Most people envision a large heavy metal frame when you think camp chair. But what about a tiny tent you sit on that’s smaller than 2 water bottles? The Chair Zero Highback from Helinox weighs only 22 oz and fold out into a full chair with a tall back, albeit only 10 inches off the ground.
We reviewed one to test it against the larger and heavier camp chairs to see how it faired. We also compared it to the slightly smaller and lighter Chair Zero (non-highback) to see if it’s worth a few extra ounces for the high back.
- Very small
- Less stable
- 1.5 pounds (690 grams)
- 265 pound capacity (120 kg)
- DAC Aluminum poles
- $179.95 USD ($229.95 CAD)
- 19.5 x 32.5 x 21.5 inch set up (49 x 82 x 54.5 cm)
- 5 x 5 x 16 inch packed (12 x 12 x 40 cm)
At a tenth of the weight of some camp chairs, the Helinox Chair Zero Highback does things differently. Similar to the Big Six Armchair, the Chair Zero snaps together like tent poles and suspends the chair fabric. When it’s packed down, the bag is tiny, less than a couple 1 liter water bottles.
The bag closes with a drawstring and has a small nylon loop at the end for clipping or tying.
Helinox didn’t put a handle on the bag it self to save some weight but I can easily hold it in one hand so I never needed it.
Setting up the Highback takes bit more work compared to the larger chairs. Just like a tent, the poles have to be put together and then the seat put on. It takes less than a minute to shake the poles out, let the elastics snap it together and then put the seat on.
I found putting the back of the seat on first easiest, then the front poles.
Once it’s put together, it’s very easy to move around. It weights almost nothing.
The Highback is not a large chair. The back of the seat is about 15 inches wide and 27 inches tall. The seat sits 10 inches off the ground.
The back comes up to just above my shoulders for nice, tall back support. I’m 5’7″ and if I slide down a little I can rest my head on it as well.
The poles bend a little when you sit on it which they’re meant to do. This means it wiggles a bit when you’re sitting it but it’s also nice as you can rock a little in it. The chair material is non-stretch and holds the poles in just the right spot.
The feet have rubber tips on them but are only slightly larger than a tent pole so they sink into soft sand or dirt a bit. No issues with hard dirt though. Helinox sells larger ball feet if you spend a lot of time on the sand.
Being this small and light, there’s not any room for a cupholder as it would weigh almost as much as the chair! You’re only 10 inches off the ground though so I just set cups down on the ground.
Packing up the Highback is pretty quick as well, taking less than a minute.
I usually pop the front of the seat, then the top, pull the poles apart holding them all together along the main crossbar, roll the bars up with the seat fabric and tuck it into the bag.
Size and Weight
The Highback is crazy light at only 1.5 pounds. Great for in a small car or even the side of your backpack if you want to bring a chair. It’s less than one tenth the weight of some of the bigger camp chairs.
It’s smaller than 2 one liter bottles stacked so it can fit almost anywhere. You won’t find a smaller chair than this, except for the regular Helinox Chair Zero, which doesn’t have a high back.
When it comes to quality, we usually measure how long they last. With ultralight gear though, a lot of the ‘quality’ comes from how lightweight it is. Of course we want it to last forever too but it’s going to be a balance.
If you’re going to leave this chair outside in the sun and rain, it’s just not going to last as long as a 20 pound, steel-frame camp chair. Used properly though, for it’s intended purpose, it will last a long time.
Chair Zero vs Chair Zero Highback
The Chair Zero Highback is very similar to the smaller Chair Zero with the main difference being the height of the back. With the slightly taller back, the Highback is slightly larger and heavier.
The Highback is more comfortable with more back support and a spot to rest your head if you’re shorter than 5’10”. It will cost you 6 oz for that higher back.
|Chair Zero Highback||Chair Zero||Chair Zero L|
|Weight||24. oz |
|18 oz||22 oz|
|Size||32 x 19.5 x 21.5 inches||25 x 18.5 x 20 inches||25 x 21 x 20 inches|
|Packed Size||16 x 5 x 5 inches|
12 x 12 x 40 cm
|13.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches||13.5 x 4 x 4.5 inches|
|Seat Height||10 inches||10 inches||10 inches|
|Back Height||27 inches||18 inches||18 inches|
|Price||$180 USD||$149.95 USD||$159.95 USD|
Who is Helinox?
Helinox makes super-strong, ultralight camp gear like chairs, cots, tables and sunshades. Their chairs are just over a pound and great for camping where you can bring a luxury like a chair but it needs to be very small and light. They use DAC poles for all their gear which are just like the DAC tent poles.
If you need a tiny, lightweight chair, Helinox is the way to go. Most other camp chairs are big and heavy. Fine for car camping if you have the space. If you are running low on room or want a proper chair backpacking, the Chair Zero or Chair Zero Highback are great.
The Highback is is slightly taller and heavier than the Chair Zero but gives much more support. Sliding down a little, I can rest my head on the back which which is glorious after a long day hiking.
The Highback takes a little to set up but it’s less than a minute. It’s a fair trade-off for having something so small and lightweight.
Verdict: Highly Recommended (if you need lightweight) see our rating system
Usual Price: $180 USD ($229.95 CAD)