Those of you who have been following GoNintendo for many years know that we have a long history with Sumo. Sumo is a company that provides all sorts of unique and interesting seating options, most of which could be considered bean bag chairs. Now I want to stress that Sumo doesn't provide run-of-the-million bean bag chairs. I guess you could consider them "luxury" bean bags. Their products are of a much, much higher quality, and usually include "Expanded Polystyrene" filling.
That's all well and good, but why in the hell am I talking about Sumo stuff on GoNintendo? The Sumo people happen to think their range of products are well suited to gamers. You've probably seen their chairs at all sorts of gaming conventions over the years. If there's a dedicated lounge for you to hang out in, Sumo has usually supplied the seating.
While I was at first skeptical of the Sumo/gamer connection at first, I do have to admit that every single Sumo product I've reviewed is still in use to this day, and provides either seating for when I'm gaming, or seating in general. While the products sent are in exchange for a review, I'd like to think you know me well enough to know my opinion isn't swayed by the perk. I give you an honest opinion on whatever product I'm reviewing, be it a game or a Sumo chair.
Case in point, I'm back with another review for Sumo. This time we're looking at the Sumo Omni Flex. Let's get a look at the sucker.
It's basically a giant pillow. I mean, most of Sumo's products could be labeled as a giant pillow or tuffet, but the Omni Flex really looks like an elongated pillow. Now when Sumo reached out for me to review the Omni Flex, I was all for it. I've had great experiences with their products, and I was sure this would be the same. Then I found out there might be a tiny issue.
As you can see in the image above, there's a little girl sitting in the Omni Flex. You might not know this about me, but I'm not a little kid. I have a rather...ample frame, let's just say. I'm definitely a plus-sized adult. I didn't realize the Omni Flex was aimed at the younger crowd. Sumo even says on their site that the Omni Flex is perfect for "younger customers." I'm not young in age or size, so I figured I would be absolutely screwed. Still, I would reserve judgment until I could check out the Omni Flex in person.
When all the other Sumo products made it to my house for review, I never had issue with what to do with them. You take them out of the box and that's about it! They're giant cushions to sit on. You either plop down on them or into them, and that's that. The Omni Flex is a different story though. As you saw, it's a big pillow. Sure, you could lay down on it on your stomach and call it a day, but I don't think that's particularly comfortable! I had to figure out how I was going to use this thing to review it!
First off, I decided to use the Omni Flex like the girl in the picture above. While I might be a big boy, my ass still manages to fit in the Omni Flex without spilling out. I considered that a win right there. I settled down into the Omni Flex and found it to give plenty of support in the rump region, as the beads inside compress down into a sturdy base. Things were looking pretty good at first, but then I quickly learned something. If you're using the Omni Flex like the girl above, having a bigger body is going to make for a rather unpleasant experience.
Obviously the girl in that image weighs less than 100 pounds. She can sit in the Omni Flex and lean back no problem. For someone like me, the Omni Flex has no chance at supporting your back. It's the case for all adults, actually. I had multiple people try it out, and we all had the same issue. If you have the Omni Flex standing on its own and you try to use it like the chair position in the image above, you get absolutely zero back support. You have to balance yourself on the sitting spot, and once you shift around too much, you're going to become uncomfortable. If you try to lean back, the Omni Flex will give way pretty easy.
At this point I was feeling rather let down. I mean, first I worried my body was too big for the chair. Then after giving it a try, I didn't have any success and my fears were confirmed. When some other friends tried it out, they saw the same results. As I also said, laying down flat on the Omni Flex isn't all that comfortable either. Laying on your back is a bit better than your stomach, but it's still not so great. Was the Omni Flex just not meant for an adult, or was I doing something wrong? I had to do some more research.
My cousins usually come over every other weekend to hang, and two of them are teenagers. The Sumo site says the Omni Flex is great for both kids and teenagers alike, so I thought this was perfect! I invited family to come hang, but didn't tell them the Omni Flex was here. I wanted to see how they interacted with it without any instruction from me. This is where I really started to see some potential for the Omni Flex.
Let's put it this way. My cousin's two teenage daughters were fighting each other for the Omni Flex the entire night. This is not a joke in any way. When one of the kids laid down on the Omni Flex, they couldn't stop raving about it. They repeated over and over that it was ridiculously comfortable. One of the girls even said it was better than their bed! For the whole night, the two of them kept pushing each other off the Omni Flex to try and steal it for themselves.
Both of them had the Omni Flex simply laying on the ground flat out, and they were resting on it face-down. At one point, one of the girls fell asleep for a little bit! That is, until her sister came over and knocked her off the Omni Flex. I am absolutely telling you the truth about their reaction to the Omni Flex. They loved the thing, and to this day, they can't get enough of it. It's like the perfect chair/bed for people their size.
