“ Manufacturer: Tesco / Type: Picnic Table „
AS you may have read from my previous review on an airbed, we have recently bought into this camping malarky and thought that the above picnic set would be a good investment, due to its weight, size and price!! We knew that in our camping equipment, we would need somewhere to sit and eat, but a table top to prepare food and drinks on is also a bonus, so a largish squarish table that seats 4, we thought would do just the trick.
These picnic table and chairs sets are available quite readily in supermarkets and camping stores and range hugely in price. I bought this above table set from my Tesco Extra store in Norfolk for a reduced price of £19.98 last summer.
Ours, like pictured above is blue and came packaged in a cardboard box ( which i am pretty sure is recyclable, but dont quote me on it), ready folded (and by this i mean in half). Magically when you open the box, you will only see the table, as the seats are on the underside and fold out when you come to use the device.
The table and chair seats are essentially made of plastic (polypropylene to be precise) and the metal stuctures that are the chair legs and mechanisms to open and shut the set are made of an aluminium, giving this set its light 7kg weight. Once opened, it is 134cm deep, 67cm high and 82cm wide. This is the table, the chair seats are 27x29.5x40 cm, meaning these seats are not the big bummed (like me)!! Due to its size, it does fit quite nicely into your boot, and due to its folded depth will probably also slip behind the front seat of your car too if need be, so it is durable in that sense.
Assesmbling the table and chairs is essentially very easy and takes a few minutes at the most. I have found it easiest to lay the table top top down on the floor opening it up by sliding the catch that is keeping it together like a neat little suitcase, then you will see the seating encased. Work side by side and pull from the centre. Watch your fingers though as i have found it to bounce back on occasion and this can be painful. The chairs and middle post if you like almost consertina out in a diagonal, and repeat the same process the otherside. Once you have done this, it is easier to turn the whole thing back up the right way and fix the blue plastic struts under each seat and the central posts between the chairs into a locked position (by straightening them essentially) and bobs your uncle. I will say though, that you should have 2 clear plastic plugs dangling from the centre of the table, and these need to be pushed in, where you have opened the table at the sides in the centre for extra support. There you have it, an assembled picnic table and chairs in a box, and this can be put up by one!
Now, for my opinion on the practicality??
It all looks very good value and easy to use, and it is in a sense. It is good value for money and is an essential addition to your camping kit, but we have already bought a different set of table and chairs for camping, because our Tesco set is sitting on a Haven site in Clacton on sea!
The reason, because it fell apart....
We have a toddler, an active toddler, that loves running about, and he is an active boy. Thinking ahead, i though colouring and sticking would be a good activity to entertain him and this, he, thought was great. I settled him down at the contraption, and he began colouring away. And then he decided he wanted a drink, and then to get something to eat, and so on, and everytime, he was getting up and down, and only using 1 corner of the table and chairs. This took its toll to say the least, and it began to mishapen - badly. The aluminium frame as light as it was, seemed to be bend and not overly strong and when it came to us all sitting at it, it did not bode well. In fact after 4 days camping with it, we left it there as it was difficult to eat your dinner without it sliding into your lap!!
If any of you have been camping in a tent, you will know that campsite owners, do not make an effort for tent pitches to be flat without divets and molehills etc.. and i think this compunded to the problem of it twisting out of shape.
In essence, for £20 we ate at it 4 times. In Tesco's defence, we did not take it back and get another, so it may have been that ours was faulty, so i do not want this to be a moan at tesco, but with what seemed to occur, we though a generally more stable table and chairs was in order, and so we bought a metal table with foldable stools.
If you want to use this set occasionally for kids to sit at at a family BBQ or to take on a picnic on a day out fine, but to be an art station, dining table and worktop may have been asking a little too much from it. Afterall, heat didnt seem to affect the table top and being made of plastic, made it easy to clean!
2/5 from me im afraid :(
When we decided to give camping a go this Summer, in an effort to make the experience at the very least semi-comfortable, this was one of the items we bought. We soon discovered that identical tables featured heavily at every campsite we have been - perhaps Tesco should re-think the name of this set!
The table and chairs fold up into the table part of the item which has a handle, and at 7kg and 84.5cm by 64cm and 10cm deep it is easy enough to carry and fit into the boot of an average car. The legs are aluminium, which does mean that it isn't too heavy, the plastic top as you can see from the photo is a bright blue - it's not the most beautiful looking of items but it does provide seating for up to 4 people.
We found the table pretty easy to unfold and put up - the instructions weren't great but it's quite hard to go wrong really, the supports on the chair legs slot easily into place and there is a small pin to insert into the hinge part of the table to ensure it all stays in place. It's a pretty clever design that works really well and is more solid than it looks.
Once up, this isn't the most comfortable table that you will ever have sat on - at 84cm across the table is quite narrow, though the molded polypropene seats are large enough to accomodate most bottoms I would think! It doesn't actually say what the maximum weight is but we have found that 4 average weight adults can comfortable sit around the table for a drink or two and the seats seem safe for children too as the seats have a little dip in them - there's a hole so that any rain water can drain out if you leave it out at night. The whole thing is pretty sturdy, it wobbled a lot less than we thought it would, though we are pretty careful when using it, it certainly made meal times whilst camping a lot more pleasant than they would have been! The table itself is a bit dimpled and doesn't seem to have marked too badly so far, the finish and build quality of this item is surprisingly good.
For the current price of £18.82 I think this table is really good value, we've found it's handy to have for bbq's and Summer parties, and if you are going camping it's an absolute must have!