Choosing the right table and chairs for family camping

Family camping table and chairs

I absolutely adore cooking delicious meals during our camping trips and savoring them while surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Yet, dining outdoors has challenges, like balancing plates on your lap, which can be tricky. I decided to explore camping stores and do some research to find a more comfortable solution.

Surprisingly, I discovered many options that were not of the highest quality.

Why quality camping furniture matters

When it comes to your camping gear, quality matters more than you might think. While low-budget gear can be tempting, it is not always the best choice, especially for larger items. Saving a few pounds upfront might lead to spending more in the long run.

I have bought budget camping gear before, which often only lasted through part of the camping season. This can be frustrating and costly.

Investing a bit more in higher-quality items is a wise choice. Quality camping furniture is durable and will withstand wear and tear over time. 

More importantly, it contributes to the safety and comfort of your family during your camping trips. Don’t compromise on the well-being of your loved ones – choose quality camping furniture.

1 – Consider portability and size

Always measure before purchasing. Ensure you can fit the table and chairs into your car. Plus, you have sufficient room inside your tent to store or eat if the weather is unpleasant.

Another important decision is to consider the type of trip you are taking and if you have to cover long distances on foot to your campsite pit.

I love window shopping for camping gear. But I have to put the brakes on as I soon realise my dream for gear is bigger than my car.

2 – The perfect seating capacity

There is no point in buying a table and chair set if it does not meet your family’s needs.

For instance, if there are 5 of you in your family, why buy a 4-person table and chair set. You could buy a larger multi-use camping table and use folding camping chairs with adjustable legs or cushions for height. This allows you all to use the table at the same time.

When choosing a table and chair set for your family camping trips, it is crucial to ensure it meets your specific needs. For instance, if you have a family of five, why settle for a four-person table and chair set? 

You can go for a larger, multi-use camping table and complement it with folding camping chairs featuring adjustable legs or cushions for height. 

This choice allows everyone in your family to gather around the table simultaneously and enjoy quality time together.

If you are struggling to find a table and chairs of the right size, you can opt to purchase them separately. However, it’s crucial to consider both the chair and table types. Explore our article on the pros and cons of various chair types before making a decision.

3 – Choosing durable camping furniture

The material used for camping tables and chairs is essential as it affects.

  • Weight – Consider how it compacts down for easy transporting or carrying.
  • Stability – The sturdiness and suitable quality materials will avoid collapsing or tipping over during usage. 
  • Weather resistance and durability – It must be water resistant, such as plastic seating and non-corrosive material. For the framework, aluminium is lightweight and resistant to rust.

4 – Check the weight capacity

Safety is critical when buying a table and chair set for your family camping trip. You must always check the weight capacity of the individual chairs and the table.

If you are unsure of the maximum weight capacity of a table and chair set, you should not purchase it.

Example of weight limits for table and chair sets:

  • Foldable table with 4 joint stools 
    • Per stool – 80kg (12.5 stone)
    • Table – 30 kg (4.7 stone)
  • Foldable table and benches
    • Per bench – 100kg (15.7 stone)
    • Table – 40 kg (6.7 stone)
  • Table with 4 folding chairs
    • Per chair – 80 kg each (12.5 stone)
    • Table – 15 kg (2.3 stone)
    • Table low weight capacity due to roll table top
  • Folding table and 4 stools
    • Per stool – 80 kg (12.5 stone)
    • Table 40 kg (6.7 stone)

5 – Ease of setup and takedown

Before purchasing, always test how easy it is to set up and pack away. Nothing is worse than struggling, especially if you are on your own.

Standard tables and chairs are easy to set up. However, integrated table and chair sets are challenging and can be frustrating. 

Ensuring they are set up correctly for safety reasons is also essential. You do not want it to collapse when you or your family use it.

6 – Enhancing design increases comfort

When looking at camping table sets, it is essential to pay attention to the chair height.

Especially for more budget-friendly options. The chairs or stools tend to be on the smaller side.

The chairs are often relatively low to the ground and may be best suited for younger children.

We tried the integrated stools, but they did not work for us. The height and the space between the table and chairs didn’t suit our needs. My son is quite tall, and he’s still growing. He had to sit with one leg slanted and the other outside the table, making it uncomfortable.

Always test first, read reviews and check the sizes before buying.

Comfort is essential because there is nothing worse than an uncomfortable chair. Explore our detailed article on various camping chair designs to ensure you make the perfect choice for you and your family.

