A full-size bar is an excellent addition to any outdoor gathering. It provides an area to store and serve beverages. Unfortunately, not everyone has space to install a bar in their backyard permanently.
A space-saving pop-up bar provides an alternative solution. Instead of adding a large bar to your small patio or yard, you can set up a portable surface to serve your guests.
Besides backyard gatherings, a pop-up bar makes it easy to add a countertop to any space for any occasion. You could use a bar for trade shows and corporate events or weddings and formal occasions. They’re also suitable for use indoors or outdoors.
If you want a convenient portable tabletop, you’ll need to compare options. To help you out, we’ve searched and found the top 12 pop-up bars and tables.
What Is a Space-Saving Pop-up Bar?
Space-saving pop-up bars give you a portable option for serving drinks or appetizers during your next party or event. Most of these products fold for more accessible storage and transport and only take a few minutes to set up.
You’ll also find a wide range of space-saving outdoor bars and tables. Some of the most common designs include:
- Pop-up bars with steel frames
- Wooden expandable wine cabinets
- Portable podiums
- Foldable patio tables with storage
- Travel cocktail sets
- Coolers and alternative solutions
- Foldable patio tables with storage
Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. When choosing a bar, think about where you plan to use it and the type of event that you’re hosting.
A travel cocktail set may not work for a corporate event, but it has everything needed for a small gathering of friends. For a wedding, you’d likely want something that fits the décor of the reception hall. When planning a backyard cookout or tailgating party, you may need a bar that can hold a lot of drinks.
No matter the occasion, one of the following 12 space-saving bars and patio tables should suit your needs.
Best Pop-up Bars with Steel Frames
The standard pop-up bar features a metal frame and fiberboard countertop. It’s a cost-effective, portable solution for adding a tabletop to any event. You may even use one of these pop-up bars to add extra counter space to a small apartment or dorm in place of a space-saving desk or table.
These options typically have a series of metal bars that unfold to create a rectangular frame. The countertop then secures to the top of the frame, and a fabric wrap covers the sides.
If you need to carry the pop-up bar a great distance or transport it in a vehicle, these options are convenient. They’re lightweight and don’t take up a lot of space when folded.
Pop-up bars also often come with carrying bags for easier transport. The only problem is that the metal frames don’t provide the most support and may wobble when bumped into.
Tuscany Pro Portable Lightweight Bartenders & Caterers Table
This option from Tuscany Pro provides a great combination of portability and superior capacity. It folds into a compact suitcase for easy transport and extends to a full-size table with two small side tables.
It weighs 22 pounds and measures just 22 x 22 x 6 inches when folded. The folded table slides into a carrying bag with handles. Overall, it’s one of the easiest pop-up tables to carry or store.
The design extends to reveal three tables. The center table has a flat surface and stands 36 inches tall. The top is 44 x 22 inches, offering a little more counter space compared to other choices.
The side tables pull out from the center and measure 11 x 18 x 30 inches. They’re slightly shorter compared to the main table, creating a tiered design. The tops of the side trays each have six pockets for storing bottles or shakers.
After extending the tables, you can add the black skirt, which completely wraps around the sides to hide the frame. Thanks to the hard anodized aluminum frame, it can hold up to 200 pounds, making it one of the sturdier choices.
Along with a sturdy table and side trays, this option comes with a mesh bag for storing waste and a large UV tilt umbrella. The umbrella measures five feet in diameter and stands six feet tall.
If you need a large, portable table for serving drinks in the backyard or special event, this is a top recommendation. It offers more space when extended and has one of the most compact designs when folded.
Display America Large Portable Popup Bar
Designed as a serving station and rolling cart, this pop-up bar folds into itself, making it easy to setup and tear down. It features a pre-assembled aluminum frame
This pop-up bar folds into itself, making it easy to setup and tear down. Within seconds, you can unfold the legs and insert the interior shelf panels. It comes with two panels while the interior is separated into two halves, creating four separate compartments.
When folded, the frame and panels slide into the provided carrying bag. The four wheels remain outside of the bag, allowing you to roll the cart to your intended destination. You could even throw your supplies on top and use it as a pull cart.
After setting up the cart, it provides 40.1 x 20.1 inches of counterspace and stands 36.5 inches.
The only drawback is the price. It’s one of the more expensive options. However, you’re getting a durable portable serving cart that is incredibly easy to setup and transport.
