Heading into our Algonquin trip this year Algonquin Trip Report I was a little worried about my wonky back. Between lugging gear through the portages, paddling for 4 to 5 hours a day and sleeping on the ground I figured it would wreak havoc. On previous trips I had always found sitting on a stump or bench after a long day was less than comfortable and wanted to bring a chair. With a birthday coming up I started to do a bit of research on light weight camping chairs. It needed to pack small and not increase the overall weight of my pack - a tall order perhaps? After perusing various articles, forums and retailers the Helinox One Chair kept popping up Helinox One Chair It got added into my birthday list (the only item I had) and sure enough I was gifted it by my lovely wife and daughter. The Specs
This chair packs small – not much bigger than a wine bottle and weighs 2.1 Lbs – so it certainly fit the bill for taking on a paddling trip. Here are the full details as provided by Sport Check
· Innovative design makes it easy to store in a cinch
· Quick set-up means more seats in a flash
· Simple assembly with single-shock, corded-pole structure
· Advanced alloy DAC aluminum pole frame
· Durable 600-weave polyester seat
· Weather- and UV-resistant
· Backed by a five-year warranty
Weight: 2.1 lbs / 960 g
Capacity: 324 lbs / 145 kg
Dimensions Packed: 4 W X 4.5 D X 14 L inch
Dimensions Assembled: 20.5 W X 19.5 D inch
Seat Height: 14 inch
Back Height: 26 inch
Excellent: While I have only used the chair on two trips it has held up very well. Its solid and the pack material and zipper are durable. I may revisit this after some more adventures to really assess how it holds up – but so far so good.
I am going to split this into two parts:
Packability – Excellent. As mentioned, this chair packs up small and is very light. I was able to fit it into my 75 litre canoe pack 75 L Canoe Pack Review along with all of my personal gear for the trip.
Sitability – (I know this isn’t a word, but you get the point) – Good. Overall, the chair works well and is quite comfortable. The reason I don’t rate it as excellent is that it can be tippy on uneven ground or soft ground. Basically, with my fat A#$ in certain positions the chair legs sink into the ground and if I leaned back – boom, man down! Now one of our trip members had a similar chair and had a good hack – he put tennis balls on the feet of the chair to give the legs more purchase and it worked great. I will probably do the same but for an expensive chair I expected more stability. Granted if you are on solid ground that’s even its awesome but how often is that the case on a back country campsite?
Good – This chair is not cheap at $149. Good quality, great packability but expensive, nonetheless. As mentioned, Scott has a similar chair but a knock off that was less than half the price of my chair. The jury is out on how long his lasts vs the Helinox but if I was to do it again, I would probably go with the knock off.
To Be Determined: Overall, I am happy with the chair – it has stellar reviews, packs up easy and light and for someone w a wonky back it was an awesome addition to my kit. I hesitate to make this a full recommend due to the price vs the knock off – only time will tell if the price of the Helinox is justified by the quality of the chair (durability etc.)
Thanks for reading and as always, I am not sponsored in any way by the brands review but totally open to it!