There was a time when the words “camping table” just meant the flattest rock you could find. After all, who wants to bother with hauling a big heavy table all the way into the wilderness just so you have a flat place to store your hot dogs?
Those days are gone, and the days of the new, ultra-lightweight, feature-packed folding camping table is here. The best camping tables are all about high-performance stability with compact design, giving some of these tables the ability to travel with you on the most rugged of adventures. Or if you’re like us, you just like to have one of these tables in the back of your car for the impromptu adventure. Choosing a folding camping table isn’t quite as easy as it may seem. With all the options and styles that are available the whole thing is enough to make you dizzy. That’s why we’re counting down the 10 Best Folding Camping Tables of 2020, followed by an in-depth buyer’s guide that tells you exactly what you need to know in order to make an informed purchase.
- Dimensions 48 x 24 x 29 in
- Weight 19 pounds
- Height 24”, 29”, 36”
- Material HDPE
- 3 different adjustable height settings
- Folds in half for easy transport
- Somewhat heavy
- Lower weight capacity
- Dimensions 31.5 x 23.6 x 17 in
- Weight 13.9 pounds
- Height 17”- 25.6”
- Material HDPE
- Awesome Moso-Bamboo construction
- Lighter & more portable than other tables
- Not as sturdy as tables with non-adjustable legs
- Dimensions 28 x 43 x 28 in
- Weight 12 pounds
- Height 28”
- Material Aluminum
- Reputable company with lifetime guarantee
- Innovative folding-slat tabletop design
- Not as laterally sturdy
- Carrying bag can be a bit tedious
- Dimensions 8 x 8 x 28.5 in
- Weight 9.8 pounds
- Height 27”
- Material Aluminum
- Small & Lightweight
- Very affordable
- Only sturdy when weight is on top of it
- Smaller weight load limit than other camping tables
- Dimensions 47.2 x 18.5 x 27.4 in
- Weight 16.84 pounds
- Height 27.36”
- Material Aluminum/Nylon
- Convenient zip-up storage compartments
- Light & portable
- A bit too small
- Narrowness means that there is some danger of tipping
- Dimensions 47 x 32 x 28 in
- Weight 13.9 pounds
- Height 27.6”
- Material Aluminum/MDF
- Unique tri-fold design
- Sleek & stylish design
- Not very durable
- Not as sturdy as other tables
- Dimensions 24.99 x 28.99 x 4.99 in
- Weight 14.5 pounds
- Height 26.5”
- Material Aluminum/Plastic
- Built in seats (4x)
- Convenient suit-case style design
- Lower weight limit than is needed for a 4 person table with seats
- Nuts & screws need tightening from time to time
- Dimensions 27 x 16 x 27 in
- Weight 5 pounds
- Height 16”
- Material Aluminum alloy
- Ultra-lightweight construction
- Super easy setup & break down
- Not very sturdy
- Won’t last more than a few seasons
- Dimensions 33.5 x 25.5 x 25.8 in
- Weight 22.3 pounds
- Height 25.8”
- Material Plastic/aluminum
- Suitcase-style construction
- Included umbrella
- Low weight capacity
- Seats are quite low to the ground
Best Adjustable Folding Table
LIFETIME 4428 Height-Adjustable Camping & Utility Table
Height: 24”, 29”, or 36”
Weight: 19 LBS
Tabletop dimensions: 48” x 24”
Construction material: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Best feature: 3 different height settings
There is no questioning that LIFETIME is capable of making some of the best plastic products that you can find. Chances are, if you have something in your house that is made of hard plastic and you use it all the time, it was likely made by these guys. Almost everything they do is with the material HDP, or high-density polyethelene, which is the same thing that you see in a kayak or canoe. So you know that this is going to be a sturdy table indeed.
The best part about their 4428 model table is that it offers three different height settings, a feature that is so simplistic and convenient that we are over here wondering why we don’t see it on more camping tables. After all, not all camping chairs are built to the same height, so why would all camping tables be?