Trademark Innovations Portable Bar Table
As one of the less expensive pop-up bars, this option from Trademark Innovations has a simple design and lightweight materials. It includes an aluminum frame and a black skirt. The frame easily collapses and stores in the provided carrying bag.
The bar stands 35 inches tall and provides a 15 x 39-inch tabletop. The top is narrow but supports up to 65 pounds. It also has a lower shelf, about 13.5-inches from the tabletop.
The frame is made from durable aluminum while the skirt is made from nylon. The skirt wrinkles easily and may need steaming when using it at a professional event, such as a trade show.
The skirt may also tear if snagged on a sharp corner or object. After wrapping the skirt around the sides, you may notice that it sags a little along the front, instead of remaining snug against the frame.
As with all the options included in this round-up, this table is suitable for outdoor use and can survive occasional rain showers and spills. Keep in mind that the aluminum frame, brackets, and screws may eventually rust and corrode if left in wet conditions.
It’s suitable for use almost anywhere. However, the narrow frame requires an entirely flat surface to avoid wobbling.
The table weighs just under 10 pounds and fits into a convenient storage bag. It’s useful for setting up demos or buffets. However, you may want a sturdier option for a backyard party.
Best Choice Products Portable High-Top Pop-up Bar
The Best Choice Products Portable Pop-up Bar is almost identical to the previous choice. It stands just under 35 inches tall and has a 15 x 39-inch surface and a middle shelf. It also comes with a black nylon skirt.
Some assembly is required when you first receive the table. It comes with easy to follow instructions.
As with the previous option, this table folds into a compact shape and fits inside a carrying bag. When folded, the table measures just 39.75 x 15 x 1.25 inches. When fully extended, the frame measures 34.75-inches tall and has a surface measuring 39.75 x 15 inches.
The main difference between these two options is the skirt. The frame on the Best Choice Products table includes Velcro for securing the skirt, helping to keep it taught against the frame. If setting up a booth at a convention, you may prefer the slightly more professional look of this table.
PartyPongTables.com Portable Folding Party Bar w/ LED Lights
This next choice helps add a little more color to your party. The Portable Folding Party Bar from PartyPongTables.com includes strips of LED lights. The battery-powered LEDs change color, adding a dynamic lighting effect.
Other than the lights, the table includes many of the same features found on the previous two pop-up tables. It has the same standard aluminum frame, nylon skirt, and carrying case. However, it also comes with a Hawaiian-themed skirt for bringing a touch of the tropics to your party.
Setting up the table is quick and easy. When fully assembled, it stands just over 35 inches tall and has a 39 x 15-inch surface.
It’s a little heavier compared to the previous choice, weighing about 20 pounds. The lower shelf also sits further from the top. It’s about a foot off the ground, giving you more space above the shelf.
Placing the shelf lower to the ground helps add a little more stability to the frame. It will still tip over if you lean on it, but shouldn’t wobble as much on uneven ground.
Overall, it’s comparable to the other pop-up bars, but with fun LED lights and a slightly sturdier surface. For those with a bigger party and need more storage space, there’s also a double set at a slight discount when you need a longer table or make an L shaped pop-up bar. Perfect for the people going on road trips or those looking to do tailgates and backyard tent setups.
Best of Times Patio Bar and Tailgating Center Deluxe Package
deluxe pop-up bar from Best of Times, you get a complete outdoor entertainment solution. It includes a bar with multiple shelves, stools, and an umbrella. It’s a step up from the nylon/aluminum bars, offering more support and storage.
Instead of aluminum, the frame is made from heavy-duty steel with commercial-grade white powder-coating. It will eventually chip and corrode if left outdoors year-round but can withstand rain.
The fabric wrap also features different materials. The 500-denier polyester is thicker and secures to the frame with Velcro.
It also comes in several colors to suit your style. Choose from tan, green, red, and blue.
The L-shaped bar top measures 63-inches long and 41-inches wide, standing 43-inches off the ground. You’ll find several plastic shelves behind the bar and an insulated cooler with a lid for keeping beverages chilled.
The package comes unassembled, and some people may struggle with the instructions. However, after you get it put together, folding and unfolding the frame is easy.
You can take the bar anywhere and quickly set it up. It includes a storage compartment, but it’s not as easy to carry due to the extra items.
With the stools, umbrella, and extra shelves, this package is more than just a pop-up bar. Use it anywhere to give your guests a more comfortable place to relax. The only drawback is the premium price tag.
The GoPong Portable High-Top Party Bar Table with Shelf
GoPong Portable High-Top Party Bar stands out compared to other portable bars with frames and skirts, thanks to a couple of small details. The aluminum frame folds easier and feels a little sturdier when fully set up.
