Best Folding Camping Tables in 2023

by Tasteofthekitchen
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As you well know, counter space/tables don’t come with a tent. RVs are notorious for having very little counter space.

Also, people like to barbecue outside and need something to set the food, etc on. Some camping sites have no tables.

Often, a portable camping table is a necessity.

It’s so simple yet so brilliant to have at the same time. However, as with all things in life, not all things are made the same.

Some small folding tables will serve your purpose better than others. Understandably, it’s not easy to sift through the ‘why’s’ that a portable table will serve, either.

But hey, you’ve come to the right place to figure it out.

There are a few different types of portable camp tables on the market.

We all have different ways we camp and we all have different needs when it comes to tables used for camping.

Typically, camp tables serve one of three purposes:

  • Cooking stations/ outdoor prep tables
  • Dining tables
  • Accessory tables

Cooking Stations/ Outdoor Prep Tables

 Folding Camping Tables

These camp tables are multi-functional in design.

They need to be sturdy enough to have cooking utensils and potentially heavy food items and bowls on them without collapsing.

Maybe a camp table would be better than the ground?

Some of them are made to have the grill fit on top of the station.

They are not made to eat on, so don’t consider trying to use one as a dining table. It won’t end well for you.

Look for portable cooking tables that feature lots of different ‘compartments’ for things you need. Some have wine glass holders, lantern hangers, utensil hooks, and more.

A hanging drying rack under the table is a handy feature for letting dishes dry. Similarly, having a paper towel holder is also extremely handy, especially in windy areas.

Dining Camp Tables

Your dining camp table is the table you and your friends/family will eat on. Well, duh… but some people opt not to have a dining table and that’s just fine.

That’s ok, but the reality is that it’s easier to have a dedicated place to eat. Especially if you have a lot of mouths to feed.

Additionally, it can also serve as a general purpose camp table to set things such as condiments, paper towels and more.

Sometimes you’d rather eat on the ground. If you are young and flexible!

The camping equivalent of a home dining table tends to be a little shorter than the standard height of about 30″ high. Even so, they should have good room underneath for legs.

Otherwise, you’re going to hate trying to use your table for this purpose.

Your portable picnic table should also be sturdy. People will bump it, and it needs to be able to support the weight of your food, drink, and elbows resting on it.

Before you buy, decide how many people will typically be seated at the table and buy accordingly.

Remember, RVs don’t have endless storage space, so you still want a portable table that will pack away in a relatively small area.

Consider the weight of the portable picnic table as well. Why? You must consider the weight of everything you carry in your RV so you don’t go over your cargo carrying capacity.

Doing so is very dangerous as well as illegal.

Again, we can’t stress enough how aware you should be of the dining table design you choose.

If you buy a table to eat on that is too low for your legs to go under, then that dining camp table is useless to you.

Also, consider the RV camping chairs you are going to use for your portable picnic table. They may be too high for what you want to use them for. Keep these things in mind while shopping.

Accessory Camping Tables

Accessory camp tables can be used for many things.

They can be used for playing games, a place to set your drinks or appetizers, or using them to place cooking supplies on.

These small folding tables come in an assortment of sizes and heights. Here again, it depends on what you want to use one for as far as what size and style to get.

Use the ground instead of a camp table? Not always the best option.

One of the biggest considerations to keep in mind for an accessory camping table is stability. It’s not a table you want to go flying away when there’s a big wind gust, that’s for sure!

Regardless, these tables will tend to be relatively light. To avoid flight, legs that tilt outward can be helpful as can a low profile. Consequently, this is one time more weight can be a good thing.

Depending on how they are built, some of these small folding tables could be weighed down at the bottom, but most don’t come with a ‘part’ to do this with.

We are talking about using something like a rock or a sandbag. This goes for any folding camp table that you get.

Portable Camping Table Purchase Considerations

Easy Set Up

The last thing you want to have to do while trying to enjoy your camping trip is to set up another frustrating device for your stay.

Therefore, it’s pretty important to look for easy setup in your table, no matter what kind you are needing.

It’s certainly fairly easy to look at a small folding table and be able to tell if it’s going to take forever to open, or it’s going to be quick.

Otherwise, search online reviews for others’ experiences with the particular table in question.

The ALPS Mountaineering camping table we selected for best dining table couldn’t be much easier to set up.

The outdoor kitchen tables will likely take slightly more time to set up, but if you have to read directions to do so, you’re probably going to regret your purchase.

Read the reviews for guidance or test it at the store before purchasing. (We already know that the GCI Outdoor Slim Fold takes hardly any time at all to set up.)

Hardiness

Well, what’s the point in spending your money on a product that will only crash and burn after a few uses? This is never a good purchase choice.

If you are smart, you already know that you get what you pay for and if you get a cheap camp table, it’s not going to last very long.

Aluminum is one of your best bets for materials for your portable camping table. It basically won’t rust and hot pots and pans won’t damage it.

The material is softer than steel, by nature, therefore it is somewhat susceptible to dents.

However, it’s also a light material, meeting the requirements of needing a light camping table and for it not to rust since you will be using it outdoors.

Many manufacturers make their tops out of aluminum.

However, they make the moving components, and possibly the legs out of steel, which can rust, so it is advisable to bring your table(s) inside if it’s going to rain.

Wood is also ok, though heavier and less durable for a portable folding table. It will require more maintenance.

For side tables, look for the lightest table leg materials available. DAC aluminum and carbon fiber are very light and strong.

With tables made like this, the table top is made of fabric and barely contributes to the weight.

Lots of tops of this kind are made out of Polyester. Look for 600D polyester for the best quality portable folding table.

Weight And Size

No matter whether you car camp or you have a long Class A rig, you should be concerned with the size and weight of the tables that you bring.

Why?

Well, all vehicles have a weight limit to adhere to. Additionally, your vehicle is only so big. Therefore, the more compact and light your tables are, the easier time you will have storing them.

They are also easier to move around if they are light and compact.

We love s’mores. Best to keep the dirt off of them by using some sort of camping table.

There are plenty of well sized/lighter folding camping tables out there. Simply make sure what you get suits your size storage and camping needs.

And don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Summary

So, now you know that there are a ton of different scenarios when a portable table may be a necessity.

It depends on your lifestyle and your cooking style as to whether or not you need one. (or two…)

Camping can be as simple or as ‘messy/comfortable’ as you want it to be. Marshall has never had an outdoor table and he is fine with that.

Kelly has a small table (the Beckworth) for sitting outside and having a place for her computer and/or drink.

If you need a table, we have reviews below. We categorized them to make it as easy for you to decide what you need as possible.

Read on if you are in the market.

Is the RV lifestyle new to you? Check out our camper accessories list and see what else you should consider getting to make your camping adventures more enjoyable.

Camping Table Reviews

 Folding Camping Tables

So, we sifted through the good and the bad of the folding camping tables to make it easier for you to get one without getting analysis paralysis.

Here you go… the best portable tables in the categories that we think are the most commonly needed.

Of course, we can’t cover EVERY single scenario out there, but here are some popular needs.

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