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Picnics have always been a wonderful way to enjoy a sunny afternoon, but they have become an especially popular social activity as outdoor interactions have increased. Whether you’re rendezvousing with friends in the park or clinking glasses by the beach, a stylish picnic basket can take your gathering to the next level as you relish the warm weather. The best picnic basket will be able to safely transport your treats without weighing you down. We’ll walk you through the different picnic essentials for your next al fresco event.
- Best wicker picnic basket: Picnic Time Canasta Wicker Basket
- Best picnic basket set: INNO STAGE Wicker Picnic Basket for Two
- Best insulated cooler bag: Picnic at Ascot Patented Collapsible Insulated Picnic Basket
- Best picnic backpack: ALLCAMP Picnic Backpack
- Best budget picnic basket: HulaFish Foldable Insulated Picnic Basket
Features to consider when selecting the best picnic basket
A picnic basket may seem like a straightforward purchase, but there are actually a variety of designs available to fit your preferences. Your perfect basket will depend on how many people you’re feasting with, as well as the location of your meal. Wicker baskets are a classic choice for picnics in the park, but you might prefer an insulated cooler bag for visits to the beach. Many baskets also come fully equipped with elaborate dining sets and outdoor blankets, which is great for wedding gifts and birthdays. If you’re planning a luxurious outing with wine and cheese, you will likely enjoy a basket designed with compartments to safely transfer glass and plates. If you opt for plastic cups, a no-nonsense basket will do just fine. No matter your preference or guest list, your picnic basket should be durable, easily portable, and match your style. Let’s find your dream basket!
What makes a good picnic basket set?
Do you consider every picnic a special occasion? It may seem indulgent to cart an entire dining set to the park, but serious picnic hosts know that an accessory-stocked basket can elevate any outdoor celebration. The best picnic basket sets are designed to keep fragile dishware safe and sound, often with leather fasteners and snug compartments. Basket sets typically accommodate groups of two to four and come with a wide range of dining accessories, from cheese knives to coffee flasks to saltshakers. While shopping for a picnic basket set, you will want to ensure it includes your favorite dining items and that there are enough forks to go around.
Should I get a wicker basket?
Searching for an iconic picnic basket? When it comes to outdoor products, a traditional wicker picnic basket never goes out of style. These timeless carriers can transform an ordinary lunch date into a picturesque romance. Wicker baskets are lightweight, which makes them perfectly suited for carrying your picnic ingredients to the park. There are plain, unlined wicker baskets available, but it is best to choose one with a removable lining to protect the inside of the basket and keep your food intact. The best wicker picnic basket will be lightweight, have a washable lining, and be roomy enough for all your picnic snacks.
What if I prefer a picnic cooler?
If you don’t want a traditional wicker basket, an insulated picnic cooler bag is also an option. Cooler bags are wonderful at the beach and outdoor concerts, and they’re convenient for day trips to your local camping ground. Insulated coolers are great at a family picnic too—they can handle more weight, keep dairy and drinks cool for longer, and are easier to clean. Collapsible picnic baskets may not have that vintage look, but they will fold up quickly in the trunk of your car. The best picnic cooler bag is designed for convenient picnicking with durable fabric, resistant handles, and pockets for glassware.
What if I want to travel with my picnic basket?
Does your picnic vision extend beyond the park? You could just toss your stuff in a regular bag, but an insulated picnic backpack is uniquely designed to keep your food fresh while out and about. Backpack baskets enable you to carry your picnic supplies up to the nearest hiking trail or romantic overlook with ease. The best picnic backpack will also come with an attachment for secure wine transportation. Important features to look for in picnic backpacks are comfort and customization. The most convenient backpacks have detachable wine compartments, insulated storage, and wide, padded straps that won’t dig into your shoulders.
What can I get for under $30?
We know that picnic baskets can get super pricey, especially if they come with dining sets. If you’re picnicking on a budget, there are some practical basket designs available that don’t compromise on quality. Affordable baskets might not come with all the extra embellishments, but they still get the job done.
