On our first motorcycle trips we – like most of the others – just sat down on our suitcases when we needed a seat. We were young 🙂 and did not need more.
Before our trip to Iceland in 2011 we bought two camping chairs from the caravan supplier Berger. They looked like all the others that were up to date at the time and were available for a few euros at the discount store. The only difference was that we were only sitting just above the ground, but the packing size was halfway suitable for motorcycles. Unfortunately the weight was not: with 3.6 kilograms a chair was almost as heavy as our Hilleberg tent. The low seat height, on the other hand, which we initially found a drop of bitterness, proved to be extremely practical in practice: since we didn’t have a table with us, we cooked on the floor with our stove – and that was comfortably possible while sitting. We had also made sure that the backrest was high enough for us to lean our heads against.
Our arrival at new places therefore usually looks about the same: Putting up the tent and inflating the mats, putting the chairs in the direction of the sun, making coffee and then sitting down to relax, sipping coffee and letting the new surroundings take effect. This makes the chairs an essential comfort factor on our trips.
For our trip around the world, we are currently paying close attention to the weight of our equipment and therefore need an alternative to the heavy chairs. At motorcycle meetings like the one of Horizons Unlimited, Touratech Travel Event or others you see almost everywhere only chairs of the company Helinox. Reason enough to take a closer look at them.
Helinox offers its chairs in various shapes and designs. If you visit the homepage (http://www.helinox.com), you will find several product lines with chairs, tables, field beds and more. There is also a large number of design variations. In the outdoor stores in our area you can usually find the Chair One and the Sunset Chair. We have only recently discovered that there is also the Beach Chair. The color offered by us is always the same (black-turquoise).
Common to all chairs is the easy handling. The frame consists of foldable aluminium tubes with an elastic band inside, like a tent. Thus the frame can be set up very quickly, the polyester cover is simply put on.
The Chair One is the lightest of the three chairs: according to the manufacturer it weighs only 960 grams (Globetrotter’s reweighing results in only 890 grams). But the backrest only goes approximately up to my shoulder blade. Comfortable, but it is more comfortable.
The Sunset Chair was our favorite for a long time: with all the advantages of the Helinox system and a high backrest. But we endlessly discussed the question of table or cooking possibilities: the seat of the Sunset Chair is too far away from the floor to be able to cook down there, Helinox tables seemed too unstable (and with the wrong cover) for cooking with gasoline stoves, but we also didn’t want to remove the suitcases from the bikes for every small cooking action … in short: we could not really bring ourselves to buy them. Besides, we had already seen little golfball-like feet that were supposed to prevent the chair (no matter if Chair One or Sunset Chair) from sinking into soft ground.
The Beach Chair, on the other hand, has all the features we want: seat close to the ground, high backrest and angled feet that won’t sink in even on sand. It weighs 1485 grams and you can (as with the Sunset Chair) very easily turn the packsack into a neck roll (just stuff a sweater or something similar in it) and fix it at neck height with Velcro.
Result of research and test: A few days ago we bought two Helinox Beach Chairs.
Here still the side of Helinox, on which they compare all their chairs – they have clearly more than the selection in our outdoor stores let assume:
We will keep you up to date on how the chairs prove themselves in practice.
And what the Cookie Monster says about it …