Kettler Match 5.0 Outdoor Table Review:
One table that we have played on for years is the Kettler Match 5.0 Outdoor Table Tennis Table. Priced at around $700 it’s cheaper than the Kettler Topstar XL table and we say it’s worth a closer look. Our experience has been nothing but positive with the table, although we will agree with many a customer review that mentions how difficult the assembly can be. The Kettler Match 5.0 outdoor ping pong table is also offered as an indoor model with just slightly different features for $100 less. The Match 5.0 has been around for years and Kettler (a German company) continues to be a leader in outdoor table tennis tables. In this price range the Kettler Match 5.0 competes against the JOOLA RapidPlay, Stiga Baja Climate Series, and their own Kettler Stockholm GT Outdoor.
Frame/Design – The Kettler Match 5.0 weighs in at about 110 pounds which is plenty to keep it in place yet still easily maneuverable with the smooth rolling wheels. The frame is sturdy and well built (carries a 3 year warranty) with round steel legs that have synthetic powder coating with a galvanized treatment so the scratches and corrosion are not an issue. Aluminum tubing connects the legs to the frame and the transport system. Will the frame hold up for years? We have found that tightening the bolts every few years will keep it sturdier as some do come loose as you move the table. If you plan on placing the outdoor ping pong table in one location and letting it stay there, you should have no problems with the frame. The 1” aluminum apron that goes around all the outer edges is ample to stop the tabletop from warping due to weather changes. We would say the 4 ½ inch swiveling casters are just ‘ok’. They do feature an integrated locking system, but they appear a big fragile and probably won’t wear as well as wheels found on the Cornilleau 250S or even the Killerspin models. The underside of the table has the patented ALU-TEC Climate-Control found on all Kettler outdoor tables – a design feature that will help keep warping to a minimum if moisture does get into the table.
Assembly – We read dozens of owner comments about how time consuming putting the table together is – some up to 4 hours. We have supplied an excellent VIDEO to the right showing step by step instructions. This should save you lots of time. Some of the parts come pre-assembled, but you will still have plenty of work to do. Stay patient with the assembly and be sure to follow along with the video while you try reading the instructions. There are sections of the assembly manual that are not that clear, so having a video to watch will definitely help. You may even need a second pair of hands to help when lifting the tabletop into position. We have assembled dozens of ping pong tables and this one took us about 1 1/2 hours from start to finish. Hopefully Kettler will design their frames differently in the future so that assembly can be done in less than 30 minutes like on the JOOLA or Killerspin models we have reviewed. See the assembly instructions here
Playing Surface – Is it truly water-resistant? We can attest to using it in Portland, Oregon for years and have had no real problems. The apron design ‘cradles’ the table top so that warping is a non-issue. The weatherproof sealed aluminum composite tournament top may fade a bit in the sunshine, but otherwise it holds up well. The tournament lines on the Kettler are smooth and the water based topcoat finish provides a scratch resistant tabletop. How about the bounce? Many customers ask us about the ball bounce on these outdoor ping pong tables. Yes, the bounce is different than an indoor table. You will find that balls don’t bounce as high or as consistently compared to the indoor table tennis tables. That being said, the table is still totally playable and for the price is well worth it. The Kettle Topstar XL and Cornilleau 250S have superior ball bounce, but we say the Kettler Match 5.0 is similar to that of the JOOLA Nova DX – not bad, but not great. Kettler Match 5.0 – Latest Pricing Here
Storage/Moving – Putting the Kettler Match 5.0 outdoor table into playback or storage mode takes just a few seconds. Release the levers using the red handles and up or down it goes. Moving the table was quick and easy with the swiveling caster wheels. Flat surfaces were simple, but going up and down stairs or over rocks was another thing. I’m not sure the wheels will hold up that long if they are constantly moving over rough surfaces. The net stays in position whether the table is in regular play mode, playback mode, or storage mode. Once the sides are up, the Match 5.0 table is fairly compact and stores well. We do suggest a cover for the table to keep things like dirt of the playing surface. Someone also mentioned that birds had pooped all over their table and having a cover would have stopped that from happening.
Safety Features – Have kids? We all worry about ping pong tables opening or closing unexpectedly and slamming our poor kids. The Kettler tables feature a patented Safety-Fold with Dual Lock Safety system so that won’t happen. I know my kids like the playback feature (one side up) so that they can practice on their own. The Kettler Match 5.0 has release levers that need to be engaged in order for the table to fold up or down properly. Be sure to show your kids how to use those features once the table is assembled. The corner padding is non-existent on the Match 5.0, another reason for parents to be a little concerned as kids do like to run around tables.
Positives – The price is certainly the main reason this table gets looked at so often. It’s a sub $700 outdoor table tennis table that holds up reasonably well in tough weather conditions. The bounce is good, it’s easy to store compactly, and we like the paddle/ball holders on the side of the table. If you can spend another $250 we suggest looking at the Kettler Topstar XL or the Killerspin MyT7 Breeze – both are easier to assemble and have slightly stronger frames.
Negatives – We hate to focus on all the negatives, but if you are going to spend $700 you should know what you are getting into. The frame is a bit flimsy, the wheels could be much better given they need to hold up outdoors for years and the net system really needs to be more durable. We like the frame design on slightly more expensive models as noted above. The Kettler Match 5.0 outdoor is certainly a solid purchase, but the tables in the price category just above it are probably a better value for long term solutions.