It may sound odd that I’m obsessed with a lightweight camping chair, so let me unpack the story:
About 5 years ago, I started taking part in a 3-day hiking trip in the White Mountains with my extended family. When it came time to figure out how I was going to carry multiple days’ worth of gear and clothing on my back, I had a moment of regret and thought: “How in the world am I going to do this?”
My uncle, who always plans the trip, told me that my pack would get lighter and lighter every year, because I would quickly learn that wearing a dirty T-shirt trumped holding any extra ounce of weight (he was right). So when the decision comes around to add something new to the pack, a serious amount of thought must go into tossing it in the bag or leaving it behind.
One thing I’ll never leave behind: the Helinox Chair Zero camping chair. It’s the most unassuming camping chair you’ll come across. It’s super small, packing up to the size of a 32-ounce water bottle. It’s super lightweight, weighing just a pound. It’s also extremely durable and can hold up to 265 pounds. The Chair Zero is truly everything you’d want from a piece of backpacking gear.
I learned just how amazing it is when my brother bought one 2 years ago for the annual hiking trip. On our second day, we followed an 8-mile trek (8 miles may not sound like a lot, but anyone who’s hiked the Whites knows that 8 miles there is like 16 miles anywhere else) with some dinner. We were full, happy, and sitting outside watching a beautiful sunset on a clear evening. My brother whipped out this chair that looked big enough for a maybe a toddler, but not nearly big enough for a grown man (or woman).
He took a seat and lounged comfortably, laughing at the rest of us sprawled out on the grass. One by one, we each took a turn sitting in the chair — my 40-year-old cousin, my 70-year-old uncle, my uncle’s 200-pound friend. The chair held us all, comforted us all, impressed us all.
When I got home, I immediately bought one for myself.
It comes in three different colors, and you can also purchase an attachment that lets you put the chair on sand, mud, or dirt.
The Helinox Chair Zero has become an essential in my hiking backpack, and the extra pound is totally worth it.
Helinox Chair Zero Camping Chair