Sumo Omni (Urban Lounge Chair)

A deluxe and versatile beanbag with plenty of bum real-estate.

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Sumo Omni (Urban Lounge Chair)
  • Sumo Omni (Urban Lounge Chair)
  • Sumo Omni (Urban Lounge Chair)
  • Sumo Omni (Urban Lounge Chair)

Pros

  • Turns sloth into an art form, can be tailored to suit a variety of purposes, stain-resistant, luxurious and comfy

Cons

  • Too big for storage, a bit pricey

Bottom Line

The Sumo Omni marks a major step forward in the (de)evolution of the couch potato. If you care even slightly about your derrière, it’s worth every penny.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 3 stores)

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The Sumo Omni is the ultimate lounge room accessory. Not since the La-Z-Boy has a product so completely ensnared the hearts (and rumps) of R&R-loving couch potatoes. Without putting too much spin on it, we love our Omni fiercely, passionately and unconditionally — like a cuddly obese brother. If we could give the Sumo Omni six stars out of five, we would. It’s simply that good!

Consisting of a durable PVC-coated nylon cover filled with polystyrene foam balls, the Sumo Omni is essentially a gigantic pillow that can be fashioned into a beanbag, cushion or miniature couch, depending on how you position it. It also comes in five different colours, ranging from fiery red to charcoal green. Though a little on the pricey side and far too big for conventional storage, it remains an exceptional piece of furniture that no bum (in both senses of the word) should be without.

The guys at Sumo have been spruiking beanbags to pretty much everyone of late, with their flagship products appearing at such prestigious and varied events as the Melbourne Film Festival, MTV Australia Awards and 2008 Playboy Golf Finals. It therefore only seemed fair that we got in on the action with a few Sumo freebies of our own. [Er, he means ‘samples’, of course — Ed.]

Upon delivery, we were somewhat nonplussed by the flat, pillow-like appearance of the Omnis, which gave our test centre a decidedly harem-esque appearance. As the only member of staff with a novelty turban, I was swiftly elected chief sultan, which involved a full day of vigorous testing. This may seem like overkill to the layman, but as professionals we take our job seriously (especially when it involves lots of lounging around).

If this gushing love letter of a review hasn’t spelled it out already, we were immensely pleased with the Omni’s performance. It's comfy, spacious and gloriously plush — what more do you want from a beanbag? But perhaps the Omni’s biggest strength lies in its versatility. Unlike most deluxe beanbags, which usually resemble a deformed couch, the Omni sports a pillow-like shape that can be moulded and manipulated to suit a variety of purposes.

As demonstrated by the lovely lass in the pictures above, the Sumo Omni can be used in a myriad of ways, ranging from a crash mat/siesta-magnet to a pony-shaped office chair. Naturally, most people will elect to use it as a beanbag for the living room; a role that it thankfully excels at. When positioned just so, the Sumo Omni offers the kind of laidback luxury that few one-seaters can match.

The polystyrene foam innards conform to your body shape without swallowing you up. The roomy real-estate will comfortably fit two average-sized bottoms, which makes it ideal for snugly movie-marathons and the like. The rip-proof nylon cover is also resistant to staining and easy to wash down with soapy water, which means you don’t have to forgo that butter-drenched popcorn and chocolate-coated ice-cream.

On the downside, the Omni’s extravagant size makes it difficult to store during periods of non-use. Weighing in at a hefty 8kg and measuring 1.4x1.7 metres, it’s not something that can be tossed into the cupboard between gaming sessions (unless you own an empty armoire). Consequently, most people will be forced to leave these behemoths in the lounge room, which can make for a cluttered living area. People in small apartments should therefore think long and hard before making their purchase.

The Sumo Omni comes with a vague ‘durability’ guarantee, but if you find it starts to flatten over time, you can buy bead refills direct from Sumo for $50. At $199, the Sumo Omni isn’t cheap, but it remains reasonable value for money when compared to a regular loveseat or couch. The price also includes shipping costs. (The Sumo Omni can only be purchased direct from the company’s Web site.)

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