Mom Goes Camping

Best Portable Camping Kitchens

Best portable camping kitchens

A camping kitchen isn’t a must-have item (I’ve set my stove up on the ground on many trips!) but it definitely makes cooking at camp much easier.  Having a dedicated camp kitchen means you won’t have to crouch over to cook or worry about someone falling onto the stove.  It also means you stay organized and have all your kitchen essentials in one spot.

Below I’ve listed the best portable camp kitchens based on my personal favorites as well as what other frequent campers recommend. Almost all of these are folding camp kitchens (one is a camp kitchen box) and all will at least fit a double gas stove. A few of them are camp kitchens with sinks built in.  If you aren’t sure what camp kitchen you need – like how big the camp kitchen should be – then scroll down to the buying guide section.

 

Quick Picks:

Best Overall: SylvanSport Over Easy Camp Kitchen

SylvanSport camping kitchen

This is a luxury camp kitchen which has an insane amount of features built into one portable unit. It’s pricy but you’ll love all the countertop space, zip cabinets, built-in sink, and everything else it has to offer.


Best Value: GCI Outdoor Master Camp Kitchen

GCI Outdoor Master camp kitchen with sink

The GCI camp kitchen has a large countertop for your stove and food prep, 3 side tables and a shelf for extra items and even a kitchen sink, yet it is still portable and practical for camping.  Best of all, the station is affordable.


Best for Portability: Coleman Pack-Away Portable Kitchen

Coleman Pack Away folding camp kitchen

The unique folding design of this camp kitchen means it packs down to just 31.5 x 11 inches yet still has space for cooking, food prep and storage.

 


Comparison

 

ProductCountertop
Size
WeightSinkShelves &
Tables
Folded
Size
Weight
Limit
GCI Outdoor Master Kitchen56x22"22.4lbsYes435x22x6"143lbs
Coleman Pack-Away Portable Kitchen31.5x21.3"13.8lbsNo231.5x11"300lbs
GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Kitchen24x16"19lbsNo535x21x4"203lbs
SylvanSport Over Easy Camp Kitchen70x18"44lbsYes240x19x7"N/G
CampSherpa Kitchen27x17"14lbsNo227x18x16"N/G
CampLand Folding Camp Kitchen49x13"19lbsNo431x20x666lbs
Forimo Camping Kitchen69x19.5"30lbsNo535x20x6N/G
Alpine Mountain Gear Roll-Top Kitchen49x14"10.2lbsNo131.5x20x4.3"N/G

 

Best Portable Camp Kitchens

Note that counter size does not include side tables; it only includes surfaces which are strong enough for holding a stove and food prep.

 

1. GCI Outdoor Master Kitchen

GCI Outdoor Master camp kitchen with sink

Specs:

  • Total Counter Size: 56 x 22 inches
  • Side Tables: 3
  • Shelves: 1
  • Folded size: 35 x 22 x 6 inches
  • Product Weight: 22.4lbs
  • Weight Limit: 48lbs (main counter) + 35lbs (shelf) + 30lbs (each side table)
  • Frame material: Steel
  • Sink: Yes
  • Other: Lantern hook
  • Buy At: Amazon

 

Review:

The GCI Outdoor Master camp kitchen was obviously designed by people who go camping a lot.  It is the camp kitchen which has the most amount of usable workspace, plus is designed with nice features which make it practical to bring on camping trips.

The main thing to like about the GCI Outdoor Master is that it is portable considering how much counter space it has.  Folded, it is only 35 x 22 inches and nearly flat at 6 inches thick.  It’s easy to fit this into any car trunk.

To use the camp kitchen, just unfold and attach the lantern hook: it takes all of 2 minutes to set up. The countertop is 56 inches long with the sink closed.  With the sink open, the countertop is 42 inches, which is still big enough for your stove and to prep food.  There is also a side table at top which brings the total space to 70 inches – though the side table isn’t quite sturdy enough for chopping food on.

