Hands-on Gear Review

Camp Time Roll-A-Table Review

Price:  $94 List | $86.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Packs up nice, solid-surface table top, easy to clean, base and table top store together nicely
Cons:  Wobbly, set up requires top of table to face down, hands get dirty during set up, table top prone to nicks and tears
Bottom line:  Its design is simple but takes a little time to set up. It's frame can hold the weight but never seems to lose its wobble.
Editors' Rating:   
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Weight (lbs):  10.1 lbs
Unfolded Dimensions (inches):  32.3 x 32.3 x 28 in
Folded Dimensions (inches):  32.3 x 6.5 x 4.5 in
Manufacturer:   Camp Time

Our Verdict

The Camp Time Roll-A-Table had somewhat of a Jekyll-Hyde effect on us. The table's positives balance out its negative aspects, leaving our assessment somewhere in the middle. The table is sturdy, the tabletop wipes clean easily, and it packs down small for its size. On the other hand, it's pretty wobbly, the vinyl tabletop is prone to knicks, and installing the legs leaves metallic dust on our hands every time.

During the test period, the REI Co-op Camp Roll Table offered more stability than the Camp Time model. It also costs significantly less.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jason Wanlass

Last Updated:
Wednesday
May 30, 2018

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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 wood 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 table top creating a dining top 28 inches tall. We liked 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 the cross-beams. In the end, however, we gathered almost as many negatives.

Performance Comparison


We enjoyed many a meal on the Roll-A-Table. Here  you can see the vinyl covering seals 11 wood slats to create a cohesive tabletop.
We enjoyed many a meal on the Roll-A-Table. Here, you can see the vinyl covering seals 11 wood slats to create a cohesive tabletop.

Stability


Although we appreciate the simplicity of this table's design, we were unimpressed by its wobble factor. 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.

We placed the table top against a straight wall  secured the legs and then pull the table to see how far from the wall it swayed. Although strong  this table had a significant amount of give.
We placed the table top against a straight wall, secured the legs and then pull the table to see how far from the wall it swayed. Although strong, this table had a significant amount of give.

The table's loose stance affected how well it performs on uneven ground when loaded and also affects smaller items that need a steady surface, like a mug of coffee, a glass of water, or a competitive game of Jenga. It's unavoidable for portable camp tables to have some give, but the wobbly nature of the Roll-A-Table was a little less than acceptable.

We liked this model's sealed tabletop  which allowed for easier cleanup.
We liked this model's sealed tabletop, which allowed for easier cleanup.

The Roll-A-Table received higher results for stability than we expected. Despite being wobbly, 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.

The table can handle its fair share of weight without tipping over. This is a positive for loading it with larger bulky items. However, despite being strong, the table is wobbly. Dealbreaker? Maybe not, until you place an open beverage on the table next to an expensive camera.

Portability


We experienced no problems in transporting the Camp Time table from campsite to car or vice versa. We liked how it folds together. 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, it's weight is easy to manage.

The addition of the carrying handle appears to be an afterthought in the design process. We don't expect it to remain attached for long by the four small staples and wish the strap was a bit thicker for more comfort.
The addition of the carrying handle appears to be an afterthought in the design process. We don't expect it to remain attached for long by the four small staples and wish the strap was a bit thicker for more comfort.

However, we feel the carrying handle, secured only by four wood staples, is 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. In particular, the legs often catch on the ground and items on the table fall over.

This table is about the same size as our camp chair  which made packing and storing it a breeze.
This table is about the same size as our camp chair, which made packing and storing it a breeze.

Durability


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. We expect extensive use, however, to wear away at the tabletop cover, collecting knicks and scratches over time. Additionally, the vinyl coating doesn't tolerate heat or sharp objects.

Another area of disappointment we shared was the lack of warranty information available on the manufacturer's website. We visited the site several times over several days and, as of this review's publication date, the warranty section is virtually empty. We feel a clearly explained warranty speaks to a manufacturer's confidence in the longevity of a given product.

Ease of Set-up


An aluminum frame adds rigidity to this table  with each of the legs outfitted with bolts to screw into the table top.
This self contained setup stores all of the necessary pieces into a neatly attached mesh bag.
The Roll-A-Time table is one of the easiest tables we tested to setup. Simply unroll the table top  and attach the frame and legs.
Given its simple design, the Camp Time Roll-A-Table is not difficult 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.

We thought it would eventually go away  but our hands were completely covered in metallic dust after every assembly and disassembly of the Roll-A-Table.
We thought it would eventually go away, but our hands were completely covered in metallic dust after every assembly and disassembly of the Roll-A-Table.

Yes, it is relatively easy to assemble. However, we didn't care for the fact that the easiest way to get the job done was turning the entire table upside down to hand thread 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. This process caused nicks and scraps to the poly-vinyl fabric and covered it with dirt and dust.

The easiest way to set up the table is to lay it on its back. We didn't like this because it exposed the table top to unnecessary dirt or grime before being used.
The easiest way to set up the table is to lay it on its back. We didn't like this because it exposed the table top to unnecessary dirt or grime before being used.

Additionally, 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.

Best Applications


This table is good for any level of weekend warrior, full-time camper, beach-goer and the like. Its roll up and carry design takes up little space in car trunk or camper. It's a little wobbly for larger scale cooking or food prepping, but its larger surface area could serve well for making sandwiches, holding gear or food, eating simple meals or for playing cards. Styrofoam cups of steaming hot chocolate or a large glass container of sun tea may be better suited for a more stable surface.

Gentrye sits down with the Roll-A-Table and enjoys a delicious fajita burrito.
Gentrye sits down with the Roll-A-Table and enjoys a delicious fajita burrito.

Value


Regarding value, we feel the table is a little overpriced. When we compare factors like the table's weight, stability, ease of assembly and surface area, we have a difficult time justifying its price tag. For example, the REI Co-op Camp Roll is lighter, sturdier, has the nearly the same surface area, and is easier and cleaner to set up — all at a lower price.

Conclusion


We liked the look and whole idea of the table right out of the box, and we still do in many ways. After using it, though, we weren't as wowed with our experience and our test results as we had hoped. This a good table, just not what we thought.

Jason Wanlass


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Most recent review: May 30, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 50%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Skier

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   Apr 27, 2016 - 04:58pm
LightRanger · Skier

Hey guys,

Just saw this review and thought I'd chime in.

On this…

"Although our reviewers did not have any issues with durability for the duration of our testing, they did see some potential issues. They noted that it may only be a matter of time before the aluminum legs are bent, especially the bolts, and rendered unusable. Take care when placing heavy items, such as larger water containers, on this table. Also, our reviewers did express a concern with potential cuts and abrasions to the vinyl."

I wouldn't have any concerns. My dad bought one of these 20ish years ago and took it on tons of family camping and scout trips. It held up pretty well. If you're *trying* to beat on it, sure, it might have issues. But I don't know many people who intentionally beat on car camping gear harder than Boy Scouts. Pretty sure my parents still have it.

Compact, easy setup, nice area. A bit wobbly, but manageable. I'll probably buy one for family camping myself.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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