Best Outdoor Ping Pong Table Reviews (2018): Top Brands For All-Weather Play
While a lot of people consider ping pong strictly an indoor sport, playing table tennis outside is incredibly fun. It’s an ideal game for deck parties and a perfect excuse to more time out in the sun.
Having said that, the vast majority of ping pong tables aren’t up to the challenge of outdoor play. UV rays can destroy cheap surfaces in a hurry, and that’s not even getting into the question of weatherproofing!
For this guide, we’ve put together a few of our favorite all-weather ping pong tables that are rugged enough for outdoor play! In our reviews, we’ll explain why we think these are the best of the bunch and give you some practical advice for choosing your new gameroom fixture.
|Picture||Product Name||Product Dimensions||Cost|
|STIGA XTR Outdoor Table Tennis Table||63 x 57 x 4 inches||$|
|Cornilleau 250S||61.8 x 5.5 x 59.1 inches||$$|
|Cornilleau 500M||72 x 61 x 29.5 inches||$$$|
Best Outdoor Ping Pong Table Reviews (2018)
Our budget recommendation, the STIGA XTR offers all the basics of a great outdoor ping pong table for a very low price. It’s completely weatherproof (though you’ll want to bring it inside or cover it in case of very intense weather). It also plays much better than anything else at this price. We suggest it to anyone looking for a solid, dependable outdoor table on a budget.
Unlike most other tables in its price range, the STIGA is nice and sturdy. It has an aluminum and composite tabletop supported by a steel apron and legs. It might be a bit utilitarian, but it feels solid and can easily handle being wheeled around on a regular basis.
The play surface is pretty rugged, too. The silkscreen striping is printed directly onto the table top, with no extra layers to separate or peel on you. It won’t last as long as a Cornilleau, but it’ll last as long as anything else under a grand.
It’s very outdoor-friendly. The 1.25” steel legs are just as thick as Cornilleau’s 250S, and they have similar adjustable levelers to help you compensate for an irregular deck or driveway. The 3” wheels with locks can easily handle the garage and drive, even if they’re not as good on grass as the big Cornilleau wheels.
This is a split table, so it’s great for people tight on space. The halves separate, and they nest into each other when you’re storing the table.
You can use it as a full table, or with one half raised to play against yourself, just like the premium models.
You can get up and running very quickly with the STIGA. It comes nearly fully assembled, and there’s a lot less required from you than with the Cornilleau’s below.
The only thing that holds the halves together is the net clamps, so there’s potential for the two to come apart if one player makes a big lunge. It’s not the end of the world, and it doesn’t happen every time, but it’s definitely a downside compared to the Cornilleau’s below.
The STIGA is rugged, but definitely not indestructible. The play surface isn’t as hardy as Cornilleau’s, for one thing. The French-made tables also have stronger frames and overall higher-quality components which will last years longer. Still, this is as good as it gets for around the $500 mark.
Likewise, while the STIGA plays as well as anything in its price bracket, advanced and ambitious players will want to spend more. The surface doesn’t have the best bounce or spin potential.
Imperfect quality control is one key downside of going with a budget model like this. We’ve seen complaints from the occasional buyer of units with bubbled surfaces, gouges, missing components, and that sort of thing. It’s still fairly rare, but also not something you have to worry about if you invest in a Cornilleau.
Overall, it definitely feels on the cheaper side. It’s made with thin materials and the fit and finish aren’t comparable to a nice Cornilleau. Then again, it’s half the price.
Our midrange pick, the Cornilleau 250S offers premium performance without spending a fortune. It’s priced neatly in the middle of our budget and ultimate recommendations. More skilful players will definitely appreciate the way the surface performs compared to the cheaper STIGA. We recommend it to the average buyer who plays often enough to justify a higher-end surface, while not needing the absolute best on the market.
The biggest difference between the Cornilleau 250S and the STIGA XTR is the Cornilleau’s play surface. It’s noticeably better, with a denser build using 5mm resin. This isn’t Cornilleau’s most premium model, but it still offers a premium surface! The spin and bounce are stellar. This is the kind of play you expect from an indoor tournament table, only in a more rugged package.
While beginners might not be able to appreciate the difference at first, anyone with experience and some tricks up their sleeve will immediately notice the Cornilleau’s edge. We recommend this to the average buyer because it provides advanced players with a surface deserving of their skills, while also offering new and intermediate players with an opportunity to learn and master tricks and techniques that you can’t reliably do with something like the STIGA.
Glare reduction is another outstanding feature here. Glare isn’t a massive issue when you’re playing indoors, but it gets annoying fast when you play out in the sunlight. The Cornilleau finish takes the glare right down to a minimum. It’s something you think will be a small, extra feature, but which turns out to be a game-changer.
As with the STIGA, the Cornilleau is completely weatherproof. You don’t need a cover, and the surface is as rugged as you could wish for.