7 – Preserving your investment: Importance of cleaning and maintenance

An important factor when buying camping tables and chairs is how easily you can maintain and clean them. 

Safety is essential, as you need to ensure that all fittings are tight and sturdy. Especially if you have a folding table and chairs. Check for any cracks or weak spots.

Ideally, the table and chairs should be wipeable, not material. Food will get dropped, and you must be able to wipe easily after each meal.

You can protect the table top using vinyl table covers. They offer additional protection and can be thrown away if they become too stained or damaged.

Considering these factors and following proper cleaning and maintenance practices, you can keep your camping tables and chairs in excellent condition. Ensure they continue to serve you well on your camping trips.

8 – Multi-functional camping table and chairs

To make the most of your camping furniture, always consider if you can use it for other purposes. You don’t want to restrict yourself and limit its usage. 

You don’t want to always be unloading items from the table to use, but if it can be adapted to different scenarios, you can save money and space.

  • Designated areas for kids to use for crafts and games. This will help you to keep your main tent area tidy to some degree.
  • Additional under-the-table storage. 
  • Food preparation.
  • Separate chairs allow you to be flexible where you sit, and you can relax in the evenings around a campfire.

9 – Quality over price: Why low-budget table chairs may not save you money

Cheaper camping tables and chairs might work in some situations, but they can be fragile. It is important to think about your budget. 

If a durable camping table and chair set isn’t affordable right now, you could wait until you can invest in one. Another option is to buy an adjustable table that goes well with your camping chairs.

I have had a tough time finding good camping furniture within my budget. It can be challenging, but I usually wait and make do with my camping gear until I can afford what I need.

I also use some handy apps to help cover the costs, like Amazon Panel; read our article on buying camping gear using your everyday shopping expenses. Read our article for 23 tips on how to use your everyday living costs to save towards camping gear.

10 – How long is the warranty and return policy

Always be sure to check and understand the warranty when buying camping gear. If your table or chairs break or you have made any modifications, it can void the warranty.

If you are making an online purchase, it is essential to review the return procedures. You do not want to discover later that returning large items can be costly. Look for online retailers that offer a collection service.

For in-store purchases, some stores may direct you to contact the manufacturer for warranty claims. You must know your consumer rights, as some stores may provide store credit instead of a full refund.

Related questions

Types of camping shelters for enjoying your meal

Whether it is breakfast, lunch or evening meals, having a shelter protects you from the elements. To allow you to enjoy your meal comfortably.

  • Tarp – A lightweight and waterproof tarpaulin made of either nylon, canvas or polyethene. Provide temporary shelter to protect against the sun, rain, and camping gear. As well as provide protection for dining. Available in different sizes and are attached with guy lines, secured to trees, tents or telescopic poles.
  • Awning – Extension to tents, purchased separately or incorporated into the design of a tent. Offer an increase in living space, increasing camping comfort. 
  • Gazebos – Portable, air or poled shelters are similar to tents without a built-in groundsheet and removable sides. Ideal for additional cover whilst camping, especially if you have a small tent and require extra space.

I prefer a tarp to a gazebo as they are adaptable to your terrain. You can cover your tent, attached to your tent and use your surrounds to provide additional shelter. Whereas a gazebo is a fixed solid size and on some campsites they do not allow them. Tarps also are not as bulky as gazebos making them easier to transport.

What are the different uses of camping tarps?

Camping tarps are a vital part of camping gear because of their diverse applications, often going unnoticed. They not only provide protection for dining and additional living space but also serve various other purposes.

  • Get under the tarp – Tarps can be used as a rainfly to offer additional protection by strategically placing them over your tent.
  • Reduce condensation – Use a barrier on colder nights by creating a barrier between the outside elements and your tent. Helping to reduce condensation.
  • Protect from the UV rays – Protect your tent from direct sunlight and help to keep your tent cool inside.
  • Help keep the heat – Tarps offer heat-saving benefits and protection from external elements. When placed under your tent, they insulate it from the ground and safeguard your tent’s groundsheet. When positioned above, they create an insulating air barrier that traps warmth.
  • Cooking area – This creates a safe place to cook, offering a dry and secure location to cook and reducing the build-up of harmful fumes.
  • Increase privacy – The tarp’s size determines its capability to enhance privacy around your campsite, functioning like a windbreak. Nevertheless, achieving this can be challenging, especially with larger tarps; folding may be necessary.


I'm a single parent who loves pitching a tent and exploring the countryside at any opportunity. I am working with a glamping pod company and helping them to set up a family campsite in East Riding Yorkshire.

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