This week’s post is the last of our posts shilling for Walmart and their budget camping gear.* Don’t forget to go back and read Chris’ review of the Ozark Trail Portable Table and my review of the Ozark Trail 2 Burner Camp Stove.
*JK, we’re not sponsored or reimbursed by Walmart in any way. We’re just budget-minded (errr, cheap). In August 2022 we did join the affiliate program, but our review and opinions still stand!
Before we had kids, we would just use the picnic table included at most camp sites to set up our stove, dishes, and other camp kitchen gear. We only needed enough space for two to sit and so it just worked.
Now that we’re a family of five, we need the whole table at meal time. So I started searching for a solution. Not wanting to spend a ton of money, I was intrigued by the Ozark Trail Deluxe Camp Kitchen. (Note: this product also goes by “Ozark Trail Camping Table, Silver and Red.”) At the time, I think it was selling for around $65. It is currently selling for $80. To be transparent, I did not end up spending my own money on the camp kitchen because my mom got it for me for Christmas – thanks mom!
I’ll start off by saying that having the extra space with this camp kitchen is helpful. It provides a surface to put your camp stove, a zippered storage area to put your food, and a wash basin and drying rack for your dishes. It definitely accomplished my objective of clearing the picnic table for eating. It also has wind walls to protect your stove’s flame from going out. While many stoves already have wind walls, some one burner and backpacking stoves do not. Also, the food storage is really nice. I wouldn’t depend on it for bear country – I’d definitely still use a bear bag – but if you’re not in bear country you can safely keep raccoons out of your food with the zippered compartment. I’d also describe this kitchen as sturdy. It holds its own, and does not feel overly wobbly to me as I use it.
But the camp kitchen definitely has its drawbacks. The biggest drawback is the single wash basin and drying rack. If you are going to do dishes while camping, you should use at least two basins. One for soapy water and one to rinse the soapy water off. (Note that I am not talking about backpacking here, but car camping). By only having one basin, I found myself having to rinse the soap off of the dishes using my water jug spout. I did not love this because I felt like I was wasting water and it also led me to have to go back to the water source and refill my jug after dishes. I’d rather this come with two basins and no drying rack – I can dry the dishes with a towel. Alternatively, you may find yourself adding your own extra basin. To be totally fair though, I’m not sure there are any camp kitchens on the market that come with two or more basins – but there should be! It annoyed me regardless. The kitchen is also pretty big when packed down.
I’d also argue the table surface is too small for a two burner camp stove with propane tank, as evidenced by the picture above. Further, this kitchen will take up a lot of space in your car, so if you’re working with limited vehicle storage space you might not be able to make use of it.
- Extra surface area for kitchen needs
- Food storage
- Single wash basin – two would be better
- Table too small for two burner stove and propane tank
- Large when packed
Rating: 3 / 5
While I wouldn’t go as far as saying I regret my acquisition, I would not recommend this camp kitchen. I can’t really blame it for what my complaints are – it never claimed to be what I’m expecting it to be. It worked for my intended purpose – to clear the camp site’s picnic table by giving me a place to put my stove and providing food storage. But, if I were to take another stab at my goal I think I’d go with something more like this and just BYOB (bring your own bins) for dishes.
Have you used this camp kitchen and have your own thoughts? Or, do you have a recommendation for a better kitchen set up? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Comment below!