Testing a light chair in Mt. Baratxueta EA2/NV-068

Jorge EA2LU and I decided to go for our first 2022 activation to Mt. Baratxueta, a short hike although steep in the final part.
I took the chance to bring a new seat I have not used before. Some details about that further on.
Activation date January 3rd 2022.

Weather was foggy and when we reached the summit, the low clouds gave excellent scenery:

Hopefully there was little wind that morning and temperature was not very cold.

Jorge used his inverted L random wire and KX2, running in 5, 7, 10 and 14 MHz, mainly CW plus a couple of S2S in VHF with Alain EA2/F5ODQ/P, activating two summits in the north of EA2/NV.

I separated a bit and used my EFHW for 7 and 14 MHz SSB, and I chased some S2S in CW as well. Also had the S2S in VHF with F5ODQ, doing very well in these two summits; Alain is a keen hiker.

The sky was clear during the morning and I could see the lovely Pyrenees range with some snow:

Testing a collapsible chair
Jorge brought his tripod camping chair, as usual.
I also have a similar chair but find it a bit bulky, weight is about 900 gram.

As today’s summit is a grassy area I decided to grab a new chair I had not used on a mountain; it’s a foldable Trekker chair, that uses a foam sleeping mat as for the cushion:

When dismantled I put the collapsible frame inside the mat roll, hanging from my rucksack:

Total weight is 470 gram, therefore I saved some weight.
Result was satisfactory, although I could only use it on flat surfaces.

We finished glad with the activation and the chair.
See you soon from a new one, 73 de Ignacio


I find a chair almost essential. I can sit comfortably on the ground but getting up can be a struggle! I have a Helinox One Chair which is just under 1Kg in its bag. You can get much cheaper copies but I can’t comment on them.

The legs will sink into soft ground but I have the mesh extra which prevents sinking. They also now make the Chair Zero which is only 500g - but the price is on the heavy side. :slight_smile:


I’m absolutely happy with my yellow Thermarest Z Seat that weights only 63g and insulates well when one sits in the snow:

I usually try to sit on a slight slope with my legs pointing downwards. I then put my rig on my backpackpack, allowing me to operate the rig from a comfortable position.

Since I use my smartphone to log the contacts, I have it strapped to my right leg, by using a home-made “magnet leg strap” inspired by @K6ARK:

73 Stephan


Hi Ignacio, I have a similar tripod stool. I have used it but the main problem I had was that the legs sink into soft ground. My go to option these days is a foam sit mat - light and fairly fool proof (providing you look after it in the wind!). However I have just bought (myself for Christmas) a Helinox ground chair that I hope to try this week. I suspect the foam will remain the most versatile option in terms of weight and pack ability.

I also have the sleeping mat chair you mention, but only use that for backpacking/camping when I have a full sleeping mat with me.


Hello Ignacio and Jorge, thanks for your report and photos, a pleasure to read. :+1:

Cheers to to you both and HNY :beers: :beers:

73 Geoff vk3sq

Yes, that also happened to me when using the tripod camping chair.
That’s why I looked for an alternative chair with a wide support over ground like the one I tested.

Correct, I have used that option many times in the past.
Instead of buying a mat, I cut my own piece out from a sleeping mat: it’s cheap and easy to obtain a handfull number of seats!
You are right, they fly away if you don’t look after in the wind. I added a cord to one corner tied to my rucksack, hi.
The only issue with such flat sit mat, is that they lack from a resting back, and as I get older I miss it when seating for long time. Ageing creates new needs…

73 de Ignacio

Ps: I forgot to mention that the brand of the tested seat is Thermarest, just for info.


This is the Helinox ground sheet I use. It folds up very small and fits inside the bag where the chair is kept.

Thanks fer info John, nice add on under the seat to prevent from sinking.
I see in the specs that a Helinox Chair One weights 960 gram. Again a bit high for what I would prefer, although your chair looks comfortable.

73 de Ignacio

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They do one at 500g - but it is expensive. :slight_smile:

Using a tripod chair since half a year.
Yes with about 900g is a bit too heavy and as John wrote, it will sink into soft ground and might loose the plastic protection.

But it offers better protection against ticks than the other approaches mentioned.

Well I’ve just christened the Helinox Ground Chair on Mellbreak. Very comfy and didn’t sink into the ground. It is low (which I personally find good as it helps me get out of the wind), so getting out of it is not very graceful! But let’s be honest; few of us would be in a condition to grace the front page of Vogue after a typical activation! I was going to get my wife to photo me in it, but it started to rain so I forgot in the rush to pack up. Next time…


How about an update on the Helinox Ground chair, i am thinking of splashing the cash? I have an Alpkit chair which is similar but has legs that sink into the ground. The Ground Chair sounds good.

I’ve used it a few times since Mellbreak. Certainly Blencathra, Skiddaw, St Boniface Down & Butser Hill that I remember for sure. Butser Hill was during a heat wave and Blencathra was best described as a typical Lake District summer’s day! Nothing much to add to my previous comments Martin. I’m pleased with it as a compromise between portability and comfort. I probably still carry the foam mat more often (it’s even lighter and more versatile as it works on the ground or to soften available rocks that make workable seats). I’ve even carried the Helinox up a couple of hills and ended up not using it. It’s light and small enough that I didn’t particularly begrudge taking it on those occasions.
I keep forgetting to photograph it in use :man_facepalming:, but you should be able to find plenty of examples on the web.
PS I’m planning a longish stay on Helvellyn next month and will definitely take the chair to maximise my comfort.

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I have been testing to great satisfaction the KAMUI camping chair in a POTA setting. It won’t break the bank, is lightweight and compact, quality built and rated to 100kg load. Helinox chairs are rated to 145kg though, but are heavier as the tubes require to be thicker. Otherwise they are built to the same spec. An added benefit of KAMUI are those dishes at the feed that will prevent one from sinking into soft soil. The stow bag has a single line of molle attachements. Available in olive green and MTP camo:



That looks very similar in construction to my Urpro camping chair also from Amazon but somewhat cheaper. I used it for the first time on an activation on Saturday and it was comfy and not too heavy. Didn’t stop the midge bites though…


I’ve realised over the last year or so that I spend less time than I used to sitting on the ground (even with inflatable cushion), crouching or kneeling before I get too uncomfortable to continue operating. On less than very cold days, it’s the main factor that limits my QRV time.

In the past, I’ve dismissed portable chairs as being too heavy and bulky but a few (highly rated) modern ones are ultra-light weight and pack down to a few litres. I don’t care how comfy a chair is, if it’s too heavy I won’t carry it.

It came down to the Helinox Chair Zero (500g) or Big Agnes Skyline UL (766g). I chose Helinox on weight. Both similar price on Amazon. Expensive yes, but high performance doesn’t come cheap and neither should my health.

So, my wife has agreed my choice as an early Christmas present. She knows the routine from previous birthdays (e.g. KX2, Cha MPAS Lite vertical): On its arrival I’ll have to do extensive field testing to avoid an “out of the box disappointment on the day”, tee hee. In the time-honoured tradition I’ll gift wrap it and hand it back to her in time before Santa arrives and then act surprised on the day.


Good choice. :slight_smile: If you can persuade Santa to include the ground sheet you will be set up for boggy summits. :slight_smile:

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