Written by Terry Smith
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Best Table Tennis Table [UK]: Top Outdoor Table Tennis Tables Compared
This article was last updated on August 28th, 2021 at 8:59 am
The weather is brightening up and the days are getting longer – and I mean a lot longer. Every year I experience the same dumbfounded surprise when the sun is still shining at 8pm! This means one thing, and one thing only – garden parties. A garden party is cheaper than the pub, less hassle than an indoors dinner party, and a great way to make the most of any, albeit rare, good weather that we get here in the UK. However, time and time again, once they swing around, you find yourself awkwardly standing in the garden, surrounded by weird looking neighbours and friends of friends. Awkward, to say the least.
What you really need in this situation is an icebreaker, or some kind of activity to fill those dreaded silences. Drumroll for…the outdoor badminton or table tennis table in the garden! I know, it’s a bit of a mouthful. There is something about a table tennis table that just forces people to gravitate towards it.
Picture this – you are on your fifth conversation of the evening about how “weird the weather has been recently” and in your peripheral vision you spot a gleaming table tennis table, with two bats and a ball just waiting to be used. It’s the perfect escape. “Fancy a game?” you ask, and of course the answer is yes. From that point onwards, the evening flows naturally, accompanied by the background pings and pongs of the ball flying from player to player.
Now, there is a big difference between an indoor and outdoor table tennis table. The first major difference is pretty obvious; one can only be used indoors and the other can be used both indoors and outdoors. But did you know that, when comparing indoors and outdoors table tennis tables, there is also a difference in the bounce consistency of the ball? Well, there is. This is largely due to the fact that outdoor table tennis tables need to be made of a weatherproof material, which can consequently have an impact on your ball’s bounce. Despite this, there are currently some table tennis tables on the market which would be suitable for professional use, with others more suited to garden party frivolities or a way to distract the kids for an hour or so.
But what makes an outdoor table tennis table worthy of a place on the top five list? What might seem to be a pretty straightforward business is actually full of hoops to jump through, and there is surprisingly a lot of variety between the various models. One key factor in selecting the best table tennis table is the bounce. Without a bouncy surface, the game is going to be over before it starts. The industry standard for thickness of the table is between 12 and 25mm, and the rule of thumb is the thicker the table, the better the bounce. However, one thing to watch out for here is the other rule of thumb – the thicker the table, the heavier. This could make the table less transportable, so always keep this in mind.
Another key factor in finding the best outdoor table tennis table is whether or not it is weatherproof. Whilst many brands suggest that their tables are perfectly suitable for outdoor use, the fine print usually warns users against leaving the table outside. Considering how much storage a table tennis table can require, the ideal product would be able to withstand any type of weather, but as you will soon see, a fully outdoor table tennis table is fairly hard to come by.
It is also worth taking into consideration the usability of the table. With this, I refer to whether the table requires self-assembly or not, and factors such as if the manufacturers provide complimentary bats and balls or not. This is an especially pertinent point if you are purchasing the table as a last-minute party trick. What you don’t want is to have promised a fun-for-all game of ping pong, only to be left having to construct the table from start to finish in front of your eager guests. Likewise, a table tennis table is no good without the addition of a couple of bats and balls to play with.
So, we are now aware of what to expect and desire with an outdoor table tennis table, but
- what about the typical cost?
- It has been a tough year for everyone, meaning many people will be cash conscious this summer, so exactly how much will an outdoor table tennis table set you back?
Well, the answer is typically down to the thickness of the table.
For a cheap and nasty, minimal bounce table, you can expect to pay £100 or less, but the saying “you get what you pay for” rings particularly true with this price range. Expect a short life span and a pretty uncompetitive game, as the bounce on these products really is not something to phone home about. Still, this is a good option if you want the table tennis table to be nothing more than a conversation piece or a toy for the kids.
Mid-range tables tend to cost around £200 to £300, with a thickness of 16 to 19mm. These are good quality tables, which can sustain a fairly serious game, without completely breaking the bank.
For a table with a thickness of 22 to 25mm, you can expect to part with anywhere from £350 to £1000, depending on the design, features, and size of the table.
This may sound like a pretty penny, but the standard of bounce with these tables is up there with competition level, so it’s an investment for those who are seriously interested in the game.
With all this new information now under our belts, it’s time to delve into the crème de la crème of UK outdoor table tennis tables, looking specifically at their price, durability, usability, and bounce. Let’s go.
