There is no doubt about it in my mind, comfort is king when spending time outdoors. I’m not someone who believes that adventure only comes when you are uncomfortable, certainly not when it comes to being too hot, too cold. This is not to say that getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t lead to amazing experiences, but actual comfort, you know, feeling the right temperature, wearing the right clothes, having the right skills and gear, that’s all positive in my book.
Honestly, the last thing I want when I’m spending time outdoors is to be cold. Especially when camping. I’ve been known to go to bed early rather than sit outside and chat to friends if I get chilly, because getting cold is that undesirable, and once I’m cold it lasts all through the night.
Add that to only being allowed to meet others outdoors and Spring being particularly cold here in the UK this year (snow in May… …), and you’ll see why finding new and extra ways to keep warm outdoors has been hugely important.
Enter this very simple addition to my Helinox Chair One; a seat warmer. A gift from Helinox, this puffy coat for your chair are designed to provide warmth, softness, cushioning and draft protection for cold outdoor relaxation.
We’ve had our Helinox chairs for a few years now, and find they are absolutely perfect for car and motorcycle camping. I’m even tempted to take one on my Coast-to-Coast hike later this year, if we go ahead and book a baggage van that is. They pack down small, are lightweight, and are very comfortable to sit in, keeping you off the floor and supporting your back. You can get copies these days, but I have to say the cheaper ones I’ve sat on just haven’t been as well built and certainly aren’t as sturdy.
But the material you sit on, while strong, is thin. Of course it is, these are lightweight chairs, that’s kind of the point. But while that means they are ideal for picnics and camping in warmish weather, if you are camping in cold weather, or want to use them in May 2021 which seems to be super chilly, then the air can still get to your back and ensure you get nice and cold. The addition of the Helinox Seat Warmer means you can stay outside and cosy by the campfire for a little bit longer.
Fitting the seat covers to the Chair One is nice and easy. They very simply hook over the existing seat cover (you still use the normal seat cover that come with your chair) at the top and the bottom, fitting nice and snugly. And that’s it, you sit on them, and the extra layer of padded material helps keep your back and butt warm while you sit and relax.
I admit I have been dubious as to whether these are a good idea; do I really need an extra thing taking up space in my camping bits and bobs box? They weigh practically nothing in the grand scheme of things (250g), and pack down reasonably small, but they don’t fit inside the chair bag which means it is an extra thing you have to carry and remember. Surely a warm fleece top will do the same job? Or wrapping a blanket around me?
But the proof was in the sitting, and the seat cover is a great addition to my Chair One. They work an absolute treat. And I can always wrap up in a blanket in addition to make it even more cosy to be sat by the fire. It didn’t take long to be sold on the seat warmer, it did exactly what Helinox claimed – made my chair warmer and even more comfortable than it already was. These definitely have a place in my camping bits and bobs box!
Helinox Seat Warmers are made from recycled polyester and have a 200gm recycled polyester padding. They’re also reversible, so if I’m feeling simple I can have the plain side, and if I’m feeling jazzy (or got the other side a little muddy…), I can switch it up. Nice touch from Helinox.
You’ll find the Helinox Seat Warmers cost around £40 and are available from the Helinox website and from Wildbounds (watch out, you’ll get spendy on the Wildbounds website!). The seat warmer I have is compatible with the Chair One, Chair Zero and Ground Chair, but there are other styles available to fit the rest of the Helinox range.
Many thanks to Helinox for sending me a couple of the seat warmers for our Chair One pair (which we bought well before this collaboration was suggested and highly recommend).