SumoSac Sultan Review: Bottom’s Down!

out of 5

Home entertainment rooms are not created equal. Some have long stretches of barren wall begging for a comfy oversized couch while other more compact spaces can’t accommodate a sofa through a door, much less within the room’s footprint.

More tricky spaces require a touch of creativity when it comes to creating the perfect seating arrangement for a lengthy movie or gaming session. Bean bags have long been the default choice for these conundrums due to their plush comfort rear-ends have enjoyed for decades and round shape easy to plop down anywhere. But if a flying leap into the inviting mound of seating goes awry and a seam is broken, a geyser of small beads erupts creating a cleaning adventure worthy of a spot on World’s Dirtiest Jobs.

Enter the SumoSac Sultan, dropped on my doorstep over the holidays for review as the answer to the exploding Bean Bag conspiracy and ultimate choice of seating for the Super Bowl. The box would make you think the only answer offered is a customer service nightmare by its small size and square shape. Was another product was accidentally shipped in its place? Miraculously it was not with a heavy emphasis on the word “miracle.”

Unpacking the SumoSac Sultan reveals a large square “sack” of furniture-grade urethane foam resembling a giant brain that’s been vacuum-sealed so tight there can’t possibly be any way it will turn into a fashionable chair. But there is, only after you “massage” the mass for several minutes to break up the foam and allow it to begin expanding. Once the foam looks a little more like a chair and less like something spit out from a garbage compactor a few minutes later, it is pushed into its zip-off faux-suede cover and thankfully hidden from view.

The SumoSac Sultan instructions suggest the foam will require a full week before it expands to full size. This miraculous process actually begins and ends within a couple days as the chair literally triples in size to resemble a giant hockey puck. During this time the new car or carpet smell emitted by the foam wears off and the chair beckons a hiney to call its own.

Compared to a traditional Bean Bag, the ready-for-use SumoSac Sultan is roughly the same weight though larger in size, enough to snugly fit a second person. Unlike the Bean Bag, the Sultan’s foam is quiet when flopping into it unlike the loud crunch a Bean Bag emits. No annoying beads means the SumoSac is able to take more flying leaps from kids or adults – which mine has already experienced many of – without the fear of bursting open.

Getting the SumoSac just right likes takes a little bit of effort. With a Bean Bag, the beads form around your rear end almost instantly upon impact to create the most comfortable seating position. The foam in a SumoSac is more rigid requiring several minutes of squirming and adjusting to get it just right.

When the perfect form is found it tends to hold even after you leave the chair. You can watch a Blu-ray movie one night, go to bed and return the next night for a game and hit that sweet spot immediately. The downside to this is flipping the SumoSac to get it back to its original form takes a lot more strenuous “fluffing” to achieve.

The gut instinct is to aim for the middle of the SumoSac to create your own personal “divot” but that will only result in a sore neck a half hour later due to a lack of support behind your head. I found the SumoSac is at its best when you create your divot deliberately towards the chair’s front. This naturally pushes the back higher providing the head support which can be crucial when partaking in a four-hour plus gaming marathon.

The SumoSac Sultan is a non-traditional seating choice designed to work in a variety of unequal spaces. Mine sits in a family room and does not stick out like a sore thumb as a Bean Bag might thanks to the faux-suede finish. It could equally work as well in a tight dedicated space for gaming and movies, an apartment or just about anywhere. If you’re willing to exercise a little patience and work, the SumoSac is worth a look to fill a seating void in your home entertainment room.

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