James StanburySee other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury
If you're looking for cheap camping tables to use in the awning during your caravan holidays, consider the Quest Superlite Medium Table, at £22.99
Like any other camping table, a caravan awning table should fold down as compactly as possible for easy storage – and, as with all other large caravan accessories, weight is an issue. But because this is the centrepiece of the your touring living room, a suitable table must also be a decent size, should look smart, and it should rival your table back home in terms of stability and being at a comfortable height. In short, where most leisure tables are designed almost purely around weight and pack-size constraints, here we’re looking at models that blend practicalities with aesthetics and comfort.
We gathered up a good selection of rival folding tables that we thought wouldn't look too shabby in caravan awnings. It's worth browsing through some of our folding table tests to compare features and prices before you go shopping for camping tables. We liked the bamboo top of the Robens Wayfarer Large camping table costing £79.99. A table with an unusual look was the Kampa Oval Table, with its faux onyx tabletop at £53.99. Another famous brand in outdoor camping gear circles is Outwell, and we were very impressed by the aluminium Outwell Toronto Large, costing £90 and seating up to 10 people. Best of all, we felt, was the Quest Elite Packaway Slatted Table at £44.99 – with telescopic legs that would cope with the most uneven ground.
So, how did we assess these folding tables? We always start with the weight and pack-down size, but we also factor both against the table’s top surface size – after all, large tables are always going to be heavier and bigger to pack away than smaller models.
Staying practical, we also assess how easy each table’s surface is to keep clean. Smooth, single-sheet materials obviously wipe down faster and more effectively than surfaces made up of numerous parts with small gaps between, such as aluminium slats. Our final surface consideration is weather resistance: what happens if you venture outside with your table and the heavens open before you have a chance to get it back indoors?
Next we look at two factors that make all the difference between a table being nice to use or not: height and stability. Most domestic tables are around 70cm high, and you don’t have to go much lower before you’re aware of consciously leaning over while eating. That being said, many leisure chairs are lower than their domestic counterparts, so it’s also useful if table-top height can be adjusted. Especially because it’s sometimes desirable to knock it right down to coffee-table height – perfect for lazily placing your glass of vino or bottle of beer on while you’re in your lounger, reading your favourite magazine.
What about stability? Some tables are excessively shaky even on a perfectly flat concrete floor, which means they’re really a lost cause from the start; but even the best table will be unstable on typically uneven awning floors, or outdoors. So adjustable legs or feet are a must-have to guarantee that a well-made table will always be secure wherever it’s placed.
We’ve mentioned size, which isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Particularly if we talk about the number of people who can be comfortably seated around the table, rather than just using table-top dimensions. Assuming everyone seated wants their legs, and chair, partially under the surface at mealtimes, issues such as the table’s leg and bracing positions, and overall shape, can make all the difference between a small table that can seat four and a larger table that can only manage two. Purely for versatility, we prefer designs that maximise seating numbers.
Our final three considerations are ease of assembly and dismantling, value for money, and whether there are any extra features such as stowage shelves, such as in the Argos Trespass Foldable Storage Table.
In this review we'll focus on the cheapest folding table we tested, the Quest Superlite Medium Table, £22.99.
Superlite by name, and definitely super-light by nature. But, much as we like the low overall weight of 3.4kg, we’re less keen on the slightly flimsy feel that lightweight construction brings; this is definitely one of the wobblier tables in the group test.
The easily cleaned, showerproof and durable 60cm x 80cm top is as practical as it is stylish. In addition, like the Robens Wayfarer Large table, compact legs and bracing means that all four sides can be sat at comfortably, thanks to a table-top height of 68cm. But the lack of height adjustment compromises versatility.
|Table top size||60cm x 80cm|
|Easy to clean||Waterproof and showerproof tabletop|
If all you need is a cheap, lightweight camping table, the Quest Superlite Medium Table might well suit you. But if you're after a home-from-home dining table for your caravan awning, browse through our other folding table reviews.
We've awarded the Quest Superlite Medium Table a three-star rating.
- Cheapest camping table tested
- Very light at 3.4kg
- Feels flimsy
- The Superlite is super-wobbly