The Armchair Empire

Jun 4, 2008

Ann Tancio



Following-up on it’s successful Omni line of bean bag furniture, Sumo Lounge brings us the SumoSac, which is a departure from the relatively established bean bag style. Rather than little polystyrene balls, the SumoSac is filled with shredded foam material, but you wouldn’t really know this until you get the SumoSac unpacked, which is a 24-hour process.

The SumoSac ships in a big black bag, and the whole thing weighs approximately 50lbs. In order to make it easier to ship, the innards have been vacuum sealed and slightly resembles a brick. After carefully clipping away the outer packaging — the black duffel and plastic interior — you need to “flufff” the whole thing out. I would suggest doing this on a day where nothing has gone right; a day where you have been riding on the very edge of madness and you feel like the only way to reclaim your sanity is to beat something, anything, to a pulp because that’s about the level of intensity required to loosen up the shredded foam. After wailing away on the sac for a bit and properly breaking up any remaining large chunks of foam — I used a bread-kneading motion — the instructions ask you to leave the Sac in a warm room for a 24-hour period and not sit on it to allow the Sac to properly expand. Be sure that you have plenty of space since the Sac takes up a large amount of floor space and is about 2 1/2 to 3 feet deep when fully expanded.

The SumoSac has quite a strong smell of furniture foam, but this dissipates over the course of a few days.

The next step is to wrap the Sac in its “microsuede” cover, which is a lot easier than I thought it would be. The cover itself has a zipper that splits it almost in two so it’s an easy process of getting the fully-expanded foam “pillow” into the “case”. Just fit the top on the Sac then flip the Sac over, zip up the cover and you’re done.

Now you’re ready to actually plunk yourself into it.

This thing is comfortable! In it’s default position, it’s the perfect thing to fall into to watch a movie on a rainy day. Stretched out with your significant other or curled into the fetal position, it’s warm and comfortable at long stretches, which my wife will attest to as she watched six episodes of ER (Season 3) without moving around to make herself more comfortable. I found that once enveloped in the SumoSac and I had a blanket thrown on top, it was very easy to catch some sleep and not wake up feeling stiff.

That said, it can be hard to get out of it. You have to roll out of it, really.

For long stretches of video games, I had to take a slightly different tact because of the size of my TV and length of headphone cable. Because the SumoSac has a shape similar to a big marshmallow, when you flop into it there’s little to no support for your neck if you’re sitting properly in front of your TV to play a video game. Fortunately, even though the SumoSac weighs about 50lbs, in its expanded form it’s quite moveable, so it can be tipped on its “side” or reshaped enough to provide a comfortable place to sit if you’re going to play GTA IV for a number of hours. (Or just make use of a pillow to support your neck if you can’t quite get it in the sweet spot.)



The cover is easy to get zipped around the interior “bag”; the SumoSac is quite large so be sure to have enough space in the room before you “assemble” it.

The microsuede shell is washable, which is good news. With three kids using the SumoSac as a “stunt cushion” and two cats sleeping on it on a regular basis (the two are not done at the same time) being able to unzip the cover and wash it is a great feature.

Unlike most furniture, SumoSac can be had for a relatively inexpensive price point. The suggested retail price is $749US, but if you buy it direct from Sumo Lounge it’ll set you back $225US (and shipping is free). There are only four different (dark) colors to choose from, which is probably due to the fact the SumoSac is a relatively new product for Sumo Lounge. (In contrast the Omni comes in 10 colors, some light, some dark.) SumoSac also comes in 4, 5, and 6 foot (diameter) sizes.

I’ve only had the SumoSac for a couple of weeks, so I can’t speak to the long term durability of the product, but two weeks at my house is like 6 months at any other house so I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that it’s probably good enough to withstand everyday use for a very long time and still stay puffed out.

This last paragraph is usually where I write something that tells you, dear reader, to either buy or ignore whatever product I’m talking about and this time is really no different — I’m a slave to predictability. If you’re in the market for new gaming furniture or just something to crash on at the end of a hard day (or alternatively use it as a big punching bag)

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