Imagine a camp chair that is lightweight, compact, sturdy, easy to assemble, and amazingly comfortable. Now imagine yourself relaxing in that chair on the beach, in the mountains, at your campsite, or while enjoying an outdoor concert. Wherever you take it, the Helinox line of camp chairs has got you covered.
I have owned dozens of camp chairs. From canvas folding chairs, plastic lawn chairs, low slung beach chairs, and expensive zero gravity lounge chairs —I think I’ve tried them all. Eventually they all disappointed me in one way or another. The lounge chairs were too heavy, the plastic chairs uncomfortable, and the canvas chairs susceptible to tears and rips.
When I first tried a Helinox chair at a friend’s campsite I was intrigued. Further research and testing revealed that these chairs are made of quality materials, pack down to a compact size, and best of all, are very comfortable.
We live full-time in an RV which means our outside chairs get a ton of use and need to fit a variety of functions. Compact size is a priority as our RV is small with little outside storage.
We are also avid hikers and kayakers who enjoy longer excursions, so we needed a chair that could come along in a backpack or kayak.
Finally, we wanted comfort. We’re not in our twenties anymore and a certain amount of support for our bodies is crucial.
It was hard to believe that one chair could fit all these needs. But after trying out the Helinox Chairs at an REI store, reading many online reviews, and talking with other RVers, we were convinced.
Helinox makes five different camp chairs. They range from the ultra lightweight and compact Ground Chair, to the full size Sunset Chair that come with a built in headrest.
After much consideration we purchased the Chair One for me and the Sunset Chair for my giant of a husband who tops out at 6’ 4” tall.
We’ve only had the chairs for a few months and have already taken them on an weekend kayak trip, up a few mountains, to a fun outdoor concert, and several evening happy hours around the campground. They also provide a great place for us to relax in front of the RV.
There’s a lot to love about these chairs. Here are few of my favorite features.
Lightweight and Compact
The Chair One plus carry bag weighs in at 2 lbs 1oz. When packaged the chair is 14” x 4” x 5”. The Sunset Chair plus carry bag weighs in at 3 lbs 1 oz. and measures 18.5” x 4.3” x 5.1”. The chairs easily fit inside a backpack or a kayak, and could even be strapped to the back of bike.
Easy to Assemble
Helinox Chairs use “self locating shock cord technology”. In simple terms this means that the poles find their own way into the corresponding holes so you never have to think about what goes where. As a result, the assembly process is very simple and quick. Just in case you need a reminder the carry cases are imprinted with helpful assembly guides.
Sturdy and Fits All Sizes
Don’t let the compact size of these chairs fool you into thinking they’re only for petite people or small kids. Both the Camp One and the Sunset Chair have a whopping 320 lb. capacity. They also boast a sturdy feel not found in some of the competitor chairs (such as the REI Flex Lite).
Constructed of High Quality Materials
Helinox chairs are constructed of high-performance fabric resistant to tears and scuffs with ultra strong aluminum poles. They come with full five year warranty and the company will refund your purchase for a faulty product.
While I really love my Helinox chair, there are a few potential drawbacks.
- They are not good for all day lounging: This is NOT a lounger chair that you’re going to settle into for a day of reading. If that’s what you want you probably would be better off with a zero gravity folding chair. Also, there are no cup holders so your beverage will need to sit on the ground 🙁
- High Price $$$: These chairs are not cheap. At the time we purchased ours from Amazon the Chair One was $100 and the Sunset Chair $150. However, considering all the $20 and $30 chairs that have only lasted us a few months, I feel that this is not an excessive amount for such a well-made product.
- That Sinking Feeling: The one design flaw of these chairs is that the bottom legs tend to sink into soft surfaces. This is especially annoying on a sandy beach.
Fortunately, there are a few solutions. First, you could buy the Helinox Ground Sheet. This simple item is a piece of mesh that fits under the chair and prevents it from sinking. Or, you could DIY a solution like this person did.
Where to Buy Helinox Chairs
Are you convinced yet? Are you ready to ditch those cheap, uncomfortable discount store chairs for a well made product that will stand up to daily use, and not take up precious storage space? If so, here are the best places to buy a Helinox Chair:
- Amazon.com: Here you will find the most complete selection of Helinox Chairs. You can also browse hundreds of reviews that will help you decide which chair best fits your needs. As a bonus, Amazon often sells old models and colors at a discounted price.
- REI: This is a great place to try the chairs out as they often have several models set up for display. Rather than guessing which chair you like best, you can sit in them all and compare. Also, REI has a generous return policy and rewarding membership program.
- Cabela’s: Another great choice if you want to try the chairs in person. The only downside is that they don’t carry as many styles as REI.