Never do anything standing that you can do sitting, or anything sitting that you can do lying down. -- Ancient Chinese Proverb
Last Tuesday, as I sat surfing the web and pondering the intensity and depth of my loneliness, the doorbell rang. Waiting was a blue-clad delivery man, who, by means of a series of grunts and gestures, indicated that I should Sign Here. Having done so, I was frankly shocked to see the size of the package he hauled up my side steps and manhandled through my door. It was a box big enough to ship an adult human being in, and I entertained the brief yet hilarious idea that someone had purchased us a Realdoll. When I tore open the cardboard and hauled out the contents, I was relieved to find that it wasn't a creepily lifelike sexdoll, but rather an improbably large beanbag.
It was, in fact, the Sumo Omni.
They'd emailed Certis a while back, asking if he wanted to review one of their products. He agreed, promptly forgot about it, and then ran off to India. Now, facing the giant, navy blue, military-grade nylon reality of it sitting in the living room, I realized that I was going to have to pick up the slack.
Sumo, an online-only company, styles its products as "urban lounge gear," and the Omni is the big daddy of their line. Measuring 4.5' x 5.5' and weighing in at a surprisingly light 18 lbs, it is "a crash mat, lounge chair, loveseat or floor pillow "… but the possibilities really do go on." Apparently one possibility is gamer butt cradle, although it never explicitly says so on the website. It is made of smooth and extremely durable ballistic nylon, and filled with polystyrene pellets. They claim it is water-, stain- and nearly rip-proof (I don't even want to speculate about some of those other uses), and that it will go on looking new for as long as you own it. Gosh!
It's basically a big nylon pillow. The site shows various ways of sitting, leaning, and lying on it, but the one I found most comfy for gaming purposes is number four.
I put the Omni on edge, and sat down on the top seam. The bag smooshed out to each side as my weight descended. The middle cradled my butt and back, and the back top corner rose up behind my head to provide a nice headrest. It was extremely comfy -- even more so with the addition of a blanket and a cat. I played Dead Rising for over an hour and a half without moving, and had none of the cricks in my neck or stiff shoulders that I could expect from a like session on the couch. You do sit quite low to the ground; if you like having a drink or snacks nearby when you game, you may end up putting them on the floor.
The thing is big, though. Our living room is quite small, and I had to move the couch to get the Omni far enough back from the TV. It would be much more convenient in a den or living room with lots of open floor space. t's also not for the gamer with back or hip problems -- getting out of it requires some effort, especially if you have really snuggled down and your knees are higher than your waist. It's a bit pricey at $149.00 US. They have a fall sale on at the moment to clear out some less popular colours. If you want pink or tangerine, you can get one for $129.00. They offer free shipping and promise delivery through Fedex in 7-10 business days.
The Omni isn't something I would have bought, but now that it's in the house, I really like it. I can see it being a great addition to a house with kids, being as it's easily cleaned and extremely durable. I would definitely recommend it, or something like it, to the gamer who is looking for a more comfy gaming seat, reading chair, or cat snuggling facilitator. Sumo claims to have discovered at least ten uses for it. That's at least nine more than I could have come up with for a RealDoll.
Sumo. Urban Lounge Gear