Helinox Chair 1 review

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ericonabike
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Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby ericonabike » 1 Jul 2016, 10:15am

I've recently returned from a three week tour of Spain, which involved a mix of hotels, campsites and wildcamping. Before leaving, I bought a Helinox Chair 1 for £60 from Blacks - bright green hence £60 - the more subdued colours are £90! The best decision I ever made. It is supremely comfortable, lightweight yet strong and packs away to roughly the size of a large shoe. I weigh 14 stone and am 6' tall, yet it supported me with ease. I also like edging down in a chair so that my bum is nearly hanging off the base - no problem. On my first night wildcamping I reckon I spent nearly five hours solid in it, apart from the time it took to put the tent up, reading, writing, eating and watching the sun go down. I have a slightly dodgy back, yet felt nothing but comfort whist sat in it. It's also high enough off the ground to get out of with ease too.

I don't often post such unqualified enthusiasm for products [or indeed anything - I'm British after all] but this bit of kit transforms camping. Previous experiences have always involved trying to minimise the discomfort of sitting on the ground and trying to rearrange nature to provide a decent seating position. This chair meant that wherever I was camping, within a minute of arrival I could be sitting comfortably. And after a hard day's riding, that meant a lot. Go buy one!
Motorists' mantra: Cyclists must obey the law and the Highway Code AT ALL TIMES. Unless their doing so would HOLD ME UP.

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andrew_s
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby andrew_s » 3 Jul 2016, 1:38am

Chairs are a nice luxury when camping.

There are also cheap copies of the Chair One available on Amazon or eBay, in the £25 - £30 price range. Possibly not quite so strong if you are at the upper end of the weight range, but otherwise pretty much identical.

If used in the UK, where the ground is softer than in Spain, you will find that the legs can sink in to the ground, and you've got to be careful not to lose the plastic ends when you pull the chair out. Rubber walking stick ferrules may be advisable.

I've swapped to using an Alite Mayfly chair now. It's lighter and packs smaller, is lower to the ground, and has horizontal bars rather than legs. This means I can use it inside the tent without running out of headroom or risking groundsheet damage. There's also a Helinox Ground Chair that may have similar attributes.

Barrenfluffit
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby Barrenfluffit » 3 Jul 2016, 10:38pm

you will find that the legs can sink in to the ground,


As a temporary expedient a beer can over each leg is quite effective at spreading the weight. From a cycling pov this hints at a better approach but from a drinking pov it's great!

The ringpull hole is a scraping fit and after a few days the can may need replacing.

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andrew_s
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby andrew_s » 3 Jul 2016, 11:05pm

This gives visions of sinking a 4-pack every time you arrive at a new campsite. Can I recommend one of these, so you can sit whilst drinking the beer.

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syklist
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby syklist » 4 Jul 2016, 8:31am

andrew_s wrote:If used in the UK, where the ground is softer than in Spain, you will find that the legs can sink in to the ground, and you've got to be careful not to lose the plastic ends when you pull the chair out. Rubber walking stick ferrules may be advisable.

This is one of the reasons I chose a Helinox Ground Chair which also has horizontal bars and plastic corner "feet". Although closer to the ground that the taller chairs I still find it a lot easier getting out of a Ground Chair than say a Thermarest mat chair. The Ground Chair is also a fair bit lighter than the Chair 1. I like my Ground Chair a lot.

The lower height also makes it easier to use the chair in a tent in inclement weather. The only problem with this type of chair is if you have wide hips which means that the chairs are quite uncomfortable to sit in.
So long and thanks for all the fish...

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sabrutat
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby sabrutat » 4 Jul 2016, 2:02pm

Here's another vote for the Alite Mayfly.

I've been using one for just over a year, in which time I've done about five months of touring, where it was used for many hours every night, mostly wild camping, and the occasional full rest day. It's so comfortable I've even fallen asleep in it a few times. It's probably my favourite bit of kit.

I have seen some deterioration in two of the framework joints, but replacement parts were sent from the manufacturers with zero hassle.

