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The Best Camping Table Review

If used for basic purposes like simple cooking or as an end table  the TAO should last a while.
By Jason Wanlass ⋅ Review Editor
Thursday July 25, 2019
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Looking for the best camping table? Our experts spent months testing and assessing 9 of the most popular and highest rated camp tables to find the top performers. Some were fully featured for a superb glamping experience, while others were simple and more versatile. If you're tired of cooking in the dirt and squatting while you stir, then outfitting your camp kitchen with a camping table is a great luxury that does not have to break the bank. We used these tables in many different scenarios and assessed them across critical aspects, such as stability on even and uneven ground, ability to last, and ease of setup. Keep reading to see which of these models were our favorites and most useful.


Top 9 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 9
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $39.98 at Amazon$64.50 at REI$89.00 at Amazon$99.99 at Amazon$119.20 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
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Pros Solid 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 designLightweight, two cup holders, sturdy yet flexible
Cons A 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 spaceSmall table with a high price, fabric can melt, confusing to set up on first try
Bottom Line 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.If you're looking for possibly the best ultralight camp table on the market, you've found it -- but it's gonna cost ya.
Rating Categories 4428 Height Adjustable Foldi... REI Co-op Camp Roll Table Camp Time Roll-A-Table Camp Chef Sherpa Table Helinox Table One
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Specs 4428 Height... REI Co-op Camp... Camp Time... Camp Chef Sherpa... Helinox Table One
Measured Weight (lbs) 18.1 lbs 8.0 lbs 10.1 lbs 10.2 lbs 1.5 lbs
Unfolded Dimensions (inches) 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 24 x 16 x 14 in
Folded Dimensions (inches) 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 16 x 3.5 x 3 in
Table Height (inches) 24 in, 29 in, 36 in 27.5 in 28 in 28 in 16 in
Table Top Material Injection molded plastic Aluminium Wood and poly-vinyl Aluminium Polyester
Claimed Max Support Weight Not mentioned 100 lbs 100 lbs 66 lbs 110 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. Very lightweight, cup holders, several carry loops on stuff sack
Set-up Time (Avg) 12 secs 58 secs 1 min 52 sec 15 secs 52 secs
Break Down Time (Avg) 22 secs 1 min 9 secs 1 min 41 secs 14 secs 49 secs

Our Favorite Table


Lifetime 4428 Height Adjustable Folding Utility Table


Editors' Choice Award

$39.98
(43% off)
at Amazon
See It

78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability and Strength - 30% 9
  • Portability - 30% 5
  • Durability - 20% 9
  • Ease of Setup - 20% 9
Material: Steel and High-Density Polyethylene Plastic | Weight: 18 lbs.
Built to last
Super versatile
Easy set-up with adjustable legs
Lots of surface area
Heavier than other tables
Less compact when stowed

With a name only an engineer could love, the Lifetime 4428 Adjustable Folding Utility Table wins our Editors' Choice Award for the second year in a row. Hands down our favorite general-purpose camping table, it was the highest-scoring model we tested, and the most practical and usable table we studied. It's stable, strong, portable, and easy to setup and take down. We love the surface area the table provides and its adjustable steel legs. Yeah, we know, the name rings industrial supplies catalog or military packing list. It's not the flashiest design on the planet either, but if you're after function, you won't find a more versatile and capable model.

However, the Lifetime isn't perfect. It does come with its flaws. One of them being its bright white tabletop. We found it became dirty easily since it shows nearly every speck of dust. We also feel that, although stable and strong, the table is just a tiny bit wobbly. It's also heavier than other tables we tested.

