Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Camp Chair Review

Finally, an ultra-lightweight chair that can go anywhere! At a little over 1.1 lbs (510 grams), with packed dimensions of 13 x 4 inches, this amazing outdoor chair readily fits into any backpack or tote bag and it is quick and easy to assemble. Great for backpackers, bikers, hikers, hunters, travelers, campers or beachgoers, this is a must-have for any outdoor enthusiast! 

Helinox, the manufacturer of the Chair Zero, is leading the way in the design and fabrication of ultralight camping, hiking and portable outdoor equipment including chairs, tables, walking poles, cots, daypacks, and umbrellas. Currently they carry three product lines including Outdoor, Home and Tactical, and more than 11 different base chair designs with a variety of different fabric material and color options. Below is a quick summary of the ultralight chair types they offer: 

Design Weight (incl bag) Seat Material Use
Chair Zero 1.12 lb (510 g) Nylon  Hiking, Biking, Travel
Chair Mini 1.10 lb (500 g) Nylon  Children
Ground Chair 1.41 lb (640g)  Nylon Hiking, Outdoor Events 
Chair One 2.12 lb (960 g) Nylon  Hiking, Biking, Travel
Chair One L 2.56 lb (1160 g) Nylon  Biking, Camping
Chair One XL 3.55 lb (1610 g)  Nylon Car Camping, RV 
Chair Two 2.61 lb (1185 g) Nylon Biking, Camping, RV, Home 
Swivel Chair 2.82 lb (1280 g) Nylon Art, Nature Viewing 
Camp Chair 2.94 lb (1335 g) Nylon Camping, RV 
Sunset Chair 3.25 lb (1475 g) Nylon Camping, RV 
Beach Chair 3.27 lb (1485 g) Nylon Beach
Beach Chair Home 3.46 lb (1570 g) Mesh Beach
Chair Home 2.36 lb (1070 g) / 2.31 g (1050 g) Canvas / Mesh Home, Camping, RV
Chair Two Home  2.82 lb (1278 g) Canvas Home, Camping, RV
Chair Home Mini 1.26 lb (570 g) Canvas Children
Sunset Chair Home 3.48 lb (1580 g) Canvas Home, Camping, RV

In addition to the base designs above, which come in various color options, there are also a number of limited edition collections featuring chairs and tables made during collaborations with various companies such as; Carhartt, Brompton, Bristol, Monro, Pendleton, The Superior Label, Star Wars, Disney, and more. In October of 2017, Helinox also partnered with the Korean Craft and Design foundation to release the unique Korean Noobi Collection, which utilizes a traditional multi-layer Noobi quilt fabric design embedded into the chair fabric. 

Design and Materials

Given the ultra-lightweight nature of the chair I was surprised to notice the pole arrangement, when assembled, become an impressive, structurally robust and solid frame. Using environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques, the company utilizes a  state of the art DAC aluminum alloy for the poles. They are quickly collapsible, and also contain a taught elastic string inside, such that when you remove the poles from the bag, several of them will automatically snap into place within the two durable plastic fittings.

Helinox also uses durable, high strength reinforced nylon 66 in their products. After assembling the poles, the chair is completed by sliding the the nylon seat over the tips of the four larger protruding poles. The fabric in these corners also has added reinforcement and appears to be durable enough to last quite a long time. 

Many of the Helinox designs have received Red Dot and ISPO awards and the Chair One was one of eight gold award winners in the June 2017 Outdoor Industry Awards held in Friedrichshafen, Germany and also a 2017 Editors’ Pick for Backpacker’s Magazine. 

Performance

Assembling the chair is quick and easy and doesn’t necessarily require instructions as the design is quite simple. The only item to note is that putting the last corner of the fabric on the poles does require a little physical prompting, but for most people this would not be a notable concern, except for children and the elderly. Disassembly is just as quick, and only requires a few minutes to take a part and put back into the carry bag. 

Aside from this, another nice feature of the chair outside of the ease of assembly, is that if you’re stuck on how to put the fabric seat on the poles, there is a nice little pictograph included on the underside of the seat fabric to remind you. 

Considering accessories, for beach use, or use on ground surfaces where the chair legs may slide into the sand or soil, Helinox also makes a ground sheet for sale for $23. Additionally, when it gets a little cool outside or you’re looking for added comfort, a seat cushion is available for the Chair Zero. 

With regards to comfort, the chair does only sit 9 inches or so off the ground, so it is a bit low, however in the trade-off for its’ ultra-light carry weight and super compact size, this isn’t a significant issue. I am a fairly small person, and found myself very comfortable in the chair, as it provided sufficient side and back support to really sit back and relax. In fact, I found that I was so comfortable I tried leaning back a few times onto the two rear chair legs, and surprisingly didn’t feel like this 1.1 lb chair would fall apart. 

Overall Recommendation

Overall, if you are looking for a versatile, ultra-lightweight chair to carry in your hiking or biking pack, throw in your travel luggage, bring kayaking or camping, and bring just about anywhere you could use a comfortable seat, the Helinox Chair Zero currently leads the market with an excellent balance of weight and comfort in its design, is highly recommended and should be your first pick! 

Basic Information
Manufacturer Model Helinox Chair Zero
Model # Chair Zero
Size One Size, 120 kg (265 lb) capacity
Cost $134
Pros Ultra-Lightweight, easy to assemble, small packed size
Cons Height off ground is only 9 inches
Best Uses Hiking, backpacking, camping, biking, beach, travel, kayaking, canoeing
Specifications
Weight 490 g (1.08 lb), 510 g (1.12 lb) with case
Dimensions 25.2 in x 20.5 in (Seat Height 11 in)
Material TH72M Aluminum Alloy, Nylon 66
Additional Features Optional ground sheet and seat warmer available. 

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