While it's perfectly possible to have a fantastic under-canvas experience without a camping table, the humble flat-surface-to-put-stuff-on is surprisingly useful in a camping setting, making it a minor essential in the versatile outdoors-persons armoury. As with camping chairs, once you've got used to a good camping table there's no way back, adding not only the convenience of a handy mug of tea or cold drink, but also somewhere to put valuables you'd rather not be trodden on.
The best camping tables are lightweight, fold flat and as slim as possible, but robust enough to not collapse under the weight of a large dinner. An easy-clean surface is ideal, as well as being relatively weatherproof, and it's worth considering the height of your chairs and general use you'll need from it before parting with your hard earned cash. Some camping tables are slightly higher than others, designed to be a dedicated cooking area, where you can sit a camping stove and prepare food, while others are more coffee-table height and intended as mainly a relaxation aid, where you can balance your camping lantern and play cards.
Whatever your needs though, the best camping table will serve you well for years of outdoor adventure to come, from a secure space to gather the family for dinner, plan the next day's route or get together for a game of cards, the options – and fun – are endless. Combined with one of the best camping stoves and maybe the best camping cookware set, and you have the ultimate outdoor dining experience all ready to rock, anytime, anyplace.
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The best camping tables to buy now
If your camping squad is growing, investing in the longest table in our best camping tables guide will help you accommodate the throng. It's also made by camping royalty Vango, so you already know this is a winner. Built from sturdy but lightweight aluminium, and featuring an easy-clean, granite-effect surface, Vango’s 160cm offering will seat eight people – yet folds down to a fraction of the size to help it fit in the back of your car. Adjustable feet provide extra stability on uneven ground, and you can even alter the height to make it more like a coffee table when not eating.
The Decathlon Folding camping table is a bit of a classic for two simple reasons – it packs relatively small but unfolds big, and it's not going to break the bank. This has made it a staple of campgrounds across the globe, and rightly so. It'll support a whopping 50kg too, so if the kids get enthusiastic and sit on it that's no big deal, unlike the lighter tables that will self-destruct under such abuse. It's 70cm height is pretty similar to a standard home dining table height, and although 120cmx60cm might be snug for a claimed 6 persons, it's a decent, usable size for small groups.
In short, the Decathlon Folding Camping Table is ideal for car-camping getaways or even longer family trips, offering a home-from-home table experience at a fraction of the cost and packed size of a normal home table. It's nearly 6kg, so don't plan on carrying it much further than the car park, but other than that it's a great folding table – can't really say fairer than that.
The beauty of the Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set is that it comprises both a table and two benches. Not only that, but the benches attach to the table when dismantling, meaning you can haul both together in one compact, handled case. The Pemberton Picnic Set promises longevity, too, with its steel frame and waterproof plastic surface built to survive many a tent-based adventure.
This gorgeous bamboo-topped camping table will add a splash of glamour to the dreariest of campsites. It's not all good looks and no substance, though – it's easy to clean and has a folding design that enables it to be stowed away easily and quickly. The adjustable legs and frame create maximum stability, even on rough terrain, and the entire table is made of superb materials that will withstand regular use outdoors. Wipe it down after your meal and you'll have an amazing surface upon which to play cards, read, or set up your camping lantern to chat by.
It may look a bit like one of those contraptions that magicians use to saw their smiling assistants in half, but this is actually Eurohike’s ingenious solution for keeping luggage dry and hidden from would-be thieves. The Basecamp Storage Table features two concealed off-ground storage compartments that are accessed via a zipped entrance, plus two extra side compartments for stashing away any additional bags and accessories. The table is a dream to manoeuvre, too, with telescopic legs that adjust to suit your required height, and a modest weight that makes it easy to carry from one place to another.
Worried that your car won’t be big enough to carry all your camping supplies? Here’s a solution: a one-piece, four-seater camping table that folds down neatly into a briefcase (of sorts). Kampa’s unit is super-simple to put up and to fold down. Its hybrid aluminium and steel frame is lightweight yet rigid, while the robust ABS table top will withstand everything from camping gear being thrown down upon it to impromptu rain spells. Saying that, you won’t have to suffer the latter if you put up a weatherproof parasol – and a handy hole in the table’s surface enables you to do exactly that.
The GSI Ultralight does exactly what it says on the tin – it's a decent sized (1.3 sq. ft., 16" x 12", 406 x 305 mm) platform crafted from aluminum and stainless steel, but packs down to an impressively compact 0.6" (16 mm) thick and 6.1" (155 mm) wide. Weighing in at a lightweight 26.2 oz. (742 g) too, this is a good balance between usable and portable, as well as being robust enough to keep dinner off the ground when in use (it'll hold 20 lbs/9.1kg, which is a decent meal in anyone's book).
The all-metal construction means cleaning and maintenance is super simple, and even the most cack-handed will find it difficult to break this – even if they do, it should bend back into shape easily. A final touch is a raised lip to stop items sliding off on uneven ground, and a storage bag is included. For all-round flexibility and portability, this is a bit of a winner, as well as being reasonably priced to boot...
The Snow Peak Ozen Solo is a study in ultralight table goals. Weighing in at a zen-like 270g, yet expanding to create an 11 inch by 8 inch surface area, the Ozen is surely the most packable and portable table in existence. Admittedly, this is more of a tray on legs than a proper table, but it's also light and small enough to take anywhere you fancy a properly civilised cup of tea, whether that be the top of a mountain peak, or wild camping on the moors.
In a typically ingenious Snow Peak manner, the wire legs conspire with the edge of the table to lock a gas canister into place, creating the perfect ultralight kitchen prep area for the safety conscious. Overall, this may be tiny, but it is mighty handy.
If you’re looking for a trusty camping table that will last for many camping trips to come, you can’t really go wrong with this one from Regatta. While it doesn’t come with any chairs, it features adjustable legs so you can ensure the table is at the right height for your existing camping furniture. It also folds into itself for easy transportation from the car to your pitch.
The ideal table for families of four or a group of friends, this sturdy picnic table and benches folds down into one compact carry case for easy transportation. If you’re looking for that extra touch of comfort, the benches feature removable padded seat covers, which are machine washable – great after coming back from a particularly muddy trip.