CAMPING & HIKING

Best Folding Table: Eat Comfortably in the Mountains

Best folding table
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Are you tired of sitting on a log with a plate in your lap to eat? Maybe you need a space to store items while you cook dinner, as well as sit down and dine comfortably. Whatever your issue is, the best folding table on the market can be a huge help.

Folding tables are great pieces of furniture to have around. They are useful for a wide variety of endeavors that require a working surface.

The great thing about them is the ability to quickly stow and move them as the need arises. However, not all models on the market are well built and if you don’t know what to pay attention too, you might find yourself in quite a dilemma. That is where we jump in and save the day.

In this article, we will talk about what you need to know in order to find the best model for you, and not end up with something that will be a complete waste of money. And, you will also have a chance to get familiar with some of the best models on the market as we have prepared some in-depth reviews.

Product NameWeightDimensions
MaterialSpecific FeaturesPrice
2.0918.5 x 18.5 inNylon, steelEasy to carry, easy set up
20.824 x 16 inAluminum, steel2 tiers, corrosion resistant
1533.5 x 25.5 inAluminum, steelWeight capacity 66 lbs, ABS plastic surface
832 x 32 inAluminumEasy to stow and carry, 28 in tall
2.519 x 19 inNylon, plasticHas carrying case, 30 lbs capacity
1.323.5 x 16 inPolyester, steel24 in tall, storage sack included
1231.5 x 15.5 inPlastic, aluminumAdjustable to 3 heights, easy to set up

Features to Consider Before Buying

As with everything else you would want to buy, there are certain characteristics you will want in a folding table and some of these will vary depending on what you intend to use the table for.

Whether you want one for indoors, outdoors, for eating, or work, there’s a folding table perfect for your needs. Here are a few things you will want to keep an eye out for.

Weight and Height

Just how heavy is the folding table? Will it take more than one person to carry it around? Will you be moving it a lot? These are a few concerns that have to do with weight. If the table is too heavy to move around, and assuming you need to move it a lot, then weight becomes a concern.

You will want one that’s light if your intended use is for casual camping, especially when you can’t park your car right by the campsite. This will be highly dependent on your use.

lightweight folding table

Will you want a folding table for use in the garden, with people standing around it? How high are your chairs? The height of your table should be adjusted for seating. There are few things less comfortable than trying to eat a meal on a table that’s either too high or low.

Leg Mechanisms

The legs are quite literally the foundation of your folding table. How the legs are set up will factor into the table’s stability, ease of use, and storage as well. So it’s definitely something to look out for.

Good legs should be bolted to the lower portion of the table. Wooden screws are a sign that the table might not be able to take a beating, so you might want to skip these.

Tiers and Size

Do you simply need a table or will you require storage underneath? If you want a folding table, as a simple surface where you can eat, a single surface table is probably going to be fine.

single surface folding table

However, for purposes such as food preparation and cooking, you might want to have a folding table that has two or more tiers. This allows you to cook or work on the top while placing other necessary implements on the tiers underneath.

A folding table’s size will greatly impact how convenient it will be to carry around and store. Size will also dictate the surface area of your table. You will want to consider what you want it for. If it is to serve as an eating surface, how many people do you tend to eat with?

You will want a table that has just the right balance between size and convenience in relation to your usage. Size will also tend to factor in if you can carry the table in a tote bag, which is definitely a plus, depending on your need.

Maintenance and Warranty

Wear and tear are realities you’re going to have to deal with, no matter what piece of furniture you get, especially if you use it regularly. What you want is a table that is easy to clean and is resistant to corrosion as well as be stain resistant.

Extended warranty

A folding table, especially one that you’ll be using outside, should be able to take a beating. It pretty much beats the reason for your purchase if the product you get breaks easily.

No matter what it is you’re spending your hard-earned money on, you will want peace of mind that anything defective should be replaceable. Consider getting a table with a decent warranty. You will regret not checking for a warranty if you end up with a flawed product.

Material and Edges & Corners

What material is it made of? Certain materials can be folded up more easily as they have cloth-like properties. Others may be made of wood or plastic which may be a tad bit stiffer but can offer a more reliable flat surface.

