Evaluating and buying an all-weather table tennis table requires some special considerations. Will it hold up to the climate in your area? Does it require a cover? How well does the surface play, and how well does it stand up to wear and tear. Beyond all those specific concerns is the reputation not only of the manufacturer but also the model itself.
From a sturdy frame to an all-weather top to 1-inch steel legs, everything about this table sounds and looks good. It also has locking wheels and leg levelers to accommodate uneven floors. While the Prince Advantage has some really nice things going for it, but as with everything in life, nothing is perfect.
- The Prince Advantage Outdoor Indoor table is pretty heavy, and while some complain about this, in many ways it is an advantage. Much of the weight comes from a durable, strong frame made from quality materials, including 1-inch metal legs and a 5-inch horizontal cross bar. It has decent wheels, so despite its weight, it is reasonably portable. In addition, that weight will hold in place the folded up sides of the table and prevent them from turning the entire piece of equipment into a backyard prairie schooner during windy storms.
- Another great thing about the Prince Advantage is that it is easy to assemble. In fact, the most difficult thing about putting it together is moving its bulk to the desired location first. There are not many things left for the consumer to put together with this item. This means it can be up and into playing mode in less than an hour.
- Any people rave about the Advantage’s playing surface. Not everyone likes the difference between indoor and outdoor playing surfaces, but there are few complaints about how the top plays. Prince uses their proprietary “Compreg Technology” to make the top. What this means is that they take high density wood and then impregnated it and seal it with a water-resistant finish. The result is a ½-inch thick top that resists warping when wet, and that Prince claims offers the true bounce of an indoor table.
- What makes this table look like such a great option is also where it sometimes fails miserably. As stated previously, Prince uses a proprietary process to infuse slabs of wood with water-resistant sealers to create the tabletop playing surface. Unfortunately, defects in the surface sometimes become apparent only after it is exposed to the elements.
- When the tabletop surface cracks, bubbles may form around it, likely due to moisture seeping in through the damages surface. Some report bubbles popping up in the surface without any scratches. It may also chip and flake off, which, depending upon the location of the issue, could seriously affect the playability of the table.
- Issues with the top go beyond chips and cracks. Despite specially treated wood and a metal apron to help keep its shape, the tops may bow, leading to uneven playing surfaces and frustration for all involved. Some of the unevenness of the top may stem from issues with the frame and legs and how they attach to the table. Keep in mind that this table is made up of two separate pieces, and the only thing holding them together is the net assembly. First, more physical players may bump the table hard enough to throw the sides out of alignment. Second, there is only so much a set of leg levelers can do if there are imperfections in how the top attaches to the frame. Add to that having to go through the leveling process with two separate pieces, and you have a recipe for frustration.
Finally, regarding the weight of this table, think carefully about where it will be placed and whether or not the chosen location will support the table evenly. Wet grassy or muddy areas may allow different parts of the frame and legs to sink in more than in other places. Additionally, any wet or muddy areas may cause the wheels of the table to become mired in muck, meaning it will have to stay put where it is until things dry out.
Sometimes a product description sounds so good that it makes the reader think nothing could be wrong with it. The Prince Advantage is such a product. Most likely, if you choose this item for its great features, you will have few if any problems with its quality. Be a careful consumer. Consider giving the top a careful inspection upon delivery (and before the truck leaves) to look for any obvious imperfections. Once assembled, with a little TLC, this table should last you for years.