The frame is made out of steel and the countertop is heat-resistant aluminum, so the whole kitchen is quite sturdy.  There are a few hooks on the side tables for paper towels and other supplies.

As for downsides, there are only a few complaints with this camp kitchen: it would be nice to have some more hooks, though you could add your own utensil organizer under the table.  I also wish the sink was removable since it can get gross and sometimes the small drain might clog.

GCI Outdoor Master camp kitchen dimensions

Pros:

  • Spacious countertop
  • Lots of storage space
  • Sturdy construction
  • Sink can be covered
  • Heat-resistant top
  • Folds down small and almost flat
  • Quick and easy to set up

Cons:

  • Sink isn’t removable
  • Could use more hooks

Get It Here


 

2. Coleman Pack-Away Portable Kitchen

Coleman Pack Away folding camp kitchen

Specs:

  • Total Counter Size: 31.5 x 21.3 inches
  • Side tables: 1
  • Shelves: 1
  • Folded size: 31.5 x 11 inches
  • Product Weight: 13.8lbs
  • Weight Limit: 300lbs
  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Sink: No
  • Other: Utensil and lantern hooks
  • Buy At: Amazon

 

Review:

The Coleman Pack-Away Portable Kitchen has a different design than most camp kitchens.  It consists of two parts: the first part is a folding tabletop.  It actually turns into a carrying case for everything, which is pretty cool.

The second part is a frame meant to hold your stove.  Instead of a tabletop, it has metal sliders on top.  The sliders can be moved closer or further apart to fit your stove.  This table-less design makes the kitchen station lighter and more compact.  It clips onto the main counter, so you could use the main counter by itself.

As for storage, there’s a mesh shelf underneath the main table as well as a lantern hook and utensil hooks.  They aren’t the sturdiest but will get the job done.

While the overall design of the Coleman Pack-Away Kitchen is cool, there are some issues. The biggest one is that the legs aren’t adjustable so it doesn’t always sit well on uneven ground.  Also note that the Amazon picture is from the old model: The newer model has four legs which don’t cross.

This is the old model of the Pack Away kitchen; the newer version is shown above

The countertop turns into a carrying case for the kitchen

 

Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Can use the countertop by itself
  • High weight limit
  • Lantern hook

Cons:

  • Lacking storage
  • Not great for uneven ground

Get It Here


 

3. GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Outdoor Cook Station

GCI Slim Fold camping kitchen station

Specs:

  • Total Counter Size: 24 x 16 inches
  • Side tables: 4
  • Shelves: 1
  • Folded size: 35 x 21 x 4 inches
  • Product Weight: 19lbs
  • Weight Limit: 48lbs (main counter) + 35lbs (shelf) + 30lbs (each side table)
  • Frame material: Steel
  • Sink: No
  • Other: storage hooks and paper towel holder
  • Buy At: Amazon

 

Review:

Here’s another great camping kitchen station by GCI Outdoor.  Like their Master Kitchen, the Slim-Fold is very sturdy.  It can hold over 300lbs worth of supplies, which means you can use it to hold larger grills and not just gas camping stoves.  It’s very durable and tough, so expect it to last you through many camping trips.

There are also a lot of nice design features on the camp kitchen, like how it quickly folds out and takes all of 1 minute to set up. There are hooks on the fold-out shelves for paper towels, tongs, and other camp supplies.

