Portal Outdoor Lightweight Aluminum Review
Cons: A little wobbly, can't place knees underneath
Manufacturer: Portal Outdoor
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|Pros||Lightweight, relatively strong, metal||Solid plastic table top, quick set up, durable, large but portable, steel legs and base||Stout, well-built, lightweight for its size, convenient||Inexpensive, lightweight for size||Easy to set up, sturdy, metal top isn't susceptible to sparks or flames, cool colors|
|Cons||A little wobbly, can't place knees underneath||A little heavy, more difficult to carry than collapsible aluminum tables, difficult for one person to adjust leg height||Protective grommets prone to detach, base of table difficult to expand, tight to pack into carrying case, limited leg space||A little wobbly, extra steps to set up, can't place knees underneath||Small, heavy for backpacking, colored table top shows scratches|
|Bottom Line||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||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 is a square, stout table that that comes in handy for a camping trip, tailgate party, day at the beach, and more||This table is offers decent quality and basic function, and there's a place for that, especially at the price point||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||Portal Outdoor Ligh...||Lifetime 4428 Heigh...||REI Co-op Camp Roll...||Coleman Compact||Trekology TAO|
|Stability and Strength (30%)|
|Ease of Setup (20%)|
|Specs||Portal Outdoor Ligh...||Lifetime 4428 Heigh...||REI Co-op Camp Roll...||Coleman Compact||Trekology TAO|
|Measured Weight||8.9 lbs||18.1 lbs||8.0 lbs||9.0 lbs||2.7 lbs|
|Unfolded Dimensions||27. 5 x 27. 5 x 26 in||48 x 24 x 24/29/36 in||27.5 x 27.5 x 27.5 in||27.6 x 27.6 x 27.6 in||15.6 x 13.6 x 15 in|
|Folded Dimensions||28 x 7. 5 x 2. 2 in||24 x 23.5 x 3 in||27.5 x 7 x 4.5 in||28 x 6 x 5 in||23 x 4 x 4 in|
|Table Height||26 in||24, 29, or 36 in||27.5 in||27.5 in||16 in|
|Table Top Material||Aluminum||Injection molded plastic||Aluminium||Aluminum||Aluminium|
|Claimed Max Support Weight||60 lbs||Not stated||100 lbs||Not stated||50 lbs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
If you're headed to the beach, park, tailgate party, or campground, the aluminum Portal table is a great addition to your adventure, as long as you don't need it for anything heavy-duty. This table is great for a game of poker, lunch, holding accessories or condiments, or serving as a water station.
Stability and Strength
The powder-coated metal legs on the Portal are relatively heavy, making for a solid base. Combine this with its frame braces and chain-style, hinged tabletop, the result is a table that is surprisingly more stable than its dainty, thin appearance leads you to believe. Overall, it performed a little above-average in our stability and strength tests. The strong, square design allows this table to remain relatively steady even when its load weight is not evenly distributed.
We were disappointed in the thinness of table's X-supports. They are somewhat flimsy and tend to bow when we applied pressure to the table in any direction. This results the potential for quite a bit of sway, especially when the Portal is holding heavier loads. Additionally, the table's top has four plastic dowels on each corner. Dowels on one side slide into circular receivers on the table's base, while the remaining two dowels only clip into C-shaped receivers. This is designed to make the table easier to set up.
A generous storage bag and full-length shoulder strap make the Portal easy to transport. Weighing in a just under nine pounds, this table is very lightweight for its finished size, making it easy to grab and go. However, once set up, this table is a bit trickier to move around.
While quite sturdy for its thin design, the Portal's X-braces tend to bow under pressure, which causes its legs move out of place when the table is slid across the ground, loaded. Additionally, only two sides of the tabletop attach to the base frame, which causes the top to bow out of place if the table is accidentally lifted from the non-attached sides. This can be quite unfortunate if the table is loaded with your long-awaited picnic lunch.
Overall, when we weighed the table's price tag against its overall quality, we still gave it respectable durability scores, and we feel it held up nicely against our less-than-kind treatment.
Despite being very basic and thin, this table is relatively well-made. It's not built to last a lifetime, but if treated as a lightweight table, we feel it could last several years. The Portal's major durability drawbacks are found in its moving pieces — all of the table's key joints or connections are made from plastic.
Ease of Setup
There's a difference between easy and fast. The Portal is relatively simple to set up, but when compared to other tables we've tested, it doesn't pop into place quickly. This table requires a few extra steps to deploy. These steps are easy enough, though.
When compared to similarly designed tables, the Portal Outdoor Lightweight Aluminum Table certainly measures up in durability, quality, and function. However, this table is not made for heavy, rigorous use. Provided it's used for basic camping or outdoor adventures, we feel this table offers a lot of value for its modest price tag.
Cheap, aluminum-top camp tables are a dime a dozen. Most employ similar designs, features, and materials. When compared to this subcategory of camping tables, we feel the Portal Outdoor Lightweight Aluminum Table stands a little above its peers. It has a heavier, sturdier base, and it uses a solid, side-hinge system to attach the aluminum table slats together. This system is superior to the standard bungee cord system that most tables use. If you need n inexpensive, basic table to perform simple outdoor functions for a few years, this is a great option.
— Jason Wanlass
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