Adorable heart-shaped design. Great for anniversaries or as a wedding gift. Each component is of the highest possible quality, from the woven willow basket to the stainless-steel flatware. Includes linen napkins and picnic blanket. Lifetime guarantee.
It's not cheap. Somewhat heavy to carry over longer distances.
Provides romantic setting for 2. Includes 2 each of 7-inch porcelain plates, stainless steel cutlery sets, and wine glasses, plus a waiter's corkscrew. Wine glasses are shatter-resistant. Made of canvas over a wooden frame for durable style. Fully lined interior.
Only service for 2. Does not include food containers.
Split lid allows for dual entry and provides a flat surface for drinks. Charming, old-fashioned construction. Works just as well as a shopping basket or to keep and transport baked goods. Removable liner is machine-washable.
Bare bones option with no included flatware or dinnerware.
Insulated backpack keeps contents cool. Includes sets for 4 of ceramic dinnerware, silverware, glasses, napkins, cutting board, and bottle opener. Offers colorful, matching waterproof picnic blanket. Contents secure inside compartments.
A bit bulky. Does not include food containers.
Stylish tote design with base made of woven wicker. Canvas sides printed in attractive design. Includes 2 each of plates and wine glasses with cutlery sporting rustic wooden handles, all packed in coordinating pouches. Leatherette handles.
Canvas sides are not structured. Not insulated. No included storage ware.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Whether it's a few simple sandwiches or an elaborate spread, there's something special about enjoying a meal outdoors with loved ones. With the right picnic basket, storing and transporting your goodies is as easy as pie, leaving you with more time to focus on the finer details, like picking an idyllic location or planning the perfect menu.
But with hundreds of options to choose from, finding a picnic basket that ticks all the boxes can be tough. While some have charmingly simple designs, others come complete with every imaginable picnicking accessory. Beyond that, you also need to consider size, handles, construction materials, compartments, and insulation.
We rounded up the best picnic baskets currently on the market and compiled this in-depth buying guide to help you find your perfect match. Before you head out to soak up the sun and bask in the fresh air, take a minute to read over our helpful tips, tricks, and product recommendations.
Picnic baskets have come a long way from the basic models of days gone by. While there's no disputing that traditional picnic baskets hold a timeless appeal (especially for the romantic at heart), you'll find plenty of other options to choose from as well. Take a look at some of the most common picnic basket styles to find the best fit for your picnicking preferences.
Traditional: For most, this classic design is what comes to mind at the mention of picnic baskets. Traditional picnic baskets typically feature a wicker construction made of willow, rattan, bamboo, or, in some cases, synthetic fibers. While many are fitted with hinged lids, lidless options are also available. If you're looking for a picnic basket with an authentic feel, a traditional option that's complemented with a charming checkered lining should fit the bill perfectly.
Backpack: If you're a die-hard adventurer who savors the trek to your destination as much as the meal itself, an insulated backpack-style picnic "basket" is the only way to go. These hands-free picnic baskets are generally designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind. Many are constructed of rugged, weather-resistant materials to keep contents protected from the elements.
Tote: Picnic basket tote bags come in multiple sizes and tend to have a casual design that's similar to a regular lunch tote. Most are insulated, and many offer both carrying handles and an over-the-shoulder strap. If you're looking for a versatile option that can be used throughout the week, a compact picnic basket tote will follow you from the park to the office without turning heads.
Collapsible: If you’re short on space but still want something structured enough to keep your eats from getting squashed in transit, a collapsible picnic basket is a solid choice. These picnic baskets generally have a rigid metal frame that folds down flat for storage, giving you the best of both worlds. Many are insulated as well, making them a great option for long, lazy days at the beach.
Once you've settled on a picnic basket style, you'll need to pick an appropriate size. Picnic baskets generally come in sizes that cater to two, four, or six people. Keep in mind that the dimensions of your picnic basket will have a direct impact both on capacity and carrying ease. While it can be tempting to grab the biggest option you can lay your hands on just in case extra family members or friends decide to tag along, we recommend choosing a model that accommodates your regular picnicking partners. That way, you won't end up lugging unnecessary bulk on every trip.
Many modern picnic baskets come complete with essential dining supplies, including plates, utensils, glasses, salt and pepper shakers, napkins, bottle openers, cutting boards, and even blankets. These are usually packed and secured in an organized fashion to compartments on top, sides, or front of the basket to help save space and provide easy access. Choosing a picnic basket that comes with everything you need allows you to cross one more item off your to-do list and will help ensure that you never leave home without the necessary accouterments.
Picnic baskets with dividers and compartments can help you stay organized. Dividers and compartments are especially convenient if you need to keep warm and cold items separate. However, it's important to note that compartments can also impose limits on the size of the items you're hoping to pack, so keep this in mind while you shop.
While some picnic baskets boast fully insulated interiors, others come with insulated pockets to keep drinks like wine, champagne, or soda cool. If you're packing a picnic basket for a long day at the beach, a lengthy hike, or a camping expedition, a fully insulated option will help keep your food fresher for longer. On the other hand, if the picnic itself is the main event and you don't anticipate a long trip to your destination, a regular picnic basket with an insulated drink pocket should be more than adequate.
Picnic basket prices vary according to size, accessories, special features, and overall quality.
Compact picnic baskets or simple models without extras typically cost between $10 and $20.
Picnic baskets that come with accessories, traditional options constructed of premium materials, and well-made collapsible baskets tend to be priced anywhere from $20 to $40.
If you're looking for an extra-large basket for family outings, quality accessories, and superior durability, you can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $100 or more.
Q. What's the best way to clean a wicker picnic basket?
A. Wicker picnic baskets certainly are attractive, but their intricate design leaves many people stumped when it's time for a cleaning. Luckily, these woven beauties aren't nearly as difficult to maintain as you might imagine. To keep dust from accumulating between crevices, we recommend a weekly wipe down with a soft, dry cloth. If you're dealing with heavy dust buildup or a sticky spill, a damp cloth dipped in soapy water should do the trick. Use an old toothbrush to tackle stubborn grime and reach between gaps. If your wicker basket is made of natural wood fibers, wipe it down thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth, and air dry it in a well-ventilated room to prevent warping.
Q. Is there a "right" way to pack a briefcase-style picnic basket with a handle on the front?
A. While most people don't encounter any issues with briefcase-style picnic baskets that are turned on their sides while carrying, it's easy to understand how this design could generate a bit of anxiety. At the end of the day, there's no right or wrong way to pack a picnic basket, but using a bit of common sense doesn't hurt, either. To keep contents from getting squashed, pack heavier items like fruit, cheese, or jars at the back and softer foods like sandwiches or cakes in the front.
Q. Do picnic basket sets come with standard-size plates?
A. Picnic basket sets typically come with compact accessories to help save space, so expect items with scaled-down dimensions. When it comes to plates, sizes typically range anywhere from five to eight inches in diameter.