The dimensions here are big, one of the bigger tables on our list. However the fact that it folds for carrying means that it really isn’t that big of a hassle. At 19LBS, this doesn’t quite fit the bill for hiking trips, but is more than adequate for car camping applications.
Most Stylish Folding Table for Camping
Beckworth & Co. SMART FLIP Bamboo Portable Outdoor Picnic Table
Height: 17”- 25.6”
Weight: 10.2 LBS
Tabletop dimensions: Moso Bamboo
Construction material: High-Density Polyethylene
Best feature: Stylish Bamboo Construction
Just because you are out in the wilderness doesn’t mean that your table has to be all dirty. And you know that it will be, considering that most of these camping tables are made from that white or grey polyethylene that easily picks up dirt and is rarely stain resistant. For the style-conscious outdoor enthusiast, the answer is simple The Beckworth & Co. SmartFlip outdoor picnic table is one of the coolest looking tables that we reviewed.
And it’s not just a laminate print, either. This tabletop is made from real, premium Moso Bamboo, which is extremely lightweight but also very firm; the perfect combination for something that you want to be portable and durable.
The legs on this table are telescoping aluminum. This allows for the height to be adjusted at any point between 17” and 26.5”, as opposed to other tables where the adjustment levels are set. This design, although innovative, leads to a slight decrease in stability over time. We imagine the time will come when these legs start to wear out and the height will not be able to be adjusted anymore.
Best Lightweight Portable Table for Dining
ALPS Mountaineering Dining Table
Weight: 12 LBS
Tabletop dimensions: 28” W x 43” L
Construction material: Aluminum
Best feature: Innovative fold-up design
There are a lot of different outdoor manufacturers out there, too many perhaps to even know if the product you are getting is going to be any good. That’s why we can totally understand why someone would not mind paying a few extra bucks for a product from a company with a solid reputation and a lifetime warranty. After all, there is no better way to get peace of mind with your purchase.
Those are the things you’re getting with ALPS MOUNTAINEERING, a company that is not only known for solid, durable construction but also wonderful technical and customer service. The lifetime warranty is a pretty incredible thing here … there are only a few companies out there that can offer this on something as traditionally cheap as a camping table.
Here’s how it works: as opposed to other tables that fold in half or simply collapse into the legs, the ALPS table utilizes a tabletop of interconnected aluminum panels that are capable of folding down into a smaller position. This means that the whole table is capable of fitting inside a convenient shoulder carrying bag. For camping excursions and backpacking trips, this is an invaluable design. Because the table legs are on either side of the table and do not feature lateral supports, there is less sturdiness than we would prefer. In addition it can be a bit frustrating trying to get the whole thing in the carrying bag, but with a little practice it becomes totally possible.
Most Compact Portable Camping Table
COLEMAN Outdoor Compact Table
Weight: 10 LBS
Tabletop dimensions: 27” H x 27” W
Construction material: Aluminum
Best feature: Small & Lightweight table
The tables we have looked at thus far all share one thing in common: they are all just slightly too big to carry on a long distance backpacking trip. And while any backpacker will tell you that you are crazy to bring a whole table with you into the wilderness, there are times when you just can’t be without it, such as a mid-summer grill & chill up at your favorite mountain lake that cannot be accessed by vehicle.
The COLEMAN Outdoor Compact table is one of the smallest camping tables that we had the pleasure to review. At a very satisfying 27” x 27” x 27”, it is small enough for just about any adventure you can think of.
The total weight limit on this table is probably about 60 pounds, even if the manufacturer claims something slightly higher. It is important to remember that aluminum, although sturdy and lightweight, also has a tendency to bend much easier than other metals. Because of this, extended periods exceeding the recommended weight limit might lead to permanent bends and eventual damage. One thing is for sure … you certainly don’t want to be using this table as a chair.
The only problem with the COLEMAN table is that it is only sturdy when there is something on top of it to hold everything in place. When there is no weight on top it can be a bit unwieldy, but with a camping grill on top it seems to be quite stable indeed.