Read review: Lifetime 4428 Adjustable Folding Utility Table

Best Bang For Your Buck


REI Co-op Camp Roll Table


Best Buy Award

$64.50
at REI
See It

76
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability and Strength - 30% 9
  • Portability - 30% 7
  • Durability - 20% 7
  • Ease of Setup - 20% 7
Material: Aluminum | Weight: 8 lbs.
Very sturdy
Compact and portable
Quality construction and materials
Excellent value
Difficult to expand the base
Cross braces diminish legroom
Could be a little bigger

The REI Co-op Camp Roll Table is the epitome of the latest versions of aluminum, roll-top camp tables. It was just barely edged out by the Editors' Choice winner in durability, size, and versatility. This table is extremely strong, very sturdy, and simple to set up. It packs away small, too, and has a convenient shoulder strap to carry this model a little further from the car. We are blown away at the quality this model brings to the table at a price that beats more expensive models that didn't even come close in quality or performance.

Although lightweight for its size, we do feel this table's square top is a little bit too small when trying to feed a large group. It could seat two for dinner comfortably, but any more than that may be a tight squeeze. Also, the table's cross-braces prevent users from comfortably placing their legs under the table, creating potentially awkward and uncomfortable seating angles. However, if a traditional-looking camp table is what you're after this REI Co-op Camp Roll Table comes strongly recommended by us.

Read review: REI Co-op Camp Roll Table

Top Pick for a Lightweight Model


Helinox Table One


Top Pick Award

$119.20
at Amazon
See It

64
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability and Strength - 30% 5
  • Portability - 30% 9
  • Durability - 20% 4
  • Ease of Setup - 20% 7
Material: Aluminum and Polyester | Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Surprisingly high weight capacity
Compact and lightweight
Cup holders
Cannot recommend for cooking
Pricey
Small

Yes, it's a bit pricey. But, if you're needing a high quality, lightweight pack table that's almost strong enough to sit on, the Helinox Table One is worth every penny. This table is super light, compact, and strong. Also suitable as an end table for a camp chair, this table can hold a lot of weight and is very easy to use. For short, weekend forays into the backcountry, river trips, and lunch hikes to a scenic spot, this table is easy to stow or lash to the outside of your pack to bring some convenience to your experience.

It will, however, set you back some serious cash. The fabric top isn't suited for cooking, either, which is one of the limiting factors in this table's versatility. We give the Helinox our Top Pick for a Backcountry Pack Table Award because it boasts the quality and strength needed to withstand the rigors of more extreme outdoor use, all in a tiny, lightweight package.

Read review: Helinox Table One

Top Pick for a Cook Station


Camp Chef Sherpa Table


Top Pick Award

$99.99
(32% off)
at Amazon
See It

66
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability and Strength - 30% 8
  • Portability - 30% 4
  • Durability - 20% 7
  • Ease of Setup - 20% 8
52834
Material: Aluminum and 600 Denier Fabric| Weight: 10.8 lbs.
Stellar organization
Relatively lightweight
Easy to set up
A little short
Narrow tabletop

It's not everything plus the kitchen sink, but the Camp Chef Sherpa Table is our favorite cooking station. It's not the largest table, but it's an organizer's dream. Our favorite part of this table are its separate storage totes, which fit perfectly into the table's interior and allow users to pack and carry nearly all of their cooking supplies in one container. It sets up like a dream and has a very reasonable base weight. It's a perfect table for keeping everything you need in one place, and for cooking up grub for a medium to small-sized camp.

While this model has plenty of storage space, it doesn't boast a large cooking space. It's also a bit vertically challenged. At first glance, it's obviously shorter than the other cook stations we tested, and our testers felt it needed more than just one setting for height. Yet, for its extreme convenience and organization, this is our favorite cook station.

Read review: Camp Chef Sherpa Table


Reviewer Jason Wanlass toting several tables for testing.
Reviewer Jason Wanlass toting several tables for testing.

