I have always tried to adhere to the mindset of using the right tool for the job. Nevertheless, there have been occasions where makeshift solutions might have become commonplace in my garage. Case in point: my creeper. It was far from top quality from the beginning, but using it as a mechanic’s chair required some “resourceful” ingenuity. Finally, after years of abuse and a deteriorating structure, it was time to retire the now-defunct unit, as its utility had become more of a burden than assistance.
Recognizing the need to acquire the right tool this time, I set out to find a new creeper — one that not only excelled at its primary function, but also offered more features, a stronger design, and, last but not least, the versatility of providing me with a functional chair. I eventually stumbled upon the Ergochair RS from BendPak.
Ready To Rock
You might recognize the BendPak name as the company that manufactures professional automotive lifts, but the company also provides a variety of products beyond lifts, catering to the spectrum of home garage and industrial applications. I decided that if it were durable enough to withstand the rigors of a worksite, then surely my garage would be a safe place for it. That is, unless my kids discover dad’s new rolling chair or skateboard, depending on how they come across it
Within a few days of placing the order, the sizable BendPak box arrived on my doorstep. Suddenly, fear struck me. You see, being a dad means that any large box usually entails assembly. Numerous birthdays, Christmases, and my wife’s trips to Ikea have instilled this fear in me. Much to my chagrin, the Ergo-RS was fully assembled in the box. I just had to remove the packing material from either end and lift the chair out.
Industrial, Yet Refined
The Ergo-RS is no featherweight, tipping the scales at 60 pounds, thanks in part to its fully powder-coated tubular welded steel structure found in the base, scissor-lift assembly, and backbone. Despite its weight, the chair’s hefty feel disappears due to its weight distribution, 40-inch wheelbase, and sturdy wheels.
The 44-inch by 15-inch (17.5 inches in the headrest section) padded section is covered in blue marine vinyl that claims to resist abrasion, chemicals, and oil — something my human body is not known for. The likelihood of me outlasting the chair in those conditions is slim to none, but it’s reassuring to know it can handle anything I throw at it in my home workspace. While not plush from a sofa perspective, the firmness of the padding will allow for longer hours spent in the garage working, or at the very least, provide a refuge from the chaos in the house.
Operational And Feature Filled
To operate the chair, simply lift the backrest pad to transition from a bench press setup at a 0-degree angle to an incline, eventually reaching the final 75-degree angle. To lower it back down, lift the seat up and release it, clicking into the desired position. Editor’s note: Do not lift the seat portion up and hold it, bypassing the locks while sitting; the Ergo-RS does not defy gravity, and your tailbone will quickly remind you of that fact. For a slower drop, consider the Ergo-Jet with its adjustable air spring.
One notable engineering feature is the offset positioning of the wheelbase from the padding. This design allows your head to go under a vehicle before the wheels, providing ample workspace around you. When in the vertical position, you sit above the wheels, with your body positioned in front of them. In my case, working on my engine stand allowed the Ergo-RS’s wheels to be positioned behind my engine stand, while my body was underneath it. Even at the workbench, my son was able to wire his gauges while seated in the upright position.
Now, for the fun part: the ErgoChair comes with attachments for a drink holder, a snack bin, and even a designated spot for forgetting where you put your 10mm socket. BendPak has also included a magnetic tray that conveniently stores behind the headrest when not in use. The only thing missing is an engine – which, by the way, sounds like a fantastically terrible idea. When do we start?
Money Well Spent
Whether you’re an aircraft mechanic, automotive professional, or just a cleaning time escapee, the Ergo-RS is the ideal chair for any working environment. It offers an exceptionally low height when flat but still provides ample support when seated in any of the inclined positions. It rolls extremely smoothly on the garage surface, and is resistant to workplace hazards. At a price of only $600, I no longer have to endure the struggle with my inferior creeper, making this investment a sanity-saving choice.