Most Portable Aluminum Camping Table
SEATOPIA Aluminum Folding Table with Storage Organizer
Weight: 16.84 LBS
Tabletop dimensions: 42.4” L x 18.5” W
Construction material: Aluminum / Nylon
Best feature: Additional Storage Compartments
In the world of outdoor gear, it is never a bad idea to distinguish yourself from the competitors. Sometimes the easiest way to do that is to add a feature so simple and convenient that it immediately sets your product apart. That’s why we’ve really got to hand it to SEATOPIA for giving us one of the first folding camping tables with additional storage compartments. This is honestly something that we have never seen until it was released last year, but already we are predicting that other manufactures are going to follow suit.
So what’s the deal with the Storage Organizer? It’s basically a fabric container, fully collapsible, that attaches to the legs beneath the table, acting something like an under-the-counter cupboard. It features two large zip-up pockets that divide the space into two distinct compartments, making it easy to organize everything from foodstuffs to cutlery to dishes and cups. She’s only about 1.5 feet wide, which is a little narrow than we usually like our camping tables to be. It’s so narrow that there is some danger of tipping if you’re not careful about how you are loading everything both on top of it and inside the storage compartments.
Best Tri-Fold Camping Table for Camping Chairs
KING CAMP Aluminum Alloy 3-Fold Camp Table with Carry Bag
Weight: 13 LBS
Tabletop dimensions: 47.2” L x 32.5” W
Construction material: Aluminum (Legs), MDF (Surface)
Best feature: Unique tri-fold design
When we first saw the KING CAMP 3-fold camp chair, we were a bit perplexed at how it would work. This might be the first tri-fold camping chair that we have seen, though no doubt there are more than a few imitations out there on the market.
The functionality of this design is admirable. It does make for easier breakdown and carry, though we are unsure if it makes the table any more lightweight or stable.
The overall stability leaves a little something to be desired. The legs aren’t as firmly installed as they are on other models, and the tabletop is not actually aluminum (as you might think it is if you look at any of the pictures online). Instead it is a melamine (MDF / particle board) paneling with a plastic coating. This means that the KING CAMP table is not going to take any extra abuse before it decides to break.
However this is a cool-looking, sleek camping table that is portable enough to carry out to the river for afternoon cocktails, so we are giving it our recommendation.
Best Folding Camping Table with Built-In Camping Chairs
OUTSUNNY Portable Folding Outdoor Camp Suitcase Picnic Table w/ 4 Seats
Weight: 14.5 LBS
Tabletop dimensions: 33.25” L x 25” W
Construction material: Aluminum & Plastic
Best feature: Built-in chairs (4x)
Although the actual design for this kind of table was first released in the seventies, it has been some time since a product manufacturer has really nailed the concept of it. The OUTSUNNY Camp Suitcase Picnic Table is one of the best attempts at the “suitcase style” camping table that we have seen in some time, and we are more than a little bit excited to gush about it.
First things first: this table is only 14.5 pounds, which is about the same weight as all the camping tables on the market that don’t have built in seating for 4. In addition to the remarkable light weight, the suitcase style fold-down makes for one of the easiest setup / breakdown / transportation indexes that we have on our list.
If there is anything to be desired, however, it might be a little bit of a higher weight capacity. As it stands, this thing might not be actually able to support 4 full-grown adults, however it seems to be the perfect thing for a family where two members are children.
In addition to the lower weight capacity, some of the screws and bolts on this thing aren’t as tight as we would like them to be. In order to keep your table in best condition, we recommend tightening these nuts and screws before each use.
Most Lightweight Camping Table
PORLAE Foldable Portable Aluminum Table with Carry Bag
Weight: 2.6 LBS
Tabletop dimensions: 22” L x 15.7” W
Construction material: Aluminum alloy
Best feature: Ultra-Lightweight Construction
Here is a product that the backpackers & long-distance adventures are going to absolutely love. At a shockingly light 2.6 pounds, the PORLAE portable table is the lightest camping table on our list by a significant margin. This is the kind of weight that would be required if you are hoping to strap this thing to the backpack for a good long tramp through the woods; that’s about the weight of an ultralight sleeping bag.
