Choosing the Right Table for Overlanding
- What size table do you need?
- Will the table fit in the vehicle when folded?
- How much additional weight are you prepared to allow?
- What is your budget?
There is a vast array of camping equipment out there so choosing the right table for overlanding may have you banging your head against the monitor sooner than you think so where do you start and what factors are there to consider when considering your camp table?
First up, our requirements in a table will probably be different to yours, much will depend on the size of your rig or the space available to store a table, for us we needed something fairly large which took up as little space as possible.
Solid folding tables have more to them than a basic flat top, there are more moving parts which means more to break or bend so it pays to spend a little extra for quality, a €30 euro job from Amazon is unlikely to cut the mustard when it comes to longevity.
Folding options include tables which fold in half, depending on the size they can still be quite bulky although many will slide behind the drivers seat. The other option is a roll top table like the ARB or Coleman, these tables consist of the frame and a rollable top [think blinds] that lays over the top, the benefit of these camping tables are that they roll up and store in a bag not unlike a tent. Different variations of both are also available depending on brand and overall design.
This will all depend on what you intend to use the table for, is it for cooking, food prep, socializing or work related? Smaller tables including the foldable designs mentioned above can be quite economical but for us they were too small. While we do have a pull out table incorporated into our kitchen storage build in the rear of the Shogun we also needed a bit more surface area for cooking and something we could move to underneath the awning for socializing etc.
Larger tables of good brand and quality will push you up to €200 euros plus but they do come in a 180cm or 6ft in length, very substantial will a big surface area, tables such as these can still be quite compact folded [see the Darche table below which also comes in a 180cm length]
You get what you pay for and camping tables are no different, yes there is an element of paying for brand name but in the main, the quality is going to be better than it’s Chinese counterpart, a third of the price with a name you cannot pronounce. Price is clearly down to your personal budget but buying the best you can afford is key.
As a general guideline and having scoured dozens of reviews anything over the €80 mark is going to get you something decent although there will always be exceptions depending on your requirements and location – a good example of this is the ARB table, €85 euros in Germany, €135 euros in Spain.
A constant consideration to any overlander, weight is something to keep in mind also, smaller tables will clearly be lighter but if you’re going for something big then the materials used to construct the table will be important. Aluminium tables are light but the trade of in some cases can be stability compared to a steel frame however aluminium won’t rust and hot cooking vessels won’t damage it. Table tops can also be constructed from wood, melamine, aluminium, bamboo, stainless steel and plastic.
Our Camping Table Shortlist
ARB Folding Camp Table
It doesn’t get much more ‘overland’ than ARB when it comes to brand names. Price: €85 – €135
Darche Traka 1200
The Darche Traka was a major contender but unfortunately it wasn’t available. Price: €139
Oztent Tri-Fold Table
Second choice but again no availability in the EU without a significant wait. €115 – €140
Zempire Bamboo Table
An interesting alternative especially packed down, nice and lightweight and an established brand. €85 – €99
KingCamp Folding Table
Lesser known but with very good reviews and a good size both folded and set up. €89 – €115
After a large degree of deliberation we went with the KingCamp partly due it’s size, reviews and availability. At 107cm x 70cm it’s a table that four people can sit around. 6.6kg in weight means it’s not light, nor is it too heavy either and can hold 80kg in weight which is substantial.
Coupled with the fact that the entire unit folds down onto a carry bag, for us it is easier to store compared to others and the price was mid range amongst the bunch at €99 euros.
A full review of the KingCamp will be forthcoming after we’ve put it through its paces…
What considerations did you have getting the right table for overlanding and what has or will be the perfect table solution for your set up?