Helinox Chair Review: Is it the Best Backpacking Chair of 2023? (We Tried It!)

Updated: Dec. 04, 2023

The Helinox Chair One weighs less than a bottle of wine and has a near-perfect rating on Amazon.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Learn more.

It’s almost that time of year again when the blistering heat breaks for cozy autumn weather, which means you’ll soon find yourself spending more time outdoors. Whether you’ll be camping, hiking, tailgating or sitting around a fire pit in a friend’s backyard, you’re probably going to need seating. And if you’re looking for an ultra-lightweight chair to carry on long treks or store easily in the car, you’ve got to check out the Helinox Chair One.

The Helinox Chair One packs smaller and weighs less than a bottle of wine. That’s right: You won’t notice it in your tote bag, backseat or backpack. If you’re an avid backpacker, camper or hiker, you’re probably already familiar with the Chair One. But if you’re not, you’re going to want to add this chair to your arsenal of outdoor gear.

Here’s the full scoop on the Helinox Chair One.

What is the Helinox Chair One?

Fullsizerender 1 Helinox Chair One Mary Henn JveditMary Henn/Family Handyman

The Helinox Chair One is designed to bring comfortable seating outdoors through portable, durable furniture. While Helinox has a range of chair styles, the Chair One Original is intended specifically for camping, backpacking and hiking.

It weighs just 2.1 pounds and sits just 10 inches off the ground. Plus, it easily breaks down and fits into a convenient small pouch that’s just 4 by 4.5 by 14 inches. It also easily assembles for quick use thanks to its single internal bungee cord that self-assembles the poles. Once the frame is set, all you have to do is slip the anti-rip seat cover over the frame and pop a squat.

Despite the chair’s ultra-compact size, it can hold up to 320 pounds. The Helinox Chair One is made with strong aluminum alloy that provides the maximum strength-to-weight ratio. The chair is available in six different colors, and there are also a variety of accessories and attachments that make it even more comfortable—like a personal shade, cup holder and rocking runners.

Shop Now

Why I Love It

Img 1453 Helinox Chair One Mary Henn JveditMary Henn/Family Handyman

As someone who hikes frequently, there’s not always a place to sit and power up with some water and a protein bar. Before the Chair One, I never thought to lug around a full-size folding chair with me while hiking because that’s obviously just not practical. However, when a friend told me about Helinox, I knew I had to try the Chair One for myself. I can’t believe how lightweight it is. It fits easily into a backpack, and I’ve even put it in a small suitcase to travel with for camping and lake trips. I often leave it in the trunk of my car in case I need to set up shop somewhere unexpected, and it’s come in handy for my nephew’s soccer games!

I also love how durable the Helinox chair is. I haven’t had any issues with the aluminum frame bending or warping with use, and the seat fabric is made of ripstop polyester that’s made to last. If I were shopping for add-ons, I would go for the personal shade that offers sun protection and the ground sheet that prevents sinking on soft or uneven ground—that way I’m prepared for almost any type of trail conditions.

While the Helinox Chair One does the job, I will say that as a taller woman, I sometimes wish the back came up a bit higher. If you’re someone who’s a bit taller and/or wants head and neck support, I’d check out the Helinox Chair Two. It has high-back support and weighs just 2.7 pounds.

But Don’t Take My Word for It!

Fullsizerender 2 Helinox Chair One Mary Henn JveditMary Henn/Family Handyman

With more than 1,600 reviews, the Helinox Chair One earns a 4.8-star rating on Amazon. Here’s what buyers had to say about the chair.

Verified purchaser Scott Christensen says the Chair One is worth every penny. “I saw a similar chair like this at an REI store and immediately thought I had to have one for backpacking. I never thought that those tripod-style chairs would be that wonderful for backpacking. You just as well sit on a log given where I backpack in the Colorado Rockies. I went home and started researching these chairs when I ran across the Helinox version.”

Christensen continues, “I am 5′-10″ and 250 pounds, and I don’t worry about whether this chair will hold up. It is practically bulletproof in its construction. The pockets that receive the DAC rods where you’d expect the most stress are reinforced with a very strong material. The stitching reminds you of what you see on climbing equipment or high-quality backpacks. Each of the 4 corners are reinforced with thick padding so that nothing pokes into your shoulders or thighs while you’re sitting. The shape of the chair is perfect and comfortably seats your tired bum after a long hike. You could easily fall asleep in this chair.”

Five-star reviewer Louis Cotti says, “Love this chair!! I cringed at the price at first but am so glad I bought it now. As advertised, very easy to set up and use. Love how small and light it is. The carrying bag has lots of options to carry/clip to things. The chair holds up nicely… I’m able to keep two of these plus two towels and two beach mats in the big pouch of my backpack. Planning on taking them on my trip to Thailand next year too!”

Where to Buy the Helinox Chair One

Fhm Ecomm Helinox Chair One Via Amazon.comvia merchant

You can shop the Helinox Chair One and accessories at Amazon. The Chair One retails for $110, which is a pretty penny for a folding chair, but there’s really no other ultra-lightweight, portable chair on the market like this one. If you’re an avid hiker or camper (or even an avid tailgater), I would try the Chair One for yourself. Why sit in the mud, scratch your thighs on a log or have your legs eaten up by bugs if you don’t have to, am I right?

Shop Now