Best wicker picnic basket: Picnic Time Canasta Wicker Basket
Don’t be fooled by its delicate appearance—this basket has a woven willow body made with a sturdy two-strand basket weave design. The Picnic Time Canasta is lined with tasteful ivory cotton that can easily be thrown in the wash and the basket has long straps that make for effortless travel. The removable lid comes in dark brown or classic gingham, and it can double as a level placemat on uneven ground. Dining solo? The Canasta also comes in a smaller size.
Best picnic basket set: INNO STAGE Wicker Picnic Basket for Two
Equipped for romantic outings, this carrier has wine glasses, ceramic plates, stainless-steel cutlery, and a bottle opener. The insulated basket lining comes in a red and white tartan paired with matching napkins and a fleece blanket with waterproof, non-chlorinated PEVA backing. This basket is great for a two-person picnic. Made from tough willow with secure leather straps for dishware, the INNO STAGE is guaranteed to keep your beautiful dining set out of harm’s way.
Best insulated cooler bag: Picnic at Ascot Patented Collapsible Insulated Picnic Basket
Picnic at Ascot
This insulated cooler bag is made with rugged polyester canvas and has a lightweight aluminum frame that can handle up to 65 pounds of picnic grub. The cooler is fully insulated with leakproof lining and zipper closure that keeps food at the ideal temperature for hours. It can also fold flat in seconds, making storage a piece of cake. The best part? Not only does The Picnic at Ascot have a lifetime warranty, but it comes with shatter-proof plates, stainless-steel flatware, and four acrylic wine glasses.
Best picnic backpack: ALLCAMP Picnic Backpack
ALLCAMP OUTDOOR GEAR
This adaptable picnic basket has a cooler compartment, a detachable and insulated wine bag, and a waterproof fleece blanket that clips to the side. Included in the ALLCAMP backpack is a set of silverware, dinner plates, cotton napkins, and reusable plastic glasses, which are safely fastened in the accessible front compartment of the pack. Dining with more than one friend? ALLCAMP also offers a four-person option through the same link.
Best budget picnic basket: HulaFish Foldable Insulated Picnic Basket
The Hulafish basket’s 8.5-gallon storage capacity, foldable design, and thermal insulation make this the perfect candidate for refreshing lunches in the park. Lightweight fabric and a padded handle ensure maximum comfort and painless transport. Need to head to the grocery store after your picnic? The Hulafish Basket is great for storing produce during a shopping trip, making this the most versatile basket on our list.
Q: What should go in a picnic basket?
Once you’ve found your favorite basket, it’s time to pick out your picnic essentials! Don’t forget to bring plates and napkins for every guest and opt for reusable or compostable cutlery. If you’re storing dairy or drinks, make sure you line your basket with an ice pack. There are a ton of picnic treats to choose from, but you can’t go wrong with the classics: sparkling wine, French bread, gourmet cheese, cured meats, veggies, hummus, and grapes.
Q: What should I prepare for a picnic?
You might want to prepare some options for your picnic instead of just grabbing the traditional finger foods. Salad, light kinds of pasta, wraps, and quiche are summer recipes that everyone will enjoy. Remember to store your salad dressing and dips in separate Tupperware for a fresh meal when you arrive.
Q: What should I bring to a cute picnic?
Need some picnic date ideas? There are a lot of ways to add a romantic touch to your picnic. We recommend bringing along a small vase with fresh flowers, a portable speaker, and an instant camera to capture the memory forever. Have an evening engagement? Don’t forget candles—and skip the hassle with battery-powered tea lights.
The final word on the best picnic basket
Outdoor dining may come and go, but the picnic is here to stay. After all, the best outdoor meal is one where you pick the location, the menu, the friends, and have your favorite basket by your side. Whether you’re lounging in the park with Instagram-worthy wicker or under an umbrella with a reliable insulated cooler, the best picnic basket will keep your drinks cool and your company happy all afternoon.