We revisit Sumo's Sultan to see how it holds up to hours upon hours of gaming.
I've always loved bean bags. As a young gamer they were a great way to get up close to the action on screen while maintaining maximum comfort with an unreasonably short controller cord. As I got older I ended up veering away from them as my primary gaming chair because of the advent of reliable wireless controllers (hello, Wavebird) meant that cord length was no longer an issue. Eventually as an adult I fell back into wishing I had a bean bag, and the search was on. It wasn't an easy quest, mind you. New barriers such as needing back support and finding a bean bag suitable for my 6'2" stature presented themselves. Eventually I came across Sumo and their line of what I can only call luxury bean bags.
When they reached out to NWR and offered to let us sample one of their Sultan models, I jumped at the opportunity. With high hopes of finally finding a suitable gaming seat I began my journey. After several days of waiting, a massive package arrived and my poor fiancé was forced to drag it in off the porch until I returned from work. Assembling the Sultan consists of cuttings the zip ties holding its bulging mass in the shipping box and stuffing into its slip cover. For my cover I chose the corduroy material, which turned out to be an excellent choice, but more on that later.
The Sultan is massive. I live in a sizable three bedroom house and, while we knew it would be big, we were still surprised by its girth. After attempting to stuff it into my office we settled on the only place with enough space: right in the middle of the long room floor. After a day or two of relaxing on it, it deflated a bit and a nice groove was worn in. Any bean bag owner can tell you that a decent groove is what makes the bean bag, and the Sultan holds its groove well while still being easy to fluff if a new sitter wants to "reset" the current groove.
As far as comfort goes, it provides the best I've ever experienced from a bean bag. By that I mean that traditional bean bag problems, such as a lack of back support, still exist, but the unique stuffing of the Sultan (and, I assume, all of Sumo’s bean bags) makes for a comfort level akin to sitting atop a squishy cloud. Even on the hard tile of my living room, I never felt like I was sitting on the floor. The size easily, and comfortably, accommodates myself, my fiancé, and our dog with ease.
In fact, it has been used as a makeshift (i.e. accidental) bed on several occasions. While I eventually woke up in the middle of the night and wandered into my bedroom, the Sultan was perfectly comfortable for a light snooze. I’ve found myself coming home each night, flopping down on it, and spending my evenings on my corduroy throne.
While I was hard pressed to find a good way to sit with a laptop, handheld gaming was a delight. In fact, I’ve made a discovery: corduroy is the best 3DS screen cleaner on earth. A couple of wipes on the side of the Sultan and it reaches into every nook and cranny of my system. While I highly doubt this was an intentional design feature, it’s certainly a nice perk for anyone who chooses the corduroy cover. The cover itself is easy to unzip, and throw in the washer and dryer.
Overall my week and a half with the Sultan has been great. I would recommend it to anyone who misses the days of flopping down on a bean bag in front of a TV with a horrible faux wood finish. Anyone who is in the market for a Sultan should be aware that this isn’t the kind of bean bag that you just toss in a closet when company comes over—it’s a full sized piece of furniture. If you have the space and aren’t in dire need of rigid back support, then it’s a top notch bean bag.