Ars Technica

Feb 21, 2009

Ann Tancio


Arse Technica reviews the Sumo Gamer chair

The SumoSac Gamer chair, which contains shredded urethane foam, transcends the comfort of conventional beanbag chairs. Ars conducted a butt test to see if it stacks up.

No gaming setup is complete without the obligatory cushy chair. In our previous exploration of what makes a great gaming setup, we have noted that the chair is an important-and often overlooked-part of the overall experience. Like most other Ars gaming enthusiasts, I’m very particular about where I put my posterior. Unfortunately, I can’t afford the epic $40,000 gaming throne that Ben discovered at CES, so I’ve had to search for the next best thing in my price range.

Everyone has a favorite, and there are a lot of really intriguing options from which to choose. There are leather floor rockers, massive theater-style chairs with integrated speakers, and a multitude of innovative niche options such as the transformable Trey Chair. I am a bit of a beanbag aficionado and I have several in my collection. My favorite, which I reviewed last year, is the Sumo Omni.

This year, I’m updating my gaming room with a few of Sumo’s latest additions, the Sumo Chief Rocker and the Sumo Gamer. Unlike the Omni, which has beads, the Rocker and the Gamer both contain shredded foam. This makes them feel less a bit less like beanbag chairs and a bit more like conventional furniture.

The Gamer offers a lot more comfort than the Omni, but it’s also heavier and a bit bulkier. It sacrifices a few of the principle advantages of a beanbag chair, particularly portability. One of the things that I like about the Omni is that I can pick it up and fling it into a corner when I need more space. The Gamer is still pretty easy to push around, but it’s not quite tossable. The Gamer is also less mutable than the Omni. I find that I don’t get sore as quickly when I regularly change my position and the Omni can easily be fluffed up and molded to accommodate any sitting position you want. The Gamer is more like an encompassing arm chair. Despite the downsides relative to the Omni, the Gamer is still a winner because it is immensely comfortable.


Sumo also makes a product called the Omni Plus, which is sort of a hybrid between their SumoSac products and the original Omni. I haven’t tried the Plus myself, but it’s described as a solution for people who want a mix of the flexibility of the Omni and the comfort of the Gamer.

The Sumo Chief Rocker is, as the name suggests, a chair that rocks. It contains the same foam material as the Gamer, but it is designed like a pillow with a rounded metal frame. The big advantage of the Rocker is that the metal frame gives a lot more back support while still providing plenty of comfort. The way that it tilts on the metal frame makes it easy to lean forward or back, which is particularly nice while playing Wii games. One of the disadvantages of the Rocker is that it doesn’t stay upright when nobody is sitting in it. Without the weight of a person in it, the Rocker will tilt all the way backwards and use more floor space, which makes it easy to trip over.

I’m a fan of Sumo, and I think that the original Omni is still the best thing out there if you want a good balance of price, comfort, and durability. My Omni has held up extremely well and I think that it’s ultra-strong and spill-proof nylon make it a very good choice for kids. The Rocker and the Gamer deliver premium comfort and are nice if you are looking for something that is a step up.

The Rocker is currently my preferred seat for gaming and I frequently use the Omni and the Gamer for reading or watching movies. A lot of people seem to favor the Gamer and it’s generally the most coveted seat in the room when my friends come over for some multiplayer Mario Kart action. For more details check out the Sumo website.

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