Sitting at a table to eat can make camping mealtimes more enjoyable, dinner prep more practical, and card games more fun. We review a popular folding camping table and bench set, the Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set.
- Laying our cards on the table
- What is the Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set?
- Using the set
- Are we happy with it?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Laying our cards on the table
Well-known outdoors brand Outwell designs and manufactures well thought through camping and outdoors gear. One of our favourite bits of kit is the Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set.
Why take a table and chairs camping?
Sitting on a blanket to eat a picnic in the sunshine is a glorious way to spend a couple of hours. Over the course of a week’s camping, sitting on the ground can become a bit tiresome.
We are a family of four and our beloved motorhome is a VW California Ocean. The VW California comes ready-loaded with two outdoor chairs and a table cleverly stored in the boot lid and sliding door respectively.
A brilliant concept and so well designed, but not enough seats to accommodate us all when we want to sit outside or in our drive-away awning.
We first realised we needed this product in our lives whilst watching our children trying to eat a meal sitting in a standard camping chair. They ideally needed a surface to lean on and a standard camping chair was too low for them to reach a table.
After several hours spent at a huge camping store and testing every camping table and chair combination (I kid you not!), we decided on the Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set.
What is the Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set?
The oddly-named “picnic set” is is not a wicker basket with plastic plates and cups, but instead a good-sized folding table and two bench seats.
The legs fold down and the benches clip on to the underside of the table so the whole kit can be carried with a webbing strap handle.
We liked this camping table and benches set for a number of reasons.
- The table is a good size for four people.
- The bench seats are strong and sturdy, no problem for two adults per bench.
- It has a flexible design; the table and benches are separate.
- The table does not have a finger-pinching fold in the middle like some models.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble.
There are just a couple of annoyances.
- One bench has developed a slight “creak” when sat upon by adults.
- The bench seats can topple over if they are on unstable ground or accidentally pushed back when standing up.
- Carrying the set any distance with the one-handed carry strap is a little awkward. A shoulder strap would have been better for this.
The set does not need any post-purchase assembly to use it.
Setting up the Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set is easy. This involves detaching the benches from the underside of the table, unfolding each pair of legs on the table and benches until they “click” into position, and placing the furniture where it’s needed.
Packing up is the opposite – turn each piece upside-down, fold down each leg pair by pressing an unlock button, fold the legs flat against the underside of each bench and table, then line up and press the two benches into their locking clips on the table frame.
Setting up and packing up takes under 30 seconds.
Using the set
We use our table and bench set inside our annexe and outside in the sun/weather.
A small tablecloth over the table adds a bit of colour. Everything (including the tablecloth) is easily wipeable so cleaning up after mealtimes is simple.
The benches are lightweight and so are extremely portable. Each bench will comfortably seat two big people or three little people, very handy to bring to a gathering if people have arrived without chairs.
We take our Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set with us camping and often on day trips and picnics too.
Are we happy with it?
It has been excellent. It is where we gather as a family for all our meals, play card games after dinner or just generally sit and chat.
It’s a perfect height for us all to sit at to eat or play games. It provides another surface when in our awning for prepping food.
The benches are strong enough to stand on, which we find handy when moving our bikes on and off our campervan bike rack. We use the bench seats for all kinds of purposes. Coffee tables, a step to reach something, and for draping towels over to dry during the day.
We recommend the Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set as a robust and well-made piece of camping equipment that we’ve found very useful.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set cost?
We have seen the set priced from £99 to £115.00, available from numerous outdoors retailers.
What does it include?
The Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set comes with:
- Table (dark grey) with four fold-out steel legs (black).
- Bench seats x2 (dark grey) each with four fold-out steel legs (black).
- Webbing carry handle attached to the table.
The table and benches are connected together as one unit for transport but are separated when used.
Is it durable?
Yes. The frame and legs of the table and benches are made from steel tubing and are very sturdy. The table surface and bench seats are made from durable and waterproof plastic.
What are the dimensions?
The dimensions of the Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set are as follows:
- Pack size (when folded): 102cm x 61cm x 8cm
- Weight: 12.8kg
- Max Load: Table – 80kg, Benches – 200kg each
- Table size (when open): W102cm x D61cm x H70cm
- Bench size: W102cm x D28cm x H44cm
- Seat height: 44cm
How much weight can it cope with?
This set is very strong and much more robust than some of the folding camping table/bench sets on the market. The weight limit for the table is 80kg, and each bench can support up to 200kg.
Is it stable?
The table is stable although can get “bumped” with careless legs. It will not easily overbalance though.
The benches are sturdy but can tip over backwards if placed on an unstable surface or someone seated pushes too hard with their feet, so some care needs to be taken.
Is it waterproof?
Yes, the plastic and steel construction means that all surfaces are waterproof and can be wiped down if wet from rain or spilled drinks.
Is the table height adjustable?
No, the table and bench seats are not adjustable. Their heights are fixed at 70cm and 44cm, respectively.
Gear Review: Outwell Pemberton Picnic Set