CAMPING PRODUCT REVIEWS

TABLES AND CHAIRS

 

Camping Product Reviews Tables and Chairs

 

 

 

 

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TABLES, CAMP KITCHENS AND CHAIRS

 

K-Mart folding chair
K-Mart folding chair

 

Price range: $?
From: K-Mart
RATINGS:
How useful is it: ****
Value for money: ?
Ease of use: *****
How well designed is it: ****
Product quality: ****
Our recommendation: Good.

 

These chairs came with a trailer we purchased so we don't know the original price.

They seem to be pretty robust despite the plastic fittings and the material is quite strong.

They fold up in the same manner as the 'Folding Chair' below but these seem much stronger and better made.

They are far more comfortable than chairs of similar design as the front edge of the seat does not cut in to the back of your legs.

We have been using them for less than a year but so far we are very happy with them. They don't weigh much and fold up into a small space.

They have become our main camping chairs for our travels in the Coaster.

 

Outdoor Equipped camping recliner chair
Outdoor Equipped camping recliner chair

 

Price range: $50 and up
From: Ray's Outdoor Rockingham
RATINGS:
How useful is it: ****
Value for money: ****
Ease of use: ****
How well designed is it: ****
Product quality: ****
Our recommendation: Too bulky and heavy to be in constant use.

 

Sometimes when you are camping it is nice to just sit back, put your feet up and relax. This chair allows you to do just that.

It isn't designed for sitting at a table but the foot rest section does fold down to allow you to sit upright if you want to. The locking mechanism that holds the chair in position is partly made of plastic and we are betting that if we have trouble with the chair, this is the first place it will start.

At the moment we haven't used this chair enough to have any useful comments on it apart from that fact that it holds up to 160kg and is nice and comfortable. It also seems to be stable enough when you lie back but always make sure you are on level ground or ground that tilts slightly forward.

I originally said; "The chair is fairly heavy to carry but it doesn't take up much more space than most other camping chairs so it is an option for most people to take away on longer trips." but I have had a change of heart. As the number of items we take away increases, the space available decreases. In the end this chair has spent most of its life at home folded up in the shed. As a result, it isn't something I can recommend that people can use on most camping trips.

 

Folding Chair
Folding Chair

 

Price: $varies
From: Many places.
RATINGS:
How useful is it: *****
Value for money: *****
Ease of use: *****
How well designed is it: ****
Product quality: **
Our recommendation: Go for a medium priced model (not more than $50)

 

Everyone needs chairs of some sort when camping and this style seems to be very popular. They have a continuous back that stops cold breezes from affecting you as badly as chairs with open backs.

My main grumble with this sort of chair is that the front edges are prone to dig in to the back of your legs and cut the circulation off. There is a huge price range for this style and they start at as little as $7. The cheaper ones have thin legs and less fabric re-enforcement than those just a few dollars more.

We have had a few chairs of this style over the years and they have advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage is that they take up very little room to pack and store so for those with limited space they can be very handy.

If you have more room then to be honest I would be looking for something a bit more robust and a lot more comfortable.

 

Folding Chair (Jackeroo)
Folding Chair (Jackeroo)

 

Price: $30
From: Kmart
RATINGS:
How useful is it: *****
Value for money: ****
Ease of use: ****
How well designed is it: ***
Product quality: ***
Our recommendation: Not recommended

 

For a long time we have been buying this style of chair minus the fold out side table. I have been eyeing the ones with fold out tables but they were always too expensive. ($70+). We were fairly happy with the original ones we bought although the first pair cost $50 each (from a camping store) and the next pair cost $27 (from Bunnings). Both of these pairs were very light weight and had no problems with rust as they were made of an aluminium type frame. There was a constant problem with the material as it deteriorated badly after about 2-3 years.

When I spotted this type (with the fold out side table) in Kmart for just under $30, I grabbed a pair but have since found that they are much heavier and the frame is made from a metal that IS VERY subject to corrosion and discolourations. (See picture) The chair pictured is only about 2 months old and already is showing signs of rust. The metal frame, although 2-3 times heavier than the original models, is nowhere near as strong.

The lighter chairs (see below) we can recommend as they can last many years before the material gives up. These ones from Kmart we cannot recommend as they don't last long enough.

