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“Does anyone want to review a bean bag chair?” asked Malcolm Campbell, my website administrator. I jokingly replied affirmatively because I thought it was a joke. “This is a DVD website”, I told myself, "he must be teasing". Imagine my surprise when I suddenly found myself in the company of a giant, blue Sumo Lounge beanbag chair. “We’ll put the review under ‘technology’”, said Malcolm. Okay then, works for me.

Sumo Omni Chair
I’ve never reviewed furniture before, so I can only compare this behemoth to the other furniture I’ve dealt with in my own life. I’m no Fung Shui master, or even nominally adept at interior decoration, but I know what I like. The Sumo Omni goes up against my bland couches, a futon, a foam, fold out bed/chair, and two standard beanbag chairs. Couches and futons still win the practicality contest, as they are actual pieces of furniture, and anyone looking to furnish an adult abode will most likely want real furniture. Compared to the fold out and the standard beanbags, the Omni is a much, much better place to park one’s rear.

The Omni is, as the website’s FAQ puts it, ‘Super big’, approximately 5'5 x 4'5 feet. This size is either a curse or blessing, depending on the area a customer may have to stick it. Smaller dorm rooms may prove too small for the Omni, though it would also double as a decent bed for guests. Folks with rumpus room or maybe kids’ playrooms will probably love the size, and romantic types will like the fact that the chair can fit two average sized adults pretty snugly.

The outer material is something called Ballistic nylon, which the FAQ lists as ‘PVC coated nylon which is super durable but smooth’. It is both super-durable and smooth, and unlike cheaper beanbags, which are often covered in faux leather or vinyl, it won’t be sticky in the summer months. I didn’t spill any grape juice on it or anything, but I’ll believe the claim that it’s stain resistant and easy to clean based on the fact that the fibres are totally non-absorbent.

Sumo Omni Chair
The problem with the Ballistic nylon is that it isn’t soft, and as a priss I prefer the feel of sitting on natural fabrics like cotton. Living in Minnesota, and being a bit of a miser when it comes to the energy bill, I find that the fabric doesn’t hold its heat as well as cotton or flannel. To avoid both these issues I’ve found tossing a sheet over the chair is a plus.

The chair is filled with little ‘Virgin Polystyrene Foam’ balls, which roll around to form several different chair shapes, as noted on the website’s demo (ten in one, so they say, I bet I could find another six or seven). I found that setting things up like a chair, complete with some place to set my arms, was the most comfortable way to watch a movie. The foam dispersal is rather quick, and I was surprised at the firmness of the bag once things settled (I’ve really got to watch those double entendres). The polystyrene does decompress over time, depending on usage, but new beads can be purchased when needed directly from Sumo.

Sumo Omni Chair
Because I’m still at a bit of a loss on how exactly to review a beanbag chair, I’ll break down a little list of pros and cons here.

Pros


  • The Ballistic Nylon is more or less indestructible, assuming you don’t take a blowtorch or Samurai sword to it. This means out-door use isn’t out of the question.
  • The versatility is undeniable. This thing can be shaped and reshaped like no other seat I’ve ever seen, which is perfect for group movie night.
  • The Omni is very lightweight, making it a good choice for children.
  • It’s big, big enough to fit a few people.
  • The chair comes in many different colours.


Cons


  • The Ballistic Nylon is not very soft to the touch, and doesn’t hold its heat very well, which deletes the possibility of nude movie watching without a sheet or blanket.
  • The size may be cumbersome for some individuals with less room, and the dispersal of beads can make for quite a bit of extra material.
  • The price ($129, free shipping), though fair for the build quality, may be a bit steep for some folks, though it’s still a better value than most videogame rocking chairs.


If you're interested in a Sumo Omni chair, in any of ten colours, visit the company's official website HERE for more details including video demos and ordering information.


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