There is no doubt that camping is becoming increasingly popular world-over and there are more potential campers than ever. Consequently, the number of companies manufacturing camping gears and furniture, including camping tables, is on the rise. This means one thing, finding a camping table for your camping adventure is no longer a hustle.
Camping table benefits you in many different ways that most campers tend to easily overlook. Most of the time, a camping table is associated with just food preparation, but the fact is that you can literally use it for v, like playing various ways such as games, storing stuff, playing with kids, and so on. If price is a concern, you’ll be surprised to know that camping tables are cheap and affordable due to wide range of selection you can find in the market these days. The designs have come a long way as well. Most are designed to be light and compact for easy carry on hence weight is no longer an issue.
Other types of camping tables can be strapped on to your backpack that you can take on a hiking trail as well. There are many different camping tables from various companies and brands, so it is very important that you find the best and most appropriate one for your camping trip. Before we go ahead discussing about the steps to choose the best portable camping table, let us discuss exactly what should you look for when buying a camping table.
Determine Intended Use
- Camping tables designed to help campers prepare food.
- Camping tables designed for meal times.
- Camping tables fitted with washstands for easy clean-up after meals.
- Camping table designed for activities such as playing games and more.
- Camping tables designed to offer a real focal-point (especially if you’re not allowed to light a camp-fire) where the whole family or group can gather and discuss the days’ hike, the exciting stuff you saw on the backpacking trail or wonder what’s happening on the latest edition of “American Idol” because Mom arranged the camping trip on just the most exciting TV weekend of the year . . . thanks for that Mom!
The type of material used to manufacture a patio or camping table is important for several reasons. First, it’s important to attaining the specific vibe you want in your camping space. In addition, different materials portray varying ability to withstand harsh conditions, weight, and durability. The following are the specific types of material used to make camping/outdoor tables:
Wooden: Being one of the oldest materials used to make furniture, numerous types of wood are used in production of camping tables, but the following types of wood are the best:
In its natural form, wood has a classic, rustic quality, making it the ideal choice for camping adventurers that want a nature-inspired, casual décor in their outdoor space.
Wood made outdoor tables are long lasting. In fact, teak camping tables have a lifespan of more than 50 years.
Note that tables made of treated or sealed wood are more durable than furniture made of bare wood. However, some types of wood such as eucalyptus and teak, retain some oils long after being cut which keep them moist and damage resistant even when bare.
Metal: Metallic camping tables are more elegant and formal than wood. Typically made of steel or iron, metal camping tables are heavy and more durable, making them the ideal choice for outdoor spaces characterized by violent wind since they won’t be blown away by storms. Note that without proper care, most metals rust quickly.
PVC or Plastic Camp Tables: PVC and plastic camping tables are the cheapest options and the most casual. Also, they are lightweight, meaning they are easy to carry around and/or store. If well maintained, PVC and plastic tables last for decades. However, in wet climates, they may develop mildew.
Rattan or wicker Tables: Rattan or wicker patio furniture are slightly casual than metal and wood but a little more formal than plastic. Rattan and wicker do not weather well. As a matter of fact, without proper care, they quickly develop mildew and mold. For this reason, it is advisable to house wicker and rattan camping tables in covered or screened porches after use rather than leaving them out in the open.
Size and Shape
In addition to the material, the shape and size of the camping table should meet your needs and fit in the space in which it will be used. There are 3 categories of camping tables based on their sitting capacity and size.
Bistro Tables: Bistro tables are the smallest camping table options. They are normally set-up with 2 chairs, but they can be arranged to accommodate 4 people. Bistro tables are ideal for use in limited outdoor spaces. They come in two height options, balcony (or pub) and standard height. Typically, standard bistro tables are about 30 inches high, and balcony options are about 36 inches tall.
Dining Tables: Camp dining tables are more diverse compared to bistro tables; they’re available in a variety of sizes and shape just as indoor dining tables. An ordinary outdoor dining table accommodates more than 6 people, but larger options are available that can serve up to 12 people. If you intend to serve buffet-style meals, camp dining tables are the perfect choice.