The reason that the GCI Master Kitchen gets the #1 pick is because this one only has one countertop. Yes, the side tables do mean you have a lot of space – but they aren’t really meant for chopping food on.  You’ll have to do your food prep somewhere else and carry items to the side tables until you are ready to use them.   There’s also no lantern hook.  Other than that, this camp kitchen is near perfect and one of the top picks all-around.

gci slim fold camp kitchen

Pros:

  • Very sturdy
  • 4 side tables plus shelf
  • Instant setup
  • Lots of storage hooks
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • No storage case
  • Only one counter; no place for food prep
  • No lantern hook

Get It Here


 

4. SylvanSport Over Easy Camp Kitchen

SylvanSport camping kitchen

Specs:

  • Total Counter Size: 70 x 18 inches
  • Side tables: 0
  • Shelves: 2
  • Folded size: 40 x 19 x 7 inches
  • Product Weight: 44lbs
  • Weight Limit: N/G
  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Sink: Yes
  • Other: Utensil hooks, windscreen, trash bag holder, paper towel holder
  • Buy At: Amazon

 

Review:

The SylvanSport Over Easy is one of the coolest and most functional camping kitchens available.  It has almost every feature you could possible need to do serious cooking while at camp.

Setting up the camp kitchen is actually pretty easy: just open the case, unfold the kitchen, snap the legs in place, and unfold the second counter and sink.  The legs are adjustable for uneven ground.

Once open, you have two bamboo-topped countertops: one for your stove (32 x 18 inches) and another for food prep (38 x 18 inches).  This gives you a total of 70 inches of countertop space.  There’s a zip cabinet underneath with two shelves.  These shelves are actually sturdy enough to hold food without sagging.

There’s also awesome extras like a collapsible sink station, built-in windscreen, trash bag holder, paper towel holder, and tons of utensil storage. They really thought of everything down to the Velcro straps to hold the cabinet doors open. The only thing that’s lacking is a lantern hook.

SylvanSport removable kitchen sink

 

Folded SylvanSport camp kitchen

Pros:

  • Bamboo countertops
  • Adjustable legs for uneven ground
  • Tons of deluxe features
  • Lots of storage
  • Insect-proof cabinets
  • Removable sink

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Pricy

Get It Here


 

5. CampChef Sherpa Camp Kitchen Table and Organizer

Camp Chef Serpa kitchen box

Specs:

  • Total Counter Size: 27 x 17”
  • Side tables: 0
  • Shelves: 2
  • Folded size: 27 x 18.25 x 15.75 inches
  • Product Weight: 14lbs
  • Weight Limit: N/G
  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Sink: No
  • Other: Zippered storage, cooler bag
  • Buy At: Amazon

 

Review:

If you are more concerned with organizing your camp kitchen than having countertop space, this is the best camp kitchen for you.  It is designed to be like a chuck box in that it holds everything you might need for cooking.

To set up the camp kitchen, all you need to do extend the telescoping legs and click the roll-top tabletop onto the box.  You then get a camp table which is 27×17 inches and 28 inches tall.  Unzip the front area and you’ll see there are 4 zippered compartments for holding your items.  One of the bags (the blue one) is insulated and works as a cooler bags.  It could also work as a sink.  The bags are actually pretty big and will hold around 14 cans of beer each.

The obvious downside is that the setup doesn’t have enough space for food prep and a stove.  However, if you already have another folding camp table, this station provides a surface for your stove plus tons of storage.

Camp Chef Sherpa with storage boxes

 

Camp Chef Sherpa box when packed and closed

Pros:

  • Lots of storage
  • Self-contained unit
  • Built-in cooler

Cons:

  • A bit bulky
  • Small countertop

Get It Here


 

6. Campland Folding Camp Kitchen Station

CampLand folding camping kitchen with cabinet

Specs:

  • Total Counter Size: 49 x 13 inches
  • Side tables: 1
  • Shelves: 3
  • Folded size: 31 x 20 x 6 inches
  • Product Weight: 19lbs
  • Weight Limit: 66lbs
  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Sink: No
  • Other: Lantern hook
  • Buy At: Amazon

 

Review: 

CampLand is a Chinese brand which makes knockoff products.  Not surprisingly, this means the CampLand kitchen is flimsy, weak and has some incorrect info in its product description (it weighs around 19lbs and not 10lbs like listed on Amazon).  However, for a cheap camp kitchen, it’s actually a pretty good solution.

