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Best Camping Table of 2021

We make our product assessments and recommendations after long test pe...
Photo: Jason Wanlass
By Jason Wanlass ⋅ Review Editor
Monday May 24, 2021
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For the last 7 years, our experts have put the best camping tables to the test. For 2021, we bought and tested 13 of the most promising options for side by side comparison. We studied a cross-section of tables, built for everybody from RV glampers to tent-dwelling backpackers. If squatting in the dirt isn't your cup of tea, your camp kitchen might thrive with a new table. Field testing took us on road trips, setting up camp along rivers and in front-country campgrounds. We assess the quality and features of each table across key performance metrics to identify our top recommendations for a variety of uses and budgets.

Top 13 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 13
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Awards Editors' Choice Award  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $59.99 at Amazon$100 List
Check Price at REI
$99 List$75 List
Check Price at REI
$146 List
Check Price at Backcountry
Overall Score Sort Icon
78
74
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66
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Pros Solid plastic table top, quick set up, durable, large but portable, steel legs and baseLarge surface, sturdy, all-metal, adjustable, encapsulated table topCompact storage, durable, solid-surface table top, easy to clean, base and table top store together nicelyStout, well-built, lightweight for its size, convenientAmazing storage options, self-contained, ready-to-use design
Cons A little heavy, more difficult to carry than collapsible aluminum tables, difficult for one person to adjust leg heightHeavy, table top prone to dents, more expensiveCan be wobbly, setup requires top of table to face down, hands get dirty during set upProtective grommets prone to detach, base of table difficult to expand, tight to pack into carrying case, limited leg spaceSits low, does not compress or collapse, small cooking space
Bottom Line 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 salesA heavy camping table to fulfill camping, RV life, and cookout needs for a large surface area with adjustable leg heightThis long-time classic table with a vinyl cover is easy to clean, has a straightforward setup, and packs up nicelyThis is a square, stout table that that comes in handy for a camping trip, tailgate party, day at the beach, and moreTop notch organization comes at the expense of portability, but having all your camp cooking needs in one place is super convenient
Rating Categories 4428 Height Adjusta... REI Co-op Camp Prep... Camp Time Roll-A-Table REI Co-op Camp Roll... Camp Chef Sherpa Table
Stability And Strength (30%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Portability (30%)
5.0
5.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Durability (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Ease Of Setup (20%)
9.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
Specs 4428 Height Adjusta... REI Co-op Camp Prep... Camp Time Roll-A-Table REI Co-op Camp Roll... Camp Chef Sherpa Table
Measured Weight (lbs) 18.1 lbs 19.7 lbs 10.1 lbs 8.0 lbs 10.2 lbs
Unfolded Dimensions (inches) 48 x 24 x 24/29/36 in 49 x 24 x 22-31 in 32.3 x 32.3 x 28 in 27.5 x 27.5 x 27.5 in 27 x 17 x 28 in
Folded Dimensions (inches) 24 x 23.5 x 3 in 24 x 24.5 x 4.25 in 32.3 x 6.5 x 4.5 in 27.5 x 7 x 4.5 in 15.75 x 27 x 18.25 in
Table Height (inches) 24 in, 29 in, 36 in 22 - 31 in 28 in 27.5 in 28 in
Table Top Material Injection molded plastic Steel Wood and poly-vinyl Aluminium Aluminium
Claimed Max Support Weight Not mentioned 100 lb 100 lbs 100 lbs 66 lbs


Best Overall Camping Table


Lifetime 4428 Height Adjustable Folding Utility Table


78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability and Strength 9
  • Portability 5
  • Durability 9
  • Ease of Setup 9
Material: Steel and high-density polyethylene plastic | Weight: 18.1 lbs.
Built to last
Versatility
Easy set-up with adjustable legs
Lots of surface area
Easy to clean
Heavy
Packs up large

