Fusion Escape Chairs - A Review After A Week - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently purchased three Fusion Escape chairs in bonded leather. I just wanted to post my impressions, as I'm always thankful when others on this board do the same. Let me first say that Roman is a really good guy to deal with. He is always super responsive, and I appreciate that. For me, this is a purchase I wish I could take back (and would, had I purchased them locally). After living with the chairs for a week, there are far more issues that I don't like about them than I do like about them. I will say that my only other experience with home theater seating are Berkline (which are real leather...more about this later) theater seats that I've owned for about six years. For me, the bonded leather on these chairs looks and feels cheap (which I guess shouldn't be much of a surprise, given that it's mostly not real leather). I certainly don't fault Roman for this, as I made the decision to go with the bonded leather.

I agree with what many others have already said that the cooling feature is a complete waste of time, and I'm not sure why it was even incorporated into the chair. They don't really work, and the constant humming sound is beyond annoying! The top part of the seat connects to the bottom of the seat with a zipper, which just feels "cheap". My Berklines went together the same exact way the Escapes went together and no zipper was required on my Berklines. The lumbar support in the escapes is almost non-existent, and becomes far more noticeable (to the point of being uncomfortable), as you recline the seat. I will say that I'm not a tiny guy (I'm 6'4" and 280lbs), so maybe these seats simply aren't built for bigger people. If that's the case, that's probably something that needs to be discussed, before the purchase.

The other thing that I really don't like about these chairs are the controls. I know it's supposed to be cutting edge, but I prefer the simple reclining mechanism that most chairs have on the side. Having to constantly lock the controls is something that I simply don't want to do. Given the location of the controls on the armrest, you absolutely MUST lock them each and every time, or you are guaranteed to inadvertently adjust the chair. I personally don't like the location of the controls, at all. I will say that the one feature on these chairs that I thought would be as much of a gimmick as the cooling feature were the adjustable headrests. That turns out to be one of the only features that I like about the chairs. When you're reclined, it's a nice feature, that works very well. Beyond that, I simply don't find the chairs that comfortable, at all. My six year old Berklines are FAR more comfortable, and it's not even close. I knew I made a mistake on my purchase when my wife asked me why these chairs were so uncomfortable. I don't know enough about furniture fabric to know whether or not the real leather versus bonded leather would have made much of a difference in comfort (but, I suspect the answer is no). I definitely have concerns about how these chairs will hold up, given the constant use of the controls (i.e. always having to lock the chair and accidentally adjusting, if I forget to lock it) and the less than plush "leather". Time will tell. If I had the opportunity to do this transaction over again, I wouldn't have hesitated to purchase some of the Berkline closeouts that Roman has. I actually did consider doing that, but I was given the impression that the Fusion line was of much higher quality, so that's what I went for. Given how much I love my Berklines (even after all of these years), that was a mistake!

