Bass Pro Shops Deluxe Camp Kitchen with Sink Review
- Packed size: 39.5” x 20” x 6”
- Assembled size: 84” x 19.75” x 30”
- 36 lbs.
- Hard plastic sink
- 30” Main counter height
- Fabric pantry
- Lantern pole
- Windbreak with spice racks, hooks, and paper towel holder
This camp kitchen has a lot of great features. There are a few compromises, but it really has a lot of amenities for it’s size and weight. If there is one thing we don’t like, it’s the main counter height. We wish it was 3” or so taller. Other than that it’s great if you’re going to spend 2 or more nights in the same spot. It can handle largish groups (at least 10-15 people) just fine. There is plenty of storage space, and the windbreak means that you’ll always have the utensils you need close at hand.
The Main Countertop
The main table is about 48” x 19”. It has a sink on the right and a windbreak on the back. The top is made from melamine veneered on MDF. Melamine is burn and fire resistant, so you could use your stove on it. Other camping kitchens use melamine as the stove table. We would love to see a full stainless or plastic top on a camping kichen, but many use some sort of particle board with a veneer, likely to keep costs down. While the veneer will protect it from kitchen duties, you wouldn’t want to leave it out in wet conditions all the time, or you might get bubbles in the veneer.
At about 30”, the countertop height is lower than other camp kitchens we’ve looked at. The standard countertop height for houses is 36” and we like to see standard heights being used in camp kitchens since that makes using them that much easier.
A camp kitchen with a too-high workspace will cause your elbows and arms to get in the way (although camp kitchens are never too tall). You can try this out by chopping vegetables while sitting at your kitchen table. A camp kitchen that’s too low will cause you to hunch over slightly while working, and this is tiring for your neck and your back. Again, you try this by chopping some veg while standing at your kitchen table.
While the Bass Pro Shops Deluxe Camp Kitchen has adjustable legs, they only adjust about 1/2”. So the maximum height you can get for your kitchen is 30.5”. Most camp kitchen have a main workspace that is at least 2” taller. This might not sound like much, but it will make a difference to your spine!
The right side of the countertop has the sink, which measures 16” X 11” X 4”. It is hard plastic. Some sinks are hard plastic, some are soft vinyl, and some are fabric. We like hard sinks because they are durable, easy to dump, and difficult to puncture. They do have some cons, though. Fabric sinks are quite light and can be quite large. Hard sinks are limited in their size because they influence the packed size of the camp kitchen. If you need a huge sink, you probably want to look at a camp kitchen with a fabric sink.
Although we find the countertop to be low, the sink is at the same height and we like having all the kitchen components at the same relative heights. Again, this is just like how home kitchens are - most surface heights are matched.
One other is issue you may have with the sink is that it takes up about a third of the available counter space. If you want to have a water jug next to the sink dispensing water, it could get a little tight.
We’re glad to see a windbreak, but we have a couple issues with it. First, why do you need a windbreak? To start, your stove may need it. You should be able to stop the wind from reaching your stove somehow. This makes it so that you can light your stove in windy conditions and also ensures that it stays lit. A good wind gust can easily blow out your flame while you’re simmering a pot of rice. Some stoves have a built-in windbreak and some don’t.
Now, you may have noticed that this camp kitchen has a special location for the stove to the right of the main table - outside of the windbreak!!! What a bummer. You might be able to use your stove on the main table, and Bass Pro does say it’s “heat resistant”, but we don’t know if it’s definitely good to cook on it. Furthermore, the metal grid table on the right is clearly meant to have a stove on it. Therefore, if you buy this camp kitchen, we highly recommend that you:
- Use the metal grid for your stove
- Use a stove with a built-in windbreak
Another reason you want a windbreak is protecting your food prep area. It can provide you with a little protected pocket where you don’t have to worry about dust and pollen so much. It also keeps you food wrappers from blowing around. We have serious anxiety about this! Will my last slices of turkey blow into the dirt?! Oh no!!!
Moving on, we really love the organization on this windbreak. This is something that more manufacturers should be doing because it makes camp cooking so much easier. The windbreak has:
- a paper towel holder
- hooks for utensils
- a double spice/goodies rack
Seriously, this has to be pretty cheap for the manufacturers to do, and it puts everything close at hand so that you aren’t reaching in bins or in the under table cabinet.
The right side of the windbreak also has a goofy fold-out “splashguard”. Bass Pro says it’s to separate the sink and cooking areas, but we think it’s pointless and only adds unnecessary weight. If like to wash dishes like a madman/madwoman while your cooking, you might want the splashguard. For us we’d rather eliminate the splashguard, and maybe even move the sink to the other side of the main countertop.
The Side Table and Pantry
The side table, like the main countertop, is MDF with a melamine veneer. We talked about MDF above, and the same caveats apply here. It’s lower than the main countertop, so we see this as more of a storage space than a work area. Most side tables on camp kitchens are lower than the main table to ensure that they fold up compactly. On the end of the side table is a little towel rack, which is another nice detail we’d like to see more of.
Under the side table is a 600d polyester fabric pantry which uses hooks to hang off the side table’s frame. We like these pantries since they give you a quick way to have a bunch more storage space that is off the ground and away from your main work areas. It also protects your dishes, food, pots, and whatever else from dust and pollen. This pantry has a “door” which rolls to one side and secures with a velcro strap.
