This Small $22 Table Is My Secret to a Hassle-Free Beach Trip

It keeps sand out of my snacks and folds up to fit in my beach bag.

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Portal 16" x 9" Compact Folding Side Table
Photo: Amazon

We're at the very beginning of picnic season, and I'm ready to head to the beach. There's just something special about enjoying a turkey sub and spiked seltzer while kicking back and tanning. The only downside is keeping sand out of my snacks.

After realizing I desperately needed a stable place to dip my hummus and store my drinks, I found this small-but-mighty table on Amazon. The Portal Store Compact Folding Side Table weighs just 1.5 pounds and has a 16-inch by 9-inch surface. But it's not awkward to cart from my car to the beach. Impressively, it folds right up to about the size of a bowling pin, which I stash away in an easy-to-carry drawstring bag.

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To buy: Portal Store Compact Folding Side Table, $22 at amazon.com

When it's time to use the table, I pull it out and unfold the sides in five seconds or less. You can adjust the height to either 4.3 inches or 6.4 inches from the ground. The durable surface is made with high-quality aluminum that has withstood many drink spills and rain showers. I generally use it to hold food and drinks, like hummus dips, sandwiches, utensils, and beer, but it's also great for keeping miscellaneous items out of the sand, like speakers and sunglasses.

Because the foldable table is so lightweight and easy to carry, I've brought it to beach picnics, outdoor concerts, camping trips, and have even flown with it to other islands in my home state of Hawaii (I just checked it in my bag, but it's small enough to carry on). It's the perfect height if you have low beach chairs or are lounging on a towel by a fire.

Amazon shoppers agree that the Portal Store Foldable Table is convenient to carry, with many commenting on how it's a beach go-to. "It's super light and compact so it easily slips into your beach bag," one wrote. "Then you unfold it and it's ready to use!"

It's not just a beach accessory, though. Another person said it makes for a great side table while camping: "We have a huge tent and the 'bed' is low, so having a little side table like this keeps my stuff I need at night a tad more organized."

And with a price of just $22, this travel-friendly table is practically a steal. Grab it now that we're in picnic season and use it all summer long.

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