The Best Picnic Baskets of 2022

Pack everything needed for a picnic and turn a meal into an outing with one of these handy baskets.

By Kat Hodgins | Updated Jul 29, 2022 7:26 PM

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Best Picnic Basket

Photo: amazon.com

Whether spending an afternoon at the park, a day on the boat, or an evening at an outdoor concert, we need a way to carry our food, drinks, and dishes to our destination; that’s where a picnic basket comes in. Sure, we could pack our food in a cooler or tote bag, but a real picnic basket makes the meal feel more special.

The best picnic baskets are easy to pack and carry, and they keep food and drinks at the right temperature until folks are ready to eat. Here’s a list of some of the best picnic basket options in seven categories.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Picnic at Ascot Insulated Folding Picnic Basket
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: ALLCAMP Insulated Collapsible Portable Picnic Basket
  3. BEST TRADITIONAL: Picnic Time Country Picnic Basket with Liner
  4. BEST FOR FOUR: Nature Gear Upgraded 4 Person XL Picnic Basket
  5. BEST FOR FAMILY: Picnic at Ascot 64 Can Semi Rigid Collapsible Cooler
  6. BEST FOR DATE NIGHT: Picnic Time Piccadilly Picnic Basket for Two People
  7. BEST BACKPACK: Sunflora Picnic Backpack
Best Picnic Basket

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Picnic Baskets

Selecting the best picnic table at the park is an important task that takes some strategy. But the picnic basket one uses also requires some thought and consideration before making a purchase. Here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing a picnic basket.

Traditional vs. Insulated

There are two basic types of picnic baskets: traditional and insulated.

  • Traditional picnic baskets are made of wicker or wood. These iconic baskets have one compartment that holds supplies. Charming, traditional wicker baskets usually lack insulation, making them best suited for food that doesn’t need to be kept to temperature or consumed right away.
  • Insulated picnic baskets maintain food temperature with insulation built into their walls. Insulated baskets are suited for outings where picnickers will be traveling for hours and will not be eating right away, as they prevent perishables from going bad. Some resemble soft coolers.

Size/Capacity

The best picnic baskets should have enough room for food, beverages, and utensils. Choose a picnic basket based on how many people will be served. Many baskets are labeled as being large enough to hold food for two, four, six, or eight people.

Material 

Wicker, rattan, and wooden picnic baskets carry a classic charm but can be pricey. Contemporary picnic baskets made of polyester fabric, plastic, and canvas aren’t quite as iconic, but they’re insulated and washable, and some of them are collapsible, making them easier to store.

Aesthetic

Traditional wicker, rattan, or willow baskets have a romantic, rustic appeal thanks to their quintessential design and natural materials. They have a single compartment lined with fabric and a flip-up lid that latches. These baskets are about style, not ease of use.

Modern baskets may lack archetypal appeal, but they’re durable and practical. They’re made of man-made materials such as fabric or plastic and can be more tote or backpack than a basket. These modern versions are easier to clean and insulated, and they have multiple compartments and side pockets with zippers to close them. They’re about convenience and features more than style.

Accessories

Some picnic baskets come with plates, cutlery, glasses, and washable napkins. More elaborate baskets offer salt-and-pepper shakers, cheese knives, wine stoppers, corkscrews, cutting boards, picnic and beach blankets, and more.

Portability 

A picnic basket is only as good as its ability to travel, and its weight and handles affect portability.

Basket weight: The lighter the basket, the easier it is to carry. Cloth baskets tend to be lighter than wicker or rattan baskets.
Basket handles: Traditional picnic baskets have one stationary handle that is fine for toting short distances but not appropriate for a hike. Modern baskets have padded or fabric handles that are more comfortable to grasp, and some even have a shoulder strap for toting longer distances.

Our Top Picks

Guided by the shopping considerations above, we’ve selected some of the best picnic baskets on the market to help in choosing the ideal picnic basket to match your outdoor blanket and chairs.

Best Overall

The Best Picnic Basket Options Ascot
Photo: amazon.com

This Picnic at Ascot Insulated Folding Picnic Basket combines the features of classic and contemporary baskets: It’s shaped like a classic wicker basket but made of insulated canvas fabric on an aluminum frame. It keeps food to temperature thanks to its heat-sealed, leakproof lining. This basket can carry up to 65 pounds of food, so there’s room to pack for a crowd. After the picnic ends, the basket folds down flat for compact storage. It comes in 10 colors and patterns ranging from black to floral to trellis green.

