Sep 8, 2009

Ann Tancio


Sumo Lounge Omni Bean bag Chair traditionally reviews computer hardware. We normally review things that every computer user wants or needs. So, it may come as a surprise to you to find out that today’s review item is a bean bag chairs. But, if you think about it, it’s not so out-of-the-blue. I don’t know about you, but all I do all day is sit: I sit in my car and go to work, I sit all day at work, I sit in the car on the way back from work, and then I sit at my desk reviewing at night. Okay, my life is a little more interesting than that, but you get the point; even computer enthusiasts need a place to plop their keister.

Today we have for review the Omni bean bag chairs by Sumo Lounge. Although Sumo refers to the Omni as their “affordable” offering, we can see before even opening the box that this is one huge piece of furniture. Just how big is it? Well let’s have a look at some specifications:

Dimensions: 4.5′ x 5.5′
Weight: 18lb
Colors: 10 – pitch black, charcoal green, platinum, midnight blue, fiery red, neon orange, hot pink, pure white, lime green, funky brown
Material: Ballistic nylon (PVC coated nylon which is super durable but smooth)
Filling: Virgin Polystyrene Foam (little white foam balls)

For a bean bag chairs, the Omni certainly seems out of the ordinary. Continue on as we explore this adventurous product, just ahead…

Along one of the four edges, we find an access point. Opening the Omni is as simple as separating a strong Velcro strip and unzipping the seam. Inside, we find thousands of small white foam beads. These beads are made of “virgin polystyrene foam,” according to Sumo, and are incredibly light and fluffy. I’ve never seen anything like these foam beads, the best example I can think of is a stronger version of Styrofoam.

The Omni’s outer shell is made of “ballistic nylon,” which is described as “PVC coated nylon.” This is not the material you would expect on a bean bag chairs., as its slick surface isn’t very soft, fuzzy, or homey. Why did Sumo choose it, you ask? Because, they claim, it is tear-proof and stain-proof. They say that washing the bag is as easy as rubbing it down with a cloth and soapy water. Each outer seam is reinforced three times, giving a sturdy overall build quality.

As I mentioned earlier, Sumo claims to have thought of ten different ways of relaxing in the Omni. I could think of three (above) and here are the five examples from their website. Some of these seem pretty over-the-top, but they are examples nonetheless. These pictures do offer a good feel for the size of the Omni. The pillow basically engulfs the model, and certainly offers room for two, if not more.

Continue on for some thoughts on usage and conclusions.

The Sumo Omni bean bag chairs. is comfortable, plain and simple. However you choose to throw your body onto this oversized pillow, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how soft and conforming it is. I had many friends and family members try out the Omni, and their general reaction was always surprised and positive.

The Sumo Omni makes for a great dorm room option. Between its huge size and its great durability, it should stand up to all of the abuses of college life. Indeed, I will be taking it to college in just two days, where it will make the perfect complement to my suite’s common room.

One of the best parts about sitting in the Omni is that it’s really easy to create a bit of back support. I spent a few days using the Omni as my primary desk chair. I had two initial fears: first, that it wouldn’t be the right height, and second, that it wouldn’t have any back support or reclining capabilities. While the height was a little off, I could comfortably sit upright or lean back with enough support either way.

Perhaps Sumo’s boldest choice with the Omni was that of their material. Sumo cites some pros to using this nylon fabric, including its durability and easy cleaning. During a trial cleaning, however, I was disappointed to find out that the fabric is not water-proof. When wiping the bean bag with a moist paper towel, much of the water immediately soaked into the fabric. In my opinion, if the fabric is not at least water resistant, it’s not worth it. A softer fabric would have given the Omni a much cozier feel.

If you’re thinking about purchasing the Omni, make sure you measure out your space. As you can see in the picture above, this chair definitely requires a large bit of space. My desk is about six feet long in each direction, and the chair doesn’t leave much surrounding room. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s something to be aware of.

At $149.00 USD with free shipping from the Sumo website, the Omni is a little more expensive than your run-of-the-mill bean bag chairs.. For such a high level of build quality and durability, plus their 100% satisfaction guarantee, though, I think that the price is pretty fair. Should you need them, refill/replacement packages of beads are $50 USD.

For its comfort and durability, the Sumo Omni earns the Silver Seal of Approval.

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