So how does the PORLAE table hold up in terms of overall performance? We had to put it to a real outdoor test to find out.
The truth is: this isn’t the sturdiest table that you can get, but for good reason. The materials are so lightweight that it simply cannot support as much as other, thicker camping tables. And yet the recommended maximum weight capacity is listed at 55 pounds, so it’s hard to say. Our real recommendation is to reconsider that number, somewhere closer to 40 pounds if you want to keep your table in the best condition possible.
While great for the occasional excursion or road trip, don’t expect this table to last for more than a few seasons. But at this price, that’s still a pretty good deal.
Sturdiest Folding Table for Camping
BEST CHOICE PRODUCTS Folding Camping Table
Weight: 22 LBS
Tabletop dimensions: 48” L x 24” W
Construction material: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Best feature: 300 LB weight capacity
When it comes to absolute sturdiness, there is simply no product on our list that performs better than the table from BEST CHOICE. While there is nothing new or innovative about its bi-fold design, it has the greatest weight capacity (300 pounds) and sturdiest legs compared to any of the other tables that our team took a look at. The gravity-slide locking mechanisms keep the legs in placed, as opposed to come cheaper tables that might buckle on you if you’re not careful.
Some people might be averse to high-density polyethylene (HDPE) considering the prevalence of more fanciful materials like aluminum and bamboo. For one thing, HDPE certainly isn’t as light as those materials, and it is not as easy to clean as aluminum. But the rigidity and long-lasting durability of HDPE makes it the ideal choice for someone who is looking for a table that is going to last. The only complaint we have was that after 24 hours with 300 pounds of weight on it (this is how we do out weight testing) the table displayed a slight but noticeable sag along the middle fold line. We can’t say if this would lead to an eventual collapse, but it does mean that this table might be better for short term use rather than for long-term storage.
Best Camping Table with an Umbrella
STANSPORT Picnic Table & Umbrella Combo
Weight: 22.3 LBS
Tabletop dimensions: 33.5” W x 25.5” L
Construction material: Plastic & anodized aluminum
Best feature: Included umbrella
We love suitcase-style camping tables. There is nothing quite as satisfying as folding the whole kit and caboodle into a portable and compact unit that you can literally carry just like a suitcase. It used to be that this style of camping table required thicker metals, which means heaver weights in the range of 30 to 40 pounds. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. New aluminum alloys and hard plastics have got this one down to 22.3 pounds, which is heavier than many camping tables, but lighter than those that have chairs. Then there’s the umbrella to consider, which is probably a few pounds itself.
The biggest problem with suitcase style camping tables is that they do not offer the same kind of weight capacity as simpler bi-fold tables. The STANSPORT picnic table is no exception to this rule unfortunately. The result is that this table is perhaps more suited to children than it is for adults. We recommend putting no more than 200 pounds on each side of the table at a time, and certainly no more than 200 pounds on top of the table at any given time.
Our only qualm aside from the weight capacity is that the seats are somewhat low to the ground. This makes sense, I guess, if you are using this table with children, but for a full grown adult it’s not the most ideal of circumstances.
For each table we tested, we looked at a few things. First we looked at how well the table performed according to its suggested weight rating. Then we looked at sturdiness and how well the table could stand on its own with pressures were applied to different parts of the table. Then we considered all the extra features and special construction methods that might have been used. This gave us a pretty good idea of which foldable camping tables really stood out above the others.
For sturdiness and weigh capacity, there is no better option than the BEST CHOICE PRODUCTS folding camping table. It has the highest weight capacity of all the tables on our review and has the dense surface of HDPE plastic, meaning it is built to last.
But if you are one of those campers that likes to go the extra mile to see what the real backcountry has to offer, then you might want to take a closer look at the PORLAE foldable aluminum table, as it is by far the lightest and most easily transportable camping table that we have ever seen.
Folding Camping Table Buyer’s Guide
(& how to choose the best one for you)
Narrowing down our review guide to only 10 camping tables was hard enough, but selecting one to be crowned best camping table above all others is outright impossible. That’s because these tables differ in ways that make them suited for different purposes. Finding one for you is all about taking into consideration how the table will be used.