 

Folding Chair (Coleman)
Folding Chair (Coleman)

 

Price: $89
From: Caravan parts suppliers and camping stores
RATINGS:
How useful is it: *****
Value for money: **
Ease of use: *****
How well designed is it: ***
Product quality: *****
Our recommendation: Good to buy.

 

We needed a couple of new chairs as the cheapies from Kmart were just too heavy and one gave up after only a little more than a year.

We bought two different types (see the Kookaburra below) and this Coleman was a shop soiled version knocked down to $50. We would have thought twice about buying it at the normal retail price of $89.

It is light, only 4.4kg and strong, with a capacity of 125kg but it is not as comfortable as the Kookaburra below.

It turned out to be the best camping chair we have ever owned. At the time of writing this it is well over 6 years old and is still being used. The side table support broke but could be repaired but otherwise the chair is very solid and long lasting.

 

Folding Chair (Kookaburra)
Folding Chair (Kookaburra)

 

Price: $59
From: Caravan parts suppliers and camping stores
RATINGS:
How useful is it: *****
Value for money: ****
Ease of use: *****
How well designed is it: ****
Product quality: ****
Our recommendation: Ok to buy

 

Although this chair lacks a side table it is the most comfortable folding chair we have had to date. The back is nice and high and is angled back which gives a nice relaxed posture.

It is slightly lighter than the Coleman (above) but only drops 5kg in its weight rating (120kg).

After about 5 years the material started to wear out but the chair is still worth consideration as it is just so comfortable to sit in.

 

Flop Chairs
Flop Chairs

 

Price: $30
From: Woolworths
RATINGS:
How useful is it: *****
Value for money: ****
Ease of use: *****
How well designed is it: ****
Product quality: ***
Our recommendation: Ok to buy if you are not too heavy.

 

We are always looking for chairs to use that are strong, light and not too expensive. That leads to us trying out many different varieties and to be honest we have found that cheap chairs are cheap for a reason. They are usually heavy, not very strong and don't last long.

These flop-chairs are great for relaxing, comfortable and they fold flat. Sadly they aren't all that strong and if you 'flop' down too much then sooner or later they will break and collapse.

These chairs fail at the X joint. To keep using them longer we would recommend replacing the original bolt with something a lot stronger.

 

TABLES

 

K-Mart folding table
K-Mart folding table

 

Price: $25-30
From: K-Mart
RATINGS:
How useful is it: ****
Value for money: ****
Ease of use: *****
How well designed is it: ****
Product quality: ****
Our recommendation: Useful light weight table.

 

I have lost count of the number of tables we have had over the years. This one is ok as long as you don't leave it out in the rain or over-load it.

It is very light weight and easy to store as it folds flat. We use it for all sorts of things and most recently it has become the base for our Weber Baby-Q when we do BBQs outside.

It wouldn't last long if it got very wet so we make sure it is put away if rain is likely.

We have been using it for quite a while now and don't have any complaints about either the design or quality.

We purchased a second smaller table of the same type from K-Mart for just $10.

 

OzTrail Folding Cupboard / Table OzTrail Folding Cupboard / Table OzTrail Folding Cupboard / Table
OzTrail Folding Cupboard / Table

 

 

Price: $69.95 - 106
From: Camping stores
RATINGS:
How useful is it: ****
Value for money: *** (depends on whether you buy it on special)
Ease of use: ****
How well designed is it: ****
Product quality: See below
Our recommendation: Good

 

This is a well designed durable product. The main item I was concerned about was the plastic joint holding the aluminium legs in place but the cupboard is now several years old and there has been no problem with the joint.

The canvas is strong and is lasting well. The mesh used is fly mesh not micro mesh but hopefully it does keep most insects out.

As the pics above show, the unit comes in a handy carry bag. It is very simple and quick to assemble as it is held together using velcro straps. The shelves are reasonably strong (we have had problems in the past with items like this when the shelves sag) and the small table top is a useful extra.

The stated combined storage weight for the shelves is 8kg and 15kg for the table top.

The only problem with this product has been the handles on the carry bag. Eventually they fall to pieces but the bag istself is strong and durable so it isn't a major concern.

 

Camp Kitchen Roman
Camp Kitchen Roman

 

Price: unknown
From: unknown
RATINGS:
How useful is it: *****
Value for money: ?
Ease of use: *****
How well designed is it: ****
Product quality: ****
Our recommendation: Ok to buy

 

We picked this up from am op-shop for $35 so don't have any information on price and availability.

