The 10 Best Picnic Baskets, According to Thousands of Reviews
When the weather warms, the picnic baskets come out of winter storage. The first picnic of the season, complete with a classic chicken salad, crackers, fruit, and a lovely white wine, is a bit like the crystal ball dropping in Times Square on New Year's Eve. It signals the start of a very special season.
But whether you're taking a friend for a picnic in a park, gathering the whole family for a picnic at a concert, or just wanting to treat a special someone to a sunset picnic on a hilltop, you'll need the right equipment to pull off the best picnic possible. That all starts with the best picnic basket.
Sure, you could gather everything in one of those reusable grocery bags and pull along a big cooler drinks and chilled food. But why go to all the trouble when you can have everything you need — utensils, plates, napkins, and even a cutting board — right in one fabulous basket.
We assembled a list of the best picnic baskets you can buy for every type of picnicking need. We based these on personal experience and thousands of reviews. Ready, set, picnic!
The Best Picnic Baskets at a Glance
- Editor's Pick, Best Picnic Basket: Mark & Graham Newberry Picnic Basket
- Best Small Picnic Basket: Mark & Graham Champion Picnic Basket
- Best Wicker Picnic Basket: Bee & Willow Picnic Basket With 4 Place Settings
- Best Wooden Picnic Basket: West Elm Wood Top Picnic Basket
- Best Insulated Picnic Basket: Picnic at Ascot Original Insulated Picnic Cooler
- Best Wine Basket: Picnic Time Corsica Insulated Wine Basket
- Best Budget Picnic Basket: Tirrinia Large Insulated Picnic Basket
- Picnic Basket Backpack: Apollo Walker Picnic Backpack Bag for 2 Person
- Best Picnic Basket on Wheels: Picnic at Ascot Picnic Cooler With Service for 4 on Wheels
- Best Picnic Basket for Two: Mark & Graham Promenade Picnic Tote
What to Consider When Buying a Picnic Basket
The perfect picnic basket for you or your family will depend on how you intend to use it. Truthfully, you may need more than one for the various ways you dine al fresco. So before you pick the basket you want, consider these important qualities.
Price: Picnic baskets, like almost any other item, can range from extremely cheap (and perhaps not very dependable) to exceptionally over priced (and likely not really worth the splurge). With so many picnic baskets available, you can set a budget and still manage to find a great option that won't exceed your cap. The more service pieces you need, the higher the price, so if you don't need a basket for four people, consider one that's for two. That will save you money, and it will help you find a basket that doesn't take up quite as much space, too
Material: Wicker and wooden picnic baskets are iconic. But advancements in insulated materials and collapsible baskets have introduced a new variety of picnic baskets to the market. If you want something that's distinctive and quintessential, stick with the wicker and wooden options. They'll be a bit more pricey, but they're also quite beautiful. If you're looking for something that's easy to tote, quick to clean, and can be durable for lots of outside dining, consider canvas totes and backpacks.
Size: Not all picnic baskets come with plates, napkins, and service pieces. In fact, you may not even want that in your basket. But if you do, make sure you have enough pieces for everyone at the picnic. You can buy picnic baskets for groups as large as eight and as small as two. And if you're buying a basket that doesn't have any of these items, just make sure the basket has a capacity large enough for a full meal. One with 15 to 25 liters should have enough space for a family of three or four.
Editor's Pick, Best Picnic Basket: Mark & Graham Newbury Picnic Basket
If the best picnic baskets were comparable to cars, this would be the Cadillac of picnic baskets. With a price point that makes it a splurge (or a necessity for the regular picnicking family), the Mark & Graham Newbury Picnic Basket features everything you need for a fine-dining service for four people: porcelain plates, wine glasses, stainless steel utensils, salt and pepper shaker, and a corkscrew.
For a gift (or to treat yourself), you can also add a foil debossed monogram to the leather tag on the picnic basket's handle. All you need to add is a waterproof picnic blanket.
