Whether camping in the wilderness or soaking some sun at the beach- a portable chair is essential for every outdoor enthusiast!
And Helinox has got plenty of those, with two of them being the most popular picks, namely Helinox Chair One and Helinox Chair Zero. The latter was introduced to one-up the other with its negligible weight and portability.
But does it offer the same amount, if not more, of comfort and durability? Which chair should you go for?
We’ll be answering these questions and everything in between in this informative guide on Helinox Chair Zero Vs. One.
Helinox Chair Zero Vs. One- What’s The Difference?
Here’s the short answer- weight! But even though Chair One is slightly heavier, it promises more durability, breathability, and comfort than Chair Zero. On the other hand, the latter offers more portability and ease of set-up, making it ideal for backpackers and beginners.
Difference Between Helinox Chair one and Zero
With Chair One weighing 1 lb. 15 oz. and Chair Zero coming up to 1 lb. 1 oz, the latter is a lot lighter.
However, that also means that the Zero is smaller and has a lower weight capacity. And while Chair One is not as lightweight as its newer alternative, it is still considered pretty light among other backpacking chairs.
But if weight is the only factor that differentiates the two, Chair Zero shouldn’t technically be considered an “upgrade” from Chair One. So, what exactly will you be shelling out the additional $20 for?
To answer the question posed above, the weight of a product largely determines its portability. Clearly, Chair Zero earns brownie points in this aspect. But surprisingly, the difference is not as dramatic.
Speaking of the specs, Chair Zero collapses down to 13.5×3.5×3.5 inches, whereas the packed dimensions of Chair One are 13.5×4.5×3.5 inches. So, the latter will only cover 1 inch of additional space, which may not be a dealbreaker for many.
Now, what’s comfortable can be a subjective topic as some might prefer a soft chair while others may need firm support. So, the choice between Chair One and Zero may vary among users.
Thus, we’ve broken down different aspects of “comfort” and picked the suitable chair accordingly.
First off, when it comes to the contact of your shoulder blades with the chair frame, the thicker fabric on Chair One offers better softness. So, if you want something to “nestle” into after a long road trip, this might be the One for you!
Moreover, we feel that it also provides more “lean back” and stays higher off the ground. And since it is a tad bit bigger and offers more weight capacity, it is better suited for tall and heavier users.
Also, note that Chair Zero lacks mesh ventilation panels, which are essential for cooling off on hot and humid days.
But, all in all, both products are comfortable, with a low profile design. Although Chair Zero is a bit tighter around the hips, both take the same amount of time to break down.
Both Chair One and Zero boast anodized DAC aluminum poles and fiber-reinforced, high-strength Nylon 66 joining hubs. So, the construction in both the chairs is top-notch, and as long as the user is within the weight capacity of each, there shouldn’t be any problems.
However, the fabric in Chair One is thicker with mesh panels, making it more durable than that on Chair Zero.
Ease of Set-Up
Chair One is fairly easy to set up with its internal bungee system that connects all of the poles. Then you need to insert the end of the poles into four sleeves located on the corners. And if that sounds a bit too confusing, you can refer to the set-up directions printed on the storage bag.
So, while it does take more effort than a basic foldable chair, it’s not as tedious and complicated. In fact, once you get the hang of it, setting up will take no more than a minute!
On the other hand, Chair Zero boasts a two-part construction, familiar for many portable chair users. It also features a bungee cord, like Chair One, allowing an effortless set-up process.
However, the middle bar connecting the left and right halves is fixed, ensuring easier orientation. Plus, the instructions are printed on the bottom of the seat for beginners.
Speaking of packing, the thick material of Chair One might make it difficult to roll the chair. Thankfully, the storage bag is big enough to accommodate it even if not rolled properly. Once packed, you can store the chair in any corner of your vehicle or garage. While it is bigger than Chair Zero, it is small enough to facilitate easy storage.
Coming back to Chair Zero, the fixed pole and thinner material allow easier set-up. The drawstring bag adds to the already seamless packing process.
The storage sack of Chair Zero sports a glow-in-the-dark tab to make it easier to locate at night. Although it is not a significant advantage, it makes it a better option for camping.
Additionally, Helinox offers a host of accessories that are compatible with both the chairs, and offer better functionality and comfort.
For instance, the Helinox Cup Holder is sturdy, collapsible, and spacious, suitable for cups, bottles, and cans. Or you could check out the Helinox Ground Sheet to prevent your chair from sinking into soft sand or snow. It is also extremely lightweight, so it won’t add any bulk to your luggage, and can be attached easily.
We also like the Helinox Personal Shade that allows you to transform Chair One into a shady porch. But as cool as it may sound, the fact that the accessory is not compatible with Chair Zero is quite a bummer!
Which Is The Winner?
The answer to this question depends on your personal preference.
So, if you’re looking for a lightweight chair that can be set up and rolled down in seconds, go for Chair Zero. But if weight isn’t a major issue, we’d recommend the more comfortable and accommodating Chair One.
Regardless of the slight size differences, both the chairs are suitable for various outdoor activities, and the accessories only add to the functionality.