Today we are going to be taking a closer look at my current chair, the 100MC from BTOD.com. As you can imagine, being the President of an office furniture company I have quite few chair options to choose from. We have chairs in our office that range from $200 all the way up to $2,000. I had originally started sitting in the 100MC to test the durability when it first arrived, but over time I started to really enjoy the way it sat. Since then I have tried to switch to some of the other chairs we have, but I keep coming back to the 100MC. The 90 degree angle from the seat to back and firm seat cushion are two of my favorite features. While this chair might be a good option for some, it definitely won’t be for everyone. Let’s take a look at the 100MC and see if it has the potential to find a new home in your office.
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BTOD 100MC Review Snapshot
- Great value
- Adjustable lumbar support
- Four-position tilt lock
- Lifetime warranty on parts
- 5 year warranty on upholstery
- Seat sits a bit firm
- Arm pads can be firm
- Might be too tall for short users
- Doesn't have all the ergonomic adjustments
Our OEM manufacturer for this chair is K&A Manufacturing, a company that we source many of our private label products from. It is currently manufactured by one of their Chinese partners based in Guangzhou, China. This area of China is well known for manufacturing many of the lower cost office chairs you find globally. While quality control can be hit or miss in China, the company that K&A Mfg. has partnered with has been very good. I have personally been on trips to visit their factory, and met with their people to make refinements for the 100MC chair. Over the course of the last three years, we have made improvements throughout the chair to make it the best it has been yet.
Country of Origin
Overall Dimensions: 25”W x 24.2”D x 40.5”H
Seat: 20.9”W x 17.2”D
Back: 19.7”W x 20.5”H
Seat Height: 18.6” to 23.4”
Weight: 37.5 lbs.
Weight Rate: 250 lbs.
- Tilt tension control: recline rate adapts to weight of user
- 4 position tilt lock: locks out tilt function
- Synchro-tilt: back reclines in a preset ratio to seat
- Seat height adjustment: seat height sets to desired position relative to floor
- Arm height adjustment: Arm adjusts up or down for proper ergonomic positioning while seated
- Adjustable lumbar support
- Soft wheels designed for hardwood, tile, or carpeted surfaces
- Breathable black mesh backrest with highly quality molded foam in seat
$199.99 + Free Shipping (Black Model)
The 100MC comes with a solid warranty for a chair that retails under $200. Coverage on the foam and upholstery is for a period of five years. There is a lifetime warranty on all moving parts including: casters, mechanism, cylinder, armrests, etc. This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear or abuse.
How does it ship?
The BTOD 100MC chair ships via FedEx Ground.
The assembly process for the 100MC is very straightforward. There are not a lot of parts overall and the tools are included in the packaging. For most users this process should only take 15-30 minutes for complete assembly. For this review I used a brand new chair for an assembly refresher. It took me 12 minutes to complete the assembly. After doing so, the only real hang up I can see a customer having is with attaching the backrest to the seat mechanism. Having a second set of hands to hold the seat and backrest will make this process go much quicker. When I assembled the chair I was able to do it by myself and use the floor to support the parts.
I think it’s important to keep in mind that the 100MC chair retails for $199.99. While this is more expensive than the $99 special you may find at Office Depot, it still isn’t a $1200 Aeron Chair from Herman Miller. At this price point you need to consider there are some areas where costs have to be cut. With that said, I do feel that the 100MC is a well-built chair for the price. Starting from the bottom up, let’s take a look at the build of all of the 100MC components.
The dual wheel soft casters on the 100MC are good quality and have held up well on my chair. Because they come standard as a soft caster they can be used on hard surfaces safely. This includes wood and tile surfaces. I have used my chair on a carpeted surface and plastic chair mat over the past two years it’s been in my office. As long as you aren’t rolling your chair over rocks or rough surfaces the polyurethane wrap over the plastic caster should hold up well.
The chair base for the 100MC is made from a reinforced molded nylon that is commonly found on chairs in this price point. While it won’t be quite as strong as a steel base or as fancy as a polished aluminum base, it holds up well. It’s important to note that this chair is designed for individuals that are 250 lbs. and under. Going over this weight limit can create issues that may lead to damage to the base. I tend to put my feet up on the base when seated at times and overall it has held up well. I don’t have a lot of rocks in my shoes, so there aren’t large scrapes or gouges in the base. One of the problems with a polished aluminum base or painted base is they tend to scratch easily. The nylon material does a better job keeping its overall look consistent over time. Of course this can vary depending on the user and how clean their shoes and floor are.
The pneumatic cylinder on the 100MC is a class three cylinder. Cylinder come in four different classes, with one being the lowest and four being the highest. This means that the 100MC is above average, but not quite at the highest level. It’s important with all cylinders to make sure you are below the recommended weight capacity. The 100MC has a lifetime warranty on the cylinder and as long as you don’t abuse the chair you won’t have a problem getting replacements.
The chair mechanism is nicer than what you would typically find on a chair under the $200 mark. The most commonly found mechanism is a standard swivel tilt vs. the four-position synchro-tilt on the 100MC. One of the major reasons we decided to go with this route was that it felt more solid than the standard swivel tilt mech. When you rock back and forth in less expensive swivel tilt mechanism they have a lot more play. It almost feels like a spring when it hits on the locking bar. The mechanism we ultimately decided to use on the 100MC is much tighter.