This should also factor in your search. If someone should inadvertently tip your table over, the edges and corners will take the brunt of the fall. If the edges aren’t well built, you’re going to look at a beat-up table after just a couple of falls.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Below, you are going to read some reviews of the top folding tables out there. Good luck shopping!

Apak Goods Folding Table

Price: Approx. $20

Weight: 2.09 lbs

Dimensions: 18.5 x 18.5 in

Specific features: Powder coated steel, made of nylon, 15 inch height

Best use: Camping, garden use, eating

Description: The Apak Goods Folding Table is a great option if what you want is a table to take with you on outdoor trips. Whether it’s the beach or a casual camping trip, this table’s construction works well. The 2.09 lbs weight makes it a cinch to carry around.

If you want one of the kids to participate in setting up camp, carrying and deploying this is something that even a 5 or 6-year-old can accomplish (with adult supervision of course).

Closing it up is just as easy. The nylon material makes it resistant to drink spills and easy to fold as well. The powder coated steel body gives it a decent enough resistance to rust and corrosion.

The table also comes with a pair of drink holders as well, and tension lines are included to provide additional stability and it comes with a carry bag for easy transportation and storage.

While it is definitely a good option for an outdoor adventure, the Apak goods folding table tends to experience small dents on the surface as you put on heavier dishes and drinks. It also doesn’t leave a lot of room if 2-3 people are using it. The table’s height might leave a bit to be desired if you’re a bit tall and want to dine at the table.

All in all, Apak Goods is a great folding table for outdoor use. Small, compact, easy to put up and rugged. It is definitely a great option.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Several color choices
  • Compact and easy to use

CONS:

  • Can dent
  • For 1 or 2 people only

Related: The Coleman Enamel Dinnerware Set is a 24 piece set of dinnerware that is fire red in color. You get 4 plates, 4 bowls, and 4 mugs among utensils to eat with. Dishwasher, safe, this is a great set.

Check the price on Amazon

GCI Outdoor Slim Fold Cook Station

Price: Approx. $85

Weight: 20.8 lbs

Dimensions: 24 x 16 in

Specific features: Aluminum counter top, 2 tiers, 4 fold out tables, powder coated steel

Best use: Outdoor parties, camping, cookouts

Description: The GCI Outdoor Slim Fold Cook Station is a robust folding table that’s absolutely great for an outdoor cookout. The 24×13-inch aluminium counter top provides sufficient space for a stove or grill. The aluminium is also great at fighting stains that come with regular use.

The powder coated steel construction of the legs and pivot points make for a resilient and corrosion resistant build. The components of the folding parts are built to withstand constant use.

Folding it time and again won’t break it down as quickly as many lighter alternatives. It can be folded in and out of storage in less than a minute.

The wire shelf below is also able to take a lot of weight, and you could put a relatively heavy cooler or ice box with your meat or drinks and it will be fine (manufacturers specified that this section can safely carry 35 lbs worth of weight).

The outward folding side tables can be used for a variety of purposes such as hanging garbage bags, paper towels, utensils, and glasses. These can hold 30 lbs each.

The GCI Outdoor Cook Station provides what it is built for, a solid cooking surface that can take punishment. The ruggedness does come with a minor drawback. The 20-lb construction is going to seem quite heavy relative to a lot of the competition.

PROS:

  • Folds up for storing, easy setup
  • Includes storage rack
  • Holds a lot of items

CONS:

  • Shelves can warp
  • Wobbly
  • Pricey

Related: You will need eating utensils while cooking out. The Tapirus 4 Blue Spork To Go Set is a 4 pack of utensils that have one end as a fork and the other end as a spoon. They are durable and BPA free.

Check the price on Amazon

Outsunny Folding Suitcase Picnic Table

Price: Approx. $50

Weight: 15 lbs

Dimensions: 33.5 x 25.5 in

Specific features: ABS plastic surface, 66 lb capacity, made of aluminum and steel

Best use: Outdoor use for up to 4 people

Description: The Outsunny Folding Suitcase Picnic Table is easy to carry and maintain, great for small family outings. The 15-lbs table can easily take on 4 people with seats slated to be able to take 265 lbs of weight. The 33.5×22.5-inch table top allows ample space for food and drinks for four people.

