James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

Read our Outwell Penticton camping table test to discover our expert's verdict on this lightweight yet stable aluminium camping table for two

Overview

We've been tasting a selection of camping tables with motorhome touring in mind. We love eating meals outside – whether it's a bowl of cereal, a full cooked breakfast or delicious dinner, all food seems to taste extra special when eaten in the open air.

So, what makes the best camping tables great? We've been checking quite a lot of practical considerations during our latest batch of motorhome accessory tests. First of all, motorhomes don't have a lot of spare space for outdoor accessories, so the camping tables have to fold down compactly for travel. Lightweight tables are best for the payload, and we also want them to look good and have a comfortable tabletop height.

We'll be using these camping tables on uneven ground at times, so any with adjustable feet and legs are really handy when it comes to stability.

We also want plenty of tabletop space for the weight and bulk. Plus, we tend to favour smooth, single-sheet materials for tabletops because they're so much easier to keep clean. Ideally, we want our folding tables to be showerproof, as well, because we're quite likely to leave them outside all night from time to time.

Two factors make all the difference between a table being nice to use or not: height and stability. With most home dining tables being about 70cm high, we need our camping tables to measure up to something similar, though with most camping chairs being pretty low-slung, it really helps if the table's legs are adjustable. Then we can use them as coffee tables, for all the tipples of choice beside a lounger, too.

Wobbly tables get our goat, so we've been especially concerned about stability? Some tables are excessively shaky even on a perfectly flat floor, so what would they be like on uneven ground outdoors? Again, the solution is to look for camping tables with adjustable legs or feet.

Table size needed depends on the number of people you're touring with, of course. So we've assessed the number of people who could use each table in comfort, without leg restrictions and with enough room for a plate full of food in front of them. We tend to favour designs that maximise the seating numbers by minimising obstructions in their design.

Our final three considerations are ease of assembly and dismantling, value for money, and whether there are any extra features such as stowage shelves. 

You can browse through our reviews to see prices and ratings quickly, then click through to read each review. We tested the beautiful bamboo-topped Outwell Custer Large camping table, costing £109.99, and the Outwell Penticton aluminium camping table costing £53.99. We tried out the Coleman 6 in 1 Camping Table at £70, which is actually a set of two tables that you can join together. Then we tried the Kampa Element Waterproof Table Medium at £54.99, the aluminium Kampa Prestige Camping Table at £59.99 and the Quest Elite Packaway Slatted Table at just £44.99.

Now let's shine our spotlight on the Outwell Penticton camping table, priced at just £53.99. Outwell seems to have designed this leftfield entry with just two factors in mind: stability and comfort. The braced leg design delivers on both fronts, giving a very civilised table height of 74cm and a level of stability that’s normally only felt on heavy domestic tables.

However, the design isn’t without its drawbacks. The sloping legs mean that the table can only really seat two adults in complete comfort, despite the expansive 110cm x 74cm top. And, while the table is inherently very stable, the lack of any form of leg adjustment means that it will be somewhat less so on uneven ground.

At 110cm x 60cm x 8cm, this is also a pretty big piece of kit to store in your motorhome.

Technical specs

Tabletop size60cm x 110cm
Table height74cm
Packed-down size110cm x 60cm x 8cm
Weight4.9kg
Maximum load30kg
MaterialsAluminium

Verdict

For couples heading off in their motorhome together, the Outwell Penticton is an excellent camping table, but as soon as you try to use it with four people you'll find yourselves fighting to avoid the skinny ends, where legroom is constricted by the table design. Check you have room to store the folded-flat table before you buy it.

If you've got the space, it's a great little folding table for two, so we've awarded the Outwell Penticton a four-star rating.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Comfortable table height
  • Super stability
  • Perfect for two

Cons

  • Large to store in the motorhome
  • Legs and feet are not adjustable
  • Obstructed legroom at either end
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