The 5 Best Picnic Tables [Ranked]
In this post we examine five of the best-selling picnic tables and compare their features.
Picnic tables are a staple of American backyards everywhere.
They're essentially modified tables with either attached or detached benches designed for allowing multiple people to sit and eat together.
Most picnic tables are made of wood, but more durable materials like polyethylene and metal can be found. In addition, they come in a variety of styles and shapes (Source).
How do they work?
Most picnic tables consist of a table and benches. They can be benches that are attached or separate from the table. People use these by sitting down as a group and enjoying a meal and each other's company. They can be found in parks and in most people's back yards.
One thing that's important to buyers is how much weight a picnic table will hold. While looks are also important, knowing that there won't be a 'disaster' during dinner is critical.
Another thing people consider is whether the table will be stored or left out. If it's to be stored for the winter, the ease of tearing down is something worth considering- both Lifetime tables and the Best Choice tables fold up, for example.
Lastly, materials play a big role in buying decisions. Wood is popular and beautiful, but left untreated, can wear out over time. Materials like polyethylene don't look as good, but can last for decades (Source).
|Picnic Tables||Our Rating||Price ($)||Seating Capacity (Adults)||Special Features|
|The Lifetime (22119) Folding Picnic Table||4.1||$$||8||Folding|
|The Best Choice Products Natural Finish Wood Picnic Table Set||4.0||$$||6||Wood build|
|The Hopkins (90182ONLMI) 2x4 Picnic Table Kit (Frames Only)||4.4||$||N/A||Kit requires construction|
|The Best Choice Products Folding Wood-Topped Picnic Table||3.8||$$||6||Wood and folding|
|The Lifetime (60030) W-Frame Folding Picnic Table||4.1||$$$||6-8||Folds|
Assembling The Lifetime Picnic Table
How They Compare
Perhaps the most unique among the picnic tables we looked at is the Hopkins (90182oNLMI) 2x4 picnic table frame, which is only the metal frame to which you add your own 2x4s.
This design offers great value for the price and gives you more options when it comes to the type of wood and color you get.
However, some buyers said the kit didn't come with enough screws to ensure assembly.
We also looked at two polyethylene tables -- the Lifetime 60030 picnic table and the Lifetime 22119 folding picnic table. Both are 6ft. and constructed of high density polyethylene, which offers strength and durability. Both are easy to set up and take down.
Of the two, the 60030 is a bit more sturdy with its low allow steel frame. Buyers noted that sometimes these tables arrived poorly packaged (Source).
We then looked at two wood picnic tables -- the Best Choice Portable 3 piece folding table with wooden tabletop and the Best Choice Outdoor 6 Person Natural Finish Wood Picnic Table.
Both offered attractive designs that would complement any back yard and customers noted the outstanding customer support offered by the company. The 3 piece table is lightweight, folds easily for storage, but may not hold up for many seasons.
The 6 person table got high notes for its round design, natural finish and ease of assembly, but some complained that it was too small and made accommodating larger people difficult.
Best Picnic Tables For 2023
Picnic Table Buying Considerations
When it comes to selecting the best picnic table for your backyard there are several considerations you should keep in mind, according to Mr.handyman.com.
Indeed, during the warmer spring and summer months, you'll likely be entertaining family friends and neighbors with backyard barbecues and summer birthday parties- a spacious and comfortable picnic table is a great solution for entertaining and feeding your guests. Or you're on the waterfront prepping your inflatable boat for a lake cruise!
There are a bunch of different styles available including a kid's picnic table, lifetime table, picnic tables made from wood as well as durable plastic materials, and even DIY tables that you can purchase plans to create.
One of the most important factors is the outdoor seating capacity. You want to figure out how many guests you will be entertaining throughout the warmer months- this will help you figure out whether you need a small, medium, large or even multiple tables to accommodate your backyard social functions.
Another important consideration is portability. Depending on where you live you may want to store your table during the winter months to protect it from weather damage. You can buy a folding picnic table with lightweight legs that compactly holds up to conveniently store in your basement.
You also want to consider the material your table is made from. There are two primary materials- it'll either be constructed from metal, which means it will be aluminum or steel, or it will be made in a more classic way from wood.
The advantage of purchasing a metal table is that they tend to be more durable, better resist extreme outdoor temperatures and prolonged exposure to sunlight. On the downside, they often lack the aesthetic appeal of a classic wooden table. Indeed, many buyers prefer buying a Cedar table because they love the rustic, camp-like feel of the outdoor furniture.
If you're a woodworker or just especially handy with tools you can build your own picnic table from DIY plans on the Internet. Many woodworkers look through Pinterest images to gather inspiration for the designs they ultimately construct.
Vandal Resistant Tables
Another interesting article we examined comes from xpblocker.com. They write about vandal resistance-meaning that the picnic tables they're talking about are installed in public parks where it's important that the materials will withstand the aggression from local hooligans.
One thing they recommend is purchasing recycled plastic tables that come with lengthy warranties to in sure that weather, insects, and vandalism will not permanently incapacitate the tables. Fiberglass tables are also a recommended option especially for children because they are heat resistant and lightweight, meaning you can move them around in the sun won't scorch them to a temperature dangerous for kids.
Another interesting consideration that we hadn't even thought about is ADA compliance. Tables with extra leg room can accommodate disabled individuals because they have less foot area obstruction. If you're buying an ADA compliant picnic table, you should conduct an ADA compliance audit so that you are fully apprised of the specific requirements in your local community for these disadvantaged people's.
Over at Parktables.com they say that a common misconception is that purchasing a table that has sufficient wheelchair clearance height is enough to satisfy ADA compliance, but there are other considerations like knee and leg clearance, toe clearance as well as firm ground space stability.
Smaller round-shaped picnic tables are a great collaborative area for outdoor enthusiasts who want to share private conversations. You also want to consider purchasing a table with a hole in the center for erecting an umbrella, especially if there is no shade in the picnic area.
Overall, as we have seen, there are a variety of different styles of picnic tables available, and it's important to distinguish between private and public buyers because if you are purchasing a picnic table for public use there are more legal requirements that you'll have to observe.