REVIEW / Sumo Air


Sumo makes super comfy bean bag chairs that are, ironically, not stuffed with beans. But their latest creation, the aptly named Sumo Air, is simply not stuffed at all. Well, that’s not technically true. By volume, air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and – because I live in the swamp-tastic state of Florida – 1% water vapor. The Sumo Air is essentially a lighter, cheaper and infinitely more portable take on Sumo’s other offerings, an inflatable lounger that you can use in the house, at the park or in the pool.


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When deflated, the Sumo Air weighs only 2.6 lbs and fits into a 14″ x 3″ x 10″ carry bag, which is included. And yes, it actually fits back into the carry bag, a significant departure from Sumo’s other offerings which, once they expand, have no hope of ever fitting back in the box. Like me and that size 12 Betsey Johnson dress I purchased while halfway through a juice cleanse. When inflated, the Sumo Air measures roughly 78″ x 36″ x 20″, which is plenty of room for 2-3 people to chill on width-wise or one very selfish, very comfortable person to stretch out on length-wise. It’s made from a tear resistant ripstop nylon that’s also waterproof and stain repellent, which means it’s easy to care for and easy to clean with just a little soap and water. It’s also easy to fill. Or so say the instructions.




In theory, you just drag it through the air, roll it and latch it. In reality, you may end up running suicides in 108 degree heat to the concern (and secret delight) of your loved ones. The Sumo Air fills up easily with a slight breeze or, if you’re tall, with a practiced swooping motion.  But if you are short and there is no wind, get ready for an aerobic workout. My poor sister, Lauren – all 5 feet 2 inches of her – tried swooping, then spinning, then twirling to no avail. She looked like the last place finisher at the world’s saddest rhythmic gymnastics competition. Even Jeff, her 6 foot tall boyfriend, had some trouble “catching air” in our apparently perfectly pressure balanced back yard. So, the downside is that you may have to engage in some pseudo-crossfit in order to inflate Sumo Air’s pair of PVC-lined pouches. But the upside is that you will have a comfy lounger to collapse into.




Truth be told, Sumo is not the only name in the air lounger game. The difficulty of putting a patent on “a bag filled with air” has given rise to the Cloudlounger, the Pouchcouch and the Hubbabag, to name but a few. And of course there’s the progentior to all of these, the Lamzac Hangout, which first debuted on Best Idea of Holland – the Dutch version of Shark Tank – in 2010. What sets the Sumo Air apart from the competition is that – at $74.99 – it hits the sweet spot. You could get an air lounger for as little as $49, but it won’t have the same features as the Sumo Air. And you could get an air lounger with the same features, but you’re going to spend at least $99.



In the words of Canada’s poet laureate Drake, “Everybody pop a bottle, make that thing go pop!”


This handy tab lets you anchor your Sumo Air so it doesn’t become a Sumo Kite.


Now, if you’re thinking you don’t need any of them fancy-pants features on your new yard pillow, allow me to elucidate just how wrong you are. Once wrapped in the Sumo Air’s pillowy embrace, it is nigh impossible to escape, both physically and emotionally. This thing is hella comfy, which more than makes up for how stupid you’ll look struggling to get off of it. Not that you’ll have to worry about that right away, as the Sumo Air will stay inflated for 3 hours or more before it needs a refill. Armed with the knowledge that you’re not going to want to move once you descend onto your brightly colored cloud, Sumo has designed the Sumo Air to accommodate your phone, tablet and drink.



A couple of pockets mean you don’t have to abandon your phone, even for one damn minute. Can’t you just appreciate this beautiful day? You promised me. YOU PROMISED!


This elastic strap holds a bottle of water or an ice-cold longneck, which is not pictured because I was taking a sip.


On the right hand side are two built-in pockets, one for your phone and another for your tablet, magazine, or extremely thin sandwich. On the left hand side is an elastic strap to hold your drink. The stitching on both could have been a little cleaner, but I have no complaints about the materials or the functionality. At the foot there’s a bottle opener. And finally, at the head there’s a strap with a ring on it; This prevents your Sumo Air from becoming airborne by allowing you to anchor it to the ground with a tent stake or – if it’s not a particularly windy day – weigh it down with your car keys.





Sumo Air is the best on-the-go seating solution my ass has had the pleasure of testing; it’s the perfect accessory to break out at a park with lure-laden PokeStops, proving more portable, more functional and more comfortable than any camp or beach chair. And unlike your rusty, saggy camp or beach chair, it’s built to last. The Sumo Air’s simple but rugged construction makes it easy to clean and – when deployed at the beach, pool or park rather than the atmospheric anomaly that is my back yard – easy to setup. And don’t even get me started on how much the dogs love it.




This review is based on a Sumo Air provided by Sumo.


Inflate in seconds, laze for hours

For being a glorified balloon, the Sumo Air is a surprisingly versatile couch-cum-lounger. It’s made of durable materials, seats multiple people, and keeps your life-giving beverages and equally life-giving gadgets close to hand. Just be sure there’s a breeze before setup, or your lazing will turn to exercising.