Helinox Chair Zero: Definitive Review (2020)

Super Lightweight And Portable - At 17oz You Can Take This Chair Anywhere

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Table of Contents

35

Models Reviewed

24

Hours Of
Research

32

Field Test
Hours

78

Users
Surveyed

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This is the Ultimate TopNotch Review to the Helinox Chair Zero 2020.

If you’re looking for a chair that’s small, lightweight, and perfect for long backpacking trips – look no further than the Chair Zero

Designed with the backpacker in mind, this tiny camping chair is great for those who want to cut down on weight and make the most of their space.

Keep in mind…

Lightweight technology always comes at a cost: the seat may be our lightest chair, but it’s certainly not the cheapest

In this comprehensive guide we’ll cover:

    • Features of the Helinox Chair Zero, from its lightweight design to the comfort level
    • A side by side comparison to the other chairs in our Best Backpacking Chairs Review
    • Our personal experience with the chair, what we loved, and what we didn’t
    • Lots more…

So if you want an honest, detailed overview of the backpacking seat, you’ll love this guide.

Let’s get started.

Value For Money
8
Comfort
7
Pack Size
10
Durability
8
Versatility
6
Overall Score
78
  • Manufacturer: Helinox
  • Main Material: Polyester with aluminum frame
  • Weight (oz): 17
  •  Weight Capacity: 265 lbs

Bottom Line : An incredibly light chair that trades comfort for portability.

Pros


  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Compact
  • Durable

Cons


  • Expensive
  • Not as comfortable as other chairs
  • Requires level ground

Our Verdict: Helinox Chair Zero

For our backpacking enthusiasts, the Helinox Chair Zero is a favorite for its ultra-lightweight properties

Weighing just 17 ounces, it’s easy to understand why you’d want to bring it along on overland camping trips. 

For these reasons, we awarded this camp chair our Best Lightest Hiking Chair

Here’s the thing, though… 

The Helinox Chair Zero has a whopping price tag that doesn’t really deliver on value and comfort. 

Add on the fact that this backpacking chair is lacking in stability, and you have some pretty significant issues. 

As always

…there are alternatives: during our testing trip, our team raved about the comfort of a more affordable chair, the TravelChair Joey. 

While it may be heavier, it’s much more stable and comfortable with anti-sink feet, high ground clearance, and a wide seat. 

However, if it’s the light weight factor you’re after, you’ll love the Helinox.

Related: 10 Best Backpacking Chairs

10 Best Backpacking Chairs Roundup, Helinox Chair Zero is a light, comfortable, four-legged camp chair that packs down to the width of a standard 32 oz. water bottle and weighs a single pound 

Our Analysis Comparisons and Test Results

Compared to other popular backpacking seats on the market, the Helinox Chair Zero has a high price tag. 

While this ultralight camp chair might be out of your budget, there are other stools that are also low weight and far cheaper. 

Take the Crazy Creek Original, for example, a tried and tested camping seat that weighs just 24 ounces. It’s a little heavier than the 17 oz Chair Zero, but that weight is fairly negligible.

We also had some problems with the stability of the Helinox Chair Zero, as it needs flat ground to be secure. To this end, we prefer a more versatile camp stool as the Trekology YIZI GO that is wider and sturdier.  

Value For Money

As you can see from the table, we find that other chairs do offer better value for your money. That said, and 8/10 is close to the top of the chart, and in this case the chair’s excellent weight carried its price tag.

At least a little…

If you’re someone who wants a basic camp seat for taking to sporting events or camping trips, the Helinox Chair Zero’s price tag might put you off.

Helinox Chair Zero

Value For Money Rating

Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair
9
TravelChair Joey
9
Helinox Chair Zero
8
ALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat
8
Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger
8
REI Co-op Flexlite Chair
8
Helinox Swivel Camp Chair
7
Crazy Creek Original Chair
6
Big Agnes Big Six
6
Kelty Camp Chair
5

However, if you’re seeking an ultralight  stool that will free up space for other gear and cut down on weight for backpacking trips, the Helinox ground chair is a really sound choice. 

We would’ve liked to see a bigger seat as featured on the TravelChair Joey with a higher clearance off of the ground. 

Since the Helinox backpacking chair is low to the ground and rather narrow, we found it can be a bit uncomfortable.

For the price tag, we definitely hoped for more.

Comfort 

Here’s the deal: 

First, the Chair Zero loses comfort points for us because it’s unstable on the ground and doesn’t have a good seat height.

When we tried to use it in the sand at the campground, we found it slipped and rocked all over, unlike the sturdy TravelChair Joey.

