A high-end, supportive, versatile, comfortable and brilliantly designed camping chair that can be used in a plethora of alfresco scenarios. The Helinox Chair Two is not cheap, but it’s built to please, perform and last, so if having a quality pew to go with the view is important to you, then this outdoor throne is well worth checking out.
Excellent comfort levels
Can be hard to stand up out of for some people
No drink holder
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Helinox Chair Two: first impressions
With little legs, a long back and primarily well-off owners, it’s tempting to call the Helinox Chair Two the corgi of the camping chairs world. But, expensive though it undeniably is (you might need a sit down when you first see the price tag), you absolutely get what you pay for with Helinox chairs: a brilliantly designed and very well put together piece of camping furniture that will do the job it’s made for with aplomb and last for many years. And so it is with the Chair Two.
• List price: $139.95 (US) / £129.95 (UK)
• Weight (packed): 1,240kg / 2lb 12oz
• Seat height: 25cm / 10in
• Size (WxDxH): 55cm x 61cm x 85cm / 21.5in x 24in x 33.5in
• Pack size: 46cm x 13cm x 12cm / 18in x 5in x 4.5in
• Capacity: 145kg / 320lb
• Colors: Black / Rainbow Bandana / Scarlet Iron / Blue Bandana / Blue Block / Black Tie Dye / Black, Khaki & Purple / Multi Block / All Black
• Compatibility: Car camping, picnics, beach days and other alfresco adventures, including some with a short walk involved
This chair is the big brother of – you guessed it – the Helinox Chair One and Helinox Chair Zero (all the South Korean brand’s creative juices are used coming up with designs and colorways, rather than product names, it seems). Made with DAC’s proprietary aluminum alloy poles, all connected together by an umbilical cord, the 11-section frame of the Chair Two slots together in exactly the same way as the brand’s other chairs – which looks complicated initially, but becomes the work of seconds after you’ve done it a few times.
With a similar seat height (25cm), the main distinguishing feature of the Chair Two over the Chair One is the much higher back, in contrast to the more laid-back bucket-seat style of the One. This extended back makes the Chair Two much more supportive and upright, but also results in a slightly bigger and heavier product when packed away.
The weight difference between the Chair Two (1,240kg / 2lb 12oz) and the Chair One (960g / 2lb 2oz) is marginal, and if you enjoy kicking back and staring at the stars with your head and back well supported, the Two is for you. For gram-counting backpackers and bikepackers, however, the 510g Helinox Chair Zero is the smartest option.
For a range of other camping scenarios when you don’t need to hike or bike miles to your site, and for a whole load of other outdoor occasions, the Chair Two is one of the best camping chairs on the market.
Helinox Chair Two: in the field
Over the last 12 months, I’ve used the Helinox Chair Two on multiple camping trips and alfresco social occasions, from festivals, picnics in the park and days at the beach through to school sports days.
It is a tiny bit too heavy and bulky for backpacking adventures, but that’s what the Chair Zero is for. The Chair Two is much more supportive and comfortable than its super-skinny sibling, and the long back really comes into its own when you’re kicking back in camp, staring up at the stars, gazing into the fire or chatting with friends.
Some people might find it a bit of an effort to get out of the Chair Two to grab a drink – which is something you might have to do fairly often, because there’s no bottle/can/cup holder built in to this design.
These are quite minor quibbles, though. The Chair Two has lots of other clever features, including an extremely well ventilated, mesh-based rear panel to stop your back getting sweaty. The chair’s carry bag can also be stuffed with a fleece (or similar) and used as a pillow, attached via corresponding Velcro strips specifically designed to accommodate this innovation.
Overall, there’s a lot to love about the Helinox Chair Two, which is almost as versatile as Chair One, and far more supportive.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.