GoGear: High-tech Camping Chair

It’s a winner: lightweight and very compact

Don Cohen Don Cohen  |  09.07.2015

Nearly 40 years ago my dad bought a classic Zip Dee metal and canvas RV chair for his motorhome.  I never had the heart to part with it and, when we bought our first Navion and wanted a second one, I was flabbergasted that the company still had the same material to make a matching one for us.

While I love our Zip Dees, as they are very comfortable and fold very flat, they are rather heavy.   I looked around at the standard issue folding camp chairs and found them often cumbersome to store and, after a short time, not particularly comfortable to sit in.

It was a few months ago at REI that we came across what clearly is a state of the art camp chair.

It’s light, it stores super compactly, and it’s comfortable to sit in.  For $139 bucks it ought to be.  While the Helinox chair is expensive (even more than the Zip Dee), it’s proven to be a winner.

Helinox Chairs (2)It takes a little figuring out, but once you understand how to assemble/disassemble it (instructions are printed on the chair itself), it’s easy.  Another pleasant surprise is that, without any advanced math skills you can fold and roll it up so it actually fits in it’s carrying case.

Helinox Chairs (3)

Helinox Chairs (1)Helinox makes this chair in two sizes and the lower to the ground version is equally as comfortable and $40 less.  Less limber owners will definitely appreciate the higher chair which is pleasantly easy to get in and out of.

Helinox Chairs (5)You can find the Helinox chair by clicking here.

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  1. Perry Posted on 11.06.2017

    We have two of these chairs for us, and 2 REI chairs that are similar. We have an ERA so space is at a premium and all 4 chairs fit perfect in storage – basically in the same place as 2 of the chairs we would get at Walmart/Dicks/Etc.

    At around a 1lb., they are also great to take on a hike or backpacking if you think you’d like to sit in a chair and enjoy a view or eat a meal.

    All of our equipment is based on one principle – How compact is it.

  2. kr Posted on 06.10.2017

    We have folding director’s chairs from Sam’s Club..not real light, but they fold to 1/2 size of regular director chairs, and are very comfortable…we don’t like the sling chairs. Have only found these at Sam’s…in summer gear section.

  3. EZ Posted on 06.10.2017

    Count your blessings Don. I’m one of the many folks with lower back problems, and I can’t spend five minutes in a sling style chair. I’ve tried just about all of them, including this model. My wife and I put up with the size and weight of Alps Mountaineering’s folding chairs because nothing else comes close to being as comfortable and supportive, and we’ve had any number of fellow campers who’ve tried them buy them as well. Since we tow our motorcycle in an enclosed trailer, the chairs aren’t that much of an imposition.

  4. Ken Posted on 09.07.2015

    Don-we have the Joey version of this chair and find it quite comfortable and easy to carry in a backpack or motorcycle saddle bag in addition to storing easily in our Travato. Nice find!