Its product name needs a little work, but when we compare pricing to overall performance, nearly nothing compares to the Lifetime 4428 Adjustable Folding Utility Table. Hands down it's a great general-purpose table and one of the best deals on the market, earning it our top honors for the fourth year in a row. Throughout our testing, it scored high marks and is one of the more practical and usable tables we studied. It's stable, strong, portable, and easy to set up and take down. We love the surface area the table provides. Its adjustable steel legs make it the tallest table we've reviewed at its highest setting. Even better, this table has no X-braces, which allows for plenty of room for knees and legs. The Lifetime may resemble something from an industrial supplies catalog, but what it lacks in flash, it easily makes up for in basic function, extreme durability, and cost.

The Lifetime does come with its flaws. It's heavy, and its bright white tabletop shows dirt and smudges. Although incredibly strong and durable, this table has a fair amount of sway, making it a titch wobbly. The plastic-based, injection-molded table top is also less fire- and heat-resistant than its all-metal competitors, but it's almost dent-proof and otherwise exceptionally durable. It might not bear the appearance of a traditional camping table, but its utilitarian appeal is vast and its price is right.

Read review: Lifetime 4428 Adjustable Folding Utility Table

Best Overall Roll-Top Table


Camp Time Roll-A-Table


70
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability and Strength 7
  • Portability 7
  • Durability 8
  • Ease of Setup 6
Material: Wood, poly-vinyl, and aluminum | Weight: 10.1 lbs.
Solid surface
Very packable
Wipes clean easily
Leaves aluminum residue on hands
Some wobble

A longtime favorite for car camping and multi-day rafting trips, the Camp Time Roll-A-Table is also one of our personal favorites for the second year in a row. It sets up quickly and rolls down into a compact package. Its tabletop is constructed of wood slats that are fully encased in a durable poly-vinyl that is easy to wipe clean. Its aluminum legs screw into the tabletop, a unique design among roll-top models which often have more complicated set-up configurations. It's large enough for food prep, playing cards, or seating a few people for a sit-down meal, and the mesh pocket in the front is great for storing odds and ends and kitchen tools. It can also serve as a drying rack for recently washed dishes. One of our testers has used this model for several years of rafting trips, and it has held up great.

Though sturdy, the table can be wobbly due to its lack of crisscrossing support beams (although this allows us to comfortably sit at the table, too). Aluminum dust from the legs wore off on our hands when assembling the table, which required us to rinse off our hands after setting up and tearing down. Flaws aside, we know of several people who've used this table for a decade or longer. Though it's not one of the cheapest options in our test fleet, when you consider the years of potential use you may get out of it, its price tag could end up being a bargain. We feel that its packability, straightforward setup, and general usefulness are great enough to earn it one of the top spots in our review.

Read review: Camp Time Roll-A-Table

Best Bang for Your Buck


Portal Outdoor Lightweight Aluminum


63
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability and Strength 6
  • Portability 7
  • Durability 6
  • Ease of Setup 6
Material: Aluminum | Weight: 8.9 lbs.
Inexpensive
Lightweight for its size
Sturdy enough
X-frame prohibits knees from fitting under table
Potential long-term durability issues

It might lack a wow factor, but it's easy on the bank account and good enough to get the job done. The Portal Outdoor Lightweight Aluminum Table is your best option if you're looking to save a penny or if you simply need a basic table for light-duty work. The Portal is lightweight and sturdy enough for basic use in most outdoor environments. Because it doesn't rely on a bungee system to hold its folding tabletop design in place, we feel that this model has a leg up in this aspect of durability over similar models that use bungee cords which can be expected to lose their elasticity over time.

The Portal certainly isn't big-boned and most of its key moving parts are made from thin plastic, leaving a large question mark on this table's long-term durability. It's also a little short, and the X-shaped metal braces force most adults to sit sideways instead of placing their knees under the table. These drawbacks aside, we still think that this model proves its value by sufficing for lots of camping and backyard needs without costing too much. If you won't use your table a lot, this one works and saves cash.

