Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review: Helinox - Packable chair Tactical Edition



One of the things I love about doing this, is the contacts I make, and being asked for my opinions on things.

Tay Choon Mong from HorNest included this little number along with a pointy purchase and a slingy purchase I made recently (coming soon ...). I've liked working with Tay, he's reached out to a variety of vendors to import some cool items to his Singapore shop, much easier for me to get a variety of cool things that way.

One of the things that I've seen but not previously had a chance to play with is the Helinox portable chair. Ive had a variety of folding camping chairs over the years. The ones you see discarded at the end of every summer, or midway through. Tube steel and cheep nylon, plastic fittings. I've even had chairs like that break whilst sitting in them. They are disposable technology, and a product of the "weekend BBQ camping" culture.

These days I tend to sit on a log, a rock, or the ground for that very reason.

No longer!
 Before we even get tot the chair, have a look at the case: Made of 1000d Cordura type nylon, it sits at 35cm long by 10cm wide by 12cm high.

It features a 10-loop webbing ladder. which gives you a variety of attachment options. You can see here I have looped the bottom compression straps of my Platatac Bullock Echo pack, but you can also see that I have looped a couple of Grimlock clips through them as well, because I wanted to see how I could sling it differently.  

I found slinging it like this was great.  

On to the chair itself! The struts are all held together with shock-cord, and all break down to less than 35cm to fit in the case. The struts are both light and sturdy, being an aluminium TH72M alloy and the joins are exceptional well fitting. The struts all slot into the heavy-duty dense polycarbonate plastic joint pieces. In fact, combined with the shock cords, the chair practically assembles its own skeleton simply by waving it about. 














It half built itself when I pulled it out of the case. i had to stop and look at it to make sure I was doing it right, it was all happening so fast. Two pieces come together for form each of the back struts, and the single piece four rubber-footed legs slot in the bottom, with a single thicker strut joining the two halves.

When assembled, the chair measures 52cm wide by 50cm deep and is 65cm high. The back of the fabric of the chair even has instructions printed on it. Following the advice listed, after seating three of the struts into the stiff plastic cored pockets, I flipped the chair over, and this greatly assisted in seating the fourth strut. 

All up the 940g (including the case) This will support a 145 kg load. 

And then I had a chair!

 
You can also note that the chair features two side pockets, big enough to fit a cold carbonated beverage and a large illumination device at easy elbow reach.  


The  chair was really, really comfortable, and for all its small size, fit me well, and felt sturdy.

This being the Tactical Edition, it is a flat matte design, you can see that there is not only venting slots in the seat of the chair, but also the solid fabric (rather than the mesh-backed version).  

As I've said, I have used camp chairs in the past that were rickety, flimsy and in the end, disposable.
This is not that kind of chair. Its size, ease of use, weight and portability made it a real winner to my mind.

Itis definitely going in my out-and-about kit, not to mention freeing up space in my camping loads.


 











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