GoGear: Helinox Table One Hard Top
Some months ago, our own GoLife editor, Don, wrote about the Helinox backpacking chairs. Since Stefany and I travel in a Class B Winnebago Travato, any RV accessory that's smaller and lighter immediately catches our attention. With regards to the chair, the short version of the story was: Saw them. Bought them. Loved them.
And we've been using those chairs ever since! They're the only ones we travel with in our RV. But something was always missing. Namely, A TABLE! It's nice to take your high tech camping chair down by the river. But it's more than just "nice" when you can take your chair down by the river... AND have a place to put your morning coffee!
Helinox has made a table for a while, but their original version had a mesh top. That's great for backpackers, who have to carry these things around. But setting up a portable grill on a mesh topped table isn't exactly ideal. So even though we knew about the table, we decided to forego having one.
That changed when we were visiting the Outdoor Retailer show last summer. In the Big Agnes booth, we came across the Helinox Table One Hard Top. THIS was the table we'd been looking for. They weren't available until this spring though, and we got one of the very first ones. After taking it for a spin on our recent trip into the Manti-La Sal National Forest, we're happy to give it two thumbs up.
At an advertised weight of two pounds, and about a 16 inch cylinder when packed, the table is sized just right for our RV. It doesn't take up much space at all.
Assembly is simple. First, assemble the shock-corded base. There's only one way it can go, and it practically puts itself together. It's just about impossible to get this step wrong. When you're done with that, just slide the top supports over the ball connectors on each side.
And finally snap the top into the clips and you're done.
If you forget how to do this, they've conveniently printed the instructions right on the bottom of the table top.
OK. So assembly wasn't too hard. But how did it fare in the all-important "morning coffee by the mountain stream with the wife" test?
Brilliantly! One thing we hadn't counted on was that the table legs have just a little bit of flex to them. This turns out to be a really good thing at a camp site -- the legs and the table conform slightly over uneven ground. So rather than "irritating tippy restaurant table you want to stick napkins under", you get a stable camp table.We were impressed enough with the table on its maiden voyage. But we're not (usually) backpackers. We're RVers -- which means we can bring things. Heavy things that backpackers can't. I had this nagging question of exactly what -- or how much - could we put on the table. So, when we returned from our trip, I took the table to the gym.
I stopped when I got to this:
To be honest, this felt like a lot more weight than I should have been putting on this table. But the Helinox Table One Hard Top held up just fine, and was none the worse for wear. While I was in the gym, I also put the table on the scale. Its performance is even more impressive when you consider that it weighs in at less than one and a half pounds.
So there you have it! I'm pretty picky about my RV gear (and Stef is, too!), but if you liked the Helinox camp chairs, we can recommend their Table One Hard Top as the perfect companion. It's a small, lightweight, high-performance table that's earned its spot in our Class B rig.