BeachFamily Recreation

The 7 Best Picnic Baskets & Backpacks Reviewed For 2019

Whether it’s spontaneous, or you have a romantic day planned, taking advantage of beautiful weather with a picnic is always a good idea.

However, if you want to make the most of it, you’re going to need the right method of transporting everything you need.

A cooler is always an option, but it doesn’t have the same aesthetic appeal, and is awkward to carry long distances. What we have for you, are the best picnic baskets and backpacks, so you can be ready at a moment’s notice!

Best Picnic Baskets & Backpacks

 California Picnic - Picnic BackpackScuddles Premium Picnic BasketCalifornia Picnic - Picnic Basket
editors choice
Settings:2 People4 People4 People
Design:BackpackSoft Sided BasketWicker Basket
Insulated:NoYesYes
Blanket:YesNoYes

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Picnic Blanket, Beach Chairs, Beach Umbrellas.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Picnic Baskets & Backpacks For 2019

Picnic Baskets

  1. Scuddles Premium Picnic Basket
  2. Nature Gear Picnic Basket
  3. California Picnic – Picnic Basket
  4. Picnic Time Piccadilly Willow Basket

Picnic Backpacks

  1. California Picnic – Picnic Backpack
  2. Apollo Walker Tawa Picnic Backpack Bag
  3. Sunflora Picnic Backpack

Our reviews of the top rated picnic baskets along with a comparison table and our buyers guide below will help you choose the basket for you.

Best Picnic Baskets

The Scuddles may not be your “traditional” picnic basket it serves its purpose very well. It also comes in a backpack version, if you prefer.

The brushed grey style is sure to turn heads, and looks sophisticated, as well. Included, you’ll find all stainless steel utensils for four people, plates, four wine glasses, washable napkins, salt and pepper shakers, as well as a bottle opener.

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The real downside for us, was that it didn’t include a blanket. However, if you prefer one of your own, then you’re not missing out on much.

If you don’t find the backpack style comfortable, then you’ll love the strong handle and straps for a solid grip that won’t cause any undue pressure to your shoulders or neck.

On the inside, you’ll find a thick insulation that keeps all of your food fresh, as well as protects it if it gets jostled around. The separate food/flatware compartments make it easy to stay organized and clean, and ensure that nothing gets messy.

Transportation is a breeze, given the fact that the container is collapsible, and it comes with straps for you to carry it with ease. We really love this one for a unique wedding gift for a couple who needs some time in the outdoors.

 

Scuddles Premium Picnic Basket at a Glance:

  • Place Settings: 4 People
  • Design: Basket
  • Insulated Compartment: Yes
  • Cutlery: Yes, Stainless Steel
  • Picnic Blanket: No

The Nature Gear Picnic Basket is very similar to the previous basket in many ways, but there were some notable differences that motivated us to add this gorgeous product on our list.

Perfect for four people, you can have a little outing with family or friends and have this basket carry all of your goodies in a gorgeous way.

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Made of high-quality wicker, with dark bucks and silver trim on the retaining straps, it is both sophisticated and sturdy. However, it’s worlds away from your traditional basket.

With custom insulated lining, your foods, fruits, and beverages are now temperature-controlled for optimum consumption.

The dinnerware comes with 4 sets, along with ceramic plates, silverware, wine glasses, matching napkins, and a bottle opener. From top to bottom, inside to outside, this is one elegant basket that can really change up your day.

 

Nature Gear Picnic Basket at a Glance:

  • Place Settings: 4 People
  • Design: Wicker Basket
  • Insulated Compartment: Yes
  • Cutlery: Yes, Stainless Steel
  • Picnic Blanket: Yes, Cotton

When one thinks of a picnic, they usually have that traditional image of a wicker basket and a red-and-white plaid blanket.

Well, that’s exactly what we have here, with the California Picnic Basket.

It may not be as easily transportable as the former products, but it does get the job done in a picturesque way.

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Coming complete with a stainless steel set for four people, ceramic plates, wine glasses, cotton napkins, salt and pepper shakers, and a bottle opener.

You have everything you need for a pleasant afternoon with delicious cuisine. The interior is large enough to hold sandwiches, cold meats, fruits, and wine for four people, with ease.