Let’s take a look at the chairs with higher scores for comfort:

Helinox Chair Zero

Comfort Rating

TravelChair Joey
10
Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair
9
Big Agnes Big Six
9
ALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat
9
REI Co-op Flexlite Chair
8
Helinox Swivel Camp Chair
8
Helinox Chair Zero
7
Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger
7
Crazy Creek Original Chair
6
Kelty Camp Chair
5

Even worse, when we tried to kick our feet up and recline in the seat, we found ourselves almost falling backward! 

That and the narrow seat made it uncomfortable for the bigger and taller people on our team – this backpacking seat is definitely best suited for people under 6 feet. 

It makes sense that it’s smaller because it’s so lightweight. 

Speaking of, some of our other ultra-lightweight chairs – such as the Crazy Creek PowerLounger – don’t come with legs. 

We have to acknowledge that its 17 ounce weight is super impressive considering it has many of the same features as the more premium camping seats. 

One of those features is a pretty high back that comes up just below the shoulder blades. It offers great back support and doesn’t cut into your back uncomfortably like the Kelty Camp Chair, for instance. 

Packed Size 

Portability and a compact packed size are the best features of the Helinox Chair Zero. 

The camp seat compresses down to be slightly taller than a one-liter water bottle, which is absolutely ideal for backpackers. 

The diameter of the packed chair was the same as my water bottle, an incredible achievement when you think about it.

Helinox Chair Zero

Packed Size Rating

Helinox Chair Zero
10
Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair
9
Co-op Flexlite Chair
8
Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger
8
ALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat
6
Crazy Creek Original Chair
6
TravelChair Joey
5
Helinox Swivel Camp Chair
5
Kelty Camp Chair
4
Big Agnes Big Six
3

At only 17 ounces, there’s a reason we ranked this camping stool as our best lightest camping chair. 

It fits comfortably in a trekking backpack, and you might even forget it’s there during the camping trip.

Durability

The hefty material of the ripstop polyester seat and the rugged poles make this chair very durable. 

We also liked the reinforced corners of the zero seat fabric – it’s going to last you through many seasons, I’m sure. 

The molded plastic hubs where the poles converge also give us peace of mind that this chair will take a beating. 

Helinox Chair Zero

Durability Rating

TravelChair Joey
9
Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger
9
ALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat
9
Helinox Chair Zero
8
Crazy Creek Original Chair
8
Big Agnes Big Six
8
Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair
7
REI Co-op Flexlite Chair
7
Helinox Swivel Camp Chair
7
Kelty Camp Chair
5

As far as assembly, the poles are interconnected and basically click into place as you unfold them. 

We knew we wouldn’t lose any pieces and set up was a breeze, once we got the hang of it. 

All that being said…

There were a few other chairs on the list that took higher scores than the Helinox Chair Zero. But most of these did so at a cost to their weight and portability, of course.

Versatility

Unfortunately… 

We found that versatility was slightly lacking for the  Zero. 

It lost points as its weight capacity is just 265 lbs, whereas other chairs like the Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair can hold up to 300 lbs. This significant downgrade means that some larger folks won’t be able to safely or comfortably use this chair.

Helinox Chair Zero

Versatility Rating

Trekology YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair
9
Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 PowerLounger
9
ALPS Mountaineering Weekender Seat
9
REI Co-op Flexlite Chair
8
Helinox Swivel Camp Chair
8
TravelChair Joey
7
Helinox Chair Zero
6
Crazy Creek Original Chair
5
Kelty Camp Chair
5
Agnes Big Six
4

Also, we found this wasn’t a stool we could bring on any adventure. 

This chair is certainly targeted for backpacking and camping trips, where you’d just rest in it for a few hours and move on. 

But if you want a chair you can take to the beach, sporting events, inside of a kayak, and everywhere in between, turn to a more versatile chair, like the Crazy Creek PowerLounger (this one can be used on any surface and doubles as a sleeping mat)!

Bottom Line…The Helinox Chair Zero is an ultralight foldable backpacking chair that will keep you a solid 11 inches off the ground. Check out the 10 Best Backpacking Chairs

Conclusion: Helinox Chair Zero

Now you’ve read our Helinox Chair Zero Review

you probably know the Helinox is absolutely TopNotch for portability but falls a little short in comfort and versatility. 

BUT…

If you have long hikes and overnight backpacking in mind, this is undoubtedly the chair for you

We hope our detailed explanation of the Chair Zero helps guide you to the right choice, and that you have many fun nights around the campfire in the woods or sitting somewhere stunning whilst eating your picnic on the trail. 

Rest easy, friends – we’re handing the baton over to you now to make your choice.

topnotchoutdoor award

Trekology Chair
topnotchoutdoor award

ALPS Mountaineering Weekender
topnotchoutdoor award

Crazy Creek 2.0