Let me start by saying one thing: My living room is strange.
We’ve just got a strange layout and there’s no denying or correcting it. There are two long rows of windows on either side and a fireplace on one end, which makes for a bad gaming setup. During the daytime, there is so much light in the room that we’d have to have black curtains in order to effectively see the TV. Even at night, the layout is a problem. In order to have “marathon” weekend gaming sessions with my kids, we lug one of the couches in front of the TV. It makes things very comfortable, but it also makes the room look a mess. At some point, the kids will set up TV tray tables to build legos on and generally turn it into one big playroom. This happens whenever the couch gets moved, as if it’s the “go light” for messy time.
What we needed was something to make gaming a comfortable affair that didn’t require moving heavy furniture around, that was portable (we could put it away to make the living room presentable for company), and could withstand two kids, a dog, a cat, and a big gaming dad.
Enter the Sumo “Omni”
I’ve seen the Sumo ads around the web. I can’t lie and say the gorgeous blonde in their advertisements didn’t at least momentarily intrigue me. Of course, I could say that the big, bright red bag and the ubiquitous advertising served to draw me in, but yeah – the girl had at least something to do with it. Sorry.
I thought this was something that could fit my needs.
My lovely friend Chelsey happily volunteered to model the Omni for this review. As you can see, the Sumo Omni is big. Chelsey is 5′ 7″, so you can see that the bag is big enough to hold the average adult comfortably. When my son first sat in it, he kind of sank into the middle. He said – “Dad, I feel like I’m in a bird’s nest.” He’s a strapping 4′ tall, so naturally a kid that size is going to swim in this thing.
The material is hard to explain. It’s like windbreaker material. Or maybe tent material. Water rolls off of it. It’s stiff enough to hold its shape but soft enough to be comfortable. I haven’t put it to the test yet, but I think my cat would have trouble ripping it with his claws. It’s stuffed with what feel like “normal” beans from a beanbag – that is to say they are probably made of Styrofoam of some sort. This causes the bag to be noisy like a regular beanbag. When you shift around, it’s loud.
I am a big guy, and my fear was that by me leaning against the bag during extended gaming sessions, it would lose its shape. Fortunately, I was wrong. The bag does indeed hold up against my weight and I found I was able to sit for three hours in it comfortably, with minimal shifting.
The best part of this bag for me is that I am now able to move my couch back to where it belongs – for good. My two boys like to watch me play video games sometimes, and so all three of us curled up onto the bag. It was big enough, comfortable enough, and sturdy enough to hold a seven year old, a nine year old, their dad, a blanket, and a cat. And a PS2 controller.
When we’re done gaming, we literally throw the bag in the basement. I mean, open the basement door, and toss it down. It’s sturdy enough that I am not worried that anything will damage it. At night, during game time, it comes back out in front of the TV and we’re set. The kids have been begging to sleep in it. It’s really just a nice, comfortable bag.
The downsides are few, but the most significant one is the price. Yes, this is a $130 bean bag. That is a lot of money. I’ll be perfectly honest and say that I personally couldn’t justify spending $130 on it. I received this bag as a review sample from Sumo, and I happily commend this product to the readers. If dropping $130 is palatable for you, this is well worth the price. I can see many types of rooms and situations where this would be a perfect fit, especially since they offer a pretty wide selection of colors to match decor. If I was a bachelor and couldn’t or didn’t want to buy furniture, I wouldn’t mind having three or four of these in a room. Alas, somewhere along the way I had to “grow up” and get big boy furniture, but I lament that these didn’t exist when I was a single guy in a tiny apartment.
Another downside is that the edges can be a little “too” stiff. There is a strong Velcro seam on one edge, and more than once I had to adjust the bag in order to prevent the stiff edge or corner from digging into my back or butt. No worries about the seam opening, however. I tried. It’s VERY solid. I couldn’t open it.
That’s pretty much the bottom line – if you can afford the price, this is worth it. It fit all my needs to give my “gaming lounge” a breathe of fresh air.
In the interest of full disclosure and integrity, I will say that we signed on with Sumo’s affiliate program because we believe in their products and use them ourselves. If you wish to purchase any Sumo product, you can do so directly through Icrontic.