The Helinox Chair Zero High-Back is the ultimate in lightweight lounging. We unpack the latest Helinox chair and compare it to the original and shorter Chair Zero.

 

The importance of a chair cannot be understated. I would know. I’m writing this article sitting on a pillow placed on top of an imploding mid-century dining chair with all of its springs blown out the bottom. It looks identical to how my lower spine will look a few hours from now, all because my housemate has claimed our one office chair for the day.

Indeed, when it comes to work chairs, we often spare no expense — yours truly notwithstanding — but when it comes to the outdoors, camping and overnight hiking we often consider a chair to be a luxury or an optional extra. Not compact enough, or too heavy to justify in a hiking pack. Both have been true in the past.

 

 

However, when plonked on the ground during a hiking pit stop or when you find yourself dragging a decaying log to the campsite after a long day on your feet, a lightweight chair starts to seem like a must-have.

Now if that sounds like you, the new Helinox Chair Zero High-Back is the one I think you must have. 

The Goldilocks of outdoor seating, it’s not too big, and not too small. The perfect balance between lightweight and laid back. It’s juuuuust right.

Helinox… more like hel-i-yes!

Move over Goldilocks, who are Helinox? Helinox has a reputation for making some of the best lightweight hiking and camping chairs on the market. They’ve been putting out design-first adventure chairs since 2009 and introduced the original Chair One back in 2012. 

In doing so, they practically invented a new category of camp equipment in the form of lightweight, ultra-comfortable, portable furniture. 

A chair might be the most versatile piece of outdoor equipment you can buy. Take it on a day hike, an overnight camp, to the beach, strap it to your bike, stick it in your car, or use it as an office chair — I sure as hell would if I had this thing with me here right now.

 

The Range of Chairs

There are a lot of chairs to choose from in the Helinox range. 

We reviewed the category-leading Helinox Chair Zero, a few years ago and Jono still whips this thing out whenever an opportunity to sit arises. 

The Chair Zero falls into Helinox’s category of ultra-lightweight chairs and weighs in at a smidge over half a kilo.

However, to get a chair this compact, you’re going to have to compromise somewhere, and Jono noticed that, ‘it sits lower to the ground than most camping chairs you would’ve sat in, so you do have to bend your knees just a touch more to get into it.’

While the Chair Zero has a standing height of 64cm, the other camp and outdoor-oriented range of Helinox chairs, the High-Back chairs, are built to be much taller.

The High-Back chairs take the award-winning lightweight design and increase the comfort with taller backs and raised seat heights, without sacrificing too much in the weight and packability department. Basically, these things are built for the taller folk and those who don’t want to contort themselves into a smaller chair.

 

 

This is where the new Helinox Chair Zero High-Back comes in. It’s the best of both the ultralight and High-Back chair worlds, meaning you don’t have to skimp on comfort or adventure.

Our resident Bikepacker Mattie Gould has previously noted the ease with which he straps the Chair Zero to his bike with its cylindrical case. And they’re a heck of a lot more comfortable than a bike seat when it’s time for a snack. 

 

Helinox vs Aldi - Lightweight Camping Chair Comparisons, camping chair

Mattie enjoying a bikepacking pit stop on his Chair Zero. He’s got first dibs on the High-Back though.

The Chair Zero High-Back Up Close and Comfortable

Size & Weight

The Chair Zero High-Back is the lightest of all the Helinox high-Back chairs at just 690 grams. 

In fact, it’s only 180 grams heavier than the OG Chair Zero, which is less than the weight of two decks of cards. Or if you read Jono’s review, lighter than exactly 181 grams of pasta.

It has a packed length of 40cm (just 5cm longer than the Chair Zero) meaning it’s still plenty small enough to slide into the side of a hiking pack or strap it to a bike and think nothing of it.

 

Helinox_Bosnia_chair zero, sea to summit

 

It also doesn’t skimp when it comes to strength and support. Like its shorter predecessor, it has an impressive carrying capacity of 120kg.

Durability and Longevity

In keeping with all of Helinox’s sturdy products, the Chair Zero High-Back comes with a 5-year warranty. Not that you should need it though. We compared the Helinox Chair One with an Aldi knockoff to see what the differences were. Aside from the obvious weight discrepancies, durability was the biggest argument for investing in a quality and hard-wearing chair like the Helinox. 

The frames of the Helinox are made from a high-tech ultralight aluminium alloy. In fact, the special alloy is a higher specification than aircraft-grade aluminium and goes through over 70 production processes from raw billet to the finished pole section. But trust me, these are much more comfortable than aeroplane seats. 

The hubs, which could otherwise be weak points, are made from high-strength, fibre-reinforced Nylon 66. Meaning, it’s strong and still light AF. 

As for the seat fabric, similar to the Chair One, it’s crafted from a ripstop polyester that’s resistant to the effects of the sun, weather and farts. 

It also contains a non-stretch silver thread which forms an especially supportive cradle for your backside, and one that’s not likely to blow out of shape, like my shitty dining chairs.

 

ChairZeroHighBackBlack, sea to summit

 

Design and Aesthetic

The Chair Zero High-Back keeps with Helinox’s classic light blue poles and dark grey colourway. 

It’s a winning combo and the entire design itself is a mainstay in camp chair circles. 

There’s a reason plenty of spinoff camp chairs like the Aldi one we assessed will endeavour to look as similar as possible to a Helinox after all.

To High-Back or not to High-Back?

If you’re going to be adventuring outback, you better ask yourself how much you value your back? 

For an extra 180 grams and a few extra centimetres when packed in the case, to me, someone over six foot, the High-Back option is a no brainer.

Here, Take A Seat

The Chair Zero High-Back only just dropped online and is retailing for $209.99

You can score one for yourself here

If you can’t find anyone to take on your next hike or overnight trip, my suggestion would be to take the High-Back chair, a good outdoor book and sit back and relax. 

And if you do have friends joining you, tell them to bring their own chair, because a word of warning, they’ll have their eyes and asses on yours in no time.