Leki Table XS Lite

When I first saw Leki’s Table XS Lite at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in January of 2017, I was suddenly very interested in the idea of a packable table.  Leki (pronounced Lake-ee) had solved the problem that I’ve always seen folks run into with packable tables:  Things set on soft top tables tip over and spill.  I’m sure that many readers can relate – when a soft top table is in play, it doesn’t take much to cause a spill.  The slightest bump, a breath of wind or other disturbance, or even a second item that causes the soft top table surface to sag can cause things tip over.  Even when you get a soft top table perfectly level, there are no guarantees that things placed on the table will stay upright, and it’s this very reason that’s kept me from owning a packable table.  Yet, the Table XS Lite is different, because it has a hard top. Upon seeing this, I knew I had to get my hands one and put it to the test.

The Table XS Lite falls into the “It’s about time someone made this a thing” category for outdoor gear.  It’s a packable table that you can actually use, because you can set things on it without worry (or a severely reduced degree of worry, you can’t cheat the laws of physics) that said things are going to fall over.

The outdoor industry has keyed in on the genius of a hard top packable table too, as other manufactures who only had soft top packable tables on display at winter market, were sporting new hard top tables at this year’s Summer Market.  Hard top packable tables make sense, and happen to be quite useful.

When set up, the Table XS Lite provides a 24 x 16” tabletop that can hold up to 110 pounds (Editor’s note – No that’s not a typo) of gear.  The surface is stable and instills trust that whatever things you’re about to set on the table aren’t going to fall over as soon as you look away.  Yet, the table weighs in at a mere 1.9 pounds and packs up to measure 16 x 4 x 6 inches, which means you can take it with you on just about any outing.  Toss it in your vehicle when you need a quickly deployable table to go with your chair(s) when making camp for the evening.  Strap it onto your pannier or soft bags on your moto to keep countless tasks off the ground when you’re living off your bike. I’ve even been known to strap it to my backpack, because it’s just that useful.

When the ground is a wet, muddy, or uneven proposition, the Table XS Lite becomes even more valuable.  Spend a minute setting up the Table XS Lite, and now you don’t have to hunt around for a level spot to set your stove.  This also lets you can hydrate meal pouches without worrying about them falling over and spilling your precious calories.  You can simply set your beverage down on the table, and not have to look around you for a flat spot to park your drink.  Cameras, and other electronic devices also really appreciate not being set down in the dust and dirt too.  The Table XS Lite brings real practicality into camp.

Setting up and packing up the Table XS Lite is something that make take a minute the first time around, as there are 14 individual pole sections that you have to fiddle with.  Yet once you’ve used the table a few times you’ll have no problem getting the table out or packed up.  Once you have the frame setup, you snap the tabletop sections into place and it’s here that I ran into my one complaint with the table.  On our example, all of the edges where the plastic table sections snap on to the frame were rather sharp, so careful handling was required when setting up or breaking down the table.  Yet, this wasn’t anything that a few minutes with a deburring tool couldn’t fix when I was home, and I suspect that this is simply a new production issue.


Leki’s Table XS Lite is a great piece of gear, because a hard top packable table is useful in so many different situations.  From keeping drinks and meal pouches upright to keeping cameras and food out of the dust and dirt, the table will quickly become part of your standard load out on so many adventures.  The table has been on countless outings over the last few months and is no worse for wear – the poles still fit snugly together and the table surface snaps into place confidently.

The fact that other brands are launching hard top tables underscores just how brilliant a piece of kit the Table XS Lite is.  Packable soft top tables certainly have their uses, and with drink pockets and careful placement they can do a number of things, but placed next to the Table XS Like, they’re not on the same level.  Bring the Table XS Lite with you on an outing, and you’ll find yourself reaching for it nearly every time you’re packing for an adventure.

OR Winter Market 2017

I’m not sure that my pedometer is accurate, but I am sure it’s accurate to say that it takes many steps to see all of the awesome products that congregate twice a year in Salt Lake City, UT; where the outdoor industry hosts Outdoor Retailer. This is the event where exhibitors come from all over the world to reveal their new products, and showcase their existing products for retailers and industry media. The Winter Market obviously caters to skiing, snowboarding, and other snowsports—but there are hundreds of products on display that can be used year round.

I walked the miles of red carpet looking for gear that would be of interest to the American adventurist, so please let me know in the comments if there are things that you want me to focus on for the summer show. Now, without further adieu, here are the products that will be lightening your wallet in the coming months.