Best Table Tennis Tables:
1. HOMCOM 6FT Mini Tennis Tale Folding Portable Ping Pong Table with Net Game
Specification: Material: Engineered Wood / Metal, Folding design: yes, No assembly needed: yes, Accessories: Net, Overall Size: 183L x 91.4W x 76H cm
We will start off with the HOMCOM mini table tennis table, a great option for a playful game between a couple of small adults and an even better option for kids. This table is perfect for a small space, as it folds down flat, also working well as a holiday prop, as it is super lightweight and easy to pack away into a car. The fact that this table also requires no self-assembly means that you can whip it out at your disposal, in little to no time. Constructing a table tennis table might sound like a walk in the park, but in reality, it’s a little more of a challenge than you’d expect. Who needs to worry about nuts and bolts when you could just pull the table open?
Furthermore, buying this product really won’t break the bank, as it will only cost you £149.99, which is pretty cheap in the table tennis table world. This low price is especially impressive when considering the surprisingly high quality of the product. It may look small and a little shaky, but this table packs a punch in a game and offers a good bounce.
Whilst this table scores points on its mobility, low price and form, there are unfortunately a couple of shortcomings with the HOMCOM table. The primary issue is its size. Measuring just 183cm x 91.4cm x 76cm, it really is one of the smallest table tennis tables on the market. However, HOMCOM makes no attempt to hide this fact, and even draws our attention to it in the product name, suggesting there must be some people out there who specifically want a mini table. Good for them.
Another issue with this table is the fact that it does not come with bats or balls. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but it would certainly be a nice added feature.
Essentially, whilst the HOMCOM table deserves credit for its good value and convenient nature, its teeny tiny size means that it doesn’t really measure up against mid to full size tables on the market. Still, we like its uniqueness, and think it makes a great companion to a camping holiday.
2. WIN.MAX Foldable Mid-size Ping Pong Table - 6’x3’ Preassembled Portable Mini Table Tennis Table with Net, 2 Paddles and 2 Balls, Easy To Store
Specification: Material: Engineered Wood / Metal, Folding design: yes, No assembly needed: yes, Accessories: Net + 2 Paddles + 2 Balls, Overall Size: 180L x 86.5W x 75H cm
Next up is the WIN.MAX foldable mid-size table. Now, it describes itself as mid-size, but on reviewing its measurements, I take issue with this claim. Measuring in at 180cm x 86.5cm x 75cm, this table is actually smaller than the teeny tiny HOMCOM table, so claiming the table is ‘mid-size’ feels like a bit of a reach. Despite this, there is a lot to be said for this small but splendid table. Just like HOMCOM’s table, the WIN.MAX table is pre assembled, meaning less work and more playing time for you. Like HOMCOM, it also folds away into nothing, making it super portable and easy to store. However, its portability goes one step further, as it also sports a handy handle, making it even easier to lift and move around. We love an added feature, especially one as smart and useful as this.
Another lovely added feature on offer with WIN.MAX is the two bats and balls included with every purchase. Again, this should never be a dealbreaker, as these extras are cheap and easy to buy separately, but it is nice to see this addition, especially when the whole product comes in at a smaller cost than the HOMCOM, which does not have these added extras. Whilst it is a small table, I think that £142.99 is a very reasonable price for this product, especially when considering its added features.
In terms of downsides, a major one with the WIN.MAX table is that it cannot be left outside. Whilst it is suitable for outdoor use, the manufacturers do not recommend storing the table outside, due to the fact that it is not weatherproof. Furthermore, despite being a small table, it packs a punch when it comes to weight, so whilst the handle makes it super portable, its weight does not.
It’s a step up from the HOMCOM mini table, whilst being a step down in price, however these tiny tables aren’t quite cutting it for me yet, so let’s explore some slightly larger options.
3. Vermont Foldaway Table Tennis Table – Premium Portable Ping Pong Table
Specification: Material: Metal / PVC / Nylon, Folding design: yes, No assembly needed: yes, Accessories: Multiple Packages, Overall Size: 274L x 150W x 76H cm
Measuring at 274cm x 150cm x 76cm, this table is certainly a fair bit bigger than our previous two contenders. Where the HOMCOM and WIN.MAX tables could only handle one player on each end of the table, the Vermont Foldaway Table would certainly be the appropriate size for a game of doubles. The tabletop has a 15mm thickness, with a PVC laminate coating either side, meaning it also has a pretty impressive bounce.
The table is made of some super sturdy materials, with a wooden board and powder coated metal legs, meaning it’s durable, but dense. It weighs 68kg, so I’d recommend enlisting the help of someone else to move this beast around, but the manufacturers have certainly considered portability, as they’ve added convenient carry straps and have designed the table to fold down flat. This means it’s easy to store and easy-ish to carry around.