Read review: Portal Outdoor Lightweight Aluminum

Best Cook Station


Camp Chef Sherpa Table


66
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability and Strength 8
  • Portability 4
  • Durability 7
  • Ease of Setup 8
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 smaller than the largest cook stations we examined, but this table is an organizer's dream. The Sherpa's stand-out feature is its colorful, separate storage totes. They fit perfectly into the table's interior and allow users to organize, pack, and carry nearly all of their cooking supplies in one system. The Sherpa sets up super fast and has a very reasonable base weight. It's an ideal 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 workspace. It's also a bit vertically challenged. It's 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

Best Lightweight Model


Helinox Table One


64
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability and Strength 5
  • Portability 9
  • Durability 4
  • Ease of Setup 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 pricey. But, if you're needing a high-quality, lightweight pack table, the Helinox Table One is worth it. This table is super light, compact, and strong. Also suitable as an end table, the Helinox can often be found accompanying a camp chair for an outdoor meal or holding drinks during sunset watching at the beach. 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.

This table will 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 recognize the Helinox for its backcountry prowess 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

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price Our Take
78
$70
Editors' Choice Award
For camping and so much more, this utility table does it all
74
$100
We have few real qualms with this table, though we think you can get equal or better function out of similar products that cost less
70
$99
Editors' Choice Award
Large enough to prep, cook, and dine on, with a frame design that allows you easily fit your knees under the tabletop
69
$75
Its lightweight but sturdy design makes this table a fine tag-a-long for camping trips
66
$146
Top Pick Award
If keeping all your camp kitchen needs organized and quickly available, this is your best bet
64
$120
Top Pick Award
Perfectly compact, lightweight, strong and portable, you can take this table nearly anywhere
63
$50
Best Buy Award
Sometimes a simple, generic, inexpensive table is exactly what you need
62
$100
Counter space galore was our first impression right out of the box
62
$100
Not a heavyweight regarding durability, but this table is spacious and perfect for dining and card playing
60
$100
We love this table's large, stout design and sleek look, but were far less enamored with its setup process and potential wear and tear issues
58
$50
If basic function is all that is necessary, this table fulfills that need at an affordable price
55
$45
One of the very few pack tables with a metal top, this mini table is more affordable than some of its competition
55
$150
We were intrigued with its look and design, but underwhelmed with its performance

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

Why You Should Trust Us


OutdoorGearLab Review Editor Jason Wanlass makes Utah his home, where he has year-round access to a variety of outdoor settings and activities. On any given day, he can be found wandering about in the nearby mountains. An avid hiker and backpacker, he also spends a lot of time on the road and enjoys finding unique, out of the way, weekend campground spots in Utah or its neighboring states. When on foot, Jason enjoys wandering trails in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, the Tetons of Wyoming, the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, or the Grand Canyon. Cruising up to campsites regularly, either in public campgrounds or BLM land, Jason has more than 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.

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Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

For our recent camp table testing, we started by researching the latest models to be released over the past year. We purchased the most intriguing models, using our experience to decide which models would fill out our review line-up best. Then, Jason hit the road, winding through mountains and beautiful red rock country. On several occasions, our lead tester incorporated the assistance of other campground veterans in the tests and assessments. Along the way, he spent countless hours testing each table to determine its overall performance. To test each model's ability to support weight, we added unbalanced weights to their corners until the point of failure. We cooked several meals on all models that would support two-burner camping stoves and assessed the give and wobble in each table's legs. From specific tests to all-around use, we got to know these tables very well to provide in-depth performance assessments.

Related: How We Tested Camping Tables

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

Analysis and Test Results


We narrowed our test metrics down to four vital assessments; stability and strength, portability, durability, and ease of setup. Of these four metrics, we weighted the first two the heaviest, which means scores in these two areas had a greater 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


Value


We realize cost is a key decision-making factor for most folks making gear decisions. While specialty tables can 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 the Lifetime model. Instead of specializing in any given area, it's a utility table that can be used for camping, cookouts, and many other social gatherings, and it's built to withstand years of abuse while ringing up for a very fair price.