The pantry door is PVC mesh. Like everything else, this has some pros and cons. We think fabric pantries should have some ventilation. Polyester is non-breathable, so it should definitely be vented. We would be concerned that a pantry without a vent would grow mold or mildew. A little mesh panel can do the job just fine, keeping the air moving inside your pantry so that if you put away some wet dishes it won’t matter too much.
But on this pantry, the whole door is mesh. This is okay. It makes it easy to see inside. It promotes airflow. But we do like the slightly cleaner look of pantries with solid doors. Additionally, although NO pantries are waterproof, many with solid doors can stand up to a light rain without a problem. With this pantry, your stuff will get wet more easily if the rain comes at the wrong direction. Then again, with the mesh door it should dry out quickly!
The pantry is not varmint-proof! No fabric pantry will keep out mice, raccoons, or bears. Don’t leave food in it overnight.
The Stove Table
The stove rests on a metal grid table that is 27” long x 17” deep. It’s 4” lower than the main countertop, which puts it at 26” high. Most stoves will come within 2” of the main countertop height. This is ideal so that all the kitchen surfaces are fairly level with one another. Bass Pro says it can hold 60 lbs. but that weight would have to be spread over the whole surface. People are always concerned about how much weight these types of table can take, and we’re very confident that it’ll handle any normal cooking stove plus a dutch oven.
The metal is chromed steel, not stainless. To us, this means that you should wipe it down with WD-40 or a light oil every once in a while to keep it sparkly and prevent rust. As we noted above, it has no windbreak, so you better make sure that your stove comes with one.
Some people have problems with the metal grid spacing and their stoves. The feet of the stove line up awkwardly with the metal grid, making your stove lean precariously. When you get your Bass Pro Shops Deluxe Camp Kitchen, you should immediately test out your stove and make sure that it’ll sit correctly on the grid. If you really like the kitchen, but your stove doesn’t work, you can buy a small, thin sheet of stainless steel or aluminum and secure it to the wire grid (zip ties would work fine for this). This would give you a flat, heat resistant stove table. FYI, aluminum is lighter than steel, so that’s probably the best choice to keep everything light.
Some stoves have a propane bottle that will hang off the side. You might not want to leave it suspended like that. We’d suggest using a large hose clamp or zip ties to secure the propane bottle to the wire rack. This will keep it from hanging in the air and will also keep it secure in case somebody (a super-excited child?) bumps the bottle.
The Undercounter Shelf
The shelf under the main counter is also made of chromed steel grid. Because it’s metal grid, it’s super lightweight and great for drying dishes and large pots. Because of its length and lack of supports, we don’t have a lot of confidence in this holding too much weight. Bass Pro rates it at about 22 lbs. but a dutch oven in the center would probably bend it over time unless you propped it up in the middle.
The Lantern Pole
The lantern pole is well positioned between the main countertop and the stove side table. Here at Roundforge, we like lamp, so having a high place to always keep a light source is a big plus for us. The light pole is made of aluminum, and it’s a little light and flimsy. We’d say that it’ll do the job for lighter lanterns, but we wouldn’t hang a big heavy kerosene lantern from this thing.
The Bass Pro Shops Deluxe Camp Kitchen is made of steel, chromed steel, aluminum, plastic, and MDF with a melamine veneer. With this blend of materials, Bass Pro was clearly shooting to shave pounds off, and it comes in at 36 lbs. This is not the best and not the worst. We think that with a little more aluminum replacing steel and maybe some different countertops, the weight could come down to 30 lbs. We wish the countertops were not MDF. They will hold up if you take care of them, but we’d like to see a manufacturer come out with all-plastic or all-stainless steel countertops.
Is it weatherproof?
Pretty much. Rain shouldn’t bother the countertops if you’re quick to dry them off or you at least don’t make a habit of leaving them constantly wet. While many other kitchens also have this issue, water will also easily get into the pantry through the mesh door. Anything that is steel should be lightly oiled once or twice a year, especially at weld joints. You can do this in under 10 minutes by spraying a rag with WD-40 and wiping down your camp kitchen (not the countertops!). You’ll also want to lightly squirt the adjustable foot mechanisms to keep them operating smoothly. We’d say that if you had a sudden downpour at camp, the kitchen would be totally fine, just don’t make a habit of leaving it wet.
Portability and Assembly
At 36 lbs. the Bass Pro Shops Deluxe Camp Kitchen is not the lightest kitchen we’ve reviewed. It’s not terribly heavy, but you won’t want to lug it too far down a trail. It’s mostly suited to camping trips where you can setup close to your 4x4.
It has adjustable legs, which is fantastic for uneven ground. They adjust a 1/2” which may not be enough for some areas. You may want to bring some small pieces of wood to shim it if you think you’ll be in a really rocky area. One really nifty feature is the leg stakes. Each leg on the main table has a built-in stake that you can use to anchor it to the ground. This is handy in areas with high winds.
We really value quick setup times. We think most people will be able to put this up in about 3-4 minutes. With the exception of the undercounter shelf, the towel rack, and the spice racks, this is a single unit that folds in and out of itself. Besides straightening the legs, you also need to make sure that all the corner braces are straight. If you’re moving camp a lot, you might want a camp kitchen with a quicker setup time.
When folded, it does not have a flat suitcase-style appearance on both sides. One side will have the sink and legs exposed which may look a little unruly to you. It does come in a nylon carry bag, so you don’t need to look at its gangly legs if you don’t want to. It folds down to 39.5” x 20” x 6”.
Last updated: June 3, 2019