The Sleep Room

Jan 7, 2010

Ann Tancio


Sumo Gamer Urban Lounger Review

One piece of furniture you’ll never get tired of

You know, up until now, we’ve only reviewed all sorts of tech stuff here at Softpedia Gadgets, ranging from notebook computers to GPS navigators to digital and video cameras. However, back when we were still planning the launch of this special section for tech lovers, we kept pondering about just how interesting it would be for us to review something else than just gadgets, something that is related somehow to the world of technology, yet, on the other hand, is not exactly what we’d traditionally call a “gadget.”

Luckily for us, this opportunity appeared when the guys over at Sumo Lounge decided to send us one of their awesome bean bags, the Sumo Gamer, designed specifically to be used by kids of all ages (and by that we clearly mean grown-ups as well) as a lounger that would allow them to play their favorite game while sitting in a very comfortable position.

As you might expect, this is not the first bean bag we’ve ever tested, albeit all of the other ones were in much more personal environments, so we never really got to write about them. However, the Sumo Gamer was really a very nice surprise, from the moment we took it out of the bag and up to this moment, when pretty much everyone around the office is using it to relax, play a game and occasionally take a quick nap during lunch breaks.

And we’re not necessarily talking just about the level of comfort it’s able to provide here, but about some other features as well, such as the quality of the materials it’s built from, the fact that it always gets back to the initial shape and that it’s taken quite a serious “beating” over time, some of us even… dive-bombing of sorts onto it (in order to test its resilience, of course).

However, that’s as far as we’re going for now, and if you want to find out more about the Sumo Gamer, you’ll have to go through all of the chapters of our review.

Overall design features

Talking about the design of a bean bag is in fact a difficult task, given the fact that we’re generally used to pointing out the position of various buttons and slots rather than describing just how soft and… plushy a certain object feels when touched. Oh, well, we’re going to give it a try.

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So, before going any further, we’ll have to say that we were quite impressed with the packaging of the Sumo Gamer. Sure, the box the bean bag came in was surely large, but it wasn’t nearly as large as the Gamer became after taking out the inner polyester sack from the vacuumed plastic back it came in after inserting it into the micro-suede cover.

While we won’t talk too much about the foam-filled sack, we will mention that the cover is absolutely amazing, since it adds to the overall level of comfort offered by the bean bag an extra level of… well, I guess fluffiness is the best word for it. Its finishing is also very good, its only (small) problem being the fact that it can get electrically charged pretty easily (but we’ll detail this a bit later).

As for the form factor, we’ll have to say that the photos speak for themselves here, but it’s sufficient to tell you that these things will most likely retain this flattish, pillow-like shape at all times.

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Size and portability

Let us tell you something. The Gamer really gets big… really, really big, after you’ve taken it out of the box. The official measurements read 42 x 42 x 34 inches (or 1.06 m x 1.06 m x 86.36 cm), but for you to get an idea of what the Gamer can really do, we’ll just have to say that even our tallest colleague (who’s almost 2-meter or 6-foot 5-inch tall) managed to fully enjoy the comfort provided by the… gadget. So, you can imagine just how a regular person (let’s say 1.8-meter tall) will feel like when using this thing.

On the other hand, the Gamer is not exactly what we might call portable, but rather… “draggable.” Unlike most bean bags, which one can simply pick up and throw around the house, wherever they might feel like it, the Gamer is quite a heavy item. If you’re a regular, physically fit adult, you’ll be able to easily pick up the lounger and move it from one location to the next, but if you’re a kid, then dragging it around will be the only solution.


We’ve briefly mentioned above a few details about the materials the Sumo Gamer is built from, but we’ll also come back with a few additional ones. So, besides the micro-suede cover, there’s also the interior polyester sack, filled up with shredded foam. This combo ensures the fact that the Gamer offers a very high level of comfort and can be easily “molded” into various shapes, but takes it away from the classic “bean bags” out there, and closer to the idea of a furniture item.