It is a handy item in out camping gear inventory and is much lighter and easier to transport than the bigger camp kitchens below.

It packs up into quite a small package but when folded out gives a reasonable amount of room for cooking and storing cookware.

It is very simple to use and has two light holders, several hooks for hanging cooking utensils and to date we have had no problems with it.

The only area of some concern is the elastic material used to hold the table top slats together. In our experience, elastic always perishes over time so it remains to be see how long this lasts and how easy it is to repair.

 

Camp Kitchen Mk I
Camp Kitchen Mk I

 

Price: $149-189 (Now as low as $75)
From: KMart
RATINGS:
How useful is it: *****
Value for money: ****
Ease of use: ****
How well designed is it: ***
Product quality: ****
Our recommendation: Ok to buy

 

This is a 'knock off' of the expensive Coleman camp kitchen. It folds up neatly into a suitcase sized package and comes with its own carry case. (Although the zip doesn't last long).

It is very useful and comparatively light weight. It is a big table once unfolded with useful racks to store things on and hooks to hang utensils from. The sink has an extendible tube to direct waste water into a bucket but this didn't last long before falling to bits. Overall an excellent idea for use in a tent or annex.

We have seen another 'knock off' under the brand name Jackeroo in Kmart priced very similarly to this one. We expect it is probably about the same quality.

We used this table for several years now and it held up quite well to the rough treatment it has received. We did find it was necessary to install a support under the table just to the left side of the sink but apart from that it is still in quite reasonable shape. The zip on the carry case eventually gave up but that doesn't bother us too much as the unit just gets put up on the roof rack under the boat when travelling.

 

Camp Kitchen Mk II
Camp Kitchen Mk II

 

Price: $170
From: KMart
RATINGS:
How useful is it: *****
Value for money: ****
Ease of use: ****
How well designed is it: ****
Product quality: ****
Our recommendation: Ok to buy

 

This new design offers a better quality than the old version and has a stainless steel draining board and sink. The sink is not as deep as the older design but should be sufficient for most people.

There are now two fold out side tables instead of just one and the whole look and feel of the product is an improvement over the original.

There is a lantern holder and a tap (to which you can attach a hose and a pump (not included) and there is also a cutting board and paper towel holder included. The paper towel holder is a bit silly as it is the wrong size but it is only attached by Velcro so it can easily be replaced.

At around 23 kilos this version is almost double the weight of the original but it compensates for this by being better constructed and much stronger.

A hose is included for draining water from the sink. There is also a handy sink plug / strainer that works quite well.

A carry bag is included but like the original but the zip won't last all that long.

We kept this for years but finally had no more use for it and sold it in 2015. It was still in good condition.

 

Metal Folding Table
Metal Folding Table

 

Price: $50
From: Supply Mart Roebourne
RATINGS:
How useful is it: ****
Value for money: ****
Ease of use: *****
How well designed is it: *****
Product quality: **
Our recommendation: Ok to buy

 

This table is a little heavy for its size as it is completely constructed of metal. It is strong, folds down easily to a flat easy to store shape but it has suffered a bit from rust on the legs.

The table is very uncomplicated and has a slide out towel rail at one end. Apart from that there is very little to say about it. The metal surface has been coated and it is certainly a good strong table.

The coating on the table did eventually deteriorate a bit but we have had the table for many years and it still gets used from time to time.

 

Folding Table Coleman
Folding Table Coleman

 

Price: $69
From: Caravan parts suppliers
RATINGS:
How useful is it: ****
Value for money: ***
Ease of use: *****
How well designed is it: *****
Product quality: *
Our recommendation: Not recommended

 

This is a variation on the old card table style but has what looks like a nice durable plastic top (the card tables all seem to have useless vinyl  tops that rip very quickly).

The table is easy to erect and has a nice strong mechanism for the legs. Surface area is good and it resisted most knocks and scrapes fairly well.

The price is a little high considering card tables are around $30 but the other tables we looked at were more flimsy and were only slightly cheaper.

Although the table is light it seems quite strong BUT the frame started to rust and the top surface separated from the underlying structure causing a bubbling effect on top. It was not even 12 months old when it did this. The plastic top does not stand up to direct sunlight and is not at all suitable for an outdoor type of table.

 

 

 

 

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