Ping pong, or table tennis depending on which you prefer, is a great game that can be played by virtually anyone. It is difficult to master, however, but that is what has led to so many people being hooked on it.
Unlike a sport like golf, though, you can play ping pong in the comfort of your own home, at a recreation department, at a bar, or virtually anywhere. Today, we will be specifically looking at outdoor ping pong tables.
There are some unique factors that you have to look at in order to find a good outdoor ping pong table, and we will be doing that today with this buying guide.
We are going to go over all of the key components of a ping pong table and make sure that you know what is good for use outdoors. We will then take a look at some of the best tables that you can buy for play outdoors.
Outdoor Ping Pong Table Buying Guide
Regulation Size and Look
One of the first things you need to determine is whether or not you want an official table. An official table will be the correct size, according to the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation).
The size that is considered official is nine feet long, five feet wide, and 30 inches tall. The net is mandated to be six inches high, and it is required that the surface be either green or blue.
To go even further, to be considered regulation the ball must act a certain way when dropped on the table. It must bounce 8.75 inches when you drop the ball from a height on one foot.
These are all very precise and technical terms, but they are important to many people. If you are looking to have something that can be used for tournament play, all of these rules must be followed.
This is also something that you are going to want to have if you are training to be a very serious player.
A football player wouldn’t want to practice on a field that was only 40 yards long, so you wouldn’t want to practice on something that doesn’t have the same standards that you will find in competition.
So this is something that cannot be overlooked. For those of you that are much more casual in your style, this probably will not matter to you unless you just want to be like the pros. This is by no means a requirement!
We imagine that there are a decent number of people wondering why you would play ping pong outside. This is a fair question, and it should be answered right here.
Most of us learned of the game by playing indoors or by seeing it played indoors on TV. But that doesn’t mean that the sport is just restricted to the indoors.
Outdoor ping pong tables are a great idea for anyone that is short on space. Space is a major factor in purchasing anything like this, and if you don’t have enough space to adequately move around it would be a major drag.
By moving outside, you can completely eliminate this worry altogether. This is the major reason you would want to move outside to play.
Another reason is to enjoy the weather. This is probably something that is overlooked by many, but it can change your whole mood to play outside rather than inside all of the time.
It gives you something to look forward to, and it also allows you to be a little bit different than the rest!
Ping Pong Table Features
All ping pong tables, no matter where they are intended to be used, have certain features that they have in common with one another.
In this section, we’ll discuss what these tables have, and why each piece is important.
Legs are very important because they are the mechanism that holds the whole table up. A great table is going to be rendered virtually useless if the legs are not up to par.
The way that you measure how sturdy the legs are is through looking at the thickness of them. You can measure this in person, or you can ask.
We will point out thickness when it is a factor in our list at the conclusion of this buying guide. The thinner the legs you have on your table, the less sturdy it will be over time.
No matter how good the table, just think of people leaning on it over time. It eventually is going to give way if it is thin! Another thing to note is how the legs connect to the table.
In the most durable tables, there are multiple connectors between the legs and the frame of the table itself. If there is just one connector, it will not last very long.
Two is better, but it still not going to last that long. Having more than two is what you want to see. Lastly, there are some tables out there that have leg “levelers.”
These allow you to adjust the height of separate legs. This is useful for people that would be playing on uneven surfaces or just somewhere that is not 100% level.
The net is an understated part of the ping pong table, but it must also be up to snuff if you are going to be able to play for extended periods of time.
Most tables come with what is called a “stationary” net. A stationary net is simply a net that remains in place. The net can be removed when it is worn out, but it isn’t something that you change out very often.
There are some that you do need to do this with, so if you are looking for that feature you might need something special.
The surface of the ping pong table is probably the most important and the easiest thing to look at when examining a potential table.
As you probably already know, most tables are made from wood. The type of wood, though, will help determine the quality and price of the unit. This also directly impacts how long it will hold up.
For outdoor tables, you find something a little bit different than you usually would find with indoor tables. Outdoor tables need to have some form of protection from the elements and from moisture.
To do this, they are coated with an aluminum barrier. Note that the table itself is still made from wood, but it will have this aluminum there to help seal it and protect it.
What this does is help prevent the table from cracking into pieces and warping. Neither are very fun at all. Cracking is very obvious, but warping would see one side of the table leaning or taking up a different shape than it was intended to have.
So neither is desirable, and you will want to see some type of barrier put onto the table to ensure it lasts!
Wheels are also a factor in the purchasing decision. Wheels make life so much easier sometimes as you don’t have to deal with carrying everything or taking it all back apart after every single use.
Even in outdoor models, this is something that many will find desirable to have. If you do want them, expect to pay a little bit more money just for their convenience and for the extra engineering work that went into producing them.
Some tables come with paddles and ball pockets included. This makes it very easy to store your accessories with ease so you don’t worry about losing them. If you are a forgetful person or just want this feature, then it is an option for you to select.
