It is with no small amount of shame that I admit I once had a thing for kitschy furniture. From a bean bag ottoman to an inflatable couch to a Papasan chair woven from seat belts and duct tape, if it would make 30-something me cringe, then 20-something me had it prominently placed in her living room. I may not have matured much mentally or emotionally since those cinder block-loving college days, but my taste in furniture blessedly has. Which is why I was so surprised by the Sumo Omni Plus, a super sized bean bag whose sturdy construction and quality materials elevate it beyond the realm of dorm decor. Yes, it’s a bean bag. But no, it’s not kitschy.
If you’re going to be trapped in the vast, white emptiness between dimensions, you might as well be comfy.
Of the many bean bag chairs Sumo Lounge offers, the Omni series is the most versatile because they’re not so much chairs as they are pillows. Freakishly huge pillows. The original Omni was a decent gaming chair; made from a slick ballistic nylon and filled with virgin polystyrene foam balls, the 5′ long by 4′ wide cushion stayed comfy and clean through the most tedious grinding sessions. But it can’t compare to the Omni Plus. This 6′ long by 5′ wide behemoth combines the rectangular shape of the smaller Omni with the shredded stuffing of the larger Sultan. While the Omni’s polystyrene balls can decompress over time, the Omni Plus’ dense polyurethane foam returns to its original fluffy form as soon as you haul your fat ass out of it.
When first shipped, the foam filled liner is compressed into a shockingly compact bundle. I can only hope the FedEx man realized this package was 35 pounds before he threw his back out clean and jerk-ing the deceptively small box off the back of the truck. Sumo Lounge used to wrap their dense-as-a-dying-star payload in a thick layer of tape and plastic which you had to be careful in removing so as not to damage the liner, but now it comes stuffed into a sturdy zippered bag. It’s nice that you don’t have to risk cutting the liner, just don’t make direct eye contact with the zipper until you’re good and ready to release the Omni Plus into the wild. I was going to make a time lapse video of the expansion process, but the Omni Plus had other ideas. According to the enclosed instructions, it can take up to 24 hours for the bag to reach 90%, with expansion continuing over the next few days; you can speed this up by breaking up the chunks of foam with your hands, through the liner of course. But according to my personal experience, you need only leave the house for 3 hours to find, upon your return, that the Omni Plus has thrown off the shackles of its zippered bag and swallowed your living room whole.
A bit of rolling, flipping and fluffing, and it was ready to insert into the microsuede cover, which though not a spill and stain resistant as the Omni, is removable and machine washable. I was sent a fiery red cover, but there are a total of 11 different colors to choose from. The Omni Plus ships with one cover included, but you can order additional covers separately. I know I haven’t tested it out long enough, but it seems more likely that you’d order another cover because you wanted to change up the color than because you needed a replacement. The brushed polyester material is soft but sturdy, with strong, thick stitching at the seams. It withstood a solid 72-hours serving as mattress, punching back and aerial stunt landing pad for my two Poptart-crazed nieces, which is the equivalent of three years of normal use. My only complaint about the Omni Plus’ microsuede cover is that it lacks a label; all of Sumo Lounge’s other offerings have a cool Sumo-branded tag sewn into one of the seams. I would normally celebrate the lack of branding, but considering this bean bag costs $200, the label has a certain cachet.
What didn’t disappoint was the versatility of the Omni Plus. Unlike the beanbags of yesteryear, this one can be muscled and molded into a variety of shapes. Laid flat it’s perfect for taking a nap, sideways it’s great for a couple watching a movie, and folded against the wall it provides the perfect amount of back support while I write this review. But for gaming, the best configuration is the one I’ve dubbed “The Tear Drop” (a.k.a. “The Sultan’s Slipper,” a.k.a. “The Hershey’s Kiss”). Straddling it sideways three-fourths of the way towards the front gives you a bit of a backrest while also providing support when leaning forward, as I am wont to do when a game gets intense; and for me, that means at the character customization screen. Forget the dialogue options, my meticulously groomed muttonchops speak for me! The only downside, to any and all of these configurations, was getting back up again. My sofa may not be as comfy, but I don’t look nearly as stupid getting off of it.
Overall, the Omni Plus is a more comfortable, durable take on the bean bag chair that will still be a proud part of your home decor long after the empty liquor bottles and stolen road signs have been phased out. Though it’s not without it’s flaws, both minor (the missing label makes it seem generic) and major (the massive weight makes it awkward to position). Some may also balk at the price, but $200 is pretty reasonable considering the quality of the materials and sturdiness of the construction; the Pillowsac, a comparable offering from competitor Lovesac, costs $850. If you have the cash and the space, and are looking for some laid back lounge-style seating, then the Omni Plus is worth trying. It’s not going to replace your existing living room furniture, but it’s certainly nice enough to sit alongside it.
Sumo Lounge provided product for review.