The camp kitchen comes with multiple parts, so it takes a bit longer to set up than the other camping kitchens reviewed here – but it’s still very simple and easy.  Once set up, you get a nice amount of countertop space.  The main table (for your stove) is about 26 x 13 inches.  A fold-out second countertop is about 24 x 13 inches.  I love that the legs are adjustable so you can actually use this kitchen on uneven ground.

There’s a water-resistant “cabinet” that hangs underneath the side table.  It gives you two shelving units for storing food.  I personally find it annoying to zip and unzip the unit, but it’s good for keeping items when you leave camp.  There’s also a sturdier shelf plus a side table and lantern hooks.

One big downside which needs to be mentioned is that the second countertop isn’t very sturdy.  It should be fine for chopping soft foods like tomatoes but I wouldn’t want to put too much pressure on it. Maybe it’s best to chop up food on a sturdier table… There’s a built-in windscreen for the stove area but it’s pretty flimsy and I wouldn’t trust it in bad weather.

Campland camp kitchen dimensions

Pros:

  • Built in stove windscreen
  • Adjustable height
  • Good for uneven surfaces

Cons:

  • A bit too weak for serious food prep
  • Flimsy materials
  • Product weight info is incorrect

Get It Here


 

7. Forimo Camping Kitchen

Forimo portable camping kitchen

Specs:

  • Total Counter Size: 69 x 19.5 inches
  • Side tables: 0
  • Shelves: 5
  • Folded size: 35 x 20 x 6 inches
  • Product Weight: 30lbs
  • Weight Limit: N/G
  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Sink: No
  • Other: Stove windscreen
  • Buy At: Amazon

 

Review:

This camping kitchen is almost exactly the same as the CampLand kitchen above.  The difference is that, instead of a side table, it has another countertop with storage underneath it.  The extra side table gives you more space for food prep and also makes the entire setup more stable.

While this is far from the perfect camping kitchen, it is nice to have so many food storage cupboards.  Choose this one if you need a lot of storage and you are going somewhere that wild animals won’t be an issue.

Pros:

  • Lots of cupboards
  • Adjustable height legs
  • Lots of countertop space

Cons:

  • A bit too weak for serious food prep
  • Flimsy materials
  • No lantern hook

*It’s also sold under this brand name, which has many more reviews but is currently unavailable.

Get It Here


 

8. Alpine Mountain Gear Roll Top Kitchen

Mountain Gear Roll Top Kitchen 

Specs:

  • Total Counter Size: 49 x 14 inches
  • Side tables: 0
  • Shelves: 1
  • Folded size: 31.5 x 20 x 4.3 inches
  • Product Weight: 10.2lbs
  • Weight Limit: N/G
  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Sink: No
  • Other: Adjustable legs
  • Buy At: Amazon, REI

 

Review:

This roll-top kitchen by Alpine Mountain Gear (also called Mountain Summit Gear over at REI) is a simple but effective solution for cooking while camping.  I love that it has two separate countertop surfaces: one for your stove and another for food prep.  The first counter is approximately 26 x 14 inches and the other is just under 23 x 16 inches.  This gives you a total working space of 49 inches.

You can set up the tables in under two minutes.  A nice feature is that the legs on the fold-out counter are adjustable so it actually works well on uneven ground. The shelf underneath the main table provides some sturdiness as well as storage.  There isn’t anything else for storage though, so you’ll have to bring your own organizers.

The big downside of this camp kitchen is how flimsy it is.  You especially need to be careful with the latches on the legs.  It’s not too surprising that the materials are so weak considering that the kitchen station only weighs about 10lbs.

Pros

  • Enough countertop space for stove and food prep
  • Adjustable legs on side
  • Simple, easy setup
  • Very lightweight

Cons

  • Flimsy
  • No weight limit given

Get It Here At Amazon or REI


 

How to Choose a Portable Camp Kitchen

how to choose a portable camping kitchen

Not sure what portable camping kitchen you need? Here are some guidelines to make sure you get the right size and features you need.

