Rothbart’s Rave: SumoSac Sultan Review
You might be tempted to think from the title of this post that you don’t need to read on. I was sent a SumoSac Sultan chair for review and I love it, yadda yadda yadda. If you stop reading now, you’re going to miss some pretty important (and funny) stuff. As you probably know if you’re a regular to the site, SumoLounge.com has been a valued sponsor to SarcasticGamer.com for a while now and the Red Show crew were all sent SumoSac Omni chairs to evaluate. They all loved their chairs. The thing you probably don’t realize is that these things are shipped in an almost vacuum-packed state. Once you open the box, it’s never going back in. So the reviewers get to keep the chairs, regardless of the review score. I had quite a few problems with my SumoSac Sultan. Keep reading after the jump to learn why.
I should totally draw up some building plans with those measuring skills, eh?
Before I go any further, I should point out that the SumoSac Sultan is SumoLounge’s second largest chair. It’s enormous. Doc, Dave, and Lono mentioned many times that the Omni is large. the Sultan is larger. It’s ludicrously large. It’s attention demanding large. It’s “Wow, what a nice house you havOMG IS THAT A CHAIR?!?! I HAVE TO TRY THAT! *PLOP*” large. On top of that, it’s quite comfortable. The first problem I had with my chair was that I never seemed to be able to sit in the dang thing. the kids were always in it. Note that I said kids. I don’t mean one, then the other (I have two.) I mean both my kids and our friends’ kid. A 7 yr-old, a 9-yr old, and an 11-yr old all watched an entire full length movie while sitting under blankets in my chair.
My wife likes the chair as well although she usually gives it up to the kids (mothers know when giving up what you want to keep both of your kids calm and happy is worth it, and apparently it’s worth it quite a bit.) Writing this review has taken MUCH longer than it really should have because I kept putting it off due to lack of actual personal use. Even my wife’s friend sat in it the other day and didn’t want to get up. It’s not that it’s difficult to get out of the chair, it’s more that it’s difficult to decide to get out of the chair. A subtle difference, but quite distinct I assure you.
Finally, after having the thing in my house for what seemed like two weeks, I got some hours into the chair. Sitting in the middle like an egg in a nest, refluffing and sitting low with a giant back rest, laying on my belly across the top facing the TV, playing games, watching TV, listening to music with the lights off (aka “falling asleep until 2:00am when you really just wanted a few quiet minutes before bed”), etc. After spending some quality time with the chair, I’m going to give you my recommendation and relate it to a few other products I own.
The inner liner of the SumoSac Sultan, pre-fluffing.
I would never pay the price SumoLounge.com asks for the SumoSac Sultan for a “beanbag” chair. As it turns out, that’s still pretty sound reasoning because this thing resembles a beanbag chair only superficially. It doesn’t feel like a beanbag (it’s stuffed with shredded furniture grade foam), it’s quality cover is micro-suede and doesn’t make you sweat like most of the vinyl beanbags I’ve tried, and it doesn’t break down or shift under you as you sit. If I sit in a beanbag chair, I can usually wiggle my butt down to where I’m basically sitting on the floor. pretty easily, too. With the stuffing inside the SumoLounge Sultan, that’ll never happen. The stuffing shifts a little and compresses where it needs to but it always supports.
Okay, back to the “I wouldn’t pay the price” part. it’s true. I wouldn’t pay very much for a beanbag chair because I don’t find them comfortable, well built, or viable for long term use. Having said that, the SumoSac Sultan chair (again, not a beanbag by definition) addresses every single one of those concerns and absolutely makes its case to me as a worthy product, devoid of the issues that make me scoff at a chair like this anywhere but a kids’ bedroom. I liken this to my Harmony 880 universal remote control. When I first learned about them, I though “Wow, that sounds cool but HOLY CRAP look at the price, I’d NEVER pay that!” Try one. I would pay to replace it in a heartbeat. Some products are worth a premium price and if you scoff at the SumoSac’s price because it costs more than the $29.99 beanbag at the local variety store, you’re missing the point. This isn’t a “more expensive version” of that chair any more than a Rolls Royce is a more expensive version of a Pinto (the car, not the horse. look it up if you’re too young to remember them.) Sure, they both perform the same function, but one does it by minimum allowable criteria and the other with style, comfort and quality.
My “Chocolate Passion” colored Sultan chair (luckily for me) almost perfectly matches the dark brown leather of my two mission-style recliners and leather couch. The Sultan isn’t going into any bedroom in my house, it’s staying in the living room (and to be honest, I think it’s making the couch a little jealous!)
If you know anyone that owns a SumoSac chair (of any type), I encourage you to give it the “movie test.” Sit in it through a movie and see how you feel afterward. My guess is you’ll soon be eying your floor plan to figure out where to put your own SumoSac chair.
In the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to make sure it was clear that I didn’t “purchase” this chair and in exchange for a review (regardless of the outcome), I was asked to keep and enjoy the chair. Companies only offer deals like that when they know they’ve got a good product. Did I mention this thing’s big?!?! After a typical session, the thing is about 4.5′ in diameter and about 2′ tall. When it came, it was shipped in a cube-shaped box, a little under 2′ per side. Huge is the word you’re trying to think of. But good huge!
It’s a bit strange looking when you first open the box.