Gear Review: Helinox Chair One XL

This piece of equipment was an investment, there is no doubt about that. Spending over $100 on a camp chair seems like a lot, which is why we didn’t buy a set when we left in 2018 on our round-the-country skoolie adventure. In hindsight, I wish we had because the Helinox Chair One XL camp chairs are worth every penny. We picked up a pair of chairs at Overland Expo 2019 EAST and put them to the test in the months following. 

Our comparison for the Helinox is coming from our use of the most basic standard camp chairs that everyone’s grandparents have tucked away in their garages-they come in a bag and they are clumsy to say the least. Obviously a $100+ chair will work better than a $12 Wal-Mart chair, but will the improvement be enough to justify the cost difference? We think so. If you are a fan of the tried and true fold out camp chair and you don’t see any reason to upgrade, more power to you. If like us, you have always looked at the fold up camp chairs in your rig as a monstrosity that need to be replaced with something small, lightweight, and comfortable that is built to last a really long time, keep reading. 

The biggest improvement from our old chairs to the Helinox chairs is the size; these chairs pack up small without compromising on comfort, but more on that later! The Chair One XL is the biggest of the square Helinox chairs and packed it measures 4.5” x 5” x 18.5”, a huge improvement over the nearly 5” x 5” x 36” dimensions of our old school camp chair. The Helinox is also a winner in the weight department, coming in at a slim 3.3 lbs. whereas our old chair weighed nearly 9 lbs. if you count all of the small grains of sand still stuck in the legs from our last beach trip. The new chairs are light enough that we would consider taking them on an extended paddle trip or an ultra luxurious bike tour. We are now much more confident in being able to pack our chairs for a walk to the park or up the trail for a picnic a few miles away. 

Another alluring factor that drew us toward the Helinox is the manufacturer’s 5-year warranty! You read that right-FIVE YEARS! Do you know how long your camp chair warranty lasts? I do, until the moment you sit down in it the first time. The peace of mind associated with a 5-year warranty on a product that we use weekly is invaluable!

The only area where the Helinox is not a clear winner for both of us over a standard camp chair is comfort. For me (Zach) that’s not to say that the Helinox is not comfortable, it is, just not any more comfortable than a normal camp chair. Rachael finds the Helinox much more comfortable than the camp chair which I can attribute only to the fact that I am an ogre and she is much smaller. There are also no cup holders on the helinox chairs which is not a huge miss for us, but some might not enjoy sitting their beverage on the ground. 

The Helinox is a worthwhile upgrade for you if:   

  • You use your camp chairs as a piece of furniture for full-time travel  
  • You are tired of trying to find a good place to store huge camp chairs    
  • You use your gear enough to value a 5-year warranty

The Helinox might not be worth it for you if: 

  • You don’t like gear that is expensive   
  • You don’t use your gear enough to warrant the price

For us, the Helinox is a no brainer and we are disappointed that we didn’t upgrade sooner. We will decommission our old chair that is still functioning to storage and maybe put it in storage for when the niece and nephew come to visit some day. Until then we are going to keep enjoying our Helinox chairs!

Just a head’s up: this page contains affiliate links. If you use one of the links scattered throughout this page, a portion of your purchase price will help fund our adventures (at no cost to you). Thanks for reading and shopping with our links!


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