Stacking a couple of bags on the top as well is alright as the table top can take 66 lbs of weight. The ABS plastic table top and seats make for easy cleaning up after use and the folding mechanism allows it to take very little space.

It folds up neatly into a suitcase with no parts hanging out. The aluminium and steel construction of the body allow for a decent amount of corrosion resistance and toughness.

While this offering of Outsunny provides a decent option for small families, a group of heavier-set people may have trouble with it. The seats are rated to be able to take 265 lbs, but having four people sit on the seats, may leave some with a feeling of unease.

The table’s strength also leaves a bit to be desired as it has no central support to the ground and is only held up by the sides. Abusing it with weight can potentially be risky.

PROS:

  • Folds down and sets up in seconds
  • Light and seats up to 4 people
  • Multipurpose use and design

CONS:

  • Flimsy, not sturdy
  • Not for bigger people
  • Screws can come loose

Related: The GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless 3 Pieces Ring Cutlery is a 3 pieced ringed cutlery set. Here, you have a spoon, knife and fork that are made of stainless steel. Durable and rust proof, you can use these in any weather.

Check the price on Amazon

Alps Mountaineering Dining Table

Price: Approx. $50

Weight: 8 lbs

Dimensions: 32 x 32 in

Specific features: Comes with carrying bag, 28 inch height, x-frame aluminum construction

Best use: Light use in the outdoors

Description: The Alps Mountaineering Dining Table is a nice, solid table for one to two person use. The 32×32-inch table top dimension provides plenty of room for two people to sit down and enjoy a meal.

The X-frame aluminum construction provide a strong base of support and the shoulder carry bag allow you to stow and carry it with ease. The table top is aluminium, hence it can safely be used as a cooking surface so feel free to set your stove or grill on it.

Alps’ Mountaineering Square Dining Table is all around great for indoor or outdoor use. Though it may be a bit too bulky when folded up for anyone going on anything more rugged than a casual cookout.

Overall, this is a night light table that you can use gently. This is a great table to set up with condiments and plates versus heavy cooking items like a crock pot.

PROS:

  • Comes in 3 sizes
  • Fold up top, easy to use
  • Lightweight

CONS:

  • Not very sturdy
  • Hinges can break
  • Rivets pop out

Related: The Wealers 7 Piece Camping Bbq Cooking Utensils Set includes everything you need in order to cook out. You get water resistant items like an cutting board, tongs, bottle opener a rice paddle and more!

Check the price on Amazon

EZ Travel Collection Folding Camping Table

Price: Approx. $30

Weight: 2.5 lbs

Dimensions: 19 x 19 in

Specific features: Carry bag included, 30 lbs capacity, 2 drink holders, 17.5 in height

Best use: Outdoor use, light use

Description: The EZ Travel Collection Folding Camping Table is a nice cost-effective folding table, great for a day at the beach or by a stream or campsite when paired with a small tent or large umbrella and folding chair. The easy folding in and out makes it a breeze to set up and pack away.

The 2.5 lbs carry weight and free tote bag makes it easy to carry. Two drink holders will allow a user to easily share a few drinks, talking as they enjoy their surroundings. The legs are also built to take on slightly uneven terrain, so it won’t topple as easily as the average table.

In terms of heavier use, this table will not be able to hold its own. The table is only able to hold 30 lbs worth, definitely not something you want to stack your camping gear on. The top is also cloth/nylon based this makes it a tad bit flimsier than other folding tables with solid tops.

The 19×19-inch surface area will also only allow space for two people to enjoy their meal. 4 can use the table for a card game or some drinks, but only two will be able to comfortably store their drink on the table. Putting a filled glass or cup on the table is not highly recommended as the surface is not stable.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Has gripped feet
  • Nice color, style

CONS:

  • Can collapse
  • Flimsy
  • Bad quality

Related: The GSI Outdoors Cascadian 1 Person Tableset is a 1-person set of dinnerware that you can use while camping. Coming in many bright colors, these items are made from all recycled products and comes in a mesh bag for storage and convenient use.

