Design and Features
The Cougar Ranger Gaming Sofa is a slim reclining chair with a footprint smaller than a traditional recliner, which makes it more versatile for smaller settings like a dedicated gaming room or home office. Like I said in the opening, it’s aggressively styled, which I’m very much in favor of. It’s in line with the rest of Cougar’s gaming chairs as far as style is concerned: the seams on the armrests are covered with a bright orange piping, and the cushion and back have a geometric diamond pattern sewn into the upholstery. The chair is black with orange accents, with the Cougar logo embroidered into both the headrest and lumbar support pillow.
In spite of the fact I like the “gaming” sensibilities of the Cougar Ranger, unless your entire room is a major league gaming soundstage, it’s hard to find a good match for it. My living room is pretty conservative and the Cougar Ranger sticks out like a sore thumb. Audacious styling is fine, and I personally appreciate it, but it sure makes it hard to tie the whole room together. Outside of a dorm room or home office setting, the Ranger really stands out, and that’s a problem for interior design sensibilities.
Assembly was extremely easy, something I was able to do on my own without any trouble whatsoever. I’ve assembled quite a few chairs over the years, and I’ve never ran into a situation where it required a second person, although the majority would have been much easier with a spare set of hands. With the Cougar, I feel confident saying there’s no need at all for a second person to help. In fact, I think an extra person would just have gotten in the way. It’s super easy to assemble. Moving the box is best done with a helper, but other than that, assembly is an easy solo mission, and I like that a lot. It also took less than 30 minutes, making it one of the fastest furniture assemblies I’ve done.
The Cougar Gaming Sofa sits on engineered wood legs attached to the frame with long lag bolts. They feel extremely sturdy and don’t have any play in them at all once the lags are torqued properly. On the side is a small lever for reclining, so you can game (or read, or browse the internet) in a relaxed position. With or without the support pillow, I found reclining in the Cougar Ranger comfortable, in spite of the fact I’m 6’ 2” tall. A lot of times there just isn’t enough length in the leg rest to recline comfortably for tall folk like me, but the Cougar is fine.
However, the recline feature is where I ran into a big time quality control issue. After putting it together and admiring my handiwork, I sat down to test the reclining feature. When I first try out a chair with a recline, I take it really slowly, so as not to damage anything. As I leaned back further and further, I found myself impressed with the smoothness of the action. Just as I thought to myself “Wow, this reclines really far,” the chair kept on reclining… and didn’t stop until I found myself with my feet in the air and the back of the chair on the ground.
My Cougar Gaming Chair left the factory without the bolts on the frame being attached to the reclining mechanism. That meant when I tried to lean back for the first time, the two pieces separated and I ended up on the floor. Thankfully I have a set of Allen wrenches on hand, since the frame bolts are a different size than the provided Allen wrench for assembly. Repairing it was not the easiest job, but it wasn’t like I was rebuilding an engine or anything. The bolts were a little bent where the reclining mechanism had used them as a fulcrum, but I was able to muscle them back into place. If I hadn’t spent years in commercial construction, I wouldn’t have had the correct size Allen wrench on hand, which would have been a massive bummer.
I gave the rest of the chair a thorough visual inspection after I repaired it, to make sure nothing else had been missed, and it passed. After searching online for people complaining of similar issues, I’ve come to the conclusion mine was an isolated incident. Had I been unable to repair it on my own, Cougar has a generous 1-year warranty on all its gaming chairs, so I would have been able to file a claim. In spite of the fact it’s repaired and now rock-solid, I have major trust issues when I go to recline, but knowing I’m just unlucky and it would have been covered by a warranty helps to ease my mind quite a bit.
The recline angle, as designed, is actually quite generous. Nothing ruins a recliner faster in my mind than a subpar recline, and the Cougar Ranger tips way back to a 165-degree angle. I take my relaxation very seriously, and the Ranger accommodates my full-tilt lifestyle.
Overcoming my fears of future reclining mishaps, I put the chair to the test doing exactly what it’s designed for: gaming while reclined. It’s comfortable both laid-back and sitting, and switching between the two is easy. I preferred gaming sitting up, and the lumbar support is really nice. It’s probably my favorite feature, and while it would be tempting to stuff a regular pillow behind my back on a different chair, the pillow included with the Cougar unsurprisingly fits perfectly. I liked that because it meant I didn’t need to readjust it to maintain a desired comfort level.
As I mentioned earlier, the recline is comfortable and when it’s properly attached to the chair, goes far, but not quite flat. The headrest is well-padded but it isn’t overstuffed, so if you exude powerful dad energy and want to take a nap in the Cougar Ranger, you’re going to need an extra pillow.
Cougar Gaming Sofa Buying Guide
The Cougar Ranger Gaming Sofa has a list price of $279.99 and can be purchased at most major online retailers. However, it’s pretty much universally out of stock at the moment (as is the case with a lot of things in these weird times).