The Lifetime 4428 Table
isn't stylish or exciting, and it lacks a catchy name. What is lacks in creativity, it makes up for in overall performance and utility. The Lifetime 4428
is just a plain old table that can be used in virtually every setting from camping and bake sales to backyard BBQs and baby showers. You might buy it for a camping trip, but you'll use it for so much more.
With a wingspan of four feet, this table is perfect for preparing, cooking, and eating food. It was also the tallest table we tested, towering at 36 inches, while also adjusting to two lower heights.
We gave this table high marks for stability. Portable tables are inherently less sturdy than a dining room table, but this one is one of the sturdiest in its class. A big part of this are the table's powder-coated, steel legs. Few camping tables have steel legs. Without any regard for manufacturing guidelines, we wanted to see how much weight this table could support on its corner without tipping over. We stacked case after case of bottled water and finally stopped adding weight at 150 pounds. The table showed no sign of tipping. We simply got nervous over how high the stack was getting.
The Lifetime's steel frame and legs don't get in the way of knees. This is one of our favorite features. We also like that the table has three height settings -- 24 inches, 29 inches, and 36 inches.
When we consider the steel frame and legs combined with the injection-molded plastic top, we feel, and our tests showed, that the Lifetime 4428 is very solid and stable. We had no worries cooking on it with a dual-burner stove, loaded with heavy pots, pans, and a 5-gallon jug of water. It has a tiny wobble when bumped, but it's pretty negligible. Bottom line — it securely supports all the weight you would likely ever need to load it with.
Given it's stored size and weight, we gave the Lifetime 4428 its lowest scores in portability. The table weighs about 18 pounds and only folds in half, giving it one of the larger packed sizes of the tables we examined.
Weighing in at 18 pounds, this table is big boned, but we found it easy to transport from car to camp using the integrated carry handle.
The table's stored dimensions are wide, but at the same time, are quite thin. The table fits flat in the bottom of nearly any car trunk. Maybe we're crazy, but we also didn't mind the extra weight. Camping tables rarely need to travel far in hand, and for the short distance from the car to the campsite, carrying this model isn't a problem. The table is easy to transport, has adequate handles, and moves easily when set up and loaded with items. If we had our way, the only thing we would have the manufacturer add is a removable shoulder strap to allow for transportation over longer distances.
The handle is adequate to transport the table, but we would add a shoulder strap to the design for more comfortable portability.
The Lifetime 4428 is built for the long haul. When we considered the injection molded table top, combined with the steel legs and reinforcements, this table is one of the more durable tables on the market. While testing it, we met other people who have owned this table for more than ten years.
However, we looked at more than just construction materials when it came to or durability testing. We considered the table's overall design, looked for weak points, personally used the table extensively, and looked up its manufacturer's warranty. We also set up and took down the table more than 30 times in a row to see how it would hold up to repeated use.
The frame is made from powder-coated steel. We liked the reinforcement bars that clip into place.
In the end, we were very pleased with the table's durability and gave it some of our highest marks. Not only is it well-made, but it also comes with a 2-year warranty, one of the best guarantees of all the tables studied.
Ease of Setup
We have the stop-watch times to prove it: This table is the quickest to set up and take down of any table we tested. This earned it our highest marks for ease of set up. We do admit that there are parts of the set up that are a little annoying.
One thing we particularly fancy was the process for changing the height of the table's legs. It's possible with one person, but more efficient with two people.
Extending the adjustable legs can be a little bit of a challenge because both locking pins have to be depressed for the legs to move. This made it a bit of a challenge for one person. However, in the end, the numbers don't lie. Despite our set-up annoyances, setting up this table is a breeze. Adjusting the height is a bit more of a task, but still simple enough, and this is a feature most competing tables don't offer at all.
The Lifetime table uses an old-school pin system for locking the height of the legs into place. While not the easiest way to move the legs, the system is durable and strong.
Additionally, yes, it's old-school pin system for raising and lowering the legs is kind of a pain, but when we consider that fully extended, this table stands taller than any other table we studied, we were willing to put up with the pins and give our hunched-over spines a rest.
We don't like that the most efficient way to set up the table is by laying the table top down and snapping the legs into place. It is the fastest table to assemble, but using the easiest method can dirty the tabletop.
The most practical way to set up this table is to open it up and lay the table top face-down, exposing the legs. This also happens to be our only real complaint about this model. Most people who set up the table, including our testers, took this face-down approach. We were disappointed in the fact that, if set up this way, the top of the table (where we planned to place our food and other items) is required to come in contact with the ground, a rock, flooring or any other surface.
Setting this table up on its side while extending the legs keeps the top surface off the ground and clean.
The white tabletop gets dirty quickly but also wipes clean easily.
Just like a roll of paper towels, the Lifetime 4428 Adjustable Folding Utility Table is useful in about any event, situation, or location where a portable table is needed. This table does not sit stowed away in a camping trailer, waiting to be used two or three times a year. Instead, it hangs in the garage, pantry, or storage room, ready at the helm for just about anything.
The Lifetime Utility Table is as useful and practical as a roll of paper towels. Its injection-molded plastic top is a dream to clean up. It cleaned up easier than any table we used.
The Lifetime Utility Table is well priced. No need to pay for a fancy design, as this table doesn't have it and its $70 price tag reflects that. Given its stability and durability alone, it's a great value. Combined with its ease of use, decent portability, and unsurpassed versatility, it's easy to justify the price of this one.
Practical can sometimes be boring, but where would we be without duct tape? You've probably used a Lifetime Utility Table at some point in your life, pointing to the fact that this table is so useful, it's found all over the place. This table is incredibly versatile and is excellent for car camping. Its solid table-top surface is sturdy and easy to clean. Its design is simple but has the added strength of steel. It's a tiny bit wobbly, a little heavy, and adjusting the legs can be a bit of a hassle. However, when price meets versatility and durability, this camping table — that's not just a camping table — is your best bet.