Product Specs

  • Type: Insulated
  • Size: 11.5 inches long by 18.5 inches wide by 11 inches deep
  • Capacity: 65 pounds

Pros

  • Wicker-basket construction
  • Durable aluminum frame
  • Heat-sealed, leakproof lining
  • Foldable design
  • Comes in 10 colors

Cons

  • May be hard to carry

Get the Picnic at Ascot insulated folding picnic basket at Target, Sears, or Bed Bath & Beyond.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Picnic Basket Options Allcamp
Photo: amazon.com

Allcamp’s picnic basket is a soft-sided, cooler-style container made of polyester canvas on an aluminum frame. It keeps food to temperature for hours, and its leakproof liner is easy to clean. It’s got enough room to pack food for two or three people. It boasts an aluminum handle with a padded grip, making it comfy to carry. When empty, it collapses flat for easy storage. The basket comes in black or gray as well as in a large size with enough room for food for four or five people.

Product Specs

  • Type: Insulated
  • Size: 15 inches long by 9.5 inches wide by 9.8 inches deep
  • Capacity: 22 pounds

Pros

  • Polyester canvas and aluminum frame
  • Leakproof liner
  • Aluminum handle with padded grip
  • Collapsible design
  • Comes in multiple sizes and colorways

Cons

  • Some users report manufacturing defects

Get the Allcamp insulated collapsible picnic basket on Amazon.

Best Traditional

The Best Picnic Basket Options Liner
Photo: amazon.com

Picnic Time’s picnic basket has a timeless look with handwoven willow construction, a classic wooden split lid, and a red-and-white–checkered fabric liner. The basket can hold enough food and supplies for two or three people. The removable cotton-poly-blend liner is machine washable and adds to the classic aesthetic. The basket has a stationary handle for toting it around. Although it’s not insulated and does not come with utensils and dishes, it makes up for it in charm. The basket is so attractive that it can also make for stylish decor or storage when not being used.

Product Specs

  • Type: Traditional
  • Size: 17.5 inches long by 13.25 inches wide by 14.5 inches deep
  • Capacity: Unlisted

Pros

  • Handwoven willow construction
  • Wooden split lid
  • Machine-washable, cotton-poly-blend liner
  • Stationary handle

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No weight capacity listed
  • No insulation, utensils, or dishes included

Get the Picnic Time Country picnic basket at Amazon, Target, or Bed Bath & Beyond.

Best For Four

The Best Picnic Basket Options Nature
Photo: amazon.com

Nature Gear’s picnic basket pairs the traditional look of a wicker basket with a modern insulated lining that controls food temperature. This picnic basket is picturesque as well as practical. The basket comes with dinnerware, ceramic plates, cloth napkins, a bottle opener, and plastic wine glasses for four. It has an insulated main compartment, straps under the lid to secure the plates and utensils, and a double latch to keep it closed during transit.

Product Specs

  • Type: Insulated
  • Size: 17 inches long by 13 inches wide by 7 inches deep
  • Capacity: Unlisted

Pros

  • Temperature-regulating lining
  • Dinnerware, cloth napkins, a bottle opener, and plastic wine glasses
  • Double latch

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Some users report poor construction
  • May be heavy and hard to transport while full

Get the Nature Gear picnic basket on Amazon.

Best For Family

The Best Picnic Basket Nature Options 64
Photo: amazon.com

The 36-quart Picnic at Ascot Collapsible Cooler can carry enough food and drink for a crowd. Its walls have high-density foam insulation that can keep food and drinks cold for up to 18 hours. This soft cooler is made of sturdy polycanvas and has a steel frame for support. It has one main compartment for food and a zippered front pocket for small items, such as keys. It has two carrying straps and a removable shoulder strap for easy transport. When empty, it folds flat for convenient storage.

Product Specs

  • Type: Insulated
  • Size: 22 inches long by 10.5 inches wide by 11.5 inches deep
  • Capacity: 50 pounds

Pros

  • High-density foam insulation; keeps food cold for 18 hours
  • Polycanvas and stainless steel construction
  • Zippered front pocket
  • 2 carrying straps
  • Folds flat

Cons

  • May be heavy when full
  • May not be as sturdy as comparable options

Get the Picnic at Ascot semi rigid picnic basket on Amazon or at Sears.

