BTOD.com has been an authorized dealer for Safco Products for several years. It was a nice surprise when we learned that Safco had acquired the Focal product line because we would gain access to a lot of cool new products. The product line was even more intriguing because they are designed to be used in active offices and with standing desks. This was a natural fit for us. We ordered all of the Focal seating products so that we could test them out. The two models that I will be focusing on in this review are the Mobis® and Mobis® II. The chairs have very minor difference so it made sense to review them at the same time. I will make sure to highlight the differences between the two in the sections below.
Note: The overall score shown is for the Mobis® II version. The only difference in scoring between the Mobis® and Mobis® II is the seat comfort. The score for the Mobis® is 25 compared to 50 on the Mobis® II. This change makes the overall score of the Mobis® a 71 compared to the 75 on the Mobis® II.
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Focal™ Mobis® & Mobis® II Review Snapshot
- Great portability
- Strong warranty
- Good range of motion
- Adjusts high enough for tall people
- Built-in seat handle for carrying
- Very stable at all heights
- Seat may be too stiff for some people
- Poor mobility when sitting
- Not a good option for prolonged hours
- Takes time to get used to
The Mobis® Chair is a product by Focal Upright Furniture, LLC. Focal was started by Martin Keen when he saw a need to ease the tension on your legs and feet from standing while you work. Martin Keen is an industrial engineer who is most famous for his recognizable shoe brand, KEEN Footwear. Focal has also been very successful for Keen and was acquired in 2016 by Safco products. Safco has been in business for 50 years and is a large player in the office furniture industry. They offer products in a vast array of categories.
See The Best Standing Desk Chairs and Stools For 2019
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Specs / Features / Pricing
– Return Policy and Warranty
– Shipping and Assembly
– Build Quality
– Sitting Mobility
– Seat Comfort
– Range of Motion
– Making Adjustments
– What I Like
– What I Don’t Like
– Bottom Line
Country of Origin
|Seating Surface Size||16″W x 10.5″D||16″W x 11.5″D|
|Seat Height Range||25” – 35”||28.5” – 37.75”|
|Weight Capacity||300 lbs.||300 lbs.|
|Chair Weight||15 lbs.||16.5 lbs.|
|Shipping Weight||24 lbs.||27 lbs.|
Fiberglass-reinforced nylon seat pan
EVA foam seat cushion
Steel gas piston cylinder
Pivoting seat leg promotes movement
Easy-adjust piston-release handles raise and lower the seat
2019 Price – $378.99
The base is black and the piston is gray on both models. You do get to choose the seat color though. There are four colors: black, blue, red or citrus. You can swap the seat out at any time for a different color if you decide you’d like a change.
After Safco acquired the Focal product line, the shopping cart was removed from the Focal website and all purchases must now be made through an authorized dealer. This means that the return policy on the Mobis® will depend on the dealer that you make your purchase from.
Safco offers a limited lifetime warranty on the Mobis® chair. The seat cushion and piston are covered for five years and the rest of the chair is covered for a lifetime. The warranty on the Mobis® is among the best in the category.
The Mobis® ships within a couple days via FedEx or UPS ground. It arrives a few business days later. Both models come in a small box that weighs about 25 lbs. I found the box to be easy to carry on my own. Both chairs arrived in the same style of packaging. Everything was tightly packed and well protected. There is little chance for damage during shipping on this product.
The assembly on the Mobis® is very minimal. It will take most people a couple minutes to complete the process. You just need to set the piston in the base and then place the seat on top of the piston. The seat cushion then snaps into the seat pan and the chair is ready for use. You do not need any tools and you do not need to attach any hardware.
The build quality is the same on both the Mobis® and Mobis® II. They are made in China so the build quality will be a step down from the similarly designed Muvman. But, the build is good for a chair coming out of China. They are a step up in quality over products like the VARIchair, Basyx Perch and OFM Vivo. The Mobis® features a fiberglass-reinforced nylon base and seat pan. The gas cylinder is steel and the pivoting leg is anodized extruded aluminum that features a powder coat paint finish. The seat cushion is made from EVA foam.
There is a steel mounting plate in the base that helps to keep the chair stable while a rubber rim around the bottom of the base keeps it from sliding. The parts feel solid and the product functions smoothly, with no awkward noises or weird sticking point when making height adjustments.
The Mobis® stool does not have any mobility. The base is meant to stay in one place. It does not have casters, glides or any other way to easily move the chair while you are sitting in the chair. I found this lack of mobility to be a slight annoyance when trying to find the exact spot I wanted to be in when getting into a comfortable position. Having wheels on your base allows you to move the chair a very small amount really easily. These micro adjustments are not possible with a chair like the Mobis®.
While the Mobis® does not have any mobility while sitting on it, it is very portable when you are not sitting on it. Both models weigh about 15 lbs. and feature a compact design. Both versions also have a handle built into the chair. The handle on the Mobis® goes all the way through the seat so you can wrap your fingers all the way around the handle. The handle on the Mobis® II is an indentation in the foam because the seat is thicker. Both models are really easy to carry from room to room and can be collapsed down and stored away in small spaces.
The Mobis® & Mobis® II both have a nylon seat pan with a removable cushion made of EVA foam. The material is soft to the touch and can be cleaned very easily. The seat is about 16” wide and 11” deep. This is quite a bit smaller than a standard office chair’s seat. The seat has a concave shape so it feels more like you are sitting in the seat than on top of the seat, like the Muvman. The front of the seat has a waterfall edge and the whole seat is tilted forward slightly. This allows you to sit in the seat at taller heights instead of having to lean against the front edge. At the tallest heights, you will still need to lean against the front edge but the waterfall front edge helps to make it a bit more comfortable.