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Another thing we’ll have to point is that, while the Gamer model we tested is all-black, there are also other color options available. So, if you decide to go for something a bit different, there’s also a beige version, a light red one and a darker brown one.


The last thing we’ll mention here is that the external cover of the Sumo Gamer is quite easy to remove and wash. One will simply have to unzip the cover, remove the inner foam sack, and normally wash the cover, like any other micro-suede clothing item. It’s actually quite easy, and, from time to time, your Sumo Gamer could use one (especially if you’ve been using it quite frequently).

We’re sure that, going beyond the design and looks of the Sumo Gamer, pretty much everyone out there would be keen on finding out more about just how using it feels like. And, to tell you the truth, the Gamer is likely one of the most comfortable furniture items we’ve ever come across.

Practically, one can use the Sumo Gamer either for its intended purpose (support while playing a video game), but also for sleeping or simply relaxing. And indeed, as far as the level of comfort and relaxation it’s able to provide, the Gamer is far superior to pretty much any other bean bag we’ve laid on up until now. Yeah, it’s all in the foam and the feeling of fluffiness and softness provided by the micro-suede cover.

After getting the Gamer ready, we carried out several types of tests, regarding its resilience and shock-absorption capabilities. So, not only did it retain its overall fluffiness after we jumped onto it (back or belly first, no feet involved), but it also provided a very good level of cushioning, easily absorbing any shocks.

Furthermore, despite getting a little flattened during our experiments, we’ve been able to get the Gamer back to its original shape almost in no time, by simply rolling it around a bit, in order to get the interior foam back into shape.

One of the most curious phenomena related to the Sumo Gamer is the build-up of a slight electrical charge. So, after jumping on the bean bag a couple of times, we noticed that our bodies had been electrically charged, and discharged when touching pretty much anything around (whether we’re talking about a piece of plastic, another person, etc.)


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As far as we’ve been able to figure out, the cause of this situation is the micro-suede cover, which tends to help build up the respective charge. However, this phenomenon is related mostly to these extreme conditions, because, during regular use, the charge will be a lot less significant and will also constantly be drained via the controller you’re holding or via your feet touching the ground. In other words, it’s nothing really dangerous, either for your or for your equipment, but one can really turn it into something fun, especially if you like to play around with electricity. Unfortunately, this build-up of an electrical charge does have another shortcoming, namely the fact that it will easily attract loose particles (especially dust).

Now, before moving on to the last segment of our review, we’ll mention one more thing, in order for you to better understand just what this thing meant to us. So, ever since the Gamer arrived at our HQ, there hasn’t been one day or one lunch break without somebody using it (with some people even taking turns at who got to sit on it). And we’re pretty sure this will happen to you and your family members as well, should you decide to get yourselves one of these ultra-comfy loungers.


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The good

– very good looking;
– offers a good level of comfort;
– accommodates people of various sizes;
– retains fluffiness for a long period of time;
– very good at absorbing shocks.

The bad

– you might get in a fight regarding the rights of usage;
– might get you electrically charged;
– a little bit difficult to carry around, especially by kids.

Overall impressions

The Sumo Gamer is officially called a bean bag for kids, but, in reality, it’s a lot more than that. Not only is it able to provide a very good level of comfort while someone’s playing a game (including Wii games, believe it or not) on their favorite gaming console, but it’s great for just staying around and relaxing or even taking a nap.

Unlike traditional bean bags, the Gamer uses shredded foam, which helps it gain back its initial shape a lot faster, while remaining “fluffy” for a longer period of time. Of course, the suede cover has a lot to do with the comfort, but also with the overall nice look of the Gamer. Unfortunately, it tends to gather quite a bit of dust and particles (due to the cover, that gets electrically charged fast).

All in all, we had quite a great time testing the Gamer, and we’re still having a hard time deciding who’s going to use it during this lunch break. Oh, well, guess that we’ll have to move to drawing straws or playing rock, paper and scissors.

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