Playback is a way of playing by yourself. This is something that is not needed by all people, but it may be something you want.
This is when you see the table propped up at a 90-degree angle across from the user. This allows the player to practice by herself or himself whenever they want.
Not all tables come with this feature, so this is why this is the last feature that we have listed under this section. This can allow you to learn how to play faster, hit the ball more solid, or just enjoy being alone in a time of solitude.
We will note tables that have this feature just in case you want to purchase one of them!
Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Tables
One unfortunate aspect of outdoor tables is that they bounce on them is usually more inconsistent than the bounce would be on indoor tables.
This is due to the surface. Like we talked about before, the aluminum coating helps preserve the table, but it also has a tendency of producing more of an unpredictable bounce to the ball.
It should be noted, however, that this gap has closed considerably over the years. So, it’s not nearly as big of a problem as it used to be.
Maintaining Your Table
One massive suggestion we’d like to make is for those of you that are planning to store your table in a basement or some other type of storage. Because of the changing humidity, it’s highly recommended that you buy an outdoor table.
Like we’ve said before, the surface is coated and it will help you maintain your table for much longer. Even if you don’t plan on using it outside, this is a great idea for you to follow.
Another thing that can be done to maintain your outdoor table is to store it inside. This might seem paradoxical, but it will really help the table last much longer.
It doesn’t have to be stored in the middle of the living room; it can be stored on a patio, in the garage, or basement. Humidity won’t matter because of the coating, but it is still wise to make sure it’s not in direct contact with the elements.
A table cover can also do wonders for you. A table cover is an easy way to make sure that dust and dirt don’t get on the table, and it can also do a great job in a pinch if the weather is approaching.
These covers are specifically designed for use in conjunction with outdoor tables, and as a result are sometimes a little costly. They are a lot like tarps in essence, and many companies make them to go along with their own line of tables.
So you can’t just assume that it will fit your table!
This is something that will drive a lot of your interest or your lack of interest. Having a table that requires assembly can be a disaster for some, but it can be a fun time for others.
There are varying degrees on the scale of assembly in regards to ping pong tables. With some, they are practically all assembled once they’ve arrived with you.
These “preassembled” tables are rare, and they will cost a little more because of their engineering. But they do exist. Some tables just take about 20-30 minutes and are very easy to assemble.
Others still yet come with poor instructions, and they could lead you to take practically a whole day to assemble the table. Depending on the type of person you are, you need to carefully look at which is best for you!
Best Outdoor Ping Pong Table Reviews
The Joola Signature Pro Table didn’t make it to #1 because of the restrictive price tag, but for those of you fortunate enough to be able to handle the “nearly $2,000” price point, this is the table you’ll want. Why? I’m glad you asked!
First of all, JOOLA has been the proud sponsor of the biggest tournaments in the world, including the Olympics, World Championships, and US Open.
Joola offers equipment designed for all levels. But more importantly, what about THIS table?
For starters, the Berkshire hybrid table is nearly indestructible (in terms of standing up to weather elements) and it’s also a gorgeous conference table, AND multi-purpose outdoor table suited for picnics, barbecues, and light outdoor work projects!
We’d suggest covering it with a blanket or cardboard if using it as a workbench
The table is made of a sturdy MgO concrete surface that will not peel or delaminate. The surface itself simulates a wood grain polished oak finish. It’s also designed with a heavy-duty “X-shape” black powder-coated steel base.
It can function as a 9′ conference table that can accommodate up to 12 people for business functions or meals!
Officially, it’s a 108″ x 60″ regulation ping pong table with a steel net. We LOVE this setup because of its upscale look and multi-use functionality.
The underside or undercarriage of the table has a black, powder-coated (same as the legs) steel grid that is VERY strong and holds the concrete top very securely. The top is guaranteed never to peel or delaminate.
- Virtually indestructible surface
- Steel net which is not only unique in looks, but will last forever
- VERY versatile and can be used as a conference table, dining table or light task table while working on small outdoor projects
- Aesthetically amazing/gorgeous
- Very Expensive
- Not designed for solo play
- Not easy to move (no wheels)
This is arguably the best table for outdoor play anywhere on the market today. At a $2000+ price point, we’d say IT BETTER BE!
It’s 9-feet long and with its weatherproof melamine top, it can stand up to any climate and still offer good bounce and consistent play.
The galvanized steel legs and apron make this a very robust outdoor ping pong table for sure! The powder coat finish on the steel components has a chrome-style look to it, and it even includes anchor bolts to be used in case of a more permanent setup.
The perimeter edges are protected and supported by a 2-inch galvanized steel apron for further durability and sturdiness.
The 10-year top warranty and the 3-year component warranty are a great indicator of the confidence that the manufacturer puts on this incredibly tough table.
- Durable Melamine weatherproof surface
- Commercial quality for resorts, schools, parks, etc.
