Helinox Chair Zero review: lean into comfort

This ultra-portable sitting apparatus from Helinox is the ultimate travel pew for UL backpacking

T3 Platinum Award
Helinox Chair Zero review
(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
T3 Verdict

Weighing just over half a kilo, the Helinox Chair Zero supports up to 120kg and assembles in 30 seconds. Ultra-compact and super comfy with a semi-reclining position, it’s perfect for ultralight backpackers. Durable, portable, and worth every penny – an absolute must-have for any adventure!

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Incredibly lightweight construction

  • +

    Collapsible and comes with its carry bag

  • +

    Comfortable, semi-recycling sitting position

  • +

    Durable ripstop fabric

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    People with mobility issues might find it hard to get in and out of the chair

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All the adults around me were sitting in their upright camping chairs while I was lounging in my Helinox Chair Zero, nearly on the ground. Although there was a full-size portable pew available for me to sit in, I decided that from now on, I’d either sit on the Chair Zero or not sit at all.

From the moment I first experienced it, I was captivated by the Helinox Chair Zero. This ultra-lightweight camping accessory is not just a chair, it’s a sitting apparatus that stands out among the best camping chairs available.

Its design, like many other iconic products, is deceptively simple, yet it performs flawlessly, exceeding all expectations.

It’s way more expensive than your average pew, so it hasn’t got the mass appeal of some other camping chair. However, if you like to tinker with your gear and must have the best and most innovative camping equipment in your arsenal, the Helinox Chair Zero is a must.

Helinox Chair Zero review

Price and availability

The Helinox Chair Zero is available to buy now directly from Helinox UK, Helinox US and Helinox AU for a recommended price of £135/ $109.95/ AU$199.99. It comes in three colours: Black, White and Grey. I tested the White version.

The company sells a ton of different chairs, including high-back and mini versions of the Zero. We tested the Helinox Chair Two a couple of years ago and gave it the maximum five stars. We’ve also compared the Chair Two with two other lightweight camping chairs here: Helinox Chair Two vs Nemo Moonlite vs Sitpack Campster II.


Helinox Chair Zero review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
  • Weight: 509 g/ 1.13 lb (assembled), 531 g/ 1.16 lb (packed)
  • Max load: 120 kg/ 265 lb
  • Assembled size (H x W x D): 64 x 50.5 x 46 cm, 25 x 20 x 18 in
  • Pack size (H x L x W): 10 x 35 x 10 cm, 4 x 14 x 4 in
  • Carry bag included: Yes
  • Materials: aluminium alloy frame, resin hubs, rubber feet, 100D aramid polyester ripstop seat

Design and features

Helinox Chair Zero review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Without knowing anything about the chair and looking at the maximum load, you might think the Helinox Chair Zero is a pretty hefty camping accessory. Most affordable camping chairs have a maximum user weight limit of 100 kg/ 220 lbs, tops; the Chair Zero supports users up to 120kg of total weight.

However, not only does the Helinox chair weigh just a hair over half a kilo, but it’s also super compact and stoves away in its cinch bag in an instant.

The silicone shock cord runs through the hollow cavities of the proprietary DAC aluminium alloy frame, with proprietary resin hubs forming the cornerstones of the structure. The ends of the feet are covered with rubber caps to keep the debris out and provide extra traction on hard surfaces such as concrete.

The seat is completely removable and is made from 100D aramid polyester, a ripstop material that feels sturdy whe sat on. The Chair Zero provides a semi-reclining seating position that, thanks to the airy seating fabric, can be adjusted to your liking by shifting your bodyweight back and forth.

Performance and comfort

Helinox Chair Zero review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

The Helinox Chair Zero takes 30 seconds to assemble. It consists of two parts: the aluminium frame and the seat fabric. The poles are held together by the silicone chord, and all you have to do is insert them into the resin blocks. Since they are pretty much already in place, this part takes around 10 seconds to complete.

Then, you get the seat and check which side says ‘This side up’. You pop the cover on the frame accordingly, and voila, the chair is ready to go. From emptying the cinch bag to sitting on the Chair Zero shouldn’t take you longer than 30 seconds.

Once you are on it, you won’t ever want to leave. As mentioned in the intro, I was at a family camping session with plenty of normal camping chairs around. We have a couple of young teenagers with us, and I let them monkey around for a bit with the Chair Zero.

Once they got bored, I reclaimed my throne and sat in it. Sure, I was a bit lower down compared to others around the camping table, but it was worth it. The chair feels super comfortable, thanks to the semi-reclining seating position. You can kick your legs forward and really lean into the chair, which is an awesome feeling after a long day of hiking.

I’m around 80kg (176 lbs), so well below the maximum weight limit of the Chair Zero, and not once did I feel the chair would give in under me. Due to the compact frame factor, I imagine people with larger hips might find it difficult to sit on it, though, not to mention that it’s closer to the ground than a full-size chair, so you'd need some dexterity to get in and out of the chair.

Once you’re ready to pack the Chair Zero, it’s as simple as it was to assemble it. Remove the cover, pull the poles out of the resin block, and stuff it back in the bag. Unlike some backpacking tents, the Helinox Chair Zero fits into its cinch bag easily enough, as long as you fold the seat fabric properly.


Helinox Chair Zero review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

It’s hard not to talk about the Helinox Chair Zero in superlatives. It’s an exciting bit of gear that performs even better than expected. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, though. It costs a pretty penny, and due to the small factor, it won’t suit people with mobility issues and larger frames.

That said, it’s an absolutely essential accessory for UL backpackers and anyone who dreads carrying tons of equipment around when they go camping. Getting the Helinox Chair Zero can immediately slash the maximum weight of your kit and allow more space for other items in your car and backpack.

Sure, it costs more than your average camping chair, but it’s worth the money. Better still, it’ll last long as long as you store it properly when not in use. Speaking of that, you can use it for more than just camping; it’s perfect for situations when you are in a queue for hours (e.g. at festivals) or other situations where you might have to stand around for longer.

Long story short, the Helinox Chair Zero is a must-have for those who appreciate thoughtful design and impeccable execution. Simple as that.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.