Camp Tables for Families

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Camp tables can make your camping trips more comfortable and convenient. From cooking safely to giving yourself more room, bringing a camping table can be a game-changer for your family.

camp table set up in sun with text overlay

When packing for a family camping trip, we always want to lean towards “less is more”, but there are a few times when packing extra things is really beneficial, and we believe that a camp table is one of those items!

Why you want to bring a camp table with you:

We’ve been asked, “why bring a table if there is a picnic table?” And our answer is always – because it makes things so much easier!

Our kids usually take over the table and we don’t’ want to risk burns or scalding spills by sharing the cooking space with active kids.  

Here are our two main reasons why we think its super important to bring a camp table with you:

  1. Use it as a cooking surface: A metal table is a great place to set your camp stove and cooking gear so that it is not on the picnic table where the kids are playing, and you have more room on the table to eat and do other activities.
  2. Extra Storage: camp tables often have extra shelves to store stuff, and some even have special features like cup holders and organizers included.

Really, its all about space, storage, and organization – and we think this is one item that is entirely worth putting on your family camping packing list!

two camp tables set up next to each other on grass in front of trees

Our Two Favorite Camp Tables

The right camp table isn’t just about having a place to put things – it’s about making the most of your space and adding comfort to your outdoor adventure. Whether it’s cooking a meal or just chilling by the fire, a good table can make your camping experience so much better.

We have tried and tested quite a few tables over the years, and the two below are our current favorites based on safety, how easy it was to set up/take down, portability, and versatility.

GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station

We love this table because it is SO easy to use and so functional. We’ll dive into our review and you will see for yourself why this is a great option for family camping. 

  • Kid friendly and safe – Folding metal creates a risk for a finger guillotine. The hinges are exposed but are large enough that it shouldn’t cut off fingers. GCI added plastic tabs to each hinge, which is a nice touch, so that you have something to hold to lock or unlock the hinges without pinching fingers.  
  • When setup the main table is able to hold around 48 pounds, and the lower rack can hold 35 pounds, letting it easily hold your camp stove and ingredients without structural failure.  
  • Ease of setup and take down – The table simply unfolds, or maybe a better description is that it decompresses. Each side has 2 shelves that fold up/down and the larger portion collapses into itself. This means that it takes about 20-30 seconds to unpack or repack.  Seriously, less than 30 seconds!
  • Easily packable – The table doesn’t come with a storage bag but does have a handle on a long edge for easy carrying. Once you have it collapsed it is 20.9 x 3.7 x 34.6 inches and weighs around 20 pounds. Its folds down small enough that its easy to pack items on top.  
  • Durability – The table is made of steel, aluminum and plastic. Of the three, the plastic will be the first to break especially since its used in high stress point parts like the tabs to the hinges. However after many trips we have yet to see signs of fatigue. I wouldn’t put your heavy gear on this table like full coolers, as that is not its purpose.  
  • Budget conscience – We picked up this table off of Amazon for about $100. Overall we didn’t think $100 was a terrible price for the additional space.
  • Multifunctional – The table’s side shelves boast depressions for holding beverages and cut out sections for hold stemmed glasses. The depressions are big enough to hold our coffee mugs while we make scrambled eggs in the morning and are deep enough to prevent drink spillage if the table is bumped.  
  • Weight and portability – The table weighs in at around 20 pounds and comes with a fabric handle riveted onto so it can be carried like a briefcase. The handle does not dig into your hands and can be carried one handed. Combine this with its packability and easy setup makes this our go to camp table.  
  • Comfort – The table height comes in at around 34 inches. You may find this to be a bit short. I find myself hunched over the table a little. The extra height of a camp stove does make this better. Even though it may not be as tall as your countertop at home, considering the need for packability and portability we don’t find this to be a game stopper.    

*The GCI Outdoor Slim Fold cook station is our favorite pick. We prefer it due to its easy setup and take down, simple packability and reasonable price.  

Mountain Summit Gear Deluxe Roll Top Kitchen 

The table features a lot of storage in a light and packable design. It comes with

  • Kid friendly and safe – This table score low points in this section. The hinges on this table are easy to catch and pinch your fingers. However, the roll top aluminum stabilizes the top and it does not have the same risk of collapse as other tables that fold.  
  • Ease of setup and take down – This table is relatively easy to set up, however putting on and taking off the roll top does take some practice. While its not complicated, it does require a bit of skill and dexterity. The roll top has a clamp in each corner that simply snaps to the aluminum frame. Since the roll top can easily collapse, there is a trick to connecting half of the roll top while taking it down then undoing it the next time you put it up.  However, once you get the hang of it, this table takes less than two minutes to set up or take down.
  • Easily packable – The table packs into a carrying bag and folds down to around 19.7 x 4.3 x 31.5 inches. The bag has extra room to make it easier to get the table in the bag. To get this all easily packed up you will definitely need practice mastering half connecting the roll tops and collapsing the storage bag. It takes us about 90-120 seconds to setup this table, so its not terrible just a little frustrating while you are getting used to it.  
  • Durability – The roll top connects to the aluminum frame by think plastic clamps. We have taken the table on many campouts without issue. However, the entire durability of this table depends on the clamps.  
  • Budget conscience – You can find this table on rei.com for $150. The main benefit is the additional storage it offers and and it is lighter weight and comes with a carrying case.  
  • Multifunctional – The main appeal of this table is the extra storage space. If the extra storage space in the bag zipped rather than used Velcro, we would have given it higher marks. The Velcro doesn’t go around the entire opening, so will not be useful for keeping unwanted campsite visitors (chipmunks or bugs) out.  
  • Weight and portability – The table and bag comes in at around 13 pounds. The carrying bag has a large nylon handle that doesn’t cut into your hand while carrying it. Its closed dimensions are slightly smaller than comparable tables so if your getting tight for space in the minivan you should consider this table.  
  • Comfort – The camp table does not have adjustable legs, which means that if you are tall you will be hunched over. When setup it stands around 32 inches tall. Most camp kitchen tables like this don’t have adjustable legs but this table is a couple inches shorter than others we have seen.   
  • Extra Features – This kitchen comes with attachable extra storage which is a think nylon 2-shelve system that connects to the bottom of the unfolding side. It uses Velcro to keep the bag closed (we think a zipper would have been more practical).  

If your looking for a camp kitchen table that has extra storage and is lighter weight then this table may be for you. Consider the quality of the extra storage and the packability of the roll tops when looking at this $150 price tag.

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Want to check out more camp kitchen stuff? Check out our posts on a camp kitchen box to make your cooking and eating easier on your next trip.

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