Again, this isn't about slamming Roman. He's a good guy, and I believe he runs an honest business. That said, these boards should be used for its members to help and guide each other with purchase decisions (especially ones that are made online, without seeing what you're purchasing). I also believe we owe it to the other members to be as honest as we can be about our reviews. I know that's a bit more challenging when you know the person who sold you the chairs posts on these very boards, but nonetheless, I'm simply being brutally honest about my impressions. I believe purchasing furniture (which really should be sat on first) online is FAR more risky than purchasing a TV that you can go see in action at your local Best Buy. I can say that if I had sat on these seats in person, I definitely would have not purchased them. Being as honest as I could be and to steal from Amazon.com's rating system, I would only give these seats 2 out of 5 stars, and that's probably being generous (from my perspective). The other thing I want to point out is that these chairs aren't exactly inexpensive! Given they were more than $800.00 per chair for something that isn't even genuine leather, my expectations are far higher than they would have been if I were buying chairs that were $400.00 each! I will gladly answer any specific questions that anyone has.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:59 PM
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I'll add my experience. Had three escapes for a little over a year. I'm about 6'3" 215 pounds and can agree there is no lumbar support. Some of the other complaints such as the touch buttons, zipper, cup cooler seem trivial to me. I have been seeing some other more concerning issue's though. I sit in the middle seat and the other two seats get little use. There now is a huge difference in the lack of support in that middle seat. I now notice a bar in the lumbar area poking me in the back. I have also broken through the arm rest as I will dig my elbow into it to reposition myself and what ever material is in there has broken up. I will need to order a replacement. The foot rest makes a click sound when I raise it, have not been able to trace down exactly where. Im sure a shot of lubricant will fix that. I still need to tip my chair back to try and tighten the receptacle that takes aluminum tray, it has also come loose and I'll need to get a grip from the other side to really get it back to tight. I think I can rotate the chair backs to get more life out of the chairs but at this rate they will no longer be comfortable after 4 years of use. Hope I'm wrong but starting to think this was not that great of a value.
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybwis View Post
I'll add my experience. Had three escapes for a little over a year. I'm about 6'3" 215 pounds and can agree there is no lumbar support. Some of the other complaints such as the touch buttons, zipper, cup cooler seem trivial to me. I have been seeing some other more concerning issue's though. I sit in the middle seat and the other two seats get little use. There now is a huge difference in the lack of support in that middle seat. I now notice a bar in the lumbar area poking me in the back. I have also broken through the arm rest as I will dig my elbow into it to reposition myself and what ever material is in there has broken up. I will need to order a replacement. The foot rest makes a click sound when I raise it, have not been able to trace down exactly where. Im sure a shot of lubricant will fix that. I still need to tip my chair back to try and tighten the receptacle that takes aluminum tray, it has also come loose and I'll need to get a grip from the other side to really get it back to tight. I think I can rotate the chair backs to get more life out of the chairs but at this rate they will no longer be comfortable after 4 years of use. Hope I'm wrong but starting to think this was not that great of a value.
This is great information. I was planning on ordering these chairs as well. I had only read positives on this forum. Back to the drawing board for me....
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:56 PM
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This is great information. I was planning on ordering these chairs as well. I had only read positives on this forum. Back to the drawing board for me....
Ditto on that....
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:53 AM
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I thought i would add my quick impressions. I have four escapes in bonded leather that i purchased 2.5 years ago. I agree the cooling cup holders are worthless . I am however very happy with my purchase. I am 6' and 190 lbs and these chairs fit me perfectly. I had lanes before these, i prefer these to the lanes comfort wise but i can see how some people would like the lanes style better. If you want an lazy boy type chair dont buy these .

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Old 06-24-2014, 06:25 AM
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My Escapes are currently on order and will be replacing Berkline 13174's that I've had for 6 years. I went with real leather instead of the bonded as my Berkline's bonded leather has separated and torn in a few places. I purchased both from Roman and his service is exceptional. I ordered the Escapes based on the nearly universal positive feedback from the Fusion thread. I am waiting for the advanced buttkickers to get back in stock to receive my order. I will post my impressions once they arrive both here and in the Fusion thread.
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:51 PM
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so, elvis what do you think?

i'm about to purchase some of these chairs but after seeing some comments in this thread am a little worried... really wanting some good lumbar support and something that'll last.

would these issues have been covered if this user had bought the extended warranty?
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:47 PM
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I add my 2 cents in as well. I had Berkline 090s in one theater for about 7 years, Fusion Escapes in my last theater for about 2 years, and will be buying something different for my 3rd theater. While I felt the initial feel and comfort of the Escapes were good, after 2.5, 3 sometimes 4 hours in those chairs, I became very unsettled and felt like I always needed to adjust my sitting position. I too agree that the controls in/near the cup holder is a poor design and went so far as to disconnect the cooling "feature" that my wife would inadvertently turn on, annoying all in the room.

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Old 08-08-2014, 11:01 AM
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I add my 2 cents in as well. I had Berkline 090s in one theater for about 7 years, Fusion Escapes in my last theater for about 2 years, and will be buying something different for my 3rd theater. While I felt the initial feel and comfort of the Escapes were good, after 2.5, 3 sometimes 4 hours in those chairs, I became very unsettled and felt like I always needed to adjust my sitting position. I too agree that the controls in/near the cup holder is a poor design and went so far as to disconnect the cooling "feature" that my wife would inadvertently turn on, annoying all in the room.
How did you disconnect the cooling feature? I agree it is a waste and can be annoying. Other than that i am very happy with my 4 escapes.

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Old 08-13-2014, 01:56 PM
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I am 6ft 4inches and 240lbs.I have had my fusion escape for 1 year. I would not buy it again. Roman was great as others have said. The lumbar support is terrible. I have to add a small pillow down low. I also absolutely hate the arm rests. They are so hard with almost zero padding. The USB port has issues with the cable. When attached it constantly connects and disconnects. It doesn't physically disconnect just electronically. The other thing is the foot rest. It is too low when in the furthest upright position. I wish it could be a few inches higher. I love the electric head rest.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by beyond View Post
so, elvis what do you think?

i'm about to purchase some of these chairs but after seeing some comments in this thread am a little worried... really wanting some good lumbar support and something that'll last.

would these issues have been covered if this user had bought the extended warranty?

I'm still waiting on Guitammer to produce more Buttkicker Advances. The wait is getting painful.
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