SumoSac and Omni Review

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Review by Chris Matel
Can you really get tired of sitting?...

As gamers, we spend a lot of down time on our, how do you say, derrières. Classically, the standard couch has been our mode of repose. Some, on the other hand, may swear by their favorite recliners for pure comfort and horizontally positioned relaxation for long nights of marathon gaming—they also allow for easy conversion to sleep mode. Throughout the years, however, we have seen an influx in seating solutions, mainly in the plastic rocker and bean bag categories. Yet, there is another choice in the mix: over-sized bean bag chairs. While they're nothing novel, companies have taken the beloved malleable, free-form sacks, and have have turned them into practical living room accessory. We had the opportunity to sit, lay and curl up in a couple enjoyable cushions, which came to us from Sumo. Today, we take a look at their Omni and SumoSac options.

SumoSac: Not a Japanese wrestler's, well, you know....

When you hear the words “sumo” and “sack,” you might conjure some interesting images. Put those words together, and drop the “k,” however, and you have yourself one super comfortable, large bean bag chair. Ordered from their Web site, it only takes a around a week to have a 4, 5 or 6 foot sac delivered to your door. Don't expect to have your delivery man hauling a giant bean bag over his soldier, however. The SumoSac is shipped in a nylon bag that has been vacuum compressed. So, in other words, some assembly is required.

Instead of a nice, plush seat to jump into right off the bat, you'll have to fluff you're newly acquired sac. The recommended instructions, from the Sumo site, gloss over nine steps to fully set up your bag and to enjoy it. According to Sumo, after you unpack everything, you're supposed to stuff the urethane foam-filled, vacuumed insert into the accompanying cover (you have your choice of 4 colors: black, khaki, royal blue or chocolate brown), break up the single piece of compressed foam, and let it sit for 24 hours before a final fluffing and enjoyment. In our case, however, after throwing the insert into the cover, we took out a little aggression, Rocky style, and left the bag to recoup in a corner—TKO'd.

After a night's rest, we returned to the battered bag, filled with shredded furniture foam (the standard filler for these types of bags), to see it's condition. What had transpired over night could best be described by Kafka, but a simple way to put would be transformation through expansion! What was delivered to us in a relatively small, condensed cube, had exploded into a rotunded, space-filling pillow—hence the Sumo moniker, no doubt.

Ditching the verbose rhetoric, what we're left with a glorious, comfortable way to relax while playing our favorite games, watching TV or movies, hanging out with friends, or, day I say, read a book. We tested our sample outside during a sunny day, over freshly-cut grass (the sac was atop a tarp, however). While the Sun certainly turned the otherwise innocuous ball of foam into a reptile's favorite hangout (black cover plus cloudless sky equals frying pan effect), the micro suede cover also ditched clinging grass clippings after a quick fluffing; thus giving us the impression larger crumbs and such wouldn't become a sticky problem.

You don't need a Mawashi, but transportation could turn into a sumo match...

It should be said that while the sac is not a bulky piece of furniture, like a big couch requiring sturdy men with back braces to move, the gigantic cushion isn't the lightest, most movable item either. Although a single person can turn and jumble the bag to rearrange its innards—otherwise known as fluffing, and the way to remove the indent of the seat's prior occupant—we recommend you enlist a buddy to help you around enclosed areas and through doorways, so as not disturb your surroundings or unwontedly fall down any stairs. The real question is, once everything is fluffed and, huge, how are you supposed to clean the cover? Stuffing the bag back into the cover turns into a good workout.

Other than the sac's enjoyable-yet-sometimes-awkward obesity, there's really no reason not to employ it as your next living, recreation or dining room seating option. The foam is guaranteed never to go flat like the bean bags of old, (at least with the 6-footer) you can easily fit two or three people in it, and at a price range of $179-229 (including shipping), it's a no-brainer if you're in the market for an almost-everlasting comfort whilst sitting.

Hell yeah:
+ Big
+ Fluffy
+ Uber-comfortable

Oh, hell no:
- A little intimidating to move by yourself
- Cleaning the cover after fully fluffed: yeesh
-Too inexpensive...raised-inflection question mark....

Omni: sounds elegant and single, while paradoxically having multiple utilities...

The second sample from Sumo we tested was their classic Omni; half pillow, half meditation mat, and half bean bag (yes, three halves make a whole), it's a smaller solution, more suited for those with limited room.

Available in ten different colors, varying from standard to fluorescent-ish colors, the Omni is touted as having ten ways to use it, with your imagination needed for additional permutations. It comes all ready to use, but filled with foam pellets. In time, the pellets will flatten and wear out. Sumo says they'll send you new ones to refill the Omni, so it's really up to you if you want to make the time and the hassle.

Containing all of those beads is a strong liquid, stain and all matter-resistant vinyl cover. The cover is great for those households where plastic covers are the norm (grandma's included), as there isn't worry about particles getting ingrained into the material. However, durability comes at the cost of comfortability. Lining the edges of the Omni is an equally strong ribbon of thick vinyl, and depending on how you sit in it, edges can poke and prod into your body; they're not horribly painful, just fairly annoying. Also, the vinyl itself doesn't transfer heat especially well and can make you a little sweaty after long sessions; a classic problem of the material.

Hell yeah:
+ Multiple seating positions
+ Impervious, indestructible vinyl
+ Perfect for students

Oh, hell no:
- Rigid vinyl can kind of hurt
- Foam beads will wear out, eventually
- Doesn't breath especially well

“The choice is yours, and yours alone”...

While not as luxurious as the SumoSac, the Omni is perfect for dorm-dwelling students or younger gamers who need a place to sit, without sacrificing space or having to worry about acquiring unwanted discolorations because of a spurious burrito. Then again, if space isn't a problem, the Omni's $129 price tag is only $50 cheaper than the smallest SumoSac, so you might as well pony up and splurge for the cushy ball-o-relaxation.

Either way you go, Sumo's on the right track for those looking to atrophy at the hands of their favorite inactive hobbies.