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GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station Review

This table closely resembles a standard outdoor barbeque grill. It's stout, stands tall and has tons of counter space.
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Price:  $100 List | $100.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Strong steel design, good height, lots of space, folds up nicely, value
Cons:  Narrow, needs flat ground, unstable if weighted unevenly
Manufacturer:   GCI Outdoor
By Jason Wanlass ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 25, 2019
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 9
  • Stability and Strength - 30% 6
  • Portability - 30% 4
  • Durability - 20% 9
  • Ease of Setup - 20% 7

Our Verdict

When you belly up to the GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station, you may forget you're using a fold-up camping cook station. It's a brute of a cook station camping table. The Slim-Fold's all-steel, powder-coated frame creates an incredibly strong table that could last for years. This table is wide and stacked with tons of shelf space. Its fold-up design and ample shelving make it perfect for the woods, beach, or tailgate party. Its one major drawback is it can become unstable.


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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $100.00 at Amazon$39.98 at Amazon$64.50 at REI$89.00 at Amazon$99.99 at Amazon
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Pros Strong steel design, good height, lots of space, folds up nicely, valueSolid plastic table top, quick set up, durable, large but portable, steel legs and baseStout, well-built, all-metal design, lightweight for its size, great valuePacks up nice, solid-surface table top, easy to clean, base and table top store together nicelyAmazing storage options, self-contained, ready-to-use design
Cons Narrow, needs flat ground, unstable if weighted unevenlyA little heavy, more difficult to carry than collapsible aluminum tables, difficult for one person to adjust leg heightProtective grommets prone to detach, base of table difficult to expandWobbly, set up requires top of table to face down, hands get dirty during set up, table top prone to nicks and tearsSits low, does not compress or collapse, small cooking space
Bottom Line This table closely resembles a standard outdoor barbeque grill. It's stout, stands tall and has tons of counter space.This is a sturdy and spacious portable table that can provide years of use at everything from BBQs and camping to tailgating, birthday parties and bake sales. It is the largest and most general purpose table we examined.This is a stout, rock-solid table that is perfect for a camping trip, tailgate party, day at the beach, and more.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.Top notch organization comes at the expense of portability, but having all your camp cooking needs in one place is super convenient.
Rating Categories Slim-Fold Cook Station 4428 Height Adjustable Foldi... REI Co-op Camp Roll Table Camp Time Roll-A-Table Camp Chef Sherpa Table
Stability And Strength (30%)
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Specs Slim-Fold Cook... 4428 Height... REI Co-op Camp... Camp Time... Camp Chef Sherpa...
Measured Weight (lbs) 18.2 lbs 18.1 lbs 8.0 lbs 10.1 lbs 10.2 lbs
Unfolded Dimensions (inches) 20.9 x 52 x 32.3 in 48 x 24 x 24/29/36 in 27.5 x 27.5 x 27.5 in 32.3 x 32.3 x 28 in 27 x 17 x 28 in
Folded Dimensions (inches) 20.9 x 3.7 x 34.6 in 24 x 23.5 x 3 in 27.5 x 7 x 4.5 in 32.3 x 6.5 x 4.5 in 15.75 x 27 x 18.25 in
Table Height (inches) 32.3 in 24 in, 29 in, 36 in 27.5 in 28 in 28 in
Table Top Material Aluminium Injection molded plastic Aluminium Wood and poly-vinyl Aluminium
Claimed Max Support Weight 48 lbs Not mentioned 100 lbs 100 lbs 66 lbs
Features Adjustable height options, solid surface top, steel legs and base Lightweight for size, large square design Completely self-contained system. Removable aluminum folding table top, 4 zippered organization bins, telescoping legs.
Set-up Time (Avg) 40 secs 12 secs 58 secs 1 min 52 sec 15 secs
Break Down Time (Avg) 39 secs 22 secs 1 min 9 secs 1 min 41 secs 14 secs

Our Analysis and Test Results

Boasting four fold-out shelves, the Slim-Fold Cook Station features a one-piece design and weighs just under 20 pounds. It stands approximately 32 inches tall, one of the tallest cook stations we've studied. This unit is self-contained and has a simple, easy-to-use design. It comes with several convenient extras from cup holders to paper towel and garbage bag anchors. Its stowed dimensions (35 inches long by 21 inches wide by 4 inches thick) make it portable and allow it to slide into a vehicle upright or down flat.

Performance Comparison


We loved the Slim-Fold's unmatched brawn and counter space.
We loved the Slim-Fold's unmatched brawn and counter space.

Stability and Strength


The Slim-Fold's steel, powder-coated X-frame comes complete with several sturdy locking braces. Stout is a good adjective here. Most camping tables have a little wobble once set up — not the Slim-Fold. Once unfolded and locked in, this table doesn't give or sway in any direction. While very impressed with this table's unparalleled sturdiness, we did find one drawback to its stiff design. Some amount of give and sway allows tables to adapt more effectively to uneven ground. The Slim-Fold's unwavering frame did cause it to be unstable on surfaces that weren't relatively flat.

The Slim-Fold's Powder-coated  steel frame is incredibly strong. Did we need to prove our point by stacking our dirty feet on top of it? Probably not  but we did anyway.
The Slim-Fold's Powder-coated, steel frame is incredibly strong. Did we need to prove our point by stacking our dirty feet on top of it? Probably not, but we did anyway.

