If you love camping, you know how important a great portable camping grill table is to make your outdoor living space more efficient for various tasks. The 5 best camping tables need to meet high standards for stability, size, height, and durability and fold up compactly for storage and transport while not costing a fortune.
Unfortunately, finding a table that meets all these requirements is time-consuming. So to help you out, we put an array of portable tables to the test and highlight the five best camping tables from our reviews in this guide.
So, read on to learn our top picks, with details on what makes these camping tables stand out from their peers.
Why You Need a Portable Camping Table
A portable table is a must-have camping accessory because it works for many different duties.
A taller table is ideal for food prep, staging while cooking on the grill, keeping clothing items, bags, backpacks, or other items clean and off the ground, making crafts, playing games, washing up dishes, and eating meals.
While many campsites offer picnic tables, they are often in poor condition with splintery, uneven boards, and large gaps that can make using them inconvenient. A camping table provides a smooth area with no attached benches in the way, so you don’t have to lean over to place items on the table or worry items will topple over or fall through the cracks.
A short camping table is perfect for a place to set down drinks, snacks, dinner plates, cell phones, lanterns, and other items while sitting around the campfire or patio. Small portable tables are also easy to pack up to take on excursions to the beach, park or use for meal breaks while hiking.
Having several different camping tables stashed in your RV or vehicle means you’ll be ready for any need while at your campsite. In addition, with a great design, they won’t take up much storage space and be in your way.
Types of Portable Camping Tables
There are two types of camping tables available: foldable and expandable.
Foldable camp tables fold shut into a thin, flat package for storage. The table typically has a split in the tabletop center with hinges so you can swing it closed once you fold the legs inward.
Once shut, foldable tables will also feature a handle or handgrip to carry them to your car, truck, or recreational vehicle.
Expandable tables typically have a removable tabletop that rolls up and legs and framing that accordion open and shut as a single unit. You pull open the legs, unroll the top, and snap it onto the frame supports.
Expandable camping tables have a long, cylindrical shape for storage, and most come in a travel bag.
5 Best Camping Tables
1. AHB Outdoor Folding Camping Table with Storage
The AHB Outdoor Folding Camping Table is one of The 5 best camping tables that’s compact enough when shut to tote along on RV or tent camping trips without taking up too much space.
The table opens up to a total height of almost 28 inches, and with a four-foot span, there is ample surface area for four people to eat a meal or to use for holding food or camping supplies. The top can support 45 pounds, and the legs adjust so that you can use it in lower positions as a coffee or game table.
We love the inclusion of the storage bays underneath the water and oil-proof tabletop that allow you to keep up to 33 pounds of items inside. The extra storage is a game-changer, especially for bulkier items like beach towels and toys, pots and pans, or even shoes. Also, the flaps that come down and zip shut protect the contents, keeping bugs and dust from getting inside, so everything stays safe and clean.
We think the biggest drawback to this table is the overall height. We wish it expanded a few more inches so it would be more comfortable for prepping and eating meals, but it does the job overall.
- Well-designed, lightweight, and stable
- Folds up easily with handles for easy transport
- Storage compartment with hooks and extra-strength velcro tabs
- Anti-rust aluminum frame/legs with non-slip feet
- The table is a few inches shy of the standard 30-inch table height
- The main tabletop is particleboard with a veneer surface
- Cannot support very heavy items
2. Lifetime Adjustable Folding Table
The Lifetime Adjustable Folding Table is one of the 5 best you want if you’re looking for a spacious camping table that extends to full table height, and then some. In fact, several testing team members already own this table for good reason.
We love the durability and ease of cleaning the plastic tabletop without worrying that spills or rain showers will destroy the material. We also appreciate the wider width, so eating meals is less cluttered and leaves more room for a game board.
The design is simple, with the unit unfolding and the legs adjusting to four different heights for use as a coffee table, game or crafting table, or dining table. For tall people or those who want to stand to perform tasks, the full 36-inch height is very comfortable.
The thick-gauge metal table legs lock into place, and with the non-slip feet, the unit is extremely stable and can hold hundreds of pounds evenly distributed across the surface. When you need to transport the table, it folds down quickly and has a locking tab and carry handle.
Our only concern with this table is the plastic surface, which could scorch or melt if you place a grill or hot pan on top without protection.
- Adjustable heights: 22″/24″/29″/36″
- Legs tuck in and the tabletop folds in half for easy storage/transport
- Lightweight yet rugged and stable
- Easy-clean, stain-resistant plastic surface
- The plastic surface may scorch or melt
- When folded, the table is still fairly bulky
3. Sportneer Beach Camping Table
The Sportneer Beach Camping Table is a great small camping side table that is super lightweight and compact so that you can tote it from your campsite to day trip locations like the beach, hiking trails, or local park.
We like the mid-size of this table (it also comes in a smaller and larger version) and the all-aluminum top that rolls up compactly for storage. Unlike other expanding tables with a fabric top, this table can hold cups or bottles without them tipping over and handle hot items without burning.
Carrying this lightweight, portable camping table in the included bag is effortless. Once you set it up, it can hold over 50 pounds on its rust-resistant and durable aluminum framing with slip-proof leg grips. Hook on the hanging mesh bag underneath the tabletop for extra storage or keep items clean.
We wish that setting up the table was a little less fussy and the tabs for locking the top to the legs were more secure. One tester ended up using zip ties to ensure the base and top stayed firmly together because if you try to lift the table by the top and not the legs, it will come apart.
