Are you Hag Capisco or Varier Thatsit Balans? - Review & Comparison

The Hag Capisco and the Varier Thatsit Balans have been designed by famous Norwegian designer Peter Opsvik. In the 1970s, many experts attempted to establish the optimum sitting position. Opsvik's contribution has been to create products that inspire variation between many different postures, but all in the same chair. He attempted to overcome stereotypical sitting habits with unconventional seating solutions. Designed in 1984, the popularity of the HÅG Capisco has grown steadily. The chair is now one of Europe's most popular chairs.

Launched in 1991 as a spinoff of the already famous 1979 Variable Balans, the Thatsit Balans soon also became a bestseller. Let's unveil why these unconventional chairs are so highly rated.

Hag capisco vs Varier Thatsit Balans - comparison & review by PhilZen

Overall design

The main noticeable difference between both chairs is the base. The Thatsit is a kneeling chair with wood runners, and the Capisco features a more conventional caster swivel base with a gas lift that can move sideways depending on your caster choice (standard or break when loaded). The Thatsit works for a standard height desk.

The Capisco comes in three versions: Standard, for a standard desk, Sit-to-stand, which enables you to sit at a standard desk and up to an almost standing position, and Stool, which enables you to sit at a standing desk. The seat pan is available in a saddle shape or standard round.

Both chairs feature similar T shape backrests, which stand out like Opsvik's signature. The T shape backrest offers many ways to rest your arms, stretch or recline and keeps the chair design open so that you can move on the seat pan without being restricted by traditional armrests.
HAG Capisco best 2022 home office chair by PhilZen

Healthy ergonomics

To complement their open designs, both chairs also induce movement, but in different ways. The Capisco features the Hag in Balance® tilt mechanism that offers you an option to engage your core as you move back and forth. The Thatsit, with its curved wood runners in flexible plywood, offers you a pleasant rocking and wiggling motion. With both chairs, you engage your core for healthier sitting.    
One significant ergonomic benefit of both chairs is sitting with an open angle (+120 degrees) between your torso and thigh. On a traditional chair, this angle is at 90 degrees, putting pressure on your hips and lower back. With the open-angle, your blood flow is enhanced, and with the better-induced posture, you have less lower back pressure and a better chest opening, which helps with better breathing, better oxygenation, and therefore better focus.     


The Thatsit is the most adjustable kneeling chair on the market as it features two backrest adjustments, depth, height, and shin rest adjustments. The chair, however, doesn't adjust in seat height but was built to fit standard desks (27-30 inch).


The Capisco features tilt tension and lock, adjustments of the backrest height, seat height, seat pan angle and depth. As we are not all built the same and not sitting the same way, all those adjustments enable better comfort.    


Both HÅG Capisco and Varier Thatsit have been forerunners in eco-design. The number of components and materials used in the chairs have been reduced to a minimum and sustainably sourced. The chairs are designed for easy disassembly so that the various materials can be separated from each other to facilitate recycling. Scandinavian Business Seating quality and environmental management systems are certified by DNV-GL according to ISO 9001 and ISO Both chairs are crafted following the highest sustainability standards.

Both durable, the Thatsit is covered by a 5-year warranty on the upholstery and 7year on the woods. The Capisco has 5-year on the piston and upholstery and a lifetime warranty on other parts. 

Final thoughts

Capisco and Thatsit, both are bestsellers and iconic designs that enable you to sit actively and in better posture. Having used both chairs for quite some time, I must acknowledge that my posture and energy level significantly improved when using those chairs versus more traditional task chairs. I enjoyed the Thatsit for its naturally induced better posture and the rocking motion. Its assembly is a bit more complex than one of the Capisco.

I like the Capisco for its ability to be used as a standard seat or sit-to-stand when lifting my desk. The saddle shape of the Capisco may not fit everyone.
You can't go wrong with one or the other.

Your choice may be influenced by design or how high you like to sit. Let us know if you have any questions; we are happy to help!

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