There are several factors that determine how well a table tennis table will hold up outdoors in the elements.
The first is the tabletop surface and thickness. You will see aluminum, plastic aluminum composites, resin laminate tops, and more. The thicknesses range from 2mm to 20mm+ – the thicker typically equates to higher quality and better ball bounce. Keep in mind that the Cornilleau tabletops, although not as thick as the Kettler or Killerspin, are made with a different material than aluminum and provide superior ball bounce. Cornilleau has the melamine board tops with a resin laminate finish that also comes with a 10 year warranty. Compare that to the 1 year warranty found on Killerspin or JOOLA tables and there is no comparison.
The frame should be solid and sturdy no matter what surface it sits on. You also want a design that is easy to fold up and store away when not in use.
Wheels need to be easy to roll, especially on grass or dirt. Some models have larger, tougher caster wheels while others are made with flimsy wheels that will surely fail after a season or two outdoors. Look for all terrain wheels.
The net systems vary greatly on these outdoor ping pong tables. Although all the manufacturers talk about weather resistant fabrics or components, many of the nets rot due to sun damage. They are cheap to replace so not a big deal in the long run.
Durability – perhaps the most important intangible on any table tennis table meant for outdoor use. Since most of these tables carry a premium when it comes to price, you want to know your money is well spent and the table will last for years. Cornilleau offers perhaps the best warranty – but their prices are higher than other brands.
Playability – ball bounce may not seem like something you need to concern yourself with, but ultimately it could make or break your purchase. Some tables truly have ‘dead’ bounces to them or ‘clinky’ sounds. Avoid those tables since you won’t be playing ping pong if that’s the case. We have rated almost all the tables on our site based on the factors listed above. Sure, the high end Cornilleau 500M rates very well, but with a price tag of $1600, it may not be for everyone. Check out the models above and click on one to see a full review. If you don’t see a particular ping pong table, please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the brand/model and we will do our best to review it.