Folding camping tables are more important than you think. I found this out the hard way when my family and I started camping together. My fiancée and might have made it okay – but kids need a place to put their plates.
Well fast forward to dirt in all our drinks and wind blowing food from our plates and we realized that we may not have thought things all the way through. A folding camping table would have made our trip a lot more comfortable. Not only would it have prevented our drinks from being on the ground, but with all of us huddled at the table, the wind wouldn’t have been so bad. Plus, it just makes sense to have a table.
I decided to research camping tables on the market and put it in a handy guide for others like us. Below is a guide to choosing the best folding camping tables on the market plus some suggestions on tables you may like.
Folding Camping Table Buying Guide
Here are the things that I think matter when it comes to choosing the best table for you and your camping experience! This is based on my experience with tables, but let me know in the comments if you think about it differently or believe different other factors are more important when you are on the hunt for a new table
- For hot, sunny environments, you’ll want to avoid metal tables. They heat up and can burn you when you touch it. Cloth/canvas tables are a good choice, but you’ll need to be careful with the metal legs.
- For rainy and/or humid environments, wood is not a great choice. Over time the moisture can deteriorate the wood and encourage the growth of mold/mildew.
- Plastic is a great choice for almost any type of environment, but you’ll want to get one made of strong, durable plastic. Otherwise, your table may not last long.
- For mountaineering, aluminum is a great choice because it can survive the harshness of the environment but is very lightweight and won’t add much weight to your gear. Stainless steel is heavier but it’s also one of the most durable materials for a table you can get.
Folding camping tables come in a variety of heights. Height is a personal preference and is affected by the purpose of you buying a table. If you’re going to use it as a dining table, you’re going to want it to be a good height for the chairs you’ll be sitting in. One great choice is tables with adjustable heights. This can let you use the table in a variety of situations.
The weight of the table you choose should be based on the type of camping you plan to do. If you’re backpacking, there is no doubt that you’ll want something small and lightweight. However, if you’re car camping or in an RV, you can go for something bigger.
The weight of folding camping tables can range from a few ounces up to several pounds. A good judge of weight is material. Thinner plastic tables and aluminum are going to be your most lightweight options. Next would be cloth/canvas tables and thicker plastic tables such as those made with high density polyethylene (HDPE). The heaviest choices are those made from stainless steel and wood.
If you’re backpacking and everyone has their personal table, that’s great. However, if you plan to all use the same table, you’ll probably want to get one big enough for everyone to use at once. You should also consider what you’re going to use the table for. Is it for dining or is it for holding things? Perhaps you just want a water station in which case a small table would be suitable.
The five best camping tables (folding edition) of 2020
My overall favorite: Lifetime Height Adjustable
This table by Lifetime one of the best folding camping tables you can get because it’s such a high-quality table. For one, it’s made of HDPE and has powder-coated steel legs so it’s strong, solid, and dependable. It’s also very easy to clean HDPE – simply wipe and go. This table can be used in any type of environment, even freezing cold mountaineering environments. HDPE can withstand temperatures as low as -100°F.
and Utility Folding Table, 4 ft, 4'/48 x 24, White Granite
There is one time you probably don’t want this table – for backpacking. This table is heavy. It weighs 19 pounds and although it folds, it doesn’t fold small enough to make it suitable for a backpacker. However, it’s great for car camping or RV camping. The table, when unfolded, measures 48 inches long by 24 inches wide. It can be adjusted to three different heights: 24 inches, 29 inches, and 36 inches. Besides backpacking, this is a great table that we’d recommend to anyone.
- HDPE and steel are a durable combination.
- Adjustable to three different heights.
- Built-in carry handle that’s reinforced.
- Seats up to four people.
- A bit heavy for a camping table.
- Still large even when folded.
- Can stain easily if messes sit too long.
Best Small Camping Table: Trekology Portable
If you’re in the market for a smaller side table, the Trekology table has a lot of good qualities. For one, it’s made of an aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, making it more durable than your typical aluminum table. Is this overkill for camping? Maybe a little bit at least you know this table is going to last in just about any environment. It’s waterproof, weatherproof, and the color resists fading. It’s almost too good to be true for a table in this price range.
Hard-Topped Folding Table in a Bag Picnic, Camp, Beach, Boat, Useful Dining & Cooking Burner, Easy to Clean (Brown, Large)
One thing I liked the most besides the space-technology top is the fact that it comes in three different sizes. The small measures 15.6″ x 13.6″, the medium is 22″ x 18″, and the large is 27″ x 18″. All three of them are low-height tables which means you can use them sitting in a chair or sitting on the ground. They’re also very lightweight, weighing from 1.8 pounds up to 3.2 pounds. For people who don’t need a lot of table space, this is a great choice for a folding camping table.
- Highest quality aluminum used for tabletop.
- Comes in blue or brown.
