Steelcase V1 Leap vs. V1 Leap Highback vs. V2 Leap

Steelcase V1 Leap vs. V1 Leap Highback vs. V2 Leap Video:

The Steelcase Leap Office Chair is #1 best selling Steelcase office chair of all time, and has several different variations along it’s lifetime. During the first phase of being made, we see the V1 Leap chair, most of which came with a standard back height. Steelcase also introduced a higher back variety of the V1 Leap chair, which we will be comparing to the standard V1 Leap, as well as to the newer V2 Leap chair here and in the video above.

Steelcase Standard V1 Leap vs. V1 Leap Highback

Steelcase played around with various different back and back pad designs through the years on the V1 Leap Chair. Through much of the life of the V1 Leap, a highback variant of the chair was offered as an option. This high back design featured a more upright, taller and sleeker looking back, and clearly helped inspire the new V2 back design.

The V1 Leap Highback has all the same features as the standard V1 Leap chair, including the fully adjustable arms, liveback, adjustable lumbar (option), lower back firmness, seat slider, etc…

The primary difference between the V1 standard and highback are the height and shape of the back.

V1 Leap Highback vs. V2 Leap

While the backs are very similar between the V1 Leap Highback and the V2 Leap, the V1 Leap Highback does not include the updates on the newer V2 model, including the 4D armrests, seat design, base, etc…

The back on the V1 Highback is actually slightly taller than the V2 Leap, and the back pad is noticeably thicker than the V2 as well. It’s also worth noting that the actual pad on the V1 Leap Highback is a different molded foam material vs a foam sheet that is cut to shape on the V2 Leap. We actually find this thicker molded foam pad on the V1 highback to be more comfortable than the V2 Leap.

V1 Standard vs. V1 Highback vs. V2 Comparison Pictures:


Steelcase V1 Leap Standard vs. Highback - small

When comparing the V1 Leap Standard vs the V1 Leap highback, there’s a pretty significant different in height between the two. Shorter users probably will not notice the difference much, but taller users, particularly users over 6ft tall, will likely notice a big difference here. When compared to the V2 Leap, this height difference is minor, and not very noticeable when sitting in the chair at all.

The thicker seat and back pad of the V1 Leap Highback vs the V2 Leap are definitely noticeable when comparing the two. The change to a thinner back and seat pads on the V2 Leap is one that many users report as the only real downgrade when looking at the V2 Leap vs the V1.

We at Crandall Office Furniture consider the Leap chair to be the best chair ever made, and we absolutely love the V1 Leap Highback design. With it’s thicker seat and back pads compared to the V2, many people here find this variant of the Leap chair to be the most comfortable of all Leap chairs. We are definitely comparing small differences though this article, so regardless of what model you decide to go with, rest assured all models of the Leap chair are great chairs and you will not be disappointed.


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Crandall Office Furniture has been remanufacturing Steelcase & Herman Miller office chairs since 2002, and since then has grown to become the largest remanufacturer of high-end office seating in the United States. We see and work on thousands of these chairs every year, which gives us a unique insight into how they stand up to long term use, where they fail, and how to fix them. If you’re looking to learn more about high end seating, you’re in the right place!

Learn More About our Remanufactured & Refurbished Chairs and our process here:

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