However, whilst the table does fold down flat it requires a level of dissembling to achieve this platform. The table comes in two separate pieces, which the buyer is required to join together themselves. The process is hardly rocket science, but for those who aren’t used to DIY projects, it can be a complicated process.
Furthermore, it is also recommended to store this table inside and not outside, as its materials are not reliably weatherproof. This is a slight problem if you are looking for an outdoor table tennis table. Sure, with most tables you can just move them outside for a game and then fold them away and store them back inside once you’re done, but with the Vermont Foldaway Table, packing away is arguably more hassle than it is worth, when considering its weight and the fact that it doesn’t fold down easily.
Price wise, expect to pay somewhere in between £389.99 and £459.99 for this table, depending on the quantity and quality of its added features. They sell the product in three different packages; the beginner set which includes two beginner bats and six 1-star balls, the intermediate set which includes two intermediate bats and six 2-star balls, and the pro set which, you guessed it, includes two pro bats and six 3-star balls. I like the price disparity, as it shows that you get what you pay for with Vermont, however I’m not sure that you can truly justify a price jump from £389.99 to £459.99, based on a couple of bats and balls. Still, if table tennis is your thing, at least you have the option to upgrade your game with Vermont.
4. Vermont TS100 Outdoor Table Tennis Table – Portable Design | Foldable Multi-Surface Ping Pong Table
Specification: Material: Plastic / Alloy Steel, Folding design: no, No assembly needed: yes, Accessories: Net + 4x 360° wheels, Overall Size: 274L x 153W x 76H cm
We’re back with Vermont for this next product which, whilst similar in many ways to the previous Vermont Foldaway Table, still has enough differences to set itself aside from its sibling table. One of the primary differences with this product is the fact that it has adjustable feet, ranging from 30mm to 50mm, making it possible to play on all different types of terrain. I love this feature, as it shows that Vermont has really considered outdoor table tennis playing. They also go a step further, with a set of four 360-degree wheels. To move the table, all you have to do is fold each side up to meet in the middle and pull the table along the ground, wheels rolling on the floor. This means that, despite weighing 54kg, manoeuvring this table should not phase anyone, even those who have never before laid eyes on a gym.
This table’s measurements are the same as the Vermont Foldaway Table, so you’re all set for an adult game of doubles, and you should find yourself with enough space to not be knocking elbows with your teammate.
In terms of materials, the Vermont TS100 is made from a hard steel frame which is rust and corrosion resistant, with a 4mm resin laminated playing surface, covered in UV protection. For this, Vermont receives two ticks for the use of sturdy, weather resistant materials, however they lose a point with the 4mm playing surface, which sounds a little too small to provide a good bounce. Sorry Vermont, you can’t win them all.
However, costing less than the Vermont Foldaway Table, with arguably more features, the TS100 certainly offers bang for the buck and isn’t a bad choice for a semi-serious table tennis player.
5. Cornilleau Proline 510 Outdoor Table Tennis Table
Specification: Material: Plastic / Alloy Steel, Folding design: no, No assembly needed: no, Accessories: Net, Overall Size: 274L x 153W x 76H cm
The final contender is a bit like the great white shark of table tennis tables. Huge, heavy, and highbrow, there’s no messing when it comes to the Cornilleau Proline. Measuring 274cm x 153cm x 76cm and weighing a whopping 77kg, it is by far the biggest table on this list, but does this make it the best?
Well, in terms of bounce the answer is yes – it is the best. The resin laminate top is an incredible 60mm in thickness, offering up a bounce that would make table tennis champions drool. Furthermore, the table is fitted with ball dispensers and slots for storing up to five bats, giving the product a more finished and professional feel. It also has protection pads on each corner, making it safer for unassuming funny-bones and children alike.
The company offers a 10-year guarantee on all parts, however the sturdy scratch and rust resistant alloy steel frame is made to last a lifetime, so I would be surprised if the guarantee was ever needed. Even the playing surface is durable, made with a waterproof coating that can endure all types of weather, be that incessant rain or fierce sunlight. This makes the Cornilleau Proline the only table tennis table on this list that can actually be left outside, which is impressive to say the least.
However (and there’s always a but), this table is not for the fainthearted. Unlike many of its competitors, this table does not come pre-assembled, and the sheer weight and size of the product makes putting it together a challenge to say the least. I recommend enlisting a couple of helpers and setting aside an afternoon for the job. On the plus side, the table can be screwed into the ground, ensuring that once it’s up, it’s up for good.