Anyone who spends a significant amount of time overlanding will tell you that a good life is spent outdoors and traveling.
When you are traveling the globe in a vehicle, the journey, experiences, and memories you make are what it’s all about.
And when you finally decide to take a break from driving, deploy your tent, and break out your galley, it’s time to rest up and enjoy your surroundings.
This is where the quality of your camping chairs and tables comes in.
Note: This article includes affiliate links. If you get excited about any of the products featured here, we’d love it if you’d shop via our links. This will encourage us to continue investing time in creating useful content! We also offer a big thank you to Helinox for sponsoring us with gear on our overlanding journey.
But first a little on philosophy. Obviously, you’re here because you want to read my thoughts. I’ll get to the chairs and tables in a moment, but first read this…
Buy Once, Cry Once: A Life Philosophy Worth Considering
There is a saying you’ve probably heard before: “Buy once, cry once.” Stated another way, “You get what you pay for.”
Let’s face it, most of us have made the mistake of buying really cheap gear at some point. I would venture to say most of us have regretted that decision sooner rather than later, when the equipment failed.
In the self-reliant overlanding lifestyle, failure of equipment is not acceptable. If you’re doing it right, you are out…way out off-grid, and far away from replacement parts or equipment.
➡️ Keep reading: What Is Overlanding?
While this is extremely important when it comes to things like engines and tires, it’s also important for your camping chairs and tables. Nothing ruins the joy of a trip faster than having shoddy equipment fail you. Inevitably, it will fail you at the worst time. The upside is that this does teach you the lesson of buy once, cry once.
At the end of the day, when we at select ANY gear to take on our global journey, we follow this philosophy. Each piece of our gear is carefully researched and selected. From our roof top tent, to our fridge, to our clothes, chairs, and tables, we’ve been intentional about every single purchase.
As full-time travelers, we don’t have many things. But everything we do have is high-quality and serves at least one purpose–if not more than one.
The Best Overlanding Camping Chairs and Compact Tables
There is no question in my mind that Helinox makes the best camping chairs and compact tables available for overlanding, bar none.
In full transparency, in June 2019 we partnered with Helinox and they sent us some cool gear. But let’s be clear: we were Helinox customers and fans before the company sponsored our travels (or knew we existed).
In 2018 at Overland Expo East, we were all set up and ready to join the festivities. The chairs we had at the time were pretty nifty anti-gravity loungers. Completely impractical for overlanding because of their footprint, but extremely comfortable.
We’d been doing research on overlanding chairs and had already landed on the Helinox brand. We knew they were going to be at Expo East and had made the intentional decision to wait for special show pricing.
Suffice it to say, by the time we left Expo, we had purchased two top of the line Helinox Savanna chairs, and donated our lounge chairs to a couple camped nearby.
Buy once, cry once.
➡️ Keep reading: Neverending Story: Our Overlanding Jeep Build
Does Helinox Really Have the Best?
Where do I begin?
First, a little history. Helinox was born from the idea of using the highest quality tent poles in existence as a framework for camping chairs, tables, and cots. Brilliant, right?
Well, the finest tentmakers in the world use a company called DAC to source lightweight alloy tent poles. This alloy is called the DAC TH72M.
This is where it all began for Helinox.
Now that you have a little background, I’ll just bullet the rest of this out:
- Durability: As I mentioned, DAC TH72M alloy used in the framing of Helinox products. But as if that weren’t enough, the hubs and joining components of Helinox gear are made using a high strength nylon mold called Nylon 66. Meanwhile, the fabric used on all Helinox brand gear is a premium fabric that is double-stitched and boasts reinforcing panels. Bottom line, the construction, durability, and reliability of Helinox equipment is unmatched in the industry.
- Weight: It’s almost comical to compare the weight of Helinox products to any other camping chair or table solution on the market. Even if you find a “lighter” product (which I doubt you will), you won’t find one remotely durable enough to put in the same sentence as the word Helinox. To give you an idea, our orange (they call them “Crimson”) Savanna chairs weigh just 4.3 pounds each, while our Chair One (Caspian’s chair) weighs just 2.1 pounds!
- Size: Yes, size matters. Especially in the overlanding lifestyle. Heck, even in the camping lifestyle. For us, space is at a premium. The fact that both of our Helinox Savanna chairs fit in one back corner of our Jeep is astounding. Collapsed, they measure 6″ x 6″ x 21.5″ each, while Chair One measures just 4″ x 4″ x 14″. Yet when we use our Savanna chairs, they’re full-size with high backs and can support up to 320 pounds. Pretty impressive, right? But wait…there’s more…
- Comfort: All of our chairs are incredibly comfortable. Our little Chair One for Caspian is so lightweight that he can carry it himself at two-years-old. Our Savanna chairs, made of 600 weave polyester, boast a high back, velcro pillow insert area, arm rests, and dual cup holders. These chairs are game changers.
- Note on Table One: We literally just got our Table One from Helinox as part of our sponsorship with them. While we can’t comment on it from personal use quite yet, we can comment on its appearance, construction, weight, and size. This compact table is swanky! Hard top, dual cup holders, and weighs in at just 1.8 pounds. Meanwhile, in can support up to 110 lbs. Yes, you read that correctly. How do the wizards at Helinox do this? We don’t care, we just keep hoping they continue to trailblaze in this industry.
Now let’s face it, these Helinox camping chairs and tables are not cheap, and that’s a good thing. You don’t want them to be.
Believe us when we tell you this. If you are going to camp, overland, or use collapsible chairs and tables frequently for any reason, go to Helinox first.
You’ll thank me later.
Until next time, keep it dirty and wheels side down.
~ Eric, Brittany, and #LittleNomad
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