As editorial subjects go, this is one of those topics that makes me recoil. The primary reason is simple enough. There is no perfect camp chair. All of them come with their own little short comings and peccadilloes, this assuming they don’t outright stink from the get-go. Hand me a chair to review, and in return I’ll give you a dubious glare. Want to add insult to injury, pair that chair with a folding table. That is unless, we’re talking about Helinox.
Earlier in the year I gave a fairly positive, if not a little lackluster, overview of the Helinox camp chair. I was impressed with the product, but not so much as to really elaborate on it, or even photograph the darn thing myself. Being nice people and valued readers, you deserve better than that, so here’s the proper evaluation offered again in full technicolored wonder.
The Helinox chair hit the market a couple years ago, and while it was initially well received, seemed to take some time to garner a strong following. I suspect many would-be buyers like me couldn’t believe a chair packaged in a bag barely larger than a hoagie could possibly yield a sit-worthy perch. Having now traveled considerably with my little chairs, I’ve had ample opportunity to enjoy them, and subsequently have them absconded by other campers eager to give one a try. I have now come to appreciate how great the Helinox chair is, largely through the many accolades from those sitting in––my chair.
At a mere two pounds, the Helinox Chair One is genuinely ultra-light. Measuring at just 14 inches long it’s also extremely compact. Crazy as it sounds, I’m able to keep two Helinox chairs under the passenger seat of my Jeep with room enough to include Helinox’s awesome little camp table.
Made with DAC aluminum pole sections joined to composite hubs, the frame of the chair goes together in a matter of seconds. Stretching the nylon chair material over that frame takes but a few additional steps with the whole process achieved in well under a minute. The table involves a similar assembly process which means I can have a table and two chairs set up in a handful of minutes.
The chairs are claimed to support 320 pounds, but truth be told, I really don’t see that as a feasible digit. For one thing, that’s a big person for a rather small sitting area. The legs would also have to be on very solid ground to support that weight. In the time I’ve had my chairs, they’ve been used by a number of larger guys pushing 240 pounds with no issues whatsoever.
As for the table, it is quickly becoming one of my most cherished pieces of gear. I have always avoided soft-top tables because they’re always impossible to use. The Helinox table creates a table surface with enough rigidity to actually be useful. The two drink holders secure the libations I seem to always have on hand, and the height of the table pairs beautifully to that of the chairs.
It goes without saying that the Helinox chair and table combo is ideally suited for those with challenged space and weight limitations. They’re perfect for motorcycle travel. With the chair and table priced at $100 each, they’re a reasonably solid value to boot. Good things do sometimes come in small packages, and Helinox is the proof.
The Solar Photon 2P is rated 2.9 out of 5 stars from 3 customer reviews on Amazon.