Helinox Chair Zero review: a compact and light chair for wild camping

The Helinox Chair Zero is our top pick for wild camping. The light-as-a-feather cahir takes up as much space as a water bottle

Helinox Chair Zero
(Image: © Henilox)

Advnture Verdict

A minimalist bucket chair that only takes up as much space as a bottle of water – ideal for dedicated wild campers and other fast-paced adventurers.

Pros

  • +

    Lightweight

  • +

    Super compact

  • +

    Free seat warmer

Cons

  • -

    Feet do sink on soft ground

  • -

    Relatively high RRP

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First impressions

This bucket chair may look and feel like your standard comfortable camping chair, but the Helinox Chair Zero’s clever design weighs just 510g, and it packs down small enough to fit into a water-bottle pocket on the side of a pack, or into the main chamber of even a small hiking backpack.

A portable mini pew for even the most lightweight of adventures in the great outdoors, this low chair still manages to feel very strong and solid. And it’s not just the way it looks either, it really is robust – it is made with ripstop polyester and aluminium poles, and can support up to 120kg.

Specifications

RRP: $120 (US) / £107 (UK)
Weight: 510kg /1lb 2oz
Size (WxDxH): 48 x 52 x 64cm / 18.5 x 20 x 25in
Pack size: 35x10x10cm / 14x4x4in
Capacity: 120kg/265lb
Colours: Grey / black
Compatibility: Perfect for backpacking and cycling adventures where space is at a premium

In the field

When you see the Helinox Chair Zero’s tiny pack size in the flesh, you’ll be astonished that it contains a comfortable chair, but inside is everything you need to assemble one: a do-it-yourself set of poles plus a square of tough material. It is fast and intuitive to set up the Helinox Chair Zero, and once erect this pocket-style chair is also surprisingly comfortable even though it’s so low to the ground. The bucket chair hugs your back nicely and supports most of your body even if you’re tall, although your neck will have to fend for itself. The Helinox Chair Zero also currently comes with a free removable padded seat warmer, which you can leave behind if space is at a premium and you’re counting every gram, but it definitely makes the minimalist seat way comfier and warmer if you do use it. The Chair Zero has a three-digit price tag, which makes it only a sensible choice if you’re a dedicated wild camper, hiker or bikepacker who values every inch of space on their adventures, but we’d argue it’s well worth it if you’re often exploring off the beaten track.

An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.