Beach chairs are large, awkward affairs that fit poorly in trunks, are hard to carry, and generally make life miserable until they’re actually on the beach, set up, ready for relaxation. The Helinox Beach Chair is compact, light, whatever the opposite of awkward is, and yet provides that exact same feeling of “aaaaaaaaahh yes” when you plant yourself in it.

We took the Helinox Beach Chair to the perfect testing ground – Hawaii – to see how it performed. To be clear, we’re based in Colorado. So, we had to pack the chair in our checked luggage to get it there. No problem for the Beach Chair. It packs down to a manageable 18.5″x4.7″x5.5″ in its own carry sack and only weighs 3.2 lbs all stashed. Deployed, it’s 33″ tall, 23″ wide, and 27″ deep and holds your behind 11″ off the ground. With a weight capacity of 320 lbs, you can even share.

There’s a very small learning curve when setting up the Helinox Beach Chair. While there is only one way for the chair supports to assemble, the legs can go in two ways, one of which is definitely upside down. You’ll see it immediately if you screw it up like we did. The chair skin fits on easily. Once set up, you can bury the feet in the sand to prevent it from blowing away while unoccupied.

We found the Helinox Beach Chair to be a pleasant beach companion. The back and seat are set at a good angle to promote relaxation. There’s no cup holder, but you’re close enough to the ground that you won’t need one. The carry sack can be stuffed with a jacket or towel and attached to the chair as a pillow.

There’s a price to be paid for all this light-weight portability. The Helinox will cost you 10x the cheapo Walmart chair. But, you get an aluminum frame that will actually stand up to salt water. You get a contoured seat that will feel good at the end of the day, not a flat one that will have you shifting around as your tailbone gets sore. And, you get a 100% satisfaction guarantee and warranty against manufacturing or material defect. Honestly, we expect this chair to last for decades. Wallyworld can’t promise that.