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andrew_s
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby andrew_s » 5 Jul 2016, 2:08pm

sabrutat wrote:I have seen some deterioration in two of the framework joints

Which joints? (so I know what to keep an eye on & check, rather than be surprised when on tour)

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sabrutat
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby sabrutat » 5 Jul 2016, 6:55pm

They didn't fail completely, but the ends of the bottom poles that slot into the ball connector started to cone and crack. The chair was still usable, but I had to enter and exit very diligently, and not adjust position at all while in it, or the whole thing would collapse. I actually think it was a manufacturing defect rather than a design flaw. While neither is encouraging: In the particular model I've got (there are several chronological models of Mayfly, apparently), there are reinforcing inserts at the ends of the poles to, I imagine, prevent this kind of deterioration. But, for some reason, they were set a little back from the end, which allowed the very deterioration they were inserted to prevent. Hence I think it was a manufacturing mistake that maybe slipped through quality control.

However, I'm sticking with Alite, because the chair is so damned fantastic.

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andrew_s
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby andrew_s » 5 Jul 2016, 7:30pm

The inserts (which I'd never noticed before) are correctly at the end in mine, so I shall relax. :)

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sabrutat
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby sabrutat » 5 Jul 2016, 8:56pm

Good for you, brother!

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby Heltor Chasca » 5 Jul 2016, 9:40pm

sabrutat wrote:Here's another vote for the Alite Mayfly.

I've been using one for just over a year, in which time I've done about five months of touring, where it was used for many hours every night, mostly wild camping, and the occasional full rest day. It's so comfortable I've even fallen asleep in it a few times. It's probably my favourite bit of kit.

I have seen some deterioration in two of the framework joints, but replacement parts were sent from the manufacturers with zero hassle.


Another vote from me!

MrsHJ
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby MrsHJ » 23 Jul 2016, 12:34pm

Thank you for the review. I got given one of the bright green ones for my birthday (also my favourite colour so I'm happy) and I'm looking forward to my first expedition in a fortnight- I have been dithering about it a bit due to weight and space and I've decided to evict a couple of other things to justify taking it.

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bikes4two
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby bikes4two » 1 Aug 2016, 11:31pm

+1 for the Chair 1 - Mrs B4t and I have had ours for a few years and make good use of them although the 'feet sinking in soft ground' can be an issue, especially if like me you leave one of the leg end stops in the ground after pulling the leg out and not noticing the detachment!

If I were buying again, I'd go for something like the Ground Chair to avoid the leg sinking issue, but not withstanding that, my Chair 1 has proved to be something that I'll always take with me when cycle camping.
Without my stoker, every trip would only be half a journey

MrsHJ
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby MrsHJ » 9 Aug 2016, 6:51pm

MrsHJ wrote:Thank you for the review. I got given one of the bright green ones for my birthday (also my favourite colour so I'm happy) and I'm looking forward to my first expedition in a fortnight- I have been dithering about it a bit due to weight and space and I've decided to evict a couple of other things to justify taking it.



Very pleased with my Helinox so far. As I head rapidly for the half century this and the thermarest neoair may be able to keep me camping for a good few years more. Junior (who's 10) really likes it too but I've said if he wants one he has to carry it. I've seen some touring families with a similar chair and one each (maybe more like the alite) but I didn't check out who was carrying them all or whether (given the huge tent they had) they'd just gone for a trailer.

As MrHJ isn't joining is year I'm a bit overloaded (although junior does carry his own stuff). We have 28 kilos between the 2 of us including a msr hubba hubba Nx and a primus power eta ( which is a fab little stove) and far too mush electronics. THank you to whomever recommended the campsite short power hook up- much better than lurking in the loos to charge various devices.

Maricu
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Re: Helinox Chair 1 review

Postby Maricu » 24 Sep 2018, 2:06pm

Helinox recently put out a new model called the Chair Zero Lounge Max, here is review https://10restbest.com/best-lounge-chairs 1.1 pounds packed weight, 265 lbs capacity, 11 inch seat height. I was about to pull the trigger on an alite mayfly, but this made me stop and consider further.....
I have noticed that the upper supports on the Helinox Ground Chair and Chair One kind of dig into my back right under my shoulder blades. I don't notice that same problem in the Alite Mayfly, Mantis, or Monarch. The most comfortable (luxuriously comfortable!) one I have tried was the Helinox Beach Chair, but it weights 3 pounds....