Choosing The Right Camping Table

Choosing the right camping table depends on a number of factors which must be considered; firstly, it’s important to consider how much space you have. If you’re driving to a camp spot, you should make measurements of your boot so that you can ensure that you have adequate space for your table. If you are simply packing a bag and walking/cycling to a camp spot (or intend to do some backpacking), you will want to ensure you have a very lightweight camp table. The second thing to consider is how many people you are camping with; if you’re camping with a group of twelve people, a small 70 x 70 x 70 cm (length x width x height) table simply won’t be big enough. The third thing to consider is durability; do you go camping regularly? What sort of weather/terrain will you be camping in?

Weight and durability are often closely correlated; this means that heavy-duty camping tables (made from materials like steel) are often heavier, whereas less durable tables (made from aluminium) are often much lighter. Some of the lightest camp tables weigh as little as 3.5kg, whereas some of the heavier one can weigh in at around 12kg; this may not sound like much, but if you’re planning to go hiking or travelling on foot with your camping gear, you’ll find this added weight to be very burdensome.

Durability and weight capacity (the amount of weight the table is designed to hold) are important factors if you’re planning to use your camp table regularly, or for anything that involves more than just card games. A decent weight capacity for any camp table is 30kg, anything less than this is generally down to poor quality materials. It is rare that you will ever have enough weight on a camping table to come close to 30kg, but the higher the number, the more durable and long lasting the camping table will generally be.

Another factor when considering durability is its resistance to rust. When buying a steel table, consider going for stainless steel if you plan to use the table regularly or for a long period of time. The price tag will be a little bit higher, but the lifespan of the table will increase significantly. If you cannot afford stainless steel, ensure that when you fold the table away that it is dry and clean, otherwise the joints will be prone to rusting and corrosion. Aluminium does not rust, but it does corrode (however, the corrosion from Aluminium produces Aluminium oxide, which is a very hard material and protects aluminium from further corrosion).

Before picking a camping table, decide how big you’d like it to be. Some of the largest tables come in with dimensions at 184 x 80cm x 71 cm, this will accommodate 8-10 people with relative ease, the smallest tables tend to have measurements of around 70 x 70 x 70 cm. These are only suitable for 2-4 people. Luckily, most camping tables are foldable, making storage significantly easier. It’s important to check both the ‘folded’ and ‘unfolded’ dimensions of the table, in order to determine if it is big enough to meet your requirements, and folds up to a size that is small enough to be transported.

Camping tables come with a number of extras; these can be useful or entirely superfluous, depending on what you intend to use your camping table for. Some camping tables, for example, may contain cup holders, food trays, extendable legs, additional chairs/stools/benches, or water storage facilities. Though these may seem tempting, it is worth considering whether you actually require these extra features. Remember, the most important things are size, durability and weight, do not be tricked into buying an inferior product because it comes with additional extras.

Seats of any kind may be worth buying along with the table, as they will be designed to fit with the table in a way that is comfortable and easy –or in some cases- may fold out from the table itself.

Overall, the best way to pick the right table is to try it out first (you can still buy online). Go into a store, sit at the table, pick it up, see how easy it is to fold away, and check whether the material it is made from bends or scratches easily, this will give you a better indication of the overall quality of the table.

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