Best For Date Night

The Best Picnic Basket Nature Options TwoPeople
Photo: amazon.com

This traditional-looking picnic basket is made from sturdy willow and lined with red-and-white-plaid fabric. It has a double lid and a lovely, iconic look. The basket comes with melamine plates, cutlery, and acrylic wine glasses for two people, along with a wine corkscrew. The basket has leatherette straps under the lid to hold accessories and a compartment that can be filled with food for a romantic outdoor dinner. Note: It’s not insulated, so it won’t keep food cold or hot for very long.

Product Specs

  • Type: Traditional
  • Size: 16 inches long by 9.5 inches wide by 14.5 inches deep
  • Capacity: Unlisted

Pros

  • Sturdy willow construction
  • Double-lid design
  • Comes with plates, cutlery, acrylic wine glasses, and a corkscrew
  • Leatherette straps
  • Food compartment

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No weight capacity listed

Get the Picnic Time Piccadilly picnic basket at Amazon, Target, or Bed Bath & Beyond.

Best Backpack

The Best Picnic Basket Option: Sunflora Picnic Backpack
Photo: amazon.com

Picnic baskets with a large construction can be hard to carry around. To make a long hike before a picnic easier, rely on the Sunflora Picnic Backpack. It comes in over six colorways and holds enough food and drink for four people. Made with durable fabric, this backpack is comfortable to carry on your shoulders.

This backpack is also capable of holding the included four sets of dishwasher-safe stainless steel flatware, melamine plates, uni-body thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) wine glasses, a cheese knife, metal salt-and-pepper shakers, a bamboo cutting board, and a wine opener. The detachable waterproof pouch is also handy for cold drinks and ice.

Product Specs

  • Type: Insulated
  • Size: 16 inches long by 12 inches wide by 8 inches deep
  • Capacity: 14.5 pounds

Pros

  • Durable fabric construction
  • Highly portable
  • Includes plates, cutlery, wine glasses, and other accessories
  • Detachable waterproof pouch

Cons

  • Pricey
    Less capacity than comparable options

Get the Sunflora picnic backpack on Amazon.

Our Verdict

For those who need a good picnic basket with a high capacity to take along for a family cookout or a day at the park, look no further than the Picnic at Ascot insulated folding picnic basket. This insulated basket can hold over 65 pounds of food and drink with its classic wicker-basket construction. Alternatively, for a classic wicker picnic basket, the Picnic Time Country picnic basket is a good choice for one or two people to store their food and drink in, and it comes with a machine-washable, cotton-poly-blend liner and stationary handle.

How We Chose the Best Picnic Baskets

We researched the most sought-after picnic baskets in their respective categories and discovered that the best options are determined by their size, materials, capacity, and other special features.

The insulated models were the most popular type among users because of their temperature-regulating designs and ease of use. Alternatively, the traditional wicker picnic baskets provide ample capacity, lightweight constructions, and a classic look. Many of these baskets are made with durable wicker, fabric, stainless steel, and aluminum for longevity and portability.

Some of these picks are suitable for small amounts of food and drink, while select picks can hold over 65 pounds of food, wine, beer, and dishware. Plus, some of these picks come with utensils, plates, wine glasses, cutting boards, wine openers, and cheese knives.

FAQs

Still have questions about choosing the best picnic basket? Here is more information to help you decide.

Q. What should I bring for a picnic?

Bring easy-to-serve food and drinks. Pack perishable items only if they’ll be eaten right away or stored in an insulated picnic basket. Remember to bring the accessories needed to enjoy the meal, such as plates, utensils, drinkware, and salt and pepper shakers. Plus, if you can, bring along your own picnic table.

Q. What is the best picnic basket?

The best picnic basket depends on individual needs and tastes. If you’re packing food that doesn’t need temperature control and you like classics, go with a wicker picnic basket. If your picnic destination is hours away and you’re packing tuna sandwiches, go with an insulated picnic basket with a shoulder strap.

Q. Is a picnic basket a good gift?

Yes. A picnic basket not only is a handy item to own but also encourages people to get out and make memories together. For a little something extra, get a picnic blanket to go with the basket.