Are you in need of a table that can help facilitate your camping adventures? Need something budget-friendly with a low price? Do you know exactly what to look for to get the best value for the money?
If not, the following article may prove very useful. Here we have reviewed several of the most popular and highly-rated inexpensive camping tables on the market today, and provided some pros and cons associated with each product.
We have also compiled a Camping Table Buying Guide, in which we will highlight and explain some of the factors and features you will need to consider in order to find the perfect camping table for your next outing.
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What To Look For In A Camping Table
If you are currently thinking about purchasing a camping table for your next outdoor adventure, you may have some questions regarding this versatile piece of outdoor furniture.
You might also benefit from a discussion outlining the various features and characteristics you should look for in a camping table, which might help you make a more educated buying decision.
These questions and considerations are what we will cover in detail in the buying guide below.
Why Bring a Camping Table as Part of Your Overall Camping Gear?
When you go to a campsite, you cannot always depend on the presence of a picnic table. Some campsites, especially those in the deep backwoods, will not always have a picnic table as part of the setup, forcing you to find a spot in which you can use rocks and even stumps to set out some of your gear.
However, with a portable camping table you will never have to worry about this again. Portable camping tables—tables that fold up nicely and are easy to store—give you all the advantages of a picnic table and more.
With a portable camping table you will have a place to prepare food and enjoy your meals. You will also have an area on which you can play games, allow the kids to color, plan for adventures, and set drinks upon.
These tables take the hassle out of some aspects of camping and are a great and versatile part of any camping setup.
The Different Types of Camping Tables
Camping tables come in many different types and have a number of different purposes. With the rising popularity of luxury camping, these lightweight tables now come in a number of unique styles, from dining camping tables, to cook station camping tables to soft-topped camping tables.
So do you know what type of camping table you need? If not, hopefully these descriptions can help narrow it down for you.
Dining Camping Tables
As the name suggests, dining camping tables are designed to offer you and your family a place to sit and set your food as you enjoy a wonderful and relaxing outdoor meal. Dining tables are generally the largest of the camping tables, and they usually come with a large flat surface that will accommodate every member of your family.
Dining camping tables can be made of a variety of materials, from plastic to wood to metal, and some are even constructed using a combination of materials, such as those with plastic tops and metal legs. While dining camping tables may not be the steadiest of all the camping tables, they do offer portability by means of collapsing up or rolling into a smaller size.
They can also be stowed away in a bag that makes carrying the tables easier.
If you elect to purchase a dining camping table, be aware that the cheaper varieties tend to be very wobbly. We recommend that you read some reviews and make sure the table is rated for the type of weight you plan to use on it; the last thing you want is for your items to fall off and get spoiled by the dirt below.
Soft-Topped Camping Tables
Typically made from polyester, nylon or mesh materials, soft-topped camping tables are among the most versatile types of tables you can own. They are also the most lightweight, which makes packing and transporting them a real breeze.
Soft-topped tables can be rolled out or collapsible. They include a fabric top that is stretched out taut when the legs are activated, but they are not rated for that much weight.
You certainly wouldn’t want to trust a soft-topped table as a place on which to set your camping stove, but for things like drinks and playing card games they are ideal. If you do not require that much weight bearing, a soft-topped camping table may be the way to go.
Cook Station Tables
It never seems to fail. Whenever you get ready to prepare your meals when camping there is never enough room to spread out all the ingredients you will need.
This is where a cook station camping table can be very helpful indeed. Cook station tables are designed to help the chef during your outdoor adventure prepare the morning or evening meal.
Usually rectangular in shape, these tables are a great place on which to set bowls, pans and other utensils, and they are generally very sturdy in nature. Although not as large as the dining table, they are typically a bit larger than the soft-topped camping tables.
Some of these tables even have multiple levels that provide convenient storage every time you need to cook up something scrumptious on the camp stove or grill.
Other Features to Consider When Purchasing a Camping Table
Below are some of the other factors you will need to consider when selecting a camping table for your next big outdoor excursion.
Camping tables come in a variety of sizes, from behemoth camping tables that can accommodate 12 diners, to tiny tables that serve no other purpose than to hold your drink. Therefore, the size of your camping table should depend on its primary purpose.
