ALPS Mountaineering Dining Table Regular Review
Cons: Short for cooking, non-adjustable legs, durability concerns
Manufacturer: ALPS Mountaineering
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The ALPS Dining Table stands 28 inches tall on an all-aluminum frame and folding tabletop. It packs down into an accommodating carrying bag with a length of 42 inches. It has a modest weight at just over 10 pounds, and transform from packed in your trunk to deployed at your campsite in a few minutes.
We love this table and feel it is stable for most uses. However, during our tests, we were surprised to have the table's legs quickly collapse when too much weight was applied to its corners. To study the stability of all our tables, we stacked 29-pound cases of bottled water on the corner of the table to see how much weight could be supported before the table tipped over.
We were surprised to see an immediate crease in the table's leg when we added the first case of water. We plopped it down the same way someone would if they were carrying it across camp and dropped it onto the table's surface (about a half-inch drop). Concerned with the crease, we moved to a different corner and restarted the test. At 60 pounds, one of the table's legs quickly buckled.
For comparison, we tested three other tables that were similar in size. We completely stopped the same test on all three after reaching 150 pounds because we didn't dare stack any more items. In error, we assumed the Alps Dining Table would accommodate the same amount of weight.
The Alps model has an impressive size-to-weight ratio. Its long body gives the table a wide and steady stance, and we noticed an average amount of natural wobble. In summary, the ALPS Dining Table is stable, but only when used as a dining or game table. We were disappointed with how the table performed in our weighted stability test when compared to other tables in the same group. We don't feel this table is adequate for heavy loads, large cooking endeavors, or large items like coolers.
The Alps Dining Table received above-average scores for its portability. Being one of the larger dining-style tables we tested, we were pleased with the ease with which we carried the table around camp or while tailgating at the motocross track. The storage bag has a large shoulder strap and rides comfortably on your back while freeing up both hands to carry chairs, coolers, water jugs, or hold onto the dog leash. We gave this table above-average marks for this category.
While nestled under the Ponderosa Pines of Bryce Canyon National Park, we pulled this table out of its stuff sack, put it together, took it apart and re-stuffed it more than 30 times to see if we could see any immediate wear and tear. In the end, the table responded perfectly. The manufacturer also has a respectable warranty plan, which earned this table good overall marks for durability, as did its all-aluminum design which protects it from water, sun rot, sharp cooking knives and campfire sparks.
As shown in our strength test, the aluminum legs are not incredibly robust. If loaded beyond its weight capacity, we saw first-hand that the legs can buckle.
Ease of Set-up
The Alps Dining Table received some of its highest scores for its ease set up. The table's design is logical and intuitive. Most bystanders could set up the table without the use of instructions. It was easy to set up and tear down, even for one person, and the storage bag was large enough to accommodate the legs and tabletop without a struggle.
This table has a place in anyone's camping or outdoor arsenal. Whether you are headed out for the occasional weekend trip, a die-hard tailgater, a beach bum, or on a 3-month road trip, this table comes in handy in many situations that don't always include food. This is a great table to lay out your map while you plan the day's adventure or settle up to by the campfire with a few friends and a deck of cards. We love that we can belly up to this table and have plenty of room to move our legs without smacking our knees into a cross-bar.
As we consider this table's price tag, which is significantly less than some of the cooking stations we tested, we feel it may be a tiny bit overpriced but not enough to take much notice. After all, it's one of the larger and lightest general-purpose tables we tested.
The ALPS Mountaineering Regular Dining Table is one of our favorites. We like the look, right down to how the slatted tabletop folds over the edges on each end. Not only does this feature add stability but it just looks nice. We like just about everything about this table, including that the metal top didn't seem to heat up, even in direct, 80-degree, sunlight. We were surprised and a little unhappy with the fact that it collapsed on one end during our stability test; however, under normal circumstances, we feel this table will meet the needs of most outdoor enthusiasts.
— Jason Wanlass