It also comes with three interchangeable skirts, instead of just giving you a plain black skirt. You also get a football-themed skirt and a tiki-themed skirt, giving you options for various occasions.
As with the other aluminum bars, it has a hidden shelf that sits about halfway between the tabletop and the ground. The tabletop and lower shelf each hold up to 25 pounds.
While it can’t hold a lot of weight, it’s lightweight and easy to transport. When folded and stored in the bag, it measures just 39 x 15 x 3 inches. After you finish setting it up, the bar measures 36-inches tall and has a 39 x 15-inch surface.
The fiberboard table top is waterproof and spill-proof. If someone spills something, you can simply wipe it clean.
It does include a couple of drawbacks. The nylon skirt leaves a small gap below the tabletop. This may not be the best choice for a professional or formal setting, but it’s convenient for parties and tailgating.
Space-Saving Portable Podiums
The previous options include pop-up bars featuring metal frames and fabric skirts. The frames don’t hold a lot of weight and may not work well for a corporate event or wedding.
For formal occasions, consider using a space-saving podium. Instead of an aluminum or steel frame with a fabric skirt, the podium comes with a roll of corrugated plastic that connects to a base and supports a tabletop.
The design weighs less and takes up less space, making it more portable compared to the full-size pop-up frames. However, you also have less surface space for serving your guests.
Vispronet Portable Trade Show Counter
The portable counter from Vispronet is one of the lightest options yet holds a lot of weight. It includes a base, middle shelf, kidney-bean shaped table top, and corrugated plastic.
To set up the table, you simply unroll the plastic sheet and secure it to the base and tabletop. The corrugated material is made from flexible PVC. It’s lightweight and sturdy.
The portable counter has a maximum load of 200 pounds of evenly distributed weight. The inner shelf can hold up to 50 pounds, giving you plenty of support for storing drinks and glasses.
When fully assembled, the podium has a professional appearance, helping you stand out at corporate events. It’s suitable for an outdoor party or backyard gathering but may not hold up well when exposed to rain or snow.
The fiberboard and laminate surface may start to blister if left in the rain. This blistering is caused by moisture molecules getting trapped under the membrane of the laminate material.
It stands three feet tall, but the kidney-shaped surface is smaller compared to the pop-up bars. In the end, it’s a convenient choice for a formal event.
Displays2go Pop-up Podium Counter
The pop-up podium from Displays2go closely matches the Vispronet pop-up counter. It includes corrugated PVC for the walls and a kidney-bean shaped counter.
While the two options appear almost identical, the Displays2go podium has footpads, taller walls, and a more secure base. It stands 40-inches tall.
The base and countertop are also a little thicker. They’re made from a durable, lightweight medium-density fiberboard (MDF) with a woodgrain laminate finish. As with the other option, the tabletop may start blistering when exposed to rain.
You’ll need to assemble the podium, which should only take a few seconds. No tools are required. You just attach the corrugated roll to the PVC frame and secure it to the Velcro.
With the thicker material, this podium weighs 27.5 pounds. The thick corrugated material even has its own carrying bag. It’s a step up in quality compared to the previous podium but also costs a little more.
Foldable Bars and Wine Cabinets
The pop-up frames and podiums are not the sturdiest solutions for outdoor entertaining. If you’re serving wine, you’ll want something to support the bottles without the risk of collapsing.
Foldable bars and wine cabinets provide solid surfaces and tend to have higher weight capacities. The drawback is that these options also tend to weigh more and take up more space, making them less convenient to transport.
Winsome 94350 Newport Wine Storage
The Winsome 94350 Newport Wine Storage is a sturdy, space-saving cabinet that extends to create a bar counter. It securely holds the bottles in the wine rack and provides a stable countertop for serving drinks.
When closed, it measures 20.3 x 17.8 x 40.1 inches. The center cabinet has a nine-bottle wine rack at the bottom and a compartment for holding stemware. Depending on the diameter of the glass, it can hold 9 to 12 glasses upside. Above the compartment is a small drawer for keeping a towel and corkscrew.
The sides fold up and out, transforming the narrow cabinet into a full-size bar. The tabletop measures 50-inches by 17.8-inches, offering lots more surface space compared to the aluminum pop-up bars.
It’s also a beautiful piece of furniture, crafted from solid and composite wood with a walnut finish.
