Weekly Geek Show

Apr 24, 2007

Ann Tancio


The Ultimate Gaming Chair – Sumo Review

What constitutes a good chair for gaming? Two main issues spring to mind: portability and flexibility – you can move it to whatever room or area or spot you want to game in and it has to be easy to sit in for long gaming sessions and not start to be uncomfortable. In the past this has been relegated to the world of bean bag chairs, but most lose their shape too quickly, or are made of cheap stuff. Like sawdust, I dunno. Maybe you have a cozy couch to game in, or maybe you have some strange contraption you created out of pine needles and glue. Throw all that crap away and get yourself a Sumo. What’s this? Chris is being a shill for a company? Hells yes. Not only is the Sumo Omni beanbag chair the best beanbag chair in the universe, it’s also the best gaming chair hands down. It’s made with teensy microbeads that are durable, rip stop fabric that is easy to wipe all your sweaty friend’s gunk off of, and they can be folded into various positions to fit the look and shape of your gaming space.

Click the jump to see some pictures of my gaming area setup, and how the Sumo chairs actually fit into the whole equation.

I was sent an Omni chair and an Otto chair for review, and first thing you notice when you get them in the mail is how freaking huge the boxes are. Literally the UPS guy built a wall out of the boxes in front of my door so I couldn’t get in. Not cool, UPS. The second thing you notice is the high quality. The fabric can best be described as backpack-like material and is sturdy and nice. And these things are quite large out of the box as well. While it is most comfortable for one person to sit on, it can easily accommodate two, if you enjoy snuggling (I do!).

What is great about the Sumo is the different shapes you can fold it into due to its square shape. For this it can adapt to many situations. It can be sat on like a pillow, that pillow can be bent in half and leaned against a wall. You can shake all the beans to the bottom and fold over the empty top part for a nice sturdy bench-like surface, or you can grab a single corner and fold it over, sitting on it to force the beans up through the back corner, making a backrest. Sound complicated? Nothing too complicated for you, intrepid gamer! I use the latter method the most, as it provides me with a nice reclining chair with ample back support and knee elevation. It’s pretty much perfect to just lounge in watching TV, or to veg out in with a controller in your lap. Add in the Otto and you have a very comfortable gaming situation. The Otto is made from the same stuff as the Omni, but its the shape of a giant marshmallow. It is close to the same height as the Omni folded in my favorite position, so it works great to shield my bony heels from resting on my hardwood floors.

Now that I have gushed about the chairs, I will tell you some downsides.

#1 – They are expensive for beanbag chairs. While they aren’t as expensive as buying an easy chair, $120 for the Omni (at the time of writing this article) is quite steep for the average gamer. Is it worth the price? Definitely.

#2 – It’s loud. Even for a beanbag chair, it’s a loud chair. Move around or adjust in any way and you will probably scare the cat with the noise the beans make.

#3 – It’s big. If space is in any way a premium in your house, the Sumo will either replace a chair, or not fit at all.

Despite the (admittedly few) things against the Sumo, there’s so much for it. Having an excellent gaming chair to veg out on for hours on end is excellent, and it’s high enough quality it doesn’t look silly in your living room. Having a Sumo is a classy move, and will accent any dcor. Or so I am told.

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