If used for basic, light-duty activities, the Portal is durable...
If used for basic, light-duty activities, the Portal is durable enough to last more than just a few years. We don't feel it will last a lifetime, but considering its price tag, it's still a great value.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Should you want something that takes up less packed space and is more portable, the Portal Outdoor Lightweight Aluminum table impresses with its performance per dollar spent. It lacks the utility of the do-it-all Lifetime table, but most campers just need some kind of surface to cook or eat upon, and the Portal table suffices with an inexpensive price tag. Among camping tables, one typical tradeoff for a lower price tag is long-term durability. This applies to the Portal model, as well as many of the low-priced products we tested. Still, if you don't use the product frequently and don't abuse it, bargain products like the Portal get the job done without having to spend money on a larger, sturdier table.

Stability and Strength


At its core, a table's purpose is to hold things. Therefore stability and strength should be major components 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&#039;t very nice. We pushed, twisted, yanked, forced, and much...
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.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

In the end, we found steel-framed tables to be the strongest and generally the most stable. Our favorite, the Lifetime 4428 Adjustable Folding Utility Table, mixes a heavy-duty steel frame with a lightweight injection-molded tabletop, giving it incredible strength at a slightly lower weight. All-metal tables like the REI Co-op Camp Prep Table and the Mountain Summit Gear Heavy-Duty Roll-Top offer a bit more style along with their strength and stability. Both scored high marks in this area; however, both come with a larger price tag than the Lifetime product, which is every bit as strong and stable. The GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station also employs a powder-coated, steel frame. 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&#039;s steel frame and legs don&#039;t get in the way of knees...
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.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Among the smaller, backpacking variety, the Helinox Table One crushed its peers in this category. Additionally, we found the Coleman Compact Aluminum Table and the Portal Outdoor Lightweight Aluminum Table to virtually have the same basic design. Each is an inexpensive, light-duty table; however, of the two, we feel the Portal is slightly stronger and more sturdy than the Coleman.

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Click to enlarge

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&#039;s large...
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.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

The tables that received our highest marks in this area are the smaller, backpacking tables like the Helinox Table One. 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. For smaller, square tables, the Coleman Compact and the Portal Aluminum tables are both relatively lightweight and fit nicely into carrying bags with shoulder straps. Of the heavier models, we feel the Lifetime model was easier to transport than many of the steel-framed models we tested. This is accomplished by the Lifetime being well-balanced when stowed, making it easier to carry with a single, well-placed handle.

Attaching to a backpack is a breeze for the Helinox.
Attaching to a backpack is a breeze for the Helinox.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

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 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...
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.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

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. We feel the Lifetime 4428 Adjustable Folding Utility Table has one of the more durable designs of any camping table on the market, especially when we consider its price. Additionally, REI Co-op Camp Prep Table and the GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station are made of durable materials when it comes to repeated use and exposure to outdoor living. Next in line is the Camp Time Roll-A-Table, which employs a mixture of metal, wood, and vinyl to achieve high scores in this metric.

One of the weakest features of the Coleman Compact are its X-braces...
One of the weakest features of the Coleman Compact are its X-braces. They are thin and bow easily under pressure. This creates sway and wobbling, and allows the table's legs to stretch out of place when sliding the table, especially when it's loaded with weight.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

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 is one of our larger and heavier models; however, it sets up and tears down in just seconds. Additionally, the REI Co-op Camp Prep Table, the GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station are three of the heaviest tables we studied, but they can be set up and taken down in under a minute. 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...
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.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

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 tables for ourselves, and we did our best to score them on plain old 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...
The most important thing to consider before your next camp table purchase is where and how you plan to enjoy the outdoors.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Jason Wanlass