Long term test of Alps Mountaineering Dining Table

We set out, in 2008, to simplify our camping setup and find a work surface we could use for preparing meals and dining in the great outdoors.   We wanted a lightweight table, able to serve as a cooking surface and eating space.   After months of borrowing and testing tables and elaborate systems friends were using, we purchased the Alps Mountaineering Large Dining Table from REI.com.   Since our purchase, this table has accompanied us on camping trips throughout Idaho and surrounding states.   We chose the large dining table, as apposed to the extra-large, because of space constraints within the cargo area of our Toyota 4Runner.   The Extra-Large was nearly 12" longer, both assembled and disassembled, and did not store easily in the back.   

Manufacturer: Alps Mountaineering
Model: Dining Table, size large
Size: 43"x28"x28"
Weight: `13lbs
Construction: Aluminum X-frame

Our thoughts:
We love this table!   We have found the table to be very sturdy, even when loaded down with our Coleman Stove and cooler.  The table is quick to setup, not requiring any tools, and stores in a compact 5"x7"x43" nylon bag.   

The table gets its sturdiness from the design of it's cross legs and interlocking top.   The dining table's cross legs provide plenty of strength to hold up all of our camp cooking gear (upwards of 45 pounds) .

The table's x-legs

We wanted to to use the table for eating around; the table's size is large enough for four people to comfortably eat without bumping their knees into cross bracing.   Unlike most other camp table, there are minimal cross braces between the legs as the table's top is supported by two aluminum tubes which span the length of the table.

The table without the top installed

The legs locked into position

One of the strengths of this table's design can sometimes be it's curse.   The top surface on our large dining table simply clicks into place with these plastic tabs.   This can pose a problem when the you are trying to assemble the table in the cold, when hands and fingers move less fluently, as the tabs become stiff and more difficult to insert into the indexing hole.

Installing the Dining Table's top surface

The Alps Mountaineering Dining Table has provided a very sturdy work surface for cooking meals and is large enough to seat four hungry campers.   Since our original purchase in 2008, Alps Mountaineering has redesigned the tables top, including the attachment method, to eliminate this problem.   If you are in search of a new camp table and work surface, I would recommend taking a look at Alps Mountaineering's Dining Table and see for your self how well designed these tables are.   We love this table!   

Alps Mountaineering's new Dining Table eliminates the pesky tabs,
simplifying the design.
Photo Courtesy of Alps Mountaineering