The Armchair Empire

Aug 7, 2006

Ann Tancio


Omni from Sumo Lounge

Though the name may indicate differently, the Armchair Empire has never reviewed a piece of furniture – gaming or otherwise. It’s actually a gross oversight when you think about it. If you’re not comfortable while playing a game it follows that your overall impression of the game might suffer. I’m now safe in the knowledge that I should never fall victim to this malady – it’s the Omni to the rescue!

It doesn’t seem right to call the Omni a bean bag chair because it’s light years beyond what I remember as a bean bag chair. Bean bag chairs of yesteryear were amorphous blobs that often (and often) ripped open spilling their innards (usually little Styrofoam balls) all over the living room floor.

The Omni is shaped like a big pillow, measuring 4.5′ x 5.5′, but with an important difference: it can be shaped to suit your mood. You can sit on it flat or prop it against a couch to create an ad hoc love seat with backrest. But the Omni can do a lot more than that. Drop the Omni on an edge and sit on it like you’re riding a horse. Or drop it on a corner then sit on it to create a spoon-like arrangement that forces the Omni to conform to your contours. Really, it all depends on your mood and how much gaming you’re settling in for. Quick games mean I’m “riding the horse” but a few hours of Oblivion means I’m nesting in the Omni. Either way, it’s comfortable for long and short periods.

It’s solidly constructed as evidenced by the fact it hasn’t spilled its millions of tiny “Sumo balls” all over the place. I have three kids under the age of seven – the same ones that managed to destroy a flashlight warranted against shark attack! – and the Omni has been punched, jumped on, slammed, and flung for the past week and it hardly shows. The fabric is a “space age, rip-proof nylon” that makes for a durable product and one that is relatively breathable, which is an important factor for anything marketed toward gamers. I’m 6’4″ and almost 230lbs and there have been no seams blown or stretched out.

Sumo backs their products with a 2 year warranty, for normal use, etc., which is a far cry from the usual 90-days. According to the all-knowing Internet, the average lifespan of bean bag Styrofoam balls is two years, after which they’ve been compacted enough to make the bean bag chair less malleable. No fear though, the Omni has a discreet industrial Velcro strip which hides a short zipper which provides access to the Styrofoam balls so when the time comes, they can be changed.

I haven’t had the need to clean the Omni at this point, but since it’s pitch black, stains and dirt aren’t likely to be easily seen. (It comes in several different colors, including hot pink.)

Going for about $129.00US, price will probably be a consideration for some but as far as gaming “chairs” go, The Omni is a recommended piece of furniture for gamers. (For the reasons above, not just because I write under the pseudonym of Omni, which I had long before the Omni was created.)

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