Mountain Summit Gear Heavy-Duty Roll-Top Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Great look, steel frame, large surface area
Cons: Difficult to set up, support bars limit leg space, could be taller, potential durability issues
Manufacturer: Mountain Summit Gear
Compare to Similar Products
Mountain Summit Gear Heavy-Duty Roll-Top
|Price||$99.95 at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
$44.98 at Amazon
|$99 List||$50 List|
$45.99 at Amazon
$29.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Great look, steel frame, large surface area||Solid plastic table top, quick set up, durable, large but portable, steel legs and base||Compact storage, durable, solid-surface table top, easy to clean, base and table top store together nicely||Lightweight, relatively strong, metal||Easy to set up, sturdy, metal top isn't susceptible to sparks or flames, cool colors|
|Cons||Difficult to set up, support bars limit leg space, could be taller, potential durability issues||A little heavy, more difficult to carry than collapsible aluminum tables, difficult for one person to adjust leg height||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||Small, heavy for backpacking, colored table top shows scratches|
|Bottom Line||This metal table has plenty of surface area and distributes weight well, but it's more difficult than desired to set up||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 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||A fine end table for any camping chair, its aluminum table top also makes it one of the smallest tables you can cook on|
|Rating Categories||Mountain Summit Gea...||Lifetime 4428 Heigh...||Camp Time Roll-A-Table||Portal Outdoor Ligh...||Trekology TAO|
|Stability and Strength (30%)|
|Ease of Setup (20%)|
|Specs||Mountain Summit Gea...||Lifetime 4428 Heigh...||Camp Time Roll-A-Table||Portal Outdoor Ligh...||Trekology TAO|
|Measured Weight||15.3 lbs||18.1 lbs||10.1 lbs||8.9 lbs||2.7 lbs|
|Unfolded Dimensions||47 x 28 x 28 in||48 x 24 x 24/29/36 in||32.3 x 32.3 x 28 in||27. 5 x 27. 5 x 26 in||15.6 x 13.6 x 15 in|
|Folded Dimensions||30 x 9 x 6 in||24 x 23.5 x 3 in||32.3 x 6.5 x 4.5 in||28 x 7. 5 x 2. 2 in||23 x 4 x 4 in|
|Table Height||28 in||24, 29, or 36 in||28 in||26 in||16 in|
|Table Top Material||Aluminum||Injection molded plastic||Wood and poly-vinyl||Aluminum||Aluminium|
|Claimed Max Support Weight||70 lb||Not stated||100 lbs||60 lbs||50 lbs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Boasting a steel frame and aluminum tabletop, the Heavy-Duty Roll-Top Table is tough, large, and quite stable. Its all-black design is sleek and easy on the eyes. Its setup process, though, leaves something to be desired.
Stability and Strength
The Mountain Summit's powder-coated, steel frame stood up to our stability and strength tests. The frame's rectangular shape rests firmly in place by way of reinforced cross supports which lock on each side through a notch and pin system. The Mountain Summit's top side rails are also notched, which effectively cradles the entire 47" X 27" aluminum tabletop. On most aluminum roll-top tables, the slatted ends are exposed and free-floating. The Mountain Summit's notched system provides a half-inch wall for the slats to butt up flush against, keeping each slat protected, in place, and providing increased overall stability to the entire table. This is the first time we've seen this design feature in a camp table. We feel this tweak in design adds to the stability and strength of the Mountain Summit compared to some other roll-top tables we've tested.
The Mountain Summit is wide, long, and sits lower to the ground than other tables we've studied. The low center of gravity increases its stability. We stacked more weight on the table than recommended, focusing all the weight on one of the corners at a time. Despite being severely imbalanced, the Mountain Summit never tipped over. Moreover, this table performed well in this metric on a variety of terrain, from asphalt to sandstone, dirt, and sand.