Why You Should Trust Us


OutdoorGearLab Review Editor Jason Wanlass, makes Utah his home. On any given day, he can be found wandering about in the nearby Rocky Mountains. An avid hiker and backpacker, he also spends a lot of time on the road, headed for adventures in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, the Tetons of Wyoming, the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, or the Grand Canyon. Cruising up to campsites regularly, either in public campgrounds or BLM land, Jason has over 20 years of camping experience. Having a vast working knowledge of camping gear, he applied it to this review of camping tables and cooking stations.

Jason's testing laboratory incorporated his love of the outdoors. He loaded up these tables and hit the road, winding through Utah's epic mountains in the north and then through beautiful red rock country in the south, with a key stop in one of his favorite home state national parks, Bryce Canyon. Along the way, he spent countless hours testing each table to determine its overall performance.

Analysis and Test Results


With such a wide variety of tables available, we selected a few of each type. We scoured hundreds of the top tables on the market and then picked the ones that combined performance, value, and interest best. We narrowed our test metrics down to four vital assessments; stability and strength, portability, durability, and ease of set up. Of these four metrics, we weighted the first two the heaviest, which means scores in these two areas had greater positive impact on the table's overall score. After all, we feel a camp table needs to be stable and strong, and it needs to be portable. We recommend that you focus on the metrics you find most important, though, to lead you to the right product for your needs.

Related: Buying Advice for Camping Tables

We tested each table individually and then compared each table to their peers to see exactly how they stacked up against their competition.
We tested each table individually and then compared each table to their peers to see exactly how they stacked up against their competition.

Value


While we don't score products on the price compared to the performance they offer, we realize you probably do. While specialty tables that offer extremely low weight or systematic organization and features, expect to pay more. But if you just want a surface for cooking and eating upon, you can save a great deal of cash. The biggest bargain of the models we tested is actually the Editors' Choice Lifetime table, in our opinion. Instead of specializing in any given area, it's a utility table that can be used camping and many other scenarios, and it's built to last years of abuse. Despite its list price, it's also often sold at a steep discount at online retailers. For a more portable option at a great price, check out the REI Co-op Camp Roll Table.


Stability and Strength


When considering the basics, a table is used to hold things. Therefore stability and strength is a major component of any table. A table should be able to support a reasonable amount of weight and do so without tipping, twisting, or bowing.


Our stability and strength scoring accounts for 30 percent of each table's overall score. We conducted several tests, including adding weight incrementally to the same corner of each table until it began to tip. We also examined each table's construction and the materials used to create it. We studied its pressure points, design, and sturdiness. Then we conducted tests to determine how much sway the table had, and scored them accordingly.

We weren't very nice. We pushed  twisted  yanked  forced  and much more  to find out how each of these tables would perform in the outdoors. In the end  we feel a camp table should be strong and stable.
We weren't very nice. We pushed, twisted, yanked, forced, and much more, to find out how each of these tables would perform in the outdoors. In the end, we feel a camp table should be strong and stable.

In the end, we found steel-framed tables to be the strongest and generally the most stable. Both the Lifetime 4428 Adjustable Folding Utility Table and the GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station employ powder-coated, steel frames. We found these two tables to be the strongest. However, the Slim-Fold didn't receive as high of marks for stability. Its fold-out design creates a base that is much more narrow than its width, creating a potentially top-heavy design, depending on the weight of the items it is holding.

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.
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.

Of the all-aluminum tables we tested, the REI Co-op Camp Roll Table excelled in this metric. It is without question the strongest and most stable aluminum table we've ever tested. Among the smaller, backpacking variety, the Helinox Table One crushed its peers in this category.

Rei Co-op table is extremely stable and strong  making it a perfect place to store gear  cook or serve as a buffet table.
The Helinox's unique design allows the table to lean and adjust to weight instead of toppling over. Here it easily handles a 30-pound river stone right on its corner.

Portability


A table is often considered a luxury item in the outdoors, and luxury shouldn't be arduous or inconvenient. After all, camping has its own set of innate challenges, so what is the point of adding a bit of luxury if that luxury is more trouble than the comfort it provides?


