One of the most important parts of any sim racing setup is the seat. You need it to be both comfortable and practical, and although there are plenty of options out there to choose from, there are two that are very popular among beginner sim racers. But which is better, the F-GT Lite or the Playseat Challenge?
Determining the better seat out of the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite and the Playseat Challenge is not easy, as there are many factors to consider. Although the Playseat is cheaper and easy to store, the F-GT Lite is more durable. Overall, I believe the F-GT Lite is the better option.
In order to determine which seat is truly best, we need to consider all the individual factors in more depth. Below, I’ll go through each of these in more detail so you can decide which one is right for your sim racing setup. But first, let’s consider what factors you should be looking at.
What To Look For In A Good Sim Racing Seat
There are several different things to consider when choosing a new sim racing seat, and these will determine which option to go for if you are deciding between the F-GT Lite and the Playseat Challenge. First, I will outline what these factors are, and then I will go through each one and compare both seats to help you make the right decision.
The first thing you want to consider is the comfort factor. This is obviously important, as you will be spending hours sitting in the chair and so you need to make sure that you are comfortable doing so. Things that will affect the comfort factor include the materials the seat is made of, as well as the actual size and shape of the seat itself.
The materials will be important for the comfort factor, but they will also help to determine the price of the seat as well. As we always say, the price should not be the deciding factor when choosing any piece of sim racing equipment. This also applies to seats, and given that you will be spending a lot of time sitting in it, it is definitely worth getting the best one that you can afford!
Portability is another important factor, as if you don’t have a permanent racing setup you will need to think about where you are going to store your equipment when you are not using it. We assume if you’re looking at these two seats in particular that portability is at least partly a concern for you, as most other options on the market are designed to be permanent setups.
Adjustability & Compatibility
Adjustability and compatibility are also important. You might want to be able to choose different seating positions freely, or you may want the option to quickly select pre-set positions instead. You will also want your racing seat to be compatible with other pieces of racing equipment, such as your wheel and pedals.
Finally, you may also want to consider any extra features that the seat has. This could include things like a shifter or handbrake mount, or it could be functionalities such as if it reclines, or even how it looks as well.
Now that you know what to look for, let’s go into more detail about each of these factors with respect to these two seats.
Comparison Of the F-GT Lite & The Playseat Challenge
When it comes to comfort, the F-GT Lite does a very good job of making you feel like part of the seat. It is made from breathable fabric, which means you won’t get too hot during long racing sessions. You can adjust the seat to your liking, so you can take control of your comfort, and each point of the seat can take up to 150 kg (330 lbs) of weight as well.
The Playseat Challenge on the other hand is covered in Alcantara, and so it offers a comfortable and stylish feel that also won’t make you too hot like leather might. Although the seat does feel slightly less durable than the F-GT, and it can be a bit difficult to get in and out of, it still offers a lot of comfort when you are sitting in it.
As I just mentioned, the Playseat does feel a little cheaper than the F-GT, and that’s because it typically is cheaper. This is somewhat reflected in the build quality, but regardless, each one is definitely worth the relatively small price when compared to a lot of the other options on the market.
One thing that both of these seats do a good job of is portability. The F-GT Lite, unlike the bulkier F-GT cockpit, is very storage-friendly, offering almost flat folding even with your wheel and pedals attached. This means that after a racing session you don’t need to remove your wheel and pedals and you can simply fold it all up and hide it away before you need to use it again.
The Playseat Challenge also offers good portability, being foldable to allow for very easy storage or even transportation. Coming in at just 9 kg (20 lbs), you will have no trouble taking this anywhere you go. The F-GT weighs substantially more, at 19 kg (42 lbs). This makes it a fair bit tougher to move around, but again it does mean it feels more secure when you are sitting in it (which is likely more important).
Adjustability & Compatibility
The F-GT offers plenty of adjustability, and it features two pre-set positions that you can choose to sit in. The first is a Formula position, which puts you low to the ground as if you are in an open wheeler, and the second is the GT position, which is slightly higher up. It features handy quick releases to easily go between these two modes, and you can also adjust each to your liking.
The Playseat Challenge also offers decent adjustability, but no pre-set positions. This does mean you can simply set it and forget it, with your favorite position waiting for you each session. Both seats are highly compatible with other equipment, containing pre-drilled holes that fit most brands of wheels and pedals, such as Logitech, Fanatec and Thrustmaster.
In terms of extra features, the F-GT Lite offers quick release mechanisms for easy position selection, and you can adjust it in lots of different ways. Another useful feature is the handy gear shifter mount that comes in the box. This means that you can easily attach a gear shifter for a more immersive sim racing experience.
The Playseat Challenge has a nice Alcantara finish as I mentioned above, which means the seat has a nice racing aesthetic. It also means that the seat is very easy to clean. If you have a PlayStation, you may wish to go for the (often slightly more expensive) PlayStation branded seat, which will look great within any racing setup.
- Durable construction
- Adjustable modes
- Breathable fabric
- Can be a bit more expensive
- Much heavier than the Playseat
- Nice Alcantara finish
- Often slightly cheaper than the F-GT Lite
- Very easy to store
- Cheaper construction
- Harder to get in and out of
If you are looking for your first sim racing rig, or to add a portable option to your setup, you may be struggling between two of the most popular options on the market with the F-GT Lite and the Playseat Challenge. Both are very good options for sim racers of all experience levels, but they are definitely aimed more towards the beginner or intermediate with their relatively low price point.
Both seats offer a lot of portability and compatibility, but the Playseat is a bit more storage friendly, weighing less than half the weight of the F-GT. However, the F-GT Lite does live up to its slightly higher price tag with its extra adjustability and superior construction, and so I believe that it is the better option to go for if you have the budget.
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