Camp chairs are great, but the fact that they only seat one can make it awkward when you’re the only one in your group who bothered bringing a chair along. The Helinox Bench One proposes you ditch the chair in favor of a bench instead, so you can, at least, be awkward with one other person while the rest of your group is sprawled out on the cold, hard ground.
That’s right, it’s a collapsible camp bench, so you can have a place on camp for two people to plop down and rest their legs on. Sure, it doesn’t have the armrests of the backrest that let you slump comfortably on a proper camp chair, but if you’re heading out with a group, we have a feeling a bench will be a lot more appreciated.
Helinox calls the Bench One their “most elegant piece of basecamp furniture.” We have to agree, with its minimalist design, compact collapsed size, and roomy two-person seating space showcasing an excellent combo of portability and utility. It provides a firm and stable sitting surface courtesy of the same lever-lock technology found in the outfit’s sleeping cots, albeit with higher ground elevation, so you can bend your knees comfortably the same way you would when sitting down in a bench at the park. To the unfamiliar, that lever-lock technology uses levers to add tension to the seating surface with no need for braces, allowing it to provide a proper seating surface while using a whole lot less materials for a more compact collapsed size.
For the frame, it uses DAC aluminum alloy poles, the same poles you’ll typically find included in expedition-level backpacking tents, which are connected through a metal hub on each side. That means, this is as strong as gets for lightweight, camping poles, allowing it to reinforce the bench with the necessary strength without piling on the weight. According to Helinox, by the way, they’re the only outdoor brand to use this type of pole in their camp furniture.
The Helinox Bench One measures 43.5 x 16 x 16 inches (width x height x depth) when fully assembled, so there’s no enough room to fit two people comfortably, with plenty of wiggle room in tow. You know, just in case you don’t want to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with your buddy since he hasn’t taken a bath since you arrived in camp four days ago. Yeah, your friends aren’t the most hygienic. It has weight capacity of 320 pounds, so even a larger pair of individuals can sit on it without crushing the bench. That means, it can also make for an excellent place to keep gear off the ground, whether it be a cooler full of drinks, a bag full of camera gear, or a box filled with hunting equipment.
The whole thing, by the way, can collapse into a roll measuring just 17.5 x 6 inches (length x diameter), allowing you to strap it down to your pack without any issues. It weighs less than five pounds.
The Helinox Bench One is available now, priced at $299.95.