The main difference between the Mobis® and Mobis® II is the seat cushion. They are made of the same material but the Mobis® II’s cushion is three times as thick as the Mobis®. Both seats are firm and I was only able to use them for a couple hours at a time but the Mobis® II’s seat was comfortable for longer than the standard Mobis® seat.
Range of Motion
The pivoting joint in the base allows the piston to tilt forward, tilt to both sides and backwards slightly. You will not have the same freedom as a wobble stool but the Mobis® still has a good range of motion. It feels smooth and natural to move and not restrictive like other chairs I have tested.
Adjusting the Mobis®
The only adjustment on the Mobis® is seat height. The adjustment is done with a gas cylinder that is controlled with a handle underneath the seat. Pressing and holding the handle will unlock the cylinder, which will force the seat up. To lower the seat, you just need to hold the handle and use your body weight to push the seat to your preferred height. Both versions of the Mobis® have about 10” of seat height adjustment but the big difference between the two products is the seat height range. The Mobis® starts at 25” and goes up to 35”. The Mobis® II goes from 28.5”- 37.75”. Neither product will be practical for sitting at normal desk height but the Mobis® II will be a better option for tall people because of its higher seat height range.
Like the other standing desk chairs in the Focal product lineup, the Mobis® is not like a traditional ergonomic chair. We have always known ergonomic chairs to have comfortable seats, a backrest with lumbar support and adjustable armrests. All of these tools are aimed at getting your knees, hips and elbows at 90°. You are meant to stay in the same position to maximize comfort for extended hours. The Mobis® takes the opposite approach; you are not meant to stay in the same position. Instead, the chair is designed to allow you to move freely.
There are no arms or backrest because the Mobis® is meant to be used in a perched or leaning position. This means that you use the seat at a taller height with your legs at an angle of 135°. This puts you in a modified standing posture which helps to alleviate pressure on your feet and legs from full standing. This also allow you to be active, unlike normal ergonomic chairs. While the Mobis® is a nice tool for people that want to be more active, I did find it difficult to use the chair for extended periods of time. If you are looking for a chair for prolonged hours at a time, the Mobis® may not be the best option for you.
The Mobis® stool is stable at all heights. The round base is large enough to keep the chair from tipping. There is also a heavy steel mounting plate in the base that gives the chair a nice anchor point. The bottom of the base has a non-slip rubber strip to keep the base from sliding on hard surfaces. The range of motion is generous but not large enough to allow you to tilt far enough to feel off-balance. Overall, the Mobis® is one of the most stable leaning chairs I have tested.
What Do I Like?
I really like how portable both versions of the Mobis® are. The lightweight design with the built-in handle make these chairs a nice option for people that are constantly moving their chair around their office or from location to location.
Good range of motion
The Mobis® has a good range of motion. You can’t lean back like you would be able to on a wobble stool or the Swopper but the range in front of you and to the sides is quite generous. I also like that you do not have to use a lot of effort to move the piston or hold the seat in a new position.
The limited lifetime warranty on the Mobis® is among the best warranties offered in the standing stool category. Although the Mobis® carries a mid-range price, you still get a top tier warranty.
Adjusts high enough for tall people
The two different versions of the Mobis® offer a wide height adjustment range. While the Mobis® cannot be used at normal sitting height, the adjustment range is large enough to provide perching positions for people ranging from 4’11” to 6’8”.
Very stable at all heights
The base design on the Mobis® makes it one of the most stable standing desk chairs we have tested. This is a nice option for those of you that think you will be uneasy using a wobble stool.
What Don’t I Like?
Seat may be too stiff for some people
I think the biggest thing holding the Mobis® back is the seat design. The stiffness is something that won’t be preferred by everyone. I think the seat stiffness is even more pronounced on the Mobis® compared to the Mobis® II because the padding is so much thinner. The stiff seat is the biggest reason why I was only comfortable using the Mobis® for short periods of time.
Poor mobility when sitting
The Mobis® chair does not have an easy way to move while you are sitting in it. This makes it difficult to make micro adjustments to get in the exact position you’d like. If you want to move an inch or two, you’ll need to stand up off the seat, move it the short distance and then sit back down.
Not a suitable for prolonged hours
I would not recommend the Mobis® to people who are looking to replace a normal office chair that they use for 5+ hours per day. The stiff seat, lack of arms and no backrest made it uncomfortable to use either model of the Mobis® for longer than 2-3 hours in a day.
Takes some time to get used to
If you have never used a standing or leaning stool, then you will need to get used to the new style of sitting. Things like soreness in your feet, shins, thighs and even your back are not uncommon. After a week or two this soreness will subside as your body gets used to using new muscles in a new posture.
I have yet to review a standing chair that was void of any weaknesses so it comes as no surprise that the Mobis® has some downsides to consider before making your purchase. I think the biggest factors to consider are the overall change in sitting style and the seat design. Not everyone will like a stiff seat. The shape of the seat itself will also pose a problem for some people. It is important to understand that the Mobis® may not be a good replacement for an office chair that you use for many hours a day and there may be a bit of soreness and pain while you get used to your new chair.
While the Mobis® Seat is not perfect, it does have some nice features. For starters, you get one of the best warranties in the industry which means that you know you’ll have a working standing chair for many years to come. The Mobis® also has a good range of motion and a height adjustment range that works for a wide range of people, including really tall people. I am also a big fan of the portability of the Mobis®. I think that the best way to use the Mobis® is for periods of about an hour or less before either changing the height of the chair or taking a break from it entirely. The portability of the chair allows you to move it out of the way, share it with a co-worker or even take with you if you are constantly moving around the office from meeting to meeting.
I think the Mobis® can be a nice option for people looking to incorporate a standing chair into their routine but I would definitely recommend the Mobis® II version because of the extra padding on the seat, especially since the price is the same.