Okay...now part of the puzzle was solved. Perhaps the Omni Flex really wasn't for someone my size, or adults in general. At least I knew it was approved of by people who fit the age description on the website. Still, I wanted to find out how I could make this thing work for adults. In the description on the website, the listing does say the Omni Flex can be used by parents who are looking for a break. I'm no parent, but I'm definitely an adult looking for a bit of rest and relaxation.
The Omni Flex doesn't really hold a shape on its own, other than the elongated pillow layout. It also couldn't hold a shape in the makeshift chair configuration if you're an adult. I thought about all of these things and tried to solve the problem when something came to mind. Since the chair can't really hold any shape on its own outside of the chair position, why not give it a little help? This is when I had a serious breakthrough with the Omni Flex. One that has made it the only chair I sit in when I play games, no joke.
This is how I have the Omni Flex set up in my game room right now. I didn't pose the Omni Flex for this picture. This is my honest-to-god setup. As you can see, the Omni Flex is propped up by a couch. I have never found that couch comfortable, but it was free, so that's why it's in there. I found out that the key to making the Omni Flex work for adults is by propping it up on/against something.
Once you give the Omni Flex some kind of support, it absolutely transforms the experience. That little crease you see in the Omni Flex is right where my butt goes. There's enough beads in the Omni Flex that I get a nice cushion under my butt when I sit down. The back end puffs up and gets stabilized by the couch behind it. The bottom part also fluffs out a bit, giving you an elevated spot to drape your legs over. Once I figured out the trick to give the Omni Flex support, it became a ridiculously comfortable chair.
You can prop up the Omni Flex however you want. You could give it a much higher back and just a little room at the bottom for your butt. You could also do the complete opposite of that. You can rest it up against a wall or in a corner as well. Anything that'll give the Omni Flex a bit of stability is what makes a huge difference. The chair went from being pretty much useless to me, to becoming the chair I use the most, without a doubt.
Now, just like my cousin's kids, the adults fight over the Omni Flex! When I have friends over to play games, one person gets to take the Omni Flex to themselves. I usually bow out of the fight since I get to use the chair all the time. I let others try to claim the chair for themselves. They all have a different way of using it, but every single one of them will prop it up in some way. They've each found the way that works for them, and they sit in it for hours while we enjoy some co-op gaming or a movie.
This picture is of a friend who called the Omni Flex for himself one night. The picture is actually a screencap of a stupid video I sent to some other friends. It has nothing to do with the Omni Flex itself, and I didn't take the video to show off the wonders of the chair. I just had the video on my phone and knew it would be a good example of how someone else uses the chair. As you can see, they went for a much more laid-out position than I did. This is how they sat and played games all night.
Now why isn't this person fully on the Omni Flex? You're probably not going to believe me, but what I'm about to say is the truth. This one friend is notorious for falling asleep at any given moment. When it comes to the Omni Flex, he doesn't stand a chance. If he's laying in it with his full body, he's out like a light before you know it. I've seen it happen many, MANY times! This was their stance for the night because it was comfortable, but also made sure they didn't pass out instantly!
I've never had a product from Sumo where my opinion flipped so much. I almost always think their latest chair is going to be super comfy, and it is. This time around, I thought there was no way I could use the Omni Flex, and it just wasn't for me. It took a bit of time to see how different people used it and to formulate a way to make things work. Like I said, now it's my most-used chair. When I'm playing games for fun or recording footage for a video review, this is the chair I'm in. It's like a dream come true. This sucker is so damn comfortable, making it easy to pour in plenty of hours with my favorite games. Or, you know...take a nap sometimes.
Some people might think it's a shame adults may have to prop the Omni Flex up to make it comfortable, and I completely understand that. If you don't have the space to park this chair in a corner or up against a wall, it might not be the best solution. If you're getting it for a kid, it's absolutely a no-brainer. I just want adults to know that this thing really does work well and provide a super cozy experience, so long as you have a way to position it best. Thankfully, the Omni Flex isn't heavy at all, and you can quickly drag/flip it around whatever way you need.
From my experiences, as well as comments from friends, I say the Sumo Omni Flex is another hit. Sumo has such a long line of ridiculously comfortable chairs, and this one continues the trend. If a big guy like me can make it work and turn it into something I never want to get out of, you should be able to find a lot to enjoy here as well. Just be prepared to fight everyone else in your house for it!
Feeling like the Sumo Omni Flex is the right chair for you? You can current grab it on Sumo's Canadian website, which does ship to the US. Check out the full listing here.