For example, if you are buying a table to provide a place for you and your family to dine, you will need to get one that is large enough to accommodate your entire family.
When choosing a camping table you of course want it to be lightweight enough to allow for easy portability. However, if the table is to light and flimsy it may not be able to handle its intended purpose.
We recommend you choose an in-between weight—a table that you can easily load up, carry and store, but also one that is tough and durable enough to take the pounding to which you intend to subject it.
As we mentioned briefly above, camping tables can be made from a number of different materials, including wood, metal, plastic and fabric. The exact material you choose for your camping table should again depend on its primary purpose.
Lightweight plastic and fabric tables are fine for things like drinks and games, but if you plan to prepare or serve food on the table you should definitely consider a table with sturdy steel or aluminum legs.
Last but not least, while the weight of the camping table you choose will definitely affect its portability, so too will the manner in which it folds down and how it is stored.
Look for a table that is easy to assemble and disassemble—the last thing you want is a major project on your hands every time you set up camp.
Also, a camping table with its own carrying bag will go a long way towards easing your back and arms should you ever need to tote the table over long distances.
Active Weekender Picks: Top Budget-Priced Tables for Campers
Since there are so many options out there for camp tables, we want to highlight a few of our favorite options. Below you’ll find our staff reviews on some of the best camping tables for the money right now.
1. Lifetime 4428 Camping and Utility Folding Table
The Lifetime 4428 Camping and Utility Folding Table is an all-purpose table constructed of powder-coated steel and high-density polyethylene plastic—a sturdy table that can handle all of your camping needs.
The tabletop on this table measures 48 inches by 24 inches, dimensions that allow it to accommodate 4 people comfortably.
The table folds in half for easy transport and storage, and with three adjustable height settings–24-Inches, 29-Inches and 36-Inches—it is perfect for every member of the family.
- Sturdy. The combination of powder coated steel and heavy duty plastic makes the Lifetime 4428 Camping and Utility Folding Table very sturdy.
- Carry handle. With an easy-to-use carry handle this table is easy to transport from one spot to the next.
- Adjustable. The Lifetime 4428 Camping and Utility Folding Table has three adjustable heights.
- Small. Due to its small size, the Lifetime 4428 Camping and Utility Folding Table may not be suitable for large families.
2. Coleman Outdoor Table
Made by a company whose name is synonymous with outdoor gear, the Coleman Outdoor Table is an ultra-compact aluminum folding table that is ideal for camping and outdoor cookouts.
With its aluminum slat top and strong steel frame both the table and tabletop are very supportive and secure, able to withstand a lot of weight.
The table has a snap-together design that makes it easy to assemble and disassemble; and all of the components fit into the included lightweight carrying bag for easy carrying and storage.
Like the table we reviewed above, the rather small dimensions of the Coleman Outdoor Table means it can only accommodate 4 people comfortably.
- Very secure. Made from steel and aluminum, the Coleman Outdoor Table is very strong and secure.
- Carrying Bag. The lightweight carrying bag makes it easy to transport and store the Coleman Outdoor Table.
- Assembly takes longer. Although not particularly difficult, the assembly on the Coleman Outdoor Table is much more time-consuming than on other similar camping tables.
3. ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table
One of the best camping tables on the market, the ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table is a dual-level table that is very strong and versatile.
A lower level with built-in cup holders for beverages keeps the top surface of this table open for activities; and the built in side pockets offer multiple storage and organizational options.
An adjustable buckle and strap system allows you to adjust the tautness of the table top—a top that is made from durable 600D polyester fabric.
Like all of their products, the ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Dual-level. The dual-level design of the ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table, with cup holders for beverages on the lower level, provides more room for activities on the table top.
- Great warranty. The ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table comes with a no-questions-asked, 100 percent lifetime warranty.
- Premium priced. As one might expect with a table of this quality, the ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table comes with a premium price tag.
Comparing The Top Cheap & Portable Tables For Camping
Here’s a quick look at our favorite options to use when camping.
- Lifetime 4428 Camping and Utility Folding Table
- Coleman Folding Outdoor Table
- ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table