If like me you’ve made the move from sitting on the ground to a super comfy lightweight chair then the next item that might be worth checking out to get your gear off the ground and out of the dirt is a lightweight table. Enter the Helinox Table one.
This bad boy will not only get all your gear off the ground but can also hold your coffee cup or cold beverage if that’s more your style while you’re busy doing other stuff. It could also be used as a table for writing or storing gear on inside a base camp tent for long stays.
The uses are really endless and dependant on your style of camping and how good your imagination is.
Design, Comfort & Durability (Rating: 95%)
The Table One, like other Helinox products, is cleverly designed and the materials used are the same as ones used in other Helinox products. I went into more detail on these in my Chair Zero review but the short of it is, you can rest assured that any product made by Helinox is made from top quality materials.
The Table One’s legs are a larger diameter and slightly longer than the frames upper arms. The legs spread out quite wide to assist with stability but still sit inside the tabletop footprint so the Table One has a nice rectangular footprint. The feet on the base of the legs are nice and solid and look similar to what you might expect to find on the bottom of a hiking pole, only smaller. The length of the table top is supported by two lengths of aluminium the same size diameter as the upper arms. These run horizontally across the length of the frame and are locked into the upper arms via a plastic housing and a small ‘ball’ on top of the upper arms. They work in a similar way to tent designs which lock the poles into a hub to create a strong and lightweight tent frame. It’s a great design and it just works really well.
Once the frame is locked together, the top rolls out and hooks over each end attaching to the upper arms of the base. The top in total has 6 short rods stitched into the material running sideways across the top assisting with rigidity and also spreading the weight of the table contents to the frame supports below. This also allows the top to folded or rolled up to fit into the bag which is a very packable size. It’s a neat design that works well and still retains that light-weight principles that Helinox are well known for.
As with all Helinox products they use the same top quality aluminium made by DAC and the same lightweight fabrics in their range of chairs. The fabric in the Table one is a mix of fine mesh and a heavier solid fabric in the centre of the table and also on the outer ends where the support rods attach to the frame below.
The main table top is mostly mesh and as a result, it has only one downside that I can see.
It would likely melt with too much heat placed on it meaning you would need to be careful placing anything really hot directly on it or cooking on it. As such I would be wary about trying to place a stove on it to cook. Helinox do sell a ‘solid’ top separately which could negate the heat issue allowing you to cook on it although I haven’t got the top to view or try out with a stove so can’t confirm that. If I am able to get my hands on one and test it out at any stage I will update the review accordingly.
If the solid top does make the table suitable for cooking on then this really would be an amazing addition to any campers kit.
UPDATE: Helinox has confirmed that the mesh top is actually heatproof up to 100 degrees Celcius, though they would not recommend putting a hot saucepan directly onto the mesh.
Did I mention the Table One has two cup holders? To be honest the cup holders are my favourite part of the table design (I know simple things amuse simple minds). Having somewhere solid to place my coffee mug while pumping a shot of coffee into it is fantastic. Previously I have had to hold my mug with my knees or between my feet on the ground so my hands can remain free to operate the coffee pump. It also means I can make a coffee, place it somewhere out of the dirt that’s not going to tip over and carrying on doing other things knowing my coffee will be where I put it when I come back. The same goes for being able to place your plate or bowl on it (or wine or beer if that’s more your style) and out of harm’s way.
Given the above the Table one is now a permanent resident in my car as it sits at a perfect height to sit a drink or food on, even when using a standard height car camping chair. It’s also great to sit at and play cards, have kids draw at when camping and it’s just the right size to have between two camp chairs and allow you to place a drink each in the holder and still have your dinner plate each side of the drinks. It’s like having a camping coffee table for two; it’s almost too civilized to be real camping.
As with the other chairs I’ve reviewed and used, the Table One shares the same 4 legged design as most chairs and tables of this type. This has proven to be a slight issue on certain surfaces with the chair legs having a tendency to sink into soft ground. This issue is mainly due to the weight of a person seated in the chair. I can’t see this being a major issue with the table though as the weight placed on the table would be significantly less than a chair in normal use. The Table One is more likely to be used as a camping coffee table and only have reasonably lightweight items placed on it in most situations.
Given the design and materials used in the Table One are the same or similar to the Helinox chairs I use I have no doubt the Table One is top quality and is more than up to the job its designed for.
Functionality & Ease of Use (Rating: 95%)
The Table One sets up in a similar manner to the chairs although it does have a few extra pieces involved. In typical Helinox style, though, they have printed the instructions inside the storage bag for those that struggle with the setup.
The initial set up is the same as the chairs in that the legs and arms extend and lock into the plastic hubs. You then place two lengths of aluminium horizontally on top which lock into the upright arms creating the table top supports. At this stage looking at it you may be forgiven for thinking something is not right with the table. I did until I actually looked at it properly and read the instructions (who would have thought?).
Prior to rolling out the fabric top and clipping each side into the top frame, the horizontal supports have a gap where they join. At first glance, this looks wrong but when the top is placed on it takes up the tension in the frame the gap closes and locks in the frame making it perfectly taught and strong. It’s a testament to the designs of Helinox and once locked together, the Table One does feel really rigid and strong whilst still feeling light and portable.
The claimed weight capacity is 50 kilograms which I haven’t tested to its limits. I have sat a carton of beer on it as a test (as you do) for some time because who wants there beer sitting in the dirt right? It held that weight fine which would have been 25-30 kilograms total so I have no doubt a bit of extra weight on top would have been fine. Having said that I can’t really think of anything that heavy that I would place on it camping in normal use.
As far as stability goes, it’s been great to date with my testing. The legs are spread nice and wide giving the Table One a nice long footprint. The only time I could see the table tipping over would be if you placed something really heavy on the very edge of the long side as the width is not as stable as the length due to the nature of the leg design. Having said that, that’s being picky and I think you’d be doing something really wrong to tip it over using it for its intended purpose.
As with most of Helinox’s other products, this thing is light and would take off with a decent gust of wind if it’s not weighted down so another good reason to make sure it’s always holding some weight for you.
Overall, in my opinion, the Table One design does what its designed for very well and is no more complicated to set up than a chair of similar design.
What I Like
- Small packed size and lightweight for a table of its size.
- As with the Helinox Chair Zero and Ground chair it’s easy to carry in a standard bottle holder in a pack. The Table is similar diameter to the Chair zero and less than 100mm longer.
- Light enough to never want to leave it behind to save weight.
- Offers a large amount of comfort for the weight when used in conjunction with a chair whilst camping.
- Instructions on the inside of the bag if you struggle with set up.
- The Table One fits easily inside the supplied storage bag.
- The Table One will be as useful when car camping or caravanning as it will be with any other type of trip meaning it will get plenty of use.
What I Don’t Like
- The only slight negative, in my opinion, is I wouldn’t be confident placing a cooker on the table with the mesh top, however with the solid top this could be a non-issue.
The Helinox Table One is available online, direct from Helinox.
Disclaimer: Helinox provided a Table One for review. This has no influence on the opinions presented in my review.
Have you tried the Helinox Table One? Got any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting below.