Review: Sumo Omni bean bag chair

~ 05 October 2006 ~

On occasion I have the opportunity to give new products a test spin. Most of them are private betas for web apps, but on this particular occasion it was something fully devoid of gradients, drop-shadows, and rounded corners: The Sumo Omni bean bag chair.

Photo of Sumo Omni bean bag chair

I prefer the term “crash mat” employed in their marketing copy, as it’s much more a giant pillow than your typical bean bag furniture.

The biggest issue I’ve had with bean bag chairs in the past has been the unmistakably cheap vinyl which shows no fortitude at the first sign of anything remotely jagged or sharpened. Sumo’s makers absolve customers of this “spilled beans everywhere” issue by using a rip-proof nylon that seems rather durable. The only downside is it creates more noise than its faux leather counterpart. So once you’re comfortably in position, stay put.

Perhaps the most enjoyable feature is the endless array of shapes you can create with it — use it as a lounge chair, a fold-over pillow, a gaming seat, and so on.

If I were to order a second I might go with midnight blue or even tangerine (mine’s charcoal green), although John Oxton reports that while tangerine may look swanky in a posh New York loft, it doesn’t exactly carry the same clout in a country cottage in the Cotswolds. But with 8 colors to choose from, finding the right one for your space — swanky or sedate — shouldn’t be an issue.


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