Buy it: Mark & Graham Newbury Picnic Basket, $139; Mark & Graham
Best Small Picnic Basket: Mark & Graham Champion Picnic Basket
Though it's small, this picnic tote has everything you need for an idyllic picnic for two, with porcelain plates, stainless steel flatware, wine glasses, corkscrew, and coordinating napkins. At 8 inches high, 16 inches wide, and 12 inches deep, there's plenty of room for packing a whole picnic without being so big you can't easily carry it under your arm while you tote chairs, a blanket, or games.
Buy it: Mark & Graham Champion Picnic Basket, $149; Mark & Graham
Best Wicker Picnic Basket: Bee & Willow Picnic Basket With 4 Place Settings
Wicker picnic baskets are the epitome of an old-fashioned picnic. Their style and function harken back to classic movie depictions of families flying kites in open fields. But you need not have a family or a kite to enjoy this classic picnic basket option.
The Bee & Willow Picnic Basket With 4 Place Settings is an average basket size, measuring 18 inches wide, 8.5 inches deep, and 13 inches high. It's enough room for some sandwiches, snacks, and a few drinks, which makes it great for those last-minute weekend picnics.
The wicker color is a warm, honey brown, with an interior fabric lining in a cream color with a brown ticking stripe. It also features faux leather straps across the plates and other picnic pieces for holding everything in place, and it has an insulated section you can use to keep food and beverages chilled. At just 6.5 pounds, it's light enough that adding all the elements of a picnic won't make it too heavy for you or even your kids to carry.
Buy it: Bee & Willow Picnic Basket with 4 Place Settings in Brown, $60; Bed Bath & Beyond
Best Wooden Picnic Basket: West Elm Wood Top Picnic Basket
For years, the classic Longaberger picnic baskets were the go-to for beautiful wooden picnic baskets, but now, many companies make wooden baskets that rival the iconic brand at a much better price point. Take for example this Wood Top Picnic Basket from West Elm. The chunky basketweave makes it sturdy and stable for lots of use. Inside, a fabric lining will keep wraps, bottles, and bags from rolling, sliding, or even tearing.
When not in use toting your Toblerones and bottles of wine to outdoor concerts, this wooden picnic basket makes for a great decoration or storage spots for magazines. The liner is also removable for easy cleaning, and the solid wood top acts like your own mini table for laying out your picnic spread or slicing away at a salami.
Buy it: West Elm Wood Top Picnic Basket, $55; West Elm
Best Insulated Picnic Basket: Picnic at Ascot Original Insulated Picnic Cooler
This insulated picnic basket truly has everything you need for a meal at a concert, by the water, or even in your own backyard. The insulated cooler portion keeps all your food chilled. There's even a separate section for two bottles of wine or beer. In the front pouch, you have a service for four, complete with nine-inch melamine plates, napkins, stainless-steel flatware, acrylic wine glasses, a cheese knife, and a combination corkscrew.
For easy carrying, the cooler has adjustable shoulder straps or handles. The polyester canvas is easy to clean and softer than some wooden or wicker options.
"The front pouch with plates and silverware is the perfect size -- doesn't make it too bulky. Interior compartment is perfect for a small meal or afternoon outing on the boat. Having the beverage compartment separate — with designated opening on the lid — is a plus. Keeps things cold, but not like a cooler for extended periods of time. We are using it all the time this summer," wrote one reviewer.
Buy it: Picnic at Ascot Original Insulated Picnic Cooler, $79; Amazon
Best Wine Basket: Picnic Time Corsica Insulated Wine Basket
Sometimes, you don't need a large picnic basket because your outdoor dining plans are more simple: wine, cheese, and beautiful views. If that's your picnic style, this Picnic Time Corsica Insulated Wine Basket is the picnic basket for you.
The wicker basket with polyester pockets holds two bottles of wine, a six-inch cutting board, cheese knife, and stainless-steel corkscrew. An adjustable strap makes for easy carrying if you're toting a blanket.
This wine basket also makes a great wedding or birthday gift for the friend or couple who loves to take in outdoor concerts or enjoy sunsets by the water. Fill it with your favorite bottles of wine for an added treat.
One reviewer wrote, "Gave as a Mother's Day gift and it was a success! Great for those who like to plan little outings with friends and such. Would probably buy again if I knew someone else who it would suit."
