Dining al-fresco and in the awning is one of the best things about caravan holidays. We’ve been testing some really good folding camping tables, to find out which make the best centrepiece at the heart of the awning.

This essential caravan accessory should be lightweight, robust, big enough for all the family and stable even on rocky ground. Like any other camping table, a caravan awning table should fold away neatly for storage and be easy enough for anyone to put up and take down, without much trouble.

Just as we might look for brains and beauty in a potential spouse, so the folding tables that scored highest in our test were the ones that boasted clever and practical design as well as looking inviting. 

The appeal of various products is obvious straight away when you browse through our folding table reviews. We tested one very cheap camping table, the Quest Superlite Medium Table at £22.99, but were slightly put off by the wobble. Heading way upmarket, we tested the lovely bamboo-topped Outwell Cluster Large, costing a whopping £109.99.

Big families will like the Outwell Toronto Large, a 10-seater costing £90, which is the subject of this review. Meanwhile couples may prefer the beautiful bamboo-topped Robens Wayfarer Large at £79.99. We were mightily impressed by the versatile Coleman 6 in 1 Camping Table at £70, which is really two tables in one. 

Heading back to the safety of medium-priced camping tables, we  tested the Kampa Oval Table at £53.99, the Kampa Prestige Camping Table at £59.99, the Outwell Penticton at £53.99, the Argos Trespass Foldable Storage Table at £49.99, the simply perfect Quest Elite Packaway Slatted Table at £44.99, and the Kampa Element Waterproof Table Medium at £54.99.

So, what were we looking for during our folding table tests? We compared weights and sizes when folded. We considered the tabletop areas offered, too. We accept that a big table will mean a heavier, bulkier product, but we’ll want it to earn its place in the payload. 

We liked tables that are easy to clean, having as few food traps as possible. And we liked weatherproof tables that won’t disintegrate overnight if they happen to get left out after a relaxing barbecue one evening.

We compared each table’s height and stability. Domestic dining tables are around 70cm high; and we don’t want to feel hunched over our food at mealtimes. Even allowing for the lower height of most camping chairs we don’t want to eat from low-down tables. Adjustable table legs and feet provide a brilliant solution on some of the tables we’ve tested.

Families will have calmer, happier caravan holidays if the camping table is nice and stable and the children don’t end up with their food upside-down on their laps. We checked for wobbles and loved the tables with adjustable legs.

Some tables were better than others at preventing elbow-clash and giving each person room to avoid their knees bashing the table braces.

While you’re pitching the awning, it’s great if the kids can set up the table – so we checked to see how easy each table was to put up and take dow. Finally we assessed the value for money, and checked for any bonus features such as shelves.

In this review we’ll focus on the family-friendly Outwell Toronto Large folding table, costing £90. Despite this table’s gargantuan 180cm x 80cm size, and the fact that it folds down to a very reasonable 80cm x 45cm x 14cm, the fully erected structure is surprisingly stable.

Better still, the Toronto’s practical leg and support layout means that four adults can sit comfortably on the long sides. 

If you don’t mind clashing knees, and something of a scrum for plate room up top, another two can sit at each end — which makes this a genuine 10-person table.

Considering the size, the 8.2kg weight is extremely respectable and the 68cm table-top height is comfortable for most of us. Although this table’s overall height is set, adjustable feet prevent uneven ground causing stability issues.