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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [03.02.07]
Manufactured by: Sumo


Beanbags are Cool Now?

The request from Sumo to review their giant bean bag chair is admittedly one of the strangest that we've received over the years here at Hardcoreware. At first glance a giant bean bag chair seems like an odd item for a Hardware site to be reviewing and I at first had some trepidations. The lure of a giant beanbag chair though was just too great to pass up.

Now unbeknownst to me, bean bag chair are apparently the new "urban chic" item for city livin' apartment dwellers This goes completely against my prior bean bag chair experiences having seen them only in dorm and rec rooms as a cheap alternative to real seating. The bean bag chair was always where they last guy to show up to the Super Bowl party had to sit. If was far from comfortable, and only a slight step above sitting directly on the floor.

Sumo believes that their Omni bean bag chairs are in direct contrast to the above description and very deserving of loving warmth from your keister. Is the Omni the greatest thing to happen to stowable seating or is it just another bag full of beans that only the family pet will love? Let's probe a little deeper and see.

The Sumo Ate Your Baby!

First up, the Omni is indeed giant. The box itself is big enough to hold a a pack of small children, and the chair could itself easily swallow multiple babies. Measuring 4.5 x 5.5 feet and weighing in at 18lbs, the Omni definitely lives up to its giant moniker. Available in eight different colors ranging from Pitch Black to Tangerine and even Hot Pink, there is a choice for every color room and decor.

The Sumo website notes that, the Omni is made from a "space age" rip proof nylon material. The material is not at all what you'd expect when you think of nylon, that is to say a smooth faux leather type feel. Instead the material is actually quite comfortable while remaining spill and stain resistant.

mmMMMm Space Balls

The rip proof claim is an interesting one, and will be tested thoroughly a bit later on (meow?) in the review. Before moving on though I have to ask: what exactly does "space age" mean nowadays?  Since we've been in space for over forty years now isn't everything created since the sixties "space age"? 

Internally, the Omni is stuffed full of Virgin Polystyrene Foam otherwise known as little white foam balls. Though I'm not certain what would make the foam balls virgin aside from never previously being compressed, Sumo claims that the Polystyrene used is of a much higher quality than the standard Durofoam which is found in cheaper chairs.

The tiny foam balls are secured behind a zipper and some super secure Velcro that ensures you won't be crawling around on your hands and knees trying to find any that accidentally escape.

After three months of regular usage from my 220lbs frame, the polystyrene foam has held up pretty well and although I have definitely noticed some compression, I have never sat on the Omni in any configuration and felt the hard floor beneath.

Next Page: (Chair Positions, Rip Test)