- Rubber feet make it suitable for different terrains.
- Easy to clean.
- Thin frame – can’t hold much weight.
- Not very much difference between medium and large.
Good at everything, great at nothing: Coleman Camping Table
Coleman is one of the most popular product names when it comes to camping, and for good reason. They make trustworthy products and this table is no exception. It’s one of the most compact aluminum tables around. The legs of the table compress accordion-style and the tabletop rolls up. The whole system fits into a bag that is around the height of a golf club bag.
While the table is very compact, it does have a little weight to it. This is because the legs are steel. However, it’s not extremely heavy – most people can hold the whole, compacted system with one hand. Plus, the good thing about steel legs is that they can stand up to the wind quite nicely.
The table is a perfect square with each side measuring 27.6 inches. That’s plenty of room for four people to enjoy dinner together. It’s a great choice for any camper.
- Strong steel legs that lock into place.
- Tabletop rolls up which saves a lot of space.
- Has a one-year warranty.
- Very easy to clean.
- It can be a little complicated to match up the holes to the pegs during assembly.
- Taking it apart can be a little difficult.
The softest option: Preferred Nation Folding Table
This round, 28″ diameter table has an interesting and thoughtful design. It’s a cloth table made from 600D polyester fabric. This is a good, thick fabric that’s tough and durable. The tabletop has four built-in, recessed, mesh drink holders that can hold standard-sized cups and cans. It makes sense to have recessed drink holders since the tabletop isn’t rigid and the slightest movements could make a tall bottle or can tumble over.
Polyester with Metal Frame, 4 Mesh Cup Holders, Compact, Convenient Carry Case Included - Black
While this isn’t the strongest table – it’s really meant for dining over anything else – it is sturdy if you use it for the right thing. It has strong metal legs. The manufacturer doesn’t indicate what kind of metal, but we’re certain that it’s not stainless steel or aluminum. However, it does have a powder coating on it so that should fight rusting and corrosion.
This is a great, compact table for camping, tailgating, backpacking, and more. Simply snap off the top, fold it along with the legs, and carry it in the convenient storage bag. The packed dimensions are 29 in x 15 in x 15.
- Has a cloth storage shelf on the bottom of the table.
- Comes in red, blue, or black. The colors are bright and bold.
- Very easy to assemble.
- The blue and red table stains easily.
- Mesh drink holders can rip with too much weight.
Best budget option: Camco Adirondack Portable Outdoor Folding Side Table
It’s always wise to have a budget option but you don’t have to get a budget quality product. This table is a plastic table that is designed to withstand multiple elements and weather conditions. While it’s not HDPE plastic, it’s still strong enough to hold up to 30 pounds. Plus, you get the other benefits of this kind of plastic – lightweight, affordable, and the ability to get it in multiple colors.
Speaking of colors, the table comes in white, taupe, sage, red, charcoal, gray, and mocha. The colors are rich and are protected by a UV-stabilizing resin, so they’ll resist fading. Also, the table resists staining and wipes off very easily.
This table is compact and folds down to a very manageable size. It comes in two different sizes. The regular measures 12″ x 14″ and stands 15″ tall. The large measures 18” x 15” and has a height of 19. 5”. This way you can choose between a dinner table or a snack table.
Side Table, Perfect for The Beach, Camping, Picnics, Cookouts & More, Weatherproof & Rust Resistant - Charcoal
- Folds almost flat for easy storage.
- It’s extremely affordable.
- Comes in great color options.
- It won’t splinter or crack and it resists corrosion.
- Doesn’t hold a lot of weight.
- Might blow over with a strong gust of wind.
These are the top five options, in my opinion, currently on the market. I’ve seen a bunch of these options on the market for a while, have seen them at plenty of campsites, and have done my best to talk to different owners (read: real users) to get their thoughts and opinions on what is the best.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This is always the most popular section of any one of these reviews. In this section, I try to highlight some of the most common questions I get. However, I’ll definitely miss a couple so let me know in the comments of any I missed!
Do you have suggestions on where to buy a camping folding table?
There are plenty of places to buy them. Most home improvement stores will have a good selection. There are also plenty of department stores, especially those geared towards outdoor products.
What on some tips on how to make a folding camping table?
If you’re a DIYer, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not hard to make one. You need something to serve as a tabletop. It can be a slab of wood, plastic, metal, or another hard surface. Then you’ll need four poles and for rubber stoppers to go on the end of each one. Use pivoting screws to make two sets of “X’s” with the poles and use more screws to limit how far the X’s can collapse in one direction. Place the tabletop on the legs and you have a makeshift folding table. However, this isn’t recommended, especially when you can just get a more economical one that is much sturdier.
Can you tell me how to make a wooden folding camping table?
Follow the instructions in the previous question but use all wood instead of plastic or metal. In many cases, it may be easier to use all wood because you may need a special drill or special screws for the other material.