Camp Time Roll-A-Table Review
Cons: Can be wobbly, setup requires top of table to face down, hands get dirty during set up
Manufacturer: Camp Time
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The name Camp Time Roll-A-Table sums up the gist of this table. It rolls into one self-contained unit, removing the need for a stuff sack. Eleven wooden slats are covered and individually sealed by poly-vinyl to form one cohesive table top. The metal frame and legs thread by hand into the tabletop's underside, creating a dining top 28 inches tall. We like how conveniently the whole system packs together. We were also impressed with its ability to maintain balance under heavy loads, and the fact that its design allows users to entirely place their legs under the table without bumping their knees into any cross-beams.
Although we appreciate the simplicity of this table's design, the lack of supporting cross-braces (commonly found on camp tables of this size) leads to increased wobble, even on flat and even surfaces. We examined many factors for stability, including how much give or sway each table had once assembled. To measure this, we placed the tabletop's edge against a straight wall. Then, we secured the legs in place and applied resistance to see how far from the wall we could pull the table top. The Roll-A-Table had the most natural give or sway of all the tables we tested. However, as the old saying goes, what doesn't bend breaks, and we've yet to hear an account of anyone we know who has broken one of these tables.
The lack of X-braces connecting the legs makes for a simpler design, but it's probably also what leads to its wobbliness. On the upside, no annoying diagonal braces mean your knees have room to fit underneath this table unencumbered. It's unavoidable for portable camp tables to have some give, so our suggestion is to just make sure you scope out a flat, solid area for it, and maybe don't use it for any competetive Jenga games. Most of our testers were completely fine to compromise some wobbliness to be able to saddle up to the table with their legs underneath it.
Despite being wobbly, the Roll-A-Table received higher results for stability than we expected. The table did not tip over easily. We subjected all four corners of the table (separately) with increasing amounts of pressure to discover how much weight it could handle before tipping over. Surprised and impressed, we gave up trying at 150 pounds because the table never budged.
We experienced no problems in transporting the Camp Time table from campsite to car or vice versa. We appreciated how it folds together into one compact package.
It rolls up into a very portable bundle measuring 33 inches in length by about 4.5-6.4 inches in diameter, depending on how tightly it's rolled. Weighing in a hair over 10 lbs, its weight is easy to manage.
We do feel the carrying handle, secured only by four wood staples, may be inadequate for the size and weight of the table. Additionally, given the table's wobbly nature, it is more difficult to move (slide) once it is set up and loaded. Have a friend help if you're planning on moving this table once it's loaded up.
Two key components of our durability rating included the nature of the manufacturer's warranty and how well the product held up from being assembled and disassembled more than 30 times by our testers. Overall, we like the table's sealed poly-vinyl surface. Over time, we'd expect extensive use to give way to knicks and scratches, but we do know many people who have put these tables through the wringer for collective decades of camp and river trips, and the Roll-A-Tables are still going strong. Just be sure to take care with heat or sharp objects.
Camp Time's warranty is good for manufacturer's defects in workmanship or materials, though it doesn't list a specific time frame. However, after decades of virtually unchanged design, we imagine that Camp Time has production of this table pretty dialed. If there is an issue, though, the warrantly should cover anything resulting from a defect in manufacturing.
Lastly, the vinyl covering means this model doesn't rely on bungee cords to hold together the individual slats that make up the tabletop, as many other roll-top tables we have tested over the years do. The is a potential boon to its longevity, as bungee cords tend to lose their rigidity over time in our experience. Even more so when the bungee cords are very thin, as in many camping tables. Since this model doesn't rely on something that is expected to inherently have a shorter life span, we give this model a nod in the durability department among roll-top tables.
Ease of Set-up
Given its simple design, the Camp Time Roll-A-Table is intuitive to set up. All bystanders we challenged could assemble the table without the need for instructions. The table can be assembled by one person and even with one hand.
Yes, it is relatively easy to assemble. However, the easiest way to get the job done was turning the entire table upside down to hand screw each leg into place.
Given the flimsy nature of any roll-top table, it is very challenging for one person to prop the table top on its side to assemble, leaving the option of laying the face of the table (where you plan to place your food or gear) down on the ground.
One drawback of the Roll-A-Table was that while threading the metal legs into place, metal dust routinely rubbed off on our hands. We initially thought this was just leftover from manufacturing and would eventually decrease. However, we noticed the issue every time we assembled the table. We realize this is not a quality issue; however, we felt annoyed with the fact that we needed to wash our hands after every assembly or tear down. If you have a set of gloves handy, we recommend using them when assembling this model.
Though the table isn't inexpensive, we have multiple friends who have used this table for several years, even decades. Given its durability and utility, we think this table is worth the price.
We liked the look and whole idea of the table right out of the box and know many firsthand accounts of this model lasting for years across many types of trips. We appreciate the straight-forward assembly and the compact package it rolls down to for storage. Despite the annoyances of aluminum residue on your hands and some slight wobbles, if you're looking for a full sized table that still packs down small, the Roll-A-Table is a great option.
— Jason Wanlass