- Lightweight, yet durable construction
- Easy to clean, with long-lasting materials
- Very sturdy – can support up to 55 pounds
- A flat metal tabletop holds items securely
- Takes some practice to put together quickly
- Tabs to secure the base to the top are not strong enough
Sportneer Beach Camping Table (Video)
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4. Portal Outdoor Folding Table
The Portal Outdoor Folding Table is another favorite of the 5 best tables for its size and independently-adjustable legs that allow you to level it on uneven campsites.
We love the material, construction, and design that went into this table. It’s stable, adjusts to several heights, has a large enough surface to eat meals or play games, collapses into a compact travel size, and is lightweight.
We also appreciate the mesh shelf directly under the tabletop so that you can store cutlery, towels, paper plates, games, cell phones, or other items.
The aluminum slat tabletop unrolls and clips securely to the lower frame. The frame pops open, and the legs extend and lock in seconds, making this camping table very quick to set up. When it’s time to pack it away, roll up the top, collapse the frame, and tuck it into its carry bag. You don’t even need to remove the mesh shelf; it folds up automatically when you close the frame.
Our only issue is the table feels a bit short for the average person when the legs are fully extended. But, other than that, this portable table is of great value.
- Simple design is quick and simple to open and close
- Locking joints and legs and tabletop clips keep the table secure
- Mesh shelf provides extra storage
- The metal surface is spacious, cleans up easily, and resists rust
- Great size and adjustability for multiple camping needs
- Supports up to 66 pounds
- The size fits two adults comfortably, not four
- Must align framing square in order for the top to clip on
This camping toilet is best for anyone who wants a no-nonsense, compact unit to use outdoors. The size, weight, and shape, when shut, make it ideal for taking on camping trips that require a hike to reach your destination.
Portal Outdoor Folding Table (Video)
5. GCI Compact Camp Table
- Lightweight, folding aluminum camp table for outdoor, picnics, tailigating, RVing, fishing, and road trips
- Outdoor Side Table: Lightweight folding side table is ideal for outdoor activities like picnics, tailgating, RVing,…
- Seats two people for dining, or can be used as a side table
- Compact Seating: Metal side table seats 2 people while dining, but can also be used as an outside side table
- Telescoping leg design allows the one-piece, full-sized table to collapse easily and fold compactly
The GCI Compact Camp Table is one of The 5 best camping tables for couples to use as conveniently compact and lightweight side tables around the campsite.
We love how the slatted tabletop splits in two when you close it, so it packs away fast and compactly. The legs scissor open and feature adjustable height settings, so you can raise it for more comfortable dining or crafting or lower it for use as a side table.
All aluminum framing and slatted tabletop make it super lightweight yet rugged and able to withstand typical campground elements from dust to rainy weather. We also liked the cross supports at the bottom of the legs, making the table more stable.
We didn’t have any significant complaints about this table, other than the size of this model is a bit small. Luckily, the company sells this same style table in a larger version.
- Lightweight aluminum construction with no assembly required
- Supports up to 60 pounds
- Closes in seconds with patent-pending Squeeze Telescoping Technology
- Ideal height between two camp chairs for drinks/snacks
- Size fits well inside tents or RVs
- Folds into a compact flat shape with built-in carry support
- The tabletop doesn’t lock in place once open
- Not suitable for uneven surfaces
- Metal legs and slats could be thicker
GCI Compact Camp Table (Video)
Best Camping Table Wrap Up
The 5 best camping tables are a handy addition to any campsite and make outdoor living more comfortable and enjoyable.
With a quality camping table, you can avoid balancing plates of food on your lap at mealtimes, have a place to prepare and serve food when grilling, have ample room to play games or do some crafting, and have a clean and flat surface for you to set down your drink, phone, book, or other items.
Better yet, a great camping table is lightweight and will fold up into a compact size so you can store it with ease until your next outdoor adventure. We hope you check out our top camping table picks above and see how they can instantly upgrade your camping experience!
- What are the key factors to consider when choosing a camping table?
When choosing a camping table, the key factors to consider include its weight and portability, as it should be lightweight and easy to transport, and its durability, as it should be able to withstand outdoor conditions.
Other factors include the table’s size and design, which should match your camping needs and preferences, and its ease of assembly and disassembly.
- How does the type of camping activity influence the choice of a camping table?
The type of camping activity significantly influences the choice of a camping table.
For instance, if the camping involves hiking or backpacking, a lightweight and compact table would be ideal, while for car camping or RV camping where weight and size are less of a concern, a larger, more robust table with more features might be more suitable.
- What are the pros and cons of foldable versus expandable camping tables?
Foldable camping tables are typically lightweight, portable, and easy to set up, making them ideal for campers who prioritize mobility and convenience.
On the other hand, expandable camping tables offer more surface area and stability, which is beneficial for larger groups or activities that require more space, but they may be bulkier and more complex to assemble.
- How does the material of a camping table affect its durability and usability?
The material of a camping table significantly impacts its durability and usability.
For instance, aluminum tables are lightweight and resistant to rust, making them ideal for portability and long-term outdoor use, while wooden tables, though heavier, offer robustness and a classic aesthetic, but may require more maintenance to withstand weather conditions.
- Can you provide some tips on maintaining and storing camping tables to prolong their lifespan?
To maintain and prolong the lifespan of camping tables, it’s crucial to clean them regularly, ideally after each use, to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime that can cause wear and tear.
When storing, ensure they are dry to avoid rust or mold and keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, which can cause warping or fading.
"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt."
-- John Muir