Fully Sidekick Mobile File Cabinet Review
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A handsome standing desk outfit should have a matching file cabinet to go with it; otherwise what’s the point of selecting nice desktop finishes and other accessories to match? In all but black, the Sidekick doesn’t actually match paint colors very well with their Jarvis standing desks, so we’re left unimpressed by that. Despite a 10-year warranty we were surprised by the lack of quality in the construction and components of this $249 file cabinet. The seat cushion is a real nice feature, though, that gives it a second purpose as a desk-side seat for office visitors.
On level hardwood floors, not carpeting
|MSRP / List Price||$229|
|Street Price||Scan for available discount deals|
21.6″ × 15.4″ × 21.7″
Cabinet comes in white, black, silver, and alloy
|Where to buy||
Buy on Fully
Buy on Amazon
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||Optional seat cushion turns this mobile file pedestal into a desk-side seat for the impromptu office visitor, and adds a splash of color to any otherwise monotoned, utilitarian piece of furniture.|
|Negatives||Flimsy design overall cuts too many corners, from drawers that annoyingly roll out on their own and lack of ballast weight to prevent tipping the whole cabinet over when opening full drawers all the way to a couple of dozen visible outside welds.|
[Editors’ Note – April 21, 2023 – MillerKnoll, the $3B parent company of Fully.com, officially shut the company down on April 20th, 2023, after an 18-year run. Indeed, Fully’s phone lines and chat function have already been disabled, and the only way to reach customer service for product support is via email. We first reported this on March 8th after being notified by a number of Fully’s suppliers that the company was discontinuing operations.
Founded by ergonomics industry pioneer David Kahl in 2006, the company – which was originally known as ErgoDepot before a rebranding a few years ago – was acquired by Knoll. Knoll itself was shortly thereafter acquired by Herman Miller. This cataclysmic event is the latest in an ongoing set of challenges the industry has endured since the pandemic.
As a consequence of the company being wound down, we have taken down the scores for all of the Fully products we’ve reviewed to 0.5-star (including the Jarvis Standing Desk, Jarvis Standing L-Desk, Fully Jarvis Reclaimed Wood Standing Desk, Fully Jarvis Albright Standing Desk, Fully Jarvis Evolve Standing Desk, Fully Remi Standing Desk, Fully Jarvis Whiteboard Adjustable-Height Conference Table, Fully Jarvis Bamboo Adjustable-Height Conference Table, Fully Jarvis Tabletops For Standing Desks, Jarvis Monitor Riser, Jarvis Bamboo Desk Drawer, Fully Jarvis Single Monitor Arm, Fully Jarvis Dual Monitor Arm, Fully Jax Single-Display Monitor Arm, Fully Floatdeck Balance Board, Fully Sidekick Mobile File Cabinet, Fully Cable Management Kit and Fully Cable Management Tray). Fully has sadly been added to the Office Fitness Industry Dead Pool.
Ostensibly, Fully’s, “most popular products,” i.e. those that they still have a lot of inventory remaining, are being offered through the Herman Miller and Design Within Reach websites. We checked these listings and they are at full list price, unlikely to be purchased by any savvy shoppers. The nearest alternatives to Fully products are going to be found at iMovR (American-made) and UpLiftDesk (similar Chinese-made products). For more details on the company’s closure, see our article on Is Fully.com Out Of Business?]
A Mobile File Cabinet to Match Fully’s Jarvis Standing Desks
Most standing desk manufacturers these days—including Fully, UpLift, iMovR, Vari, StandDesk and Autonomous—offer matching file cabinets to go with their standing desks. This is really an essential accessory when you consider the fact that switching to a sit-stand desk usually means leaving your desk drawers behind in that old fixed-height desk you gave away to make room for the high-tech newcomer.
As we cover in our comprehensive round-up reviews of File Cabinets for Standing Desks, most sellers offer relatively cheap metal cabinets in a handful of colors to match the legs of their standing desks, which is fine. Only one, iMovR, actually makes matching file cabinets to match (all 58) of their desktop finishes. All of them are mobile, i.e. they come with caster wheels. All of them offer at least one deep drawer for files, and either one or two additional drawers.
For the most part these are pretty conventional, and not dissimilar from what you could buy at Staples or Office Depot, or on Amazon. With the exception of iMovR’s American-made, wooden file cabinets, these are all made in China these days, generally from thin aluminum or steel for weight reduction.
