Team Xbox

Nov 28, 2007

Ann Tancio


Sumo Omni Bean Bag Review

Everyone knows that one of the most important aspects of gaming is being comfortable while sitting back and relaxing in front of the television. That’s why we’ve decided to take a look at the Sumo Omni Beanbag chair. Before continuing, let me first say that the thing about the Omni that makes it most interesting is that it’s not exactly a beanbag nor is it just a chair. The Sumo Omni is more like a chair that can be turned into a large pillow or a bed or whatever else your creativity might be able to shape it into. I say that because the best feature of the Sumo Omni is its ability to be molded into any number of shapes that can easily accommodate a variety of uses. Over the past few days I’ve taken the time to kick back in the Sumo Omni to bring you our hands-on take on what Sumo likes to refer to as Urban Gear.

The beanbag comes delivered in a large box, but it’s quite light and easy to pick up. The beanbag itself is neatly packed inside and simply requires being pulled out and fluffed up a bit before it can be put to use. However, before putting it through a trial of its uses, I gave the bag itself a quick inspection. The bag measures 4.5′ by 5.5′ and weighs in at 18lbs, although it does seem to weigh less for its size. The outer cover of the Sumo Omni is made of a ballistic, tear-proof nylon that is PVC coated, helping make the cover quite resistant to spills (or even weather) while remaining smooth to the touch. Inside the bag are very tightly packed polystyrene foam beads that serve the purpose of molding into whatever shape you can manage to get the bag into. The advantage of these polystyrene beads is that they conform to your body as you relax on the chair, so you don’t just sink to the floor like you would a traditional beanbag chair. The properties of the Sumo beads also allows it to be shaped and molded into so many variations, whereas traditional beagbag foam simply exists as one round shape that you drop down on.

So now that the logistics of the Sumo Omni are out of the way, let’s get down to how it actually performs as a piece of furniture. Without going too far into molding the bag into some wild shape, the first thing I did was sit right down on to it as it stood. Immediately I noticed how the bag firms up as you sit down on it and your weight displaces itself. In other words, the Sumo Omni provides plenty of support for your entire body as well as your arms and head depending on how you use it. Sumo boasts 10 potential shapes and uses of the Omni and I found that their suggestions were great starting points to go from.

The real benefit of this product is that it will take shape depending on your own unique size and shape and the ways in which you decide to use it. If you are sitting back in it and you’d like some more back support, simply sit up a bit and pull the sides of the chair inward a bit more then sit back and you’ll notice the extra support. If you want a place to put your head, just prop up some of the bag a bit higher behind your neck and you’ll make yourself a pillow. I tried the bag out in just about ever shape I could come up with from a type of sofa-lounger to more of a stool to a bed and so on. The Sumo Omni Beanbag really does perform quite nicely in a number of configurations and it was great while watching TV, playing video games, using my laptop and as my 20lb cat can attest to, taking a nap.

Coming with a price tag of $129 shipped, the Sumo Omni might see a bit pricy for some, but once you are able to enjoy one of these pieces of Urban Lounge Gear you’ll quickly realize its value. Not only are these beanbags quite comfortable, they are extremely durable and sure to last for years to come. Sumo also makes a perfectly sized ottoman aptly named the Otto for $75 shipped. The Otto is 50cm in radius and a great addition to the Sumo Omni. The Omni is capable of supporting your body in a variety of shapes, but it mainly serves as a sort of chair or sofa unless you are laying down on it like a bed. The Otto will really allow you to put your feet up and recline, enjoying the most that Sumo’s style has to offer.

The first thing my wife said when I asked her to try out the Omni was, “it should come with a foot rest.” While the Otto isn’t packaged with the Omni and it will cost you an extra $75, it really does extend the value of the Omni, giving you many more relaxation options. At the same time the Otto allows you to use more of the Omni for the rest of your body including your arms. That’s not to say the Otto is needed to really enjoy the Omni, but it’s certainly something you’d be glad you invested in once you have it. Sumo also sells additional bags of their polystyrene beads for $50 in case you’d you’d like to add a little more stiffness to the Omni. Over time, we assume that the beads in the Omni will decompress so the option to order fresh ones would help to restore the bag for further enjoyment.

The Bottom Line

Sumo is marketing their Omni Beanbag to the college/techie/gaming audience and it’s a great item for those who are looking for a comfortable, versatile item for their dorm, apartment or media room. At first, the $129 price tag might seem to be a bit high for a bean bag, but when you consider the high-quality nylon covering and the durable polystyrene beads that fill this bag you’ll come to realize you’re getting more than your money’s worth in the Sumo Omni. You could opt for a less expensive traditional bag or the ultra-expensive Love-Sac, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better value for the money than the Sumo Omni. The $75 Otto is a great option and will certainly give you the most out of your beanbag, we just wish there was some sort of package deal that might save you a few bucks if you order both the Omni and the Otto together.

If you are looking for an extremely comfortable place to watch TV, play video games, kick back with your laptop, just take a nap, etc. than the Sumo Omni is a great solution to your relaxation needs. It’s one of those types of items that anyone who comes by will want to check out. Thanks to its resilient nylon cover, it could be used indoors and out. Anywhere you think you might want to kick your feet up and relax is a great spot for Sumo’s Omni Beanbag!

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