Jun 17, 2008

Ann Tancio


Sumo one-ups itself with the giant SumoSac

Have you ever seen or sat on a large plush bean bag? They are the La-Z-Boy of modern day. A quick query of Wikipedia reviews the history of the bean bag (also known as the “Physics Bag” or “Oversized Sac”).


Bean bag chairs are a popular form of furniture made of fabric and filled with small chunks of styrofoam or PVC pellets. They were hugely popular as mod furniture during the late 1960s and early 1970s; their popularity resumed in the mid 1990s, as companies began selling chairs filled with shredded polyurethane foam, charging a premium for the extra comfort this can provide.

As a youth, I remember the pleather wrapped bags at my grandparents house filled with tiny white styrofoam balls. Land your rear-end on one of those bags too fast and risk popping a seam exposing the loose innards. Since the 1960’s, manufacturing techniques, craftsmanship, and quality of have improved a hundred times over.

Fast forward to the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Reality shows like MTV’s Real World feature completely furnished homes with giant plush bean bags. The plush bean bag quickly becomes an “I want it” item. For most, the reality of owning a giant bean bag quickly transformed into an afterthought after seeing the sticker prices hit $400+. Premium prices for premium bags.

Sumo brings plush without the price

A few weeks back I caught wind of the fact that LoveSac – makers of the giant plush bags popularized by Real World – had filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Soon after, Andrew at Sumo notified me of an update to their line-up of lounge furniture. Note: UNEASYsilence review of the Sumo Omni. Sure enough, Sumo now offers a larger option for customers – the SumoSac.

The SumoSac is Sumo’s answer to the question “where can I find a large super comfortable bean bag without having to resort to eating Ramen for a week?” Priced well below the competition Sumo offers the SumoSac with a footprint of 4 ft., 5 ft., and 6 ft. diameters (priced from $179-$229). So how is life with a giant SumoSac in the living room?

Unpacking the 6 ft. SumoSac


The SumoSac is shipped compressed inside of a nylon bag. When FedEx dropped off the package, the concierge at the bottom of my building mentioned something about a giant block of cheese having been delivered. An appropriate description considering the shape of the bag. Deceptively heavy, I dragged the bag to the elevator and rolled it into my unit for unpacking.


With the shipping bag completely removed, I found myself staring at a vacuum packed bag of fill (inside a cotton inner bag) and a micro suede outer bag. You would think that immediately after unwrapping the fill, the entire bag would begin to expand on it’s own. It does, to a certain extent. In order to really promote the fill to expand, you need to physically break apart some of the shredded foam to coerce a little air into the inner bag. Break apart = beat and kick. I called the next step the filler beat down.


The SumoSac slowly expands into a familiar blob shape. Once most of the foam has been broken apart from the vacuumed chunks, the outer bag goes can go on.


What you’re left with is a giant bag (depending on the size) capable of swallowing up an entire individual + dog. Even better is that the inner foam continues to expand over the next week which means an even bigger fuller bag.

SumoSac things you’ll like

  • Affordable. With prices ranging from $179-$229, the SumoSac is a much more affordable option compared to the competition. In addition to the price being considerably lower, the customer service is unparallel.
  • Two layered system. Face it. no one can resist the initial urge to launch themselves on to the bag. I’ve witnessed friends out of the corner of my eye look over to check if my head was turned away before launching themselves on to the plush chair. Fortunately, if one bag does break, chances are the loose innards won’t be flying around.
  • Washable outer bag – imagine falling backwards into an unpredictably uneven bag of foam with drink in hand. ‘nough said.
  • Comfortable. Period. I found myself falling asleep in the living room on the bag during the first week.

SumoSac things you might not like

  • Moving? Good luck. Soon after unpacking the bag, we packed the apartment up for a move. The comfortable 6 ft. bag quickly becomes an unwieldy bag of foam even the movers despise.
  • If you purchase one, you’ll probably find a reason to buy a second, third, or even fourth.

SumoSac things you might not like

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