Assembly is required and may take about an hour or so. It weighs about 75 pounds and doesn’t include wheels, so it’s not a very portable solution.
When the sides are closed, it’s slim enough to fit in the back of a car or the trunk, but you may need help carrying it.
It’s also not a good idea to use it outdoors when there is a chance of rain, as water may ruin the walnut finish.
If you’re planning a fancy event, this cabinet adds class, but may not provide the right fit for a backyard barbeque.
Flash Furniture 4-Foot Black Laminate Foldable Bar
From Flash Furniture, this foldable bar gives you a stable surface for preparing and serving drinks. Instead of corrugated walls or steel frames, it’s constructed from sections of fiberboard with laminate finish held together with hinges. It also features a middle shelf.
The design allows the bar to fold flat for transport, but it’s not the easiest choice to carry. The front panel doesn’t collapse and measures about 47.8 x 42.8 inches. It also weighs about 90 pounds.
The advantage of the extra weight and the cumbersome design is the extra support that you get. This is a sturdy piece of furniture capable of holding over 100 pounds on each shelf.
The one drawback is the risk of damage to the laminate finish if left outdoors in the rain.
The laminate is available in several colors. Choose from black, white, walnut, and black marble. The sturdy construction and robust color design make it a convenient option for conventions, conferences, and weddings.
Coolers and Alternative Solutions
Along with pop-up bars, podiums, and cabinets, you have quite a few alternatives for serving food and drinks. Instead of a large table, you may simply need a cooler, inflatable tray, or cocktail travel set.
These options are compact and easy to carry but don’t provide large tabletops. They’re best suited for travel and poolside parties.
Keter 218305 Outdoor Patio Table with 7.5 Gallon Beer Cooler
The compact Keter 218305 Outdoor Patio Table is essentially a stylish drink cooler that works as a side table or patio table. It has a wicker exterior in an Espresso brown color, complementing traditional patio furniture. Besides a wicker exterior, the cooler comes in a smooth finish in multiple colors, including teal and grey.
The circular cooler measures 19.5 inches in diameter at its widest point and stands 33.2-inches tall with the lid extended. It extends 10 inches above the rim of the cooler and provides a sturdy surface for setting a few drinks.
The cooler isn’t very big, but it can hold about a 12-pack of 12-ounce cans or several bottles of wine with a small bag of ice. It also features a drainage plug for easy cleanup.
It’s suitable for use outdoors and can withstand the rain. It’s also durable and stable, mostly due to its short size. However, it doesn’t offer a lot of surface space or storage.
Novelty Place Inflatable Ice Serving Buffet Bar with Drain Plug
If you need a portable buffet or bar at the lowest cost, check out the inflatable tray from Novelty Place. It’s an inflatable rectangle with four-inch sides. This is an inexpensive option for keeping food or beverages cool and fresh for hours.
It measures 51-inches long by 24-inches wide. You can fit several dozen cans or bottles packed with ice. Float it in the pool or set it on a table for your summer party.
As with many inflatable products, the latex material may rip if it gets snagged on a sharp object. It’s not the most durable option and not suitable for formal occasions. However, it is an affordable way to serve your guests.
LEGACY – a Picnic Time Brand Hamilton Travel Cocktail Set
A cocktail set from LEGACY provides a classy alternative to setting up a full-size bar or patio table. It comes with the essential bar utensils and glasses to serve four, stored inside an elegant case.
The case measures 14 x 10.5 x 10.25-inches when closed. It opens to reveal several compartments storing 16 pieces. It includes four glasses, four cocktail picks, shaker, cutting board, knife, and utensils.
It also has a divider with three padded sections for storing bottles of liquor. The case is built to last for years and even comes backed by a lifetime warranty.
Consider taking this with you on your next outdoor adventure, along with other space-saving travel gear.
The Bottom Line
Which space-saving bar should you choose? If you’re planning a formal occasion or work-related event, consider using one of the pop-up podiums. These options have a more professional look compared to the metal frames with fabric skirts.
The pop-up bars are better for outdoor parties, as rain won’t ruin the aluminum frames or nylon skirts. If you’re strapped for cash, the inflatable tray may work.
The wooden cabinet is a solid choice when for a classy event, such as a wedding. It’s heavy but has a sturdy design. The folding bar with hinges from Flash Furniture is also incredibly sturdy. Both options can support a lot of weight.
In the end, these space-saving bars and tables offer a variety of solutions for serving drinks and food or showing off your product at a trade show. To find the right option, think about where you plan to use it and who you plan to entertain.