Additionally, during our stability testing, the Slim-Fold tipped over fairly quickly when we placed uneven amounts of weight on one side of the table. The table's fold-out design is much wider than its base, creating a higher potential for tipping if weight is not distributed evenly throughout the table. Our favorite cook station is the Camp Chef Sherpa Table. We feel the Sherpa is far more stable than the other two cook stations we studied; however, we are very impressed with the Slim-Fold, and its steel frame crushes the competition in terms of pure strength. In fact, it's one of the two strongest tables we studied.

The Slim-Fold's top is incredibly wide when compared to its base  making it important to evenly distribute weight throughout its shelves.
The Slim-Fold's top is incredibly wide when compared to its base, making it important to evenly distribute weight throughout its shelves.

Portability


The Slim-Fold's monster-strong steel frame does have additional drawbacks. One of them is increased weight, and a bulkier feel when transporting and storing. Our reviewers loved the sturdiness of this cook station, but did feel it was a little more difficult to carry from car to camp and equally more difficult to position when storing it away. Despite being heavier, we felt the increased difficulty of transporting the table was minimal and is not a result of the table's stored size, but simply its weight. Heaviness aside, the table comes with an adequate handle for transporting, and when collapsed, it folds up as thin as a briefcase (or a propane camp stove, in our case).


This table's weight may be a factor for potential buyers who prefer or require a lighter cook station. However, overall our testers feel the Slim-Fold is easy enough to carry and stow, especially if you want a table of this size. Additionally, once set up, its also easy to slide, move, and reposition.

This table has many accessories, including hooks for trash bags, drink holders, paper towel holder, and tons of counter space.


Durability


Boasting tank-like construction, the Slim-Fold is one stout hunk of metal. A powder-coated steel frame and a heat-resistant aluminum tabletop give this table the ability to outlast many of its peers. Top-quality riveting allow moving parts to withstand years of use, and a simple, folding design gives the table a turtle-like ability to protect itself when collapsed and stored. In side by side studies with other cook stations, the Slim-Fold is the clear leader when it comes to durability. Both the Camp Chef Sherpa Table and the Mountain Summit Gear Deluxe Roll Top Kitchen are well-built, but neither can compare to craftsmanship of the Slim-Fold. Steel and high density plastic will almost always outlast aluminum and fabric.

This table is covered with locking braces  steel and quality riveting. We feel it's one of the strongest camp tables we've ever studied.
This table is covered with locking braces, steel and quality riveting. We feel it's one of the strongest camp tables we've ever studied.

Throughout all of our testing we saw no break down in function or design, and we feel the Slim-Fold is well-crafted. After nitpicking this table for weeks, the only potential weak spots we could find are the table's four fold-out shelves. Made from reinforced plastic, we feel they could eventually show wear and tear. Overall, though, we are very confident in the longevity of this model when used properly.

The Slim-Fold unfolds like a book and locks into place quickly and easily.
The Slim-Fold unfolds like a book and locks into place quickly and easily.

Ease of Setup


For its width and height, this cook station is amazingly simple to set up and breakdown. It's one the easiest to use of all the tables we've tested, even compared to smaller backpacking tables.

This table has more counter space and accessories than any cook station we've tested  making cooking a breeze.
This table has more counter space and accessories than any cook station we've tested, making cooking a breeze.

The Slim-Fold opens easily, like a book, and then acquires its solid frame by snapping the bottom grill into place and locking in the tabletop and reinforcement braces. Easy-peasy.

Despite its size and relative complexity  the Slim-Fold sets up in less than one minute.
Despite its size and relative complexity, the Slim-Fold sets up in less than one minute.

Best Applications


The GCI Slim-Fold Cook Station has the heart of a backyard barbeque grill, making it a perfect slice of home for any outdoor adventure where cooking will be a priority. Whether the destination is the lakeshore, beach, woods or even a tailgate party, the Slim-Fold provides a strong cooking station with ample shelf space and convenient options that create a very usable kitchen away from home.

This table is great for larger camping groups where prepping and cooking is a must.
This table is great for larger camping groups where prepping and cooking is a must.

One of the drawbacks to this cook station is its narrow cooktop. At only 21 inches wide, it can sometimes be too small to accommodate a larger stove and fuel container at the same time. Additionally, this table's narrow design, combined with the table's very stiff frame and wide wingspan, causes it to be less stable on uneven ground or when loaded unevenly with weight.

Value


Well-built, sturdy, large, and simple to use, are just a few adjectives that are scattered throughout our review notes for the Slim-Fold. Despite being a little narrow, we have only glowing reports about this table's design and function and feel it is very worthy of its price tag. Hooks for trash bags or utensils, cup holders, stem glass holders, and an anchor for a paper towel roll are just some of the features this table's simple, one-piece design offers. To top it off, this table is built to last. High value.

We loved the many accessories built into the Slim-Fold. Our favorite was the bungee cord paper towel holder. Simple things like this make this table one of our favorites.
We loved the many accessories built into the Slim-Fold. Our favorite was the bungee cord paper towel holder. Simple things like this make this table one of our favorites.

Conclusion


The GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station is a leader in the cook station variety of camp tables. The easy, fold-up design comes with more accessories than first meets the eye. This table will enhance any on-the-go adventure where cooking is necessary. It's incredibly durable and very strong, but prone to instability on uneven surfaces — almost a guaranteed feature of most campsites. This causes the user to be constantly mindful of weight distribution and ground placement, especially when loaded with heavier items.


Jason Wanlass