 

How Large Does a Camp Kitchen Need to Be?

You’ll want a camp kitchen which has enough space for holding your stove and food prep. This generally means having a countertop which is at least 32 inches long and at least another 20 inches of surface for holding items. 

This measurement is based on camp kitchens using:

  • Coleman’s Classic Propane stove with two burners (approximately 14×22 inches)
  • A medium-sized cutting board (approx. 10×14 inches)

You’ll also need space for uncut food, stirring spoons, a bowl or two…  Assuming that you only make simple camping meals, this means about 20 inches of extra space.  For complex meals, you might need another 50 inches of space.

The good news is that these items don’t need to be on a very sturdy surface: they can go on a fold-out side table.  Those side tables usually aren’t strong enough to hold your stove or for cutting on but will hold all your prep items.

 

Number of Side Tables and Shelves

As mentioned above, you’ll want to have a main counter area which is at least 32 inches long (or two smaller counters which add up to this).  Lots of camping kitchens also have fold-out side tables.  These aren’t sturdy enough for holding a stove or for food prep but can be very useful for keeping other items that you need for food prep.

Note that camp kitchen shelves sometimes are sturdy enough to hold a cooler, but might also be a simple mesh shelf for light items.  Think about what you need to store at the kitchen area.  Check the shelf weight limit to be sure it is capable of holding these items.

 

Stability

You don’t want your camp kitchen to topple over with a lit stove on it.  The ground at campsites isn’t always level or very sturdy, so you’ll need to make sure you choose a very stable camp kitchen.  Look for:

  • High weight limit
  • Sturdy materials like aluminum frames, not plastic
  • Legs which lock in place
  • Four individual feet instead of two; the individual feet rest better on unsteady ground

 

Heat Resistant Tabletop

Avoid camp kitchens which have plastic tops.  The plastic easily melts and you won’t be able to rest hot pans on top of it.  This is why most camping picnic tables won’t work well as a camp kitchen.

 

Portability

For portability, you’ll want to look at the weight of the camping kitchen, how small it folds down and whether it has handles.  Expect good camp kitchens to weight at least 20lbs.  Chuck boxes are cool camp kitchens but are harder to carry and don’t fit in some car trunks.

 

Ease Of Setup

If you are staying at one camping spot for a longer time, then it isn’t a big deal to spend some time setting up your camp kitchen.  But you don’t want to waste a hour setting up and taking down the kitchen for an overnight camping trip.

 

Is There A Sink?

The best camping kitchens have built-in sinks, some with even a faucet for bringing water to the sink.  Others have an area where you can put a bin for holding your dirty dishes until you take them to be cleaned.  It’s a nice feature but not always necessary, especially if you just want to use a few plastic bins for cleaning up your dishes.

Read this post about the types of portable camp sinks, top picks, and how to make your own camp sink with running water.

 

Storage

Storage is a huge plus with camping kitchen since it will help the kitchen stay clean and organized.  Camp kitchen storage comes in many forms, including:

  • Shelves
  • Covered “cabinets”
  • Mesh storage under the table
  • Hooks for utensils, pots, and pans
  • Paper towel holder

 

Height

Most camping kitchens are made so you can use them while standing up.  There are some shorter camp kitchens though.  The benefit of these is that they take up less space, are lighter and more portable.  However, you will probably want a chair to sit in while using them or be prepared to hunch over while cooking.

 

Lantern Pole

This is one really nice extra feature to have on a camp kitchen, especially if you don’t want to set up your kitchen near a tree where you can secure a lantern.  You’ll appreciate the extra visibility when doing dishes in the dark!

 

Need more help getting your camping kitchen setup right?  Read: Camping Kitchen Essentials List: How to Set Up Your Kitchen Like a Pro


Image credit: “Outdoor Kitchen” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Anne Bennett

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About the author /


Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

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