Helinox Chair One | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Helinox Chair One | Review

Take a look at the poles of your camping chair or backpacking tent. Are they as 'green' as Helinox’s DAC poles?

Why We Chose The Helinox/DAC ‘Green Anodised’ Poles: Strong, lightweight, eco-friendly

Price: £80
Weight: 952g
More info: helinox.com

Multiple brands and suppliers across the outdoor industry are now working hard to develop more sustainable manufacturing and production processes in a range of areas, from recycled textiles to PFC-free waterproof coatings. In some cases, however, paying such close attention to environmental impacts isn’t a recent phenomenon.

“Long before ‘eco’ became an industry buzzword, DAC started trying to eliminate these nasty acids from the anodising process”

Helinox is a manufacturer of high-quality outdoor furniture, which includes camping chairs, folding tables and portable backpacking cots. In recent years their products have garnered a slew of design awards, as well as picking up gongs at major outdoor industry trade shows such as ISPO and OutDoor.

The company was born out of DAC, a parent firm that specialises in producing lightweight aluminium alloy poles. In fact, many of the best backpacking tents from brands like Nigor and Terra Nova use DAC poles. Making these components, however, formerly involved some very dirty processes. The major offender is anodisation. Anodising is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable and corrosion-resistant finish. This traditionally involved boiling alloy poles in a heady brew of environmentally harmful nitric and phosphoric acids.

Related: Best Solo Tents For Backpacking 2019

Long before ‘eco’ became an industry buzzword, DAC started trying to eliminate these nasty acids from the anodising process. After eight years of trial and error, they successfully developed the ‘Green Anodising’ system that is used to treat all Helinox products – as well as all products that make use of DAC’s TH72M alloy poles. A water recycling programme in the firm’s anodising facility further reduces environmental impacts.

The end result is a cleaner manufacturing process that hasn’t compromised the quality of the finished product. Helinox chairs, tables and cots are still as strong as ever, as are DAC tent poles. But the new technology has reduced negative impacts on both the environment and the health and safety of the DAC and Helinox workers.        

“Helinox chairs, tables and cots are still as strong as ever, as are DAC tent poles”

So when you’re sitting inside your tent or reclining comfortably in your camping chair, the environment might not be the first thing that springs to mind. But if your chair is a Helinox product and your tent uses DAC poles, it’s good to know that you can rest easy.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, OM Editor

“I always try to pack as light as possible when I wild camp, and therefore will always tolerate certain discomforts, like having to sit on the ground. Then this came along, a chair that doesn’t weigh much and doesn’t take up much space in the pack either. On my last wild camp, it really didn’t seem like too much trouble to chuck in my pack for a bit of luxury.

“It was a bit of a revelation actually; being able to sit comfortably – really comfortably actually – just outside my tent porch and enjoy the view. On one night wild camps, for me the extra weight is genuinely worth it I think. That being said, for longer trips, I don’t think I could justify the extra weight. For just casual camping? It’s absolutely ideal.

“It was a bit of a revelation actually; being able to sit comfortably … just outside my tent porch and enjoy the view”

“The first time I used it, I found the set up to be really easy – intuitive actually. I didn’t need to look at the instructions and had it up in about two minutes. The fabric takes a tiny bit of strength to pull over the ends of the poles, but anyone will be able to manage it.

“I actually really like the fact you sit so low in it as it makes it easy to reach kit from your backpack, or to manage your stove while it boils up your dinner. 

“In terms of its strength, I’m about 11 stone and it was fine for me. I can imagine it will handle heavier loads. Supposedly up to 22 stone according to the Helinox website!”

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Selected For The Green Gear Guide 2019/20
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