nylon
Lumbar Support
Not adjustable
Adjustable height and firmness
Weight
Price
Availability
Steelcase Leap V1 High Back Office Chair -Black Fabric
Product
Steelcase Leap V1
Backrest
Short and wide
Armrest
3-way adjustment; Thick padding
Seat
Adjustable lip tilt; Thick padding
Base Material
Steel
Lumbar Support
Not adjustable
Weight
Price
Availability
Steelcase Leap Black Fabric V2 Office Chair
Product
Steelcase Leap V2
Backrest
Tall and narrow
Armrest
4-way adjustment, Thin padding
Seat
Flexible seat lip; Thin padding
Base Material
Heavy-duty nylon
Lumbar Support
Adjustable height and firmness
Weight
Price
Availability

Design Differences

The V1 caught people’s attention with its simple yet effective design.

It offered everything officers needed in an office chair – great design for good posture, padding for comfort, adjustability for customization, etc…

All that and it still didn’t look like an over-the-top office chair.

As expected, the newer version doesn’t have many changes in its design.

In fact, if you glance at both, you won’t notice any difference!

Not quite.

With a closer look, you’ll notice some KEY differences in the backrest, armrest, seat, and base.

Let’s take a look at these differences.

Backrest

The most notable change is the backrest design.

Steelcase Leap V1

With the Leap V1, the backrest is short and wide. Not only that, but it’s also shaped like a backward C.

This shape gives optimum comfort when reclining as it curves along with your back.

Steelcase Leap V2

As there were a few complaints that the V1’s backrest was too short, the V2 now has a taller but narrower backrest.

While the V1 has a wider and shorter backrest, the V2 has a taller, narrower one.

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Steelcase also made changes to the curve of the backrest.

Unlike the fully curved shape of the V1, the V2’s curve is located in the lumbar area only. The rest of the backrest is straight.

This design is to support upright sitting, not so much reclining.

The Winner: The V2 beats the V1 as its taller backrest fits more users. Needless to say, both are great for good posture, lumbar support, and comfort.

Armrest

The armrests are different, too.

Steelcase Leap V1

For the Leap V1, Steelcase focused more on comfort.

The steel construction keeps the armrest firmly in place. Also, thick paddings keep forearms and elbows well cushioned.

Again, this was met with some complaints saying the armrests were heavy to adjust.

Steelcase Leap V2

For the newer version, Steelcase turned to aesthetics.

They completely changed the construction from steel to heavy-duty nylon. It isn’t as sturdy as the old one but it’s a lot lighter.

To give the new design a sleeker and more professional look, they also lessened the padding.

The Winner: Sure, the V1’s armrest has its benefits, but the V2 has a more modern design, making it our winner for this round.

Seat

If there’s too much pressure on your legs while sitting down, the blood won’t be able to pass.

Has this ever happened to you before?

Then you know all too well the numb and static feeling once you stand up.

Well, Steelcase solved this problem with both the Leap V1 and V2.

Steelcase Leap V1

A lot of people love the Leap V1 as it can adjust its seat lip downward. This smoothened the edges and significantly decreased leg pressure.

Users also love the fact that the seat padding was thick and avoided butt aches from hours of sitting.

the V1 has a lot more padding than the V2

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON.COM

Steelcase Leap V2

Seeking to remove that adjusting step, the new and improved version got rid of the tilt function. In its place, Steelcase designed the V2’s seat to have a flexible lip.

Now, every time users change leg position, the seat lip moves along with it, reducing pressure.

And, again with the comfort/aesthetics, the V2 added less padding to make it look better.

What’s so amazing is that, even though the seat padding is less, it’s just as comfortable as the V1. This speaks volumes of the quality and foam type of the Leap V2.

The Winner: Both seats are comfortable and reduce leg pressure. However, the V2 is a clear winner as it automatically adjusts to your leg position and is as comfortable as the V1 with less padding.

Base

Then, there’s the base.

The only thing that changed is the material.

Steelcase Leap V1

The V1 has a sturdy and heavy base, as it’s made from steel.

This strong construction can carry a whopping 400lbs!

As you might expect, though, like the armrests, it’s rather heavy.

Steelcase Leap V2

On the other hand, the base of the V2 is made from heavy-duty nylon.

You might be thinking, “So the Leap V1 must have a heavier weight capacity since it’s made from steel…”

Nope.

Steelcase was able to match the previous version’s weight capacity even with nylon.

Amazing!

The Winner: The V2 takes the cake again. I mean, you can’t beat a lighter material that can carry the same 400lbs weight!

New Adjustments In V2

Height Adjustment Lever of Office Chair

To be sure, the Steelcase Leap V1 and V2 are proper ergonomic office chairs.

(If you’re not sure what “ergonomic office chair” means, click here to find out.)

Both have a lot of basic and special adjustments that can cater to your body type, size, comforts, etc…

However, being the “new and improved” version, V2 has slightly more adjustments than the V1.

Let’s take a look at these improvements.

Lumbar Support

If you don’t want lower backaches by the end of the day, then you need an office chair with good lumbar support.

Steelcase Leap V1

You get great lumbar support with the V1.

However, users don’t have the luxury to adjust the height and firmness of the lumbar. You have to be the perfect size for it.

Steelcase Leap V2

Well, with the V2, you can now adjust the height of the lumbar support to perfectly fit the curve of your back.

It won’t matter anymore whether you’re a taller or shorter person.

Also, V2 users can adjust the firmness of the lumbar area.

