I now have three backpacking chairs, they all wei about the same, or, at least, close enough to be negligible for me. I would likely select a different chair for different types of trips.
When hiking alone, I’d probably go with a competitor’s chair that has the same seat height. When hiking in a small group for extended trips, I’d probably go with a competitor’s chair that sits lower.
For hiking in larger groups, I’d definitely take the Helinox Chair One. And really it comes to two simple reasons:
– It’s build to withstand a lot of abuse, the most of any backpacking chair
– It’s built wide, to accommodate a broad range of body types.
– easier for most folks to get into and out of.
Hiking in a larger group means all kinds of body types and personalities will be together. There’ll typically be a central campfire to gather around for food and relaxing, and chairs get strewn about and a lot of folks just don’t care what chair they sit in. So, likely, if I have my chair out, it’ll be first come first serve. Or I might get up for a sec to gather firewood, collect water, do some cooking, or maybe go check on my tent, or whatever, and come back and find someone in my chair.
Now, that’s not a big deal, of course. But what I wouldn’t want is for someone to have an accident because the chair wasn’t really sturdy and possibly get hurt, or maybe someone’s body type is stockier and becomes extremely uncomfortable in the chair where the front digs into the thighs or the sides put too much pressure, making the chair uncomfortable.
The Helinox chair is significantly wider seating than my other two chairs. Where the other two backpacking chair fits, not snug, but almost snug, the Helinox almost feel like a hammock. There is plenty of room for stockier folks to be comfortable, and nothing digs in. it’s also built to withstand 350 lbs.
And it does seem immensely strong. Not sure it would hold up to the same rigors as my lower seat height camp chair, but it sure looks like it can take a beating, and when you don’t know how a “community property” piece of backpacking gear is going to be treated, you want it as risk free as possible.
As I said in the beginning, all three camp chairs I have are essentially the same weight and they really are basically the same bulk. whichever one I throw in my pack, there is no noticeable difference in weight, nor can I fit any more or less gear, meaning their in-pack build is roughly the same.
I guess the only reason I wouldn’t take this backpacking chair on all trips with me is that…well…it’s kinda big for my butt, and the other camp chairs are a little more comfortable for me because they are a bit more snug. btw, I measure 5’8″ when barefoot, 140lbs (maybe a touch more now).
Oh, one more thing, it does seem to have you in a slightly more “sitting up” position than the other chairs. Not quite a straight back chair, but a little closer to that.