Extendable Tables: If none of the above options fits your needs, then you should go for an adjustable camping table. Extendable tables are perfect for families that need extendable options part of the time, but prefer more intimate experiences most of the times.
- How many people are going to the camp, if they are about six, you will need a big table to accommodate. Also, if some people in your group are used to placing their elbow on the table when eating, a big table is recommended.
- Height and size of the camping table should be compatible with that of camping chairs.
- Table stability- the outdoors is normally rough. So, settle for a stable table that won’t topple at the slight touch or wind.
- Look at the extras: Most camping tables are offered with side pockets to house the cans.
- Choose a table that is lightweight and portable for easy transportation in the carrying case.
Types of Camping Tables
The kind of camping tables that were around 5 to 8 years ago are completely obsolete. Today, we have some of the best, most versatile and lightweight camping tables available making camping easy and comfortable. Tables available for camping come in different shapes, sizes, materials, designs and more, and we are going to discuss about some of the most popular models here.
This particular type of camping table is mainly used for having dinner, lunch, and other meals together with your family or camping group. Having food together around a table outdoors is surely something every camper would love. These tables have a large flat surface area made of wood or plastic. You cannot expect them to be as sturdy as the one you might have at home, but they are perfect for outdoors. They are manufactured to easily fold or collapse into something small for carrying anywhere. Such tables tend to be wobbly, so remember to place appropriate weight on the table to make it steady. These are best used for playing board games and having your meal.
Cooking Station Tables
This type of outdoor camping table is tailor made for preparing food outdoors. All your favorite meal can be prepared outdoors effectively using one such table. Most of these tables are rectangular in shape and offer enough space for stove, cups and other vessels. Some cooking station tables also come with multiple levels in order to add more storage space for your convenience.
Soft Top Outdoor Tables
Soft tops are made of mesh or nylon, which makes them one of the versatile camping tables out in the market. The top layer is not suitable for placing an open cup or water bottle, and that is the reason why you can find many soft top outdoor tables come with cup holders. These tables are perfect for playing board games and card games with kids, family and friends.
We have discussed about the types of camping tables based purely on their purpose. Now let us look at some of the types based on their design construction.
Folding Camping Table
Folding camping tables are the most popular choice among backpackers and campers, and the main selling point of these tables is the ability to fold and carry them easily on any camping adventure. Since these are very popular, you can find folding tables of various brands in the market, giving you a wide range of options to choose from. Before you zero in on one particular folding table, make sure to check the surface area and height of the table.
Quality of a folding camping table can be tested by checking its folding capabilities. A table that is easy to fold and compact when folded would be the best. Tables that require a lot of your strength to fold and unfold should be avoided. How it folds up also matters because you would want a table that folds and fits your vehicle or backpack. Some folding tables also have a handle once folded, making it easy to carry them outdoors.
Roll Up Tables
If you have enough room in your car, then you could buy a roll up table; but, these tables are not suitable for campers who have a compact hatchback or other smaller cars. SUVs will be perfect for carrying big sized roll up tables. The legs of such tables fold under and the table on the whole rolls into a cylindrical tube. Setting up roll up tables is easier when compared to folding tables, and you can move them anywhere you want within seconds. They are lighter than folding tables but are not sturdy as those, which is a drawback.
Small outdoor camping tables, as the name suggests, are smaller and more compact. The surface area of these tables is smaller, they weigh less, and are more portable as well. You may not use such tables as your primary table, but they can be used as an additional table to store easily accessible items, such as fruits. If you have a SUV, then you could carry multiple small tables. Certain types come with additional storage mesh pockets. You can easily have them inside your tent, which is the main selling point of small tables.
Lightweight Camp Tables
Some of the table types we have discussed above may also come under this category, but the main motive behind buying a lightweight camping table would be to reduce the weight you carry for the trip. Some campsites do not allow you to park your car nearby; in such cases, you will need to carry all the gear you have a long way; this is when a lightweight camp table will come in handy. Another advantage of these lightweight tables is that, they are extremely affordable.
Well, that’s about all on choosing a camping table. Just make sure to select a table that’s lightweight and small enough for you to carry and store comfortably, and big enough to serve the intended use.