I’m not usually concerned by the size of my camping equipment, as most things easily fit into the back of Deux Smurf. However, there are times when I have much smaller press cars, like the brilliant Citroen C3 Aircross and Fiat Panda 4x4, and it’s then when I have to be size-conscious. With this in mind I decided to search for some more appropriately sized camping gear.
One product that I really wanted to get my hands on first was a decent sized table, one that could handle the weight of something like the Firepod (20Kg), but more importantly be tall enough for me not to crouch over when I’m cooking or preparing food.
As luck would have it, as I was mooching around the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome show at the NEC in February I stumbled across a stand that had the Coleman’s 6-in-1 Camp Table, and straight away I knew it would fit the bill.
Weighing in at just 5.8kg it’s easy enough to throw into whichever vehicle I have at the time, and folded up it measures just 80cm x 40cm x 7cm (W x D x W), it even slots nicely in the back of my Doon Buggy.
The premise is simple, when stored you have 2 tables that are clamped together, briefcase-style. Once separated you unfold the legs and there you have it, a table, or 2. As the name suggests, the ‘6-in-1’ has 6 variables, from 1 table to 2 tables, and both with varying heights.
To get the table to its maximum height of 83cm simply unfold the legs, then unclip the 4 extension tubes, which are clamped under each table, and screw them into each leg, then it's at a perfect height for a six footer like me to prepare food on.
Cooking on uneven ground? Not a problem, each foot has an adjustable screw fitting at its base, Coleman have thought about these things!
As a bonus, both tables can be clamped together using the 2 plastic clamps that are again secured underneath one of the tables.
Flexibility is the key here, you can either clamp them side-by-side, end-to-end, or corner to corner, like an 'L' shape, it’s up to you.
Because the surface is made from a melamine sheet it means that it’s very easy to clean, it doesn’t bend of flex either when you put put pressure on it, and the aluminium frame helps to keep it all rigid.
Weight-wise, each table is able to carry up to 80kg, which is ample. Obviously the lower the tables the more sturdy they feel, but even at their tallest setting with both tables clamped together, the weighty Firepod felt safe and secure.
There aren’t any lower strut to catch your knees on, like many other camping tables, so the 6-in-1 can easily be used as a proper dining table. Muddy Madam and I were able to sit comfortably with our long legs underneath, and I would like say it’s just like being at home, but at home we usually end up with trays on our laps watching telly.
The only improvement would be a carry bag, as the 6-in-1 doesn’t with come one. It does have a carry handle, but to protect the table top surfaces from dirt or scuffing we keep it in its original box though Muddy Madam has mentioned she may whip up a bag on her trusty sewing machine.
We’ve had the 6-in-1 for quite a few months and have used it regularly, and by now I can usually come up with a few foibles and naff design features, but not in this case. The 6-in-1 has certainly lived up to its name and continues to serve us well. It’s a well designed and thought out table that will hopefully be with us for a long time to come.
Company website: www.coleman.eu RRP - £99.99