philly Burbs

Nov 26, 2008

Ann Tancio


Product review: The Sumo Sac; a great portable chair, love seat or couch

The phillyBurbs test lab is open for business once again.

Recently we were visited by an old friend, Sumo. A while back, we tested their Sumo Sac – a “next generation” bean bag chair. Well, not really a bean bag chair, but similar and about 10 times more awesome.

Anyway, this time around, they asked our test staff to run their Sumo Sac. Since we were so impressed with our last go-round, we couldn’t wait to see what they thought would actually be better than what we’ve already seen.

Like other Sumo products, you cannot dismiss these products as simply bean bag chairs. The Sumo Sac is a chair and in many ways it may, at first glance, look like a bean bag chair, but this piece of furniture goes way beyond that.

We’ve put this nifty thing through the paces in our elaborate testing faciliities and here are some of our observations.

First, this is a big piece of furniture! The dimensions are listed on the Web site as 54 x 54 x 42; but it’s big. There’s plenty of room for two people if you don’t mind being at least a little friendly. It’s size can make it a little awkward to move around if you have to pick it up, but its pretty easy to move across the floor.

Second, the single biggest improvement with this product over the Sumo Omni we reviewed a few years ago, as well as old school bean bag chairs is that the Sumo sac can be molded into practically any shape and, more importantly, it holds that position. Combine that great functionality with its impressive size and you can prop your feet up or create a head rest or back support and switch those in moments. This makes it incredibly versatile!


ey question – Is it comfortable. Another big plus here. Instead of being filled with “Sumo seeds” (which are basically old-fashion bean bag beans on steroids, the Sumo Sac is filled with shredded furniture-grade urethane foam. This makes it super-comfortable while making it super-versatile (see above). But there’s another big improvement in regard to comfort. While the Omni is covered with a durable nylon material (which is somewhat comfortable), the Sumo Sac is wrapped in a micro suede cover. Yes, it’s as comfortable as it sounds – the soft, yet firm foam allows you to sink in and hte micro suede makes it very cozy.

This is all well and good, but the final question always surrounds durability. So we used a tried-and-true method from the phillyBurbs test labs – a combination of extended use and, our secret ingredient – kids. Even after seemingly endless barrages of being jumped on, spilled on, reshaped, flipped, thrown and jumped on again, the Sumo Sac looked good as new. The filling didn’t break down and the cover was easily cleaned up. We were thrilled when we read the cover could be zipped off, but skeptical when we read that it was machine washable. But we grit our teeth and tossed the beautiful micro suede cover in to the wash and it came out good as new – soft an pliable as ever.

With Christmas around the corner, you might want to spend some time on the Sumo Web site. From our perspective, we think the Omni we reviewed a few years back is awesome for a recreation room, especially if you have small kids who would use it for everything from a landing pad to a chair to a nap mat. The Sumo Sac we reviewed here can also fill that role, but it would not look out of place in less casual areas. We could see it being used to snuggle up in front of the fire or for enjoying a movie or for curling up with a good book. Big, comfortable and stylish, it probably has a 1,000 uses.

Bottom line from the phillyBurbs test lab – Sumo Sac passing with flying colors on all counts.

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