James StanburySee other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury
This bamboo tabletop would look beautiful in any caravan awning, so why has our expert given the Robens Wayfarer Large folding table a three-star-rating?
Some people just know how to make the most of their awnings during caravan holidays. We've been peeping enviously at awnings transformed into comfortable lounge-diners, instead of a dumping grounds for all the outdoor kit that won't fit in their caravans.
At the heart of the awning, you really need a good, practical, stable folding table for family meals. Like any other camping table, a caravan awning table should fold down to a neat compact shape that's easy to store – and we're also looking for lightweight products, as with all other large caravan accessories.
And yet, we also want a camping table that looks really good, so the folding tables that scored highest in our test were the ones that combined practical features with beauty and comfort.
Which folding tables look best in today's ever-more sophisticated caravan awnings? Compare our folding table reviews at-a-glance before you start shopping around for the best prices. We tested the cheap and cheerful Quest Superlite Medium Table, £22.99, which is really light, and a good height for eating, but rather wobbly. At the other extreme, we tested the lovely bamboo-topped Outwell Cluster Large, costing almost five times as much at £109.99.
In the mid-price range we tested the Kampa Oval Table at £53.99, Kampa Prestige Camping Table at £59.99, Outwell Penticton at £53.99, Argos Trespass Foldable Storage Table at £49.99, the fantastic Quest Elite Packaway Slatted Table at £44.99, and the Kampa Element Waterproof Table Medium at £54.99.
When testing folding tables for caravan holidays, we first compared their weights and the size when folded. We consider tabletop area, too, because it would be foolish to mark a table down if it offers a lovely big tabletop area, just because this inevitably means it's heavier and bulkier to store than smaller rival products.
Keeping tables clean is another very important issue and we favour tables with smooth, single-sheet tabletops rather than fiddly slatted constructions where spilt food can fester.
Weatherproof tables also won us over, because we just know these tables are going to face the odd shower if we leave them out after some happy al-fresco meals and barbecues.
Height and stability matter in a table, too. At home, you may find your dining table is around 70cm high; much lower and you'll feel a bit uncomfortably crouched when leaning over eating. So height matters, even though camping chairs are often correspondingly low. Of course, the ideal thing is for folding tables to have adjustable legs! This should take care of all eventualities, from fine dining to casual snacking, coffee-drinking and enjoying a quiet beer in the evening.
Wobbly tables can cause chaos, whether you're dining with friends or family. That's another reason for favouring adjustable table legs, particularly because we'll be using our camping tables on uneven ground.
Another factor is size, and the clash between human legs and table legs and bracing. Make sure that the folding table you buy is right for the number of people you're planning to seat.
Last but not least, we checked ease of assembly and dismantling, value for money, and whether there are any extra features such as stowage shelves.
In this review we'll focus on one of the most attractive folding tables in our group test, the Robens Wayfarer Large, which costs £79.99.
The Robens Wayfarer Large is a table that appeals to everyone. Slipping snugly into a 16cm x 12cm x 81cm carry bag, it’s easily the most compact to store in this test. Yet it takes less than a minute to open out, and the process is completely intuitive.
Once built, the gorgeous 60cm x 80cm bamboo top and surprising stability cannot fail to impress. Meanwhile, a clever leg-bracing design means that all four sides can be sat at comfortably, even if the top is a little small for four adults, their plates, cups and condiments.
Much as we like this genius product, though, the maximum height of 66cm is simply too low, and the 5.5kg weight is way over the odds for a table of this size.
|Size when folded||16cm x 12cm x 81cm|
|Tabletop size||60cm x 80cm|
We love the look of the Robens Wayfarer Large folding table and it's certainly well designed to give four people good leg-room at mealtimes. It is just a bit small for four, though, and it's quite heavy to take touring. One for the garden, perhaps? We've awarded it a three-star rating in our 2016 group camping table test.
- Attractive bamboo tabletop
- Clever leg-bracing
- Legs fit under all four sides without obstructions
- The most compact table to store
- Heavy for its size
- Sits a little low
- Quite expensive
- A bit small for four