The Viper Portable Table Tennis Conversion Top may be the cheapest option on the market.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: I recently took another, fuller look at this top. Please read the article here: The Viper portable table tennis top.]
However, you get what you pay for. This is not a conversion top that I would recommend for any but the least serious players. The chief problem with this Viper table is that it is “tri-folding”. In other words, there are two “creases” in the conversion top, both falling in areas where the ball will frequently bounce. Bounce integrity is something that’s not worth sacrificing, in my opinion. I have no tolerance for randomness entering into a game of ping pong, and you probably won’t, too.
So I would only consider the Viper Portable conversion top if you are simply in a pinch where you need the ability to play ping for one night only, such as at a party or something like that. Or if you are buying the table top for very young kids who basically just want to see a ball bounce a little, then maybe this is a correct purchase for you.
Viper Portable: Specs
• The Viper top is 84” x 42” (7’ x 3.5’) and is ¼” thick.
• It flips over to reveal a chess/checkers and backgammon board.
• May already come with net, paddles, and balls.
• Folds up to be only 42” x 28” x ¾” (easier to store).
Clearly, the main positive here is that this portable Viper is one of, if not the cheapest, table tennis conversion tops available to consumers. The only way to go cheaper would be to make one on your own or to buy a used one. An added bonus, at least on Amazon, is free shipping (as of October 2014). And it will fit into a smaller space than bi-folding conversion tops.
Poor integrity of play is the chief issue here. It should also be noted that this is not a full-size ping pong table. It is only 7 feet long, where a regulation table is 9 feet long. This should also be taken into consideration if you are considering using the top on top of a pool table. Home pool tables are commonly 8 feet long, so the Viper Portable would not span this length, and would lead to awkward playing. I believe the Viper was designed more for informal use across kitchen tables or counters, or makeshift surfaces.
For a cheap regulation-sized conversion top, check out the Franklin 4 piece set, which as of this writing was $131 and measures 9’ x 5’.
Another cheap option is the Hathaway Quick Set, which is also regulation size.
The Viper Portable Conversion Top is more of a (very) casual game for kids. This is indicated by the fact that they have chess, checkers, and backgammon on the underside of the ping pong table.
Anyway, happy playing!