It may look like a regular wicker product, but it’s actually fully insulated for durable cooling performance, and an antimicrobial, leak-resistant liner to give you convenience without the hassle of your average basket.

In addition, the exterior is anti-mildew and even UV-resistant to keep it from fading! The faux leather handle and straps provide a secure, sturdy hold, while adding a bit more to the basket’s charming aesthetic.

 

California Picnic – Picnic Basket at a Glance:

  • Place Settings: 4 People
  • Design: Wicker Basket
  • Insulated Compartment: Yes
  • Cutlery: Yes, Stainless Steel
  • Picnic Blanket: Yes, Cotton

The Piccadilly Wicker Picnic Basket is another excellent addition to any romantic outing, or if you and a friend would like to enjoy a homemade picnic perfect for a spontaneous afternoon out.

Featuring sturdy willow construction, complete with leatherette accents, you have a gorgeous product to hold everything you two need for a delicious experience.

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The dual-lid design makes it so you don’t have to dig around looking for something, while the fully-lined polyester interior adds a bit of protection, if not style.

If not, you can go for the more modern-looking Anthology Collection basket, which features an almost bronze/silver finish on the basket.

Both hampers are the perfect size to hold a sufficient amount of sandwiches, ham, cold meats, cheese, wine, and more.

 

Picnic Time Piccadilly Willow Basket at a Glance:

  • Place Settings: 2 People
  • Design: Wicker Basket
  • Insulated Compartment: No
  • Cutlery: Yes, Wood
  • Picnic Blanket: Yes, Cotton

Best Picnic Backpacks

The California Picnic All-in-One Portable Picnic Bag for 2 is an excellent option if you’re just planning on going with your significant other, or another friend.

The luxurious design comes in a Slate Black, featuring leather straps, to make for a trendy design that can be used well just about anywhere.

So, what does it come with?

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You’ll find top-of-the-line wooden cutlery, including: two wooden handle stainless steel cutlery sets, two wine glasses, a stainless steel salt shaker and pepper shaker, two matching plates and napkins, a wooden handle wine opener, a cheese knife, a wooden cheese board

It even comes with a waterproof picnic blanket, which comes in a light blue, navy blue, and grey plaid design.

Needless to say, you’ll have everything you need for an outdoor feast, on the go! If that weren’t enough, you’ll also find a convenient wine bottle cooler pocket on the side, and an extra pocket for your valuables or smartphone for a complete hands-free experience.

The only possible downside we could find, would be if you wanted to go with more than one other person, as it only comes with two place settings.

 

California Picnic – Picnic Backpack at a Glance:

  • Place Settings: 2 People
  • Design: Backpack
  • Insulated Compartment: No
  • Cutlery: Yes, Wood
  • Picnic Blanket: Yes, Fleece

Apollo Walker Tawa Picnic Backpack Bag

The Apollo Walker Picnic Pack is perfect for taking to the park, outdoor concerts, the beach, and more. It suits four people, which is great for camping or hiking in groups, and has more than substantial room for everything you’ll need to carry along.

The pack comes with: four stainless steel utensils, dinner plates, plastic wine glasses, cotton napkins, a bottle opener, two salt and pepper shakers, a butter knife, as well as a plastic chopping board.

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It’s not as high-quality as the previous wooden cheese board, but it gets the job done.

The pack comes with a soft, fleece, waterproof blanket that is perfect for keeping warm and comfy. The blanket holder on the side of the pack makes transport easier while keeping it dry when not in use.

The detachable bottle holder cools and holds a wine bottle, keeping it conveniently within your reach for whenever you’re ready to open it. The cold storage compartment keeps all of your foods like sandwiches and cheeses fresh and cool, all day long, without worry.

While it does come in either brown or blue, the design isn’t as visually stunning for us as some of the others, but it’s no-doubt functional. It’s also comfortable to transport, with soft padded shoulder straps, and a top-mounted carry handle.

 

Apollo Walker Tawa Picnic Backpack Bag at a Glance:

  • Place Settings: 4 People
  • Design: Backpack
  • Insulated Compartment: No
  • Cutlery: Yes, Stainless Steel
  • Picnic Blanket: Yes, Fleece

Another one of our favorite 4-person picnic backpacks, is the Sunflora. Featuring a large insulated food compartment, you’ll have no trouble keeping cakes, sandwiches, cold meats, and more fresh for hours.