Don’t want something hard pushing against your back? You can loosen the firmness.

Is the lumbar area not pronounced enough? You can tighten it to make it firmer.

The Winner: Leap V2 with more adjustability in the lumbar area.

Armrest

If there’s one thing users love about Steelcase, it’s their fully adjustable armrests.

The Leap V1 and V2 don’t disappoint.

Steelcase Leap V1

The original Leap model already has more than enough armrest adjustments.

Anyone that used it could adjust the height, width, and even the inward and outward pivot.

This makes it a very customizable office chair.

Steelcase Leap V2

As expected of them, Steelcase took a step further with the Leap V2.

Instead of a 3-way adjustment, it offered a 4-way adjustment.

Height, width, inward and outward pivot…

…and depth.

Users can change the length of the armrest to their preferences when sitting up or reclining.

The Winner: V2. I mean, 4 is always bigger (and better) than 3.

Read more: Steelcase Leap vs. Think

Specifications

For the specs, we’ll compare the weight, price, and availability of both office chairs.

Weight

The weight of an office chair shouldn’t matter too much.

In saying that, there are some people who find it annoying when their office chairs are hard to push around.

Steelcase Leap V1

By now, you probably know the V1 is a heavy office chair since it’s made from steel.

But, as we said, it doesn’t make much difference. Unless you’re looking specifically for a light office chair.

Steelcase Leap V2

If you’re looking for a light office chair, then V2 is better for you.

Made from heavy-duty nylon, it’ll be easy to push the chair around and adjust the armrests.

The Winner: V2.

Read more: Steelcase Amia Review

Price

Of course, the price has a big say on which office chair you decide to buy. I mean, you can’t buy what you can’t afford.

Steelcase Leap V1

Unfortunately, the Leap V1 is rather expensive.

It becomes even more expensive with add-ons, such as new casters, a headrest, armrest, etc…

Steelcase Leap V2

The V2’s starting price is a few dollars more than the V1. That price can increase with any add-ons.

The Winner: Leap V1 as it’s more affordable.

Availability

It’s so frustrating when you’re so sure what office chair to buy…

…only to realize that it’s hard to find or isn’t available anymore.

Which might lead you to ask, “What’s more available in the markets today? The Leap V1 or V2?”

Steelcase Leap V1

Even though it’s considered the “old” version, you’ll be happy to know that the V1 is still in production today.

You can find it in Steelcase’s stores around the country, in office chair shops, and even online.

Steelcase Leap V2

Yes, The Leap V2 is readily available as well!

There’s no trouble finding it in Steelcase’s stores and other office chair stores. As well as online.

The Winner: Draw. Both are available in the markets today.

User Reviews

You now know the differences between the V1 and V2.

But you’ll want to know what users think about it.

Are these office chairs really as great as it sounds?

YES!

What users love most about them are the adjustments. They can customize the chair to whatever is most comfortable for them.

And, both provide hours of comfort. Users enjoy around 8-10 hours without feeling any fatigue or aches.

Not only that, but these office chairs are also well-known for their quality. They are built to last.

However, as expected, you’ll find a few complaints about both office chairs here and there. The price is the biggest turn-off.

Overall, users are very satisfied with both versions.

Check out this review video of the Steelcase Leap V1:

My Setup Ep 1: Steelcase Leap Chair

And this one for the Steelcase Leap V2:

Steelcase Leap V2 1 Year in Review

Steelcase Leap V1 vs V2: Which Is Better?

Since it’s the “new and improved” version, we can confidently say the V2 is better than the V1.

It’s like Steelcase took all the negatives of the V1 and changed it for the better with the V2.

So is it better to get a Steelcase Leap V2 over the V1?

It all depends on YOU.

If you want more padding or a wider backrest, the V1 is not without its benefits. If you want more adjustments or better shoulder support, go for the V2.

Now that you know their differences, it’s easier to decide if the V1 or the V2 is the perfect one for you.

Steelcase Leap V1 High Back Office Chair -Black Fabric
Steelcase Leap Black Fabric V2 Office Chair
Product
Steelcase Leap V1
Steelcase Leap V2
Backrest
Short and wide
Tall and narrow
Armrest
3-way adjustment; Thick padding
4-way adjustment, Thin padding
Seat
Adjustable lip tilt; Thick padding
Flexible seat lip; Thin padding
Base Material
Steel
Heavy-duty nylon
Lumbar Support
Not adjustable
Adjustable height and firmness
Weight
Price
Availability
Steelcase Leap V1 High Back Office Chair -Black Fabric
Product
Steelcase Leap V1
Backrest
Short and wide
Armrest
3-way adjustment; Thick padding
Seat
Adjustable lip tilt; Thick padding
Base Material
Steel
Lumbar Support
Not adjustable
Weight
Price
Availability
Steelcase Leap Black Fabric V2 Office Chair
Product
Steelcase Leap V2
Backrest
Tall and narrow
Armrest
4-way adjustment, Thin padding
Seat
Flexible seat lip; Thin padding
Base Material
Heavy-duty nylon
Lumbar Support
Adjustable height and firmness
Weight
Price
Availability

Conclusion

Both these office chairs work toward promoting better posture, comfort, and productivity. As well as fewer body aches, distractions, and other serious conditions.

This is why Steelcase Leap V1 and V2 are some of the best ergonomic office chairs today.

We hope this has been a great help!

Steelcase Amia vs. Leap: which is better? Find out here.

Last update on 2020-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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