REVIEWED: Helinox Chair One foldable chair

Easily portable and comfortable, this 850kg chair is a welcome relief

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Festival-goers, hikers and photographers all have two things in common. They’re all outdoor types, and they all like a nice sit-down. However, with most so-called portable chairs just too big and heavy to carry anywhere further than car to tent. Until now …

Putting it together

Supplied in a small bag that measures just 30cm long, the Helinox Chair One is made from lightweight DAC aluminium alloy and weights just 850kg. If that’s astonishing, it does come with a caveat; it has to be completely assembled each time you use it, and doing that is a bit like putting a tent up. However, it’s not difficult since all the collapsible poles are tethered to their sockets; it’s just a case of fixing them fast, then fitting the fabric over the four corners. It comes with a zipped carry case complete with grab handles and a daisy chain for easily attaching to a backpack.

Enough back support?

Strapped to the top of a backpack, we managed to get the Helinox Chair One up a mountain without much bother, though once we got there we were so exhausted that sitting on the floor was just as appealing as putting up the Helinox Chair One. Once we had put it up, it didn’t give us quite the back support we’d hoped for.

Great for outdoor photography

A night spent outside photographing star-trails or photographing the Northern Light often means plunging a knee into the mud/grass/snow. If you’re busy doing repetitive tasks, staying still can get cold and uncomfortable – and the Helinox Chair One definitely helped us avoid the latter. It proved just as useful when we were at home in the garden using a telescope; the chance to sit-down instead of crouch under the eye-piece was welcome indeed.

Easy portability

Since it was Winter when we tested the Helinox Chair One, there were not festivals in town, but we did cart the Helinox Chair One down to the local park. However, the low-profile does mean it’s best viewed as an occasional chair while camping or photographing; you wouldn’t spend long, lazy days on the Helinox Chair One, but this superb piece of design and engineering is a valuable addition to the arsenal of lightweight travel gear.

Price as reviewed: £90

Buy the Helinox Chair One