Technology Tell

Jan 24, 2012

Ann Tancio

Looking For An Inexpensive Beanbag Chair? Try The SumoLounge Omni

Review: Sumo Sway Couple beanbag chair

Product: Sway Single Beanbag Chair, Sway Couple Beanbag Chair
Company: Sumo
Price: $279 (Sway Couple Microsuede), $299 (Sway Couple – Corduroy)
Pros: Big, comfortable, fits two people, has back support and easy to clean.
Cons: Cover is not removable. A bit pricey for a college dorm but, if you can afford it, you just need to find the space.
Ratings: Two thumbs up; 90/100; A-; * * * * out of five.
Overall: A great beanbag chair that will work well in any game room and match nearly any decor.

Giant Beanbags

Forget Sumo’s Sultan beanbag chair. It’s a good enough beanbag chair but, if you are looking for a comfy, over sized, beanbag-filled gaming chair that’s more like a structured “chair” than a sloppy bag, you can pretty much forget most of Sumo’s products save the Sway line.

All of the Sumo chairs have individual comfort profiles but the Sway Couple Beanbag Chair wins over them all for me for one simple reason: Stability.

Big Brown Chair(s)

I’ve now reviewed two Sumo chairs and they are both commonly referred to as the “Big Brown Chairs” by family and friends. It’s in part because of the color but mostly because these chairs are huge. Big, Really Big and Even Bigger should be the size names. They are also very memorable seats in terms of comfort.

The Sway, like all other Sumo chairs, has a bean bag core with a breathable lining that, after you unbox it, quadruples its footprint and takes on a more comfortable, beanbag-like (or maybe burnt marshmallow or giant meatball) appearance.

Each Sumo chair has a microsuede cover and the Sway’s is attached to the rest of the chair.This model does come with a small side pocket (or pouch) that is good for holding a few remotes or even a wide console controller. Notice in the photo below that a standard Wii wheel WiiMote attachment fits in the pocket. As in the entire attachment, with the WiiMote and it fits completely into the pocket (not just half way out as you see in the photo).

There are four available colors and the fit pretty much every decor: Khaki, Funky Brown, Pitch Black and Fiery Red. The microsuede is pretty easy to wash with a wet cloth although you can also get corduroy (I suggest the former). Unfortunately, it does not have the unzip-and-launder convenience of some of the other models being attached (the bottom does unzip to reveal the harder cotton fluff base). i suspect the design prevents the cover from being easily removed.

Shape is the main difference between each of the Sumo beanbag chairs and this is where the Sway Couple chair wins it all for me.

It’s Beany and It’s a Chair

Most beanbag chairs, although they claim to be “chairs,” are ultimately stools. They offer zero back support and aren’t much more structurally designed to do much more than keep in the bans. They are, really, just a big ol’ bag of beans, even if the beans are made of puffy plastic.

Here’s where the Sway Couple surpasses all other beanbag chairs: It is actually a chair. It has a back that allows you to comfortably sit up.

The Sway Couple, is as the “couple” portion of the name suggests, is also built for two adults. And two people do fit on it either close and cozy or with enough room for a polite separation. Granted, it’s not quite couch like, so it’s not a true love seat stand-in but it will suffice in a party pinch. It does sit a bit lower to the ground so you’ll have to bend your knees a bit to plant your feet flat on the floor.

For gamers, this works much better than Sumo’s Gamer beanbag chair thanks to the back support. It helps keeps you comfortably facing forward so you can see the screen while retaining all the plushy comfort of a high-end beanbag chair. The other beanbags chairs have the lack of structure that causes it to more quickly flatten and better resemble a pillow than a chair. (You can easily see this effect at any game expo where Sumo often scatters several for gamers to use in lounges or other waiting areas. You’ll notice they are all usually either lying down, face to the ceiling, or constantly flipping around to find ways to comfortably use their handheld device.)

Get or Gift, You Gotta Have One

By combining size, stability, comfort, attractive colors and washable microsuede covers, the Sway Couple is the creme de la creme of bean bag chairs. It’s the king seat, the majestic throne of what many considered the slouchiest of seats.

If you are looking for the ideal gaming chair for those who like soft seats and an actual back, Sumo’s Sway Couple is the best beanbag chair for the job. It’ll work in room at either end of the snazzy-to-slovenly spectrum.

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