Check the price on Amazon

Helinox Table One Hard Top Folding Table

Price: Approx. $140

Weight: 1.3 lbs

Dimensions: 23.5 x 16 in

Specific features: 2 drink holders, 24 inch height, storage sack included, polyester surface

Best use: Light camping, indoor or outdoor use

Description: The Helinox Table One Hard Top is a solid choice for your next outdoor trip. The lightweight 1.3 lbs table is a breeze to carry in its compact storage sack. Set up only takes seconds as the table’s construction is easy to put together.

Bungee cords on both ends, help lock the table in place and stop it from collapsing. The polyester fabric surface is very taut and can pretty much be expected to hold up your drink, assuming the drink holders are occupied.

For tables with its size, it is the strongest, with manufacturers claiming that it can hold up to 110 lbs or 55 kg. If your requirement for a camping table is something that is very light, compact, and can hold a strong, taut table, this may well be the best camping table for you.

Despite its strong points, the Helinox isn’t perfect, the two drink holders won’t hold anything too big. And standing at 24 inches, it may be a bit too low for you if you use regular-sized chairs. The light weight also makes it very vulnerable to an errant gust of wind.

Leaving it alone near a campfire on a windy day is asking for trouble. Though you can remedy this by anchoring it with some weight. It’s also a pretty hefty investment. This is among the more expensive folding tables out there.

On the whole, it’s a very sturdy, solid, and compact surface great for “glamping” or just relaxing by the beach. Alternatively, it can easily double as a spare table for home use.

PROS:

  • Hard surface top
  • Fast and easy set up and take down
  • Shock corded pole structure

CONS:

  • Pricey

Related: The HUKOER Camping Cookware Mess Kit is a cookware set that you can use while camping. It has 13 pieces, including a pot, pan, spork and more. It’s compact and has all you need.

Check the price on Amazon

Coleman Pack-Away 4-in-1 Table

Price: Approx. $65

Weight: 12 lbs

Dimensions: 31.5 x 15.5 in

Specific features: 300 lbs capacity, made of aluminum, adjustable

Best use: Light to moderate outdoor use

Description: The Coleman Pack-Away 4-in-1 Table is a highly versatile, folding table that can take on a wide variety of possible uses and scenarios. Adjustable leg lengths allow you to keep them at the height necessary for their use.

If children will be using them, a lower configuration might be ideal. If adults will be eating on it, the highest configuration might prove appropriate.

The two tables can be configured into one long continuous table, great to stack bags or to display food in a buffet fashion. Alternatively, they can be put together to form a larger square table, great for a variety of uses, including dining and work.

If you have limited space at home, you can use this as a temporary workstation for either you or the children and be able to easily pack it away afterward. The top of the table is also solid plastic, giving it a stability advantage over flimsier nylon based tables.

Despite its solid build, Coleman’s Pack-Away Outdoor table does have its weaknesses. The table top, unlike the aluminium beam construction underneath, is made of plastic.

It is not heat-resistant, making this table a no-go for anyone in need of a table to set a stove or grill on. At the highest setting, the table is prone to easily getting knocked over from slight bumps. It’s a good idea to find ways to anchor it for stability, especially on ground that is uneven.

Overall, the Coleman Pack-Away Outdoor table is great to have for indoor use. The versatility it provides is well worth its cost. For outdoor use, however, you may need to find workarounds for certain requirements, but does a great job nonetheless for non-cooking utilization.

PROS:

  • Sturdy, versatile
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Folds down quickly

CONS:

  • Not for hot food items or stoves
  • Can fall over

Related: You might consider a camping stove while outdoors. The Single Burner Camp Stove with Cast Iron Burner has a cast iron burner and includes a wok. It has 54,000 BTU and is durable.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

We have reached the end of our article. There are indeed many folding tables out on the market today. But to find the right one, you simply need to focus on what is it that you need the table for as well as price.

folding table

Also, be sure to thoroughly check the table you get for any defects. This way you won’t have to bother arguing with the seller if it breaks after use.

Now that you are aware of what to look for in a folding table, such as the size, height and weight, you can find a great table that will work well for you and your family while camping. Remember to look into the ease of setup as well as if it is easy to carry. Once you know everything is good as far as your standards are concerned, you can make the purchase!

What kind of folding table do you use? Where do you use it? Let us know everything in the comments section below. Feel free to share this with your friends and family who are in the market for a great new folding table!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

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