May 24, 2008

Ann Tancio


Ultimate Gaming Chair Playtest — Part 4

It’s time again for another edition of MSXBOX-WORLD’s “Ultimate Gaming Chairs”!

As some of you may remember back in November we reviewed the Omni beanbag made by Sumo Lounge. The Omni is one of the largest beanbags MSXBOX-WORLD has ever seen and definitely the most comfortable. It was a pleasant surprise then when Andrew at Sumo Lounge, contacted us with a brand new product for us to get our greedy hands (butts!) on.

Sumo Lounge has moved up in the world and has started to make “SumoSacs”. For those of you not in the know, “Sacs” are filled with shredded foam, usually furniture grade urethan. This foam is stuffed into an “insert” which is then stuffed into a washable cover. The feeling of sitting in a “Sac” is highly dependant on the quality of the foam inside it as well as the material of the cover. Unlike original beanbags (like the Omni), Sacs will never decompress, meaning there will never be any need to purchase extra fill.

There are already many Sac companies out there such as Cuddle Bag, LoveSac, Chillsac Foof Chair, Poof Chair, Siesta Sac, Udder Comfort bag and probably others we’ve never heard of. Given the popularity of Sumo’s traditional beanbags it makes sense that Sumo Lounge would move into this arena, however we were curious how the “SumoSac” would fare against the competition in terms of quality.

Which brings us to the meat of this article .

First off let me say that the SumoSac arrived via FedEx Ground in a suitably impressive huge bag.


Inside was the shrunk down insert and a khaki coloured microsuede cover.


They shrink the insert for delivery, but after a half hour of massaging, pounding and kicking the insert it fluffed up into a big square shape. After I felt the insert was fully expanded, I put on the khaki microsuede cover over the insert, and gave the SumoSac a test drive. I think the first thing I noticed is that the microsuede cover felt really nice against my skin, and the foam filling itself provided ultra soft, luxurious comfort. My friend Catherine had pretty much the same comments after giving the bag a whirl:


Catherine was having such a blast in the Sac that my wife came over to join her. As you’ll see from the picture below, the SumoSac comfortably fits two, it’s great for a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife combination in front of the tube.


To give some perspective here is a picture of the Sac facing the set (42 inch plasma). You’ll notice that it’s almost perfectly level with the screen, something that’s really important during a prolonged gaming session on the Xbox 360.


In terms of comfort I felt the SumoSac was a very comfortable product, even when comparing them against my LoveSacs. When I sat down the SumoSac perfectly contoured to my body while allowing me to brace up the sides as arm rests and the back for support. The back support I really appreciate while gaming, as this is the reason I stopped gaming on my couch in the first place. Here’s a picture of the SumoSac without anyone in it. When one person sits down, the middle basically sinks down to create the arm rests and back support.


Alternatively to the “gaming chair” format it was relatively easy to flatten the SumoSac down into a sort of curved lounger, perfect for watching TV or Blu-ray’s with my wife as you can see in this pic.


The SumoSac has a lot going for it but I think perhaps it’s biggest bullet point is its price. The 6 ft SumoSac is filled with 55 pounds of foam, costs only $229 USD, and includes a black or Khaki microsuede cover in addition to the insert. Sumo Lounge even throws in the shipping for free. All of this combined makes the overall cost to get a SumoSac home far less than many of their competitors. This will no doubt make it an attractive choice to value conscious gamers.

Compared against the Sumo Omni, the SumoSac is in my opinion the way to go if you have the space. While the SumoSac is big (it’s even larger than the Omni Beanbag), it’s still doable even for an urbanite. It’s perfect if you have a basement theatre space, or alternately if you want to hip up your downtown condo/apartment space. Again though, be aware that the SumoSac is fairly big, you will need some dedicated space for it.

Basically, as I see it, if you’re a gamer in a dorm with very limited space, go for the Omni. If you’re a gamer with a dedicated gaming or movie space, get the SumoSac.

Bottom line? SumoSac is a great product, providing essentially many of the same features as its competitors for hundreds of dollars less. Sumo has long been a supporter of Penny Arcade’s PAX convention littering the floor with Sumo Omni’s. I have no doubt the SumoSac is going to create a stir should it make an appearance there this summer.

You can check out and/or order SumoSac’s at . The SumoSac can be shipped to anywhere in the United States or Canada. Andrew hinted that there also may be the possibility of shipping to the UK at some point in the future.

In the meantime I’ve got some games to play and a SumoSac to get comfortable in. I need to find out if it will seat three .


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