- Sturdy Construction
- Great Warranty
- Much more expensive than most other options on our list
For those that hate assembling items, this is the one for you. The Stiga XTR is 95% preassembled, so you basically just take it out of the box and begin playing with it.
It has wheels, aluminum composite exterior is built to withstand the elements, and has a playback available as well. And it all comes at a very reasonable price as well!
- Great price
- Nice shiny look
- Almost completely assembled upon arrival
- Has slight cosmetic blemishes at times
- Doesn’t have adjustments for unlevel surfaces
Like the three predecessors on the list, JOOLA’s table has wheels on the bottom for easy transport. It also includes a quick assembly which should take 15-20 minutes and is about the same price as the Stiga.
It has playback, an aluminum/plastic surface, and it is protected from rust damage. It also has leg levelers in case of rocky or uneven terrain.
This Joola is super heavy-duty with 6-inch “off-road” wheels and tournament certified. It features an aluminum/plastic composite surface for outdoor durability.
- Leg levelers ensure it is level
- Easily assembled
- Good price
- Good outdoor durability
- It is heavy to unload without help
- The net included in a little suspect compared to other nets
The Butterfly Compact table is truly an all-weather table that is regulation-sized perfect for patio or garage. While it can handle rain and snow, we’d suggest you keep it in your garage or on a covered patio.
The table is well-priced given its features like a 12 mm COMPREG top.
Compreg consists of ELEVEN layers of resin-treated plywood which produces a consistent bounce, and performance that feels a lot to us like a good indoor table, and we think it’s a higher-performing table than many outdoor table options on the market.
Tables with a melamine or aluminum top are great for weather-resistance but not so much for consistent and proper performance. DuPont coating finishes the top of the table which further protects it from outdoor conditions.
The table folds very compactly, and of course, a net and post set is included along with a nice variety of outdoor-oriented details like a rubber cover on the clamp. Oh, and did we mention that there is “NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED”?
- Great price
- Made of high-performance top (11 layers of plywood, not aluminum)
- This is a two-piece table
- Potential for the surface to crack in spite of the company’s assertion that it is virtually “unbreakable”.
The Cabo outdoor table has a proprietary covering called KETT-TEC5. It provides a really consistent bounce (which is always the goal for any table tennis top) and extreme durability (which is why it’s backed by a 10-year table-top warranty!)
The table is a centerfold style and it features SMOOTH TRAX and Dual locking systems which both provide safety, stability and transport integrity. It’s also tournament size – L-9’ x W-5’ x H-2.5’
The kit includes one high-quality cover, two Halo outdoor racquets, and six balls.
The Kettler brand is iconic (in case you just woke up after a 100-year nap), and can be found for sale in over 180 countries. It’s made in Germany and backed by a 10-year playing surface warranty and a 3-year frame warranty.
- Comes with all kinds of accessories
- Good moderate price
- Easily movable with its wheels
- Maybe a little too much for casual players
- Does take a little while to assemble
This is more of an entry-level type offering from GoSports, yet it includes all of the same accessories as other pricier tables, but at a lower price point.
The whole package includes a mid-sized 6-foot by 3-foot table with 2 paddles, a net and 4 balls. For this price point (less than $150 USD) any table with any level of quality would be a pretty good deal. BUT, this table is no slouch when it comes to quality.
It’s a great option for someone with no room for a full-sized table (ie. small apartment) and it still offers a decent scenario for a good level of competition. It has carrying handles and can be carried by ONE person!
The heavy-duty aluminum frame keeps the table sturdy and a great, smooth playing surface makes for an enjoyable match.
Having said all this, I would not recommend this table if you’re an adult looking to get serious about the sport and develop your game to a slightly higher level than a weekend casual player. It’s best to play on a full-sized table to develop your game properly.
- Great price
- Includes several accessories
- Not full-sized, so it’s best for junior players or very occasional, casual players
- More or less “no frills”
We like this Goldoro table given its affordability and its sturdiness. The value is nearly the same as the G0Sports table at #7, but this table is arguably even more sturdy given its extra set of legs!
It comes ASSEMBLED (yes you heard that right) so that’s a huge bonus right there!
Also, please note that this table is about 75% the size of a regulation table, so it offers excellent portability and storage, but may not be the best option for serious, competitive play or practice.
Having said that, it’s touted as a “competition-grade” table which it may be …other than its size! It’s also a great option for other activities like board games since each half of the table has its own 4-legs!
While it is rated for outdoor use, it’s recommended that you bring it in for any prolonged weather events like rain or snow in order to prolong its lifespan.
The 18-month warranty attests to its durability and build quality.
- A different look from most
- Versatile for other activities
- Reasonable price
- Comes assembled
- Excellent size for storage anywhere (including under your bed!)
- Does not come with ALL accessories
- Not full-sized
Conclusion & Recommendations
Looking to get started in this most excellent game/sport/pastime? Check this out!