Why I love a folding picnic table?!! While I spend most of my time glued to the couch, the charm of summer sometimes manages to woo me outdoors. Writing this set of reviews brought a smile to my face. For all of my life, we have had the same old black picnic table. Depending on the occasion, we drag it from place to place across all five acres. At night, we sometimes drag it to the clear spot on our hill to ponder the wonders of astronomy.
During our 4th of July celebrations, which usually include vegan marshmallows, we cram people on it to the point of creaking. With the toss of a crisp white tablecloth from the dollar store, the rickety antique became a party’s central piece. Just this summer we slapped a new coat of paint on it and tightened the bolt. At this point, this ugly old table should outlast some of our willow trees. I will miss it when it’s been put out of its misery. I know I am not alone in my attachment to outdoor furniture.
Invented in the same era as postage stamps and concrete, picnic tables have become a staple of outdoor living. It’s no surprise, with nearly a century to perfect its design, that my creaking black beauty lasted so long. Also known as a picnic bench, the timeless design features a tabletop with built-in bench seating on either side. Seating capacity varies depending on the length of the tabletop, the width of the seat, and the thickness of the supporting boards. Ours for example, though it bows when loaded, can comfortably seat a family of eight; we can squeeze ten in if hold our breath and pray.
While we have no idea what type of wood ours is made of, most picnic tables are built from stout cedar or oak. To be honest, while I love the big hulking think, at over two hundred pounds it’s not exactly a featherweight. Dancing it around the thing with the lawnmower is back-breaking work. When my back starts screaming at the black beauty, I picture a table that’s easier to pick up, move, and lift. That’s why I became interested in a new design: the folding picnic table. We will be reviewing five different tables in this category. When it comes to picnic tables, it’s best to have one that folds easily under pressure.
Picnic Table Criteria
While this is not a scientific study, involving a countless array of sample selection criteria, some thought went into the five products below. I picked nothing I found overly garish or unable to stand up to everyday wear and tear. Obviously, all of these tables happen to have the ability to fold for easy storage, transform into other items, or shrink to accommodate smaller spaces. In addition to the aforementioned, all also have the following in common: average Amazon reviews of at least three stars, at least five Amazon reviews, a weight under one-hundred pounds, prices under 300 dollars, and the ability to hold at least four adults. So, regardless of which table you choose, you will have an intact wallet, a pain-free back, and enough opinions to fold your own judgment.
Please be aware that these tables are listed in no particular order. You should not take the order as representative of my overall thoughts, rank, or preferences.
Best Folding Picnic Table Reviews
1. Lifetime Folding Picnic Table Bench
Crafted by Lifetime, a company existing since 1986, this table showcases the durability, convenience, and versatility of plastic tables. Known for making kayaks, paddles, grills, sheds, and portable basketball games, Lifetime truly understands what’s required to survive in the great outdoors. From one end of the six-foot long tabletop to the other, this is built of putty-colored polyethylene and sturdy aluminum legs. Rain and hail pose no issue to this table crack and rustproof coating. Perfect for children’s crafts and outdoor parties, this table can be easily wiped, covered with your standard table cloth, and hold up to eight people. When fully-assembled, this table weighs in at 82 pounds. While not the most attractive of the tables on this list, it boasts a large size, easy folding, and a price tag of just 250 dollars. If you are unsatisfied with this table’s performance, it comes covered by a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Out of all the tables on this list, this one has the most reviews. By extension, it is the most commonly bought. Out of five stars, this one falls just short of a full rating. Most customers rate this table highly on its dent-resistance, overall stability, and long lifespan. Many reviews state that the table has existed, still looking as if it just came out of the box, for nearly a decade. While covered by the warranty, many reviews complain of damage received during the shipping process. The only other common complaint arises when the instruction booklet falls short of expectations. These poor reviewers barely register as a minority. Overall, while not the most aesthetically pleasing, this foldable picnic table can hold up to a lot of abuse, children finger-paint parties and summertime parties.
2. Trademark Innovations Portable Aluminum Folding Picnic Table Bench
Trademark Innovations specializes in camping gear and portable outdoor seating. Their inventory includes beach chairs, aquatic dumbbells, and grass-safe air-hockey tables. This table fits right into their inventory. A crisp aluminum finish gifts this table with an air of modernity and class; one that goes against its low price tag. As this tabletop is made out of water-soluble MDF, it lacks the water-proof finish of most tables on this list. Coming in at under twenty pounds, even the smallest person will have no issue carting this table from event to event. Lightweight does not mean wimpy either; each bench can hold roughly 350 pounds. The best feature of this table is its ability to disconnect the benches. This foldable picnic table comes in at just under three feet long.
After 18 customer reviews, Trademark Innovations manages to garner a rating of just under five stars. Ignoring issues relating to the MDF tabletop, and resulting water damage, the most common complaints were as follows: a feeling of overall flimsiness, a tendency to bend, and its smaller size. Customers loved its ability to fold into one compact piece, hassle-free set-up, and its great utility during camping trips. Overall, if you are looking for a new camping table, you can use this one. Out of all the tables on this list, this one gives a most crisp and modern look. Just beware of its small measurements and its top’s weakness to water damage.
