By: Jonathan Kwan
August 1, 2006
As a tech writer on a tech site, I got many opportunities to look at many things. You'll be surprised how many mousepads I have -- in reality, it is sufficient to cover pretty much my whole room. Portable storage? 1GB to 100GB, flash or hard disk based, I got them. Computer mice? I've looked at flagship ones from both Razer and Logitech earlier this year. Of course, without continued support from all the manufacturers, I probably won't be reviewing things every week (And most importantly, sticking with our Review Focus, even when I criticize and hand out low ratings to products from well-known companies, and risking to lose opportunities in working together with them in the future).
On the other hand, let's look at something different today. Don't worry, it's a perfectly ordinary package encasing an absolutely out-of-the-ordinary product. Don't get me wrong, it's nothing used to surprise or scare your friends at all. And from the title, you can see that we are looking at something that's not exactly computer and technology -- or, let's say, can be used in conjunction with home electronics instead -- the Sumolounge beanbag chair. And we'll tell you why we like it so much.
When Andrew over at Sumolounge contacted me about his company and products, and how their "Omni chair is the most comfortable chair in the world and truly enhances ones life", it makes me really think wonder how '1337' this product is, to put it in computer terms. And to see how 1337 it actually is, there's only one way to find out. And let me share my thoughts with everyone...
A huge box came from Quebec, Canada using FedEx Ground, which took them around a week to arrive at my doorstep. As far as I know, Sumolounge uses the same shipping method for its customers as well. Pretty decent considering that they are doing free shipping for such a large package. I went 'undercover' and had a live chat session with a Sumolounge employee, inquiring about shipping methods and package size. More on this later.
Anyway, since it's FedEx Ground and no signature release is required, they just left it on my front doorstep. I wonder if my neighbors were surprised for such a huge box taking its home at my door for the next few hours. I went home at approximately 12 PM after my Bronze Cross class down at the swimming pool, and lifted it into my foyer, where I opened it.
Opening the package reveals one unit of the Sumolounge Omni beanbag chair, folded in half. Quite a tight fit with the FedEx box too, so it took me some effort to pull it out. The good news is that the chair itself is surprisingly light at 18 pounds. After removing the plastic sheet covering the Omni beanbag chair itself, we can begin some 'testing'... even though I am not a furniture reviewer, and I have no real experience in this field, so we'll classify this under 'Fun Stuff' and I'll just give my impressions!
Opening it and laying it flat on the ground sure covers a good portion of my living room, even though it is not conveyed in my photo above. Some information on the Sumolounge Omni, taken from their site:
What is the material?
Ballistic nylon. (PVC coated nylon which is super durable but smooth)
What is it filled with?
Virgin Polystyrene Foam (little white foam balls).
What about Durafoam?
Durafoam sucks! It is not high quality and is even cheaper then polystyrene. With Durafoam you can only make one big blob that never changes. We use polystyrene as this allows our furniture to be transformed into many different shapes & positions. Example. (chair, lounge, bed, couch, etc).
Does polystyrene decompress over time?
It can and it depends on usage. We use top quality high density virgin polystyrene foam. If you ever want more fill we sell it cheap at the following link: http://www.sumolounge.com/beads
How does it arrive to me?
We ship all orders with FedEx.
Will I get a tracking number?
Yes. You will receive an email from FedEx with your tracking info.
How long will it take to arrive?
That depends were you live. We guarantee all orders to arrive within 7 - 10 business days.
How do I clean the Omni?
Just wipe it down with a cloth & some soapy water. Nothing will stain it & your Omni will always look brand new.
And as a large and flexible beanbag chair, you can already use it in the position it is above. My camera was nearly touching the ceiling in order to get the image above, which took me quite a few tries because I cannot see the LCD screen when the photo was taken. As for the beanbag chair itself, you can actually use it on as many positions as you can imagine, so be creative here and sit on it all you like. It's a beanbag chair, and it transforms to accommodate you anytime in any position.
In terms of material and design, I think it's pretty good. There's a small hidden opening on one side that has a zipper enclosed behind a thick velcro strip. You can access the inside and see the foam balls any time, but when you don't need to, they are hidden and out of sight.
For material, the nylon seems to be fairly thick enough and easily cleaned. However, it seems to have some nylon-ish scratches (Don't know how to describe it) that look like those marks after using a nylon zipper binder for a while. Mine does not have anything significant after around 2 weeks of usage, but it just looks a bit odd right there. Other than that, no problems.
And of course, like I said before, be creative in how you want to utilize this chair, because it can definitely accommodate you in virtually any position you can think of. Was it comfortable? Of course!
Anyway, here's the 'undercover' chat log I promised earlier. Answered my questions promptly without problems; and response time wasn't bad at all, especially when it was 10 PM MST at my time.
Chat InformationPlease wait for a site operator to respond.
Chat InformationYou are now chatting with 'Zoe'
Zoe: Hi, how can I help you?
you: I just took a look at your Omni chair, I am wondering if I order it in Canada and what kind of shipping will you use and how big will the package be?
Zoe: To ship to Canada is no problem & shipping is free. All orders are shipped with FedEx in a nce pretty box.
you: is the box going to be really big?
Zoe: pretty big
Zoe: but leight
you: its 18 pounds right?
you: do you think it will fit into my Honda Civic trunk if I go pick it up at a fedex shipping center, since i probably wont be home when it comes
you: or will it be too big for it
Zoe: if you take it out of the box & squeeze it in you should be ok
Zoe: back seat or hatch - I think you'll be alright
you: alright, also i am also wondering will the Omni chair be hard to clean?
Zoe: no very easy. Just wipe it down with a cloth & you'll be ok
you: alright thanks for your help, I'll be looking to getting one soon :D
Zoe: ok no problem
Well, for now, in my room, I just used it as a couch kind of thing. It's comfortable enough for study, reading, or probably even some console gaming. That's where the usage in conjunction with home electronics comes in! (Although I think sitting on it for too long without readjusting would be negative influence to your back.) Making it a different shape for sitting every time is definitely great though; it changes as you change instead of being in a static (And possibly boring) position all the time.
I'd like to thank Andrew over at Sumolounge for providing us with this excellent product for me to take a look at. Now, back to my new couch...