The Helinox Chair Zero retails online and in stores for $119.95. My husband and I each received one as a wedding gift and are so grateful for such generosity and kindness! They were purchased from REI but can be found in other stores, too.
This chair is great for backpacking as well as hikes, concerts, and many other outdoor excursions. The Helinox Chair Zero is available in two colors – black and grey melon. Our chairs are both in the color black (the metal frame is light blue).
Quick note: this review is not sponsored – I’m not compensated in any way – and all opinions and recommendations are my own.
Helinox Chair Zero
This chair weighs in at 1 pound. It’s effortless to carry around while set up – I can even balance it on one hand! When I strap it to the outside of my pack I barely notice a difference in weight. For me it’s worth the 1 pound to bring this chair along on backpacking trips.
Strong and secure
The aluminum frame is hollow and lightweight yet strong. This backpacking chair can withstand 265 pounds despite its small size. I can completely relax and trust I won’t break it. The seat is one piece of ripstop (tear resistant) polyester fabric with reinforced corners.
Easy and quick to assemble and break down
It takes me less than 30 seconds to assemble the Helinox Chair Zero and even quicker to take it apart. There are elastic cords inside the aluminum poles that help snap the frame into place. The seat has a small pocket on each corner to secure over the frame. (This part may cause some difficulty – see the last con below). It comes with a thick rubber band to keep the poles together for easy packing.
Packs down small
This camp chair packs down to the size of a large water bottle – about 13.8 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches. (The photo below compares it to my 20oz Hydro Flask). It will fit in most day backpacks, large pockets, or simply strapped to the outside. I tuck mine behind the clasp of my outside mesh pocket on my Osprey Aura AG 50 Pack.
Nice, comfy alternative to a log, rock, etc.
I’ve backpacked many times without a chair and don’t mind sitting on logs, rocks, and even the ground. However, there’s something so sweet about sitting on a smooth, raised surface after a long day of hiking. The sloped back of the Helinox Chair Zero allows for a comfortable reclined sitting position. My older brother Oliver – who doesn’t even bring a deflatable pillow – steals my chair the moment I get up. My husband, Nat (below), does the same thing!
Easy to tip over
If the ground is too soft or uneven, the chair will most likely tip forward or backward. During these circumstances I will stick my legs out or sit up and lean forward to balance it out. Otherwise I’ll pick up and find more stable ground.
Sinks into soft ground
Sand, mud, and other soft ground will devour the aluminum legs like quicksand. To remedy this, you can purchase the Helinox Chair Groundsheet separately for $29.95. It creates more surface area and evenly distributes the weight. I’ve never bothered and just let myself sink in. The Helinox Chair Zero sits about 11 inches off the ground, so any sinkage that occurs will have you sitting close to the ground.
Back frame a bit narrow
My shoulders are narrow enough to tuck my arms inside the back frame. It’s a snug, cozy fit but doesn’t bother me. Those with broader shoulders, like Nat, might find the back part uncomfortable. The narrow width may force your arms to spill over the sides.
Last corner difficult to stretch over pole
This is a minor inconvenience but worth mentioning in my opinion. By the time the fourth corner comes around, the seat is quite taut and difficult to stretch over the last pole. At first I worried I was going to break or rip something. Everything was just fine, though. The included instructions state that it’s easier to turn the chair upside down and I agree that it does help.
For me personally the pros outweigh the cons for the Helinox Chair Zero. It’s lightweight, comfy, and strong. Just make sure to use a bit more force when inserting the last pole and be careful about placing the chair. Keep in mind the more narrow back for those with wide shoulders. Overall in my opinion it’s a great lightweight option for a comfortable resting spot while in the great outdoors.
Researching and deciding on new gear is intimidating! Trust me, I get it. I spend hours (days) looking into a product before I purchase. So I hope this review aids you in your search. Feel free to leave me a comment below or contact me with any questions. :]
* this is not an affiliate link – I’m not compensated in any way – and all opinions and recommendations are my own