3. Merry Garden Interchangeable Picnic Table
If you want something close in design to the standard picnic table, start with this one. Designed and engineered by Merry Garden, this particular folding picnic table does not transform into something easy to tote about. Instead, with a few twists, it becomes a table-free bench for easy garden seating; this end result, while not easily portable, happened to be my favorite. It joins a proud line of Merry Garden products that include children’s teepees, potting benches, and Adirondack chairs. Measuring four-and-a-half feet long from one end to another, this bench-table combination can hold between two and four adults; the lower number refers to the park bench mode. This capacity comes from a box weighing just over fifty pounds. Made from kiln-dried Asian fir, the finished product can be stained or painted to your desires. While it is also not weatherproof, like Trademark Innovations’ table, it can be sealed with a waterproof sealant to protect it from water damage. A pre-drilled hole can fit any standard umbrella. This interchangeable piece comes in at a final price of 156 dollars.
With over 80 customer reviews, this Merry Garden’s product garnered an average review of four stars. Common complaints include benches breaking, flimsy construction, and the generally cramped table top; these lower reviews are certainly in the majority and should be considered more cautionary than indicative of a defect. On the flip-side, customer after customer praises this foldable picnic table for its simple assembly, simple conversion, and space-saving design. It is the perfect piece for a small deck or backyard. Just try to remember to place your plates carefully; a full dinner service can get a bit cramped. But, then again, what better way to bring the family together? When family time is all done, you can fold it to a bench and cuddle up with your significant other.
4. Outsunny Wooden Portable Folding Picnic Table
Brought to you by OutSunny, a company known for patio furniture and camping shelters, this table was made with the needs of campers in mind. Made out of high-impact wood and aluminum wood, this table resists staining, heavy loads, and sun damage. Completing assembly merely requires tilting four paddle-like support structures. Weighing in at just 21 pounds when fully assembled, this product can be easily tossed from camper, to tent, and to SUV. When fully extended, it features a thirty-six-inch tabletop that’s seventeen inches wide; it can hold roughly one hundred pounds. The benches, a bit sturdier than the tabletop, can hold up to 220 pounds. Four people can sit comfortably around the table. While this table features the lowest star rating of all our choices, it also comes in with the cheapest price tag: sixty-five dollars.
As mentioned above, this product, at just 3.5 stars on Amazon, did not impress many consumers. The most common complaints mention the table’s size and capacity; the common consensus is that it seems better suited for children than full-grown adults. Moving beyond size issues, many people find the wood and aluminum to be far too lightweight for their purposes. Thirty-seven percent of reviewers have none of these complaints; they rate OutSunny’s product at a full five-stars. These happy clients include baseball mothers, camping enthusiasts, large families, and those with highly-compact outdoor spaces. Its small size, attractive design, and suitcase traveling form impress most of these clients. If you just need a cheap foldable picnic table from this list, this one is your best bet.
5. Yodo Folding Picnic Table With Carrying Bag
For those looking for a pop of beachy colors, you should consider this piece by Yodo. A company specializing in beach gear, such as water-resistant picnic blankets and solar shields, they designed this particular piece for campers and swimmers alike. Unlike the other four foldable picnic options, this one features fabric seating. This set comes with one table, with aluminum base, and a set of five chairs made in a brilliant striped pattern. After folding the table and placing it into included carrying bag, the package weighs a total of 19 pounds. Each chair can hold 175 pounds and fits people of all body-shapes. Wider than most other tables featured on this list, the black tabletop allows extra room for plates, cutlery, and beverages. An included tablecloth can be used to keep the aluminum tabletop safe. This piece features the second highest rating of the featured products. Currently, you can own this table for just over 75 dollars.
With an average customer rating of 4.5 stars, the majority of purchases seem happy with their choice; this may be skewed as only eight customer reviews exist at this time.
Selecting Your Own Folding Picnic Table
If none of the above products fits your family’s specific needs, you can read on for a few simple tricks to help your search. When trying to find your perfect table, regardless of whether or not it can be folded, aesthetics is far from the most important feature. Many customers end up displeased when they choose something for beauty alone; don’t be one of them. You can conduct your search via the internet, on sites such as Amazon, or call ahead to your local department stores. Using keywords, such as ‘folding picnic table’ or ‘foldable picnic table’, tend to yield the best results.
You will doubtlessly find a dizzying array of options when your search is complete. Try not to rush into the decision. After all, a new picnic table costs a fair bit more than your typical pack of gum. Please be certain to consider the following when selecting your newest piece of outdoor furniture:
- REQUIRED CAPACITY: How many people will your folding picnic table need to sit? If it’s higher than four, you may have to consider looking at specialty dealers. You must also consider the average age and weight of those most likely to use the product. All seating capacities typically consider
- MOST COMMON USES: What will you use this table for on most days? If you are going to use it to host arts and crafts, you might want to consider a stain-free top. For those looking to leave it outside without shade, UV coating happens to be key to long-term survival. For those in need of shade on a hot patio, it’s wise to check the table-top for an umbrella port.
- WEIGHT AND SIZE: Not all of these tables will fit your typical apartment patio. With sizes ranging from three feet to eight feet, picnic tables were created with a wide variety of events in mind. Taking measurements of your available space is key. You need to also consider finished assembly weight; you never know when you will have to move the table. Try to avoid throwing out your back.
- AESTHETICS: While it’s not as important as the above characteristics, you should consider your own preferences for design and appearance. Whether you prefer the modern or the eclectic, the picnic table offers something for your specific needs. You should also determine if you will need a table that you can easily paint, texturize or update. After all, with items such as aluminum, such things can be difficult.
With those items in mind, it should be easy to add the perfect table to your home. As long as you take care of it, and remember all the bolts, your selection should last you for years to come. Maybe, like my old rickety one, it could even last decades.