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Member Tested: Helinox cot and One chair

Posted By Wendy Naessens #211985, Sunday, December 15, 2019

Picture this: you are at your very first rally, it’s 90 degrees at 11:00 p.m. with no break in the heat expected. So, you find respite in an air-conditioned beer hall with a few cool beverages and some great conversation. Later, you make your way to your home for the night, and by the time you zip open that tent you realize you’re drenched in sweat. Too tired to care, you splay your body across a plastic twin size air mattress as the temperature rises an additional ten degrees because plastic doesn’t breathe, no matter what they tell you. Then you toss and turn all night only to wake up lying flat on the rock-hard ground because that cheap air mattress deflated. Sadly, that was me at the 2018 “Experience the Journey” rally in Des Moines, Iowa.

Fast forward one month shy of a year later to the 2019 “Scoot Boot’n Booogie” rally in Lebanon, Tennessee. That first night was downright chilly! Great weather for sleeping, and I had all the confidence in the world that my brand new twin air mattress would do a great job. Unfortunately, that confidence was misplaced, as I woke once again flat on the ground. These unfortunate experiences have pushed me to search for the perfect sleeping solution for all my moto-camping needs.

After doing a little googling and a lot of talking to folks in person, I got a lot of positive feedback on the Helinox cot and chair, so I thought I’d give them a try.

I’ll start with the Helinox One Chair. The super light chair weighs an ounce over a pound yet can hold up to 260 lbs. and folds to a compact 4x 4x14 inch package which fits into the included stuff sack. I honestly couldn’t believe how light it was and how small it was when packed down. It was easy to set up in under a minute and was comfortable as well. Getting it back into the stuff sack was just as easy as taking it out, an impressive fact in and of itself!

The only downside I found was that it does sit a little lower than some of the other, similarly styled, folding chairs. If that’s not an issue for you, then I highly recommend the Helinox One Chair.

The Helinox Lite Cot weighs less than three pounds and packs down into a tight cylinder measuring 5 x 21 inches. Assembled, it measures 23.5 inches wide x 73 inches long while sitting five inches off the ground.

To assemble the cot, you first insert the long side rails, then flex and bend the legs one at a time. Not an easy thing to manage at first. The trick is to place one end of the cross bar on the ground and push down from the other end until it flexes enough to pop into place. You’ll only pinch your thumb once, trust me. Oh, and a Pro-tip: save all of the rubber bands. They will help keep the legs together when you put everything back into the stuff sack.

I happen to be about 5’10” and somewhere around 150 lbs., and I found the cot to be plenty long for me. I felt totally secure on the cot and experienced no wobbing or sagging. Comfort-wise, I’d say it’s about as comfortable as a cot can be and was like sleeping on a firm-style mattress. It would be super comfortable if you’re a back or stomach sleeper, but unfortunately, I’m a side sleeper. I think I’ll pick up one of those small pack air pads to throw on top next time camping.

Overall, I was really impressed with how strong all of the materials are, but at the same time so amazingly light. It’s a very high tech and well thought out design.

Helinox really corners the market in light weight, small but mighty camping gear. The products I’ve experienced feel durable and well made. While not always the lowest price, you get a lot of bang for your buck, and after a couple nights on a Helinox cot, it’ll easily pay for itself many times over. For more information, visit helinox.com.

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Thomas Homan says...
Posted Sunday, December 15, 2019
I own the "tall" version of the Helinox One Chair and would highly recommend it to anyone who would like to sit higher off of the ground. In addition it provides head support. A winner all around.
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Courtney Allen Jr. says...
Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2020
I own a variation (Made by TravelChair and sold by Best Rest) and can attest to the improvement of sleeping on a cot over even a quality inflatable sleeping pad. It might take a few seconds more to set up and take down but oh! the comfort. I strap the bag to the top of one of my panniers (GSA). Between this cot and my Wiggy's sleeping bag and pillow I sometime sleep better camping than I do at home in my own bed.
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