The Helinox Chair One is a collapsible 2 lb. 2 oz. camp chair with an impressive 320 lb. capacity. Built to be portable and durable, it is one of my favorite camp chairs to date, and the easiest to recommend.
The Helinox Chair One is exceptionally well built for a lightweight camp chair. It is constructed from a combination of thick and durable DAC aluminum poles for the frame with nylon resin for the hub junctions. The frame is robust and instills confidence in use. It shows little signs of flex and has held up great over time with no sign that the hubs are stretching or flaring out. The fabric is a thick 600 denier polyester weave and is the most durable I’ve come across in a camp chair. Where most fabrics stretch, sag or expand over time, it has held taut and retained its shape after prolonged use and repeated setup and packing. I was particularly impressed with the durability of the pockets in which the poles slide into. This is a typical fail point for camp chairs, but I have no concerns here. It is vigorously reinforced with ample stretching and some sort of internal material layer for added stiffness and durability. It is by far the most substantial construction that I have tested, even in non-packable camp chairs. Even the storage sack feels great, with a robust zipper and coated water resistant fabrics for additional tear resistance.
When it comes to comfort, the Chair One doesn’t disappoint. The shape provides a nice bucket shape with a fair amount of support most the way up the back, with only the shoulders and neck left unsupported (they also make a taller model with upper back support too). The weight is distributed well and hours perched with a book or a collection of music and headphones is easy to appreciate. It probably isn’t a chair I would want to spend all day in, as it is a little low to the ground and lacks upper back support, but it is mighty fine for a few hours at a time. It has strategically placed mesh panels for ventilation, which pays off in any weather.
Setup is very easy. The poles snap together effortlessly and are corded to keep them all together and in their correct orientation. Simply slide them together and slip the tips of the poles in the fabric pockets of the body and it is ready to go. Packing up is just as easy, although getting it back into the travel pouch takes a little practice, but is entirely doable.
Overall, I’m a huge fan of this chair. It’s not quite backpacking light (although it has been done) but it makes an exceptional lightweight car-side or backyard chair. It is happily rather comfortable for an hour or two at a time and provides a great sense of not only stability but also reliability. The generous thickness, high grade materials and exceptional craftsmanship really shines here.
If you’re looking for a compact camp chair that will not only last season after season, but also provide a high level of comfort, this is absolutely the one. If you need a something a little taller or higher off the ground, check out the Chair Two or the Sunset Chair, also by Helinox.
The highest of recommendations
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