Adventure Medical Kits

Adventure Medical Kits (AMK) has reintroduced their Mountain Series of medical kits, which set the standard for backcountry medicine when they were originally introduced 20 years ago. Each kit is organized by type of injury, and AMK makes refill kits for each compartment, making the restocking process a snap.

Beyond Clothing

Beyond Clothing is the brainchild of some of the fine folks that played a key part in the development of the Protective Combat Uniform (PCU) program for the US Military. Utilizing top shelf American materials (yes, everything is USA made), Beyond offers a complete layering system that will keep you comfortable no matter what mother nature throws at you.

Big Agnes

How do you make an ultra-light sleeping bag even lighter without cutting down on insulation or compromising durability? Simple. You take the zipper out. Big Agnes has replaced the zipper with a clip system that allows you to close the bag up just like a zippered bag when you want it, and open it up when temps do not require full mummy mode. If you’ve ever caught or broken a lightweight zipper, you need to check out Big Agnes’ new zipper-less bags.

Black Diamond

Black Diamond’s latest update to their awesome LED headlamps packs even more lumens into many of their range of proven models.

Cascade Designs

MSR’s new four-season tents look great and I’m hoping that I’ll get to put one to the test this winter. The Advance Pro 2 is designed for aggressive alpine missions and can be easily setup be one person in technical terrain. The Access Series brings vestibules and other great features to the game and comes in a one, two, and three person version.

Darn Tough

Socks with a warranty—It’s a thing. If you manage to wear out a pair of Darn Toughs, simply send the worn out pair in and Darn Tough will send you a new pair. Their line covers everything from Ski socks to lightweight running socks.


Garmin recently acquired Delorme, and they’ve been busy updating the InReach series of satellite communicators and many of their native products. New to the Explorer+ is a TOPO map, making the navigation functionality of the device much more useful. Maps are also making an appearance on the new Fenix 5 series of watches which pack an insane amount of capability into a lightweight watch.

Goal Zero

I’m really excited to get my hands on Goal Zero’s new generation of Yeti Solar Generators. Lead batteries are out, and higher-capacity Lithium Ion batteries feeding much more powerful AC inverters are in. There’s also the Fuel, a 2000-watt gasoline generator that I’m told is Honda-quiet. Other new goodies include the Boulder 100 and Boulder 50 rigid panels.

Groove Ring

Silicone wedding bands are a great option for folks who find themselves scratching and wearing their metal wedding bands down during abrasive activities, and they provide several safety advantages. Groove Ring takes these benefits a step further by allowing the skin under the ring to breathe, which drastically increases comfort.


New from Helinox is the Chair Zero, a sub-one-pound collapsible chair that will hold folks up to 250 pounds.


Hydroflask now offers their proven double-wall insulation in a bottle and cup designed specifically for folks who want to bring wine into the field. The new products feature insulated, food-safe lids that won’t impact the flavor or characteristics of your wine.


Known for their awesome trekking poles, Leki now makes the XS Lite Table that will allow you to set a beverage anywhere on the table’s surface without gambling on whether or not said beverage will tip over as soon as you look away (because: it’s not fabric).

Mountain Smith

Mountain Smith partnered up with renown lensman Chris Burkard to develop the T.A.N. (Tough As Nails) series of camera bags. Three sizes of camera cubes are great for packing your kit into a larger pack that you already own, and there are two complete packs if you want an all-in-one solution for carrying your gear.


New from Osprey is a comprehensive line of products to help you organize your kit for travel, and a line of bomber luggage. According to the Osprey, the new luggage has passed the ‘bags keep their contents dry when placed on a roof rack and driven in the rain test.’

Sea to Summit

Sea to Summit makes everything from collapsible cookware to inflatable pillows, and about 5 million things in between. Their offerings are very well thought out and very innovative. They recently launched a hammock that weighs 4.9 ounces, yet holds 300 pounds. Their new luggage allows you to configure the carrying handles as a backpack, shoulder sling, or as traditional handles.


Not only does cork do a great job of keeping bottles closed, but it turns out it is also a great material to recycle and make footbeds and shoes out of. SOLE’s new cork-based products offer several advantages over their EVA predecessors. According to all of their professional athlete testers, the cork footbeds work better than EVA footbeds.


UST has created a lighter that doesn’t create a flame. Instead, the TekFire lighter arcs a current between two poles to set things on fire. The unit is powered by a Lithium-Ion battery and charges from a USB port. UST Survival offers a comprehensive line of survival products and kits.

Western Mountaineering

Western Mountaineering makes some of the most highly regarded down products on the market. Their offerings are known for their outstanding performance and very long lifespan. Western has started having the folks who build their products sign them—just like a hand built motor from AMG.