Sumo Air Lounger Review: Game on the Go in a Neat Air Chair
Now that Pokemon Go is on pretty much everyone's phone, gaming on the go is bigger than it's ever been. And if you've got a long day of sitting in your local park and dropping lures in hopes of catching that elusive Abra, you're going to need a good place to sit while you try to catch 'em all.
Enter the Sumo Air Lounger, from the same company that makes the wonderful Omni beanbag chair. Although it's not a gamer-specific product, it's still well-suited for those of us who like to take our gaming out into the real world and need a comfy place to settle in for as long as our mobile batteries last.
Sumo's air chair does have a few shortcomings in terms of setup and extended use, but all in all it's a fun product to have for lounging around during outings for both gaming and leisure.
The Air Lounger comes in an easy-to-carry drawstring bag. Setting up the chair is relatively simple -- pull it out of the bag, then open each side of the chair and fill it with air. The instructions and videos on YouTube advise turning in circles or running in short bursts to get the air into the side pouches, which seems easy enough. But for someone as short as I am, it proved rather difficult. After a fair amount of frustration and what I imagine was a hilarious spectacle of my tiny hobbit legs running across my yard, I had to ask my fiance to set it up for me instead -- and he didn't seem to have nearly as much trouble as I did.
It definitely took a few tries to get the lounger filled up enough to sit in, and doing so was a little harder than it looks in the videos. But once we got enough air in there, it was just a matter of sealing shut each side and rolling the ends inward to fully inflate the chair, then buckling it shut.
The setup was easily my biggest complaint about the Air Lounger. It took a few tries to get it right, and I did get a little bit frustrated in the process. But once I figured out a few tricks and best practices, it did get a bit easier each time I went to set it up.
Once it's actually set up, the Air Lounger is shockingly comfortable for being an inflatable chair. I could lay in it and kick up my feet without sinking down to the ground, and even took a nap in it during a short outing to the river to fish for Magikarp.
The chair can comfortably support two people -- my fiance was able to stretch out and lay down while I sat on the far end and dropped some incense. It did threaten to roll over when we shifted our weight and proved a little difficult to get out of after settling in, but overall it was a nice spot to lounge anyway.
And side note: there's an attached bottle opener on the far end of the lounger that was a very nice touch. We got a lot of use out of that little addition over the course of a weekend outing.
There were really only two issues that I can nitpick in terms of actual use. The material that the lounger is made of can get rather hot when you're using it in the sun, so I would definitely advise that you try to find a shady spot or bring a towel to protect your skin from overheating.
I also noticed that the chair does get a little bit difficult to get out of after a while, and it tends to deflate each time you get out of it. And sometimes, even if it looks like it has enough air, sitting in it (rather than laying) puts you right on the ground. But I can only fault Sumo so much for that, given that their product relies on a gas that can escape pretty much any opening no matter how hard you try to seal it. It's just the nature of anything inflatable to deflate after a certain amount of use.
Conclusion: A Little Work for a Lot of Fun
The Sumo Air Lounger is kind of difficult to get set up at first. But once it's up, it's a fun little lounger to hang out in while catching Pokemon, listening to music, or doing pretty much anything else. In spite of a few minor issues here and there with setup and performance, overall I've enjoyed having it in my arsenal of outdoor gear. And it's a lot more portable and hassle-free than something like a freestanding hammock.
I'm not sure I would be eager to fork over the money for its original $99 price tag, but at the current discount to $75, I would definitely be picking one or two up for myself and other outdoorsy friends or Pokemon Go enthusiasts. You can pick one up yourself from the official Sumo store if you're interested in catching Jigglypuffs from the comfort of an air chair.
Note: The author was provided with a sample of this product for the purposes of a review.