The best camping table

From bestreviews.com
By
Catherine Bushen
BestReviews

While even the smallest camping tables allow you to elevate your food away from dirt and ants, larger selections can accommodate family meal times and games under the stars.

Whether you’re trekking in the mountains, taking the RV to a campsite or anything in between, a camping table can help you to keep your food, drinks and personal belongings off the ground. Choosing the right style of camping table for your trip is important. You need to consider the folded size, table area, height, weight, sturdiness and durability.

For those who are camping with a vehicle, the Portal Outdoor Folding Table is an excellent lightweight choice that can accommodate four diners comfortably.

What to know before you buy a camping table

What is a camping table?

A camp table is a foldable table used by campers. Although portable, many camping tables are too large for backpacking with and are designed for car campers or those with RVs. That said, there are small tables available that are worth carrying on a short hike.

Camping table uses

A camp table can have a number of uses. Some people want one for mealtimes, others for cooking or preparing food and others for playing games. It’s best to identify what you will use your table for the most, as this will narrow down your options.

For instance, a table with cup holders is ideal for having drinks with friends, however, the cup holders might get in the way of a game of cards. Canvas tables are generally more portable, but they aren’t very practical if you need somewhere to put a hot pan.

Types of camping tables

Side tables: Typically the smallest of the three styles, they can usually accommodate a few beverages and perhaps a meal for two. Due to their size, they tend to be the lightest and most portable of the three options. They are handy for setting down personal possessions, as it means you can avoid putting things on the ground.

Dining tables: These are usually rectangular and are sold in a variety of heights and sizes. Most dining tables are also ideal for food prep and playing games. Depending on the material, you may be able to use a camping stove atop a dining table, too.

Kitchen tables: These are more like portable kitchens than tables. They often have various countertops for preparing food as well as storage areas and organizers for cutlery. Considering the work area they provide, some cooking stations can be surprisingly compact when folded.

Camping table features

Size and weight of a camping table

As we mentioned before, camping tables come in a variety of sizes. Before you purchase, check both the open and folded dimensions. If you’re going to be walking long distances, you’ll also need to take the weight of the table into account.

Camping table shapes

Camping tables are available in rectangular, square or round variations. For inside use, such as in an awning, round tables are a good choice as people can maneuver around them more easily. For most camping situations, where you’ll be sitting outside, rectangular and square selections offer more spacious dining areas.

Camping table materials

Aluminum is a popular choice for portable tables as it’s lightweight yet sturdy. Aluminum requires very little maintenance and, if the table is well-built, it should have a relatively-long life span.

Some camping tables have steel frames. Steel is a highly-durable selection that should stand the test of time as long as it’s coated to withstand the elements. That said, steel tends to be heavier than aluminum, so it’s not ideal if you need to carry it long distances.

Camping tables with drink holders

Some canvas camping tables have drink holders built into them. These are really useful to prevent your drinks from spilling, especially if the canvas doesn’t stay particularly taut. They are also great places to store keys or phones, too.

Camping tables with adjustable legs

Camping tables that have adjustable legs are highly useful for two reasons. Firstly, you can position the table at the right height for your chairs. Secondly, if the legs can be adjusted independently, they can help to make a table sit level on uneven ground.

Camping table cost 

You can pick up a small side table for around $30, whereas a dining table will set you back about $60-$100. Kitchen tables tend to be a little more costly, around $100-$150.

Camping table FAQ

Are all camping tables portable?

A. While all camping tables should certainly be collapsible, some are far more portable than others. Look at the closed dimensions and the weight to decide if it’s suitable for walking with.

What chairs should I buy for my camping table?

A. This truly depends on the height of your table. Low-lying camp chairs are ideal for relaxing next to most side tables. However, upright camping chairs pair better with dining tables.

Which camping table should I get?

Best of the best camping table

Portal Outdoor Folding Table: available at Amazon

Our take: This spacious aluminum dining table can accommodate four to six people.

What we like: All four legs of this table can be adjusted individually to counteract any uneven ground. A removable mesh net hangs under the table, which provides a handy storage space.

What we dislike: On the large version you can only adjust one of the legs.

Best bang for your buck camping table

Trekology Portable Camping Side Table: available at Amazon

Our take: This compact table is perfect for short hikes, kayaking or fishing trips.

What we like: This table is ideal for minor food prep and drinks. Plus, due to its aluminum worktop, it’s suitable for camping stoves, too. It comes with a handy carry case and the smallest version weighs less than 2 pounds.

What we dislike: Some campers might find it too low, especially for dining at.

Honorable mention camping table

GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Camp Kitchen: available at Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Our take: This is a versatile piece of kit for those who like an organized kitchen.

What we like: The heat-resistant countertop can support 48 pounds, which should be enough for even the largest grills. It has four plastic side tables and a sturdy lower rack. Plus, it’s straightforward to set up and clean.

What we dislike: The legs are not adjustable, so it can be difficult to stabilize it on uneven ground.
 

Catherine Bushen is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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