Camp Time Roll-A-Table Review
Cons: Wobbly, set up requires top of table to face down, hands get dirty during set up, table top prone to nicks and tears
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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