This thing is built entirely in France. Unlike cheap Chinese models like the STIGA which have some quality control issues and use cheap materials, this is premium in every respect. It has a stronger steel frame, better fit and finish, and an outstanding 10-year warranty. As far as investments go, this is incredibly solid.
It also does better on driveways and grass, thanks to its bigger wheels. They’ve got a slight tread as well, so it rolls and handles well pretty much anywhere.
Overall, the Cornilleau design is simply more elegant and well thought-out than the STIGA’s. There’s storage for rackets and balls on the sides, and the whole thing folds just as neatly as the STIGA without coming apart! You can still use it in playback mode with one half raised, but you never have to worry about keeping the halves together when you’re playing on the full table.
This one takes more assembly than the STIGA. Having said that, there aren’t going to be any issues with missing components or misaligned holes. You’ll have to put it all together yourself, but it’s all very straightforward and the components are perfectly-made.
The Cornilleau 250S costs twice as much as the STIGA, coming in at around a grand without paddles or any other accessories aside from the net assembly. If you’re on a very tight budget, this one might be out of your reach. If you’re a dedicated/regular player, though, we think it’s a very reasonable price for what you get.
Much as we love the 250S, it isn’t as nice as the 500M. The frame is a bit lighter, the surface is a bit thinner, and there are fewer conveniences. If you’re super ambitious or simply someone who wants the best of the best, go for the 500M. Most folks can stick with the 250S and be just as happy.
Our ultimate pick for outdoor table tennis, the Cornilleau 500M is the best table we’ve reviewed to date, indoor or outdoor. It’s fully-weatherproof and rock-solid. It also plays better than anything else on the market. It’ll satisfy the most demanding players, and is an absolute joy to play on. Get this if you’re experienced and know you’ll get your money’s worth out of it.
There are lots of areas in which the 500M improves on the 250S, but the key one is the play surface. This is the best surface on the market, as far as we’re concerned. With 7mm resin, it’s slightly thicker than that of the 250S. Beginners and intermediate players might not spot the difference, but experienced players will see tangible improvements within the first few serves.
Spin and bounce on the 500M are as good as any indoor-only tournament table, even the very best. It’s ideal for experienced players who want to master complicated techniques and have perfect repeatability. This one’s also a good upgrade choice for intermediate players who are outgrowing a cheaper table and want something that gives them lots of room to grow.
The play surface is the real star of the show in the durability department, too. When you play outdoors, UV light and rain can easily take a premium table down to the mediocre range in a single season. There are plenty of very expensive tables that lose their playability in a hurry, so it’s especially impressive how this one holds up! It doesn’t fade, crack, peel or degrade in any noticeable way.
As you’d expect at this price, the 500M is pretty much indestructible. We say “expect” because a great many premium tables are actually quite shoddy. Not the 500M!
It has a thicker frame than the 250S, a thicker skirt, and of course the thicker play surface. Everything’s extremely solid and sturdy. We don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t get well over a decade of use out of this one.
It includes lots of extra conveniences that daily players will appreciate. The net retracts into the surface automatically when you fold it up. There’s storage at each side for rackets, ball dispensers on each end, and even a carrying handle. None of these are essential features, but they add to the premium experience.
All the key things we love on the 250S carry over to the 500M:
- Made in France
- 10-year warranty
- Completely weatherproof
- Big wheels
- Leg levelers
- Glare reduction
The only real downside of buying the 500M is the price. It’s easily a $1500 table, and that’s not including any accessories. This is something only passionate players should be thinking of buying. Most people will be just as happy with the 250S.
Which of these outdoor table tennis tables should you buy?
The STIGA XTR is the ideal outdoor table for a new player, or for someone on a tight budget. It’s simple, serviceable, and affordable. While it might not have the same bounce or spin potential as the Cornilleau’s, it offers decent play to the beginner and intermediate enthusiast. It stands up to weather just fine and feels pretty solid overall. Just don’t expect it to compete with premium models, or to last as long.
If you’re more skilled and can afford to make more of an investment, we recommend the Cornilleau 250S. It’s our recommendation to the average buyer who wants something high-quality without going all-out on something over a grand. It plays extremely well, is guaranteed to last for at least a decade, and can go practically anywhere–from the porch to the lawn.
For the most advanced and experienced players, we recommend the Cornilleau 500M. It’s the most rugged table we’ve ever reviewed, as well as the most fun to play on. It’s rock-solid and completely impervious to weather (just make sure to bring it inside if a tornado rolls through). However, most people don’t need to spend this much. The differences between this and the 250S aren’t going to be apparent to beginners and intermediate players.
You can check current prices for any of the models we recommend by clicking on the links above. That’s also an easy way to see dimensions and get a closer look at the play surfaces.
For more of our expert reviews of all things gameroom, head to our homepage! You can also check out our guide to the best indoor ping pong tables here.