With four place settings, TPU-molded uni-body wine glasses, and a bamboo cutting board, you have everything you need to “wow” your guests and create a memorable experience for them.

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The detachable waterproof pouch is a great addition, as you can place ice and chilled beverages inside without having to worry about it leaking and getting the rest of the pack all wet.

The detachable bottle holder lets you hold any beverage, including wine, while keeping them cool all day. We did notice, however, that it had some issues holding certain bottles of wine, such as some Chardonnays.

On the other side, you have the blanket holder, complete with a fleece picnic blanket that can accommodate all four guests. The shoulder straps are adjustable, and lightly padded, for your comfort.

The pack comes in three attractive colors: Black, Navy Blue, or Brush Beige, which was our personal favorite.

 

Sunflora Picnic Backpack at a Glance:

  • Place Settings: 4 People
  • Design: Backpack
  • Insulated Compartment: Yes
  • Cutlery: Yes, Stainless Steel
  • Picnic Blanket: Yes, Fleece

Picnic Basket & Backpack Comparison Table

Baskets & Backpacks SettingsDesignInsulatedRatingRating
California Picnic - Picnic Backpack2 PeopleBackpackNoYes4.9 / 5.0
Scuddles Premium Picnic Basket4 PeopleBasketYesNo4.9 / 5.0
California Picnic - Picnic Basket4 PeopleBasketYesYes4.7 / 5.0
Apollo Walker Picnic Backpack4 PeopleBackpackNoYes4.8 / 5.0
Nature Gear Picnic Basket4 PeopleBasketYesYes4.6 / 5.0
Sunflora Picnic Backpack4 PeopleBackpackYesYes4.5 / 5.0
Picnic Time Piccadilly Basket2 PeopleBasketNoYes4.3 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Picnic Basket & Backpack – Buying Guide

best picnic backpack
APOLLO WALKER TAWA Picnic Backpack Bag

Now that you’ve read through each of the best picnic baskets and backpacks, do you know which one you’ll decide on? If you’re having trouble making a decision, that’s okay! We’ve gone ahead and created a user-friendly buying guide to ensure that you select the exact basket/bag for you and your picnicking needs!

Basket vs. Backpack

So, which one will you choose? We’ve covered a few of each, but they vary widely in terms of style and even convenience, in some cases.

Backpacks

Most everyone has backpack and are familiar with them. We grow up from a very small age lugging them around, and know how convenient they can be when carrying heavy items.

Backpacks make it much easier to travel long distances, which is ideal if you’re hiking or camping. They also typically have more compartments and pockets to keep things organized and clean.

Baskets

Most of us aren’t as familiar with using baskets. Baskets have their advantages, sure, but they can also be a bit of a hassle. They’re not as soft and malleable as backpacks, which make them more difficult to store when not in use.

They are also not as easy to carry. However, they do have the traditional design of the picnic baskets we see in movies and cartoons, and are made out of wicker or some other woven fibers. They are very durable, which is a huge bonus, too.

Ease of Cleaning

As with any kind of container that transports food, you should think about how easy they are to clean out. Sometimes things spill and get sticky, but even without that, you always want the container to be clean and not have any bacteria potentially growing.

Picnic baskets and backpacks will all need regular cleaning, but baskets are notoriously more difficult to clean. Of course, this will depend on the model, but generally speaking, baskets don’t have the easy interior lining/insulation that can just be removed like the backpacks often feature.

Rather, they’ll only have a cotton lining, or no lining at all to them, so the actual material of the basket risks getting messy, making it only more difficult to clean.

Number of Place Settings

How many people do you plan on having at your picnic, or rather, how many will be partaking in the food? If it’s just you and one other person, then you have more options.

However, if you have four people, you’ll have to pay special attention to how many place settings are included in the pack/basket, because only some feature more than two. Also take into consideration the type of cutlery it comes with.

Some come with wooden handles, which look a bit more elegant, and are typically more comfortable. However, stainless steel is also high-quality, and will last for many years of picnics to come. The quality of plates also vary, widely.