The Mountain Summit weighs just over 15 lbs. For its size, it packs down well and is fairly easy to transport. We feel the extra weight is an appropriate tradeoff for the stability and durability its all-metal design offers. We like the stuff sack's shoulder strap. It allows the table to be easily transported, while still giving the porter two free hands to carry other items. Given the table's heavier weight, we feel that the manufacturer could have created a backpack-style carrying bag that rides on both shoulders. This would keep the table equally balanced in the middle of the carrier's back and make it much easier to carry additional items.
Most camp tables of this size fold in half for storage and transportation. The thin profile can be convenient, but the large area required to pack them might not fit in smaller cars. This model bundles into a carrying bag that requires less floor space available to pack it into a car. Therefore, this might be a better option for campers looking for a large table to fit in a small vehicle.
During several hours of use, we deployed and stowed the Mountain Summit dozens of times and noted a few potential weak spots. The slatted tabletop is locked in place by way of four spring-loaded cotter pins. During our third attempt to stow the table, one of the cotter pins dissembled, shooting the pin and spring 15 feet into the sagebrush. We found the pin, but never found the spring. We feel the cotter pins are very stiff and require an inappropriate amount of force to retract and release. In our experience, the finger ring used to pull on the pin is too weak and gives out under the required force. The result: The finger ring fails, sending the rest of the spring-loaded cotter pin into the dirt.
In addition to the cotter pin issues, key pivot points on the frame are made of plastic. That said, we noticed no serious wear or tear on these moving pieces, but feel they could be problematic after years of use in the sun.
Another design feature of the table that we didn't love is the tabletop's design. Each slat is held in place by an elastic cord. This allows the slats to move more freely than we preferred. This is a common design feature found on most aluminum roll-top tables. It's certainly functional, but it leads to a sloppier tabletop. Additionally, the elastic strands are prone to fraying, being cut, or simply losing their elasticity over time. There are a few roll-top tables we've tested over the years which use a side hinge system to hold the slats in place. We feel the Mountain Summit would benefit from this type of design.
Ease of Setup
We desperately wanted to say this table is a breeze to set up, but in the end, we just couldn't. Tables that traditionally score the highest in this metric are those that most users can intuitively set up without the aid of instructions. We did not find the Mountain Summit incredibly difficult to set up, but we did briefly scratch our heads a few times. Additionally, this table simply doesn't fall into place well and it requires a surprisingly larger amount of muscle to snap into place than one would think. It also takes longer to set up than similar models.
Once the table's frame is expanded, it must be locked into place by way of two notch and pin systems. This process is not accomplished easily. The two ends must be pulled together, which narrows the (somewhat spring-loaded) gap between the pin and notch. This step must be accomplished by grip strength. Once clipped into place, the connection is under tension, which provides frame stability and strength, one an upside to this design. The downside is it's simply a pain to then reverse the process and unhook the pin and notch system.
Another feature we didn't like is the cotter pin attachment system for the tabletop. The table doesn't stand very tall, requiring the user to bend over and search for the holes that receive each of the four separate pins. The solid black color of the table makes it difficult to assess where the pinholes are and whether the pin is actually in place. Additionally, the pins themselves are stiff and require too much force to retract and release. The pin system seems overkill.
This table works well as a dinner table or game table. Its all-metal design accommodates a cooking stove or heavy items like coolers or water jugs with ease. In terms of overall usage and function, we found ourselves wishing the table was several inches taller. This would allow for less hunching while standing during food preparation and cooking. Also, depending on your camping chair, the cross support bars might be in the way of your legs.
After weeks of use, we feel there are better tables, especially for this price. It's an eye-catching product with slick looks, but it's difficult to set up and the height isn't adjustable.
The Mountain Summit Gear Heavy-Duty Roll-Top Table certainly functions. When compared to its many all-aluminum, roll-top peers on the market, the Mountain Summit's steel frame makes it stronger and more stable. However, it's a little too short, the height doesn't adjust, it should have a hinged-base roll-top, and needs a simpler, less rigorous set-up process for us to recommend it strongly.
— Jason Wanlass
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