The Leap v1 chair, introduced in 1999, quickly climbed the ranking of the most popular office chairs. During the first year of sales of the Leap V1, it was reported that Steelcase sold more than 5.000 office chairs each week. Designed as a premium ergonomic office chair, the V1 had some of the most unique features in an ergonomic chair for its time. This came at a high cost, as it was also reported that Steelcase had invested a whopping $35 million in research and development of their banner.
In 2006, the Leap V1 was replaced by the Steel Case Leap V2. While some changes to the design of the Leap V2 were obvious, there were also more subtle changes to the new design.
The first and biggest change to the Steelcase Leap V2 was the rear design. The original design of the Steelcase V1 has a shorter backrest, with a more flared design. The Steelcase Leap V2 comes with a higher back.
These two designs create a completely different seating comfort when you sit in the chair. This is especially true for taller users. While there are no uncomfortable pressure points to be found on the Steelcase Leap V1's design, there isn't quite as good shoulder blade support for taller users. If you are looking for full back support, the Leap V2 is the right choice.
The thickness of the Leap V1 and Leap V2 seat differs quite a bit, because the Leap V1 has a thicker seat. Due to the shorter backrest of the Leap V1, this chair is a lot less comfortable for taller people. The seat of the Jump V2 is thinner, because techniques have improved greatly over the years, so that a thinner seat can offer the same comfort as a thicker seat.
Construction of the armrests
The Leap V2 introduced plastic molds for the armrests. Previously, Steelcase used steel molds. The Leap V2 arms therefore look a lot better and are also a lot more flexible. Furthermore, the Steelcase Leap V2 has 4D armrests and the Leap V1 has 3D armrests. To take on the right fit, 4D armrests are best.
Shape and Thickness armrest
Just like the seat cushions of the Leap V1, the armrests are also thicker than those of the current V2 chair. The appearance is also clearly different. Due to the thickness difference, the armrests of the v1 will give a deeper feeling when you place your elbow on the armrests. In contrast, the appearance of the Steelcase Leap V2 is neater and more streamlined.
By now you have probably concluded that many of the changes made to the Steelcase Leap v2 were made, related to aesthetics and finding a way to reduce the weight of the chair. The basic design was another good example of this. With a more flat and rounded design for the v1, this makes for a more dated look and feel. The v2 base has more height, tighter lines and is a lot thinner, which gives a modern look to an office chair that is thirteen to fourteen years old.
Plastics have come a long way, allowing many chair manufacturers to switch to lighter nylon plastic, which gives the bases a sleek design. The base of the Leap v1 is made of steel, something not often found on standard sized ergonomic office chairs. However, this heavy design was not the prettiest, as a cheap plastic cover was used to hide the steel construction.
De Jump V2 uses a nylon plastic design, creating a more streamlined look. With this switch to plastic, Steelcase has kept the weight of their office chair extremely low. Due to the light design, the Leap V2 can be used ergonomically 24/7.
We can conclude that the Leap V2 is a better office chair in terms of comfort, ergonomics and design. That is not very surprising, because the Leap V2 was built to replace the Leap V1.
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