Seat Pad & Pan
The seat pan used on the 100MC is made from a molded foam cushion. The more commonly used padding for chairs under $200 is a cut foam material. The problem with cut foam is that it breaks down much quicker than a molded foam cushion. The upside to cut foam is that they are generally softer to sit in, so you will find yourself sinking down into it more. The molded foam cushion is more like memory foam, where it will sit a little firm. There are different levels of firmness and the 100MC is somewhere in the middle from firm to soft. The molded foam used on the 100MC was good quality, but it is not the best. This is to be expected with a chair around this price point.
The seat pan on the 100MC is made from a plywood material. This is the most cost effective solution for chair manufacturers and what you will find more often than not at this price point. They are able to use metal inserts in the particle board to create threading to attached the mechanism and arms to the chair. The plywood used on the 100MC chair is average, but has held up well on my chair.
Arms & Arm Pads
The armrest on the 100MC is made from a molded nylon, similar to the material used to create the base. This type of material is less expensive to use than a steel or aluminum, and still provides good strength. It will not be quite as durable as a steel plated armrest, but will hold up well for users that are under the max weight capacity for the chair.
The arm pads found on the 100MC are different than most that you will find. Instead of used a solid molded polyurethane arm pad, they have created something much different. It has a solid plastic core, with a cut piece of foam, which is then wrapped with a durable polyurethane skin. While this is probably the most durable design I have seen, it won’t provide the soft feel you’d get with some more padded options. The foam used inside the arm isn’t dense or thick enough to provide a super cushy feeling. It provides just enough padding to not bottom out on the plastic.
The backrest on the 100MC is made of a nylon mesh material that is pulled tight. The chair that I have used for the past two years has held up well and the backrest looks like new. While it has stretched a small amount, it really isn’t that noticeable until you push on a new chair next to the old one. On the backside of the backrest is an adjustable lumbar support system. It is made from a formed plastic that is curved to better fit the shape of your lower back. It uses a ratchet system for height adjustment that holds the lumbar at your desired position.
Four-Position Synchro Tilt Lock
The four position synchro tilt lock function found on the 100MC is very unique to the price point. Most, if not all, chairs we carry at this price offer a standard swivel tilt function. Swivel tilt is the most basic option, with a center tilt post that is either locked upright or will swing freely. This function tilts the seat and backrest at the same rate. The 100MC’s synchro tilt mechanism allows you to tilt back in a more natural way, with a 2 to 1 ratio for the backrest and seat. The four position lock is great if you like to lean back in your chair and lock it into a position. The chair can lock into the full upright position, which is close to 90 degrees between the seat and backrest. There are three additional positions that you can lock in as you lean back into the chair.
Height and Width Adjustable Arms
The 100MC chair comes with height and width adjustable armrests. While the width adjustment on the armrests is minimal, they can be adjusted .75” for each arm. This will provide some adjustment if you need more or less space between the armrests. The armrests are height adjustable, with X amount of overall height adjustment. The height adjustment comes with X predetermined positions.
Adjustable Lumbar Support
While it may be hard to believe, the lumbar support system on the 100MC was made to do more than just look pretty. Because of the mesh material used on the backrest, the lumbar support system provides real support. The lumbar support system is X tall which is nice because it does a good job of providing support across more of your lower back. It also doesn’t feel quite as pronounced as some lumbar systems that can be an annoyance if you don’t like something poking you in the back. With X amount of height adjustment, there is a good amount of range for you to get comfortable depending on your height.
Height adjustment is a standard feature on almost every chair. It’s also one of the most important when it comes to properly fitting different sized people. The 100MC is on the taller side of the spectrum with a range of motion from 18.6” to 23.4” tall. I am 6 feet tall and I prefer to have the chair seat height set around 19.5” tall. Depending on your body, you could find that a different height would be preferred for you. The best thing to do is find a position that allows you to put your feet flat on the floor and have your thigh/lower leg at a 90 degree angle.
How does it sit?
The seat comfort tends to be a make or break situation for almost all chairs. It’s sort of like the story Goldilocks, with some finding chairs to be too soft, too firm or just right. The 100MC chair tends to sit a bit more on the firm side. While not hard as a rock, if you prefer a big cushy seat this is not going to be it. It was designed to offer consistent support, that wouldn’t break down quickly like other chairs at its price point. While you may find that the seat does soften naturally over time, it tends to remain very consistent years after use. The seat upholstery itself is nice and soft; comfortable for those who are lucky enough to wear shorts to the office.
The 100MC has surprisingly good back support for a chair that is at this price point. The mesh backrest has just enough give to it to so that it’s supportive and you can still feel the lumbar support system. The lumbar support system is the best i’ve reviewed, but it still provides good lower support that you can actually feel. The lumbar support system is also height adjustable so you are able to fine tune what feels good. The backrest is also tall enough to fully encompass my shoulder blades without the uncomfortable feeling of a hard frame hitting you. The backrest is also positioned to create a nice 90 degree angle with the seat. For users that might need consistent back support up the entire back, the 100MC will provide great support all off the way up your back.
Overall, the BTOD 100MC is one of the best values that I have found at the $199 price point. With the features that it includes, it compares favorably with chairs that are upwards of $300. Of course that doesn’t mean that it is perfect. If you like a big cushy seat, the 100MC chair is probably not a great chair for you. Also, the use of lower quality foam in the arm pads breaks down over time to provide a lack of cushioning for your elbows. Depending on how you sit in your chair, this could pose a problem. While the cushion may be on the firmer side, it was designed that way with molded foam. This creates a more durable solution that is designed to hold up better over the lifetime of your chair. Additional features like four-position tilt lock, an adjustable lumbar support and tall backrest make the 100MC a really nice option.