So let’s plow into how well the Sidekick performs as a file cabinet, and how well it keeps to the claim of matching Fully’s standing desks.
The Sidekick has three drawers, all of which lock at once with the turn of a key. The top “pencil drawer” is the thinnest and includes a pencil tray insert. Then there’s the middle “box drawer.” Because mobile file cabinets for standing desks can’t be too tall lest the desk crash into them when descending to sitting height, the trade-off of having three drawers versus two is that neither of the top two drawers are particularly deep.
Lastly, the bottom drawer is a full file drawer to accommodate hanging folders. Note that unlike some file storage units for standing desks, the Sidekick’s file drawer is for standard size files only; it cannot be used for legal-sized folders.
The Sidekick uses ball bearing drawer slides that open all the way, so you don’t lose objects in the rear of the drawer like on some file cabinets. As drawer slides go these are fairly basic. On nicer cabinets you’ll see features like self close and soft close, but we wouldn’t expect that at this price point of $249.
The issue we do find with these drawers, however, is that if your drawers are front loaded, as they tend to be, and the cabinet is resting on carpet, there’s an annoying tendency for the bottom drawer to roll open on its own. Even on a hard floor the drawer tends to open on its own whenever you roll the cabinet around, like if you were going to offer a seat to an impromptu office guest. The only way we could find to prevent the drawer opening on its own was to lock all the drawers. So this is probably our biggest negative on the Sidekick’s design.
5 Caster Wheels
The Sidekick comes with 5 hard nylon rolling casters that you have to actually install yourself using 10 screws; this cabinet does not come fully pre-assembled as some others do.
Why 5 wheels and not 4? For lightweight cabinets like this one that are made of thin aluminum, weight savings is a design criteria intended to reduce the selling price, since everyone expects free shipping these days. So lightweight cabs like this will tip over if the front of the drawers have too much weight in them, whereas premium cabinets will be made of heavy wood or steel, and sometimes even have an extra ballast in the rear to prevent that forward tipping. The 5th wheel is a common workaround for not having enough weight in the back of the cabinet. Note, however, that it only works for the bottom drawer; you’ll still want to be careful not to overload one of the upper drawers lest the entire cabinet tip over.
When used as a desk-side seat the user weight limit is 250 lbs, or 50 lbs per wheel, which tells you something about the weight rating of these casters (could be better). Higher quality casters we found on some of the other file cabs support 75 lbs per and have more than just two screws holding each one in.
When it comes to the cabinet itself there are a few telltale signs of low quality production. The drawer handles are actually made of plastic, and there are a couple of dozen visible welds. Higher-quality metal cabinets would have these welds on the inside, not the outside. The optional seat cushions do seem to be of pretty decent quality, made with “eco-polyester upholstery.”
Along with quality of the product we do always look at the quality of the packaging. Numerous users complained that their file cabinets arrived damaged in shipping; one customer commented on Fully’s website that they had two in a row show up with the same crushed corner, which sounds like a packaging design issue we hope they address. All customers who reported shipping damage, however, also reported that Fully took care of replacing their damaged unit without a hassle.
Matching Paint Colors on Aluminum Versus Steel Not Always Easy
Since these are marketed as matching cabinets we paid particular attention to user reviews of how they perceived the Sidekick to match the paint scheme on their Jarvis standing desk. Fully offers both their desks and file pedestals in black, white, silver and “alloy,” or basically clear-coated raw metal.
While the black matches up pretty will, the other colors are a bit more challenged. Customers complained that the white of the file cabinet is actually an “egg shell” versus the bright white legs of their desk. Silvers are particularly hard to match between steel and aluminum, but the alloy color seems to be the most mismatched between desk and pedestal; one user complained that their alloy file cabinet had a greenish tint to it. It’s quite likely that these file cabinets are made in a different factory than the one that makes their desk bases, creating differences in underlying substrates that make a paint match hard enough without trying to make clear-coated metals match each other.
When it comes to matching a file cabinet to your standing desk, Fully only offers matching desk frame colors, not desktop colors, and only in this one style. It’s functional but has some quirks to be aware of in terms of forward tipping and drawers sliding open on their own, particular on carpet, and particularly if most of the weight in the bottom drawer is biased forward (as it usually is).
The Sidekick comes with a 10 year warranty, which is about as good as it gets at this price point. But overall the feel of this product is on the flimsy side. For $249 we expected a little more.