While spending time outdoors, be it camping, traveling, or tailgating, one key component a camping table should possess is portability. Weighing in at 30 percent of each table's overall score, we believe portability is equally important to stability and strength. Simply put, a camping table should be reasonably lightweight, easy to carry, simple to move or reposition, and compact.

We like the storage bag of the Mountain Summit table. It's large enough to easily fit the table's components and convenient enough to easily sling over a shoulder for easy transport.
We like the storage bag of the Mountain Summit table. It's large enough to easily fit the table's components and convenient enough to easily sling over a shoulder for easy transport.

The tables that received our highest marks in this area are the smaller, backpacking tables like the Helinox Table One. For larger, general-purpose, camping tables, the REI Co-op Camp Roll Table crushed the competition when its weight and size are compared to its portability. In the cooking station category, the Mountain Summit Gear Deluxe Roll Top Kitchen is the most portable, based on its overall weight and ability to collapse for transport.

Attaching to a backpack is a breeze for the Helinox.
Attaching to a backpack is a breeze for the Helinox.

Durability


Given the nature of how and where camping tables are used, they should be durable. Outdoor living, whether it be in a stadium parking lot, a picnic at the beach or multiple days in the woods, comes with more inherent challenges. We expected the tables we examined to be able to withstand repeated use in these more challenging environments, and if we didn't feel they measured up, we made sure to adjust their scores accordingly. This metric weighed in at 20 percent of each table's overall score.


In this category, we looked first at the company's warranty. In general, a manufacturer's backing of their product is a tell-tale sign of how durable the table is, before ever taking it out of the box. We also put each table through the wringer by deploying and stowing each at least a dozen times, while examining them for even the slightest bit of wear and tear.

A camp table will often be subjected to environments that your home dining table would never want to see. That's why a camp table should boast a durability that will last for years.
A camp table will often be subjected to environments that your home dining table would never want to see. That's why a camp table should boast a durability that will last for years.

Additionally, we scrutinized every inch of each table, used them repeatedly in the outdoors, and gave them each an objective score based on our own experience. In the end, we felt the steel-framed tables excelled. The Lifetime 4428 Adjustable Folding Utility Table and the GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station are made of more durable materials when it comes to repeated use and exposure to outdoor living. Next in line were the REI Co-op Camp Roll Table and the Camp Time Roll-A-Table.

Ease of Setup


A camping table should be a breeze to set up and take down. Overall, it should also be easy to use. In general, the reason you're outdoors is to have fun and relax, not to spend time reading instructions and counting and organizing a parts list. We expected the tables we used to be set and stowed in less than one minute — preferably in seconds. We also expected each table to be deployed by one person.


Of all the different tables we looked at, we were surprised to discover that the easiest to use were not always the smallest and lightest ones. For example, the Lifetime 4428 Adjustable Folding Utility Table and the GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station are the two heaviest tables we studied, but they can be set up and taken down in seconds. Other tables that were a breeze to use are the Camp Chef Sherpa Table and the Trekology TAO.

The outdoors is about rest and relaxation  not fumbling with parts and instructions. We feel a camp table should be easy and intuitive to set up -- preferably in less than a minute.
The outdoors is about rest and relaxation, not fumbling with parts and instructions. We feel a camp table should be easy and intuitive to set up -- preferably in less than a minute.

Conclusion


Throughout our review, we didn't give these tables any leeway. Regardless of price or brand, we held all to high standards, and we were not afraid to score them according to their performance. We researched everything we would want to know if we were buying these table for ourselves, and we did our best to score them on straight performance. There are many different types of camping tables. One size does not fit all. We hope this review provides you with the necessary insight to find the best table for your outdoor adventures.

The most important thing to consider before your next camp table purchase is where and how you plan to enjoy the outdoors.
The most important thing to consider before your next camp table purchase is where and how you plan to enjoy the outdoors.


Jason Wanlass