We commonly saw plastic plates, which are pretty low-quality, and aren’t going to last that long. In contrast, some backpacks and baskets came with ceramic plates instead, which are much more durable and high-quality, albeit more fragile and heavier than plastic.

best insulated picnic basket

Carry Options

How would you like to carry your picnic? If you’re looking at a backpack, typically you only have two options: the backpack shoulder straps or a single carry handle on the top.

Handles

Most traditional picnic baskets only have a built-in handle which is perfect for traveling short distances, but not the most convenient for traveling for longer periods of time, or up a hill, for example.

Straps

Sling straps are kind of like a messenger bag style-strap which can also be comfortable, but isn’t a very common option. Some also feature a single shoulder strap, which, if padded, can be nice and easy.

Basket/Backpack Material

Nylon is the choice of material for backpacks because of its strength and durability.

With your traditional picnic baskets, typically it’s going to be made of Willow, Rattan, Bamboo, or even a polyester canvas.

Willow is one of the most common, and is particularly pliable, making it perfect for weaving together while minimizing splitting.

Rattan is one of the strongest woods out there, and is commonly used to create sturdy furniture and baskets.

Bamboo is another strong material, but is not usually used on its own, but rather together with willow to create a durable, beautiful basket.

Polyester / Nylon is most often used in backpacks because it is flexible, long-lasting, and easy to clean.

Insulation

Again, think about what you’re going to bring along for the trip. Are you going to be bringing along frozen items or desserts that need to be kept very cold? Then you’re absolutely going to need insulation that many traditional baskets don’t offer.

We highly recommend one with a removable insulated cooler so you can take it in and out as you need, with minimal mess and optimum convenience.

best picnic hampers

FAQs For Picnic Baskets & Backpacks

Q: Do all picnic baskets and backpacks come with a blanket?

Actually, no! Make sure to pay special attention if you’re planning on receiving on the entire package, as there are a few that don’t come with a blanket. If you have one of your own that you’d prefer to use, then this is not a big deal and could actually save you money.

Q: Do picnic baskets insulate food?

Some do, some don’t. They will look similar on the outside, but most of the baskets and backpacks featured on our list have an insulated cooler compartment to keep your food and drinks cold.

Q: How did picnics even begin?

Picnics are believed to have begun by the very wealthy crowd, consisting of lavish, extraordinary events/outdoor feasts. Just being able to have or attend a picnic was a sign of having a certain status.

Even in Medieval times, picnics went on while men were out hunting, and featured full on tables, chairs, and even servants. After the mid-19th century, they began to transform into something more similar to what we know today as a picnic.

Q: What are the best picnic foods?

A: Not all food travels well, so food that requires a minimum of preparation is best. If you go with food that needs to be served hot or cold, make sure you have an insulated compartment.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Fried Chicken
  • Sandwiches
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Pasta Salad with Peas and Pesto
  • Potato Salad
  • Italian Caprese Chopped Salad
  • Tzatziki Dip with Fresh Vegetables
  • Feta Pasta Salad

Tips For Having A Picnic

Tip #1: Remember to bring along water

Too often, we remember to bring the wine and put it in the wine cooling sleeve, we remember to bring the corkscrew to open the wine, and we forget to bring anything else.

If you’re just planning a short picnic, this isn’t such a huge deal, but if you’re going to be out in the heat all afternoon, just drinking wine can easily make you dehydrated or give you a headache.

Tip #2: Don’t forget a blanket

Even if your backpack or basket doesn’t come with one, it’s always a good idea. More often than the not, the grass will be damp, or there will be sand or something that could get into the food.

Tip #3: Bring a trash bag or ensure a garbage can will be available

Littering definitely isn’t an option, and you don’t want to put your trash back into your new picnic backpack or picnic basket as it will quickly make a mess.

Final Thoughts

So, which one of these best picnic backpacks & baskets will you be bringing along for your next picnic? You can rest assured that each one of these is an excellent option, and one of the best on the market, today. Thanks for joining us, and we hope that we’ve been of some help. We’ll see you soon!

Features
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Value

The Scuddles Premium is our Editor's Choice as the best picnic basket with its combination of features, capacity and ease of carrying.

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