Stepping into the ring at a mere 1.5 pounds is the Helinox Table One. We can't say enough about how well this table scored in our stability tests. Considering its weight alone, we were blown away by its performance, handling substantial amounts of weight without toppling, collapsing, or breaking. It wasn't our favorite table due largely to its niche role, but we are fans of several of this table's features. The canvas top doesn't lend itself to cooking, and its size relegates it more to a side table. But if you want to take a table into the backcountry or want a small table for your kids at the campsite, this model isn't the only option, but it is our favorite.
More options from Helinox
Helinox produces a Helinox Table One Hardtop and a Large Hardtop version of this table. If you like any of these tables, also check out the 1 lb Chair Zero for paired campsite seating.
Solid plastic table top, quick set up, durable, large but portable, steel legs and base
Super durable, heat-resistant top, compact storage, very strong and sturdy, dual-height levels
Compact storage, durable, solid-surface table top, easy to clean, base and table top store together nicely
Lightweight, relatively strong, metal
Small table with a high price, fabric can melt, confusing to set up on first try
A little heavy, more difficult to carry than collapsible aluminum tables, difficult for one person to adjust leg height
Expensive for its size, slightly heavy, pack strap is a little short
Can be wobbly, setup requires top of table to face down, hands get dirty during set up
A little wobbly, can't place knees underneath
If you're looking for the best ultralight camp table on the market, you've found it
This is a sturdy and spacious folding table that can provide years of use at everything from BBQs and camping to tailgating, birthday parties, and bake sales
This table folds up thin and is perfect for any road or river trip as well as basic camping or day trips
This long-time classic table with a vinyl cover is easy to clean, has a straightforward setup, and packs up nicely
Rigorous daily use isn't this table's gig, but it can hold its own in basic situations and compares well against similar lightweight models
Helinox Table One
Lifetime 4428 Heigh...
Camp Time Roll-A-Table
Portal Outdoor Ligh...
Stability and Strength(30%)
Ease of Setup(20%)
Helinox Table One
Lifetime 4428 Heigh...
Camp Time Roll-A-Table
Portal Outdoor Ligh...
24 x 16 x 14 in
48 x 24 x 24/29/36 in
19 x 15 x 16 in
32.3 x 32.3 x 28 in
27. 5 x 27. 5 x 26 in
16 x 3.5 x 3 in
24 x 23.5 x 3 in
15.5 x 10 x 1.2 in
32.3 x 6.5 x 4.5 in
28 x 7. 5 x 2. 2 in
24, 29, or 36 in
Table Top Material
Injection molded plastic
Wood and poly-vinyl
Claimed Max Support Weight
Show full specification detailsHide full specification details
Our Analysis and Test Results
Stability and Strength
Without question, the Helinox can support a lot of weight. The manufacturer lists its maximum capacity at 50 kilos, which is roughly 110 pounds. This table has grit beyond our expectations. We also weighed claims from the manufacturer against our field-use, after weeks of using each table, to see how this table reacts to the real world, filled with uneven surfaces and the forces of nature.
The Helinox is quite stable for its size and weight. Its ability to bend and stretch helps it avoid toppling. We stacked weight on the corner of the table to see how much it could handle before buckling. We found it can handle just shy of 30 pounds right on its outer corner before falling over. We were impressed to find that, due to its complex design, the table's joints allow for lots of give-and-take. This allows the table to yield to the load without breaking or collapsing and helps it remain upright on uneven surfaces better than rigid models.
This unique design also allows the Helinox to crush its peers in this metric. The other backpacking table we studied, the Trekology TAO, was nowhere near as stable or strong. A large part of this is due to the Helonix's superior design, as well as the fact that the Helonix aluminum frame is a hollow-tube design, instead of solid aluminum, which we feel creates greater strength.
We didn't follow the manufacturer's guidelines during our weight tests, so you may want to treat your Helinox a little nicer than we treated ours.
This table has a lot of moving pieces, which results in natural give and movement, but doesn't make the table wobbly. One double-edged sword feature about the table is its weight. It is incredibly lightweight, allowing the user to take it almost anywhere, but its lack of heft also causes it to be a victim of wind, swinging dog tails or a simple bump from a foot or knee. In short: It won't topple under heavy loads, but a wind gust may spell the end for your freshly made PBJ. If you typically camp in windy areas, be aware.
The Helinox shines when it comes to portability. This table is the most portable model we examined. In addition to being incredibly lightweight (1.5 lbs), its carrying case is riddled with handles and loops, making it easy to clip to just about everything. The Helinox can be easily tied, clipped, or strapped to any backpack.
Geat portability makes this table our favorite for hike-in campsites and short backpacking trips. It's ideal for anyone who likes the idea of having a few comforts of home on their next backcountry adventure. It also sports the smallest packed dimensions of any table we've seen.
The Helonix receives high marks in this particular area of our durability testing. It held up wonderfully to being assembled and repacked more than 30 times. We saw no sign of wear and tear concerns. The table (and all smaller tables like it) has some inherent weaknesses when it comes to durability. Its size increases the potential for being accidentally stepped on, landed on, or sat on. The fabric top is subject to damage from sharp items, hot pans, or sparks.
Generally, caring for a product increases its lifespan. This includes cleaning. The fabric top of this table is more difficult to clean than hardtop models. However, when compared to other backpacking models we looked at, the Helinox scored higher in this area. The Trekology TAO is simply a cheaper design made with cheaper materials. However, this isn't necessarily a negative, it does come with much cheaper price tag as well.
While this table is surprisingly durable for such a lightweight, small table, it doesn't shake a stick at the longevity of most larger, hardtop tables.
Ease of Setup
There is very little guessing when it comes to what goes where when assembling this table. Nearly all of the moving parts of the base are guided into place by pre-attached bungee lines. We timed ourselves several times and found that the table can be assembled or repacked in under a minute. The Helinox slipped a little in this metric.
Its more complex design, however, does make this table a little harder to set up than the Trekology TAO, which outscored the Helinox in side by side set up comparisons. It simply has an easier and more intuitive assembly system.
The Helinox assembly can seem unintuitive on the first try. This became very apparent when we challenged bystanders to assemble the table without instructions. Once learned, however, it goes together easily. In the end, when graded on the curve against other tables we studied, this table is above-average for ease of setup.
Our opinion on the table's value is a bit polarized. Given the Helinox's low weight and quality, we do feel it's worth its higher-end price — for some buyers.
Many backpackers in the market for a sturdy, lightweight, and a relatively durable camp table wouldn't blink at dropping several bucks on a Helinox. After all, in the backpacking world: Smaller + lighter = pricey. Therein lies the polarization: We feel this table is a niche product (ultralight camp tables) within this gear category.
We like the function and style of this table and are very impressed with its muscle to weight ratio. It is an excellent product that is expertly designed. In the end, our review is challenged with finding the best overall camp table, and therefore we leaned toward larger tables with more general and practical uses. If you are looking for a small side table for a variety of front and backcountry uses, though, this is our top recommendation.
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