Camping tables are an excellent idea for those campers who prefer not to eat off of their knees or rock while they enjoy the outdoors. They can also serve as a gathering place to play games, enjoy a drink, or just convene at the end of a hard day’s hike.
For a quick peek at some of our favorite camping table designs, check out our list below.
- If you’re in the market for a mountaineering camping table, consider the ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table:
- 6 pounds, polyester tabletop
- Compact for hiking and transport
- Has a bottom “table” for beverages and storage
- If you’re after a car camping table that fits the whole family, the REDCAMP Outdoor Picnic Table may have you covered:
- 15 pounds, fiberboard tabletop
- Easily folds in half for transport
- Comes with 4 lightweight stools
- If you’re looking for value in a lightweight package, the Coleman Compact Camping Table may be the way to go:
- 9.8 pounds, aluminum slat top
- Easily rolls up and snaps apart for transport
- Carry bag included for easy carriage and storage
Who Should Get This?
Almost everyone can benefit from a camping table, as adding an extra surface – or the only surface – to your campsite gives you a place to eat, gather, and store gear.
However, if you are on a shoestring weight limit, or you’re going somewhere with plenty of table space already, you may not need to take a table with you.
Best Camping Tables: What to Look For
The type and materials directly influence the weight of your table.
If you are planning on any length of the hike, and especially mountaineering, you will want a table that is lightweight and compact for easy transportation and storage. However, it’s essential not to compromise on sturdiness, as a broken table in the mountains can spell miserable meals.
On the other hand, if you primarily go car camping or camping where the sites are near the parking lot, a heavier table may suit you fine. These tables are often stronger than mountaineering tables and offer more tabletop space.
The most common materials you’ll find in camping tables are:
- Mesh fabrics
Steel, plastic, and wooden tables are heavier and typically geared toward car or campsite adventures. Aluminum and mesh fabrics, on the other hand, are more common in lightweight camping tables. However, it should be noted that mesh fabrics are also common secondary materials for under-table storage space or as a waterproof tabletop coating.
Weight and transportability are related, but not the same thing. Weight refers simply to a number on a scale. The ease of transport is related to size.
For instance, many car camping tables fold in half and are bulky to carry. On the other hand, many mountaineering and hiking tables have slatted tops so they can be rolled up tightly and took in a backpack.
Best Camping Tables: Our Picks
1. Best For Mountaineering: ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table
The ALPS Mountaineering Eclipse Table is a mere 6 pounds and seats four people, making it an excellent choice for longer group hikes. It’s designed with easy-fold, corner buckle functionality. These features make it quick to put together and take apart and also allows for easy adjustment of tabletop tautness.
This option comes with an attached under-table that includes four cupholders and a side storage pocket. The cupholders and pocket provide not only extra space but a secure place for your drinks while you enjoy your meal or group game night after a long day’s hike.
For those who plan to use this as a game table, it even comes in two “board game” tabletop designs: checkboard or tic-tac-toe squares, so you can leave the bulk of your games at home!
What We Like:
- Lightweight and compact to carry
- Easy setup with adjustable surface tautness
- Included under-table and side pocket
- Optional game board fabric prints
What We Don’t Like:
- Cup holders are not adjustable
- Too-heavy weights in the center will bow the cloth top in slightly
2. Best for Car Camping: REDCAMP Outdoor Picnic Table
The REDCAMP Outdoor Picnic Table is a good choice for those who go car camping or have a very short jaunt to their campsite. It comes in three options of table and stool size to suit your preferences:
- 3 feet, two high stools
- 4 feet, four high stools
- 4 feet, four low stools
All options come with adjustable table legs so you can alter the height. The lightweight-yet-sturdy aluminum legs allow the table to hold a maximum weight of 70 pounds on top.
The 4-foot option weighs 15 pounds, which is light enough to carry some distance. The table folds in half for more accessible transportation. You can purchase an optional carrying bag that fits the table and the stools together to make transportation easier.
What We Like:
- Tabletop comes with 4 S-hooks to hang bags and gear
- Sets up in seconds
- Fiberboard top is water- and stain-proof
What We Don’t Like:
- Bulky to carry long distances, even with optional carrying bag
- Stools cap weight limit at 180 pounds
3. Best Value: Coleman Compact Camping Table
The Coleman Compact Camping Table is a good option for those who want to balance weight with durability. At just under ten pounds, it can be carried on hikes of any distance. This table is comfortable to seat two or squeeze in up to four for a meal.
The aluminum slat top is designed to roll up for easy storage, and the snap-together legs can be taken down in seconds. The frame is sturdy, rust-resistant steel. This option comes with a carry bag to make storage and transportation easier.
What We Like:
- Weighs less than ten pounds
- Aluminum slat top and steel frame are built to last
- Carry bag included for easier carriage
- Includes a 1-year limited warranty
What We Don’t Like:
- Impossible to fit your legs beneath the tabletop due to support crossbars
Useful Tips and Resources
If you’re a person always on the lookout for nifty camping hacks, check out this written tutorial and included a video guide to packing and carrying your pack for those long hiking trips. This is when a highly portable table – and knowing how to carry it – will be the most important.
Camping tables are a nice luxury for some and a need for others, depending on your situation. Having a table with you on even your wildest adventures gives you a place to set your plate and focus on your meal, rather than your knees.
Additionally, camping tables can bring groups together, from families to friends, uniting them around a common surface for a meal and a game at the end of the day.
Questions or thoughts on our choices? Suggestions on types or styles of camping tables, camping in general, or other aspects of choosing the right gear? Let us know!