Here are some of the things you should look at when shopping for a new folding picnic table:
We all know camping tables are supposed to be light, but just how light to they need to be?
- Ultralight (2 lbs – 5 lbs)
Perfect for: Backpacking & long distance hiking
Not great for: Big family picnics
- Lightweight (6 lbs – 10 lbs)
Perfect for: Day picnics & car camping
Not great for: Long term storage
- Mid-weight (10 lbs – 18 lbs)
Perfect for: Big old picnics & parties, car camping
Not great for: Long distance hiking
- Heavy (19 lbs – 25 lbs)
Perfect for: Storage, big parties, heavier camping gear
Not great for: Backpacking or hiking
Look: we already know that not all camping chairs are going to be the same height, so it stands to reason that camping tables are going to be the same way. Fortunately, some manufacturers figured this out, and are offering camping tables with height adjustability. Not only does this allow you to fit the table to the camping chairs that you already have, but you can also change the height based on the activity you are using it for.
However not all tables have this feature, so be sure to check the product specifications to make sure you are getting what you are looking for.
One feature that is only available on some camping tables is built in seating. This is usually only available in suitcase-style camping tables, where each of the four seats is built into the same structure and frame as the table itself, and the whole thing folds out from one piece.
While this style of camping table is super cool and innovative, it generally comes with a reduced weight capacity that make them unsuitable for use by four full-grown adults. They are much better for children who weigh a lot less.
There are three main materials that camping tables are made of, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE vs. Aluminum: What’s the Better Material for Camp Tables?
If you are interested in learning more about the ongoing debate between HDPE and aluminum (as well as other various metals) hop on over to MakeItFrom.Com where they’ve got a great Guide to Aluminum vs. HDPE.
The ability of a camping table to fold down into a smaller size is one of the most important aspects of its construction. If not for this ability it would be hardly possible to take them any farther than you could carry a regular table, which defeats the whole purpose.
Bi-fold camping tables fold down the middle. These are the most common type of folding table, whether or not it was designed for camping, because it is usually quite sturdy and can hold a decent about of weight.
Tri-fold camping tables are newer and less common than bi-folds, and are designed to allow for a bigger table to be carried and the same folded dimensions as a bi-fold table. The downside is that they are not as sturdy or weight resistant as bi-folds.
Suitcase Style folding tables are kind of like bi-folds, but they include four small chairs that fold into each half of the table itself. Just as portable as bi-fold chairs with the added benefit of having included seating available for all occasions.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are talking about “heat resistance” and “camping table” in the same sentence, then you are likely worried about the open flames of a campfire, or the burner of a camp stove. It is a good thing to be worried about, however, most of these tables are made with materials that are designed to sustain significant heat.
Aluminum camping tables can handle a much higher heat without melting, but they are not impervious to damage. HDPE camping tables will melt when high temperatures are applied, so it is best to not have them sitting beneath a direct heat source.
Because a lot of these tables have adjustable legs, they can be set to the perfect height to match your camping chair. For this reason, these tables will work quite well as a computer table. However you want to be careful about jostling, as these tables tend to be not as sturdy with light loads (i.e., laptops) as they are with heavier loads (double burner camping stove)
The only way that a tabletop gas grill will melt the table is if the heating element or hot griddle surface comes into contact with the plastic of the table. Because most tabletop grills have their own legs and support structure, they will not damage the table just by sitting on it.
However, if you are concerned about how much heat the grill is putting off, you might want to go for an aluminum table as it can sustain more heat.
One of the chief differences between HDPE plastic and aluminum is that the former has a slightly textured surface, while the latter is smooth. However the latter also sometimes features interlocking metal slats as opposed to a singular flat surface, so it won’t perform the same as a regular table. This only really makes a difference if you are trying to write on top of the table or something like that. Smooth surfaces are also much easier to clean, whereas HDPE-type plastics have a tendency to lock in dirt and grime, but can be cleaned with a nylon-fiber brush and soapy water.