Every so often, a manufacturer-driven house brand can create some of the best quality, value-for-money products on the market. The Dongah Aluminum Corporation (DAC) of Korea, has been making a name for itself with consumers through its Helinox trekking poles, tent pegs, camping chairs and camping tables. DAC has long been supplying some of the best, lightweight, yet strongest aluminium alloy tent poles to most high-end tent brands, including The North Face, Sierra Designs, Marmot, Hilleberg, Big Agnes and Nemo. The Helinox brand leverages that same tent pole technology by designing outdoor gear where a pole or metal frame is essentially at the heart of the product.
The key to success for Helinox has been DAC’s development of a technologically advanced alloy called TH72M. In its quest for stronger, lighter and more durable tent poles, DAC has managed to blend titanium with a long list of materials, including silicon, iron, manganese, chromium, zinc, magnesium, copper and aluminium. TH72M allows DAC to manufacture larger diameter, thinner walled (thus lighter weight) poles that result in some of the best strength-for-weight ratios on the market.
The Helinox Hiking and Trekking Poles range from a convenient fixed length, but collapsible version to a series of adjustable poles that include ultralight to heavy duty. The DAC/Helinox “J-Stake” tent pegs, formed with TH72M under a high pressure extrusion process, are now the standard for inclusion with DAC’s tent poles. And the Helinox Chair One, with a frame made of TH72M, was recently selected as a 2013 ISPO Award Winner for Outdoor products in the Accessories category, ISPO being one of the Outdoor Industry’s largest Trade Shows globally.
I had the privilege of meeting DAC’s Founder and President, Jake Lah, on a flight in the US about a year ago (see the article at our affiliated website The GearCaster here). After a two hour discussion with Mr. Lah, I came away with a good sense as to the innovative processes DAC uses to design, build and test gear. Some big names have taken notice, as well, with Helinox being distributed exclusively by Big Agnes in North America.
Helinox is available in Australia and New Zealand through the Helinox (Australia) website. Prices are quoted in Australian Dollars, but purchases include free shipping anywhere in either country.
Featured Photos: DAC and Helinox (Australia) Media Images