Buy it: Picnic Time Corsica Insulated Wine Basket, $83; Amazon
Best Budget Picnic Basket: Tirrinia Large Insulated Picnic Basket
A cheap picnic basket can cause you heartache if you don't do the research to find one that's really good quality. So that's what we did for you. At just under $30, this budget picnic basket has everything you want and need in a good picnic basket but doesn't require a large investment.
Indeed, the Tirrinia Large Insulated Picnic Basket is large enough to hold an entire picnic, at 16.8 inches long, 9.7 inches wide, and 10 inches high. Total internal capacity is about 26 liters. That's plenty of space to hold a picnic meal for three or four people. It also comes with a foldable grocery bag so you can separate your trash from your leftovers.
But you don't have to sacrifice quality for this budget basket. One reviewer wrote, "I ordered this picnic bag in preparation for a weekend getaway with my husband, but ended up using it prior for a family picnic. We have 4 children and this held plenty of delicious treats and worked out perfectly. The bag itself is sturdy and stylish (we got it in black) and light to carry. I would definitely recommend this to friends."
Buy it: Tirrinia Large Insulated Picnic Basket, $27; Amazon
Picnic Basket Backpack: Apollo Walker Picnic Backpack Bag for 2 Person
Not all picnic baskets have to be baskets. This picnic set has everything you need for a picnic for two, and it comes packaged in a super portable backpack.
The front compartment of the picnic backpack houses the picnic gear: stainless-steel knives, forks, spoons, dinner plates, cotton napkins, wine glasses, a cheese/butter knife, bottle opener, salt-and-pepper shakers, and a plastic chopping board. Strapped to one side of the pack is a fleece picnic blanket, and on the other is a zip-close insulated wine or bottle cooler bag. The back compartment has plenty of room for stashing sandwiches and nibbles for your picnic.
If you're worried you're more of a basket than a backpack picnicker, don't worry. Apollo Walker offers 50 days free exchange and returns and a 185-day warranty.
"We wanted a picnic basket but we love going hiking so a basket wasn't practical. We saw they made picnic basket backpacks & it was perfect because we can just put it on & go an it doesn't [weigh] you down," one reviewer wrote.
Buy it: Apollo Walker Picnic Backpack Bag for 2 Person, $54; Amazon
Best Picnic Basket on Wheels: Picnic at Ascot Original Insulated Picnic Cooler with Service for 4 on Wheels
Picnic at Ascot's Insulated Picnic Cooler on Wheels is a classic design on a portable frame. The insulated tote can keep your picnic foods cool; the extendable telescoping handle means you can pull the tote along with you to your picnic spot.
And this is quite the picnic basket, not just because it's portable. With a complete service for four — plates, flatware, wine glasses, cheeseboard, cheese knife, corkscrew, and salt and pepper shakers — you won't have to carry extra bags full of necessities for the meal. The insulated portion of the basket will keep drinks and food cool for hours on hot days.
Buy it: Picnic at Ascot Insulated Picnic Cooler With Service for 4 on Wheels, $96; Amazon
Best Picnic Basket for Two: Mark & Graham Promenade Picnic Tote
Picnic baskets for two abound, but we wanted to highlight one that's truly unique and special in the category: the Mark & Graham Promenade Picnic Tote. Sure, that means it's not a true basket. (Try this picnic basket for two if you want an actual basket.) But it's better than a basket! It's part tote!
You can pack everything you need for a complete meal in this bag-meets-tote picnic option. Indeed, the bottom is made with classic wicker. The top half is a cotton canvas that allows for lots of extra room for packing your outdoor meal. It already comes with two wine glasses, two plates, and cutlery for two. You need only provide the drinks and vittles.
The tote, which can be monogrammed if you're giving this as a gift, won't take up a lot of space in your closet because the canvas can be rolled down when not in use. The leatherette handles are reinforced so you don't have to worry about ripping the bag after a heavy load. You might even want to keep it out so you can quickly grab it for an impromptu dinner on the lawn or at the park.
Buy it: Mark & Graham Promenade Picnic Tote, $59; Mark & Graham